Friday, 5 April 2013

NG 100

Woo, we're up to the 100th new game.  Feel free to pretend it's a grand final of some sort.

Round 1: T O M N A S E U T

I had ATOM, ATOMS, STAMEN (that's the part of a flower which has the pollen), OUTMANS / AMOUNTS, and MUTATES.  Just a bit too late I found the eight of SEAMOUNT ("a submarine mountain rising more than 1000 m above the sea floor"; I thought I'd mentioned that before, but it seems not -- must have been something I encountered back when I was playing through Countdown games).  I also wrote down another seven of TETANUS.

SEAMOUNT is the only eight; as I mentioned in episode 389, the Macquarie does not list NUTMEATS.

The other sevens are MUTANTS, TAUTENS / ATTUNES, NOTATES, MUTTONS (most definitions of MUTTON look like mass nouns, but it is also colloquial for "the penis"), SOUTANE (another term for a cassock), TENUTOS (one plural form of TENUTO, a musical mark), and TOMENTA (plural of TOMENTUM: "Botany pubescence consisting of longish, soft, entangled hairs pressed close to the surface").

My selection: AMOUNTS

Round 2: A I U N L M S E D

I observed AINU in the first four letters, but that requires a capital letter.  I had LAIN, NAILS, SIDEMAN (as I mentioned in the previous game, this is "a male member of a jazz band other than the leader"), SEMINAL, and considered UNMAILED but ultimately rejected it as unlikely.  After time I similarly rejected UNSAILED, and noted MEDUSAN ("a medusa or jellyfish") as another seven.

Neither UNMAILED nor UNSAILED were listed, and seven is the best to be done.  There are quite a number of them, and I'll just mention a few of the commoner ones: MAIDENS, DENIALS, MISLEAD, SUNDIAL, and MAUDLIN.

My selection: SIDEMAN

Round 3: Target 968 from 50 100 25 6 5 10

A quick one-away was easy, so I wrote that down as a fallback: 969 = 10*100 - 25 - 6.  The offset from 1000 is 32, which is twice 16, and I was able to manoeuvre that idea into a solution: 968 = (5*100 - 10 - 6)*50/25.

After time I looked at the factorisation; the factor of 8 is clear enough and the cofactor is 121 which is the square of 11.  We can make one 11 simply and then the remaining task is to make 88 with the rest.  That works out, and the solution I found is 968 = (100 - 10 - 50/25)*(6 + 5).

... actually, checking my notes I see that this is not correct.  That's a solution that I found at some point later and did not write down.  What I actually wrote down after time was a solution using the split 22*44: 968 = (50 - 6)*(100 + 10)/5.  Huh.

There's other solutions, but perhaps the most findable is 968 = 10*100 - 6*5 - 50/25.

My selection: 968 = (5*100 - 10 - 6)*50/25

Round 4: A E E R S T M G P

I had ERASE, STREAM, STEAMER, STAMPER, AMPERES (AMPERE being "the SI base unit of electric current [...]"), and pondered GAMESTER.  I eventually decided against it, which was an unfortunate choice as it is valid: "a person who gambles habitually; gambler".  After time I checked up on PREGAMES and found that it was not valid either.

There is another eight in this mix: TEMPERA is "paint made from pigment ground in water and mixed with an emulsion of egg yolk or some similar substance", and so TEMPERAS is good.

There's many sevens once more, so I'll just mention TEMPERA, TAMPERS, REPEATS, and GAMETES as some of them.

My selection: STEAMER

Round 5: F A K T E A N R I

I had FEAT (perhaps still smarting over my error yesterday in trying FEATING), TANKER, FAINTER, and wondered about FRANKIE (as a colloquialism for frankfurter, perhaps) and FIRETANK.  I didn't like them, and neither is valid.

Seven is the limit, but there are two others: The protein KERATIN (a key component of hair and fingernails) and the delightful RATFINK.

My selection: FAINTER

Round 6: Target 267 from 75 100 25 50 9 5

Hmm, the offsets for the standard method are awkward.  I wrote down a one-away 266 = 5*75 - 100 - 9, and that was the best I could do within time.

Afterwords I considered (amongst many other fruitless approaches) the option of making this as 270 - 3.  270 is 9*30, of course, and the numbers do cooperate to make it possible: 267 = 9*(100 + 50)/5 - 75/25.  I wish I'd looked at this option within time.

There's quite a few ways to reach the target, as it turns out.  One of them in particular highlights that the standard method is almost always worth a little extra investigation.  The offset is 8, which is hard to make but could be done as 2*4.  We can make both of those components, and some playing around with the tweaking could have yielded the solution 267 = (50/25)*(100 - (9 - 5)) + 75.

At the other end of the spectrum, the most infeasible-to-find solution is 267 = (50*9 - 5)*75 / (100 + 25).

My selection: 266 = 5*75 - 100 - 9  [1 off]

Round 7: B O X I H C E S A

I had ICEBOX and COBIAS (recalling from NG 94 that COBIA is a type of fish).  I then considered the pair of sevens of CASHBOX and BOHICAS.  I thought that CASHBOX might well only be two words and I was convinced that BOHICA was a type of tree, although I have no idea where I formed that opinion from.  I was sufficiently convinced that I gave it a try instead of the dubious CASHBOX or the safe ICEBOX.

