Wednesday, 6 August 2014

NG 443

New game 443 is now available.

Round 1: M F I N R C A I A

I had FIRM, MANIC, FARINA ("flour or meal made from cereal grains [...]"), AIRMAN, rightly rejected FAIRMAN, noted that an O instead of one I would allow MACARONI, INFIRM, CRANIA / CARINA ("a keel-like part or ridge"), and noted AFRICAN but expected it to require a capital letter.  It turns out that AFRICAN has a lowercase sense listed, as a colloquial term for a cigarette (although the derivation passes through derogatory territory, so no doubt the show would have used a bit of circumspection about explaining that).  After time I noted MANIAC as another six.

There's no MINICAR in the Macquarie, so AFRICAN is the only seven.  The other sixes are MARINA, CAIMAN (an animal a bit like an alligator), and ARNICA (a type of plant).

My selection: FARINA

Round 2: A H S T A N L O I

I had HAST (going archaic to avoid a more scatological answer), SALT, LATIONS (LATION: a shortening of "relation" in Aboriginal English) / TALIONS (TALION: "retaliation as authorised by law [...]"), wondered about ATONALS (not valid), and then realised that HALATIONS was available (HALATION: "the blurring in a photographic negative or print of very light areas (as a window in an interior view) caused by the reflection of light from the back of the support on which the emulsion is coated").  After time I noted HALATION as an eight, and checked up on ALATION but it is not listed.

HALATIONS and HALATION are the only words longer than seven letters.  The other sevens are SOLATIA (plural of SOLATIUM: "a sum of money given as compensation, often over and above legal entitlement") and probably TAHINAS (TAHINA being a variant form of TAHINI).

My selection: HALATIONS

Round 3: Target 380 from 100 7 5 3 4 8

Getting close with 4*100 is clear, and a tweak completes the solution: 380 = 4*(100 - 5).  Then I looked for a solution in small numbers alone and found one in the factorisation 5*76 with 380 = (8*(7 + 3) - 4)*5.

My selection: 380 = (8*(7 + 3) - 4)*5

Round 4: T M A E D S N O A

I had MEAT, TAMED, MASTED, DAEMONS, wanted a final E for NEMATODES but was disappointed, and DONATES.  A little after time I finally saw MANDATES for eight.

The other eight is ADENOMAS (ADENOMA: "a tumour originating in a gland").  The other sevens are ADENOMA, MANDATE, ENDMOST, TANDEMS, MASONED, NAMASTE, ANSATED (variant form of ANSATE: "having a handle or handle-like part"), and MAENADS (MAENAD: "frenzied or raging woman").

Unrelatedly, I noticed an oddity while checking some alternatives: The Macquarie lists MANUFG as a shortening of "manufacturing", but without a period at the end, meaning that it would technically be acceptable.  Strange.

My selection: DONATES

Round 5: R E R E T P D O A

I had TREE, REPORTED, OPERATED, and wondered about DEPORTER (not valid).  After time I checked up on READOPTER but was not surprised that it was invalid.  Then I finally spotted PERORATED for nine (PERORATE: "to speak at length; make a speech").  I also noted other eights of PREDATOR / TEARDROP.

The other eights are PERORATE and PARROTED.

My selection: REPORTED

Round 6: Target 934 from 5 1 10 5 4 3

As often the case with 6 small, multiplying the larger values to get close is a sensible start.  In this case, 10*5*5*4 is 1000, which is 66 away from the target.  That leaves 3 and 1 to tweak with, so we should look at the partial products.  The useful one here is 4*5 = 20, which multiplied by 3 yields 60, close to the necessary adjustment.  That leaves the 4 and 5 available to tweak with using the 1, with 5 being the better option for a final shift by 5 to get to one off: 935 = 5*(4*(5*10 - 3) - 1).

It turns out that the target may not be reached exactly, and there are only four ways to get to one away.  All of those make 935 as 5*187.  187 is 11*17, leading to two of those options: 935 = (10 + 1)*(5*4 - 3)*5 and 935 = (10 + 1)*(3*4 + 5)*5.  The remaining option is 935 = ((5*4 - 1)*10 - 3)*5.

My selection: 935 = 5*(4*(5*10 - 3) - 1)  [1 off]

Round 7: O U R S V C O R A


Six is the best to be done; the others are CURSOR / CRUORS (CRUOR: "coagulated blood, or that portion of the blood which forms the clot").

My selection: SAVOUR

Round 8: Target 830 from 25 50 1 1 5 9

The standard method suggests getting to 825, which is 11*75.  That happily works out, and the leftover small number of 5 is exactly the required offset: 830 = (9 + 1 + 1)*(50 + 25) + 5.  Then I considered a descent from 900 and tweaked my way to another solution of 830 = 9*((1 + 1)*50 - 5) - 25.

My selection: 830 = (9 + 1 + 1)*(50 + 25) + 5


The -ING fragment is always attractive, and this case is no exception.  Unravelling the rest to find EMBALM is perhaps a little difficult, but it is findable.

My selection: EMBALMING (2.7s)


Mike Backhouse said...

MAIN and MANIAC probably just out of time
(10-1)*5*5*4+3=927 (7 off)
x error then slightly after time (9+1+1)*(50+25)+5=830
x - thought I wasted time looking for an -ING word. As it turns out it was the right track.

Louise Molloy said...

1. airman
2. talons
3. 4x(100-5)=380
4. mandates
5. parroted
6. (5x5)x(4x10-3)+1=926 (8 off)
7. savour
8. (25+50)x(9+1+1)+5=830
9. embalming (28.8s)

Sam Gaffney said...

I hadn't heard of either of those two nine-letter words, but well done Geoff for finding them.

3. 380 = (100-5)*4
6. one off: 935 = 5*((5*4-1)*10-3)
8. 830 = (9+1+1)*(50+25)+5
9. EMBALMING - 2.2s

Geoff Bailey said...

Thanks, Sam. HALATION is due to this blog, but PERORATED I should have found. It's close to PERORATES, which is PRORATES + E. Although the Macquarie does not list PRORATES, it makes valid nine-letter words when any vowel is added to it.