Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Ep 273: Angela Miezis, Denver Quadros (March 4, 2015; originally aired September 14, 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.

We have two new players tonight, due to Brydon successfully retiring yesterday.  Taking the champion's seat is Angela Miezis, who works in community health and is also a keen softballer.  She plays competitively, locally for the Comets in the North West League, based at Sunshine.  She also plays masters softball (also for the Comets) every year or two.

Taking up the challenger's seat is Denver Quadros, who has a masters in applied statistics.  Denver is interested in trivia, and used to be a trivia champion in his high school days.  His specialties were sports and geography.

The game started off tamely enough with each contestant finding five-letter words in the first round.  Denver got a small lead in the second when Angela chose an invalid word; it did not last too long, though, as Angela overtook him in round four.  Then she ran away with the game, taking unanswered points in the last three rounds to be safe going into the conundrum.  In the end it was too difficult for them both, and the scoreline remained 38 to 16 in Angela's favour.

I was a little off the pace in rounds 2 and 3, but otherwise did about as well as I could have.  I solved the conundrum quickly by my standards, and overall it was a satisfactory game.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: W S A T O C R I D

I had SWAT, COAST, ACTORS, CAROTIDS, CAROTID, and COWARDS.  After time I checked up on WAISTCORD; it is invalid, as expected.

The contestants start with a pair of fives; Denver has CROWS while Angela has chosen WAIST.  David suggests that they were both a little short of the mark, pointing out how CROWS in particular could be extended to CROWDS and COWARDS.  He mentions TOWARDS as another seven, and then CAROTID and thus CAROTIDS for eight.

The other sevens are DRASTIC and DACOITS.

Angela: WAIST
Denver: CROWS

Scores: Angela 0 (5), Denver 0 (5), me 8

Round 2: N F E S P A I E R

I had FENS, PANES, recalled that FIREPANS was not valid, PRAISE, EASIER, and contemplated PAINERS in desperation but was right to reject it.  After time I noted other sevens of FREESIA (a type of plant), REPINES (REPINE: "to be fretfully discontented and out of sorts"), and REFINES.

Again Denver declares a five; in this case, FREES.  Angela has found longer, though, declaring FENSPAR for seven.  But that doesn't sound quite right, and David goes diving for the dictionary.  He cannot find it, and Angela's answer is invalid.  I think she might have been thinking of FELSPAR (also FELDSPAR), one of a class of minerals.  David has found FREESIA here.

The other sevens are FAERIES, RAPINES, APERIES, PERINEA (plural of PERINEUM), and EREPSIN ("Obsolete a mixture of proteolytic enzymes, consisting mainly of peptidases, produced by the wall of the small intestine of vertebrates").  Under the revised rules, a case could be made for NAPERIES* (NAPERY: "linen for household use").

Angela: [invalid -- FENSPAR]
Denver: FREES

Scores: Angela 0 (5), Denver 0 (10), me 14

Round 3: Target 785 from 50 25 4 1 9 2

Using 10 as a multiplier I was able to get three away with 788 = (9 + 1)*(50 + 25 + 4) - 2.  That was the best I could do within time.  After time I realised that getting to 800 via 32*25 would let me tweak my way to one off with 784 = (9 - 1)*(4*25 - 2).  784 is a familiar number, being the square of 28, which is thus also 16*49.  That gave me another way to get one off with 784 = (50 - 1)*(25 - 9).  It took me a while longer to actually find a solution; the key was offsetting by 25 -- the target is 810 - 25, and 810 is, of course, 9*90.  It took a little further thought to make the 90 from the rest, but it worked to give 785 = (50 - 4 - 1)*2*9 - 25.

Neither contestant has managed to get within scoring range.  Lily describes it as "a toughie", but she has found her way to an answer using that solution I eventually found after time.  Well done, Lily.

There's only one other solution: 785 = ((25 - 2)*9 - 50)*(4 + 1).

Angela: [not in range]
Denver: [not in range]
Me: 788
Lily: 785

Scores: Angela 0 (5), Denver 0 (10), me 21

First break: COD EATER ("Assess the paint job")

The clue is indicating to RATE the DECOR, for DECORATE.

David's talk is about some more words coming from Arabic, but this time with a common theme of sweetness: 'sherbet', 'syrup', 'sorbet', and 'candy'.  He also mentions 'lolly', although its origin is English rather than Arabic.

Round 4: O U H B N E I D A

I had HONE, BOUND, and ABOUND.  After time I found BEDOUIN, which is listed as being acceptable in a lowercase form.

Denver is not that pleased to only have four to declare with BAND; I might have more sympathy for his situation if he had not chosen five vowels.  As it is, he really only has himself to blame for this unhelpful mix.  His feelings are perhaps reinforced when Angela finds BEHIND for six and takes the lead (albeit by a single point).  David mentions ABOUND, and that was the best he could do.

The other six is HOIDEN (variant spelling of HOYDEN).

Angela: BEHIND
Denver: BAND

Scores: Angela 6 (11), Denver 0 (10), me 27

Round 5: K N C E E S O R J


Both contestants have found six-letter words this time.  The combination of J and K certainly reduced the likelihood of a long word.  Denver has CENSOR to Angela's SCREEN.  David has found the pair of RECKONS / CONKERS.

