Monday, 2 March 2015

Ep 271: Brydon Coverdale, Karen Barber (March 2, 2015; originally aired September 12, 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 returns for his fifth night, and he's been getting better with each game.  Can he keep that progression up?  But first, we find out that Brydon's parents owned a dairy farm, and he lived there all through his childhood and then moved to the city.  Richard informs us that somehow, despite that upbringing, Brydon avoided ever milking a cow.  Brydon says that the main reason he was able to do that was that when he was thirteen he got a job off the farm, and that managed to get him out of it.

The first challenger of the week is Karen Barber, a primary school teacher.  She's been very busy lately looking for houses, and Richard asks what the typical weekend is like for her at the moment.  Karen states that it involves lots of research on the Internet on Friday night, picking out the possibilities and then walking through them.  She says they all tend to "blend to one".  Richard asks if she knows what she is looking for, and Karen says that they have a bit of an idea, but they often like each one they look at, so some kind of selection process is needed.

Karen may have been a little nervous, as her opening five-letter words were a bit off the pace.  In particular, her round two answer was easily extendable to a six-letter word (as Brydon showed).  Brydon took the early lead there, and then extended it when Karen missed a numbers option.  Brydon then found a good word in the fourth round to jump out to a thirty point lead, and there was no coming back from that deficit for Karen.  Karen did find better form after that point, matching Brydon in the remaining main rounds, but the damage was done.  Brydon did quite well to solve the conundrum, and cruised home with a 70 to 30 victory.  That sets him up to possibly become a retiring champion tomorrow.

I found maximal answers in most of the main rounds, before stumbling in round 8.  Brydon beat me to the conundrum solution by a good ten seconds or so, and in the end I would have to say I was lucky to scrape by with the win over him.  Still, I did manage it, so my current streak continues.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: M N E R I T O G E

I had MINER, a slightly uncertain MINTER (valid, and in any case the single-syllable rule for adjectives would kick in), MENTOR, INTEGER, MEETING, and METERING.  METEORING was clearly invalid, so that was the best I could do.  After time I noted REGIMENT as another eight.

Karen starts off with the five of MERIT, outdone by Brydon's choice of GOITRE.  It's a bit strange that neither used the -ING, but I guess I have the benefit of a lot more experience than they had.  David wanted a final N for MENTORING, but has had to settle for the eight of REGIMENT.

Those are both eights listed.  The other sevens are TEEMING, TREEING, REGIMEN, ONETIME, EMOTING, TERMING, and GENITOR ("a father in the biological sense, sometimes distinguished from a legal or acting father").

Brydon: GOITRE
Karen: MERIT

Scores: Brydon 0 (6), Karen 0, me 8

Round 2: L S U A P H O K I

I had SLAP, HAULS, POLKAS, and PHIALS.  After time I noted another six of POLISH.

Again, the contestants go five-six, with Karen choosing POLKA while Brydon makes the obvious extension to POLKAS.  As Richard remarks, that's got to hurt.  David points out POLISH as another six, and HAIKUS as a less common one.

There is a seven lurking in this mix: KALIPHS (KALIPH being a variant spelling of CALIPH: "the head of a Muslim state").  The other sixes are KALIPH, OKAPIS, PALISH ("somewhat pale"), PILAUS (PILAU being a variant spelling of PILAF), SALUKI (a type of dog), PIKAUS (PIKAU being a New Zealand term: "to carry on the back"), PILOUS ("hairlike"), PULAOS (PULAO being yet another variant spelling of PILAF), and PIKULS (PIKUL: "a unit of weight used in Malaysia, equal to 100 catties").

Brydon: POLKAS
Karen: POLKA

Scores: Brydon 6 (12), Karen 0, me 14

Round 3: Target 501 from 100 4 3 9 3 1

The standard method is clearly the way to go, and putting aside the 1 means making 5 from the rest.  I went with 501 = (9 - 4)*100 + 1.

