Thursday, 9 May 2013

NG 124

New game 124 is now available.

Round 1: G N S I I O M T I

Gah, too many I's; a final A would have allowed ATOMISING, for instance.  (Although, in defence of the I's, if the O had been an E instead then ITEMISING would have been there.)  I had SIGN and SMITING, and wondered about but (correctly) rejected IGNOMIST.  After time I noted TIMINGS as another seven.

The other sevens are MISTING and GNOMIST ("a writer of aphorisms").

My selection: SMITING

Round 2: D C M O I B P A O

Ergh, a very troublesome mix.  I had... COMB.  I just could not find anything longer; I had hoped the final vowel would be an A, though, since I recalled COPAIBA (a type of resin) from NG 94.

It turns out that five is the best to be done: COMBO, COMBI, COBIA (a type of fish, also mentioned in NG 94), ADOBO ("a Philippine dish of pork or chicken stew cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic"), PODIA (one plural form of PODIUM), COMPO, COOMB ("a narrow valley or deep hollow, especially one enclosed on all sides but one"), BIPOD (not something with two feet -- that would be a BIPED -- but "a two-legged support, as for a machine-gun"), and CAMPO ("(in South America) an extensive, nearly level, grassy plain").

Some sources would allow MOBCAP, but the Macquarie insists on the hyphen (MOB-CAP: "Obsolete a large, full cap fitting down over the ears, formerly much worn indoors by women").

My selection: COMB

Round 3: Target 217 from 50 75 100 5 1 10

A tough round; the factorisation 7*31 was pretty clear, but defied use.  I flailed my way to one off with 216 = 5*50 - (100 - 75) - (10 - 1), then found a simpler one off with 216 = 100 + 75 + 50 - (10 - 1).

There are two solutions, both of which involve a division by 5.  This should not be surprising with so many of them divisible by 5, and I should have considered the approach.  The target is 1085/5, and a quick tweak solves it: 217 = ((100 + 1)*10 + 75)/5.  The other option comes from adding the 100 separately, leaving a requirement to make 585/5: 217 = ((50 + 1)*10 + 75)/5 + 100.

My selection: 216 = 100 + 75 + 50 - (10 - 1)  [1 off]
Best: 217 = ((100 + 1)*10 + 75)/5

Round 4: T N S E E A R S I

Good grief, a RETSINA mix at last, and I've forgotten the key words.  I had SENT, TENSE, SENATE, RETINAS, STRAINS, TRAINERS (invalid -- I reused the R; I did catch this before making my selection of answer, fortunately), TRAINEES, and wondered about TEARINESS.  I knew there was a nine, and I didn't think that TEARINESS was it, so I stayed with TRAINEES.

That was the correct decision; TEARINESS is not listed.  Not long after time I finally recalled the full monty: RESINATES (RESINATE: "to treat with resin [...]").  A disappointing miss -- there was a time I'd have found that in short order.

There's no IRATENESS listed, either, but there are two other full monties: ARSENITES (chemical salts containing arsenic) and STEARINES (STEARINE being a variant spelling of STEARIN: "Chemistry any of the three clyceryl esters of stearic acid [...]").

There's lots of eights, as one would expect.

My selection: TRAINEES

Round 5: N R O A E R D S L

I had ROAN, ADORNER (I was suspicious of that once, but I looked it up due to episode 69 and the memory of its validity has stayed with me), and ADORNERS.  I also wrote down LARDONS (variant form of LARDOONS: "strips of larding fat (pork or bacon) of varying lengths and thickness, threaded into meat, poultry and game") and was amused to spot RANDLERS also (which I should perhaps clarify is not valid).

The other eight aside from ADORNERS is SOLANDER ("a box, especially one for botanical specimens, made in the form of a book, the front cover being the lid").  That used to be one of my pet words to look for in this game; I am definitely out of touch.

Again, quite the number of sevens to be had here.

My selection: ADORNERS

Round 6: Target 974 from 75 25 8 3 5 7

The target is obviously near 13*75, so I wrote down the fallback 975 = (8 + 5)*75.  That did not hold out any hope of improvement, so I instead spent the rest of the time trying to solve this as 950 + 24, using 3*8 for the 24 and hoping to tweak.  I was not able to get that to work, though, and so one off is where I had to stay.

