Thursday, 25 July 2013

NG 179

New game 179 is now up.

Round 1: P L F N I E O B D

I had FLIP, LINED, BOILED, and pondered FLIPBED but rightly avoided it.  After time I noted various other sixes of OLEFIN, FOILED, OPINED, FOIBLE, and BOLIDE ("a large, brilliant meteor, especially one that explodes; a fireball").  I also checked PONDLIFE and LIFEBOND, but no joy there.

The single seven lurking in this mix is PINFOLD ("a pound for stray animals").  Some sources give PENFOLD a similar meaning (and it makes more sense to me as an origin) but the Macquarie does not have it.

My selection: BOILED

Round 2: D T I A T R E S O

I had ADIT, TRAIT, TOASTED, wondered about TOASTIER (invalid, and in fact not even TOASTY is listed), TERATOID ("resembling a monster"), wondered about TERATOIDS, and ASTEROID.  I correctly recalled that TERATOID was only an adjective without an accompanying noun sense, so eight was my limit.

Indeed, eight seems the best possible, with the others being TARDIEST / STRIATED.  Scrabble would allow ADROITEST / STORIATED (Chambers: "decorated with elaborate ornamental designs"), but neither is in the Macquarie.

My selection: TERATOID

Round 3: Target 346 from 100 9 5 5 1 7

A tough one, this; we'd like to work from 300 or 400, but they both use up a few too many small numbers for comfort.  The approach of 692/2 looks tempting but it doesn't quite work out either.  In the end I scrambled to one away by ignoring the 100 entirely: 345 = 5*7*(9 + 1) - 5.

It turns out that the target is unreachable, and one off is the best to be done.

My selection: 345 = 5*7*(9 + 1) - 5  [1 off]

Round 4: R I M L I W N O M

Ergh, I struggled here.  I had LION, WORM, MOIL, NORM, and MOWN.  I hoped for a final T to bring redemption with MIRLITON (another name for a kazoo), but no such luck and I was stuck on four.

That was only a touch off the pace, fortunately.  The best on offer seems to be fives: MINOR, MINIM, and MIRIN ("a sweet Japanese rice wine; sweet sake").

My selection: LION

Round 5: G C T C O U E R E

I had GOUT, TRUCE, OUTER, correctly rejected GOUTER, lamented that the duplicated letter was not the T instead for COURGETTE (another name for a zucchini), and ERECT.

A bit off the pace again, with the sixes being COERCE and CROUTE ("a piece of fried or toasted bread on which meat dishes or small savouries may be served").  But there is a seven, one that I've found before in other instances: CORTEGE.

My selection: TRUCE

Round 6: Target 372 from 75 100 25 2 3 9

It seems pretty clear to make this as 375 - 3, but that is a little less straightforward than might be apparent.  I got there eventually with 372 = 2*(100 + 75) + 25 - 3.  (Seen just now: 372 = (9 + 2)*25 + 100 - 3.)  After a little flailing around I considered the factor of 12 and found the alternative solution 372 = ((9*100)/75)*(25 + 2*3).

My selection: 372 = 2*(100 + 75) + 25 - 3

Round 7: N T C D A E I O U

I was in a fair amount of trouble with this mix to start with; I had CANT and DECANT, and was struggling to find longer in the first eight.  I like to think I would have found ACTIONED eventually, but the final U simplified matters greatly to give the trio of full monties EDUCATION / AUCTIONED / CAUTIONED.

The eights in this mix are ACTIONED, UNCOATED / OUTDANCE, and EDUCTION ("the act of educing", which is to say of drawing out or eliciting).

My selection: EDUCATION

Round 8: Target 559 from 25 50 75 8 5 2

An offset of 9 seems difficult to come by (without using up too much), but the offset of 16 is 2*8 and that is helpful.  That gives tweaking options, and it was a short step to 559 = 8*(75 - 2) - 25.

My selection: 559 = 8*(75 - 2) - 25


I started by looking at the OVER- fragment -- generally worth checking when a V is present -- and did not like what was left.  But I recalled that OVER- could also be -VORE and found the answer of HERBIVORE not long after.

My selection: HERBIVORE (4.0s)


Sam Gaffney said...

3. two off: (9-5)*(100-7-5-1) = 348, then 300+45 not long after.
6. 372 = (100+75)*2 + 25 - 3
7. EDUCATION (started with OUTDANCE, but had a sense that a nine was lurking).
8. 559 = (75-2)*8 - 25
9. HERBIVORE - 1.0s

Mike Backhouse said...

Here are mine;

(5-1)*(100-(5+7)-9=343 (3 off)
x - GOUTER (was not a word)
ACTIONED (well done on EDUCATION Sam)
x -error

Andrew Fisher said...

Interesting choices to start - I went for LOBEFIN and ADROITEST. Thereafter:
345 (5x7 x 9+1 - 5)
373 (3x100 + 75 - 2)
EDUCATION (also saw OUTDANCE straight away, as I had spurned it in the Masters)
560 (8 x 70)
2.1 sec

Geoff Bailey said...

I also wanted COURGETTE, Sam! So close, and yet so far... Impressive conundrum speed again, good job.

Bad luck with GOUTER, Mike; I was tempted by it then recalled that I was thinking of GROUTER. GOUTER still seemed feasible, but not enough. And that's a nice solution for the 372 -- well done.

Andrew: Bad luck on the initial pair of rounds; they looked like they would be bad ones for you, so I'm not too surprised. The drawbacks of too large a vocabulary!

The Macquarie's vagaries were unhelpful here; that said, it's pretty well established by now that it won't list comparatives and superlatives of two-syllable words when there's no spelling shift so ADROITEST was a long shot.

Victor said...

3. 2-away: 344 = (5 - 1)*(100 - 9 - 5)
6. 372 = 2*(100 + 75) + 25 - 3
8. 559 = 8*(75 - 5) - 2*25/50
9. HERBIVORE - 7.5s

Mike Backhouse said...

Geoff, have just read your detailed notes and realise that my solution for 372 was wrong as I used the 2 twice. Grrr....