Wednesday, 27 February 2013

NG 73

New game 73 is now available.

Round 1: L C E A F J M E I

I had LACE, FECAL, FLAME, MALICE, and MALEFIC ("productive of evil; malign").  I also noted ICEFLAME (but obviously did not try it); it took me a while to figure out where that came from -- it is the name of a certain weapon in Steven Brust's Taltos series.

MALEFIC is the only seven; the other sixes are FEMALE, FACILE ("moving, acting, working, proceeding, etc., with ease"), and MEALIE ("(usually plural) South African maize").

My selection: MALEFIC

Round 2: D N I P O A R R E

I had POND, PONIARD (written down speculatively, and then the R turned up right on cue), and PARDONER.  I wondered about ORDAINER (it turns out to be valid) and then saw PREORDAIN for nine... but was out of time.  Bother.

There's a good many sevens here, but the other eight is RAINDROP.

My selection: PARDONER

Round 3: Target 367 from 25 100 5 10 5 10

With everything divisible by 5 this has the potential to be very difficult; if the other large number had been 50 instead of 25 then it would have been very grim indeed (but still possible; the solution is rather difficult to find, however).  My thoughts turned toward trying to make this as 1835/5, but before I could get too carried away with that idea a bit of better sense asserted itself.

The target is near 5*75, and that can be made, so a fallback position was clearly achievable.  In fact, it turned out to yield a solution and that was a relief: 367 = 5*(100 - 25) - 10 + 10/5.

There is exactly one other solution, which is close to what I was originally considering but actually makes it as 3670/10.  Even with that as a starting point I'm not sure I'd have found my way there, though; that other solution is 367 = ((25 + 10)*(100 + 5) - 5) / 10.

My selection: 367 = 5*(100 - 25) - 10 + 10/5

Round 4: C R T O A G A T E

I had TORC, ACTOR, ROTATE, and then somehow untangled GREATCOAT out of this.  That was a full monty from back in NG 32, so it's interesting that it repeated this quickly.  I recalled that I had found an eight-letter word last time, so I spent the rest of the time looking for it but could not spot it.  After time I noted some sevens of GAROTTE, REGATTA, and CARTAGE ("the act or cost of carting").

The other sevens are TEACART and COTTAGE, which leads to the eight of COTTAGER.

My selection: GREATCOAT

Round 5: T S A E S L O P E

I had SATE, SATES, SLATES, wondered about PELOTAS (I'm not convinced it is sustainable), PLEASES, and APOSTLES.

There's lots of sevens here again; the other eight is TAPELESS (and not POETLESS, although that would be acceptable in Scrabble; POETESS is one of the sevens, though).

My selection: APOSTLES

Round 6: Target 879 from 75 25 5 1 9 7

The nearest multipled of 25 is my favourite 875, and with both a 5 and 7 available things work out nicely to get to that.  I was about to tweak my way to one off by an addition of 5 when I realised that 9 - 5 worked much better; the resulting solution was 879 = 5*(7*25 - 1) + 9.

My selection: 879 = 5*(7*25 - 1) + 9

Round 7: N T S O I H E I B

I had TONS, HOIST, wondered about ETHIONS (Scrabble-legal, but not listed in the Macquarie), and then found the safe sevens of BONIEST / EBONIST ("a worker in ebony").  After time I noted down BOTHIES (BOTHIE: "Scottish a hut or small cottage, especially for lodging farmhands or workers") and BIOTINS (BIOTIN is otherwise known as vitamin H) as other sevens.

Seven is the limit -- the Macquarie has NIOBATES but not NIOBITES -- and the others are HISTONE (one of a certain class of proteins), HENBITS (HENBIT being a type of weed), BENTHOS ("the animals and plants that live on the floor of the sea or lakes"), and STIBINE ("antimonous hydride [...]").

My selection: BONIEST

Round 8: Target 428 from 100 50 75 25 6 2

It would be nice to make this as 425 + 3, but although there's two easy ways to make the  (6/2 or 75/25) it does not seem easy to make the 425 while leaving the requisite parts available.  I wrote down a fallback one-away 427 = 6*75 - 25 + 2, then realised that the offset of 22 was tweakable with the remaining numbers.  The resulting solution was 428 = 6*(75 - 100/25) + 2.

My selection: 428 = 6*(75 - 100/25) + 2


I was presented this in different form; I eventually settled on the -IFY ending as the most likely use for the Y, but then messed up with the nonword RESPONSIFY.  When I took the moment to actually determine the leftover letters it was easy to find PERSONIFY from this mix.

My selection: [invalid -- RESPONSIFY (23.1s)]


Jan said...

First up today...

25*10 + 100 + 10 + 5 = 365 2 away
(7+5)*(75+1) - 25 - 9 = 878. 1 away
6*50+ 100 + 25 + 2 = 427. 1 away

Sam Gaffney said...

Fertile letters today.

3. 367 = (100-25)*5 -10 -10/5
4. (Cryptic, 8): George Michael is one who plays at Fulham.
6. 879 = (75+25-1)*9 -7 -5 or (7*25 -1)*5 +9
8. 428 = (75 - 100/25)*6 + 2
9. 19.1s PERSONIFY (got stuck on PYRO-)

Mike Backhouse said...

Here are mine:

x-a bit over time (100-25)*5-10+10/5=367
(5+7)*75-25+1=879 (3 off)
HOIST (I think I've picked this word and missed BONIEST before -grrr...)
6*75-25+2+100/50=429 (1 off)
x - the F just threw me.

Geoff Bailey said...

Nice work getting APOSTLES, Mike, and well done on PREORDAIN, Sam. I also like Jan's choice of BOTHIES in the last letters round.

(Minor nitpick for Sam, that I assume was just a transcription error: Your round 3 total is 363, as presented.)

My writeups continue to be late, alas. Here's my results for today:

2. PARDONER [just after time: PREORDAIN]
3. 367 = 5*(100 - 25) - 10 + 10/5
6. 879 = 5*(7*25 - 1) + 9
8. 428 = 6*(75 - 100/25) + 2
9. [invalid: RESPONSIFY (oh, dear) after 23.1s]

Sam Gaffney said...

Arrgh, no wonder COTTAGER + A looked so familiar! Good memory from two months ago, Geoff. MALEFIC looks like a useful word to remember.

I checked my notes, I did write Round 3 down correctly at the time, then typed it up wrong.

Heh heh, responsify... We have had a couple of tricky conundrums with Y this week.