That was... very far from correct.  I don't know what I was thinking of that I was confusing with BOHICA -- I still don't, there don't seem to be any obvious candidates -- but BOHICA is not listed in the Macquarie.  It turns out that it is a military acronym for an undesirable situation about to be repeated.

So I was obviously gravely confused, and very much wish I had stuck with ICEBOX.  Oh, well.

Six is the best to be done.  The other sixes are HOAXES, COAXES, CHAISE ("a light, open carriage [...]"), BACHES (plural of BACH, colloquial for "a bachelor"), and BOHEAS (BOHEA: "a cheap tea made from leaves grown late in the season") / OBEAHS (OBEAH is a variant spelling of OBI in the sense of "a kind of sorcery practised by [...] some of the peoples of Africa, the West Indies, etc."; that might not seem pluralisable, but a second meaning is "a fetish or charm used in it", where "it" refers to the previous meaning ).

My selection: [invalid -- BOHICAS]

Round 8: Target 235 from 100 50 75 25 3 5

A much easier numbers round than the last two; the offset of 15 is 3*5, and a quick tweak finishes it off: 235 = 5*(50 - 3).

My selection: 235 = 5*(50 - 3).


Alas, another poor result; I tried BIRTHSITE at 3.7s.  While BIRTHPLACE is valid, BIRTHSITE is not.  Still, I'd probably not have found BITTERISH within time in any case.

My selection: [invalid -- BIRTHSITE (3.7s)]


Mike Backhouse said...

Geoff, thanks for all your efforts with this hundredth game! Grand Final sounds intimidating!

I'll have to wait until I have recovered from a garage sale we have just had. I feel drained!

Victor said...

Well, we've got a special occasion tonight with our series final, with our returning contestants battling it out for the 100th time in the usual 5-way battle royale.

You've seen them all before, in fact they all last played only yesterday...allow me to welcome our first!

3. 1-away: 969 = 10*100 - 25 - 6
6. 1-away: 268 = 9*(25 + 5) - 100/50
8. 235 = 5*(50 - 3)
9. - (BITTERISH after ~5 minutes)

Geoff Bailey said...

Thanks, Victor, and it looks like you get the initial win over me thanks to that good first round spot and my round seven aberration.

... hang on, the judges are conferring... it seems that MINUS is not a verb and I scrape home after all, unless you can point out what I am missing.

In any case, bravo on getting SEAMOUNT -- I'm familiar with it, but was just a touch slow to spot it. Also, well done on solving the conundrum, even after time. It was a tough one, I think.

Victor said...

Shucks, if MINUSED is no good in the paper version then I guess I'm out. It is in the online version though:

–verb (t) (minused, minusing) 10. to subtract: to minus 5 from 8.

but that's the last meaning listed so it may well have been added after the 5th edition was printed.

Geoff Bailey said...

It looks like it, yes -- only nine definition entries in the Fifth edition. If it's any consolation, I doubt I'll last the distance.

Mike Backhouse said...

Not sure my 'rest' has done me any good.

MATTES (not in your summary Geoff nor in my 2nd edition. However matte is a film term denoting superimposition)
1 away (Victor's way)
all numbers added together =264 (3 off)
25+50+75+100-(5*3)=235 (lucky this worked!)
x- looking for -IER words to no avail

Geoff Bailey said...

I hope it was a good rest anyway, Mike. MATTES is fine, although the meaning you are referring to is not listed; MATTE is listed as a noun ("an unfinished metallic product of the smelting of certain sulfide ores, especially those of copper") and also as an American variant of MATT ("a dull or dead surface, without lustre, produced on metals, etc."; also "to finish with a matt surface").

Jan said...

Well, this contestant certainly needs to give the kudos to others!

10*100 - 5*6 - 50/25 = 968
(1 off) 100*50/25 + 75 - 9 = 266
2*75 + 50/5 = 235

Jan said...

And thanks Geoff for 100 games. And I wanted BIRTHSITE to be the conundrum too!

I am going away for 10 days, so may or may not get to play

Sam Gaffney said...

Great letters for game #100, but I couldn't get more than a seven-letter word. Nice big numbers to play with.

1. MUTATES. SEAMOUNT was good.
2. MEDIANS, hard to believe there was nothing better.
3. 968 = 10*100 - 6*5 - 50/25
6. 267 = (100-9+5)*50/25 + 75 or ((75-9)*100-50)/25 + 5.
8. 235 = 5*(50 - 3) or ((50+5+3)*100+75)/25
9. BITTERISH - 2.2s

Geoff Bailey said...

SUNDIAL was a lovely find, Jan, as was HOAXES. It also reminded me that I'd forgotten to put up the alternative answers for round 7, which I've now corrected. Thank you!

Sam: Great game from you -- even if I had found the best letters I'd have needed to find the 267 to have a chance. Great solutions for that round in particular!