Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Ep 282: Tina Rose, Kathryn Bickerton (March 17, 2015; originally aired September 27, 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 is back for her third night, and Richard asks whether she practises art as well as teaching it.  Tina regrets that she does not at the moment -- she is working, and studying, and the inference is that it is taking up all her time.  However, if she did have the time, Tina would do sculpting.  She says that she works primarily with clay; also mixed media and found objects and such, but clay is her passion.

Tonight's challenger is Kathryn Bickerton, a former mathematics teacher, who is currently studying for her diploma of divinity.  Richard asks what Kathryn what she will do with that diploma, and Kathryn responds that she would like to help out teaching scripture in her children's local primary school.  She adds that she has done high school teaching, but now that she has kids in primary school she thought that she needed retraining for that age bracket.

The contestants were essentially evenly matched in the letters rounds today, with only round two producing a small advantage to Tina.  Tina erred in the first numbers round, with her invalid answer allowing Kathryn to overtake her.  But the other two numbers rounds were all Tina's, as she solved them both while Kathryn was unable to.  Tina took an unbeatable lead going into the conundrum, and continued her good form on those to solve it for a final scoreline of 63 to 34.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: R D G H I A E N O

I had GIRD, was unsure about HAIRED (not valid), HEARING, HOARDING, ORGANDIE (a type of fabric), and GROANED.

The contestants start with a pair of sevens; Kathryn has found GROANED while Tina has used the -ING for HEADING.  David has also used the -ING, finding HOARDING.

The other eight is ADHERING. The other sevens are READING / GRAINED / DERAIGN ("to dispose troops for (battle)") / GRADINE (variant spelling of GRADIN: "one of a series of steps or seats raised one above another"), ADORING, ERODING / IGNORED / REDOING / GROINED (GROIN as a verb being an architectural term: "to form with groins"), HERDING, HANDIER, ANEROID, and HORDING (HORDE as a verb: "to gather in a horde").

Kathryn: GROANED

Scores: Tina 0 (7), Kathryn 0 (7), me 8

Round 2: C M I U R T E D F

I had CRIM, METRIC, CRUDITÉ, and FRUITED.  I wanted Kathryn to choose a final vowel here, as an A (which it would have been) would have allowed MURICATE ("shaped like the murex").

Kathryn has CRIME for five, but Tina takes the lead with MITRED for six.  David has gone for CRUDITÉ as his seven.

That's both sevens listed.  The other sixes are CREDIT / DIRECT / TRICED (TRICE as a verb is a nautical term: "to pull or haul with a rope"), TEDIUM, FIRMED, RECTUM, DICTUM, CERIUM / UREMIC (variant spelling of URAEMIC, the adjective related to URAEMIA: "the morbid condition resulting from the retention of urinary constituents"), TURFED, RIFTED, and FUMIER.

Kathryn: CRIME

Scores: Tina 0 (13), Kathryn 0 (7), me 15

Round 3: Target 237 from 25 75 2 8 6 4

The target is 3*79, and that was enough for me: 237 = (6/2)*(75 + 4).  The lack of odd small numbers makes this potentially difficult, and as I've mentioned in the past a reasonable tactic in such situations is to subtract one of the odd numbers to make a new subtarget which is even.  In this case 237 is 75 + 162, and I recognised 162 as having many useful small factors.  After time I used this for a solution 237 = (25 + 2)*6 + 75.  Then I considered the descent from 275, which has offset 38.  That could be made as 4*8 + 6, and a tweak gave an alternative answer: 237 = 8*(25 - 4) + 75 - 6.

Both contestants have presumably had that issue with making an odd target, and instead are one away with 236.  Tina's answer, however, is (75 + 25)*2 + 4*8 + 4, and she has used the 4 twice.  If she'd only added 6 at the end for 238 instead she would have had a valid result that was also one away.  Kathryn has made no mistake with her answer of 236 = 8*25 + (4 + 2)*6.

Lily points out the difficulty with the lack of odd small numbers, and then demonstrates the solution that I found within time.

Tina: [invalid -- wrong answer]
Kathryn: 236
Me: 237
Lily: 237

Scores: Tina 0 (13), Kathryn 0 (14), me 25

First break: MAJOR BEE ("All the scouts come together")

They would come together at the JAMBOREE, of course.

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

Round 4: S B S A E L P O T

There was an audible chuckle at the first three letters; I think it came from David.  Anyway, I had BASS, BASES, SABLES, POTABLES, wondered about POSTABLE (not valid), and amused myself by spotting BATPOLES (obviously also not valid).

Both contestants have found STABLES for seven.  David ties in his find of APOSTLES to Kathryn's studying of divinity.

