Friday, 21 December 2012

NG 27

The 27th new game is up, as is the longer breakdown for number 26.

Round 1: S R B S P E E E A


There were two other sevens: PEERESS (a female peer) and SERAPES.

Round 2: I I H N D A O C C

I had HIND and ANODIC (adjective derived from ANODE).  I also wondered about CONCHID but figured (correctly) that I was thinking of CONCHOID.  While checking that up after time I found CONCHA ("a shell-like structure, especially the external ear") as another six.

The other sixes are ACIDIC, ICONIC, COCAIN (a variant spelling of COCAINE), and COCHIN (a breed of chicken).  But there is a seven to be had: CONIDIA, the plural of CONIDIUM.  In fact, this got a mention recently in NG 12 (although you'd have to look to the comments to find it).

Round 3: Target 468 from 100 75 6 2 3 9

The target was clearly close to 6*75, and with the offset also divisible by 6 it was a short step to 468 = 6*(75 + 3).  The target is also 9*52, although my use of that was more complicated: 468 = (100/2 + 6/3)*9.

Round 4: T T T A E G E B I

If only that last vowel had been a U then BAGUETTE would have been available.  As it was I had TEAT, GATE, and BEGET.

Five does seem to be the limit, with BEGAT and BEIGE the others.

Round 5: C L H S I A I O A

I had ALIAS and SCHOLIA.  I was not certain about this last, but decided to chance it and that was the right decision.  It is the plural of SCHOLIUM: "an explanatory note or comment".

The more common seven available here is ASOCIAL, and the remaining one is ISCHIAL (the adjective derived from ISCHIUM: "either of the bones on which the body rests when sitting").

There are a decent spread of sixes, but I'll just mention the more findable ones of SOCIAL and SILICA.

Round 6: Target 697 from 25 75 50 10 6 1

There's a few tempting option here, but I could not get them to work out.  I wanted to make the target as 6*116 + 1, but I needed the 1 to make the 116.  That did give me a one-away 696 = (75 + 50 - 10 + 1)*6, though.  Then I found one away from the other direction with 698 = (75 - (6 - 1))*10 - 50/25.

It turns out that one off is the best that can be done; the target is unreachable.

Round 7: L Z R C N O E I M

I had CORN, ENROL, MOILER, and MERLON.  After time I noted MICRON as a more common six.

There is a seven after all: INCOMER.  Plus many more sixes, of which I'll mention INCOME, RECOIL, and MERINO.

Round 8: Target 458 from 2 4 1 10 7 2

I got a bit lost here, trying too hard to make it exactly (with 46*10 - 2 being the most tempting option).  I ended up having to settle for two away with 456 = ((10 - 2)*7 + 1)*2*4, but I am pretty sure I did not get it down within time.

Afterwards I kept searching, but could not do better than two off in the other direction: 460 = 7*(10 + 1)*(4 + 2) - 2.  It turns out that two away is the best possible on this mix, so I'd have had a good result if I had not run out of time.


I have no time to report on this one, because my random generator actually gave me MSEC CHAIN which I thought was MECHANISM.  Checking revealed that I should have gone for MECHANICS, but that ended in a trivial S and I was trying to avoid those.  Further investigation revealed that it could not be used as a conundrum in any case because MISCHANCE was a valid anagram.

I was going to move on to the next random choice, but then thought I might as well use the word that I thought I had seen.


Jan said...

There were some tough letter and number rounds here. Phew - Jan wipes her brow

(75+3)*6 = 468
GATE - only a 4 letter word!
After time I saw BEGAT
((75- (6-1))*10 - 50/25 = 698 1 away
(4+1)*10=50. 50*(10-2/2) + 7 =457. 1 away
MECHANISM - 79.1 secs

JT said...

I'm back again!! one sggestion maybe we can add "lily" to whenever the first letter selection comes up or when the numbers are being selected...

8.4 sec

Mike Backhouse said...

Here are mine:

(75+25)*(6+1)-50/10=695 (2 away)
MILER (not sure this is a word)
x-scurrying down so many rabbit holes time was up before I knew it. I thing you did well to get one away Jan
x- could see nothing except for partial words such as CINEMAS

Victor said...

These games are getting tougher every day! Jan, you're quite fearsome in the numbers I've noticed lately :S

It felt like a pretty average game for me, although I'm pretty sure the 2nd numbers can't be solved.

My answers;
3. 468 = 6*(75 + 3)
5. ALOHAS (need to ask for a ruling)
6. 1-away: 698 = 10*(75 - 6 + 1) - 50/25
8. 2-away: 460 = 10*((7 + 1)*(4 + 2) - 2)
9. MECHANISM (Over 2 minutes. I kept seeing MACHINES and even that didn't help)

Mike Backhouse said...

Victor - loved ICONIC and INCOME!

Geoff Bailey said...

Jan: I agree, particularly tough rounds today. And I'm afraid that you've used the 10 twice in the last numbers round.

Welcome back again, JT, and nice speed on the conundrum.

Mike: MILER is fine -- it's a term for a horse that specialises in racing a distance of a mile. I like your 695, by the way; dividing the 50 by 10 is something that I overlooked.

Victor: I agree with Mike -- ICONIC and INCOME were great words! ALOHAS I think I would have to rule against with my current understanding of the rules. I've mentioned my uncertainty about it twice before; the problem is that ALOHA is only listed as an interjection, not a noun, and so is not automatically pluralisable.

(Personally speaking, I would regard it as a noun, but that's not the Macquarie's standpoint.)

Jan said...

Rats - using that darn 10 twice. I am not surprised though, because I had numbers everywhere trying to get as close as possible.

Victor said...

That's OK Jan, after time I found a "solution" which used the 1 twice as I just discovered.

Geoff, you should have with MISCHANCE as the conundrum. Some others may have solved it as MECHANICS, then you'd have gotten me to whine again, then pulled the 'ol switcheroo on us all!

Geoff Bailey said...

*chuckles* That would have been amusing to do, Victor, but the uniqueness of the conundrum is pretty important.

... although I guess in principle there's no need for it to be unique; it's more an issue of practicality for the show than anything else. Still, I'm loathe to change it.

Geoff Bailey said...

Er, loath

Sam Gaffney said...

The letter rounds seemed hideous to me, maybe I just haven't been doing enough crosswords lately.

468 = (75+3)*6
two off: 699 = (10+6)*50 -75 -25 -1
two off: 460 = (10+1)*7*(4+2)