Tuesday, 4 February 2014

NG 312

New game 312 is now available.

Round 1: A L I T C R T I D

I had TAIL and TRAIL.  Not the most auspicious of starts!  I had ARTICLE / RECITAL written down speculatively at the start in hopes of an E that didn't arrive, and if it had I would have had eights of ARTICLED and LATTICED.  As it was, I could not better five.

There are two sevens to be had: TRIADIC (adjective derived from TRIAD) / TRIACID ("denoting acid salts containing three replaceable hydrogen atoms").  The sixes are ITALIC, IATRIC ("relating to a physician or to medicine"), and RICTAL (adjective derived from RICTUS) / CITRAL (a particular chemical).

My selection: TRAIL

Round 2: R B S M D A N E U

I had BARDS, BRANDS, wondered about BANDERS (not valid), MAUNDERS (MAUNDER: "to talk in a rambling, foolish, or imbecile way"), SURNAME, SURNAMED, NUMBERS, and SUNBEAM.

MAUNDERS / SURNAMED appear to be the only eights; the other sevens are MAUNDER / MANURED / UNARMED, MANURES, BURDENS, REMANDS, DANSEUR ("a male ballet dancer") / ASUNDER, DAUBERS, MEDUSAN ("a medusa or jellyfish"), and SUBDEAN.

My selection: MAUNDERS

Round 3: Target 609 from 25 100 3 1 8 2

My first thought was that the target was near 8*75, and that led to the solution 609 = 8*(100 - 25) + 3*(2 + 1).  Then I used the factorisation 3*203 to get another solution of 609 = (8*25 + 3)*(2 + 1).  Finally I considered the more usual approach of using the 100 and found the simple 609 = 2*3*100 + 8 + 1.

My selection: 609 = 2*3*100 + 8 + 1

Round 4: E F J L B G O A H

I had an uncertain GELF (not valid), BOLE / LOBE, briefly contemplated LOBAGE but figured out I was thinking of LOBATE, and GABLE.

Five appears to be the best on offer, with the others being FABLE, BAGEL, GLOBE / BOGLE ("a bogy; a spectre"), BEFOG, and OBEAH (variant spelling of OBI in the sense of "a kind of sorcery practised by some of the peoples of Africa, the West Indies, etc.") / BOHEA ("a type of black tea, regarded as fine quality"; also, a little confusingly, "a cheap tea made from leaves grown late in the season").

The almost-six here is BEHALF, which is ruled out as it only occurs as part of phrases ("on behalf of" and "on someone's behalf").  I've thought about this rule on and off for a while, and I've come to the conclusion that it prevents too much, and forms that appear only in phrases should be allowed.  The intent of the rule is to invalidate things like the "quo" of "status quo", but it has been extended to perfectly fine words (such as "earshot") that only appear as part of phrases, at least in the Macquarie.  I think the line needs to be drawn elsewhere, only ruling out words that are part of compound nouns but do not appear in their own right.

Not that any of this is particularly relevant given that the show's been gone for a year and a half now...

My selection: GABLE

Round 5: A O C D G W E S S

I had CODA, CAGED, SOCAGE (huh, not valid... I guess I've seen it come up often enough in the word list that I misremembered it as being in the Macquarie), GASSED, wondered about SOCAGES (clearly not valid, since SOCAGE is not), and DOSAGES.

The other seven is COWAGES (COWAGE being a type of plant, also known as COW-ITCH).  SEA-DOGS would require the hyphen.

My selection: DOSAGES

Round 6: Target 978 from 50 100 75 8 1 6

A tough large target.  Clearly it is near 13*75, but that seems difficult to properly use.  I considered getting close with 8*125 but the adjustments seemed difficult, so I shifted to using 6 as a multiplier.  That got me to 900, adjustable to 975, and a tweak sufficed to get one off with 977 = 6*(100 + 50 - 1) + 75 + 8.  Then I noted that I could get to that value rather more easily with 977 = (8 + 6 - 1)*75 + 100/50, but I could not reach the target exactly.

