Monday, 15 April 2013

NG 106

New game 106 is available for your playing pleasure.

Round 1: A A I C S G H S N

I had CASH, SIGHS, CASINGS, CASHING, wondered about CASHINGS (it is not valid), then saw CHASING and thus the children's game CHASINGS for eight.  The Macquarie suggests that this term is mostly used in New South Wales and Tasmania, so that could be a case of regional advantage for me.  Readers in other states may be more familiar with it as "chasey" or "tag".

That's the only eight; the other seven is SASHING (SASH as a verb: "to furnish with sashes or with windows having sashes").  The American term ASH CANS is listed, but only as two words.

My selection: CHASINGS

Round 2: A O U B F L O S M

I had AFOUL, FOULS, BOLUS ("a lump of masticated food which enters the oesophagus at one swallow"), LAMBS, BLOOMS, ABLOOM, and FAMOUS.  I also toyed with BOSOMAL, but it was fairly clear that BOSOMY would be the only associated adjective.  After time I noted ALBUMS as another six.

That's pretty much all the sixes; the only extra possibility I found was MOOLAS, but MOOLA (variant spelling of MOOLAH, colloquial for money) is almost certainly a mass noun.

My selection: FAMOUS

Round 3: Target 894 from 50 75 25 100 5 9

Getting to one away is pretty easy, so I wrote down a fallback 895 = 9*100 - 5.  I spent far too long trying to work out how to make 6 from 50, 75, 25, and 5 before realising that I'd already done most of the work: 894 = 9*100 - 5 - (50 + 25)/75.  Fortunately I saw that within time otherwise I'd have felt extremely silly.

There's some variations in how to make the final 1, and otherwise there are two solutions that make it as 875 + 10 + 9, with some tweaking being used to make the 10.  The first is 894 = (100 + 75 + 50/25)*5 + 9 and the other is a little more complicated but the same essential approach: 894 = ((100 + 75)*25 + 50)/5 + 9.

My selection: 894 = 9*100 - 5 - (50 + 25)/75

Round 4: O E I S C T M C N


Those look like the only two eights; the other sevens are CONCEIT, CONCISE, SECTION / NOTICES, MOISTEN, COMETIC (adjective derived from COMET), and SMECTIC ("denoting or relating to one of the forms of liquid crystals"; I've mentioned the similar NEMATIC a few times before).

My selection: COSMETIC

Round 5: E I I O K D R X T

I had DIKE (variant spelling of DYKE in either sense), RIDE, OXIDE, EDITOR, and TRIOXIDE.  While checking up on TRIOXIDE I found that it had a variant spelling of TRIOXID, so that is a seven in this mix.

TRIOXIDE is the only eight; the other seven is the igneous rock DIORITE.  (Some sources might allow EDITRIX, but not the Macquarie or Chambers.)  The other sixes are RIOTED / TRIODE ("a radio valve containing three electrodes, usually an anode, a grid, and a cathode"), TIDIER, and DEXTRO ("turning clockwise").

My selection: TRIOXIDE

Round 6: Target 967 from 6 1 2 4 3 5

Oh, dear, a rather high target for such unhelpful small numbers.  Fortunately there's techniques for bounding how close one can get: Multiply all the numbers which are not 1 to get 720; the maximal result comes from adding the 1 to the smallest possible value (the 2) which turns the product into 1080.  So that's the largest that can be made, but it is actually too large.  On the other hand, we don't expect to be able to get very near it.

It's clear that we must use all six numbers, as otherwise 720 is the most we can make, and we are pretty much limited to shunting around the addition of 1 in order to get anything larger.  The target is close to 4/3 times 720, which we can get by adding the 1 to the 3 instead, and that is the best possible result here: 960 = (3+1)*2*4*5*6.  (The next closest achievable number is 900, incidentally.)

My selection: 960 = (3+1)*2*4*5*6

Round 7: A A A U N P R W S

I had SAUNA (written down speculatively early on, and the S did arrive eventually), PRAWN, PRAWNS, and UNWRAPS.

That is the only seven, and the only other six is UNWRAP.

My selection: UNWRAPS

Round 8: Target 270 from 25 100 75 7 9 3

The target is 9*30, but I lost a fair amount of time failing to make it that way.  It got much easier when I thought to try 3*90 instead, and I found 270 = 3*(100 - 7 - 75/25).  A modification of that idea let me get the original plan working after all: 270 = 9*3*(7 + 75/25).

My selection: 270 = 9*3*(7 + 75/25)


I got lost in this one; the best I saw within time were the eights of DUSTIEST and DETRITUS.  Finally I found STURDIEST at the 47.2s mark; I'm a bit disappointed at missing that given how early I looked at -IEST.  It also spoils what had been an optimal game to this point.  Oh, well.

My selection: [no answer]


Sam Gaffney said...

3. 894 = 9*100 - 5 - (75-50)/25
6. seven off: 960 = (1+3)*2*4*5*6
8. 270 = (100 - 7 - 75/25)*3
9. STURDIEST - 8.6s

Victor said...

3. Sam's way
6. 113 away: 1080 = (1 + 2)*3*4*5*6 (Sam's way after time)
8. 270 = 3*9*(7 + 75/25)
9. x (DISTRUSTED) - 8.0s

Geoff Bailey said...

Good results, Sam; looks like I may have had a regional advantage in one round. Nice work on getting the conundrum!

Victor: Looks like you were similarly at the regional disadvantage. Nice almost-spot of DISTRUSTED you had there; one of the conundrum possibilities I had was "IS TRUSTED". (I was most tempted by TIRE STUDS, though, or its reversal STUDS TIRE.)

Sam Gaffney said...

Yes, I'm not familiar with CHASINGS, but TRIOXIDE was fantastic.

It's interesting that no-one found STURDIEST quickly, it is very obvious once the -IEST is tried.

Geoff Bailey said...

Thanks, Sam -- I was pretty pleased with TRIOXIDE. With respect to CHASINGS I've updated the post to clarify that the game is also known as TAG, which may help on that front.

STURDIEST was a surprisingly slippery conundrum. I tried -IEST but not carefully enough -- carelessness!

Mike Backhouse said...

Catch up for me.

CHASING (wasn't game enough for CHASINGS unfortunately-that's what we called it as kids)
Geoff's back up of 895
MONTIES (as in chocolate or full...)
TRIED (TRIOXIDE - wonderful)
X-rat packs grrrr...
3*100-(25+7)=268 (2 off)