Monday, 20 January 2014

NG 301

New game 301 is now available.

Round 1: I N C N A I R M I

I had NIACIN, wondered about MINICAR (valid in Scrabble, but not listed in the Macquarie), and noted CAIRN as a five.  After time I noted MANIC as another five.  MINICAR was a bit too dubious for me, so I stayed with six.

NIACIN appears to be the only six, and the best to be done; some sources might allow CRIMINI as a variant spelling of CRIMINY, but the Macquarie does not (it does allow CRIMINE, though).  The other fives are RICIN, MIRIN ("a sweet Japanese rice wine; sweet sake"), MICRA (one plural form of MICRON), INARM ("to hold in, or as in, the arms"), and ACINI (plural of ACINUS: "a berry, as a grape, currant, etc.").

My selection: NIACIN

Round 2: U P M R I A E C S

I had RUMP, UMPIRE, CAESIUM, an uncertain CAMPIER (not valid), and UMPIRES.

Some sources would allow PUMICERS for eight, but it's not in the Macquarie.  The potential eight here is SAPREMIC, although it's one of the edge cases -- SAPRAEMIC is listed as an adjective derived from SAPRAEMIA ("a form of blood-poisoning [...]"), and SAPREMIA as an American spelling of it.  Clearly one would hope that SAPREMIC is valid.

Aside from that, seven is the best on offer; the others are SCAMPER / CAMPERS, PUMICES, UPRAISE, SAUCIER, CERIUMS / MURICES (one plural form of MUREX, a type of marine gastropod), AUSPICE, UREMIAS (UREMIA being a variant spelling of URAEMIA: "the morbid condition resulting from the retention of urinary constituents"), URAEMIC (adjective derived from URAEMIA), SPERMIC, SCRAPIE (a disease affecting sheep and goats), and APERÇUS (APERÇU: "a perception or intuitive understanding").

The reasonable-seeming SPACIER is not valid.

My selection: CAESIUM
Best: SAPREMIC (probably)

Round 3: Target 562 from 75 10 3 4 2 9

My first observation was that the target was 38 away from 8*75 (or 37 away from 7*75).  That put it essentially in the middle of two multiples of 75, so twice it was going to be very close to such a multiple.  More specifically, the target is (15*75 - 1)/2.  I toyed with that briefly, but making both a 15 and a 1 was too difficult.  But happily I observed that a 30 was much easier than a 15, and so the corresponding adjustment to (30*75 - 2)/4 would work out.  The resulting solution was a rather pleasing 562 = (3*10*75 - 2)/4.  Then I went back to considering the standard method, tweaking my way to another solution 562 = (4*75 - 10 - 9)*2.

My selection: 562 = (3*10*75 - 2)/4

Round 4: A L R H R T I E F

I had HAIR, TRIAL, and TRAILER.  After time I noted RETRIAL and FRAILER as other sevens.

The other sevens are FARTHER and FLIRTER / TRIFLER.

My selection: TRAILER

Round 5: E D E E L E D S D

I had DEED, DEEDS, SEEDED, and considered but correctly rejected DESEEDED.  Just after time I spotted SLEDDED as a seven here.

SLEDDED is the only seven; the other sixes are DEEDED and SEELED (SEEL: "Falconry to close (the eyes of a hawk), especially by sewing up the lids, in order to make it responsive to training").

My selection: SEEDED

Round 6: Target 707 from 100 75 50 10 10 9

Gah, unhelpful small numbers, and that's not a good sign with the three large mix.  Within time I only managed to get to two off with 709 = 75*10 - 50 + 9.

After time I realised that I could do better by changing the 10 to 100/10, allowing further division by 10 for an improvement of 1 via 708 = (75*100 - 10)/10 - 50 + 9.  The target is unreachable and one off is the best to be done.

My selection: 709 = 75*10 - 50 + 9  [2 off]
Best: 708 = (75*100 - 10)/10 - 50 + 9  [1 off]

Round 7: O D T S S N O B E

I had DOTS, TOSS, STOOD, BOSSED, SOONEST, and BOOSTED.  After time I spotted BOSSTONE, but it was not a serious contender, of course.

Those seem to be the only sevens, and the best on offer.

My selection: SOONEST

Round 8: Target 340 from 100 75 1 7 7 6

I struggled with this one, also.  My first instinct was to get close with 7*50, which is complicated by not having a 50.  That could be finessed a bit, but the best I could manage that way was two off with 342 = (7 + 7)*(100 - 75 - 1) + 6.  After time I considered a descent from 7*75 - 100; the difference is 85, which is near 84, which is 7*12.  That suggests tweaking, and gave me one off with 341 = (75 - 7 - 6 + 1)*7 - 100.

Some time later, after having confirmed that there was a solution (but not what it was), I considered descent from 5*75.  The difference of 35 is 5*7, which is clearly a good sign.  Fortunately a 5 could be made and the solution is rather simple in hindsight: 340 = (6 - 1)*(75 - 7).  This turns out to be the only solution.

My selection: 342 = (7 + 7)*(100 - 75 - 1) + 6  [2 off]
Best: 340 = (6 - 1)*(75 - 7)


The -ARY ending was worth a look, and led me to the solution of DECENNARY in decent time.

My selection: DECENNARY (2.7s)


Louise Molloy said...

1. manic
2. campers
3. 10x[75-(2x9)]-3-4=563 (1 off)
4. farther
5. seeded
6. (75x10)-50+9=709 (2 off)
7. boosted
8. (6+7)x(100-75)-7-1=342 (2 off)
9. x

Just saw my mistake in Round 8. Still 2 off, out of time, with (7+7)x(100-75-1)+6=342

Mike Backhouse said...

4*2*75-(3*10+9)=561 (1 off)
10*75-50+9=709 (2 off)
(7+7)*(100-75)-6-1=343 (3 off)
x - not aware of this word