Tuesday, 27 November 2012

NG 9

New game after the cut.

Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:


Round 4:

Round 5:

Round 6:


Round 7:

Round 8:


Round 9:

Spoiler space


Geoff Bailey said...

I was a bit annoyed to talk myself out of two better answers tonight. My actual answers:

1. SHOOTER (not risking GROTTOES)
3. 711 = 9*(75 + 4)
6. 732 = 7*100 + 50 - 10 - 8
7. AMBER (not risking BRAHMAN)
8. 638 = 9*(75 - 4) - (3 - 2)

Victor said...

I also saw but didn't risk BRAHMAN, I thought it would be capitalised wouldn't it?

I had a decent game, but not as good as the last few nights I felt (some very awkward letters rounds though), and I solved the conundrum for once.

3. 709 = 4*(100 + 75) + 9 (very nice puzzle - solved a few minutes after time)
6. 732 = 5*(100 + 50) - 10 - 8
8. 638 = 9*(75 - 4) - (3 - 2)

Jan said...

Thanks Geoff.

75*9 + 25 = 700 100/50*4=8. 700+8=708
After time I got one closer (75+4)*9 -50/25=709
100*7 + 50 - (10+8) = 732
9*(75 - 3*2) = 639
even with the ING ending, I still didn't get it. Bleh

I risked BRAHMAN, and then looked up the dictionary, to happily find that it could be with lower case

Jan said...

Oops - my last numbers is very wrong. I really stuffed it up. Wrote down something wrong in my working out, and then compounded it.

Geoff Bailey said...

Victor: Well done to solve the 710 after time -- it takes a bit of doing! One would normally expect BRAHMAN to be capitalised only, like ARAB or SCOTTIE, and indeed this is true for its meaning as a breed of cattle. However, it has another meaning as a generic term for someone with the perceived qualities of a Brahman (in the sense of the priestly cast): "2. (often lower case) a person of great culture and intellect. 3. (often lower case) a snobbish or aloof intellectual." This is similar to how "adonis" and "goliath" are acceptable also.

I also saw the BAHA MEN in that mix, but that was of no use.

Well done on risking BRAHMAN, Jan -- a successful gambit this time. TENDRILS was also a rather good spot.

Longer breakdown in the next comment.

Geoff Bailey said...

Round 1: T G R E O S T H O

I had OGRE, OGRES, HOOTERS / SHOOTER, GROTTOS, and GROTTOES. I was not sure which plural form the Macquarie would allow and the former looked more natural to me, so I played it safe with SHOOTER. It turns out that both are considered acceptable and GROTTOES is the only eight.

The other sevens are GHETTOS, RESHOOT / SOOTHER, and TOOTERS.

Round 2: W G I U L M E S O

Ergh, a nasty mix. I had GLUM, had my usual confusion about whether it was spelled MUESLI (correct) or MEUSLI (incorrect), GLOWS, wondered about GUILES (seems like it should be a mass noun to me), and was relieved to spot safe sixes of EGOISM and GOLEMS at last.

There's a few other sixes, but the one I like is MOGULS (ably found by Jan).

Round 3: Target 710 from 100 75 50 25 4 9

I found a one-away 711 = 9*(75 + 4) relatively early on, and could not better it.

It turns out that there is an essentially unique solution to this, which uses the obvious factorisation of 71*10. It is 710 = (75 - 4)*50/(9 - 4), where one of those 4's is 100/25.

Round 4: T S D R I E O L N

Decent letters, but the L is often less useful than it seems like it should be. I had DIRT, wondered about DIRTS (I think a case exists for it), STRIDE, SOLDIER, ORIENTS, and TENDRILS.

The other eight is RETINOLS. Choosing a fourth vowel here would have allowed DOLERITES for nine.

Round 5: E A A F P N R A K

Ergh, too many A's. I had PAEAN, PARKA, FREAK, FRANK, and PRANK.

I could not do better, but there is a unique six: FRAENA, plural of FRAENUM -- a word that I have mentioned a few times on the blog, I think. An example of a FRAENUM is the membrane that holds the underside of the tongue to the bottom of one's mouth.

Round 6: Target 732 from 50 100 7 10 8 5

I started by just trying to get close and the rest fell easily into place: 732 = 7*100 + 50 - 10 - 8.

Round 7: A A E B H R A M N

More A's! One thing producing these games has done is convince me that the show did shuffle the letters in such a way as to greatly reduce the likelihood of adjacent matches -- it seems that a purely random approach produces many more clusters.

Anyway, I had BEAR, AMBER, and incorrectly rejected BRAHMAN. This was based on the same reasoning that would reject ARAB or SCOTTIE, but I had failed to realise that it was also a generic term for a certain kind of person (see the previous comment). After time I found BARMAN (and BARMEN) as safe sixes.

Another six is BRAHMA, a breed of chicken. But there is an eight! It is HABANERA, a Cuban dance.

Round 8: Target 638 from 75 100 9 4 2 3

The target is 37 away from 9*75, and 9*4 is 36, so a little tweak and an adjustment sees one home: 638 = 9*(75 - 4) - (3 - 2).

There's a fair few other solutions, but my favourite is 638 = 9*(75 + 4 + 3) - 100.


The -ING fragment is always worth a look, particularly in conundrums. In this case it leads to EFFECTING.

(Side note: This was about the fortieth conundrum produced by my generator; the others were either too obscure (and not necessarily in the Macquarie), did not decompose well, or turned out to have alternative answers after all.)

Mike Backhouse said...

Are you all night owls? I usually do mine early morning!

9*75+50-(100/25*4)=709 (1 off)
LISTED (didn't see this one 'listed'- ha
7*(100+5)-(8-50/10)=732 (boy, did I go the scenic route on this one!)
HAREM (saw BRAHMAN after time)
x had EFF...ING in my work book and still didn't get it!

Jan said...

Mike - sleep is hard for me, so playing with letters and numbers is fun. I also do cryptic crosswords at weird times during the night!

Geoff - that was a lot of work trying to get a decent conundrum. Thanks.

Mike Backhouse said...


It's just that I checked the blog before I went to bed last night to see if there was new game. Nothing.

And when I woke early this morning and checked, there were already 6 comments! I thought all the action has been occurring late at night!

Geoff Bailey said...

I'm a night owl, anyway, Mike. *chuckles*

JT said...

While the system may not be the best it beats what SBS is doing now...


Sam Gaffney said...

No shortage of multiple 'A's here.

2. x EULOGISM (not in Macq)
3. 709 = (100+75)*4 + 9 One of those easy to get one-away, near impossible to solve in time.
4. TENDRILS, but may have been late, otherwise: STEROID
6. 732 = 7*100 + 50 - 10 - 8
8. 638 = 9*(75 - 4) - (3 - 2)
9. EFFECTING ~1.4s (hard to compare time to TV show perfectly)