Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Ep 92: Brett Chaiyawat, Belinda Smith (November 13, 2012; originally aired December 7, 2010)

Rounds: Here.

Richard returns to the topic of Brett's movie catalogue, and asks what his favourite movie is.  Brett responds that it is The Lord of the Rings, and since that is three movies specifically the last one of the trilogy.  He then enthuses a bit about the upcoming filming of The Hobbit (which I think at that stage was only going to be one movie), and adds that he would like to go to New Zealand to see that.

Tonight's challenger is Belinda Smith, a physiology student and research assistant whose current project is investigating Alzheimer's disease.  Belinda states that because of ageing populations it is imperative that something be done about Alzheimer's disease, particularly in Australia.  The project she is working on involves studying both the cognitive and pathological effects of Alzheimer's disease, and has many clinical implications; she thinks it is very exciting and important work.

Belinda got an early lead with a good find in the first round, and then extended it in the fourth to have a decent advantage.  Brett gained back some of that ground in the next letters round; then an invalid word from him conceded some of those points back once more but he gained in both the remaining numbers rounds to be ahead by two points going into the conundrum.  Neither was able to solve it, so Brett scraped home with the win, 28 to 26.

I was all over the place today, finding better words a bit too late and overlooking a couple of basic observations in the numbers rounds that would have simplified my life greatly.  I did manage to get the conundrum quickly today, but was disappointed at missing so many findable maxima.

Round 1: E I O L S D I N P

I had SOIL, SOILED, ELISION, and SPINDLE.  I had really wanted that fourth vowel to be an O for SOLENOID; I admit I might have gone vowel diving for it, which would not have worked out very well in this instance.  After time I noted DESPOIL / SPOILED as other sevens here.

Brett has SOILED for six, but Belinda has added the P for SPOILED.  David mentions SPINDLE as a seven, and has found LIONISED for eight.

That does seem to be the only eight; there's a few other sevens, of which I'll just mention IONISED, EPSILON, and IDOLISE / DOILIES.

Belinda: SPOILED

Scores: Brett 0, Belinda 7, me 7

Round 2: S I E A D K M I C

I had SAID, MAIDS, SACKED, MEDICS, a dubious MACKIES (invalid), an almost-as-dubious MICKIES (which turns out to be valid; it is the plural of MICKY, colloquial for "a young, wild bull"), and then recalled from episode 76 that DICKIES was valid (DICKIE being a variant spelling of DICKY: "a detachable shirt front, or blouse front").  After time I saw SMACKED as a more straightforward seven.

Both contestants have found SMACKED for seven; David could not better it.

The other seven here is MEDICKS, as MEDICK is a variant spelling of MEDIC.  Knowing that could have saved me a lot of effort!

Belinda: SMACKED

Scores: Brett 7, Belinda 14, me 14

Round 3: Target 816 from 50 25 75 7 9 6

Brett chooses the balanced mix again, saying that it has become his favourite as well as Lily's.  The factor of 8 was immediately obvious; the target is 8*102, which is also 16*51.  That was rather tempting as 9 + 7 = 16, but I was unable to get it to work from that start.  With time running out I ended up having to write down a moderately unsatisfactory 818 = (9 + 7)*50 + 6*75/25.

After time I finally realised that I should have considered the standard method; the offset is 9, which we have, so this must be a tempting approach.  It was very careless of me to overlook it, and costly too -- one should always at least give it a look, but I was too keen on the factorisation.  Anyway, that led me to the solution 816 = (7 + 6 - 50/25)*75 - 9, although there are quite a few other ways to make this as 825 - 9.

Later searching shows that I could have used the factor of 16 after all, but I needed to make it differently in order to make the 51 achievable: 816 = (25 - 9)*(50 + 7 - 6).

Brett declares that he has a solution, while Belinda is "not even close".  But Brett starts out by saying that 6*75 is 900, which is rather far from correct.

Lily has found one of the 825 - 9 solutions: 816 = 7*75 + 6*50 - 9.  I'll note that swapping the use of 7 and 6 also leads to a solution: 816 = 6*75 + 7*50 + 25 - 9.

Brett: [invalid]
Belinda: [not in range]
Me: 818
Lily: 816

Scores: Brett 7, Belinda 14, me 21

First break: SURE VEIN ("Product of a big bang")

The big bang is how our UNIVERSE got started, at least according to the prevailing cosmological theory.

David's talk is about some of the -itis words that are in the dictionary but more as humorous conditions: imaginitis, boomeritis, and nintendonitis.

Round 4: R T U A O S F E O

After the first six letters I really wanted an H for AUTHORS or an I for SAUTOIR.  We've already seen too many I's for that to be likely, but Belinda went vowel-hunting regardless.  I had ROTA and ROUTES, and then just after time saw FOOTERS at last.  An annoying miss, that one.

Brett has found the nice FOSTER for six, but Belinda has seen her way to FOOTERS for seven.  I wonder if she was aiming for it with all that vowel selection.  David is once again unable to find anything better.

The other sevens are OUTSOAR and FOETORS (FOETOR being a variant spelling of FETOR: "any strong offensive smell; a stench").

Belinda: FOOTERS

Scores: Brett 7, Belinda 21, me 21

Round 5: E E A R T D S E S

And now an avalanche of E's.  I had RATE, TEARED, rejected SEDATER and then the second S brought SEDATES to replace it, and a little reluctantly but also correctly rejected STEADERS.  After time I found STEERED and DESSERT as other sevens, and then TESSERAE (plural of TESSERA: "each of the small pieces used in mosaic work") and ASSERTED as eights.

Belinda has TREADS for six, and Brett cuts into her lead by having found DESSERT for seven.  David has found ASSERTED for eight.

