Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Ep 262: Cormac Murtagh, Geoff Walker (February 17, 2015; originally aired August 30, 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.

On Cormac's second night, Richard asks him about the "multilinguist" term that was used in his description.  Cormac explains that he knows four languages: English and Irish in high school, and he has picked up German and Spanish as well.  Richard asks him to translate "letters and numbers" to a couple of languages of his choice; Cormac gives the Gaelic translation of "litreacha agus uimhreacha", and then Richard takes back the free choice by asking for it specifically in Spanish.  That turns out to be the rather simpler "letras y nĂ¹meros".  German would have been more interesting ("Buchstaben und Zahlen").

Tonight's challenger is Geoff Walker, a bushwalker whose passions include bushwalking and the Argentinean tango.  Richard seems impressed by the tango, and asks how Geoff got involved in it.  Geoff explains that he was looking for something to occupy his spare time about ten years ago; he saw an advertisement for classes, went along, and loved it.  But more than the dancing, he loves the music -- that's what really keeps him going in tango.

It starts off fairly evenly -- Geoff took the lead in the first round, two tied rounds followed, then Cormac tied it up at the halfway mark.  But that was as good as it got for Cormac: Geoff outmatched him in the letters, and two poor numbers rounds saw Cormac slip out of contention.  The conundrum was too hard for everyone, so Geoff became the new champion, 48 to 19.

I started off well, but once I missed a word I'd have liked to have found things unravelled a bit.  My next declaration was invalid, and I was too slow to see the best option in the last letters round.  The numbers went well, but once more the conundrum proved too difficult for me.  I hope I get one soon!

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: M I R E E S T A P

I had RIME, REMISE ("Law to give up a claim to; surrender by deed"), STEAMIER, rightly rejecting IMPASTER and MISREPEAT.  After time I noted PREMISE as another seven, and EMIRATES as another eight.  I was also amused by the idea of a PIEMASTER, but it's no surprise that it is not valid.

Cormac starts with STRIPE for six, but Geoff gets the early lead with his find of PERMITS.  David has found the eights of PRIMATES and STEAMIER.

The other eights are PARIETES (plural of PARIES: "a wall, as of a hollow organ or body cavity") and TEMPERAS (TEMPERA: "paint made from pigment ground in water and mixed with an emulsion of egg yolk or some similar substance").

Cormac: STRIPE

Scores: Cormac 0, Geoff 0 (7), me 8

Round 2: R T K S Y I U I A

I had RISKY and AURIST (listed as another term for OTOLOGIST: "a physician specialising in diseases of the ear").

It's no surprise on this mix that the contestants have been limited to five letters.  Cormac has gone for STARK, while Geoff confuses Richard by calling his five "risky"; on prompting, he explains that he meant that he was declaring RISKY.  David has found KAURIS (KAURI being a type of tree) for his six.

The other sixes are KRAITS (KRAIT being a type of snake), KRAUTS (KRAUT being a derogatory colloquialism for a German) / KURTAS (KURTA: "a loose-fitting shirt worn by South Asian women with a salwar or churidar and by men with a pyjama"), and ARIKIS (ARIKI: "a Maori principal chief").

Cormac: STARK
Geoff: RISKY

Scores: Cormac 0 (5), Geoff 0 (12), me 14

Round 3: Target 838 from 100 10 3 9 6 7

Working down from 900 was my first instinct (since there was no handy 8), and a simple tweak adjusted that to one off.  Making the final one was easy enough, giving me 838 = 9*(100 - 7) + 10 - 6 - 3.  After time I considered the option of 840 - 2 and found 838 = (100 - 9 - 7)*10 - 6/3.

The contestants are one way in opposite directions; Cormac has 837 = 9*100 - 6*10 - 3.  Geoff has gone a little similarly, opting for 839 = 9*100 - 7*10 + 6 + 3.  On average, they've solved it.  Lily demonstrates the first of the solutions that I listed.

Cormac: 837
Geoff: 839
Me: 838
Lily: 838

Scores: Cormac 0 (12), Geoff 0 (19), me 24

First break: GENRE BIN ("Starts by asking inside")

This time the -ING is not used; instead the clue breaks up as BEG + INNER, for BEGINNER.

David's talk is about some birds with unusual names related to the call that they make; he cites the whipbird, auctioneer bird, riflebird, axebird, cuckoo, and semitone bird (also called a brainfever bird).

Round 4: D H B S T O E A H

I had BOTH, HOSTED, BATHED, and HOTBEDS.  After time I noted the six of BATHOS ("a ludicrous descent from the elevated to the commonplace; anticlimax").

Geoff has found the six of HOSTED, while Cormac says that he is very proud of his seven, hinting at his choice of BOASTED.  Oh, dear, I should have seen that.  Still, David is about to depress me further as he has found BOATSHED and HOTHEADS; I'd looked at the HEAD fragment but missed that.  Well done, David!

That ties the scores up again at the halfway mark of the main rounds.

BOATSHED and HOTHEADS are the only eights; HEADSHOT is not listed.  The other seven is HOTHEAD.


