Monday, 16 March 2015

Ep 281: Tina Rose, Surya Raviganesh (March 16, 2015; originally aired September 26, 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.

Tina takes her turn in the champion's seat to start off the week, and if Friday's game was representative then we would expect to see her for a while.  Richard informs us that one of her talents is billiards, and Tina says that she has been playing for around ten years.  Tina says that billiards is a challenge because it is counterintuitive -- whereas in pool or snooker you use the cue ball to sink the other ball, in billiards you're actually going in-off; she says that this means that you have to think about where your cue ball is going more than where the ball you're hitting is going.

(Nitpicking from me: In pool and snooker you also have to plan where your cue ball is going to end up, or you won't have a good next shot.  It's a key part of the game, but one that is easy to overlook until you get reasonably competent.  That said, billiards demands a more precise control of the positions of every ball because you emphatically do not want to sink the opponent's cue ball, and generally should aim to score points by canons rather than sinking.)

Tonight's challenger is Surya Raviganesh, who has just graduated with a master's degree in finance.  Richard notes that Surya was working in the literacy field when he was in India.  Surya explains that there is a charity called EVF (the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation) which aims to eradicate illiteracy in tribal areas of India.  Richard has it slightly wrong: Surya was actually working here and supporting the organisation, which was done by holding charity events -- such as a trivia night and a cultural dance night -- with the proceeds being giving to the EVF to help them build schools.

Tina took the early lead with a classic eight, but Surya did well in the first numbers round to close the gap to a point.  Then Tina scooted away with two better words, and a shared numbers round meant she was ahead by sixteen at the second break.  Against the run of play, Surya found a better word than her in the last letters round (an unpleasant mix, admittedly), and capitalised on that by solving the last numbers round to tie up the scores going into the conundrum.  It was anyone's to win, but Tina solved the conundrum and so survived the challenge, winning 46 to 36.

I was too slow to see the best option in round two, but otherwise had a maximal game.  I rounded it out with a fast conundrum solution, in what was a good game overall.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: T B N O E I R L A


Surya has found BANTER in this mix, but Tina has found the maximal result of RELATION.  David has found another eight of TAILBONE.

The other eights are BARITONE (this is what I was trying to remember when I wrote down BARONET) / OBTAINER / REOBTAIN.  The other sevens are ELATION / TOENAIL, NOTABLE, LATRINE / RETINAL / RELIANT / RATLINE ("Nautical any of the small ropes or lines which traverse the shrouds horizontally, serving as steps for going aloft") / TRENAIL (variant spelling of TREENAIL: "a cylindrical pin of hard word for fastening together timbers in ships, etc."), ORBITAL, AILERON / ALIENOR ("Law someone who transfers property"), LIBRATE ("to oscillate; sway") / TRIABLE, BLOATER, NIOBATE, REBOANT ("resounding loudly"), RETINOL, and TABORIN ("a small tabor", which is a type of drum).


Scores: Tina 8, Surya 0, me 8

Round 2: F N S H C O U E T

I had a speculative FINCHES (but the I did not arrive), CONS, OUNCES, CONFUSE, and CONTUSE.  With those last two I was trying to recall the word that I knew was there, but I ran out of time before I could bring CONFUTES to mind.  I noted it down just after time.

The contestants have both found CHUTES for six.  David checks the spelling just in case one of them erred with SHOOTS, but that was a pretty unlikely error.  He points out the sevens of TOUCHES, NOTCHES, and CONFUSE, but of course has seen CONFUTES for eight.

The other sevens are CONFUTE ("to prove to be wrong"), ECONUTS (ECONUT: "Colloquial a person who is deeply concerned with ecology and environmental issues"), COHUNES (COHUNE being a type of palm tree), and perhaps TECHNOS.


Scores: Tina 8 (14), Surya 0 (6), me 15

Round 3: Target 209 from 75 50 9 7 1 9

The target is 11*19, but both are hard to make.  Instead the standard method of 200 + 9 is clearly the way to go; I found 209 = (9 - 7)*75 + 50 + 9.  After time I noted an alternative of 209 = (9 - 1)*(75 - 50) + 9.

Tina has not been able to get within range, which did surprise me after her good numberwork in her previous game.  Surya has managed to get to just two away; he has done this with 207 = 75 + 50 + 9*9 + 1.  That's a good result, and allows him to close the gap to a single point.  Lily says that she struggled, but got there in the end; her solution is 209 = (75 - 50)*9 - 9 - 7.

Tina: [not in range]
Surya: 207
Me: 209
Lily: 209

Scores: Tina 8 (14), Surya 0 (13), me 25

First break: STATE FLU ("Pleasing to the senses")

The words can be anagrammed individually, yielding TASTEFUL.

David's talk is about the word 'panjandrum'.

Round 4: A I E M L D R N G

I had MALE, MAILED, MANLIER, DREAMING, MALINGER, and MALIGNED.  After time I checked up on MIDRANGE (not valid: MID-RANGE is the acceptable version) and MALIGNER (valid).

Surya has found MINGLED for seven; that would often be a good result, but with -ING in consideration it is not necessarily so.  Indeed, Tina has found DREAMING for eight to extend her lead once more.  David has found DREAMING and MALINGER, and laments that DREAMLING is not a word.

