Saturday, 20 October 2012

Ep 74: Dom Saric, Yvonne Wake (October 18, 2012; originally aired November 11, 2010)

Rounds: Here.

This is Dom Saric's third night on the show, and Richard asks Dom where he sees his medical studies taking him.  Dom responds that he is currently leaning towards a career in psychiatry; that is what has interested him the most out of the different blocks he has done so far.

Tonight's challenger is Yvonne Wake, a retired French teacher who enjoys solving cryptic crosswords, reading biographies, and travel books.  Yvonne visited France two years ago, and is going again next year (which would have been 2011).  She thinks that Paris is the most beautiful city; she has seen many European cities but it is Paris that she adores.  She adds that there is nothing better than strolling along the Seine chatting to the bouquinistes in French.

Dom got out to an early lead thanks to the first three letters rounds, where in each case Yvonne was limited to five-letter words.  She managed to match him on the remaining two letters rounds, but since they had identical results on the numbers rounds she had fallen too far adrift by the conundrum.  In the event, neither solved it, and Dom gained his third win by 50 points to 31.

I played a reasonable game today, but did miss three longer words that could have been findable.  My conundrum speed was a little slow but I got there, and the numbers behaved themselves for me.  I needed to find one of those longer answers to bump my solo total up to the week's running theme of 75, but it was still a satisfactory total.

Round 1: M S U I R W A O L

I had RIMS, SWARM, MIAOWS (I observed that the variants MIAOUS and MIAULS were also there, but did not write them down), and SOLARIUM.

Yvonne has LAIRS for five, outdone by Dom's choice of MURALS for six.  David has found SOLARIUM, and it is the only eight.

The only seven here is SIMULAR ("someone or something that simulates").

Yvonne: LAIRS

Scores: Dom 0 (6), Yvonne 0, me 8

Round 2: F A C B A E S J E

Not a helpful mix; I had FACE and FACES.

Yvonne has also gone with FACES, but Dom has found the only six of FAECES.  Good vision!  David suggests that Yvonne should have gone for CAFES instead (given her talks about Paris), and has also found FAECES.

The other fives are CEASE, ABASE, BEEFS, and the variant spelling FECES.

Yvonne: FACES

Scores: Dom 6 (12), Yvonne 0, me 8

Round 3: Target 303 from 100 75 6 9 2 7

This was one of those situations where doing the premultiplication helped.  I had noted after the small numbers went up that 6*7*9 was 378, so it was just a short step from there to the solution 303 = 6*7*9 - 75.

Both contestants have ended up with 300.  Dom's way was 300 = (7 - 6 + 2)*100, and because he made the 3 that awkwardly he had nothing useful to adjust by; he could have adjusted that approach to 302 easily enough with 302 = (9 - 6)*100 + 2.  Yvonne is a bit more thrifty with her small numbers but also misses an option; her answer was 300 = (6 - 2)*75, but she could have adjusted this to 302 = (6 - 2)*75 + 9 - 7.  The two oversights cancel out, and the contestants still end up matched.

Lily has found a solution, working down from 350; the offset is 47, and she managed to make it as required, obtaining 303 = (100 + 75)*2 - (9*6 - 7).  Well done!

Dom: 300
Yvonne: 300
Me: 303
Lily: 303

Scores: Dom 6 (19), Yvonne 0 (7), me 18

First break: ELDER VAN ("Aromatic plant")

That plant is the LAVENDER.

David's talk is about the words butterfly, papillon, and pavilion.

Round 4: N U I E C G T D E

I had NICE, CUING, CUEING (I was not sure which spelling was the right one, but it turns out that both are acceptable), EDUCING (EDUCE: "to draw forth or bring out; elicit; develop"), and DUCTING.  After time I saw GENETIC as another seven.

Yvonne has five again with NIECE but Dom gets the points once more with ENTICED.  That puts him a worrying 19 points ahead, so Yvonne has some work to do.  David mentions GENETIC as a seven, but has gone one better with INDUCTEE for eight.  Nicely done!

That is the only eight; the other sevens are DETINUE ("an old common-law form of action to recover possession or the value of articles of personal property wrongfully detained") and EUGENIC ("having good inherited characteristics").

Yvonne: NIECE

Scores: Dom 13 (26), Yvonne 0 (7), me 25

Round 5: R S O A K N E O P

I had SOAR, RANKS, REASON, and SNOOKER.  After time I saw SNOOPER as another seven, and sadly rejected EARSPOON.  (I was thinking of the Bohemian earspoon, which would be a phrase.  It is not listed in any case.)

Both contestants have found seven-letter words, Dom with SNOOKER and Yvonne with the lovely PERSONA (it's also a moderately common set of letters, so one of those words worth remembering; it seems that it is not on my radar just yet, though).  David has found SOPRANO as another seven.

There is one more: SPANKER, a type of sail.