Brydon has reached the target, but Karen is off the pace with 500.  I'm guessing she found (4 + 1)*100 and did not see how to make the 1 with 3/3. Brydon gives that solution: 501 = (4 + 1)*100 + 3/3.  Lily has gone with the same solution that I did.

That result puts Brydon 22 points in front going into the first break.  Karen is in a lot of trouble, and I can't see her coming back from this position.  Hopefully she will score some points soon, though.

Brydon: 501
Karen: 500
Me: 501
Lily: 501

Scores: Brydon 16 (22), Karen 0, me 24

First break: CREEK BID ("Argued with Edward")

The "Edward" clearly indicates ED, but it took me longer than I liked to resolve the rest to BICKERED.

David's talk is about some terms potentially relevant to car mechanics: 'dolly', 'cradle', 'solenoid', and 'safari snorkels'.

Round 4: R T M E A O L D I

I had TERM, TAMER, and IDOLATER / TAILORED.  After time I noted another eight of MEDIATOR.

Karen has improved by finding a six, but Brydon has found TAILORED for eight to stretch his lead even further.  And it's even worse than that, as Karen's choice of DEMOTE uses a second E that is not present.  (Assuming, that is, she was not trying to DEMOAT a castle.)  David notes that IDOLATER is an anagram of TAILORED.

That's all the eights listed.  The sevens are READMIT, TRAILED, LEOTARD / DELATOR, EARLDOM, DILATOR, DARIOLE ("a type of small, cup-shaped mould"), and then the ones needing the revised rules: MALTIER*, LOAMIER*, MOLDIER*, and MOTLIER*.

Karen: [invalid -- DEMOTE]

Scores: Brydon 24 (30), Karen 0, me 32

Round 5: C G S U A W E N O

I had CAWS, CAGES, UNCASE, WAGONS, and UNCAGES.  After time I noted another seven of CANGUES (CANGUE: "(in China) a kind of portable pillory formerly worn about the neck by criminals").

Both contestants have five-letter words in this mostly unhelpful mix.  Brydon had WAGES while Karen opted for CAUSE.  That gets her on the scoreboard at last, which I imagine was a relief.  David has gone with UNCAGES as his choice.

The other seven is COWAGES (COWAGE being a plant).  There's various other sixes, of which I will just mention CANOES / OCEANS and OUNCES.

Brydon: WAGES
Karen: CAUSE

Scores: Brydon 24 (35), Karen 0 (5), me 39

Round 6: Target 117 from 25 100 9 3 2 1

Starting from 100 is the obvious way to go, and getting to 17 with the rest is not too hard.  I went with 117 = 100 + 2*9 - 1 (seen just now: 117 = 100 + (2*25 + 1)/3).  I also noted the factorisation 9*13, and so the solution 117 = 9*(25 + 1)/2.

Both contestants have solved this; Richard comments about how the numbers have been pretty gentle tonight.  Karen might not have taken that too kindly after the previous numbers' round.  Karen has used the same solution that I did (the first one, that is), while Brydon went with 117 = 100 + 25 - 9 + 1.  That was also Lily's approach.

Brydon: 117
Karen: 117
Me: 117
Lily: 117

Scores: Brydon 34 (45), Karen 10 (15), me 49

Second break: MINI MUSE ("Prevention over cure")

I went down the -IUM false track for a while, but putting the M's together led me to the intended answer of IMMUNISE.

Round 7: D R I T E B A N E


Both contestants have also found BANTERED, and it's an appropriate word for the show.  Karen was far enough behind going into this that only a full monty would have given her a chance, so Brydon is now guaranteed to win.  David does not indicate what he would have chosen, but can be safely assumed to have found the eights.

The other eight is DETAINER.  The other sevens are DETRAIN, BRAINED, TRAINEE / RETINAE, INBREED, BERATED / DEBATER / REBATED, BEADIER / BEARDIE (a type of sheepdog), BETAINE ("the sweet component of sugar beets"), and the revised options of BENDIER* and BANDIER*.


