Thursday, 18 October 2012

Ep 72: Dennis Callegari, Dom Saric (October 16, 2012; originally aired November 9, 2010)

Rounds: Here.

OK, so I haven't managed to do that well at getting the short versions out.  Oh, well, back to delayed long ones instead.  Incidentally, I have been relying on the closed captions recently for the spelling of contestants' names, but have unfortunately discovered that they are not always correct; I have corrected the spelling of Dennis Callegari's surname in the previous post.

Incidentally, this show was first aired on David's birthday (his 49th, to be specific).

Dennis Callegari gets his turn in the champion's position tonight.  In addition to his more serious writing, Dennis writes clerihews and posts them on his blog (he also has another blog, although that does not seem to be solely about clerihews).  As he explains, a clerihew is a simple four-line poem with the AABB rhyming scheme, invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley.  (What he does not say is that they are biographical and generally a little absurd.)  Dennis quotes one that he wrote a little earlier:
He knew he wasn't Anglo-Saxon
But Michael Jackson
Was at a loss
As to why he wasn't Diana Ross
Tonight's challenger is Dom Saric, who is currently completing a bachelor of medicine and surgery.  Dom notes that he has been a student for the past twenty years straight, from primary school to high school to an undergraduate degree and then postgraduate studies.  Richard asks when Dom will stop studying and "get into other action".  Dom responds that he doesn't think that he will ever stop studying, because he will be going into medicine and that's an ever-changing field.  So he expects to be studying for the rest of his life.

Ooh, there was some good play tonight.  Dennis faltered early with an invalid word in the second round, but then struck back strongly with two excellent words in the following letters rounds.  Dom was in trouble but managed to win the final two rounds to snatch victory at the last, 53 to 47.

I had a pretty good game tonight.  I dropped two maxima early on, but otherwise everything fell into place nicely.  One of those maxima was an excellent word from David, but the other was a numbers round that was tough but solvable; I always am a bit disappointed when that happens.  But still, another solid game and decent speed on the conundrum makes this a satisfactory game.

Round 1: N T O I N E T T C

I had INTO, INTONE, TONTINE, and CONTENT.  For a moment I thought that INNOCENT was there, but that would need a third N.  I had a similar duplication issue with TECTONIC, but fortunately did not fall victim to either mistake.

Both contestants have found CONTENT, and it is also David's choice.

That's both sevens listed; the other sixes are INTENT, NOTICE / NOETIC ("of or relating to the mind"), NOCENT ("hurtful; harmful; injurious"), and CONINE (variant spelling of CONIINE, an alkaloid that is the deadly part of hemlock).


Scores: 7 apiece

Round 2: R G I O R C I E M

I had RIGOR, CORGI, an uncertain GRIMIER, and CORMER in case I decided against GRIMIER.  I ended up chancing it, which is just as well as it is correct and there appears to be no such word as CORMER; I have no idea what I was thinking of there.

The contestants both declare five-letter words, Dom having CRIME and Dennis opting for CROME.  That is an unexpected spelling, and David has to look it up.  He mentions Crome Yellow along the way, but has to rule against CROME.  David has also found GRIMIER, but then gone one better with the lovely GRIMOIRE ("a book of spells and magic secrets; a magician's manual").  Oh, well done!

That's the only eight and seven listed; the other sixes are GROCER, GORIER, RIMIER / MIRIER, and CORRIE ("a circular hollow in the side of a hill or mountain, often containing a small lake, formed by glacial action") / ORRICE (variant spelling of ORRIS, a species of iris).

Dennis: [invalid]

Scores: Dennis 7, Dom 7 (12), me 14

Round 3: Target 280 from 75 100 9 3 9 4

A small target, but reaching it exactly poses some challenge.  I lost some time looking at the various factorisations without success, and in the end had to settle for one away with 279 = 4*(75 - 3) - 9.

Both contestants have ended up two away with 282 = 3*100 - 9 - 9.  Lily has found a solution, spotting the importance of the target being 45 less than 325: 280 = 3*75 + 100 - 4*9 - 9.  An alternative way of viewing this is as 225 + 55, then realising that the 55 is easier to make as 100 - 45.  A minor variation of Lily's solution is 280 = 3*75 + 100 - (9 - 4)*9.  In any case, excellent solving from Lily.

Computer checking reveals several more solutions so they were there to be had, including one which uses an approach that I had considered but not been able to get working: 9*20 + 100.  A little more thought about that might have turned up 280 = 9*(75/3 - (9 - 4)) + 100.

Dennis: 282
Dom: 282
Me: 279
Lily: 280

Scores: Dennis 7 (14), Dom 7 (19), me 21

First break: DRIVE ANY ("This will gve you plenty to whine about")

Another clue which works better when said aloud than read, as the "whine" is intended to indicate "wine", and thus lead to VINEYARD.

David's talk is about three words with origins from the Philippines: boondocks, yoyo, and tinikling.

Round 4: S V E O H C I E L

I had SHOVE, CHOSE, CHIVES, ECHOES, VESICLE ("a little sac or cyst"), and COHESIVE.  I wondered about ICESHOE (by analogy with SNOWSHOE), but it is not listed.

Dom has OLIVES for six, but Dennis has found the excellent VEHICLES for eight.  Well done!  David has gone with COHESIVE as his eight.

