Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Ep 251: Martin Gabor, Emma Watson (February 2, 2015; originally aired August 15, 2011)

Finally we get some re-runs of unblogged episodes again!  For people's convenience, here's a link to the Past Episodes page on the SBS website.  (This episode is erroneously labelled S4 Ep1 by them, but it's actually episode 251, or S3 Ep51 under that nomenclature.)  The comment page is broken at the moment, however, and I doubt that they will be bothered to fix it.

It might take me a while to settle back into the episode blogging format; please bear with me.  As a new feature for posterity after the videos are no longer available again, I'm including links to the rounds as done in the "new game" format.

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.

The carryover champion is Martin Gabor, a sports journalism student.  This is his second night, and already Richard's question has devolved into Martin's preference for letters or numbers.  Did Martin not come prepared with the required interesting facts about himself?  Anyway, Martin says that he used to favour the letters, coming as he did from a humanities background, but thanks to learning tweaking skills from Lily he now prefers the numbers.

In the challenger seat is Emma Watson (no, not that one), a sports management student.  Richard points out the similarity in occupations between the two contestants, and asks Emma what sort of skills are needed to manage sports people.  Emma responds that there is a lot to do with public relations -- she gestures towards Martin -- and also sorting out contracts, media, endorsements, and still making sure that they have the time to perform and put in the effort on the field.

There's a bit each way in the letter rounds today, with Martin ending up slightly on the better end of that.  But in keeping with his pre-game comments, it's the numbers that bring him comfortably home; he solves all three rounds while Emma only solves the first, and takes an unassailable lead into the conundrum.  It proves to be a tough one, and with neither solving it Martin wins 58 to 31.

It was interesting watching the show again, with both a sense of comforting familiarity about affairs but also a bit of pressure that has not been there in the non-show games.  I can't say that I really miss the timer music!  Anyway, I had a reasonable game, but I'm disappointed to miss the conundrum; I saw the key features but failed to unravel it within time.  There was not much leeway to get away from Martin, who found solid results throughout, and I was ahead but not safe at the conundrm.  With no-one solving it, I scraped home with the win.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: P S M O E T D U O


Both contestants think they are risky with their declarations of SPOUTED for seven, but it is fine, of course.  David mentions STUMPED and STOMPED, then checked the dictionary for OUTMODE and confirmed it was listed as a verb, thus yielding OUTMODES for eight.

OUTMODES is the only eight; the other seven is STOOPED.


Scores: 7 apiece

Round 2: F H I A C T S E N

I had CHAI, FITCH ("the European polecat [...]"), CATFISH, AITCHES, FIANCÉS, and FANCIEST.  After time I noted FINCHES as another seven, and CHANTIES* as a possible eight (the Macquarie does not have a main entry for CHANTY, but it does list it as an alternative spelling in the definition of SHANTY in the sense of "a sailor's song").

Martin has the nice six of SACHET, but Emma has the nicer seven of CHASTEN.  Both good words, but the longer wins, of course.  David has found FANCIEST for eight.

The other eights are ASTHENIC ("of or relating to asthenia", which is "lack or loss of strength"; this is the safe anagram of CHANTIES*) and SHITFACE.  The other sevens are FITCHES, FANCIES / FASCINE ("a long bundle of sticks bound together, used in building earthworks and batteries, in strengthening ramparts, as a protective facing for river banks, etc."), INFECTS, STHENIA ("Pathology strength; excessive vital force"), ETHNICS / STHENIC ("sturdy; heavily and strongly built"), FAINEST (single-syllable rule for adjectives; FAIN in an adjective sense is marked as obsolete: "(followed by an infinitive) content; willing"), and ACHIEST*.  FISH-NET is listed, but only with the hyphen.

Martin: SACHET

Scores: Martin 7, Emma 7 (14), me 15

Round 3: Target 174 from 75 50 100 2 7 1

Apparently Martin likes the perfect match, but he gets a rather unchallenging target.  My first instinct was to make it as 7*25 - 1, and I simply wrote that down.  It took another couple of seconds before I noticed that a 25 was not actually present and made the obvious correction to using (75 - 50).  Then I noted the simpler option of 174 = 100 + 75 - 1.  Searching for more interesting approaches, after time I found a solution via 2*87 with 174 = (75 + (7 - 1)*2)*100/50.

The tone of Richard's voice as he starts the round off strongly suggests that he has seen the easy solution.  Both contestants get there quickly -- Emma is slightly faster -- and spend the rest of the round making "that was a bit too easy" faces at each other.

Both contestants and Lily have gone with 174 = 100 + 75 - 1.

Martin: 174
Emma: 174
Me: 174
Lily: 174

Scores: Martin 17, Emma 17 (24), me 25

First break: TINY TREE ("It's a long time from here to the answer")

The answer is ETERNITY, with the clue referring to the film From Here to Eternity.

David's talk is about nonsense, specifically the words 'babble' and 'claptrap'.

Round 4: F N D I E S R U D

I wanted Emma to choose a final vowel here, as I had seen the potential for FOUNDRIES.  The next vowel was not an O, however, so no harm done.  I had FIND, FINED, FIENDS, FRIENDS, INSURED, UNFIRED, and correctly predicted that SUN-DRIED would require the hyphen.