The other sevens are ENCORES / NECROSE.

Angela: SCREEN
Denver: CENSOR

Scores: Angela 6 (17), Denver 0 (16), me 34

Round 6: Target 966 from 100 25 75 7 9 7

Starting with 9*100 seemed clear, and 9*7 was only three away.  That could be made as 75/25, giving me the solution 966 = 9*(100 + 7) + 75/25.  I spent the rest of the time unsuccessfully trying to find a solution using the factorisation 7*138.  After time I considered the standard method; the offset of 9 is the most tempting, leading to a tweaked solution of 966 = 9*(100 - 7/7) + 75.  Working up from 950 instead gave me the alternative solution 966 = 7*(100 + 25) + 75 + 9 + 7.

Denver is 5 away with 961, which I think must have been 9*100 + 75 - 7 - 7; if so, a small adjustment could have got him instead to 2 away with 9*100 + 75 - 25 + 7 + 7 = 964.  Two away is what Angela has found, with her choice of 968 = 9*100 + 75 - 7.  Lily has gone with the 9*(100 - 7/7) + 75 solution.

There's a few other solutions, but the shortest does use the factorisation that I wanted to: 966 = (75 + 7*9)*7.  Gah, I'm annoyed to have missed that.

Angela: 968
Denver: 961
Me: 966
Lily: 966

Scores: Angela 6 (24), Denver 0 (16), me 44

Second break: MORAL BAN ("Opposite of the standard way")

That opposite would be ABNORMAL.

Round 7: U A R I M L C E R


Denver has found REALM here for five, but Angela extends her lead past the ten-point difference with her find of MIRACLE.  David points out that a final N would have given the full monty of NUMERICAL, and something about his tone makes me think that he had found a full monty anyway.  I paused the video, but it took another forty seconds or so for me to find MERCURIAL.  Indeed, he has found it, bringing the week's total to three.  Bravo!

Aside from MERCURIAL, seven is the best to be done.  The others are CLAIMER, CURLIER, AURICLE ("a part like or likened to an ear"), URAEMIC (adjective derived from URAEMIA: "the morbid condition resulting from the retention of urinary constituents"), and MARLIER* (MARLY is listed as an adjective derived from MARL: "a soil or earthy deposit consisting of clay and calcium carbonate, used especially as a fertiliser").

Denver: REALM

Scores: Angela 13 (31), Denver 0 (16), me 51

Round 8: Target 549 from 25 50 10 1 6 7

I tried a few times to make this as 50*11 - 1, without success.  Fortunately I noticed that it was easier to make the 49 and found the solution 549 = 10*50 + 7*(6 + 1).  After time I found the overcomplicated solution 549 = 7*6*25 - 10*50 - 1, and then finally saw the relatively obvious 549 = (10 + 7 - 6)*50 - 1.

Denver must outscore Angela here to have a chance, but his answer of 543 is a bit far away.  I will guess that was 10*50 + 6*7 + 1 -- if he'd only seen the adjustment to my solution then he could have stayed in the game.  As it is, though, Angela takes the points again with her find of 550 = 50*10 + (7 - 6 + 1)*25.  That puts her 22 points ahead, and guaranteed to win.  Lily has gone with 549 = (10 + 1)*50 - (7 - 6).

Angela: 550
Denver: 543
Me: 549
Lily: 549

Scores: Angela 13 (38), Denver 0 (16), me 61


The likely ending is -ITY, and I also tend to look for OB- as a beginning when O and B are availabled.  Both applied here, guiding me to the answer of OBSCURITY.

Neither contestant was able to solve this within time, so the scoreline remains unchanged.

Angela: [no answer]
Denver: [no answer]

Scores: Angela 13 (38), Denver 0 (16), me 71

This was a relatively low-scoring game, and Angela clearly had the edge over Denver in both facets.  It showed up more clearly in the numbers, where she outscored him by 14 points to 0.  The first two letters rounds can perhaps be put down to first-game syndrome, but she'll need to manage better than that to progress very far.

I'd have liked to do better in the first numbers round, and I definitely should have done better in round two, but the other non-maximal results were reasonable.  Three totals in the seventies so far this week, and if I can keep that up I will be happy.


Mike Backhouse said...

Low scoring game for me too.

(9+1)*(50+25+4)-2=788 (3 away, Lily's way was fantastic)
Lily's way

Emily said...

Total dud from me too!

(9+1)*(50+25+4)-2=788 (3 off)
100*9+75-7=968 (2 off)
No conundrum. But I did see crusty, which inspired me to indulge in a breadstick and dukkah for supper.

I hope Niall didn't stick around to watch this one after his episode. Plenty of what ifs and if onlys!

Sam G said...

1. CAROTID. Forgot about the non-adjective.
3. one off: 784 = (50-1)*(25-9)
4. BEDOUIN. I wondered whether this was valid back in 2011, as David did not find it.
6. 966 = (100+7)*9 + 75/25
8. 549 = (10+1)*50 - 7 + 6
9. OBSCURITY - 1.15s