Wednesday, 14 January 2015

NG 558

New game 558 is now available.

Round 1: U S N O N B P E M

I had NOUS / ONUS, NOUNS, BONUS, UNPENS, UMBONES (one plural form of UMBO: "the boss, knob, or projection at or near the centre of a shield"), and SPUMONE ("Italian ice cream of a very fine and smooth texture, usually containing chopped fruit or nuts").

Those are the only sevens, and the best to be done.

My selection: UMBONES

Round 2: I S T A D P C O U

I had STAID, CAPSID ("the coating of a virus particle, consisting of one or a few proteins whose molecules are arranged in a highly ordered fashion"), COATIS, STUPID, wondered about OUTPAID (not valid), DACOITS, and CAPTIOUS ("apt to make much of trivial faults or defects; fault-finding; difficult to please").

CAPTIOUS is the only eight, although some other sources might allow AUTOPSIC.  The other sevens are OUTSAID, PODCAST, and UTOPIAS.

My selection: CAPTIOUS

Round 3: Target 163 from 75 100 50 8 7 3

Oh, dear, I struggled mightily here.  I could not see an easy 12 from 50, 8, 7, 3, so wrote down a fallback one off 164 = 100 + 75 - 8 - 3.  In the end I had to use it.  It took me quite a while after time to find a solution of 163 = 100 + 7*(8*75/50 - 3).

Of course, I missed the fairly straightforward 163 = 100 + 75 - (8 + 7 - 3).  I had been too focused on 12 being 3*4 and not considered making it by simple summation.  Whoops.  There's quite a few other solutions, too, with the shortest being 163 = 3*(50 + 7) - 8.

My selection: 164 = 100 + 75 - 8 - 3  [1 off]
Best: 163 = 100 + 75 - (8 + 7 - 3)

Round 4: I N R L A S E T I

I had RAIN, SNAIL, LINEAR, LATRINES / ENTRAILS / TRENAILS (TRENAIL being a variant spelling of TREENAIL: "a cylindrical pin of hard word for fastening together timbers in ships, etc."), and knew there was a nine in the mix but could only find INERTIALS, which I knew was not valid.  After time I noted INERTIAL as another eight, and confirmed that LINEARIST was not valid (although LINEARISM is; go figure).

The missed full monty is SAINTLIER.  It's turned up here twice before (in NG 199 and NG 259); I missed it the first time and found it the second, so if the pattern continues then I will spot it the next time.

The other eights are RAINIEST, LITANIES / ALIENIST (an obsolete term for "a psychiatrist or other specialist in mental diseases"), RATLINES (RATLINE being a nautical term: "any of the small ropes or lines which traverse the shrouds horizontally, serving as steps for going aloft"), NITRILES (NITRILE: "any of a class of organic cyanides with the general formula RCN"), INERTIAS, AIRLINES / SNAILIER*, and LAIRIEST*.

My selection: LATRINES

Round 5: N F V W A E E D T

I had WAVE, WAVE, WANTED, and VENTED.  After time I noted another six of DEFEAT.

Six is the limit in this mix, with the othes being FAWNED, DEAFEN, WEANED, WEAVED, WAFTED, ANTEED, and ADVENT.

My selection: WANTED

Round 6: Target 310 from 25 50 3 5 4 1

I looked first at the factorisation 5*62, and found my way quickly to a solution: 310 = (50 + 3*4)*5.

My selection: 310 = (50 + 3*4)*5

Round 7: I A R S K L D E C

I had AIRS, LARKS, RISKED, SLACKER, SLACKED, SCALIER, SIDECAR, and knew there was an eight here but could not bring it to mind.  I noted CARDLIKE and SCARLIKE, but was (correctly) confident they were not valid.  Just a little after time I finally found the eights: RADICLES (RADICLE: "a rudimentary root; a radicel or rootlet") / RADICELS (RADICEL: "(in botany) a minute root; a rootlet") / DECRIALS.

Those are the only eights; there are many sevens.

My selection: SLACKER

Round 8: Target 830 from 75 100 25 9 4 5

I started with a prosaic 830 = 9*100 - 75 + 5, then noted alternatives of 830 = 9*(100 - 5) - 25 and 830 = (100 + 75 - 9)*5.

My selection: 830 = (100 + 75 - 9)*5


Yet another conundrum I chose; once my conundrum generator goes through too many unusable ones I lose patience.

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


Louise Molloy said...

1. busmen
2. pacts
3. 100+75-8-7+3=163
4. entrails
5. weaved
6. (50+3x4)x5=310
7. slacker
8. 9x100-75+5=830
9. purgatory (12.4s)

Mike Backhouse said...

After yesterday I was hoping to avoid the prevalence of fives, and sadly I start with two!

PURGATORY (11s - and that is quick for me!)

Mike Backhouse said...

Louise, we posted at exactly the same time. Does that mean we get a wish or something?

Louise Molloy said...

What are the chances of that! Mike, we both posted at 8:32, an almost "real time" game and you got to PURGATORY 1.4s ahead of me -cheers!

Louise Molloy said...

But then you beat me to the re-post by a second, probably worth a lottery ticket!

Sam G said...

3. 163 = 100 + (8*75/50 - 3)*7
6. 310 = 4*3*25 + 50/5
8. 830 = 9*100 - 75 + 5
9. PURGATORY - 4.5s

Mike Backhouse said...

A guy could get an inferiority complex with you around Sam. Seriously, well done on the full monty. I was not familiar with the two 8s you submitted for round 7 but am now! And that solution to round 3 was a ripper!

Sam G said...

Cheers Mike. When I was practising for the show, I came across those words, they are fairly high-probability ones. Using 75/50 or similar fractions is always satisfying.

Geoff Bailey said...

Nice work on the conundrum, everyone! And stellar wordwork as always, Sam, although I would have had you worried after the first two rounds... if I'd not botched round 3 I'd still have managed to be in contention, in fact.