Tuesday, 28 May 2013

NG 137

New game 137 is now available.

Round 1: D T R A U R E S K

I had DART, TRADER, TRADERS / STARRED, and DARKEST.  After time I wrote down STARKER as another seven, but could not better it.

Seven does seem the best to be done; the others are RETARDS / DARTERS.  Although KRATER is listed ("(in ancient Greece) a large vessel in which water and wine were mixed, smaller portions then being drawn off for the replenishment of drinking cups"), the plural form is explicitly given as KRATER also, so KRATERS is not valid.  I'm not sure why that is, to be honest; I can't find any other source suggesting that the plural is anything other than KRATERS.  (Chambers, for instance, makes no mention of a special plural form.)

My selection: DARKEST

Round 2: F S T N C O U A G

It seems we've had similar combinations a few times recently; I had SOFT, COUNTS, and OUTSANG / NOUGATS.  I also wondered about UNCOATS, but later checking shows that only UNCOATED is valid.

The other sevens to be had are TOUCANS (the safe anagram of UNCOATS) / CONATUS ("an effort or striving") and FUGATOS (FUGATO as an adjective: "in fugue style, but not according to strict rules"; FUGATO as a noun: "music in this style").

My selection: OUTSANG

Round 3: Target 629 from 4 9 3 10 10 2

A challenging selection for six small; not quite enough middle numbers for complete comfort here.  I played around with a few ideas but was not able to get closer than one away with 630 = 9*10*(10 - 3).

It turns out that this is solvable, but there's only one solution.  That comes from noticed the factorisation 17*37 = 629, and I see that my knowledge of the multiples of 37 did not extend up as far as it needed.  Oh, well.  Anyway, with that factorisation known it's relatively easy to find 629 = (4*10 - 3)*(10 + 9 - 2).

My selection: 630 = 9*10*(10 - 3)  [1 off]
Best: 629 = (4*10 - 3)*(10 + 9 - 2)

Round 4: C B H C T E O I R

This round was my highlight for the game.  I had ETCH, BOTCH, a dubious BOTCHER (it turns out to be valid), a rather more dubious BOTCHIER (this is also valid, quite to my surprise), EROTIC, and just when it looked like I'd have to be deciding between bodgy alternatives I found RICOCHET for a safe eight.  A very pleasing result.

RICOCHET and BOTCHIER look like the only two eights.  The other sevens are CROCHET, BRIOCHE, BIOTECH, CHOICER (that's "more choice", not an agent noun), and ORECTIC ("of or relating to desire; appetitive").

My selection: RICOCHET

Round 5: R P E O E R E S D

I had ROPE, uncertain ROPER / PORER (neither valid), EPODES (EPODE: "a kind of lyric poem [...] in which a long verse is followed by a short one"), SPEEDER, and REPOSED.  For some reason when I thought of SPEEDER all I could think of were the land speeders from Star Wars which is why I was reluctant to declare it.  With a bit more calmness after time it was clearly valid.

The other sevens are DEPOSER, REREDOS ("a screen or a decorated part of the wall behind an altar in a church"), and DORPERS (DORPER: "one of a breed of sheep developed to be hardy and to shed its fleece; farmed for its meat").

My selection: REPOSED

Round 6: Target 260 from 50 9 2 1 4 2

The target is 26*10, which is also 52*5 and that seemed the way to go: 260 = (50 + 2)*(4 + 1).  With time to spare I considered using the factorisation 4*65 instead, eventually emerging with the needlessly complicated 260 = (50 + 9 + 2*(2 + 1))*4.

My selection: 260 = (50 + 2)*(4 + 1)

Round 7: B A T U R E M N O


There's quite a few sevens here: BARONET / REBOANT ("resounding loudly"), BROMATE, MOUNTER, TAMBOUR ("a drum"), and NEUROMA ("a tumour formed of nervous tissue").

But there is an eight to be had.  An UMBO (one plural form being UMBONES, incidentally) is "the boss, knob, or projection at or near the centre of a shield"; here "boss" means "an ornamental protuberance of metal, ivory, etc.".  The adjective derived from this is UMBONATE ("boss-like").

My selection: REMOUNT

Round 8: Target 326 from 25 3 8 9 6 4

An easy numbers game to round of; the target is 1 away from 13*25, leading to the solution 326 = (9 + 4)*25 + (6 + 3 - 8).  I also considered making this as 324 + 2 and found the alternative option of 326 = 9*(25 + 8 + 3) + 6 - 4.

My selection: 326 = (9 + 4)*25 + (6 + 3 - 8)


It took me a bit longer than I'd have liked to consider the -ATOR fragment, but then FUMIGATOR was clear.  And a FUMIGATOR might well produce ATRIUM FOG.

My selection: FUMIGATOR (5.6s)


Sam Gaffney said...

3. one off: 630 = (4+3)*9*10
4. CROCHET. RICOCHET was great.
6. (4+2/2)*50 + 9 + 1
7. BOATMEN, nearly tried the invalid AMOUNTER. Great letters.
8. 326 = (9+4)*25 + 6 + 3 - 8
9. FUMIGATOR - 12.3s, blew it by looking for -ING words for ten seconds until realising that there was no N.

Mike Backhouse said...

3*2*(10*10+9-4)=630 (1 off)
Sam's way
MATURE (almost spelt out)
(9+4)*25=325 (missed Sam's way of getting the 1)
x- gave up after 3 minutes

Geoff Bailey said...

Thanks, Sam -- I was very happy about RICOCHET. Best word I've found in a long time. Bad luck with the phantom N!

Mike: I like your route to 630 -- definite signs of persistence, and a good tweak that gets you much better off than most alternative approaches to the 6*10*10 option.

Jan said...

one off - Sam's way
(4+1)*(50+2) = 260
Sam's way

Jan said...

I would never have thought of BOTCHIER!