Wednesday, 5 June 2013

NG 143

New game 143 is now available.

Round 1: K S O O M C N A T

I had SOOK, wondered about MOOKS (no joy), SMOCK, contemplated MOONCAST (not valid), and then fortunately spotted STOCKMAN for eight.  After time I noted CANTOS as a six.

STOCKMAN is the only eight; the only seven is SCOTOMA ("loss of vision in a part of the visual field; a blind spot") and the other sixes are MASCOT, MASCON ("any of several local concentrations of mass below the surface of the moon"), and COTANS (COTAN being short for COTANGENT).

My selection: STOCKMAN

Round 2: I U B G A O C S D

I had DAUBS, BASIC, and an uncertain SUBACID ("slightly or moderately acid or sour").  The uncertainty here was because both SUBACID and PERACID have turned up relatively often in my word list searched and I know that one of them is not allowed (that is PERACID, as the Macquarie lists it hyphenated: PER-ACID); but with only five-letter words to fall back on I decided to chance that SUBACID was the right one, and it was.

I also was briefly excited because I thought I had spotted a nine in the form of BODACIOUS, but that requires turning the G into an O.  Fortunately I caught that!  After time I noted CUBOIDS as the safe seven here.

Those seem to be the only sevens; the sixes are CUBOID, COBIAS (COBIA being a type of fish), BIOGAS, AUDIOS, and GUACOS (GUACO being a type of plant).

My selection: SUBACID

Round 3: Target 490 from 50 5 4 6 4 8

I started off trying to use the factorisation 49*10 and found 490 = (50 + 4 - 5)*(6 + 4).  Then I looked for alternatives and found a more complicated route to the same approach: 490 = (50/5)*(6*8 + 4/4).

My selection: 490 = (50 + 4 - 5)*(6 + 4)

Round 4: I U I C N B H Y I

I had BUNCH and an uncertain BUNCHY.  It seemed (barely) good enough to try, though, and that was the right decision.

There is another six: INCUBI (plural of INCUBUS: "an imaginary demon or evil spirit supposed to descend upon sleeping persons, especially one reputed to have sexual intercourse with sleeping women"; I am amused that they felt the need to insert "imaginary" in this definition); BUNCH is the only five.

My selection: BUNCHY

Round 5: S R L L E O I M S

I had SELL, ROLES, MOILERS, MOSSIER, and MILLERS.  After time I noted MORSELS as another seven.

Seven looks like the limit; the others are RISSOLE / LORISES, SMILERS / RIMLESS, the lovely LISSOME (apparently an American form of LISSOM, which was news to me -- I thought that LISSOME was the only spelling; it is "lithe, especially of body; limber or suppler"), MOLLIES (MOLLY being a type of fish), and ISOMERS (ISOMER: "Chemistry a compound which is isomeric with one or more other compounds"; that is, it has the same atoms but arranged differently and thus different chemical properties).

My selection: MILLERS

Round 6: Target 107 from 25 100 50 2 1 5

An easy one again: 107 = 100 + 5 + 2.

My selection: 107 = 100 + 5 + 2

Round 7: L T M A O E T P A

I had MALT, ATOM, TOTEM, and then spotted a familiar PALETOT ("a loose outer garment or coat") lurking here.  After time I noted MATELOT (a colloquial term for a sailor) as another seven.

The other sevens are OATMEAL, PALMATE ("shaped like an open palm, or like a hand with the fingers extended, as a leaf or an antler"), and TAPETAL (adjective derived from TAPETUM: "Anatomy, Zoology any of certain membranous layers or the like, as in the choroid or retina").

But there is an eight here: PALMETTO, a type of tree.

My selection: PALETOT

Round 8: Target 691 from 25 50 75 3 2 2

Oh, dear, I froze on this one.  I thought I could quickly get to 700 and then adjust down to somewhere near with the rest, but that did not work so well.  Then I thought I could work up from 675, again without much luck.  In desperation I wrote down my fallback of 700 = 2*2*3*50 + 75 + 25, a rather large 9 away.

As time was running out I saw how to at least get within two by looking at 693, a familiar number with handy factors.  I was not able to get it down within time, but completed it afterwards: 693 = (75 + 2)*(25 + 2)/3.

It turns out there are two solutions possible, and I had pieces of the right idea available to me.  675 is only 16 away from the answer and can be made as either 9*75 or 25*25 + 50.  In the former case we would aim to make the 9 as (25 + 2)/3, and in the latter the second 25 as 75/25 -- in both cases a division by 3 is involved.

The 16 looks difficult at first but can be made as 48/3, which is to say (50 - 2)/3.  That division by 3 shows up throughout and suggests a common grouping.  The two solutions that follow are 691 = (75*(25 + 2) + 50 - 2)/3 and 691 = ((75 + 2)*25 - 2)/3 + 50.  Tough ones, but could have been reasoned to if the importance of (50 - 2)/3 = 16 had been spotted.

My selection: 700 = 2*2*3*50 + 75 + 25  [9 off]
Best: 691 = (75*(25 + 2) + 50 - 2)/3


Not too difficult to pull out the -ING and find TOTTERING as a result.

My selection: TOTTERING (1.8s)


Mike Backhouse said...

Not much good for me on the words today.

(2*2=3)*(25+75)=700 (9 off)
TOTTERING 50s (wasted time on -TION suffix)

Victor said...

The letters rounds were tougher than usual today.

1. MASCOT (dismissed STOCKMAN as a non-word unfortunately)
3. 490 = (6 + 4)*(50 - 5 + 4)
6. 107 = 100 + 5 + 2
8. 3-away: 688 = (3*(75 + 25 - 2) + 50)*2
9. TOTTERING - 2.7s

Mike Backhouse said...

Bad luck on STOCKMAN Victor. I wondered about BUNCHY but dismissed it unfortunately. Wasn't familiar with PALETOT either. Good game as usual.

Victor said...

Thanks Mike. It looks like I also missed CUBOIDS in round 2, as CUBOID is a noun in addition to being an adjective.

Sam Gaffney said...

3. 490 = (6 + 4)*(50 - 5 + 4)
6. 107 = 100 + 5 + 2
8. 2-away: 693 = (25+2)/3*(75+2)
9. TOTTERING - 1.2s