Thursday, 26 February 2015

Ep 269: Brydon Coverdale, Sasha Quilty (February 26, 2015; originally aired September 8, 2011)

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.

Brydon is back for his third night, and we find out that another possible career path he would enjoy is travel writing.  He has been to around twenty-five countries now, and he would like to keep travelling as much as he can.  Richard asks if there is any particular writer's style that Brydon would like to model himself on.  Brydon notes that Bill Bryson has always made him laugh, so he would love to have his job as well: Travel writing with humour, as Richard puts it.

Tonight's challenger is Sasha Quilty, a hot rod fan who is currently building one of her own.  Apparently there's other people working on the same car as well, as she says that they are building it in three different locations at the moment -- parts here, parts there.  Eventually it should all come together to be a beautiful blue hot rod.

The scoreline may not reflect the closeness of this game.  Brydon won the first two rounds with seven letter words to Sasha's six (the reverse of how yesterday's game started), but most of the rest of the rounds were shared.  Sasha was unable to close that early lead, however, and Brydon extended his lead in the last numbers round to guarantee victory.  Sasha solved the conundrum first, but Brydon was the winner, 56 to 45.

I had a good game, except for one major omission: I got lost on one numbers round and ended up not getting anything down in time.  Ouch.  I was just short of maximal on the rest, however, and still managed to score in the seventies.

Brief details after the jump.

Round 1: N G E R D U S E O

I had REND, UNDER, SUNDER, GROUNDS, UNDERGOES (woohoo!), and kept looking for an eight to round out the collection.  I continued with GERUNDS, UNDERGO, RESOUND / SOUNDER, GUERDON ("a reward, recompense, or requital"), and GUERDONS for that eight at last.  After time I found a more common eight of GENEROUS.

Sasha starts off with the six of ROGUES; unlike Jason Taylor, however, she was not called upon to spell it.  Not that it matters, as Brydon has found GROUNDS for seven to get the early points.  David points out that a final A would have allowed DUNGAREES, but the actual O let him find UNDERGOES.

That's all eights and the nine listed.  The other sevens are ENDORSE, ENDURES / ENSURED, SURGEON, GENDERS, GROUSED / DROGUES (DROGUE: "a bucket-like contrivance used as a sea anchor"), ENDUROS / UNDOERS, NEGROES, and DENGUES.


Scores: Brydon 0 (7), Sasha 0, me 18

Round 2: B I A H C U S E N

I had CHUB (a type of fish), BASIC, ACHES, BUNCHES, and CABINS.  After time I noted INCHES as another six.

Again Sasha has found a six, this time CHAINS, only to be outdone by Brydon's seven of BUNCHES.  David has found it, but mentions another option of ECHINUS (a type of sea urchin).

The remaining seven is BEAUISH, a rare instance of a word with four vowels in a row.


Scores: Brydon 7 (14), Sasha 0, me 25

Round 3: Target 320 from 100 25 10 3 5 10

Those small numbers looked like they might cause difficulties, as it would be hard to reach a target not divisible by 5.  Fortunately the target was so divisible, and it was fairly easy to find 320 = 3*100 + 10 + 10.  I also noted 320 = 3*100 + 25 - 5 and 320 = (10 + 3)*25 - 5.

Both contestants have easily found solutions; Brydon went with the first of those while Sasha went the second way.  Lily chose the same solution as Brydon, but notes that when the target was revealed she immediately thought "32: eight times four", but then there was neither an eight nor a four available.

Following Lily's remark, I noted the alternative solution 320 = (100/25)*(5 + 3)*10.

Brydon: 320
Sasha: 320
Me: 320
Lily: 320

Scores: Brydon 17 (24), Sasha 10, me 35

First break: ROBE LEAP ("The surgery's not over 'til the large lady sings")

The latter part is a reference to the OPERA of OPERABLE.

David's talk is about the words 'rucksack', 'haversack', and 'knapsack'.

Round 4: T M I A N P O R I

I had MINT, PAINT, IMPORT, really wanted a final T for IMPORTANT, MARTINI, and IMPRINT.