That's both eights listed; the other sevens are VEHICLE, LICHEES (LICHEE being a variant spelling of the fruit LYCHEE) / HELICES (plural of HELIX), and CHEVIES (CHEVY being a variant spelling of CHIVVY: "to harass; worry; nag").


Scores: Dennis 15 (22), Dom 7 (19), me 29

Round 5: F U N D A S L E H

I had FUND (of course), FUNDS, FEUDAL, a slightly uncertain UNLASHED, FLASHED, and a rather dubious UNFLASHED.  This latter would have meaning in computer electronics (ref: FLASHING), but I thought that was a bit too specialised or contemporary for the Macquarie, and that was correct.  On the other hand, I had a memory of looking up UNLASH before and finding it valid; that must have been for Countdown as it does not appear to have been mentioned before on this blog.  So I went with UNLASHED, and that was the correct decision.

This time Dom has HANDLES for seven, but Dennis has found another excellent word in the form of HANDFULS.  Richard checks with David whether the appropriate plural is HANDFULS or HANDSFUL, and David notes that the Macquarie explicitly addresses this concern and HANDFULS is correct.

Those two excellent eights from Dennis have moved him from five points down to eleven points up, which is danger territory for Dom.

That's both eights listed; the other sevens are FLUSHED, HANDFUL, UNLEASH, UNLADES, HANDSEL ("a gift or token for good luck or as an expression of good wishes [...]"), and SNAFUED (SNAFU: "to throw into disorder; muddle").


Scores: Dennis 23 (30), Dom 7 (19), me 37

Round 6: Target 161 from 100 50 4 8 7 4

I recognised the target as 7*23, so that is where I focused my attention at first.  A little care is needed as the 7 is the only odd number, but I managed to make it work with 161 = ((50 - 4) / (8/4))*7.  (A simpler variation that I have just seen is 161 = 7*(100 - 8)/4.)  Then I looked for more conventional approaches and was a bit disappointed to see how simply the solution fell out: 161 = 100 + 50 + 7 + 4.  Oh, well.

The contestants have both solved this; Dom went with that last solution above, while Dennis marginally complicated things with 161 = 100 + 50 + 8 + 7 - 4.

Dennis: 161
Dom: 161
Me: 161

Scores: Dennis 33 (40), Dom 17 (29), me 47

Second break: COVE RIDS ("To learn; to find")

To do that is to DISCOVER.

Round 7: M I T D E R R E A


The contestants each have seven-letter words; Dennis has MARRIED while Dom has ADMIRER.  David has found DIAMETER for eight.

DREAMIER and DIAMETER are the only eights; there are a lot of sevens here, more than I feel like listing.


Scores: Dennis 33 (47), Dom 17 (36), me 55

Round 8: Target 283 from 75 100 10 4 3 2

Dom needs to outpoint Dennis in this round in order to have a chance.  Some people might shake up the mix in such a situation, but Dom sticks with the family mix.

The standard method suggests making this as 275 + 8, and 8 = 2*4 opens up some tweaking possibilities.  That was the approach that I used, anyway, getting the solution 283 = 2*(100 + 4) + 75.  This turns out also to be how Lily solved it.

Dennis is five away at 278, but Dom has got the result he needed with his one-away 284 = (10 - 4 + 3) + 100*2 + 75.  That gives him a chance going into the conundrum.

Again, computer checking shows many solutions.  One that feels rather findable in retrospect is 283 = 4*75 - 2*10 + 3.

Dennis: 278
Dom: 284
Me: 283
Lily: 283

Scores: Dennis 33 (47), Dom 17 (43), me 65


I spotted this one quickly, as the INTER- fragment is one that I try to keep an eye out for when the letters are there.  Dom ended up getting this a little over the halfway mark, completing a good come-from-behind victory.

Dennis: [no answer]
Dom: INTERVIEW (16.5s)

Final scores: Dennis 33 (47), Dom 17 (53), me 75

Both contestants played pretty well tonight.  Dennis had some great finds in the middle with that pair of eight-letter words, and it was almost enough.  Dom managed to get the better numbers result when he needed it, though, and then solved the conundrum to get the win.  Fortunately the margin was more than the five points that Dennis conceded by declaring CROME in the second round, otherwise he would have been kicking himself over that.

I'm a bit sad to see Dennis go; both contestants acquitted themselves well tonight, and it has been a nice change to be back to sensible levels of vowels.  Dom is a worthy winner, though, and we'll see what tomorrow brings.


Jan said...

Geoff, I had a look at your SUMS puzzle hunt. It looks interesting. It looks like it would take some new skills for me to work stuff out. Looked at some of lat year's puzzles.

I had a pretty good game, losing to the contestants on one letters game, and the conundrum. I missed the inter bit, but found view and took it from there.

(9-4)*75 - 100 + (9-3) = 281 (7)
100+50+7+4 = 161 (10)
4*(75-2) - 10 = 282 (7)

Jan said...

Oops - handles, should have been 0 - handfuls was better

Sam Gaffney said...

I was also sad to see Dennis go so quickly; it's unusual for a player to find two eight-letter words and still lose. Good poem, too.

Dom just scraped through here, which would have been an unlucky result for a player who went on to nearly beat Naween Fernando. He always looks very friendly, but definitely has the eye of the tiger and is there to win.

279 = 4*75 - 9 - 9 - 3 (tough one)
161 = 100 + 50 + 7 + 4
283 = (75-3)*4 - 10/2

JT said...

I'm suprised Dom nearly nearly went into first night oblivion first night nerves I assume...