The other eights are RESEATED and ESTERASE ("an enzyme which hydrolyses an ester").

Belinda: TREADS

Scores: Brett 14, Belinda 21, me 28

Round 6: Target 616 from 75 100 9 2 4 5

For no good reason I decided to focus my attention on 9*75 being somewhat close.  I then further decided on subtracting 100, meaning that the difference of 41 needed to be made somehow.  That turned out to be easy with a minor tweak, and I had the solution 616 = 9*(75 + 4) + 5 - 100.  An alternative way of looking at that solution is that it is 575 + 41, with some tweaking thrown in, and after time I wrote down another way using that observation: 616 = 5*(100 + 9) + 75 - 4.  Somewhere along the line I had noticed the factorisation 8*77, and found yet another solution of 616 = (9 + 4 - 5)*(75 + 2).

Belinda has once again been unable to get near; Brett has managed to tie up the scores by getting two away with 614 = (2 + 4)*100 + 9 + 5.  Note that adding 75/5 instead at the end would have got him one closer.

Lily demonstrates a solution that points out that once again I have ignored the standard method and made my life needlessly difficult; her answer is 616 = (5 + 2)*100 - 75 - 9.

Considering the target as 625 - 9 reveals a goodly number of solutions; the one that I would have gone with is 616 = (100/4)*(75/(5 - 2)) - 9.

Brett: 614
Belinda: [not in range]
Me: 616
Lily: 616

Scores: Brett 14 (21), Belinda 21, me 38

Second break: HUNT SECT ("An oldie, but a goodie")

That would be a CHESTNUT.

Round 7: O U E R F B A P N

Aside from the R, those consonants do not play very well together; I had ROUÉ, PROBE, and APRON.  Immediately after time expired I saw PROFANE for seven.  Bother.

Belinda has PRONE for five, while Brett declares PANER also for five.  That's not valid, though, and Belinda takes the lead again.  David has found URBANE for six, and then PROFANE for seven.

The other seven is UPBORNE.  The other sixes are UPBEAR, UPBORE, UNROBE, BORANE ("a hydride of boron [...]"), and BOURNE (variant spelling of BOURN: "a bound; limit").

Brett: [invalid]
Belinda: PRONE

Scores: Brett 14 (21), Belinda 26, me 43

Round 8: Target 642 from 75 50 6 1 7 3

Once again I eschewed the standard method and looked at factorisations; you'd think the previous two rounds would have convinced me otherwise, but apparently not.  In this case I observed that the target was 6*107, and soon had the solution 642 = 6*((3 - 1)*50 + 7).  After time I found an alternative of 642 = 6*(75 + 50 - 3*(7 - 1)).

Belinda finally has a declarable answer of 649; it feels like that should be 649 = (7 + 6)*50 - 1, but then it would be odd to subtract the 1 and not the 3.  In any case, Brett has got just two away with 644 = (1 + 7)*75 + 50 - 6.  In this case, subtracting 3 would have got him one closer also; a strange oversight.  But he has managed to get closer than Belinda, and those seven points put him into the lead for the first time.

Lily demonstrates a different version of 6*107 with her solution of 642 = (75*(3 - 1) - 50 + 7)*6.  I think she just wanted to use up all the numbers.

In this instance the standard method turns out to be very hard to use, while there are many solutions using the factorisation.  It can be a funny old game, sometimes.  The one solution which does use the standard method has to work hard for it: 642 = ((75 + 3)/6)*50 - 7 - 1.

Brett: 644
Belinda: 649
Me: 642
Lily: 642

Scores: Brett 14 (28), Belinda 26, me 53


Brett is in front for the first time, and now Belinda needs to solve the conundrum to win.  I saw it pretty quickly, with the sounds of each half matching reasonably well with the answer.  Neither contestant was able to solve it; I noticed that they both wrote down the letters on paper fairly early, but it did not help.

Brett: [no answer]
Belinda: [no answer]
Me: SCULPTURE (1.5s)

So Brett scrapes through in another low-scoring game; I honestly thought that Belinda would beat him after the first half of the game, but he hung in there and did just enough in the end.  Belinda played well in the letters but could not make any real headway in the numbers, and in the end that did matter.  Brett faces his fourth game tomorrow, and then the finals series starts.


Jan said...

Yes, I thought Belinda would win too. She got off to a good start, but her numbers play let her down.

Geoff, well done on getting the conundrum so quickly. It took me 2 1/2 minutes.

Apart from the conundrum, I scored in each round, but could not get a 10 in any of the numbers rounds.

(7+9)*50 + 25 - 6 = 819 (7) after time, I got one away
4*2*75 + 9 + 5 = 614 (7)
(7+6)*(50-1) + 3 = 640 (7)
2 1/2 mins

Mike Backhouse said...

Here are mine:

X-out of time -went down too many rabbit holes- good solve for you Geoff!
(7+1)*(75+6)-3=645 (3 off)

Geoff Bailey said...

Another excellent set of words from you today, Jan -- LIONISED in particular was rather well done. And getting close in the numbers rounds was pretty good going tonight, I think. The conundrum was just one of those ones which I happened to see quickly; hard to read much into it.

Mike: Some pretty good wordwork from you today, too. My condolences on the second numbers round, and thank you; I'm afraid I have to point out that your first numbers solution is not correct, though -- 13*75 is 975, not 825.

JT said...

Belinda was unlucky to get some tricky numbers game otherwise her superior wordplay would of won out.... my numbers was suprinsly my downfall today..

PROFANE-thinking of PROPANE but was glad to seeit is also a word
2sec again

JT said...

*better than superior