Both contestants have chosen TIMPANI (kettle drums) as their word, although Sasha thinks that it is dubious.  David points out that TIMPANI is a plural form, and the singular of TIMPANO is also available.  He mentions IMPRINT and MARTINI as other possible sevens in the mix.

The other sevens are PTOMAIN (variant spelling of PTOMAINE) / MAINTOP ("a platform at the head of the lower mainmast") / TAMPION ("a wooden plug or stopper placed in the muzzle of a piece of ordnance when not in use, to keep out dampness and dust"), and RAMPION (a type of flower).


Scores: Brydon 24 (31), Sasha 17, me 42

Round 5: L S D E A T C O E

Lily looked to be partially concealing some amusement as the letters started off with LSD.  I had SLED, DEALS, SLATED, CASTLED, LOCATES, hoped that the final vowel would be an I for DISLOCATE, and DESOLATE.  DELOCATES (not valid) seemed like too much of a stretch, so I stayed with the eight.  After time I noted other sevens of COASTED, LOCATED, SOLACED, and COLDEST.

Some more good sevens, Brydon with LOCATED and Sasha with COASTED.

The other eights are CLOSETED and ADOLESCE (a verb backformation from ADOLESCENT).  The other sevens are CLEATED, DELATES (DELATE: "to inform against; denounce or accuse"), LACTOSE / TALCOSE ("containing, or composed largely of, talc"), OLEATES, CELESTA ("a musical instrument consisting essentially of steel plates struck by hammers, and having a keyboard"), ACETOSE (variant spelling of ACETOUS: "sour; vinegary"), CESTODE (one of a class of parasitic flatworms), and ELODEAS (ELODEA: "any species of the submerged water plant genus Elodea [...]").


Scores: Brydon 24 (38), Sasha 17 (24), me 50

Round 6: Target 843 from 75 50 5 3 8 1

This was bad.  I wanted to start with 11*75, but the offset of 18 was a little larger than I liked.  I could see an easy two off that way (via (8 + 3)*(75 + 1) + 5 = 841), but did not write it down and kept looking.  The two alternatives I was looking at were 850 - 7 and 875 - 32; the former had the issue that making a 7 is a little expensive, and the latter that the 32 was also expensive.  I did not find anything that I liked, and by the time I absolutely had to get something down I could not recall the various options I had seen.  I ended up with nothing to declare, a very disappointing result.

In the calmness that follows time expiring I recalled my two off, and found the one off of 842 = 8*(75 - 1) + 5*50.  Then I revisited the idea of 875 - 32; 875 is 7*125, of course, and once I stopped thinking of 32 as only 4*8 (perhaps I should blame Lily's remark in round 3) I saw it was also 7*5 - 3.  That gave a tweaked solution of 843 = (8 - 1)*(75 + 50 - 5) + 3, and I really should have found that within time.  Considering other options, 840 + 3 is a very tempting line as 840 has many useful factors.  In this instance I managed to get it to work with 843 = (75 + 8 + 1)*50/5 + 3.

Both contestants have managed to do better than me on this round, finding 836 = (8 + 3)*75 + 50/5 + 1.  That's three matched rounds in a row, and Sasha is running out of time to close the gap.  Lily has found the last solution that I mentioned, staying on track in the sea of possibilities.

Brydon: 836
Sasha: 836
Me: [no answer]
Lily: 843

Scores: Brydon 29 (43), Sasha 22 (29), me 50

Second break: TABLE RAY ("Tell Albert's secret")

To do that would be to betray Al, hence BETRAYAL.

Round 7: W R I P A H T E O


The contestants are matched again; Sasha has the six of WAITER while Brydon opts for PIRATE, a word which he also declared two games ago.  David has done well to find WIRETAP in this mix.

WIRETAP is the only seven.  A few of the other common sixes are WREATH, WRITHE, and PROTEA.  [Update: Sam drew my attention to the tempting but invalid HOTWIRE -- it is listed as either HOT WIRE or HOT-WIRE, but not the required HOTWIRE.  A shame.]

