Thursday, 27 September 2012

Ep 58: Rolli Pick, Yolanda Sztarr (September 26, 2012; originally aired October 20, 2010)

Rounds: Here.

Rolli Pick is back, and he enjoys the travel opportunities that his job provides him (as a reminder, he is a part-time travel sales and product manager).  Rolli has travelled quite extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and North America.  One of his favourite places in the world is Canada, and particularly southern Alberta where the Rocky Mountains meet the US border.  He says it is called "Big Sky Country" (I gather that is slightly more accurately a term for Montana), and that it is just stunning -- wilderness, side of a lake, mountainside... just beautiful.

Tonight's challenger is Yolanda Sztarr, a research and development tax consultant with a double degree in chemical engineering and science.  Yolanda also keeps busy with what she calls "home-based chemical engineering".  When she was young she loved baking cakes and experimenting with such things, and she sees chemical engineering as an outgrowth of that.  More recently she decided that she should put her years of study to use and has been making her own moisturisers and cleaning products and such.

The contestants started with a couple of matched rounds, but then an error from Rolli in the first numbers round let Yolanda take the lead.  Yolanda extended her lead in the next round but Rolli gained some of the ground back on the second numbers round.  The last letters round was shared and a final impossible numbers target proved to be too difficult for the contestants to get close to/  The game came down to the conundrum but when neither could solve it Yolanda was the victor, 38 points to 31.

I had a good game, just dropping the one maximum towards the end.  The conundrum took me a while but I got there just short of halfway through to round it out, and it's nice to have put together two good games in a row.

Round 1: E O I B N D R A S

I had BONE, BINDER, DEBONAIR, and BRANDIES.  After time I noted some more eights of BROADENS, BROADIES, and BOARDIES.  I also recalled that this exact mix had been in another (chronologically later) episode, which later checking revealed to be episode 405, and knew there was no full monty.

The contestants have each found a seven-letter word to start; Yolanda is unsure about her choice of BRAINED but as David notes it has been successful on the show before (in episode 13).  Rolli has gone with BINDERS, while David has selected DEBONAIR as his eight.  (I was fairly confident that this would be his choice; he tends to choose it when it is one of the options available.)

The other eights are BARONIES, INBOARDS, ANEROIDS, and BANDORES (BANDORE being a type of musical instrument).

Yolanda: BRAINED

Scores: Rolli 0 (7), Yolanda 0 (7), me 8

Round 2: U I E O P T M I T

Gah, it looks like Yolanda is another contestant who likes the vowels.  I was almost in a lot of trouble in this mix, as I heard the M as an N.  I had POUT, wanted to have POUTINE (as a word; I think I would be a bit hesitant about eating it) but knew from previous checking that it was not listed, then was happy to find PETITION for eight.  Fortunately about halfway through I looked at the board and discovered my error, but I was then rather short of time with my only valid word of length four.

Regrouping, I saw IMPUTE and then TIMEOUT.  I was not certain about this; I thought I had looked it up before but could not recall which way it went.  I did recall Naween Fernando coming unstuck on HIDEOUT in episode 30 (as did Andrew Fisher with HIDEOUTS in episode 18), but I also recalled READOUT being valid (Shaun Ellis found READOUTS in episode 302).  I ended up chancing it; my heart sank when the main entry was listed as TIME-OUT, but then at the very end of the entry it lists TIMEOUT as an acceptable alternative.  Phew!

After all that, the contestants have stayed with four-letter words; Yolanda has TIME and Rolli has MUTE.  David has found TIMEOUT, and it turns out to be the only seven.

The other sixes are UPTIME and TIPTOE.

Rolli: MUTE
Yolanda: TIME

Scores: Rolli 0 (11), Yolanda 0 (11), me 15

Round 3: Target 794 from 75 25 10 7 3 9

I oscillated on a few possibilities here, being particularly keen to make this as 800 - 6.  But neither an 8 nor a 6 were that easy (although an 11 would have done just as well as an 8, but was also hard), and after a few more false starts I decided to try and get close and realised that it just worked out after all, giving me the solution794 = 10*75 + 25 + 7 + 3 + 9.  Heh.

Yolanda is one away with 793, but Rolli declares that he has reached 794.  His solution starts with 794 = 10*75 + 3*9 + 10... at which stage it is pointed out that he has used the 10 twice.  That brings Yolanda's answer back into contention; it is 793 = (75 + 25)*7 + 9*10 + 3.

After seeing Yolanda's answer I managed to find an adaptation of it that worked: 794 = 7*(75 + 25 + 9 + 3) + 10.

Lily demonstrates the solution that I found within time.

Rolli: [invalid]
Yolanda: 793
Me: 794
Lily: 794

Scores: Rolli 0 (11), Yolanda 0 (18), me 25

First break: BAIT RACE ("The clue will bug you")

Even with the hint I could not solve this one; the answer is BACTERIA.

David's talk is about the term Mountweazel, a deliberately inaccurate entry in a reference work.  It's an interesting concept, often used to identify instances of copyright violation.

Round 4: D A S E O N I L Z


Rolli has SLIDE for five, but Yolanda gets further ahead with her seven of DENIALS.  David refers back to his find of SLIMEBAG in episode 45 as this time he has found SLEAZOID.

The other eight is DIAZOLES (DIAZOLE being one of two isomeric compounds); the other sevens are DIAZOLE, ANODIZE, ANISOLE (another chemical), LADINOS (LADINO: "an uncontrollable horse, steer, etc.; a stray"), and DONZELS (DONZEL: "a young gentleman not yet knighted; a squire; a page").  There might also be INDOLES, as INDOLE is another chemical.

