Sunday, 11 November 2012

Ep 89: Phil Moore, Mita Navidad (November 8, 2012; originally aired December 2, 2010)

Rounds: Here.

Due to the US election coverage, episode 88 was not aired in the usual order and so there is a gap in my record.  A particularly annoying gap, too, as Richard comments later in the show that it was a game with a nail-biting finale.  Leif Cooper must have lost it, as there are two new faces tonight.

Update: Commenter Victor points out that this is one of the few episodes available on YouTube, so I will be able to cover this after all.  The links are: Part 1, part 2, part 3.  Thanks, Victor!

The returning champion is Phil Moore, an I.T. manager and business technology student.  Richard observes that I.T. is often sedentary work, but that Phil is actually pretty fit.  Phil explains this as being due to him riding around 45 to 50 kilometres per day when he is cycling.

Tonight's challenger is Mita Navidad, a science and maths graduate who went to Germany to complete an internship with the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company.  Mita was working for the structures and engineering department, and she says that the best thing about it was that every day she got to see fighter planes fly past her window on their test flights.  It was, of course, very noisy when that happened and not much work got done.  She found it exciting to be working at the cutting edge of science.

The contestants started out fairly evenly, finding the same word in the first round.  In the second round Mita made the first-time player error of using a letter twice, but she got those points back in the following numbers round.  The second third of the game was all Phil, though, as he found the two best words and solved the numbers game to have a lead of over twenty points.  The final third saw them matched again, giving the game to Phil.  Neither could solve the conundrum, and the final scoreline was 44 to 20 in his favour.

I blanked a bit on the first round, missing some longer options that I knew must be there.   I probably was never going to match David's result in the thirty seconds, though.  For the rest of it I played optimally all the way up to the conundrum, but that took me over two minutes to solve.  A rather tough conundrum tonight, I'd say.  That kept my score out of the seventies, but a mid-sixties score was still pretty welcome.

Round 1: R C O H A N D E P

I had ARCH, ANCHOR, HADRON, PRANCED, and PANOCHE (variant spelling of PANOCHA: "a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico").  It felt very much like there should be an eight in the mix, but I was not able to manoeuvre my way to it within time.  Afterwards I wrote down some of the other sevens that I had seen -- PARCHED and OPERAND -- and then saw CHAPERON (variant spelling of CHAPERONE) as a possible eight.  I'd not have risked it, but it does turn out to be valid.  But after that I saw that I had not paid enough attention to my second word, as ANCHORED was a quite findable eight given my start.

Both contestants have found PARCHED for seven.  David announces the nine as a compound word, and with that confirmation to hand I was able to find what it must be, although I still had to check up on it.  It is PHONECARD, listed as two words but with the single word form provided as an acceptable alternate form.  Well spotted, David!

Two of the other eights are annoyingly familiar: ORPHANED and ENDOCARP.  The remaining eight was new to me: CANEPHOR, an architectural term meaning "a caryatid having a basket-like cushion upon the head".


Scores: 7 apiece

Round 2: G T I R A E T H I

I had GIRT, TRIAGE, TIGHTER, and AIRTIGHT.  I often look at the AIR- fragment without success, so it was nice that it was useful this time.

The contestants each declare six-letter words, Phil with THREAT and Mita with HEARTH.  But she has used the H twice and her answer is invalid.  David is on track again, also having found AIRTIGHT.

That is the only eight and the only seven listed; there's quite a few sixes.

Mita: [invalid]

Scores: Phil 7 (13), Mita 7, me 15

Round 3: Target 269 from 50 25 1 10 8 1

The standard method looked likely to be too difficult to apply, as those small numbers are not very flexible.  Still, it was good enough for one away, so I wrote down a fallback 268 = 25*(10 + 1) - 8 + 1 and kept looking.  Then I realised that I could have shunted that 1 to the other side of that multiplication and things looked much rosier, leading to the solution 269 = (25 + 1)*10 + 8 + 1.