Brydon: PIRATE

Scores: Brydon 35 (49), Sasha 28 (35), me 56

Round 8: Target 741 from 25 100 5 3 2 10

Getting to 750 via 10*75 is a clear starting point, and I recalled that 2, 3, 5 could make 9 (since I think I missed that relatively recently).  That gave me the solution of 741 = (100 - 25)*10 - 3*(5 - 2).

Sasha needs unanswered points to have a chance here.  She declares 738, which must be (5 + 2)*100 + 25 + 10 + 3.  But Brydon has managed to get closer with his find of 740 = (100 - 25 - (3 - 2))*10.  That good result ensures that he will win, and we finally get a contestant through to the fourth game for the first time in a while.

Lily has gone with the same solution that I found.

Brydon: 740
Sasha: 738
Me: 741
Lily: 741

Scores: Brydon 35 (56), Sasha 28 (35), me 66


Pulling out the -ATION ending soon gave me the answer of RADIATION.  Just as well, as I only beat Sasha to it by a bit over a second.  Phew!

So consolation points for Sasha, but Brydon is the victor.

Brydon: [no answer]
Sasha: RADIATION (4s)

Scores: Brydon 35 (56), Sasha 28 (45), me 76

Brydon took the early lead in the first two rounds, and those 14 points were enough to carry him to victory.  Sasha was not able to outdo him in either facet of the game; she did well to solve the conundrum quickly and make the final scoreline closer, but ultimately she needed to do more in the main rounds to have stayed in contention.  Solid stuff from Brydon, and tomorrow we will see if he can get that crucial fourth victory that is generally required in order to make the finals.

My lapse in round 6 cost me all hope of a maximal game; it had been going well up to that point.  I only missed WIRETAP aside from that.  Thanks to the full monty in the first round my total was still in the seventies, so it has been a high-scoring week so far.  Just one more night to get through...


Emily said...

Love your wrap-ups!

GERUNDS (I was hoping for an A for DUNGAREES, so overlooked UNDERGOES when the O appeared)
BUNCHES (I was hoping for a T at the end for BIATCHES, which might be accepted now with the sixth edition but wouldn't have been with the fifth)
3*100+10-10 (and others)
CLOSETED (loved the look on Lily's face at LSD!)
(8+3)*(75+1)+(50/5)=846 (3 off)
WHITER (wisely decided that TOEHAIR was probably not a word)

Great game. I'm glad Sasha got the conundrum so she could end on a high.

Emily said...

Another typo! Change the - to a + in the first numbers solution. (That was the start of the 'kitchen sink' version of the solution - 3*100+10-10+25-5)

Mike Backhouse said...

Well done on the full monty Geoff. And well done on your recent games Emily. I think you were unlucky not to have gone further on the show.

BASIC and BUNCHES just after time
(8+3)*(75+1)+5=841 (2 off)
Brydon's way (1 off)

Geoff Bailey said...

Thanks, Mike. And Emily, that's a couple of scary-quick conundrum solutions! Great vision to see the potential for DUNGAREES, too.

Good point about Lily's reaction to LSD -- I should mention that.

Emily said...

Thanks Geoff, but that's how I tend to roll - I either get the conundrum immediately, or not at all. (Unfortunately, during my episodes it was not at all!)

And thanks Mike, that's a lovely thing to say. I know I could have done better and was a little annoyed with myself for bombing, but it is what it is! Lots of factors, but mostly I just gained a whole new appreciation of David and Lily for backing it up all day every day.

Sam G said...

I speculated UNDERGOES and TIMPANI before the letters had all emerged. I might have even answered HOTWIRE back in 2011, too.

3. 320 = (100+10)*3 - 10. It would take a good effort here to get close and not hit the target.
5. COLDEST/CASTLED. A few seconds too slow with DESOLATE.
6. two off: 841 = (8 + 3)*(75 + 1) + 5
7. x HOTWIRE (two words only)
8. 741 = (100 - 25)*10 - 3*(5 - 2)
9. 1.5s x? started with ADORATION, may have switched to RADIATION in time, hard to say.

Geoff Bailey said...

I'll note that HOT-WIRE with a hyphen is also listed, so it's not just two words only. But no one-word version, alas. Nice vision, though.