Rolli: SLIDE
Yolanda: DENIALS

Scores: Rolli 0 (11), Yolanda 0 (25), me 33

Round 5: E A N P O U C S T

I had PANE, POUNCES, and OUTPACES.  After time I noted down a couple of the sevens I had seen within time as they come up often enough: PEANUTS and SOUTANE (a cassock).

Both contestants have found POUNCES for seven, while David has the only other eight of CAPSTONE.

Yolanda: POUNCES

Scores: Rolli 0 (18), Yolanda 0 (32), me 41

Round 6: Target 506 from 75 100 50 5 9 7

Getting to 500 is clear, but the offset of 6 might be a little tricky.  I looked at the remaining large numbers, though, and spotted a rare change to use the 50 and 75 in combination; it would need either a 4 or 9 to make it work, and fortunately we have one of those.  The resulting solution is 506 = 5*100 + 9*50/75; this is also how Lily solved it.

Then I switched tacks, looking at the target as 19 away from 525.  There's actually a few ways to do this, but the one I found within time was 506 = 7*75 - 9 - 5*100/50.  Note that my usual blindness to the divide-by-five option kicked in here, as the last part could have instead been simply 50/5.

Yolanda is strangely far away with 502, and Rolli gets back within striking distance with his one-away 507 = 5*100 + 7.

Rolli: 507
Yolanda: 502
Me: 506
Lily: 506

Scores: Rolli 0 (25), Yolanda 0 (32), me 51

Second break: SCARY TEN ("A familiar type of tree")

Once I solved this I realised the double meaning of familiar, as it refers to a family tree and thus to ANCESTRY.

Round 7: D B T I A E S K U

I had BAIT and BAITED.  I spotted several other sixes but could not find the seven that was likely there; after time -- and it wasn't particularly close -- I did manage to find SUBEDIT, and it turns out to be the only seven.  I'll note that SUBAUDITION is a word but that SUBAUDIT is not.

The contestants also have six-letter words, so not finding SUBEDIT has enabled them to get on the scoreboard against me; Rolli had DEBITS and Yolanda had BASKET.  David has continued his usual good form by getting SUBEDIT.

Yolanda: BASKET

Scores: Rolli 6 (31), Yolanda 6 (38), me 57

Round 8: Target 922 from 75 25 1 5 1 8

This is a tough one; getting near the target should be easy enough, and 12*75 and 13*75 are both achievable with further offsets possible.  My first effort was two away: 924 = (8 + 5 - 1)*75 + 25 - 1, although I saw another way to 924 as (25 - 8 - 5)*(75 + 1 + 1).  Then I spotted that descent from 1000 allowed getting one closer for the answer 923 = 8*5*25 - 75 - 1 - 1.

A minor variation of that last solution gets to one away from the other side: 921 = 5*(8*25 - 1) - 75 + 1.

Neither contestant has been able to get within range; Yolanda has managed to get to 900, but Rolli is even further away with 725.  Lily has also found this difficult, getting to 923 but no closer.

That is the best that can be done, actually.  The target is unreachable, and the solutions for 921 and 923 (both shown above) turn out to be unique.

Rolli: [not in range]
Yolanda: [not in range]
Me: 923
Lily: 923

Scores: Rolli 6 (31), Yolanda 6 (38), me 64


Yolanda is ahead but not safe at this point, so either can win.  I got distracted by the HYPN- fragment for a while.  SPINACH was also there but not useful, but somehow I found my way to the answer twelve seconds in.  Neither contestant was able to find the solution, so Yolanda is the winner.

Rolli: [no answer]
Yolanda: [no answer]

Final scores: Rolli 6 (31), Yolanda 6 (38), me 74

There wasn't that much separating the contestants today, with only three rounds producing a difference in scores.  The numbers went one each way, so it was Yolanda's find of DENIALS in round 4 that gave her the win.  A lot could have changed in the numbers rounds, which were a nicely interesting set.  Rolli must be ruing that invalid answer in round 3; matching Yolanda's effort would have meant that a solved conundrum was necessary for the win.  Of course, there's no guarantee that he was able to match it.

In any case, we have a new champion for the third time this week.  Will the trend continue?.


Anonymous said...

My answers:

75*10+25+7*3=796 (2 away)
BUSKED (coincidentally I had only been busking 3 hours earlier. I was peeved I missed both BUSKER and GUITAR on earlier episodes, so was happy this time)
out of range - tried adding 75 and 25 together and got nowhere, and ran out of time
missed conundrum (one day....)

For some reason I have not been able to sign in today so have had to choose anonymous.

Mike Backhouse

Jan said...

After my fairly good game last night, things didn't go so well this time, but I did just sneak in with a win.

(75+3)*10 + 9 + 7 = 796 (0)
SALINE (0) i was disappointed in this as I knew there would be better words with that mix, but couldn't find them in the time
5*100 + 7 = 507 (7)
(8+5-1)*75 + 25 - 1 = 924 (7)

Sam Gaffney said...

Mike, I play guitar and often fail to spot the word as well.

I think I must have seen this episode in 2010, all my finds and Round 6 were mentioned.

IMPUTE (Saw TIMEOUT, but got scared off by yesterday's TEA-CHEST)
791 = (75+25+10+3)*7 (Ran out of time searching for 794, had to scramble.)
DENIALS (thought about NODALIZES, it is listed elsewhere)
500 = 5*100 + 9*50/75 Also, (75-100/50)*7-5
924 = (8+5)*(75-1-1)-25 (Saw Geoff's way slightly too late)

Geoff Bailey said...

Ooh, NODALIZES is great vision. A shame the Macquarie does not have it.