Wednesday, 3 April 2013

NG 98

New game 98 is now up, and this time I remembered to link it. *chuckles*

Round 1: B A M R E R O O S

I had AMBER, ROAMER, ROAMERS, MOROSE (I was not sure about ROAMER, but it is valid), and SOMBRERO.  I also noted BARROOMS, but expected it would be hyphenated.  Chambers does list it with the required hyphen, but the Macquarie does not list it at all, hyphenated or otherwise.  After time I noted BOOMERS as another seven.

The other sevens are ROOMERS, REMORAS, and ARBORES (plural of ARBOR: "a tree (used chiefly in botanical names)").

My selection: SOMBRERO

Round 2: K O C D A S T I E

I had DOCK, CODA, CODAS, DOCKETS, noticed that an L instead of the K would have allowed DISLOCATE for nine, was briefly tempted by and rejected SIDECOAT, then noted two other sevens of COASTED and CESTOID ("(of worms) ribbonlike").  Something was niggling at me, and just after time I spotted what it was: STOCKADE, one of David's early excellent finds in episode 9.

The other eight is DIESTOCK ("a device for holding the dies used in cutting threads on a rod or pipe").

The other sevens are STOCKED, STACKED, STICKED (a possibly unexpected past tense of STICK; it applies to the sense of "to furnish with a stick or sticks in order to support or prop, as a plant"), TOADIES / IODATES, COEDITS, CODEIAS (CODEIA being a variant spelling of CODEINE), and DACOITS (DACOIT: "Indian English one of a band of armed thieves; bandit").

My selection: DOCKETS

Round 3: Target 945 from 25 75 50 2 9 6

The target is clearly 9*105, and I got sidetracked by that approach for far too long.  Trying to make it work led me to write down a worrying six away 951 = 9*(2*50 + 6) - 75/25, and then good sense reasserted itself as 950 would be closer and must be more achievable.  That let me scramble one away with 944 = 9*2*50 + 75 - 25 - 6, just within time.

After time it belatedly occurred to me that the target was near the important 937½ and we had the right large numbers for this to be worth looking at.  That is 7½ away from the target, which is 15/2, and the solution is relatively easy to find from that point: 945 = (25*75 + 9 + 6)/2.  There's a trivial variation from replacing 25 by 50 - 25, of course.

That factorisation of 9*105 also corresponds to the factorisation 27*35, and a solution arises straightforwardly from that observation: 945 = (25 + 2)*(50 - 9 - 6).  There's precisely one other solution, which arises from thinking of the target as 936 + 9.  That works because 936 has many factors also -- it is 9*104 = 9*8*13 -- and in this case the relevant variant is 18*52.  The solution that results is 945 = (75/25)*6*(50 + 2) + 9.

My selection: 944 = 9*2*50 + 75 - 25 - 6  [1 off]

Round 4: C T P H I O O C S

A much less promising mix after the previous two.  I had PITCH, TOPIC, PHOTIC ("of or relating to light"), PHOTOS, TOPICS, COOPTS, and wondered about PHOTICS but thought it unlikely (correctly so).  If one of those C's were an N then the full monty of PHOTONICS ("the modern technologies involving light and electronics") would have been there.

After time I saw OCTOPI (frowned on in some circles, but it is allowed by the Macquarie), SCOTCH ("to put an end to; stamp out; suppress"), and considered COPTICS but was pretty sure it would require capitalisation even if it were valid.  COPTIC is listed, but only capitalised, and is not pluralisable in any case; it is "the extinct language of Egypt which developed from ancient Egyptian, used liturgically by Egyptian Christians".

The other sixes are OPTICS / PICOTS (PICOT: "one of a number of ornamental loops in embroidery, or along the edge of lace, ribbon, etc.").  There is almost an eight: SCOTOPIA is "the ability of the eyes to adjust to darkness", and some sources -- but not the Macquarie -- would allow the derived adjective of SCOTOPIC.

My selection: TOPICS

Round 5: N E B R A I D F E

I had EARN, BRAIN, BRAINED, noted a couple of almost-nines of FIREBRAND and REFRAINED, and BRIEFED.  Just after time I spotted BEFRIEND as the eight.

That seems to be the only eight; the other sevens are DEFINER / REFINED, INBREED, BEADIER, and DEBRIEF.

My selection: BRAINED

Round 6: Target 216 from 100 75 50 8 1 9

The target is the cube of 6, which is thus 8*27 or 8*9*3.  I soon had a solution of 216 = (100/50 + 1)*9*8.  Then I saw that the standard method was rather more obvious, yielding a solution of 216 = 100 + 75 + 50 - 9 and variations of that idea.

My selection: 216 = (100/50 + 1)*9*8

Round 7: T E T N A R R I D

I had TENT, an uncertain RANTER (it is valid), RETAIN, and TRAINED / DETRAIN.  It seems like there must surely be longer, but all I could see was sevens.

There's quite a few sevens, but there is an eight after all: NITRATED (NITRATE as a verb: "to treat with nitric acid or a nitrate").

The other sevens are NITRATE / NATTIER / TERTIAN ("recurring every other day, or, if considered inclusively, every third day") / ITERANT ("repeating") / INTREAT (archaic variant form of ENTREAT), DRAINER, TARRIED / TARDIER, TRIDENT, ATTIRED, TAINTED, TERRAIN / RETRAIN / TRAINER, and RATTIER / TARTIER.

My selection: TRAINED

Round 8: Target 403 from 25 50 100 2 3 7

Using the standard method is obviously the way to go; I started with 403 = 7*50 + 2*25 + 3 and then noted another variant of 403 = 2*(100/25)*50 + 3.

My selection: 403 = 7*50 + 2*25 + 3


Normally I'd hope to spot the UNDER- fragment somewhat earlier, but I got there eventually and then got UNDERWEAR in due course.

My selection: UNDERWEAR (16.3s)


Mike Backhouse said...

Here are mine:

(75+25)*9+50-6=944 (1 off)

Mike Backhouse said...

The only place I have ever heard the word TARRY is in the Cockney Rebel song 'Come Up and See Me'. Luckily TARRIED is in my second edition.

Jan said...

Well done for getting the conundrum Mike.

9*2*50 + (75-25) - 6 = 944. 1 away
100 + 75 + 50 - 9 = 216
(50/25 + 2)*100 + 3 = 403

Victor said...

3. 1-away: Mike's way
6. 216: Mike's way
8. 403 = 7*50 + 100/2 + 3
9. UNDERWEAR - 7.4s

Sam Gaffney said...

1. SOMBRERO. Mike, this would have gone well your recent burrito.
2. COASTED, nice eight from Jan.
3. 945 = (25*75+9+6)/2
6. 216 = (75-50-1)*9
7. TRAINED, felt like there must be a longer word there.
8. 403 = 7*50 + 25*2 + 3
9. UNDERWEAR - 37.8s

Mike Backhouse said...

Sam, when I wrote down my letters for that first game, I incorrectly put in an extra O and left out the second R. I actually thought of SOMBRERO in time but dismissed it. That's the way the TACO crumbles!

Geoff Bailey said...

I was just too slow a lot of the time tonight, with STOCKADE, 945, and BEFRIEND all there to be had.

Congratulations on solving the conundrum, Mike, and on a pretty decent game.

Jan: Well done likewise on finding STOCKADE!

And Sam, I thought you'd get that 945. Nice work, capped off by a SOMBRERO. Good job!