Tuesday, 11 February 2014

NG 317

New game 317 is now available.

Round 1: E L O E A N T L B

I had ALOE, ANOLE (a type of lizard) / ALONE, ETALON (a Countdown staple, an ETALON is a type of interferometer), BALLET, BALLONET (last seen in NG 155: "an air or gasbag compartment in a balloon, etc., used to control buoyancy and maintain shape"), and NOTABLE.  I also observed that the words could make the related pair of NOTE and LABEL, which seems like the sort of thing that David would have pointed out.  After time I noted NETBALL as another seven.

The other seven in this mix is TENABLE.

My selection: BALLONET

Round 2: N I O G T P A N R

I had INGOT, PANTING, and flitted through the invalid PATRONING / TARPONING before finding the correct nine of PRONATING (PRONATE: "to render prone; to rotate or place (the hand or forearm) so that the surface of the palm is downward when the limb is stretched forward horizontally").

The eights are IGNORANT, POIGNANT, and APRONING (APRON as a verb: "to put an apron on; furnish with an apron").  The other sevens are PORTING, PARTING / PRATING, RANTING, ATONING, and ORATING.

My selection: PRONATING

Round 3: Target 981 from 50 100 10 5 7 4

Getting nearby with 10*100 was pretty clear, but the remaining adjustment of 19 did not seem easy.  I opted for another option of 7*140 to get to one away with 980 = 7*(100 + 4*10), and within time that was the best I could do.  The target is 9*109, but that does not turn out to be useful.

A little after time I realised that I was very near a solution -- all I had to do was make the 140 a different way: 981 = 7*(100 + 50 - 10) + 5 - 4.  There are two other solutions; the first also makes the target as 980 + 1 with 981 = (100 - 7)*10 + 50 + 5 - 4, while the other demonstrates that the offset of 19 was manageable after all: 981 = 10*100 - (50 - 5*7 + 4).  A vexing oversight.

My selection: 980 = 7*(100 + 4*10)  [1 off]
Best: 981 = 7*(100 + 50 - 10) + 5 - 4

Round 4: U Z K D I I P C S

I had CUPID and CUPIDS / CUSPID.  I also noted ZIP DISK, but that was obviously proper, not likely to be listed, and two words beside.

CUPIDS / CUSPID are the only sixes, and the best on offer.

My selection: CUSPID

Round 5: D I C A A M R H N

I had ACID, CHARM, MARINA, noted that an O instead of the D would have allowed HARMONICA (which, of course, made me think of episode 327), RADIAN, and DRACHMA.

There are no other sevens (the Macquarie does not list HANDCAR, although Chambers does).  There are two eights, though: ARACHNID and CHAIRMAN.

My selection: DRACHMA

Round 6: Target 613 from 25 8 2 5 6 7

The target is near the square of 25, so the tempation was to make it as either 24*25 + 13 or 25*25 - 12.  I noted that it would thus be (25*49 + 1)/2, which would have been useful if the 8 or 5 had been a second 7, but the small numbers were not well-suited to that approach.  The 24 seemed likely to offer more options than the 25, so I put the 6 and 7 aside to make the 13 and fortunately the remaining numbers cooperated to yield the solution 613 = (5 - 2)*8*25 + 7 + 6.  I was perhaps fortunate here to not see the alternative way to make the 13 as 8 + 5, as that would not lead to a solution.

My selection: 613 = (5 - 2)*8*25 + 7 + 6

Round 7: U E C E G M S A R

I had GEMS, MEASURE, and RACEMES (RACEME: "a simple indeterminate inflorescence in which the flower are borne on short pedicels lying along a common axis, as in the lily-of-the-valley").

The other sevens are AMERCES (AMERCE: "to punish by inflicting a discretionary penalty of any kind") and CESURAE (one of those edge cases, as CESURA is listed as a variant spelling of CAESURA -- "English Prosody a break, especially a sense pause, usually near the middle of a verse, and marked in scansion by a double vertical line [...]" -- but although CAESURAE is listed as the plural for CAESURA, there's no explicit mention of CESURAE).

My selection: MEASURE

Round 8: Target 963 from 5 1 4 7 1 9

The target is 9*107, but making the 107 from the rest is just not possible; the pair of 1's is often the kiss of death for any numbers round  107 is near 105, though, which is 3*5*7, and that would lead to 945 (using 4 - 1 for the 3).  That left a 1 left to tweak with to make an adjustment near 18, and the nearest subproducts to that were 15 and 21.  I went with the former, getting me to three off with 960 = (9*7 + 1)*5*(4 - 1).

Three off turns out to be the best to be done; there are only two other ways to do so.  One of those is the other option I alluded to above, using 21 instead of 15 for the tweak: 966 = (9*5 + 1)*7*(4 - 1).  The other is 960 = (9 - 1)*(7 - 1)*5*4.

My selection: 960 = (9*7 + 1)*5*(4 - 1)  [3 off]


I chose this conundrum explicitly after being presented with the similar NURSEGIRL.  Checking showed that it was not in the Macquarie, but I spotted NURSEMAID nearby and decided to use that.

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


Louise Molloy said...

1. out of time...tenable
2. panting
3. 10X100-5x4=980 (1 off)
4. cupids
5. chairman
6. out of time... [25x8x(5-2)]+6+7=613
7. argues
8. 9x[(4-1)x7x5+1]=954 (8 off)
9. x

Mike Backhouse said...

x -error
Louise's way also out of time
x nothing in a few minutes - ratpacks are my least favourite followed by heavyweights (sorry Sam)
x made up word UNDERSAID

Sam Gaffney said...

3. 981 = (100+50-10)*7 + 5-4
6. one off: 612 = ((5+7)*25+6)*2
8. nine off: 954 = 9*(1+(7*5*(4-1)))
9. NURSEMAID - 2.2s

Geoff Bailey said...

CHAIRMAN was an excellent find, Louise. Nicely done! CUPIDS also good (and congratulations, Mike, on getting that also).

Sam: Heh, nice L&N reference in round 7. And that's crazy conundrum speed!

Sam Gaffney said...

That conundrum is a very difficult one, but I have seen it many times as a high-probability full monty.

Sam Gaffney said...

Oops, the Round 7 "CEM" was just me leaving the letters there to look at and think in case I saw something better within time.