Monday, 31 December 2012

NG 32

New game 32 is up, a little ahead of schedule.  In counterpoint to that, I'm behind on the website update, so it's currently in "whenever it happens" territory.

Round 1: A O O N D D R M L

I had DOONA, DOORMAN, and LARDOON.  Fortunately I had selected DOORMAN as my answer, because it turns out that the Macquarie only allows the plural form LARDOONS: "strips of larding fat (pork or bacon) of varying lengths and thickness, threaded into meat, poultry and game".  I'm somewhat surprised by that, to be honest -- I thought that LARDOON had turned up before.

There is an eight, though: MOORLAND.  I even looked at the -LAND ending but did not spot this.  Bother.

The other sevens are DROMOND ("a large, fast-sailing vessel of the Middle Ages"), MALODOR (American spelling of MALODOUR: "a bad smell; a stench"), and MADROÑO (variant form of MADROÑA, a type of tree).

Round 2: C T O A R G E A T


COTTAGER is the only eight; the other sevens are REGATTA, TEACART, and CARTAGE ("the act or cost of carting").

But there is a full monty available here: GREATCOAT.

Round 3: Target 933 from 5 4 5 3 10 6

It was a little hard to get settled here.  I considered trying for 3*311, and also 10*93 + 3.  Neither really worked out, and my first pass was a three-away 930 = (6*5 + 5 - 4)*10*3.  Then I saw that I could make the 31 that I had used a little more cheaply, which let me get to one away with 934 = (5*5 + 6)*10*3 + 4.

It turns out that the target is unreachable, and 934 is the best possible.  There are two other ways to get to it: 934 = (10*5 - 3)*4*5 - 6 and 934 = (10*5*3 + 5)*6 + 4.

Round 4: U A M O T R S E P

I had... oh, dear, I see that I wrote down MOUT instead of MOAT.  Good thing those were too short to cost me.  To resume: I had STRUM, STAMPER (missing the safer TAMPERS), PASTURE, MATURES, and UPSTREAM / TEMPURAS.

I only looked up better options afterwards, and I had felt pretty good about this game.  Then it turned out that MOORLAND and GREATCOAT were better answers in the previous two rounds, and the online word list suggested that it had happened again, with MOUSETRAP.  However, the Macquarie only lists it as two separate words, and eight is the best possible.  (The Macquarie does not have SUPERATOM either.)

The other eight is APTEROUS ("wingless, as some birds or insects").  That's a word with some meaning to the Countdown set because of this website.

Round 5: E O I G T S H D C

I had GIST, EIGHTS, SIGHTED, and HOISTED.  After time I noted down GHOSTED that I had seen earlier but not written down.

Sevens seem to be the best on offer.  The others are DITCHES, HOGTIES, HOGTIED, GOTHICS (GOTHIC as a lowercase noun being an alternative term for a GOTH in this sense), CHIGOES (CHIGOE being a type of flea), and COEDITS / CESTOID ("(of worms) ribbonlike").

Round 6: Target 904 from 25 100 8 1 9 7

As usual, I noted that 7*8*9 = 504, but although the target was a tempting 400 away from that I was unable to use it for a solution.  But getting to 900 is easy, and I found a couple of solutions from there using an unusual divide-by-8 technique: 904 = 9*100 + 7 - (25 - 1)/8 and 904 = 9*100 + (25 + 7)/8.

Round 7: I I O Y S M R E C

The vowels almost gave CRAMOISY again -- I spotted the potential with three letters to go -- and likewise SYCAMORE.  I was perhaps too distracted by those almosts, as all I could find was ROSY, COYER, and MICROS.  After time I noted MERCY as a mildly interesting five in the mix.

It turns out that six is hard to beat; there is just one longer word, the eight-letter ISOMERIC.

The other sixes are ISOMER / MOIRÉS / RIMOSE ("full of chinks or crevices"), CRIMES, MISERY, COMERS, COSIER, and CYMOSE ("bearing a cyme or cymes", which I'm sure helps a lot; maybe this will help).

Round 8: Target 373 from 75 50 10 2 1 3

The standard method is clearly the way to go, with the target being only 2 away from 375, which has handy factorisations.  I started with 373 = (10/(3 - 1))*75 - 2, then found the simpler 373 = 3*(75 + 50) - 2.  I finished by using a 37, although it ends up looking a bit like the first solution: 373 = ((75 - 1)/2)*10 + 3.


I pulled out the DIS- fragment early, and that quickly gave me DISAVOWAL (2.7s).


Jan said...

I was staying with a friend last night, so we played together. She did better than me with a couple of the letters rounds, and got the conundrum. I have encouraged her to play here with us. She may at times.

Anyway, my answers, and hers in brackets if she got better

(5*3*6 + 4)*10 - 5 = 935. (2 away)
(8+1)*100 + (9-7) = 902. (2 away)
(10-3-1)*50 + 75 - 2 = 373
(DISAVOWAL - 116 secs) - I gave up

Happy New Year everyone

JT said...

Round 6 was embarssing for me...

935-same as jan

Geoff Bailey said...

The longer version is up now; I'm glad to hear that you got a friend involved, Jan. I think she'll be a bit disappointed to find out that MOUSETRAP is not allowed -- it was a fantastic spot!

Certainly it looks like she can keep you on your toes as far as the letters go, and these days there's not many that can do that. Well done to you on spotting CARTAGE, and to her for COTTAGER.

Hmm, yes, JT, you did beat around the bush a bit in round 6 -- 9*100 + 7 would have been closer! I like your find of ALMOND; that seems like a tough spot. Also, I checked and COMERS is fine.

Jan said...

Hi JT - I think you have the wrong numbers down for Rd 8. Bummer. I think if you changed the numbers in your brackets, it would be the same answer 50+75=100+25

And Geoff, Rob will be disappointed to hear that MOUSETRAP is not allowed. Bummer for her

Mike Backhouse said...

Not a great round for me, even trying after time.

MOAN (MAROON after time)
(6*5*10+5+4)*3=927 (6 off)
9*(100+1)-7=902 (2 off-still nothing after time)
(3+2)*75-1=374 (1 off)

Victor said...

Happy New Year everyone. Still recovering from the celebrations, at least it seem so after looking at all those longer words I missed :S

2. COTTAGE (didn't risk COTTAGER)
3. 934 = (5*10 - 3)*4*5 - 6
6. 902 = 9*100 + 8 + 1 - 7
8. 373 = (10*75 - 3 - 1)/2
9. DISAVOWAL (9.4s)

Sam Gaffney said...

Ooh, possible full monty. I didn't spot that or MOUSETRAP, compounds can be tough.

Had two off (935), but wrote it down wrong
904 = 9*100 + (25+7)/8 Always fun to divide a subtotal
373 = (10*75-3-1)/2 More fun