Tuesday, 15 July 2014

NG 427

New game 427 is now available.

Round 1: E R D O C A M H E


The eight available here is DÉMARCHE ("a plan or mode of procedure").  The other sevens are CREAMED / AMERCED (AMERCE: "to punish by inflicting a discretionary penalty of any kind"), CAROMED / COMADRE (variant spelling of KUMARE, from Philippine English: "a woman who is a co-godmother, with another, of a child"), CHROMED, COHERED / OCHERED, HOMERED, and OCHREAE* (OCHREA is a variant spelling of OCREA: "a sheathing part, as a pair of stipules united about a stem").

My selection: COMRADE

Round 2: L R G O I A C V A

I had GIRL, GLORIA ("a halo, nimbus, or aureole, or an ornament in imitation of one"), CAROL, and VARIOLA (another name for smallpox).

VARIOLA is the only seven; the other sixes are RACIAL, GARLIC, CAVIAR, VIRAGO, AGARIC ("an agaricaceous fungus"), CAROLI (one plural form of CAROLUS: "any of various coins issued under monarchs named Charles, especially an English gold coin struck in the reign of Charles I, originally worth 20 and later 23 shillings"), OGIVAL (adjective derived from OGIVE: "Architecture a diagonal groin or rib of a vault"), GAVIAL (variant form of GHARIAL: "a large Indian crocodile [...]"), ARGALI ("a wild sheep of Asia, Ovis ammon, with long, thick, spirally curved horns"), and LAOGAI ("(in the Chinese criminal justice system) a policy of running organised prison labour in prisons and prison camps").

My selection: VARIOLA

Round 3: Target 646 from 100 1 8 6 4 5

I started with 646 = 6*(100 + 8) - (5 + 1 - 4), then saved a number with 646 = 6*(100 + 8 - 1) + 4.  I also considered the option of 650 - 4, which would be 13*100/2 - 4.  Without a 2 handy that would need to be 39/6 or 52/8, and the former turned out to be manageable: 646 = (5*8 - 1)*100/6 - 4.

My selection: 646 = (5*8 - 1)*100/6 - 4

Round 4: P D T N I O P I L

I had PINT, POINT, an uncertain LIPOID (valid: "one of a group of fats or fat-like substances such as lecithins, waxes, etc."), and more dubious options of TOLIDIN (not valid) and DIPLONT (also not valid).  I was not enamoured enough with any of them to risk it, so POINT was where I stayed.

It turns out that both TOLIDIN and DIPLONT are good in Scrabble, so my intuition had something going for it.  But the Macquarie does not list them, so six is the best to be done.  The other sixes are PONTIL (variant form of PUNTY: "an iron rod used in glassmaking for handling the hot glass") and POPLIN ("a strong, finely ribbed, mercerised cotton material, used for dresses, blouses, children's wear, etc.").

My selection: POINT

Round 5: H R N T U S Z E O

I had TURN, HURTS, wondered about SHUNTER (valid) before realising that HUNTERS was a safe anagram of it, and SOUTHERN.

SOUTHERN is the only eight.  The other sevens are SOUTHER / SHOUTER, HORNETS / THRONES / SHORTEN, UNHORSE, and TONSURE ("the part of a cleric's head left bare by shaving the hair").

My selection: SOUTHERN

Round 6: Target 702 from 1 6 1 8 5 7

702 has quite a few useful factors -- it is clearly divisible by 9, with cofactor 78, which is 6*13.  However, I missed all that and got to a solution by a more roundabout route.  I wanted to make a value near 100 to multiply by 7; the next larger small number was 8, so my new subtargets became 96 and 104.  The latter needed a 13 which used up too many numbers, but the former only needed a twelve and left some over.  7*96 is 30 off the target, and then I realised that I could make the 12 not as 6 + 5 + 1 (my first thought) but as 6*(1 + 1) and then the tweak would work out.  The resulting solution was 702 = (7*8*(1 + 1) + 5)*6.

All of the above was a slightly roundabout way of realising the factorisation 6*117.  A more direct way is 702 = 6*(8 + 1)*(7 + 5 + 1), and there are some trivial variants swapping 6 and 5 + 1 or 8 and 7 + 1.  The remaining solution is 702 = ((6 + 5)*7 + 1)*(8 + 1).

My selection: 702 = (7*8*(1 + 1) + 5)*6

Round 7: A F E Y O Q I T S


The other sixes are FIESTA and SOFTIE.

My selection: FEISTY

Round 8: Target 629 from 75 8 1 10 5 6

A quick tweak on the standard method gave me 629 = (75 + 5)*8 - 10 - 1, then I saw that an untweaked version was also simple: 629 = 8*75 + 6*5 - 1.

My selection: 629 = 75*8 + 6*5 - 1


I got hung up on -ING at first (and almost tried OXIDITING), but considered the DIGIT fragmant and so found the answer of DIGITOXIN (which I may have to thank various Agatha Christie novels for adding to my vocabulary).

My selection: DIGITOXIN (9.8s)


Mike Backhouse said...

Fairly dispiriting having to put up my answers after seeing yours Geoff!

HOURS and SHORTEN just after time
x - nothing in time or a few minutes after (and I tried your suggestion of focussing on the largest number first up- rat packs...grrr..)
8*(75+5-1)-(10-6)=628 (1 off)
x made up word OXIDITING. Saw TOXIN but was not familiar with the answer.

Geoff Bailey said...

Sorry to be dispiriting, Mike (and I know the conundrum was tough -- I was >this< close to trying OXIDITING myself).

As for round 6, dividing by the largest number (8) we find an approximate target of 8*88 = 704. 88 is 8*11, of course, which could then lead to 8*(7 + 1)*(6 + 5) = 704 and subtracting the leftover 1 to get to 703. Just short of reaching the target, as it turns out, but would definitely have been a good result. A bit more practice will make it come more naturally.

Mike Backhouse said...

Thanks Geoff.

I might retry some of the rat packs in my books to get better using that technique, as they are my Achilles heel. (I was on the right track - 8*88 - but made an error. So your method does work, I just have to work on my execution!)

It's hard for me to keep up with the very high standard you and the others set, but it is good to have something to aspire to! I do like your blog and I am grateful for the work you put into it.

Sam Gaffney said...

3. 646 = 6*(100+8) - 5 - 1 + 4
6. two off: 700 = 7*((1+1)*6+8)*5
8. 629 = (75+5)*8 - 10 - 1
9. - Never heard of that one.

Geoff Bailey said...

Mike: I certainly don't claim that the "divide by the largest number" technique always works for ratpacks, I should add. But it can be helpful in getting somewhere in the vicinity and then making adjustments, and sometimes it pays off quite handily.

I hope you have fun if you do keep checking! I might make something available for generating number mixes at some point.

Louise Molloy said...

1. marched
2. coral
3. 6x100+(8+1)x5=645 (1 off)
4. point
5. routes
6. out of time with, and couldn't do better than [(8+7)x5]x(6+1+1)=600 (102 off!)
7. feisty
8. 75x8+5x6-1=629
9. x