Scores: Brydon 42 (53), Karen 18 (23), me 57

Round 8: Target 592 from 75 100 50 6 7 9

I made a mess of this one.  I wrote down the fallback of 593 = 6*100 - 7, and kept searching.  I realised that the offset of 8 could also be an offset of 42, made as 6*7, but flailed around without finding any of the many ways of getting to the required 550.  After time I easily found 592 = 9*50 + 100 + 6*7 and 592 = 6*(75 + 7) + 100.

Both contestants have ended up one away with 591 = 6*100 - 9.  Lily makes it look easy, as she so often does, with 592 = (100 + 7)*6 - 50.  Nicely done!

Brydon: 591
Karen: 591
Me: 593
Lily: 592

Scores: Brydon 49 (60), Karen 25 (30), me 64


Bleah, a lot of letters that did not go well together.  I got hung up on the -IBLE fragment, but other than that did not see much plausible.  Brydon buzzed in at the eight second mark and I started the backup clock.  It took me another eleven seconds to find the compound option of BLUEPRINT.

Brydon: BLUEPRINT (8s)
Karen: [no answer]

Scores: Brydon 59 (70), Karen 25 (30), me 64

Brydon played very well tonight, and achieved his highest score so far.  He has improved every game, and if he can keep that up then tomorrow's result will be very impressive.  He found five maximal results in the main rounds, and coupled those with an excellent conundrum solution.  That would be tough for any competitor to overcome, but Karen lost it in the first half where Brydon outscored her thirty points to zero.  She came back, matching him in the final four main rounds, but the damage was already done.  Brydon stands an excellent chance of becoming the first retiring champion of these re-runs, and I look forward to tomorrow's game.

I was going along strongly until I slipped in the last numbers round.  It really was just carelessness; I had found the important insight but somehow failed to use it.  Brydon was too fast for me on the conundrum, and with his generally strong results tonight I feel lucky to escape with the win.

There's some post-game banter among the hosts that I will mention; the reason should (if memory serves correctly) become clearer tomorrow.  David harks back to his mentioning of HAIKUS in round two, and uses words from tonight's show to make one:
Dental regiment
bickered and bantered: Monday's
Letters and Numbers
Lily is asked if she also has a haiku, and claims that she has one that David might not like very much.  She also says that she has combined some words together to "combine syllables".  That's... really not how syllables work.  (She appears to have been interpreting "syllables" as "words" in the haiku 5-7-5 pattern restriction.)  Anyway, what she comes up with is this:
On L&N we have fun
Numbers are great we laugh a ton
Letters are-a-pain in the bum
Richard adjudges that this was not really a haiku, but there was general merriment regardless.


Mike Backhouse said...

Brydon's way
CAUSE and UNCAGES seconds after time (Grrr)
Karen's way
Karen and Brydon's way (1 away)

Geoff Bailey said...

I bet you were wanting that final N in round one also, Mike. :) Bad luck for not getting UNCAGES a little sooner, and I'm afraid that MALTIER* is not valid under the show's criteria.

Justin Thai said...

Brydon has really step on it usually champions normally perk up and then deflate a bit, bit out of norm, to use a cricket analogy he's got himself in now :p

501-Brydon's way
UNCAGES (pondered the 30 sec if it was a word)

Emily said...

The weekend gave Brydon a boost! But I was also surprised he didn't use the -ING in the second letters round.

POLISH (While I am 100% certain that Brydon didn't cheat, I do feel that the contestants should have checked answers here. I also wonder if Brydon had noted a few sixes to choose from.)
6*100-9=591 (1 off)

Emily said...

P.S. Got the conundrum a few seconds in. Not sure on exact timing - long enough to have relaxed before Brydon hit the buzzer.

Geoff Bailey said...

Nice work to solve the conundrum that quickly, Emily! And Justin, very well done to solve round 8.

Sam G said...

Another strong performance from Brydon.

1. METERING. I think I've tried the invalid REMOTING previously.
3. 501 = (9 - 4)*100 + 1
6. 117 = 100 + 2*9 - 1
8. 592 = (100 + 7)*6 - 50
9. BLUEPRINT, perhaps ~17s, I don't keep a backup timer.