Thursday, 10 October 2013

NG 234

New game 234 is ready for play.


Round 1: C V O O D D A A P

I had CODA and then it looked grim until the second A led to AVOCADO.

Not surprisingly, AVOCADO is the best to be done, and after that are only fours.  I'll just mention COOP and DODO as two other findable ones.

My selection: AVOCADO


Round 2: S U D T A O L L E

I had DUST, LOADS, ATOLLS, wondered if ALLOTED would be OK (it is not), then the dubious trio of OUTDEALS / OUTLEADS / LEADOUTS (none of them valid, as I suspected), and finally safe sevens of STALLED and OUTSELL.  Since I didn't like those potential eights, seven was where I stayed.  After time I noted LOUDEST and SALUTED as other sevens.

Indeed, seven appears to be the best on offer, with the others being ALLUDES, DULLEST, TOUSLED, SELLOUT, and DUELLOS (DUELLO: "the practice or skill of duelling").

My selection: STALLED


Round 3: Target 659 from 25 75 6 10 5 7

It was a little tempting to try and make this as 9*75 - 16, but making a 9 was too costly.  During my musings I considered working down from 700; the offset of 41 is near 7*6, but even better it is 7*5 + 6.  The resulting solution was 659 = 7*(75 + 25 - 5) - 6.

This turns out to be the only solution.  (Well, OK, there's a trivial alternative by replacing 5 by 10 - 5, but I generally ignore less efficient paths like that.)

My selection: 659 = 7*(75 + 25 - 5) - 6


Round 4: R I U A N T F R E

I had RUIN, TRAIN, NUTRIA (another name for the COYPU), TRAINER, and FAINTER.  A few almost-nines here, with FURNITURE being the most obvious but five vowels instead of four might have held out the hope of INFURIATE (the next vowel would have been an A, however).  After time I noted other sevens of REFRAIN, RETRAIN, and URINATE.

UNFAIRER is not explicitly listed, alas, so seven appears to be the limit yet again.  The others are TERRAIN, FRUITER / TURFIER, RUNTIER, and TAURINE ("of, relating to, or resembling a bull"; it also has a noun sense as a type of aminosulfonic acid).

My selection: TRAINER


Round 5: T M A I C N U O S

I had MICA, ANTIC, AMOUNT, AMOUNTS, MISCOUNT, a dubious UNSOMATIC (not valid), and TINAMOUS (TINAMOU being a type of bird).  After time I noted MONASTIC as another eight.

But there is a nine lurking here; I'd spotted that an E instead of the U would have made ACONITES a possibility (ACONITE being a type of plant), but I had not recalled that ACONITUM is an alternative name for it, and so ACONITUMS is the nine.

The other eights are ACONITUM and AUCTIONS / CAUTIONS.  I confess to being a little disappointed that TSUNAMIC is not listed.

My selection: TINAMOUS
Best: ACONITUMS


Round 6: Target 598 from 50 25 1 4 5 3

It seems clear that one should get to 600 and then subtract 2.  Thinking about how to make that 2 the only options require keeping the 3 aside (for either 3 - 1 or 5 - 3); that poses problems for getting to 600.  I was not able to resolve this issue, so I was about to settle for one away starting from 8*75 when I realised that rather than making the 8 as 5 + 3 (as I had intended) I could make it as 4*2 and then a tweak would solve it exactly.  A lucky escape, and the resulting solution was 598 = ((50 + 25)*4 - 1)*(5 - 3).

After time I considered getting to 600 as 12*50, and saw that a different tweak sufficed: 598 = 3*(4*50 + 1) - 5.  There's quite a few other solutions, but I will mention one of them.  The target turns out to be 23*26, leading to 598 = (4*5 + 3)*(25 + 1).

My selection: 598 = ((50 + 25)*4 - 1)*(5 - 3)


Round 7: R G E O C W E E D

I had OGRE, COWER, and COWERED.

No surprised that COWERED is the best on offer; the sixes are CROWED, CREWED, CODGER, DEGREE, DECREE / RECEDE, and WEEDED.

My selection: COWERED


Round 8: Target 893 from 100 75 2 10 10 1

A tough mix, partly due to the lack of intermediate small values.  Making a 7 uses up too many small numbers, but there's a good many ways to 900 and not too far away.  I wrote down a fallback one away 892 = (100 - 10 - 1)*10 + 2 and pondered further.  Then I spotted that an offset of 7 was also an offset of 18, and that working up from 800 was feasible.  There were just the right numbers to make this work, and my solution was 893 = (10 - 2)*(100 + 1) + 10 + 75.  Phew!

There are two other solutions.  One of those approaches I had considered but not properly thought through, so I might well have been kicking myself.  The nearby 11*75 = 825 is 68 away from the target.  That doesn't look very promising, but the 68 is 32 away from 100, and a little tweaking from that point finishes it off: 893 = (10 + 1)*(75 - 2) - 10 + 100.

The other solution... well, it's a bit similar in shape, but harder to spot.  It makes the target as 968 - 75 as follows: 893 = (10 + 1)*(100 - 10 - 2) - 75.

My selection: 893 = (10 - 2)*(100 + 1) + 10 + 75


Round 9: DEAN PUPIL

Useful fragments of UN- and -ED (which go well together), and after a bit UNAPPLIED emerged from the mix.  I wasn't certain about it, but it seemed to plausible to pass up.

My selection: UNAPPLIED (9.8s)

4 comments:

Victor said...

1. CODA
2. STALLED
3. 1-away: 660 = 6*(75 + 25 + 10)
4. TRAINER
5. CAUTIONS
6. 598 = (4*50 + 1)*3 - 5
7. COWERED
8. 1-away: 892 = (10 - 1)*100 - 10 + 2
9. UNAPPLIED - 19.0s

Mike Backhouse said...

Here are mine:

CODA (then after time AVOCADO)
STALLED
Victor's way
TRUANT
MOIST
4*3*50-1=599 (loved your solution Victor)
CROWED
Victor's way
UNAPPLIED (135s)

Sam Gaffney said...

1. AVOCADO
2. STALLED
3. 659 = (75+25-5)*7 - 6
4. FRUITER
5. AUCTIONS
6. 598 = ((50+25)*4 - 1) * (5-3), possibly late.
7. COWERED
8. 1-away: 892 = (100-10-1)*10 + 2
9. UNAPPLIED - 25.7s

Louise Molloy said...

1. coda
2. stalled
3. [(7+6)x(75-25)]+10=660 ...1 off
4. refrain
5. miscount
6. [(3+5)x(25+50)]-1=599 ...1 off
7. cowered
8. (10-1)x100 -10+2+1=893
9. x

Good to see how to solve Rounds 3 and 5, thanks.