Tuesday, 2 April 2013

NG 97

New game 97 is available for your viewing pleasure.

A reminder since it could have been overlooked in yesterday's game (I added it late): Melbournites may like to drop by Late Night Letters and Numbers this month.  I don't know what it's like -- and I'm a little disappointed that it is only an hour long -- but hopefully it will be entertaining.  David will be putting in an appearance for the show on the 19th.

Round 1: C F O H A C L E R

I had COCA (missing COACH, somehow), HALF, FOECAL, and CHOLERA (which reminded me of the series four grand final).  After time I noted CORACLE ("(in Wales and western England) a small boat, nearly or quite as broad as long, made like a basket") as another seven.

The other sevens are COACHER / CAROCHE ("an old form of stately coach or carriage"), CHORALE, and COCHLEA ("a division, spiral in form, of the internal ear, in humans and most other mammals").  The adjective derived from this last is the only eight: COCHLEAR.

My selection: CHOLERA

Round 2: S E C C I U N O S

I had ICES, SINCE, COUSIN, and COUSINS.  I noted a couple of almost-there nines (CONSCIOUS and SECLUSION), but seven was the best to be done.

The other sevens are CONCISE / COSINES / CESSION ("something, as territory, ceded") / OSCINES (OSCINE: "a bird of the suborder Passeri; songbird"), CONCUSS, SCONCES (SCONCE: "a wall bracket for holding one or more candles or other lights"; there's an unrelated verb sense, incidentally), CISCOES (one plural form of CISCO, a type of whitefish), and INCUSES (not the plural of the earbone INCUS -- that plural is INCUDES -- but derived from the verb INCUSE: "to hammer or stamp, as a figure on a coin").

My selection: COUSINS

Round 3: Target 824 from 100 75 50 25 5 5

The pair of 5's could be troublesome, as there's little scope for non-multiples of 5.  I wrote down a fallback one-away 825 = 5*(100 + 75) - 50, and in the end that was my limit.  The desired approach would have been 825 - 5/5, but one can't get to 825 with just the large numbers (724, on the other hand, would have yielded to that approach).  The option 8*103 very nearly worked also, but not quite -- turn a 5 into a 10 and it would have been there as ((50 - 10)/5)*(100 + 75/25).  Not that this is much use.

Further poking after time did yield a solution, where the key idea is to take advantage of all the 5's to aim for a solution of 4120/5 = (4125 - 5)/5, where some parts may be pulled outside of the brackets as convenient.  A nearby value to 4125 is 3750, which is 50*75, and a solution followed: 824 = (100 - 25) + (75*50 - 5)/5.  It was findable if one thought through the options, but I was not fast enough.

There's a trivial variation on that which swaps (100 - 25) and 75; aside from that there are just two other solutions.  The first is another variation of that approach which can be considered as 75 + (750*5 - 5)/5; it is 824 = 75 + ((100 + 50)*25 - 5)/5.

The remaining solution is annoyingly close to the one-away that I had.  Replace the 5 by 25/5 and it drops out easily: 824 = 25*(100 + 75 - 5) - 50.  Bother.

My selection: 825 = 5*(100 + 75) - 50  [1 off]

Round 4: Y A M R E I N I L

I had ARMY, MARINE / REMAIN, LINEAR, MEANLY, and an uncertain MARLINE.  I was confident there was a valid anagram of those letters, and I thought that I recalled that particular word from somewhere.  In the event, I decided to chance it and that was fortunately correct.  I had mentioned it before in episode 443; it means "a small cord of two loosely twisted strands, used for seizing" (in this context, "seize" means "Nautical to bind, lash, or fasten together with several turns of light rope, cord, or the like").

After time I found three other anagrams of MARLINE, each of which I would have declared with much more confidence: MINERAL / MANLIER / RAILMEN.  I chose the most difficult option!

The other sevens are AIRLINE (I considered AIR- and -LINE, but did not put them together; heh), INLAYER, and MILIARY ("resembling a millet seed or seeds").

My selection: MARLINE

Round 5: T N R R O I E D O

I had TORN, TONER, EDITOR, TOROID, and ROOTIER.  That last feels a bit odd, but it's turned up a few times before (the most recent being only a couple of weeks ago in NG 88) so I knew it was valid.  After time I saw ORIENT as another six that I consistently have trouble spotting, and that having an A instead of the E would have allowed TANDOORI for eight.

ROOTIER is the only seven here.

My selection: ROOTIER

Round 6: Target 272 from 25 50 100 9 1 3

The standard method clearly applies, with the offset being 3.  I soon had 272 = 9*25 + 50 - 3, then amused myself by looking at the factorisation, which is (amongst other forms) 16*17.  Those were both formable, so my other solution (which amused me more) was 272 = (25 - 9)*(50 + 1)/3.

My selection: 272 = (25 - 9)*(50 + 1)/3

Round 7: L I R A T T I I T

Gah, two triplicated letters, not good.  Even a final N would have at least allowed INITIAL, and if just one of those I's were an E instead then LITERATI would have been available.  As it was, I had RAIL and TRAIL, and that was it.  After time I noted TRIAL as another five.

Five is the best on this miserly mix; the others are TRAIT and ATILT.

My selection: TRAIL

Round 8: Target 470 from 100 50 25 2 4 5

The standard method is clearly tempting, but I started with the factorisation 5*94 instead, producing the solution 470 = 5*(100 - 4 - 2).  Then I reverted to the standard method for the alternative 470 = 4*100 + 50 + 25 - 5.

My selection: 470 = 5*(100 - 4 - 2)

Round 9: I FIT FENCE

Doubled consonants often go well together, and once I bypassed EFFECT I found EFFICIENT as the answer.

My selection: EFFICIENT (2.1s)


Jan said...

Hey Geoff, you forgot the link to the game :(

Victor said...

Not to worry Jan, the game number is in the URL and you can manually select it that way.

3. 1-away: 825 = 5*(100 + 75) - 50
6. 272 = 3*(100 - 1) - 25
8. 470 = 4*100 + 50 + 25 - 5
9. EFFICIENT - 1.8s

Jan said...

Thanks Victor.

I wish I had seen COCHLEAR and COUSINS!

Not a game I am all that happy with

75*(5+5) + 50 + 25 = 825. 1 away
9*25 + 50 - 3 = 272
4*100 + 50 + 25 - 5 = 470
- yet again, I was all around the conundrum, but couldn't get it

Mike Backhouse said...

Here are mine:

1 off, Victor's way
4*(100+25)-(50/2+5)=470 (long way around compared to Victor and Jan)
x- nothing after three minutes - but would be a hard word for me to 'see'.

Geoff Bailey said...

Umm, oops. Sorry, Jan (and everyone else inconvenienced by this). Fixed now, but too late.

Victor: Congratulations on getting COCHLEAR -- it's definitely the word of the game.

Mike: Your 470 may have been the long way around, but it was a good solution. Nice work!

Sam Gaffney said...

1. COCHLEAR (I was concerned that this was only a proper noun)
2. x CONCISES (optimistic...). Sevens galore here.
3. 824 = (75*50-5)*5 + 100 - 25 Makes it all seem worthwhile when I get one of these.
6. 272 = 3*(100 - 1) - 25
8. 470 = 4*(100+5) + 50
9. EFFICIENT - 1.0s