Scores: Cormac 7 (19), Geoff 0 (19), me 31

Round 5: M E G I O L T U J

I had LIME, MOULT, JOULE, and OUTLIE.  I was disconcerted (and disappointed) when later checking revealed that OUTLIE was not valid.  Bother.

Cormac has "just a four" of TOIL.  Geoff takes the lead again with his find of GUILT.  David once again has found the best option of GIMLET.

The other sixes are GLUTEI (plural of GLUTEUS: "any of the large muscles of the buttocks [...]"), MOTILE, GOMUTI (a type of palm tree), ULTIMO ("in or of the month preceding the present"), and TELIUM (a part of a rust fungus).

Cormac: TOIL
Geoff: GUILT
Me: [invalid -- OUTLIE]

Scores: Cormac 7 (19), Geoff 5 (24), me 31

Round 6: Target 127 from 100 10 3 9 6 2

The standard method pretty clearly produced 127 = 100 + 3*9, but I wanted a solution with the small numbers alone.  The option of 10*13 - 3 looked promising, and indeed produced a solution: 127 = (9 + 6 - 2)*10 - 3.

Richard has obviously found the first of those solutions I listed, as he proclaims that it was not too much of a challenge.  Geoff agrees, as he has solved it with the first of those solutions.  Cormac, on the other hand, says that he got a bit lost and only has 126 to declare (I'll take a big guess that this was 100 + 2*10 + 6).  It's always a little embarrassing when Richard assumes that a solution is trivial but a contestant has missed it.  No word on Lily's approach, but she must have seen it.

That puts Geoff a dangerous fifteen points ahead, so Cormac has some work to do if he is to win this.

Cormac: 126
Geoff: 127
Me: 127

Scores: Cormac 7 (19), Geoff 15 (34), me 41

Second break: FIRM SIDE ("Unmarried and unemployed")

Richard explains that the 'unmarried' clues MISS (with 'unemployed' yielding FIRED), and thus MISFIRED.

Round 7: N E S D O A N F E

I had SEND, NODES, ANODES, and FANNED.  Just as time ran out I saw DEAFENS, but could not get it down.  Alas.

Cormac is in deep trouble here, only having found FENDS for five.  Indeed, Geoff has found the best option of DEAFENS, and is now guaranteed to win.  David also found it.

The other seven is ENNEADS (ENNEAD: "a group of nine persons or things").

Cormac: FENDS

Scores: Cormac 7 (19), Geoff 22 (41), me 41

Round 8: Target 586 from 100 3 10 5 2 7

The target is 14 away from 600, so I put the 2 and 7 aside to make that 14.  The other small numbers could make the required 6 (via 3*10/5), but I used the tweak instead: 586 = 2*(3*100 - 7).  Then I looked at working up from 500 and found 586 = 5*(100 + 10 + 7) + 3 - 2.

Geoff declares three off with 583, but Cormac has solved this.  However, he starts to give that last solution that I mentioned but makes a simple slip, saying (100 + 10 + 7)*5 + 2 + 3.  Of course, he needed to subtract that 2, not add it.  What bothers me about this is that it's not clear if he wrote down the wrong thing, or had the correct answer written down but misread it.  If the latter, then it is similar to the situation that I was concerned about with Jodi-Ann's correction in episode 260.

That brings Geoff's answer back into consideration; it is 583 = (5 + 3 - 2)*100 - (10 + 7).  17 points of relative difference hinged on that sign error by Cormac.  Lily has opted for the solution 586 = (10/5)*3*100 - 2*7.

Cormac: [invalid -- wrong answer]
Geoff: 583
Me: 586
Lily: 586

Scores: Cormac 7 (19), Geoff 22 (48), me 51


Gah, another conundrum that I struggled greatly with -- the B and the F really were not playing nicely together.  All in all, it took me just shy of two minutes to solve it (1m52s).

Neither contestant is able to solve this either.  That's two very tough conundrums Cormac has faced -- fortunately neither of them mattered.

Cormac: [no answer]
Geoff: [no answer]
Me: [no answer]

Scores: Cormac 7 (19), Geoff 22 (48), me 51

Cormac seemed to wilt in the last half of the game, with two bad numbers rounds sealing his fate.  Geoff played well in the letters and was able to capitalise on Cormac's errors; the final scoreline perhaps exaggerates the difference between the two competitors.

Realistically, only round 7 was a poor result here for me; I should have found DEAFENS within time.  OUTLIE I had to try, and while I could easily have found HOTHEADS on another day it is certainly not a gimme.


Mike Backhouse said...

I was a bit slow today, seeing better words just out of time and being just over time on two numbers games.

PESTER and then saw PASTIER after time
Lily's way but just went over time
BASTED and then saw BOASTED again just out of time
Cormac's intended solution but was a few seconds over. Bad luck Cormac.
x David's suggestion today of looking for smaller words might have worked here in hindsight.

Sam G said...

3. 838 = 9*(100 - 7) + 10 - 6 - 3
6. 127 = 100 + 3*9
7. FANNED. I was also a few seconds late with DEAFENS.
8. 586 = 2*(3*100 - 7). Cormac's approach was very good, he must have miswritten.
9. FROSTBITE ~ 11s

Justin Thai said...

Lily's solution
Would of had FROSTBITE by the time I got this :p