Wednesday, 10 April 2013

NG 103

New game 103 is up.

Round 1: D R U G F A E T T

I had DRUG (it was hard to miss!), GUARD, GRATED, and GUTTER.  It felt like a seven should be there but it was maddeningly elusive if so.  Somewhat after time I finally saw GRAFTED for seven.

That turns out to be the only seven, and there's a fair few sixes of which I'll just mention a few examples: ARGUED, TRUDGE, TARGET, and a somewhat more modern DEFRAG.  Also, note that opting for a fourth vowel would have replaced the second T with an A and allowed GRADUATE for eight.

My selection: GUTTER

Round 2: R A C E L T I A N

I had RACE (another four-letter word to start!), CLEAR, CARTEL, ARTICLE, and CLARINET.

The other eights in this mix are TAILRACE ("the race, flume, or channel leading away from a waterwheel or the like"), CRANIATE ("having a cranium or skull") / CARINATE ("formed with a carina; keel-like"), and ANALCITE (a mineral) / LAITANCE ("the scum or whitish deposit that rises to the surface of newly placed concrete").

But there is a nine!  A pair of them, in fact: NECTARIAL (adjective derived from NECTARY: "Botany an organ or part, usually of a flower, that secretes nectar") / LACERTIAN (variant form of LACERTILIAN: "of or relating to the Lacertilia, a suborder of reptiles comprising the lizards and their allies").

My selection: CLARINET

Round 3: Target 376 from 100 75 25 50 9 9

It's the four large mix and the small numbers are identical.  That's going to make life difficult, I fear.  In this case the target is one away from an easily made 375, but although the pair of 9's will make the requisite offset of 1 at least one of those 9's is needed for the 375.  I wrote down a fallback 375 = (9 - 100/25)*75, and in the end that was the best I could do.

It took me a lot of poking around after time before I considered the tweaking possibilities of 9*9 and managed to find a solution: 376 = 9*(50 - 9) + (100 + 75)/25.  Definitely a tricky one.

It turns out that there is only one other solution: 376 = ((75 + 9)*9*25 - 100)/50.  Even trickier!

My selection: 375 = (9 - 100/25)*75  [1 off]
Best: 376 = 9*(50 - 9) + (100 + 75)/25

Round 4: N A G R O D E D U


The other eights are UNGRADED and ARGUENDO ("Law in the course of argument").

The remaining sevens are ROUNDED / UNDERDO / REDOUND, UNDERGO / GUERDON ("a reward, recompense, or requital"), GROANED, ADORNED, DUDGEON, and RONDEAU (a type of poem).

My selection: GROUNDED

Round 5: N T S I E I H B A


Those are the only eights; the sevens are INHABIT, ABSINTH (variant spelling of ABSINTHE), BASINET, HENBITS (HENBIT being a type of weed), TAHINIS, STIBINE ("antimonous hydride [...], a colourless poisonous gas"), and STHENIA ("Pathology strength; excessive vital force").

My selection: ABSINTHE

Round 6: Target 329 from 100 25 50 7 5 9

The standard method is worth a view with the offset of 4 being achievable from 9 - 5.  It was a short step to 329 = 7*50 - 25 + 9 - 5.  While looking at that I noticed the factor of 7 with cofactor 47, and a little experimentation produced the alternative solution of 329 = 7*(9*5 + 50/25).

My selection: 329 = 7*(9*5 + 50/25)

Round 7: B A I N R E H C S

I had BRAIN, BRANCH, BRANCHES, and CARBINES.  After time I saw INARCHES (INARCH: "to graft by uniting a growing branch to a stock without separating the branch from its parent stock") as another eight.

The other eights are BANISHER and BRISANCE ("the shattering power of high explosives").

The sevens are ASCRIBE, HERNIAS, BEARISH, RANCHES, CARBINE, BIRCHES, BIRCHEN (an archaic term for a birch tree), BRACHES (plural of BRACH: "a bitch of the hound kind"), CASHIER / CAHIERS (CAHIER: "a report of the proceedings of any body"), and ARSENIC / CARNIES (CARNIE: "a person who walks in a carnival").

My selection: BRANCHES

Round 8: Target 220 from 75 3 9 1 10 2

The target is low and fairly achievable; the standard method works easily and I went with 220 = 3*75 - 10/2.  Then I looked for a way to avoid the large number and also found 220 = 2*10*(9 + 3 - 1).

My selection: 220 = 3*75 - 10/2

Round 9: I FLY LIT UP

Not that I want to encourage flying while drunk, I should add.  This time -ITY was not the way to go, and extending -LY to -FULLY gave the answer of PITIFULLY.

My selection: PITIFULLY (2.6s)


Victor said...

Very fruitful letter mixes this time. I think I got practically the same results as you, Geoff.

3. 1-away: 375 = 9*50 - 75
6. 329 = 7*50 - 25 + 9 - 5
8. 220 = 10*(75/3 - 2 - 1)
9. PITIFULLY - 2.3s

Mike Backhouse said...

I should have done better on the letters today.

Victor's way
Geoff's standard way
Geoff's standard way again

Sam Gaffney said...

A very mixed bag. I think I was too late to Victor's Round 6 solve, which I am kicking myself over.

2. CLARINET/CRANIATE. I have probably seen NECTARIAL before, as I felt there was a nine here.
3. 376 = (50-9)*9 + (100+75)/25. It helped that there were so few possible approaches.
6. one off: 330 = 9*25 + 100 + 5
8. 220 = (75-1)*3 - 2
9. PITIFULLY - 7.0s. Off the pace again, I didn't pick up the double-L quickly today.

Geoff Bailey said...

Victor: Same points on each round, anyway, but the conundrum is yours. Well played! (And I like that solution for 220, incidentally.) Given Sam's results, it looks like you take the overall victory today unless Jan comes through with a blinder.

Mike: You're in good company with missing GRAFTED, and it looks like you're making good use of the standard approach in the numbers. UNGRADED was a nice spot, too.

Sam: Yes, a surprisingly up-and-down set from you (relatively speaking). Great work to solve that 376 in time, and also on being the only one (so far) to get GRAFTED.