After time I eventually found the right approach, which did not involve a tweak after all: 974 = 5*7*25 + 75 + 3*8.  By narrowly focusing on the tweaking option I cut myself off from seeing it.

There's two other solutions; one of them makes the 950 with a complicated tweak after all, diluting my previous point: 974 = (5*75 + 8)*3 - 7*25.  The other takes a different approach, making it as 996 - 22 via 974 = (7 + 5)*(75 + 8) - (25 - 3).  I... looked at that approach within time, as it turned out, and just ruled out the final offset of 22 without even thinking about it.  Very, very careless of me.

My selection: 975 = (8 + 5)*75  [1 off]
Best: 974 = 5*7*25 + 75 + 3*8

Round 7: C C T O A O N C E


That is the only seven; the sixes are ACCENT and OCTANE.

My selection: CONCOCT

Round 8: Target 497 from 75 50 2 4 6 2

The target is 7*71, so my first solution was 497 = (6 + 2/2)*(75 - 4).  Then I found an alternative solution via the standard method: 497 = 4*(75 + 50) - 6/2.

My selection: 497 = (6 + 2/2)*(75 - 4)


Pull out the -ING and BANTERING is not too far behind.

My selection: BANTERING (3.0s)


Victor said...

3. 1-away: 218 = (5 - 100/50)*(75 + 1) - 10
4. TRAINEES (when was the last time we had a RETSINA mix?)
6. 974 = 5*7*25 + 75 + 3*8 (very lucky it turned out so neatly)
8. 497 = 4*(75 + 50) - 6/2
9. BANTERING - 3.2s

Mike Backhouse said...

Here are mine:

MISTING (thought of SMITING up front but wasn't sure of spelling)
COMBI (wasn't sure about this but it is in my second edition. Had COMPO after time)
50+75+100-(10-1)=216 (1 off)
(7+3)*(25+75-(8-5))=970 (4 off)
(6+4)*50-2=498 (1 off)
x- as with yesterday, went looking for the right suffix but did not find the word.

Good game Victor. Great use of the three C's in CONCOCT.

Mike Backhouse said...

Geoff, could you direct me to any previous discussions of the RETSINA mix. I presume it means those 7 letters are anagrams of other words?

Sam Gaffney said...

I would have had a very good game here, but was too slow in Rounds 4&6.

2. PODIA/COMBO (Victor must be pleased to see that both COMBO & COMBI are valid)
3. 1-away: 216 = 100+75+50+1-10
4. STAINERS, too slow with RESINATES. Had long forgotten the mnemonic.
6. one off: 975 = (8+5)*75, too slow to Victor's way.
8. 497 = (4+2)*75 + 50 - 6/2
9. BANTERING - 1.3s

Geoff Bailey said...

Congratulations on solving round 6, Victor -- tough numbers today. And I don't remember the last time we had RETSINA around; they were a lot commoner in the show, of course.

Mike: MISTING was safer, then, a fine choice. Nice work with COMBI and COMPO -- I was stuck on COMB. As far as discussion of RETSINA goes, I don't recall any of that offhand but it may be there. The point is that RETSINA is very well-known to Scrabble players as (1) the letters are very common; (2) they form many legal 7-letter words; (3) (most importantly) when combined with most other letters they will make an 8-letter word. So one strategy for low- to mid-level Scrabble players is to play so as to get RETSINA in their rack and then play a 7- or 8-letter word.

The show's Lingo page is still accessible and lists some of the most common eights under "RETSINA MIX". To augment its list: (B)ANISTER, (C)ANISTER, (F)AINTERS, (H)AIRNETS, RA(I)NIEST, (K)ERATINS (possibly mass noun), (S)TAINERS, NI(T)RATES, (U)RINATES... plus many others.

Additionally, there's a great many nine-letter words to be had if the letters fall helpfully. I seem to recall that Sam had learned them all at one point.

Sam: Pretty good results regardlesss, and I share your pain about RESINATES. That one I used to know -- I eventually got there via STRAINED + E and then removing the E. I love SOLANDER!

Sam Gaffney said...

It's frustrating to forget early words one has learnt, I have missed at least three RETAINS full monties playing at home. I wasn't close to UPBRAIDERS yesterday, though.