The contestants have each gone for FRIENDS, which is not very surprising.  David points out FINDERS also, but seven is the limit.

The other sevens are REFUNDS, INFUSED / FUNDIES (FUNDIE: colloquial for "a superannuation fund manager"), INFUSER, UNDRIED, and REDFINS (REDFIN being a type of fish).


Scores: Martin 24, Emma 24 (31), me 32

Round 5: A L R G O A E S T

I had GOAL, LARGE, LAAGERS (LAAGER being a South African term for "a camp or encampment, especially within a circle of wagons"), STORAGE, and GLOATERS.

Emma opts for LARGEST, but Martin takes the points with GLOATERS; he thinks it is risky, but it is a risk that paid off.  David could not better it.

The other eight is LEGATORS.  Lots of sevens to be had, more than I feel like going through right now.


Scores: Martin 32, Emma 24 (31), me 40

Round 6: Target 452 from 100 75 50 7 1 2

Emma also likes the perfect match, so it's another three-and-three.  The standard method applies easily as long as one knows one's 75-times tables, and even without that it is not too much of a stretch.  I started with 452 = (7 - 1)*75 + 2, continued with 452 = 7*50 + 100 + 2, and finished with 452 = (100 + 75 + 50 + 1)*2.

Emma declares 450, which feels strange.  So many ways to get there without using up both the 1 and the 2.  Martin declares 452, which Richard has to check was not "450, too", made using the second of the methods I listed.  Lily has opted for the first of those solutions.

Martin: 452
Emma: 450
Me: 452
Lily: 452

Scores: Martin 42, Emma 24 (31), me 50

Second break: RELIC NAG ("Empty circle")

I was thinking -- and Richard also suggests -- that the circle was referring to the shape of a CLEARING, but in retrospect I think the intent was to clue "clear ring".

Round 7: C R D I U A W P E

Ergh, lots of incompatible letters.  I had CURD, CURIA, WARPED, and was strongly tempted by CUPRIDE but eventually decided against it.  That was the right decision -- maybe I do remember some chemistry after all.  After time I noted other sixes of UPWARD, CARPED, and REPAID / DIAPER.

Martin is not happy to "only" have a six of WARPED, but Emma was limited to the five of ACRID.  David points out how unhelpful the letter combinations were, and that he could also only find sixes.  He mentions CARPED, PRICED, and PAIRED.

There is a seven here, though: EPACRID (another name for EPACRIS, a type of shrub).

Martin: WARPED

Scores: Martin 48, Emma 24 (31), me 56

Round 8: Target 858 from 50 100 1 4 7 5

Emma needs at least 7 unanswered points from this round in order to have a chance, so tries the family mix instead.  The target is large, but the standard method comes through handily -- put the 7 and 1 aside, and aim to get to 850 with the rest.  I started with 858 = (5 + 4)*100 - 50 + 7 + 1, then noted that the target was 6*143 and found the alternative solution of 858 = (5 + 1)*(100 + 50 - 7).

Emma got to 859, presumably with (7 + 1)*100 + 50 + 5 + 4.  Martin, however, has solved this with the first of the solutions I listed.  That ensures his victory.  Lily has used the same approach.

Martin: 858
Emma: 859
Me: 858
Lily: 858

Scores: Martin 58, Emma 24 (31), me 66


Gah, this was annoying.  The -TION ending seemed too compelling to ignore, but I was not able to turn the rest into the requisite answer within time (I blame the music).  It took a further nine seconds for me to find the answer of NUTRITION.

Neither contestant manages to solve this; David later chides them for both being sports students but not finding the word.

Martin: [no answer]
Emma: [no answer]
Me: [no answer]

Scores: Martin 58, Emma 24 (31), me 66

Emma took first blood in round two with the nice find of CHASTEN, but Martin struck back in round five when his risk of GLOATERS paid off.  That gave him a slender one point lead, but thereafter it was all him, with 26 unanswered points in the final main rounds ensuring his win.  The numbers were definitely Emma's weak point, but even without those Martin would have had a narrow win.

Conundrum aside, there was not much room for me to make up ground here; I'd not heard of EPACRID, so only OUTMODES was feasible.  I was looking for OUT- words, but did not spot it.  Still, it was a reasonably gentle reintroduction to the show, and I'm looking forward to the ensuing episodes.


Mike Backhouse said...

Great to play the game again. The time limit was fine, it was just I didn't get 7s like the contestants. And I kicked myself at those I missed and really should have got. The other thing is that from now on I might play the conundrum on this site, as I don't always get it in time, and I like to have a time after 30s so I know how long it took me (and before it is disclosed).

Lily's way
8*100+50+5+4=859 (1 off)
x - had UNTRITION on my notes. I am sure I would have got it after time! Sheesh.

Geoff Bailey said...

Ouch, UNTRITION. So close!

Sam G said...

I watched this after Ep252 by mistake. I thought Martin had a great game here, I would have been level on scores with him at the end. His anagram ability is excellent, and his number work was much better here than in Ep252.

I'm pretty sure I had already seen all of episodes 251-253.

I had basically the same answers as Geoff, except LARGEST in place of GLOATERS.