Friday, 24 January 2014

NG 305

New game 305 is now available.

Round 1: O H O C L A S S E

I had LOCH, COOL, COALS, SCHOOL, SCHOOLS, CLASHES, and ASSHOLE.  After time I noted SOLACES as another seven.

Seven appears to be the limit; the others are CHOOSES, CHAOSES, and LOACHES (LOACH being a type of fish).

My selection: SCHOOLS

Round 2: S A B E E R T I T

I had BASE, BEARS, BEATERS, BAITERS, BATTIER, wondered about TEARIEST, and ATTIRES.  I meant to come back and consider TEARIEST, but I got distracted by a phone call and by the time I returned I'd forgotten about that so seven was what I went with.  That was fortunately correct, since TEARIEST is not listed.  However, when I did come back I looked at the -IES ending that I had overlooked and immediately found BATTERIES for nine.  Bother.

There's a decent selection of eights here, too: TREATIES / TREATISE / ITERATES / ARIETTES (ARIETTE being a variant spelling of ARIETTA: "a short aria"), ABETTERS, and BIRETTAS (BIRETTA: "a stiff, square cap with three (or four) upright projecting pieces extending from the centre of the top to the edge, worn by Roman Catholic ecclesiastics").

My selection: BEATERS

Round 3: Target 720 from 100 10 8 7 9 4

The small numbers make this pretty straightforward: 720 = 8*9*10.

My selection: 720 = 8*9*10

Round 4: E X N S U I B T W

I had SINE, EXIST, and TWINES.  After time I noted NEXUS as another five, since I'd speculated about it after EXN but somehow forgotten about it when the SU turned up as the next two letters.

Six is the best on offer; the others are UNITES / UNITES, UNWISE, UNISEX, and WISENT (the European bison).

My selection: TWINES

Round 5: S O I D R E F D C

I had RODS, DORIES, FODDER, a slightly unsure FODDERS (definitely valid, as FODDER has a verb sense), and dubious FREDDOS and DISCOED (neither valid).  I chanced FODDERS, and all was well.  After time I noted DISCORD as another seven.

The other seven is FOREDID.

My selection: FODDERS

Round 6: Target 897 from 100 25 75 3 2 3

Making this as 900 - 3 seems clear, and although I overcomplicated my thinking for this the approach is likewise pretty straightforward: 3*3*100 - 3 = 897, where one of those 3's is 75/25.  In my case I thought of it as 12*75 - 3 instead, for 897 = (100/25)*75*3 - 3.

My selection: 897 = (100/25)*75*3 - 3

Round 7: A U E K C N L R L

I had CAKE, ANKLE, LANCER, wondered about UNCAKE (not valid) and UNCAKER (also invalid), CLUNKER (not valid), and CLANKER (not valid).  I thought those last two would have been all right, so that was a bit of a surprise when I checked later.  After time I noted two safe sevens of NUCLEAR / UNCLEAR.

The other seven is CAULKER.  But there is an eight: NUCELLAR (adjective derived from NUCELLUS: "the central cellular mass of the body of the ovule, containing the embryo sac").

My selection: [invalid -- CLUNKER]

Round 8: Target 912 from 100 50 6 5 4 5

The target is clearly 6*152, which has all sorts of factorisations, but I was not able to get any to work.  I managed to get one away with 911 = (100 + 50 + 5 - 4)*6 + 5, and in the end that was the best I could do.  (A more obvious path to 911 is 911 = (5 + 4)*100 + 5 + 6.)

There is exactly one solution, which would have required considering the right factorisation and then thinking carefully about how to make the components, neither of which I did.  That factorisation is 19*48 -- derivable from 6*152 without too much pain -- but seeing the option for the 19 was likely beyond me within any reasonable time: 912 = ((100 - 5)/5)*(50 - (6 - 4)).

My selection: 911 = (100 + 50 + 5 - 4)*6 + 5  [1 off]
Best: 912 = ((100 - 5)/5)*(50 - (6 - 4))

Round 9: RIOT IF FED

I was presented with the similar FORTIFIES, and modified it to this conundrum.

My selection: [N/A -- conundrum chosen explicitly]


Louise Molloy said...

1. clashes
2. treatise
3. 9x8x10=720
4. exist, (then out of time) unwise
5. fodders
6. (3x100)x75/25 -3=897
7. clunker
8. 6x(100+50)+5+4+5=914 (2 off)
9. fortified (31.6s)

Mike Backhouse said...

Geoff and Louise's way
x - another CLUNKER
Same as Louise except I left out the 4 for 910 (also 2 off)
FORTIFIED (6s -must be a record for me!)

Geoff Bailey said...

Well done to get TREATISE, Louise -- a lovely word! A shame about CLUNKER, but so far we've all fallen into that trap.

Congratulations on that excellent conundrum speed, Mike!