Mita is one away with 270, but Phil declares that he has solved this.  His solution starts out 25*10 + 25, however, so he has used the 25 twice.  That brings Mita's result back into consideration, and she has made no mistake with her answer of 270 = 25*8 + 50 + (1 + 1)*10.

Lily has solved this the same way that I did.  There's a couple of other solutions; the one I like most makes it as 270 - 1, an approach that I had considered and not managed to get working: 269 = (25 + 50/10)*(8 + 1) - 1.

Phil: [invalid]
Mita: 270
Me: 269
Lily: 269

Scores: Phil 7 (13), Mita 7 (14), me 25

First break: DENY CENT ("Leans toward")

Richard oddly pronounces DENY to rhyme with "penny", but presumably it was not regarded as worth a re-shoot.  In any case, such a leaning is a TENDENCY.

David's talk is about two people who have leant their names to pejorative terms: Vidkun Quisling (giving the term quisling), and John Duns Scotus (from who we get the term dunce).

Round 4: S E R R I F A N S


Mita has FRIARS for six, but Phil has managed to find FAIRNESS for eight.  David notes REFRAINS as another eight in the mix.

Those are the only eights; the sevens are REFRAIN, FARNESS, SNARERS, RINSERS, RAISERS / SIERRAS / ARRISES (ARRIS: "to sand the edge of (a piece of glass) to remove the sharp edge"), FRAISES (FRAISE: "a tool for enlarging a drilled hole"), and ARSINES (ARSINE being a particular chemical compound of arsenic and hydrogen, as well as any derivative of that).


Scores: Phil 15 (21), Mita 7 (14), me 33

Round 5: N M A T D E A K M


Mita has TAMED for five, but Phil has again found the best option of MANDATE, pushing his lead over ten points.  David notes that he had checked on MAN-MADE but the hyphen is required.

That is the only seven; the sixes are TANKED, MADMAN, MADMEN, TANDEM, ADNATE ("grown fast to something; congenitally attached"), and MAENAD ("frenzied or raging woman").

There's a small trap in this round in that MADAME might be tempting.  It turns out that the Macquarie only lists that with a capital letter, which certainly took me by surprise.


Scores: Phil 22 (28), Mita 7 (14), me 40

Round 6: Target 189 from 75 50 25 3 9 7

I managed to get myself amusingly tangled up here; I recognised the target as 7*27, so I wanted to make a 2 to add to the 25 but that seemed troublesome.  It was only a bit later when I looked at the target as 9*21 that I realised that the small numbers alone sufficed, giving the solution 189 = 3*7*9.  The 27 I wanted was easily there all along as 3*9 but I overlooked that and made my life difficult.  Still within time, I made that more complicated approach work after all with the solution 189 = (3*50/75 + 25)*7.

Mita is five off the target with 184; that was presumably some version of 175 + 9.  Phil has solved this however, using the same solution that I did; it was also Lily's approach.

Mita: 184
Me: 189
Lily: 189

Scores: Phil 32 (38), Mita 7 (14), me 50

Second break: CAKE GLOB ("Often found under the sink")

That would be a BLOCKAGE in a pipe.

Round 7: T Z U E L D N E P

The Z puts a bit of a damper on things here.  Phil has found the best answer in the previous three rounds to build an imposing lead, to the point that Mita must beat him in this round to keep a chance of victory.

I had LUTE, ELUTE, and ELUTED.  After time I saw TELEDU (the Javan stink badger) and DEPUTE as other sixes, but could not get any longer.

Both contestants have six-letter words, Phil with PELTED and Mita with PUNTED.  Both are fine, and so Phil is guaranteed to win.  David could not do any better, opting for DEPUTE as his six.

The other sixes are ELUENT and PENULT ("the last syllable but one in a word").


Scores: Phil 38 (44), Mita 13 (20), me 56

Round 8: Target 144 from 25 75 3 4 8 1

A rather small target, which is easily recognised as the square of 12.  I also knew it was 8*18, though, and that led quickly to the solution 144 = 8*(25 - 4 - 3).

