Friday, 29 March 2013

NG 95

New game 95 is now available; apologies for the delay, it took a while to recover from the failed hard drive at home.

Round 1: W F D H O I O E M

I had DHOW ("an Arab coastal vessel, usually lateen-rigged"), HIDE, HOMED, a venturesome FWOOMED (not valid), and decided to chance WIFEHOOD.  My heart sank when I saw WIFEDOM (the only valid seven, incidentally) listed under the entry for WIFE, but fortunately WIFEHOOD merited a standalone entry.

Those are the only eight and seven; the sixes are HEMOID (variant spelling of HAEMOID: "bloodlike"), WOOFED, FOODIE ("a connoisseur of food"), HOOFED, and HOODIE ("a jacket with a hood").

My selection: WIFEHOOD

Round 2: M S R U I E P S B

I had RUMS, RIMS, MIRES, IMPURE, ERBIUMS (ERBIUM is element number 68) / IMBRUES (IMBRUE: "stain with blood"), UMPIRES, BRUISES, and then a word which was more in the news a couple of years back: SUBPRIME ("US of, relating to, or designating a loan, usually a housing loan, which is risky because the borrower is less than ideal or has an ability to repay which has not been accurately assessed").  I very briefly pondered SUBPRIMES, but was confident that it would not have been nounified yet.

The other eight is PRIMUSES (PRIMUS: "a portable cooking stove burning kerosene. [trademark]").

The other sevens are SIMPERS / IMPRESS / PREMISS (variant form of PREMISE in the sense of "Logic a proposition (or one of several) from which a conclusion is drawn"), BUMPERS, BUMPIER, UPRISES / SUSPIRE (an archaic term for "to breath"), MISUSER / MUSSIER (MUSSY being listed as an American colloquialism for "untidy, messy, or rumpled"), SURMISE, and PURISMS ("scrupulous or excessive observance of or insistence on purity in language, style, etc."; it is also "an instance of [the previous definition]", so definitely pluralisable).

My selection: SUBPRIME

Round 3: Target 965 from 25 7 6 4 5 9

The offsets of 10 and 15 don't look particularly promising, and the corresponding multiples of 25 are 39*25 and 38*25; taken together this doesn't look like a good fit for the standard method, although it did give me a fallback position with the one-away 966 = (7*5 + 4)*25 - 9.  I spent the rest of the time unsuccessfully trying to get a solution of the form 5*193.

With further thought after time I managed to get that to work; the important step was to notice that 193 is 25 + 168, and the latter number is familiar as the number of hours in a week, which is to say 7*24.  That led me to the solution 965 = (4*6*7 + 25)*5.

Another solution which I should have seen earlier -- since I was trying to make it work -- follows from an alternative split of 193 as 175 + 18.  That requires making 18 from 4, 6, 9, but somehow at the time I failed to find it.  While writing this up I saw what I had missed: 965 = (7*25 + 9*(6 - 4))*5; this was the solution that commenter Victor found.

There's actually a fair number of solutions; one that I like makes the target as 940 + 25 like so: 965 = (9*6 - 7)*5*4 + 25.  Another makes it as 960 + 5, which should have been tempting because of the many factors of 960; the corresponding solution is 965 = 6*5*(25 + 7) + 9 - 4.

My selection: 966 = (7*5 + 4)*25 - 9  [1 off]

Round 4: S R N A O K E G A

I had ARSON, RANKS, REASON, and ORANGES.  I also noticed that changing the E to a second O would have allowed KANGAROOS.

Seven is the best; the others are SOAKAGE, ONAGERS (ONAGER: "an ancient and medieval engine of war for throwing stones"), ANGORAS (the entry is capitalised but admits that lower case is acceptable; as a pluralisable noun it can refer to an Angora rabbit, goat, or cat), and ANORAKS.

My selection: ORANGES

Round 5: R T H T N I A U R

I had HINT, HAUNT (that U finally killed the possibility of THIRTEEN), TRUTH, amused myself with the idea of ANTIHURT, and then found TRUANT for six.

After time I saw NUTRIA (another name for the coypu) as another six; the only other six is UNHAIR.

