Thursday, 14 March 2013

NG 84

New game 84 is up.

Round 1: A E O R K C C R M


There's one other seven: CROAKER.

My selection: CRACKER

Round 2: S U G R I O M M E

I had RUES, IMMURES, MEMOIRS, and MEGRIMS (which I first encountered in the rather similar mix in episode 345, Sam's fifth game; it means "morbid low spirits").

We had a rather similar mix recently in NG 70 -- the only change being this time there is an S instead of a T.  That's not enough to bring eights to the table, though, with sevens still being the limit.  The others are MOUSIER, GUMMIER, GUMMERS, and MORGUES / GRUMOSE (variant form of GRUMOUS: "formed of clustered grains, granules, etc., as certain roots").

My selection: MEMOIRS

Round 3: Target 704 from 5 3 10 9 4 1

I noticed the factor of 4, with the cofactor being 176 = 11*16.  An eleven is easy but I got too hung up on trying to make the 16 separately and it just doesn't work out.  In the end I had to scramble for a two-away 706 = 10*(9*(5 + 3) - 1) - 4.

After time I tried the option of 11*64, and that turned out to be achievable; the resulting solution is 704 = ((9 + 3)*5 + 4)*(10 + 1).

There's only one other solution, which goes back to the 4*176 form directly: 704 = ((5*10 + 9)*3 - 1)*4.

My selection: 706 = 10*(9*(5 + 3) - 1) - 4 [2 off]

Round 4: D N E E R I B S U

I had NEED, DENIER ("someone who denies", but also "a unit of mass used to indicate the fineness of silk, nylon, etc., equal to 1 gram per 9000 metres"), BINDERS, BRUISED, BENDERS, and BENDIER.  That latter is not valid (as I mentioned in episode 56; remembering that INBREED is a safe anagram of it might have led me to the only eight, though), so it's just as well I did not choose it.

After time I thought of Burnside's lemma, which led me to consider SIDEBURN as a possible eight; checking shows that only the plural form SIDEBURNS is allowed, however.  (Incidentally, the Macquarie also lists BURNSIDES with essentially the same meaning and origin.)  I was perhaps fortunate here in not seeing it within time, as I may well have chanced it.

The only eight here is INBREEDS (INBREED being listed as a verb).  There's a good many other sevens, of which I'll just mention RESIDUE.

My selection: BRUISED

Round 5: A I A T D N G S E

I had DATA, DATING, and STEADING / SEDATING.  As I mentioned in episode 358, STEAD is a verb ("to be of service, advantage, or avail to"); at the time of that episode I was thinking of a different possible meaning and had almost come undone.  So this time I recalled both that STEADING was definitely safe and that it had a safer anagram in any case, which I then found.

After time I wondered about DESIGNATA, the plural of DESIGNATUM.  The Macquarie does list DESIGNATUM ("a thing, whether it has a physical existence or not, which is referred to by a word, sign, etc.") but does not give an explicit plural form.  Thus DESIGNATA must be construed as invalid; boo for the Macquarie.

There's another not-there nine, too: Chambers lists INDAGATE as an archaic verb meaning "to search out", so it would allow INDAGATES for nine.  The Macquarie has no truck with it, though.

My selection: SEDATING

Round 6: Target 418 from 100 75 25 10 1 4

Using 4*100 to get close was clear; I was going to end up one away with 419 = 4*(100 + 1) + 25 - 10 but then I realised I could use 75/25 to get another handy small number.  A little playing around with that produced what turns out to be the only solution: 418 = 4*(100 + 75/25 - 1) + 10.

My selection: 418 = 4*(100 + 75/25 - 1) + 10

Round 7: A I E L F D R C H

I had FILE, AFIELD, wondered about CHILDER (an archaic variant of CHILDREN; it would have been valid), and then had HERALDIC for eight.

I noticed that a final I instead of the H would have yielded CLARIFIED as a nine, but as the letters stand HERALDIC is the only eight.

The other sevens are FILCHER, FILCHED, CHAIRED, CHARLIE (colloquial for "a fool; a silly person"), and DECRIAL / RADICEL ("(in botany) a minute root; a rootlet") / RADICLE ("a rudimentary root; a radicel or rootlet").