Mita has nothing to declare here (she simply says that she is "way off"); Phil declares that he has reached the target but his answer starts out as 75*(3 - 1) + 8 - 3 and he has used the 3 twice.  (He must have made another mistake as well, as the rest of it cannot get him to the target from there.)

Lily mentions that the target is the square of 12 and that can lead to a solution, but she has used the 4*36 approach instead with 144 = (25 + 8 + 3)*4.

There are a fair few ways to make it as the product of two 12s; one of them is 144 = (75/25)*4*(8 + 3 + 1).

Phil: [invalid]
Mita: [not in range]
Me: 144
Lily: 144

Scores: Phil 38 (44), Mita 13 (20), me 66


A tough conundrum to finish things up with, with many common letters and nothing particularly standing out to help the solving.  I tried some of the usual fragments, such as CON-, -ER, -IER, and -ANCE, but nothing worked out.

The contestants were similarly struggling, and in the end the conundrum went unsolved.  It took me a total of two minutes and eighteen seconds before I found the answer of PORCELAIN.

Phil: [no answer]
Mita: [no answer]
Me: [no answer]

Final scores: Phil 38 (44), Mita 13 (20), me 66

Phil really hit his stride in the middle section, pulling out four maxima in a row.  His numbers let him down a bit, though, as he twice had invalid answers due to re-use of a number; he needs to check more carefully!  Mita could not recover from that middle third, and so Phil has his second win.


Jan said...

Another person has also left a message on the L&N website about EP 88, so we will see if they take any notice of us, and put the unaired episode up!

Leif must have had an underperforming, for him, game, or Phil must have played a lot better in his first game than he has in this one and the next. I have found him very beatable, but I could not beat Leif.

I loved your very neat solution to the 2nd numbers game. That was the one numbers game I could not get the target

(25+1)*10 + 8 + 1 = 269 (10)
3*(50+7) + 25 - 9 = 187 (0)
8/4=2. 2*(75-3) = 144
After a few minutes of trying with the conundrum, I gave up

Victor said...

Hi Geoff, I had a fortunate memory jog which might help everyone out.

By amazing coincidence, episode 88 happens to be one of the 10 or so L&N episodes on YouTube, and I've seen it before, it appears that Phil uploaded it after it aired:

Mike Backhouse said...

Thanks Jan for your efforts and to Victor for the heads up re the missing episode. I look forward to that. (Will you be posting your comments on that episode Geoff?).

(25+1+1)*10=270 (1 off)
75+50+25+3+9+7=184 (4 off)
Lily's way (liked your method too Jan)

Jan said...

Thanks Victor for letting us know. I will watch it later.

And thanks Mike

Jan said...

And Mike, I reckon that Geoff will blog 88. He won't like leaving a hole there! (I hope I am not misrepresenting you here Geoff)

JT said...

Like Victor I have seen these episodes which is probably why SBS decided to skip ep 88...

Geoff Bailey said...

Thanks, Victor -- that was a good find. I took a brief look for the episode on YouTube before, but had searched by episode number rather than date. That was careless of me, and I'm glad you were more sensible about things!

Mike and Jan: I've played through the episode, but I'll delay the post until the finals coverage (Thursday's episode) as I've already covered those. It puts things a little out of order, but I can live with that.

Some nice results again, well played by all.

Jan said...

Oh Geoff - I have just played it, and I solved a numbers game that Lily couldn't, and I feel ridiculously proud!! And I am going to have to wait :(
(I also want you to check it in case I am wrong, but I have triple checked and think it is right!)

Geoff Bailey said...

Heh. Sorry about that, Jan. On the plus side, you can check it easily enough: Turn it into a single arithmetic expression and type it into Google (remembering to use brackets and * for multiplication).

Also, I'll note that I did not solve that round within time either (I did find a solution after time). So my hearty congratulations to you!

Jan said...

Ok Geoff, I'll wait. I put it through a calculator and I am pretty sure I am right. But will look forward to you blogging it, in a week or so

Geoff Bailey said...

OK, you've convinced me; I've put up the post early after all.