My selection: TRUANT

Round 6: Target 238 from 50 25 6 8 2 1

The standard method suggests making this as 250 - 12, and I soon had a solution of 238 = 8*25 + 50 - 2*6.  Then I tried to make it as 240 - 2, finding the alternative solution of 238 = (25 + 6 - 1)*8 - 2.

My selection: 238 = 8*25 + 50 - 2*6

Round 7: D S N S I A E E L

I had DINS, SANDS, LEADEN, ANISEED, a probable ANISEEDS, DIESELS, correctly rejected LEADINESS, DENIALS, and ISLANDS.  I decided that ANISEEDS was probably good, and that was the correct decision.

The other eights are LINSEEDS / IDLENESS, IDEALESS, and DELAINES (DELAINE: "a thin woollen fabric, often having a printed pattern").

Update: Commenter Victor points out the full monty of IDEALNESS.  The Macquarie does list it; I'm a bit surprised it was not in the online word list I use.  Nice catch, Victor!

My selection: ANISEEDS

Round 8: Target 141 from 100 25 50 4 8 10

Such a small target should be easy, right?  Not so for me, at any rate, with the lack of odd small numbers proving troublesome.  A fallback one-away 142 = 100 + 50 - 8 was trivial, but I was unable to get to the target within time.

After time I hit upon the idea of making this as 282/2.  It took a little prodding to get that to work, but I emerged with 141 = (10*25 + 4*8) / (100/50).

An alternative way to use that approach is 141 = ((25 + 4)*10 - 8) / (100/50).  There's a few other solutions, too, of which my favourite is 141 = (50 + 8)*25/10 - 4.

My selection: 142 = 100 + 50 - 8  [1 off]


I got distracted by the not-there ALCOHOL fragment, but once I put that aside I was fortunate enough to hit upon CLOTH and thus find SAILCLOTH in good order.

My selection: SAILCLOTH (8.7s)


Jan said...

Glad your failed hard drive is better.

1 off. (5*6 + 9)*25 - (4+7) = 964
ANGORAS - I will risk this, and also Rd 7 with plurals
8*25 + 50 - 2*6 = 238
1 off. 100 + 50 - 8 = 142

Mike Backhouse said...

Here are mine:

HOMED (should have seen WOOFED - well done Jan)
25*(4*9+(7-5))+6=956 (9 away)
TRUANT after time
(50+25)*(2+1)+6+8=239 (1 off)
100+50-10=140 (1 away)
x-CHALLOIST (made up word-someone who plays the CHALLO!)

Victor said...

I like your conundrum guess Mike! (I couldn't even come up with a non-word)

2. X (IMBURSES - I though if reimburse is a word then maybe so is IMBURSE)
3. 965 = 5*(7*25 + (6 - 4)*9)
6. Jan's way
8. 1-away: 142 = 100 + 50 - 8
9. -

Geoff Bailey said...

Thanks, Jan. Well, it's not that the drive is better but that it has been replaced. That involved reinstalling the operating system, but it seemed to go smoothly. Nice work with ANGORAS and ANISEEDS -- both are definitely valid.

Mike: I like the idea of CHALLOIST -- heh! And finding TRUANT (even after time) was excellent; it was a tough mix.

Victor: Congratulations on WIFEHOOD; I had hoped that would be my edge in this game. Bad luck on IMBURSES; it was definitely worth a punt. Also well done on solving that 965; it was a difficult one, I think.

Victor said...

Thanks Geoff, the last numbers irritated me enough though! We had SUBPRIME recently I think so I'm a bit bummed to miss it this time. Also, could IDEALNESS be a possible 9 in round 7?

Geoff Bailey said...

Huh, so it is. Good catch, Victor! Post updated to include this.

Sam Gaffney said...


2. x SUBPRIMES (couldn't resist)
3. 1-away: 964 = (25*4+7)*9 + 6 - 5
5. x THRAIN. First that Hobbit movie was overlong and repetitive, now this...
6. 238 = 25*8 + 50 - 6*2
8. 1-away: 142 = 100 + 50 - 8
9. 100.3s - SAILCLOTH

Geoff Bailey said...

Clearly THRAIN is the even-more-past tense of THREW. *chuckles* Surprisingly tough numbers in that last round!

Sam Gaffney said...

Yes, I don't know if we've ever had such a difficult low target before.