My selection: HERALDIC

Round 8: Target 945 from 75 50 3 10 4 8

I recognised the number as having many familiar factors; it is 9*105 = 9*7*5*3.  The only one of those numbers immediately handy is the 3, but 3*315 seemed difficult to usefully use.  I got a bit hung up on trying unsuccessfully to make this as 975 - 30; I wrote down a fallback two away 947 = (8 + 4)*75 + 50 - 3 in the process, then a bit later got to one away with 944 = 8*(75 + 50 - 4 - 3).

After time I saw that the standard method should have been worth a look as I could make a 5 from 8 - 3.  That led quickly to a solution of 945 = 10*75 + 4*50 - (8 - 3), which I feel I should have seen within time.

A little more annoyingly, 3*315 could have been made to work easily enough.  The key is to realise that there's a shortage of odd numbers, so we can't "waste" that 75 by multiplying it by a small number.  Subtracting it instead would produce a new intermediate target of 240, and a solution easily follows: 945 = ((50 + 10)*4 + 75)*3.

There's other ways to slice up the factorisation, and pulling out the 7 should have been worth a view.  The cofactor is 135, and it's then a short step to 945 = (4 + 3)*(75 + 50 + 10).  Bother.

There's quite a few more other solutions, but the one I like most is 945 = (50*75 + 3*10)/4.  Not surprisingly, Sam was the only one to find a variation of this idea.

My selection: 944 = 8*(75 + 50 - 4 - 3)  [1 off]


I can't record an answer attempt here; I was presented with a similar set of letters and when that word was not suitable I decided to choose COALESCED as the conundrum instead.

My selection: [none -- conundrum explicitly chosen]


Jan said...

Here are mine to start the ball rolling...

(9*(3+5))-1= 71. 71*10-4= 706. 2 off
INBREED, BINDERS (I am presuming INBREEDS is not ok?)
4*(100 + 75/25 - 1) + 10 = 418
4-*3*75 + 50 - (10-8) = 948 3 off
After time (8+10)*(50+3) = 946. 1 off

Geoff Bailey said...

Good results, Jan, but you may kick yourself -- INBREEDS is the only eight in that round. Once you've spotted it then whether it's a verb or a noun INBREEDS is going to work; in this case it is a verb.

Also, nicely done on getting the 418 -- that is the only solution.

Jan said...

Geoff, thanks. I am not too fussed whether I actually got INBREEDS as my answer, or as a query - I am just glad I thought of it.

And I am chuffed that I found the only solution for 418

Mike Backhouse said...

Here are mine

10*(9+1)*7+4=704 (amazed I got this as I never get rat packs!)
SEATING (thought of STEADING but thought it needed a Y)
4*(100+10)-25+1=416 (2 off)
(10+3)*75+50-4=946 (1 off)
x- jumped in with COLDCASE,only 8 letters and not a word! Still not sure after time.

Mike Backhouse said...

Oops, missed 4. BINDERS

Victor said...

Tough set of numbers today - I'm also happy to get the only solution in round 6.

1. CROAKER (missed the safer CRACKER)
3. 2-away: Jan's way
6. 418: Jan's way!
8. 1-away: 944 = 8*(75 + 50 - 4 - 3)
9. X - jumped in immediately with ACCOLADES, didn't manage to solve later.

Sam Gaffney said...

Sorry to burst your bubble, Mike, but there was no 7 in Round 3.

3. 2-away: 706, Victor/Jan's way
6. 418: Victor/Jan's way
8. 945 = (75*50+10)/4 + 8-3
9. 23.1s COALESCED

Jan said...

Great work with rd 8 Sam, and with the conundrum. I am heartened that it took you 23.1 secs to solve it - shows how hard it was!

Sam Gaffney said...

Cheers Jan, I always like the chance to be fancy in the 937.5 region. It was a hard conundrum, I was happy to get it within the thirty seconds.

Mike Backhouse said...

Sam - I knew getting a rat pack was too good to be true!

Geoff Bailey said...

Some tricky numbers rounds this time! Mike: Sam's already pointed out the issue with round 3, but I'm afraid there's a problem with round 8 also -- 13*75 is 975, not 900, so you're 75 above what you thought you had. On the conundrum front, even though it's not the answer I really like the vision to spot COLD CASE -- if it maintains currency as a term it's certainly possible for it to merge into a single word at some point.

Victor: The erratic Macquarie gives the thumbs down to BENDIER -- those pesky comparatives! MORGUES is a lovely find, and ACCOLADES would have been a worthy main-round spot if it were there.

Sam: Congratulations on good results again, the only person to crack the 945 and the conundrum. Ever the master!