Thursday, 11 April 2013

NG 104

New game 104 is now available.

Round 1: G M B N E A E L E

I had GAME, BLAME, GAMBLE, rejected GABLEMEN, ENABLE, GLEEMAN (I mentioned this in NG 37: "a strolling professional singer or minstrel"), GLEEMEN (plural of GLEEMAN), and rejected BEMANGLE.  After time I wrote down BANGLE and MANGLE as other sixes, and amused myself with BEAGLEMEN.

Seven does seem like the best on offer, with the other one being MELANGE.

My selection: GLEEMAN

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

I had PROD, CROP, and PARODIC.  I also noted PRONOIAC, but was pretty sure it would not be in the Macquarie (as indeed it is not).

It turns out there is an eight in the mix, though: PICAROON (I made passing mention on this in episode 78: "a rogue, thief, or brigand").

The other sevens are PICADOR ("a mounted bullfighter who opens a bullfight by irritating and enraging the bull by pricking it with lances, without disabling it"), PONIARD ("a dagger") / PADRONI (plural of PADRONE: "a master, as of a vessel"), and CARDOON (a type of plant "[...] related to the artichoke").

My selection: PARODIC

Round 3: Target 292 from 50 25 6 2 4 5

Successive approximation works very easily here, and my first solution was 292 = 6*50 - 2*4.  Then I pulled out the factor of 4 to get an alternative answer of 292 = 4*(50 + 25 - 2).

My selection: 292 = 6*50 - 2*4

Round 4: A O E G T M S W T

I had GATE, ATOM, ATOMS, TOTEMS / MOTETS (MOTET: "a vocal composition in polyphonic style, on a biblical or similar prose text, intended for use in a church service"), and wondered about STOMATE but recalled from episode 412 that this was not valid.

There's a fair few sixes, but also two sevens: STOWAGE ("a charge for stowing something") / TOWAGES (TOWAGE: "a charge for towing").

My selection: TOTEMS

Round 5: N H N M O I O S E

The second round in a row where I just could not make much of it.  I had MOON, MOONS, SHONE, and then a succession of obviously invalid attempts: SEMINOON, MOONIES (listed, but with the capital letter required), HOONIES, and HONIES.

After time I saw NOONISH, which surprised me by not being valid.  I'd have tried it if I spotted it within time, quite frankly.  I also checked up on INHOMES, but the closest match is the adjective IN-HOME.  After a few minutes I finally saw MONIES (variant plural form of MONEY; this is what I had been attempting to recall when I came up with HONIES earlier) and a bit later SIMOON (which I mentioned in NG 57; it's a variant spelling of SIMOOM: "a hot, suffocating sand-laden wind of the deserts of Arabia, Syria, Africa, etc.").

Around half an hour later, possibly more, I looked back at this mix and MOON, and saw MOONSHINE.  A full monty lurking all along, but I went all around it without finding it.  Oh, well.

That is, of course, the best to be done and there are no eights.  The sevens are NOISOME and IONONES (IONONE: "either one or a mixture of two unsaturated ketones [...] used in perfumery").

My selection: MOONS

Round 6: Target 969 from 75 3 4 9 7 6

The target is very near 13*75, and it's a short step to finding 969 = (9 + 4)*75 - 6.  I did not find anything else interesting within time; afterwards I noted another option of 969 = 3*4*(75 + 7) - 9 - 6.

Just now I have seen that pulling out the factor of 3 can be done profitably, although the result is a little complicated: 969 = 3*(4*(75 + 9) - 6 - 7).

My selection: 969 = (9 + 4)*75 - 6

Round 7: C S L R O A E S F

I had CORALS / CAROLS and ORACLES.  I also noted that a final vowel would have held the potential for CASSEROLE; then again, a final L would have allowed SCLEROSAL (the adjective derived from SCLEROSIS).  After time I noted other sevens of LOAFERS, COALERS (COALER: "a railway, ship, etc., used mainly to haul or supply coal"), ROSELLA.  I also checked up on FACELOSS, but was not surprised that it was not listed.

There are eights to be had: LACROSSE / SOLACERS, ALFRESCO, and SAFROLES (SAFROLE: "a colourless of faintly yellow liquid [...] obtained from oil of sassafras, etc., and used for flavouring and in perfumery").

My selection: ORACLES

Round 8: Target 839 from 75 3 10 5 4 2

I first looked at this as 840 - 1, finding 839 = (75 + 5 + 4)*10 - (3 - 2) relatively easily.  Then I went back to the standard method and found the alternative 839 = (2*3 + 5)*75 + 10 + 4.

My selection: 839 = (75 + 5 + 4)*10 - (3 - 2)


I buzzed in too quickly here as soon as I saw HOBBLING, which was a letter short.  I realised that as I was buzzing, but it was too late.  I certainly could not recover in time, and frankly doubt I would have seen HOBGOBLIN even with the full amount of time.

For once the above is the letters as presented to me.  I'd have preferred to present it as HOBO BLING, but wanted to see if anyone else would make my mistake. *chuckles*

My selection: [invalid (1.5s)]


Mike Backhouse said...

After I posted, I got a Google error message and am having to retype my answers in. I must remember to copy my answers before posting so I don't have to retype if this happens.


Sam Gaffney said...

Anyone I don't beat here has to be cheating!

2. CANDOR (later: PICADOR)
3. 292 = (50+25-2)*4
5. MOONSHINE (MOONIES was my first word, Mike, it is capitalised, unfortunately)
6. 969 = (9+7-4)*(75+6) - 3
8. 839 = (2*3+5)*75 + 10 + 4
9. HOBGOBLIN - 0.9s (by sheer chance, I'd had this anagram less than 24 hours ago)

Mike Backhouse said...

Sam - thanks for the heads up on MOONIES. MOONSHINE and indeed the rest of your game was fantastic. It's great for us mere mortals to see what you come up with in these games. (I did see CANDOR in time but dismissed it as it did not have a U. I now see it is an alternative spelling).

Victor said...

Yes, a very strong game Sam, MOONSHINE in particular.

I have also seen this conundrum scramble before, I think it stuck in my mind due to its similarity to HOBBLING (which I almost jumped in with this time).

3. Mike's way
6. Mike's way
8. 839 = (10 + 2)*(75 - 5) - 4 + 3
9. HOBGOBLIN - 2.6s

Geoff Bailey said...

Nice results, Mike, although I'm afraid MOONIES is only listed capitalised and so would not be valid (as I see Sam also pointed out). Well done on getting the conundrum in the end -- I think it would have stumped me for longer than that!

Weird about the Google error message. In such situations I tend to use the browser's Back button and often it has retained the text entry.

Sam: Bravo on an excellent game, with only round 2 standing between you and the optimal game. Fantastic solving throughout!

Victor: Also a good game from you, and nice work with STOWAGE in particular. Excellent conundrum speed, and also well done on avoiding the trap there.