There's only one solution to this, and it's a bit hard to find.  The target is divisible by 6 -- something that I overlooked -- which is immediately tempting.  The cofactor is 163, however, and that is rather less so.  Even when I knew that the solution had this form I was not able to complete it, and the reason is that a multiplication by 75/50 is required.  Those are rarely easy to see, particularly in such a short time.  Anyway, the solution follows since 163 = 108*3/2 + 1, leading to 978 = ((100 + 8)*75/50 + 1)*6.  Definitely a tough one!

My selection: 977 = 6*(100 + 50 - 1) + 75 + 8  [1 off]
Best: 978 = ((100 + 8)*75/50 + 1)*6

Round 7: N I T T A R N E E

I had TINT, TAINT, RETAIN, NITRATE, and then was rather pleased that the final E allowed ENTERTAIN.

The eights are INTRANET and INTERNET (valid as an adjective) / RENITENT ("resisting pressure").  The other sevens are TRAINEE / RETINAE, ENTRANT, ENTREAT / RATTEEN (an obsolete form of RATINE: "a rough woollen cloth, formerly in use chiefly for travelling coats") / TERNATE ("consisting of three; arranged in threes"), ITERATE / ARIETTE (variant form of ARIETTA: "a short aria"), ENTRAIN, TERTIAN ("recurring every other day, or, if considered inclusively, every third day") / NATTIER / INTREAT (variant form of ENTREAT) / ITERANT ("repeating"), and INTERNE (variant spelling of INTERN in the medical sense).

My selection: ENTERTAIN

Round 8: Target 926 from 25 50 2 3 6 5

Clearly it should be possible to get to one away at 925.  My first thought was to make that as 3*6*50 + 25, which left tweaking options open.  The remaining small numbers are 2 and 5 which do not yield the required 1, but it can come as 3*2 - 5 and the advantage of leaving a tweaking option open shines through: 926 = 3*(6*50 + 2) + 25 - 5.

Seen while writing this up is an alternative approach from 12*75; here the tweak is to make the remaining 26 as 12*3 - 2*5, which is to say as 2*(6*3 - 5).  That leads to the solution 926 = 2*(6*(50 + 25 + 3) - 5).

My selection: 926 = 3*(6*50 + 2) + 25 - 5


GORP is apparently another term for trail mix, by the way.  Pulling out the -ING was fairly clear, and I started with the unlikely SPROFFING before realising what was going on and finding the answer of OFFSPRING.

My selection: OFFSPRING (4.5s)


Louise Molloy said...

1. italic
2. remands
3. (2x3x100)+8+1=609
4. bagel
5. cadges
6. (8+1)x100+75=975 (3 off)
7. trainee
8. (6x3x50)+25=925 (1 off)
9. proffings (21.6s) ...not sure this is a word though.

Mike Backhouse said...

I found the letters difficult in this game.

Louise's way
BLOG (rejected correctly JOGABLE and FEJOA, the latter without an I)
Again Louise's way for 3 off)
6*2*(75+3)-5=929 (3 off again)
x (I also came up with PROFFINGS which is not in my second edition)

Geoff Bailey said...

Well done to get ITALIC in the first round, Louise -- some tough rounds today. PROFFINGS is not the correct conundrum, as you suspected.

Mike: Your round 6 answer actually comes out to 931; if you'd figured that correctly you might have realised it was 5 off and seen the adjustment to make it work: 926 = 2*(6*(75 + 3) - 5). (I am, of course, assuming that you had 75 = 50 + 25.)

Mike Backhouse said...

Thanks Geoff for pointing out the error. Correct assumption about the 75. However very unlikely I would have seen that adjustment. Great game by the way.

Sam Gaffney said...

3. 609 = (100+1)*(8-2) + 3
6. one off: 977 = (8+6-1)*75 + 100/50
8. one off: 925 = 6*3*50 + 25
9. OFFSPRING - buzzed at 1.5s, though took another second or so.