Wednesday, 26 February 2014

NG 328

New game 328 is now available.

Round 1: D H G K A N O E F

I had DANK, GONAD, HONKED, and wondered about DEKAGON.  There's a few words of Greek origin in the Macquarie where both K and C forms are valid, and I thought this might be one of them.  I decided to chance it, but alas this was not the right decision -- only DECAGON is valid.  (Although the Macquarie does note that DEKA- as a prefix is essentially interchangeable with DECA- as a prefix.  Oh, well.)

Six is the best to be done here; the others are FANGED and HANGED.  DEFANG does not get a mention (a little to my surprise).

My selection: [invalid -- DEKAGON]

Round 2: B E A C E A M S T

I had CAME and BECAME.  I also noted that an R instead of the B would have allowed the nine of MACERATES.  After time I confirmed that there was no such concept as CABMATES, and nor was there an archaism of BECAMEST.

There is an eight, though: CASEMATE ("an armoured enclosure for guns in a warship").  The seven is CASEATE ("Pathology to undergo caseous degeneration; become like cheese in consistency and appearance").

My selection: BECAME

Round 3: Target 777 from 100 25 9 6 4 2

All the sevens, lucky for some.  But not for me.  I noted the factorisation 7*111 which is 7*3*37, but spent far too long trying unsuccessfully to make that approach work.  (Later checking confirmed that there was no solution of that form.)  I wrote down a one-off 778 = 2*4*100 - 25 + (9 - 6), and that was the best I could do within time.

However, if I'd just considered the standard method -- as I should have! -- then it would have been reasonably clear to put the 2 aside and try and make 775, which is 25*31.  When I considered this option after time I soon found a solution of 777 = (25 + 6)*100/4 + 2, and then a bit later a more roundabout option of 777 = (6 + 4)*100 - 9*25 + 2.

My selection: 778 = 2*4*100 - 25 + (9 - 6)
Best: 777 = (25 + 6)*100/4 + 2

Round 4: S N O H O E W E P

After the seventh letter I contemplated SNOWSHOE or WEAPONS, but the right letters did not arrive.  Instead I had HOONS, SHONE, PHONES, and WHOOPS.  I flirted with the idea of ENSWOOP, but not seriously; it is not valid.  A little after time (or maybe within it, but I would not have got it down in time) I saw the seven of WHOOPEE, and wondered about WHOOPEES.

If WHOOPEES is valid (it is at Scrabble) then it is the only eight.  The other seven is NEPHEWS.

The definition of WHOOPEE in the Macquarie is "uproarious festivity".  My reading of matters is that the plural form would probably stand up, but it's not certain.

My selection: PHONES
Best: WHOOPEES (probably) or WHOOPEE

Round 5: O C I C T B I O S

I had OTIC ("of or relating to the ear") and BIOTIC.  I vacillated over BIOTICS but I rather suspected (correctly, as it turns out) that the Macquarie would only list it as an adjective.  For a brief moment I thought that such concerns were irrelevant due to BISCOTTI, but then I realised I had duplicated the wrong consonant.  Disappointing!

The other six is OBOIST.

My selection: BIOTIC

Round 6: Target 408 from 100 10 10 9 2 9

Before the target was revealed I observed that this could be quite difficult, as the small numbers are clustered away from the middle.  Indeed, this is a tricky target to get to; fortunately I recalled some tricks from a similar mix a while back (which turned out to be all the way back in NG 256 -- round 3, in case that's not clear).  The combination 2*(100 + 10*10) would get to 8 away but direct adjustments from that won't lead to a solution (but will enable getting to one off).  So I tried 2*(100 + 10*9) as a starting point instead; the offset of 28 is 2*9 + 10, and a tweak sorted out the rest: 408 = 2*(100 + 10*9 + 9) + 10.

The use of 2*9 to get the 8 (as an offset from a multiple of 10) was very tempting; the remainder is 390, and that was also manageable with a tweak, giving me the alternative solution 408 = 2*(100 + 9) + 10*(10 + 9).

It turns out that those are the only two solutions.

My selection: 408 = 2*(100 + 10*9 + 9) + 10

Round 7: E S D R U D E R R

I had REDS, RUDE, UDDERS, and RUDDERS.  An N instead of a D would have allowed SURRENDER, incidentally.

RUDDERS is the only seven; the other sixes are RUDDER, REDDER, and SUEDED.  RE-USED is listed, but only with the hyphen.

My selection: RUDDERS

Round 8: Target 479 from 75 100 8 10 9 7

I flailed around for a bit without much progress here -- the high small numbers make getting near the target a bit awkward -- and resorted to taking 7*75 as the nearest easily achievable number.  (Where "easily achievable" means that it only required one small and one large number, thus leaving some flexibility.)  The offset is 46, which I happily noticed was 7*8 - 10 and a quick tweak later had a solution of 479 = 7*(75 - 8) + 10.

There's a few solutions to this, but one I wish that I had seen was that the target is precisely 25 away from 504, one of my favourite intermediates since it is 7*8*9.  That observation leads easily to a solution 504 = 7*8*9 - (100 - 75).

My selection: 479 = 7*(75 - 8) + 10


Pulling out the -ING leaves BULLETING as a reasonably clear find.

My selection: BULLETING (1.7s)


Mike Backhouse said...

I found the numbers hard today

6*(100+25+4)+2=776 (1 off)
(9+9+2)*(10+10)=400 (8 off) and after time 100*(10/2-9/9)+10=410 (2 off)
(10-7)*(100+75-8-9)=474 (5 off and went over time)

Geoff Bailey said...

Yes, the numbers were a hard lot today. The first just seemed generally uncooperative, although the standard method works out a few ways if one keeps the 2 aside. The other two suffered from the small numbers clustering away from the useful middle values.

Nice work to get to 410 after time in round 6. A slight improvement is to make the 4 as 9 - 10/2, enabling you to get to 409. And I'm afraid that the Macquarie only lists BIOTIC as an adjective. *grimaces* Good vision, though, and would be legal in Scrabble.

Sam Gaffney said...

3. one off: 776 = (100+25+4)*6 + 2
6. one off: 409 = 100/2*10 - 9*9 - 10
8. 479 = (75-8)*7 + 10
9. BULLETING - 2.0s

Louise Molloy said...

1. honked
2. became
3. out of time with (2+6)x(100-4)+9=777
4. phones
5. boost
6. (100/2-10)x10 +9=409 (1 off)
7. rudders
8. (10-7+9-8)x100+75=475 (4 off)
9. bulleting (40.6s)