Scores: Dom 20 (33), Yvonne 7 (14), me 32

Round 6: Target 393 from 50 100 6 7 4 2

An easy numbers game provides no further distinction; everyone goes with 393 = 4*100 - 7.

Dom: 393
Yvonne: 393
Me: 393

Scores: Dom 30 (43), Yvonne 17 (24), me 42

Second break: SEND WILD ("Tricked out of money")

A straight clue for being SWINDLED.

Round 7: T N E E P R A O T


The contestants have each found seven-letter words again; this time Dom has PRONATE and Yvonne has PORTENT.  David mentions OPERATE, but has again gone one better with OPERETTA for eight.

The other two eights are PATENTOR and ENTREPOT ("a warehouse").

The other sevens are TREETOP, OPERANT / PROTEAN ("readily assuming different forms or characters"), ENTREAT / TERNATE ("consisting of three; arranged in threes") / RATTEEN (an obsolete spelling of RATINE: "a rough woollen cloth, formerly in use chiefly for travelling coats"), and REPTANT (variant form of REPENT as an adjective: "(of a plant) with a creeping habit").


Scores: Dom 37 (50), Yvonne 24 (31), me 49

Round 8: Target 785 from 25 75 4 2 6 2

Yvonne needs to solve this exactly in order to have a chance (and for Dom to not solve it).  It's a good round for such a situation, as it looks a little tricky.  I wanted to get close with 75*10, then saw that a small tweak would turn that into a solution: 785 = (6 + 4)*(75 + 2/2) + 25.  One can think of this more like an application of the standard method, as 775 + 10, and that should also help find it.

Neither contestant has been able to make anything from this.  Yvonne says that she was "blown away by the pressure" and Dom admits that he was likewise far away from the target.  That still hands him the win, though.

Lily has used the same solution that I found above.  There is only one other answer, making it as 810 - 25 via 785 = (75 + 6)*(2*4 + 2) - 25.

Dom: [not in range]
Yvonne: [not in range]
Me: 785
Lily: 785

Scores: Dom 37 (50), Yvonne 24 (31), me 59


I bobbled a bit at the start, but then thought that the -FUL fragment was worth investigating.  That was correct, and I had a solution about a quarter of the way through.  Neither contestant was able to solve this, so their scores are unchanged.

Dom: [no answer]
Yvonne: [no answer]

Final scores: Dom 37 (50), Yvonne 24 (31), me 69

Dom's early lead proved too much for Yvonne, who was unable to beat him in any round.  The numbers rounds offered scope to do so, and it definitely looks like he can be caught there.  Some good rounds from both players, but Dom has the win and gets to face that crucial fourth game tomorrow.


Sam Gaffney said...

X Had 302, wrote 303. Then found: (75-9)*6-100+7
X EDUCTING (combined two valid sevens invalidly)
393 = 4*100-7
ENTREPOT - wasn't sure about this; if it was wrong, Dom's final score would have beaten mine.
785 = (6+4)*(75 + 2/2) + 25

Jan said...

It was interesting reading Robert's description of the adjudication for postages. Geoff and Sam, did you have anything like that, when you were on the show?

I was back in the winning circle tonight, but took me 65 secs to find the conundrum. Once I finally saw the ful, I got it fairly quickly.

(6-2)*75 + (9-7) = 302 (7)
4*100 - 7 = 393 (10)
(6+4)*(75 + 2/2) + 25 = 785 (10)
65 secs

Sam Gaffney said...

Hi Jan, the biggest pause that I saw was when Alan declared AMITIES in Ep399 - that took about 15 minutes to be resolved. I believe Anthony's LEASINGS in Ep298 also took a while.

Jan said...

Thanks Sam. I could go and check AMITIES here, but Geoff doesn't quite go back to 298, so was LEASINGS allowed?

The good bit, about Geoff not going back to 298, means that he can keep doing this blog for ages! :)

Sam Gaffney said...

Actually, Ep298 is in the blog, as it was a Series 3 semi-final. Both words mentioned were ruled invalid.

Geoff Bailey said...

Great find of ENTREPOT, Sam! It was a new word to me, or at least not one I've retained from any previous encounter. Bad luck about EDUCTING -- I had it written down as speculative but was confident that EDUCE was the verb and EDUCT the noun.

Jan: My rounds were all rather boring as far as adjudication went. I did declare the similar PORTAGES in one episode, but it quickly got the nod.

I like WALRUS -- I meant to mention that. *chuckles* Nicely found! Also well done on the rest of the letters rounds, and on getting to 785.

Here's the links for episode 298 and episode 399.

JT said...

I hate to say it but the best series 1 players show that letters knowledge rules supreme in L+N :/

DUCTING-not sure this was valid
nowhere near this

Geoff Bailey said...

JT: That's a pretty fair statement, but it is not completely one-sided. Sometimes the words are the easy ones and the numbers are interesting.

DUCTING is valid -- DUCT is listed as a verb sense (to convey by means of a duct). POKERS is, too, as a poker is something you can poke a fire with.