Thursday, 5 September 2013

NG 209

New game 209 is now available.

Round 1: L C T I E O T L T


Six seems to be the limit; the others are LITTLE, COLLET ("a collar or enclosing band"), CITOLE (a name for two different musical instruments, the cittern and the kithara), and OCELLI (plural of OCELLUS: "an eye-like spot, as on a peacock feather").

My selection: TOILET

Round 2: M E R E R S A E D

I had MERE, SMEAR, wondered about SMEARER (not valid), SMEARED, briefly contemplated RESMEARED but correctly rejected it, and DREAMERS.  This was a rare case where I wanted even more duplication, as if that A had been yet another E instead then REDEEMERS would have been available.

DREAMERS looks like the only eight; the other sevens are DREAMER / REARMED, READERS, REAMERS, and REDEEMS / EMERSED ("having emerged").

My selection: DREAMERS

Round 3: Target 777 from 25 2 4 10 10 6

The single odd number makes this rather difficult, but it was solvable with the right observations.  Obviously my first thought was for 7*111, which is also 21*37.  Either of those last two factors are easily makeable, but not simultaneously with the other, but I lost some time there.  Then I considered 775 + 2, where 775 is 25*31.  Again, the second odd number was not promising, but if I'd really thought about this I might have seen my way to the answer.

I further considered options of 802 - 25 and 752 + 25, but nothing came together satisfactorily.  Time was running out, so I floundered to two away with 775 = 2*4*10*10 - 25, then saw a tweak to get to one away with 776 = 4*(2*10*10 - 6).  I was not able to do better, however, even after time.

It turns out that there are two solutions, both of which were extensions of approaches that I considered but missed the key manipulation.  The first makes the answer as 777 = 25*(25 + 6) + 2, where one of those 25's is 10*10/4.  This would have been a lot easier if I'd had a single 100 instead of the pair of 10's -- I completely missed this option.

The other answer lack of time foiled me on, but since I didn't see it afterwards either that's a specious claim.  752 is 4*188, which is 8*94, and that latter again would have been easier to manage with a single 100 instead of a pair of 10's.  The solution that follows is 777 = 2*4*(10*10 - 6) + 25.

My selection: 776 = 4*(2*10*10 - 6)  [1 off]
Best: 777 = 2*4*(10*10 - 6) + 25

Round 4: G E N S O E H O Q

I had GONE, an uncertain HENGES, HOONS, GOONS, and NOOSE.  I dithered a little, but decided to chance HENGES and it turns out to be acceptable (HENGE: "a Neolithic or Bronze Age monument consisting of upright stones, or sometimes wooden posts, arranged in a circle, usually surrounded by a ditch with a bank, similar to the stone circle of Stonehenge, England").

That is the only six, with the next best being fives.  Some sources might allow HOGNOSE, but the Macquarie only has it as part of the term HOGNOSE SNAKE.

My selection: HENGES

Round 5: I E E D S N F D W

I had SIDE, DINES, SEINED (SEINE as a verb: "to fish or catch with a seine"; as a noun: "a fishing net which hangs vertically in the water, having floats at the upper edge and sinkers at the lower"), DEFINES, and DEFINED.  After time I wrote down SINEWED as a possible other seven, and it is valid (SINEW as a verb: "to furnish with sinews; strengthen as by sinews").

Seven is the best on offer; the others are DEFENDS, WIDENED, NEDDIES (NEDDY being coloquial for a horse), ENDWISE, and SWIDDEN ("a field cleared from the forest, used to grow crops until the soil is exhausted, and then abandoned").

My selection: DEFINES

Round 6: Target 551 from 75 100 25 5 3 7

The first instinct was to make this as 550 + 1, but a 1 was not overly easy without using up the small numbers.  The nearby 525 was easy to form, though, and the offset is 26.  I fell from grace by not figuring out how to make the 26 from 3, 5, 7 and instend stumbled on another approach, using 100/25 to get me another small number.  The resulting solution was 551 = 7*(75 + 100/25) - (5 - 3).

The other two solutions (actually, there's a host of variations, but they are all essentially the same as one of these two) made that 26 as 3*7 + 5 and use one of two tweaks: 551 = 7*(75 + 3) + 5 or 551 = 3*(100 + 75 + 7) + 5.

My selection: 551 = 7*(75 + 100/25) - (5 - 3)

Round 7: N R B D L B U E O

I had BORN, BLUNDER, BOUNDER, NOBBLED, BLONDER, DOUBLER ("a ram over six months old, counted as two sheep in a shearer's tally"), amused myself with UNDERBLOB and UNLOBBED, then back to serious answers with BUNDLER and REBOUND.

Seven seems to be the best to be done; the others are BOULDER, BURBLED, NOBBLER, UNROBED, and ROUNDEL ("something round or circular").

My selection: BLUNDER

Round 8: Target 337 from 25 75 8 6 3 10

I got myself in a tangle here, and for a while I thought I was going to end up one away from a 10*25 + 75 start.  Fortunately I spotted the tweaking option which allowed me to make the offset of 12 after all, resulting in the solution 337 = 10*(25 + 6/3) + 75 - 8.

There's a good many solutions, as it turns out.  Perhaps the easiest is 337 = (8 + 6)*25 - 10 - 3.  I certainly wish I'd seen it!

My selection: 337 = 10*(25 + 6/3) + 75 - 8


The pair of K's threw me for a while; both -CK and -RK seemed likely fragments, but it was not until I gave up on one of those and considered SKY that I found the answer of SKYROCKET.

My selection: SKYROCKET (12.3s)


Louise Molloy said...

1. little
2. readers
3. [(6/2 x25)+4]10 -10 =780 (3 off)
4. goose
5. defines
6. 7(75+3)+5=551
7. nobbled
8. (10-6)75 +25+3+8=336 (1 off)
9. skyrocket (221.8s!)

Louise Molloy said...

Thanks Geoff for the solutions to 3. and 8. - always good to see how it can be done. Dreamers a good 8 too, beat my 'readers' with their reams of dead tree!

Victor said...

Couldn't solve any of the numbers in time today, can't remember the last time that happened.

3. 1-away: 776 = ((10 - 2)*25 - 6)*4
6. 1-away: 550 = 5*(100 + 3 + 7)
(after time: 551 = 7*(75 + 100/25) - (5 - 3))
8. 1-away: 338 = 3*(75 + 25 + 10) + 8
9. X (buzzed in with KEYSTROKE at 12s, didn't find SKYROCKET)

Mike Backhouse said...

Here are mine:

x -used number twice
Geoff's 'final tweak'
3*(25+75+10)+6=336 (1 away, a variation of Victor's)
x- looks obvious now I've seen the answer. (That's what they all say!)

Sam Gaffney said...

Very similar results to Geoff.

3. 1-away: 776 = ((10 - 2)*25 - 6)*4
6. 551 = 7*(75+3) + 5
8. 337 = (6+8)*25 - 10 - 3
9. SKYROCKET - 16.9s

Geoff Bailey said...

Victor: They were surprisingly challenging numbers despite appearances. And KEYSTROKE would have been an excellent spot if correct.

Mike: *chuckles* Yes, it's always easy when you know the answer. It's one of the things that makes judging difficulty for puzzle competitions so tricky.

Sam: Nice work with HENGES; I'd hoped that risky play might have been my advantage...