The other eights are MARGINED, DRAGLINE, GERMINAL ("in the earliest stage of development"), and the American spelling MEDALING.


Scores: Tina 16 (22), Surya 0 (13), me 33

Round 5: D T P A E O N R I

I had ADEPT, PRONATED, and PREDATION.  After time I checked on PATRONED (not valid, as I've checked many times before; I am a bit forgetful) and found another eight of DIPTERAN (a type of insect).

Surya has TIRADE for six, and that does feel short of the mark with those letters.  Tina has found PAINTED for seven, extending her lead past a conundrum's worth.  David is happy to start the week with a full monty, as he has also found PREDATION.

The other eights are RATIONED / ORDINATE, ANTIPODE, and ATROPINE (a chemical often used in eye drops).


Scores: Tina 16 (29), Surya 0 (13), me 51

Round 6: Target 528 from 25 10 3 9 1 3

The standard method suggests 525 + 3, and 525 is 7*75, of course.  So that uses up both 3's, and the remaining numbers cannot quite make the 7.  Bother.  Fortunately I realised that I had combined too many steps at once, and 525 is also 21*25.  Viewed that way, I was able to find 528 = (3*10 - 9)*25 + 3.  After time I noted that tweaking would have let my original idea work: 528 = ((10 - 3)*25 + 1)*3.

The contestants are each one off with 527.  Surya's method is 527 = 25*10*(3 - 1) + 9*3; Tina says that her solution is a slight variation, but it's just the usual thing of doing the steps in a different order.  Lily has solved this using the first method that I listed.

Tina: 527
Surya: 527
Me: 528
Lily: 528

Scores: Tina 16 (36), Surya 0 (20), me 61

Second break: SLIDE POD ("An Italian tower is this")

That would be the famous leaning tower of Pisa, of course, which could be said to be LOPSIDED.

Round 7: T S W K U E O E S

I had SUET, STOKE, STOKES, OUTSEES, correctly rejected OUTSEEKS and OUTSKEWS, and was unsure about KETOSES (valid; in fact I mentioned KETOSE recently in episode 277: "any of the sugars which have a ketone group or its equivalent").

They weren't very promising letters, and Tina has been limited to the five of WEEKS.  That is good news for Surya, who has found the six of SWEETS to close the gap to ten points.  David went out on a limb with OUTSEE, and thus OUTSEES, and was pleased to see that the dictionary did list that.

The other seven is SKEWEST.  The other sixes are OUTSEE, KETOSE, SETOSE ("bristly"), and arguably SKEETS.


Scores: Tina 16 (36), Surya 0 (26), me 68

Round 8: Target 273 from 100 8 9 4 5 1

The target is 3*91, and 91 is 7*13, so there's much fertile ground for factorisation.  I went one of those ways at first for the overly complicated 273 = (9 + 4)*(100/5 + 1).  Then I found the simpler 273 = (100 - 9)*(4 - 1).  After time I used the other single factor for the kitchen sink solution of 273 = (8 - 1)*(100/4 + 9 + 5).

Tina has ended up five away with 278; I'll take a guess at this being (4 - 1)*100 - 9 - 8 - 5.  Surya has solved this, however, and ties up the scores with his find of 273 = 5*4*9 + 100 - 8 + 1.  A nice solution!  Lily has opted for the solution 273 = (8 - 5)*100 - (4 - 1)*9.

Tina: 278
Surya: 273
Me: 273
Lily: 273

Scores: Tina 16 (36), Surya 10 (36), me 78


With EX- at the beginning, and a probable -TION ending, I quickly found EXECUTION.

If neither contestant solves this then we'll go to a tiebreaker, but I'd expect Tina to find the solution based on past performance.  Indeed, she does at the fourteen second marks and so survives a game that pushed her perhaps more than she expected.

Tina: EXECUTION (14s)
Surya: [no answer]
Me: EXECUTION (1.5s)

Scores: Tina 16 (46), Surya 10 (36), me 88

Tina was decent on the words tonight, but was rather shakier on the numbers than she was in her previous game.  Perhaps she's not a morning person?  Surya did well to hang in there and get back that lost ground on them.  But the conundrum was always going to favour Tina over him, and so it proved.

I would have had an optimal game if not for being too slow to see CONFUTES in round two.  Ah, well, there's always tomorrow...


Mike Backhouse said...

BONIER (loved RELATION by Geoff and Tina)
PANTED and then immediately saw PRINTED but did not get it written down in time
(3*(10-3))*25+1=526 (2 off and missed that alternative way to get 21)
(4-1)*(100-9)=273 (surprised this was not Lily's solution. And I would never have pursued Surya's calculation method- wow!)
x jumped in with UNEXCITE before thinking better of it!

Sam G said...

3. 209 = (9 - 1)*(75 - 50) + 9. A surprisingly awkward target.
4. DEALING. I think I might have rejected GERMINAL. The rest of the world got eights.
6. 528 = ((10 - 3)*25 + 1)*3
8. 273 = (100 - 9)*(4 - 1)
9. EXECUTION - 1.05s