**Round 1: E T U O I C N T T**

I had CUTIE, COUNT, NOTICE, and TONITE (not a misspelling of "tonight"; rather, it is a type of explosive). A little after time I saw the possibility of TEUTONIC; checking confirmed my suspicion that it was only listed with a capital letter, but if I had seen it within time I would almost certainly have risked it.

There is a seven here -- sadly, to my mathematical mind, it is not TOTIENT -- of ENTOTIC: "of or relating to the interior of the ear".

My selection: NOTICE

Best: ENTOTIC

**Round 2: E R U A S E P H G**

I had SURE, ERASE, an uncertain PAUSER (valid), GRAPHS, a similarly uncertain HEAPERS (also valid), and RESHAPE.

The eight to be had here is PUGAREES (PUGAREE being an alternative spelling of PUGGAREE: "(in India) a light turban"). The other sevens are PUGAREE, PUGREES (PUGREE being another variant form of PUGGAREE), and PRESAGE.

My selection: RESHAPE

Best: PUGAREES

**Round 3: Target 671 from 25 75 100 9 2 3**

The starting point of 9*75 was clear, and the offset of 4 was directly available from the remaining large numbers: 671 = 9*75 - 100/25.

My selection: 671 = 9*75 - 100/25

**Round 4: N F O L I W H A A**

I had LION, FLOWN, HALON, and INFLOW.

INFLOW is the only six, and the best to be done.

My selection: INFLOW

**Round 5: D A E T D I F C S**

I had DATE, DATED, FACETS, ADDICTS / an unsure DIDACTS (not valid; I was hoping that DIDACT would be listed as a synonym for either a teacher or to teach), CADDIES, and FADDIEST. I figured I'd be relying on the revised rules for FADDIEST, but it turns out to be listed.

FADDIEST is the only eight. The other sevens are FADDIST ("someone who has a fad or is given to fads") and TADDIES (TADDIE being colloquial for "a tadpole").

My selection: FADDIEST

**Round 6: Target 808 from 25 7 7 9 10 2**

The target is clearly 8*101, but that did not seem easy to use. I wrote down a fallback one off 807 = (9 + 7)*2*25 + 7, and pondered further. The option of 10*81 - 2 was tempting, but there was only one 9 for the 81. I did notice that 81 was 25 + 56, and 56 was 7*8, and then realised that the 9 and the second 7 were just as good as an 8 for this purpose. The resulting solution was 808 = (7*9 - 7 + 25)*10 - 2.

There are three other solutions to this mix, all involving a certain familiarity with multiples of 7. The first actually does use 8*101, via 808 = (10 - 2)*((7 + 7)*9 - 25). The next solution is actually a trio, since we need a third 7 (!) made as 9 - 2. It is based on the observation that 808 = 833 - 25, and 833 is 7*119. Furthermore, 119 is 7*17, resulting in the solution 808 = 7*7*(10 + 7) - 25. The final solution comes from a similar observation that 808 = 7*798 + 10, with 798 being 7*114. 114 is 7*16 + 2, and it unravels to give 808 = (7*(25 - 9) + 2)*7 + 10.

My selection: 808 = (7*9 - 7 + 25)*10 - 2

**Round 7: N O R U M S R D E**

I had MOURN, MOURNS, MOURNED, MURDERS, RESOUND, wondered about MOUNDERS (not valid), and ROUNDERS. After time, I noted MOURNERS as another eight.

Those are both eights. The other sevens are MOURNER, ROUNDER, SOUNDER / UNDOERS / ENDUROS (ENDURO: "a long-distance race for off-road motorcyclists or for mountain-bike riders"), RUMORED, DORMERS (DORMER: "a vertical window in a projection built out from a sloping roof"), MODERNS (MODERN: "a person of modern times"), and arguably ORDURES (ORDURE: "filth; dung; excrement").

My selection: ROUNDERS

**Round 8: Target 631 from 100 8 5 4 7 1**

The initial six can be made as 5 + 1 or 7 - 1, which preserves some flexibility. 6*5 gets to 30, so there is an easy one off; but I noticed that 6*4 + 7 is the required 31, and so found the solution 631 = (5 + 1)*(100 + 4) + 7. Then I considered the option of 7*90 + 1 and found 631 = 7*(100 - 5*8/4) + 1.

My selection: 631 = (5 + 1)*(100 + 4) + 7

**Round 9: SMOOTH ALE**

I chose this conundrum from semi-random flicking through the dictionary. In retrospect, it seems somewhat difficult.

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

Best: LOATHSOME

## 3 comments:

COUNT

PAGERS

9*75-100/25=671

FINAL

FASTED

2*(9+7)*25+7=807 (1 off)

MURDERS

(7-1)*(100+5)=630 (1 off)

x

1. TONITE. TEUTONIC was a good spot.

2. PRESAGE

3. 671 = 9*75 - 100/25

4. INFLOW

5. ADDICTS/CADDIES

6. one off: 807 = (7+9)*25*2 + 7

7. ROUNDERS

8. 631 = (100 - 5*8/4)*7 + 1

9. LOATHSOME - 5.3s. Got the -SOME earlier than the LOATH.

1. count

2. sphere

3. 9x75-100/25=671

4. inflow

5. caddies

6. 25x2x(7+9)+7=807 (1 off)

7. murders

8. (5+1)x(100+7)-(8+4)=631

9. X

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