Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Happy blogday to me!

Commenter Victor pointed out that today is the blog's anniversary, something that I had not noticed.  (Strictly speaking, the anniversary was the 23rd as the introductory post went up then, but the first game-covering post was on the 24th.)  Woohoo!  *cue party hats and streamers*

Thank you to everyone who has wandered by over the year, and especially to those who stayed and played along.  My particular thanks to Sam Gaffney, who found this blog fairly early on and whose rivalry and encouragement over its course ensured that my enthusiasm never waned.

A small bonus game of sorts for you, on this occasion: One of the SUMS puzzles this year was based on Letters and Numbers; although some of the rounds are not legal in the game (too few vowels), you may enjoy the change.  The game is below; I'll add answers in the comments eventually if required.

Round 1: N O U P B M I C E
Round 2: T R I F M L E Y F
Round 3: Target 917 from 2 4 6 8 7 8
Round 4: T L U C V S H E N
Round 5: H A T B O X G E N
Round 6: Target 687 from 50 6 10 2 4 4
Round 7: Q M N O P R S T U
Round 8: Target 335 from 50 1 3 1 2 2


Sam Gaffney said...

Why Geoff, you'll make me blush.

I've had a good crack at 687, but haven't got it yet, if indeed it is solvable. Tough letters rounds, some very non-Hawaiian selections.

917 = (8*8*4+6)/2*7
688 = (10+4)*50 - 6*2
335 = (50-2) * (3*2+1) - 1

Jan said...

I can get the other side of 687, with a 686
6/2=3. 4-3=1. (10+4)*(50-1)=686.
But if Sam can't get it, I have Buckley's!

Geoff Bailey said...

I will confirm that all the numbers rounds can be solved, and uniquely so (this was important for the rest of the puzzle). Spotting the right line is a little tricky, but possible. (I admit, it took me a couple of minutes to work out what it was this time, and I've already solved it twice before.)

Nice work on the other two numbers rounds, Sam. I will note that improvement is possible in some of the letters rounds, though.

Sam Gaffney said...

A tough one to spot within thirty seconds.

Jan said...

Round 5 - hatbox? It is in the Macq dictionary online

Mike Backhouse said...

Back from holidays, during which I did not play and am out of practice. I did switch the show on once and did one letters round, getting CITATION, which I was happy with. However coming back and being confronted by this mind twisting challenge was a bit of a shock to the system.

TRIFLE (wish I'd seen FIREFLY Sam)
902 out of range
CULTS (similarly wish I'd seen LUNCHES Sam)
HATBOX (I went for the obvious too Jan)
(10+4)*50-(6+2+4)=688 (1 off)
324 out of range
FASHIONER (not sure if it is acceptable, but presume so given Sam came up with it.

Geoff Bailey said...

*chuckles* Yes, HATBOX is in the Macquarie. Sometimes it is important not to overthink these things!

The 687 can be worked towards by first realising that it is divisible by 3. (The old "add the digits" rule for divisibility by 3, although there are certain patterns like the three digits being consecutive which are easier to spot.)

It is 3*229, and although we don't have a 3 we do have a 6, so one option to think about it 6*229/2. That does not seem particularly promising, but we can take it a step further by realising that we have a 4 that may do as well, so the target is also 6*458/4. 458 is tempting because it is 460 - 2, and we have the 2 and a 10 handy. The solution that Sam gave then falls out.

Best answers:

917 = 7*(4*8*8 + 6)/2
687 = 6*(10*(50 - 4) - 2)/4
335 = (50 - 2)*(3*2 + 1) - 1

Both FASHIONER and REFASHION are in the Macquarie; the puzzle had other information that ruled out FASHIONER in this instance. The non-unique best answer in round 2 was an oversight on the puzzle composer's part.

Mike Backhouse said...


Great words!

However there is no way I could get anywhere with those numbers in 30 secs. Even after time, re the 687, I saw that it was 229*3 but could not work out how to get the 229. I am not sure I even understand how it relates to your solution. All this seems like it's on a whole different level. I feel like giving up! (chuckles)

Geoff Bailey said...

I note that I missed the rather unusual UMBONIC as another seven-letter word in round 1. UMBONIC is the adjective derived from UMBO (plural forms UMBOS and UMBONES): "the boss, knob, or projection at or near the centre of a shield". There are related words UMBONAL and UMBONATE; I hope I get to use one of them at some point.

Mike: I would be astounded if anyone solved the 687 within time. Fortunately for the competition's purposes solving within thirty seconds was not required!

Sam Gaffney said...

I did see COMBINE and NOSTRUM later on, but not HEXAGON.

Emily said...

Congrats on the blogday! I've also just noticed I passed mine recently. I'd better get cracking on a party of some description!

I don't generally see the episodes so don't comment with my 'games', but love popping over to see the recaps anyway. And the comments! Thanks, Geoff (and Sam and other commenters).

Geoff Bailey said...

Thanks, Emily! And congratulations on your milestone as well. I'm glad you're still reading along!