Tuesday, 14 January 2014

NG 297

New game 297 is now available.

Round 1: T M N I O U R E F

I had MINT, MOUNT, ROUTINE, FORTUNE, REMOUNT, and UNIFORM, rejecting FIREMOUNT along the way (and correctly so, of course).  After time I noted FERMION as another seven, and checked up on FRUITMEN (not valid).

Seven is the best on offer here; the others are MOUNTER, MINUTER (a rare case of a thee-syllable comparitive listed that is not -IER), and TURFMEN (plural of TURFMAN: "a man devoted to horseracing").  MOUNTIE is tempting, but unfortunately is only listed as capitalised.

My selection: ROUTINE

Round 2: A A C M S K B P I

I had CAMS, MASK, BACKS, BASIC, and ABACK.  I had been toying with CAMBIAS but was not suitably convinced, which was just as well as CAMBIA is already a plural form of CAMBIUM.  I must have dimly recalled that word from high school biology, but not quite all the details.  This was also fortunate in a way, as the Macquarie does not list that plural form and so CAMBIA itself is not valid.

The Macquarie does not list BIPACK either, so neither it nor BIPACKS is allowed (although they are acceptable in Scrabble).  That makes six the limit, with the two sixes being SCAMPI and CAPIAS ("a writ commanding an officer to take a specified person into custody").

My selection: BASIC

Round 3: Target 678 from 25 75 8 8 7 9

Getting close is easy enough as the target is only three away from 9*25.  Closing the gap proved difficult for me, though, and I had to stick with my fallback one off of 679 = 9*75 + (25 + 7)/8.  The possible approach that I had seen within time but not been able to get to work was to make the target as 750 - 8*9.  There's various tweaking options to consider, and it was only after time that I could navigate my way to one of them: 678 = 9*(25 - 8) + 75*7.  A bit later I was able to get there perhaps more directly with 678 = (25 - 8 - 7)*75 - 9*8.

I was, alas, extremely close to a solution within time if I had thought about it a bit more -- all I needed to do was push the remaining 8 into the brackets: 678 = 9*75 + (25 + 7 - 8)/8.  Doh!

My selection: 679 = 9*75 + (25 + 7)/8  [1 off]
Best: 678 = 9*(25 - 8) + 75*7

Round 4: I E T N N I M S N

I had TINE, wondered about MINTIE, TENNIS, a similarly dubious MINTIES, NINNIES, and TINNIES.  I seemed to recall looking up MINTIE before and that it was not listed.  This is the case, although I don't think I've remarked on it before yet.  Anyway, MINTIES is not valid, which seems a shame for such a decidedly Australian lolly.  (Then again, neither are various other specific foodstuffs, so it seems like general policy.  And fair enough, too.)

NINNIES and TINNIES appear to be the only sevens.

My selection: TINNIES

Round 5: R D H R E A H E S

I had HERD, HEARD, HEADER, HEADERS, wondered about RESHARED (not valid), and then found REHASHED as a safe eight.  After time I noted SHEARED as another seven.

The other eight is ADHERERS.  The other sevens are ADHERER, ADHERES, HARSHER, HERDERS, SHEARER / HEARERS, and READERS.  RE-READS is listed in the block entries, but requires the hyphen.

My selection: REHASHED

Round 6: Target 831 from 50 100 25 2 4 9

I almost jumped straight to 11*75 to get close; this could have worked with a 75 handy, but it was not present.  Fortunately I stopped to think that I wanted to keep the 2 and 4 separate to make the offset of 6, and so the subproblem became to make 825 from 100, 50, 25, and 9.  That was possible, giving me the solution 831 = 9*100 - 50 - 25 + 4 + 2.

There is one other solution, and it does use the idea of 11*75 after all, but with a tweak to smooth things out: 831 = (9 + 2)*(100 - 25 - 4) + 50.

My selection: 831 = 9*100 - 50 - 25 + 4 + 2

Round 7: T B E N R P O G O

I had BENT, PROBE, noted the unusable OPTERON in passing, and a late find of PROTON (I'm not sure if I got this down within time or not).  After time I noted PRONTO and REBOOT as other sixes.

Six does appear to be the best on offer; the others are GOOBER / BOOGER, ENROOT, and TROGON (a type of bird).

My selection: PROTON

Round 8: Target 851 from 100 50 25 1 5 6

Again I wanted to use 11*75, but then I could not get the desired 25 to bump up to 850.  I fooled around with descent from 900 for a little, but what actually ended up working for me was a hybrid sum: 851 = 6*100 + 5*50 + 1.

Seen while writing the above is that I could have made the descent from 900 work with suitable tweaking: 851 = 6*(100 + 50 - (5 - 1)) - 25.

My selection: 851 = 6*100 + 5*50 + 1


The -LY ending extended to -ALLY, and ETERNALLY followed soon thereafter.

My selection: ETERNALLY (2.3s)


Louise Molloy said...

1. fortune (almost risked 'firemount')
2. backs
3. out of time, got lost down the rabbit hole. Only got closest with 7(75+25)-9-8-8=675 (3 off)
4. minties
5. rehashed
6. 9x100 -50-25+4+2=831
7. reboot
8. (6+50/25)x(100+5+1)=848 (3 off)
9. eternally (34.2s)

Hard numbers tonight... thanks for the introduction (for me!) to perfect numbers last night, Geoff - interesting to read.

Mike Backhouse said...

9*75+(25-8-8-7)=677 (1 off)
x error -wrote 75 instead of 25. Can't read my own writing!
x BOOTER (REBOOT would have been preferable!)
5*(100+50+25-6-1)=850 (1 off)

Geoff Bailey said...

Heh, I saw FIREMOUNT too. If only it were plausible enough... And that was quite the roundabout route to 675! I'm glad that you enjoyed reading about perfect numbers, Louise. Nice work to find REHASHED in round five!

A couple of unfortunate invalid words tonight -- MINTIES is not listed at all, and MOUNTIE requires the capital letter.

My condolences about BOOTER, Mike, and the handwriting issue. TINNIES and SHEARER were both good!

Sam Gaffney said...

3. 678 = (8+7)*(75-25) - 9*8. Pretty cool.
6. 831 = 9*100 - 50 - 25 + 4 + 2
8. 851 = 6*100 + 5*50 + 1
9. ETERNALLY - 46.4s. Disappointing time, I must have tried E- too late.