Monday, 11 February 2013

NG 61

New game 61 is now available.


Round 1: I I R R G A A T D

Ergh, nasty duplication and unhelpful vowels.  I wondered about GRATIA but correctly rejected it, then had RIGID and TIARA.  If only that final A were an E instead then DIGERATI would have been there.

There are a few other fives: TRIAD, DIGIT, RADII, RADAR, ATRIA / RAITA, and TRAGI (plural of TRAGUS: "a fleshy prominence at the front of the external opening of the ear").

There's not quite a six -- some sources list RITARD, but the situation with the Macquarie is a little tricky.  To illustrate, the adjective RITARDANDO means "becoming gradually slower", and the Macquarie contains the following entry:
rit. ritardando.  Also, ritard.
The key question is whether the full stop at the end is part of RITARD or whether it is just the usual full stop that the Macquarie ends its entries with.  In the context one would expect it to be an abbreviation, of course, since it is part of the entry for an abbreviation, but that might not be conclusive.  I've checked the various entries carefully, though, and the full stop at the end is definitely in bold type and thus part of the word.  So RITARD is not valid since it requires punctuation.

After all that it turns out that there is one word longer than five, and one which may be familiar from a few years back: GIARDIA.

My selection: RIGID


Round 2: M B T G I U E C N

The -ING fragment makes an appearance, but it seems hard to usefully use.  I had IMBUE and MUTING, and that was it.  Turning the G into a second N would have allowed INCUMBENT, but close only counts at horseshoes.  After time I found MINUTE as another six, and a bit later BITUMEN for seven.

BITUMEN turns out to be the only seven.  The other sixes are NUTMEG, CUBING, TUBING, CUEING, METING, MINUET, CENTUM ("relating to those Indo-European languages which retained the velar [k] from primitive Indo-European, in contrast to those which changed the [k] to [s]"), and NEUMIC (adjective derived from NEUME: "any of various symbols used in medieval musical notation, and still used for noting Gregorian chant, etc.").

My selection: MUTING


Round 3: Target 166 from 75 10 1 9 8 4

The target is 4 away from a multiple of 10, so I soon had the solution 166 = 10*(9 + 8) - 4.  Then I looked at using the 75 after all; the difference is 91 (which is 7*13) so a couple of solutions followed: 166 = 75 + 9*10 + 1 and 166 = 75 + (9 + 4)*(8 - 1).  Finally I looked at nearby multiples of 9 to get 166 = 9*(10 + 8) + 4.

My selection: 166 = 10*(9 + 8) - 4


Round 4: Q S B R E O A M A

A shame about that Q.  After the first four letters I wondered if we'd see a reappearance of BURLESQUE, and the ensuing E brought brief further hope in that regard.  But no such luck, and I ended up with ROBES, AMBERS, and AMOEBAS for seven.

AMOEBAS is the only seven; there's a spread of sixes, but since I'm feeling a bit lazy about looking up the obscure ones I'll just mention AMOEBA, AMEBAS (AMEBA being a variant spelling of AMOEBA), AROMAS, ABASER, and SOMBRE.

My selection: AMOEBAS


Round 5: C R N U O E T T U

I had OUNCE, and COUNTER / RECOUNT / TROUNCE.

Sevens are the best available; the others are TURNOUT and COUTURE ("the occupation of a couturier; dressmaking and designing considered together").

My selection: COUNTER


Round 6: Target 297 from 75 100 7 3 2 8

The target is 300 - 3, or 3*99, and both are promising lines.  I started with them both, getting 297 = (8/2)*75 - 3 and 297 = 3*(100 - (8 - 7)).  Then I considered the effects of subtracting odd multiples of 75 to find another pair of solutions: 297 = 2*(100 + 8 + 3) + 75 and 297 = 3*75 + 8*(7 + 2).

Just now I considered the factorisation 27*11, finding the kitchen sink solution 297 = ((100 + 75)/7 + 2)*(8 + 3).  Of course, the intermediate 25 could have been made instead with 100 - 75, but that would have been the easy way. *chuckles*

My selection: 297 = (8/2)*75 - 3


Round 7: W H T E O I N P E

I had WHET, WHITE, POINTE (found by David in episode 39 and episode 60: "(in ballet) the tip of the toe"), and NEPHEW.

There is a seven here, one that comes up fairly often in Countdown but I still have difficulty seeing: POTHEEN (variant spelling of POTEEN: "illicit distilled whisky").

The other sixes are POTEEN, WHITEN, PEEWIT (a bird), the stone OPHITE, THEINE ("caffeine found in tea"), and TOWNIE.

My selection: NEPHEW


Round 8: Target 723 from 75 25 1 8 6 3

There's a little bit of challenge to this target.  The standard method would suggest getting to 725 and subtracting 2, but that's not actually manageable.  Instead one has to think of the other possible offsets, such as 750 - 27 or 675 + 48.  I ended up stumbling upon a solution by working my way up from 675: 723 = (6 + 3)*(75 + 8) - 25 + 1.

In retrospect this was the rather unlikely approach of 650 + 73.  (Unlikely because 73 is prime, and usually this kind of approach works best with composite offsets.)

There's three other solutions that make this as 675 + 48 (with tweaking), of which the simplest is probably 723 = (75 + 6)*8 + 3*25.  There is also a solution that makes it as 800 - 77 via 723 = (75 - 6 - 1)*(8 + 3) - 25.

My selection: 723 = (6 + 3)*(75 + 8) - 25 + 1


Round 9: ACE OF SUIT

A three word conundrum, I know, but I liked the phrase.  I got a bit lost on this one, actually, before I realised that it had all five vowels and that led me to find FACETIOUS after 14.2 seconds.

My selection: FACETIOUS (14.2s)

4 comments:

Mike Backhouse said...

Here are mine:

RADAR
TUBING
(9+8)*10-4=166
SAMBA, AMBER (thought it unlikely there was a plural - AMBERS)
OUTER (rejected TOUTER)
8/2*75-3=297
WHITEN
(8+1)*(75+25+3)=721 (2 off)
x - nothing in 3 mins

Victor said...

1. DIGIT
2. BITUMEN
3. 166 = 75 + 9*10 + 1
4. AMBERS
5. COUNTER
6. 297 = 3*(100 - 8 + 7)
7. POINTE
8. 2-away: 721 = (6 + 1)*(75 + 25 + 3) [after time: 723 = 8*(75 + 6) + 3*25]
9. FACETIOUS - 3.6s

Jan said...

Victor - love BITUMEN - well found.

RAITA
CUBING
((10-9)+1)*(75+8) = 166
BREAMS
COUNTER
8/2*75 - 3 = 297
WHITEN
during time made a miscalculation
After time (8*25) + (6+1)*75 - 3 = 722. 1 away
FACETIOUS - 14.7 secs

Sam Gaffney said...

1. RIGID
2. MUTING. BITUMEN was excellent.
3. 166 = (75+8)*(10-9+1)
4. SOMBRE (considered the invalid AMBROSE)
5. COUNTER/RECOUNT/TROUNCE
6. 297 = 3*(100 - 8 + 7)
7. WHITEN
8. 723 = 8*(75 + 6) + 3*25
9. FACETIOUS - 0.9s