Those are both eights listed.  The other sevens are APOSTLE / PELOTAS (perhaps; PELOTA is a ball game), POTABLE, STAPLES / PASTELS, TOPLESS, BOATELS / OBLATES (OBLATE: "a person offered to the service of a monastery, but not under monastic vows"), POSTALS (POSTAL being short for POSTAL CARD, perhaps better known as a POSTCARD), SAPOTES (SAPOTE being a type of tree), BOLASES (BOLAS being a type of throwing weapon), and OBLASTS (OBLAST: "an administrative division of the republic of Russia within the Russian Federation").

Kathryn: STABLES

Scores: Tina 0 (20), Kathryn 0 (21), me 33

Round 5: N M B R I A E S U

I had BRIM, BRAIN, MARINE, SEMINAR, NUMBERS, SUBMARINE, and AUMBRIES* (AUMBRY is a variant spelling of AMBRY: "a cupboard; dresser", and the plural AMBRIES is listed).

The contestants have each found seven-letter words again, and found it difficult to resist taking NUMBERS.  David found URBANISE, and then SUBMARINE for the full monty.

The other nine is SEMIURBAN.  The other eights are URBANISM, ANEURISM, ANBURIES* (ANBURY: "a soft, spongy tumour or wart of horses, oxen, etc."), and AMBURIES* (AMBURY being a variant spelling of ANBURY).

Kathryn: NUMBERS

Scores: Tina 0 (27), Kathryn 0 (28), me 51

Round 6: Target 118 from 50 75 100 1 10 6

Kathryn remaks that she has three small children, so likes her family mixes with a bit of help: Three large and three small.  Heh.  I spotted the opportunity for a less-common approach, letting me find the solution 118 = 100 + 10 - 1 + 6*75/50.  Then I saw that I had overcomplicated my life and could have taken the simpler option of 118 = 75 + 50 - 6 - 1.  I still prefer the former, though. *chuckles*

Kathryn is one off with 117, presumably 100 + 10 + 6 + 1.  Tina has solved this, taking a slightly scenic route with 118 = 100 + 75 - 50 - 6 - 1.  It turns out that Lily solved it in the same way.

Tina: 118
Kathryn: 117
Me: 118
Lily: 118

Scores: Tina 10 (37), Kathryn 0 (28), me 61

Second break: HAD NOISE ("A sticky solution")

Such a solution would lead to ADHESION.

Round 7: D T L H E I E T A

I had HELD, LITHE, TITLED, DILATE / DETAIL, ELATED, and just managed to get ATHLETE down in time.  Whew!

Both contestants have found six-letter words; Tina describes her choice of TITHED as risky, but it is fine.  Kathryn is on safer ground with DETAIL.  David has found the only sevens in this mix: ATHLETE and LADETTE.

Kathryn: DETAIL

Scores: Tina 10 (43), Kathryn 0 (34), me 68

Round 8: Target 870 from 100 25 5 5 1 10

I'd been doing so well, but I got myself in a tangle on this one.  The difficulty is that there's so many multiples of 5, so I was expecting trouble.  Then the target turned out to be divisible by 5 and I honed in on the option of 875 - 5.  Alas, I could only think of making that 875 as 7*125, and could only mangle that to two off with 868 = (5 + 10/5)*(100 + 25 - 1) = 868.  (Seen just now is the option of 35*25, leading to 870 = 25*(100/(5 - 1) + 10) - 5.)

After time I realised that I had been adopting the wrong approach, and 5*175 worked out more easily, with a tweak: 870 = (100 + 25 + 5*10 - 1)*5.  And then I realised that if I just applied the standard method to 875 I could get a much easier solution: 870 = (10 - 1)*100 - 25 - 5.  Bother.  The game was going really well up until this round.

Kathryn has not managed to get within range, but Tina has found the nice solution of 870 = 10*100 - 5*25 - 5.  Well done!  Lily demonstrates the last of the solutions that I listed.

That good numbers result has guaranteed Tina the win.

Tina: 870
Kathryn: [not in range]
Me: 868
Lily: 870

Scores: Tina 20 (53), Kathryn 0 (34), me 68


A small amount of repetition and reasonably common letters had me at a loss at first.  The CON- fragment was not promising, but the -ANCE fragment brought immediate reward in the shape of RESONANCE.

I thought that the contestants would struggle with this, but Tina got there after twenty seconds, meaning that she has solved all three of her conundrums so far.

Tina: RESONANCE (20s)
Kathryn: [no answer]

Scores: Tina 20 (63), Kathryn 0 (34), me 78

A close match in the letters department tonight, with only the one round separating the contestants.  But Tina seemed to have recovered her numbers form, finding two solutions that eluded Kathryn.  If Tina had not made that simple error in the first game then she would have had a total of 70.  Tina has had an excellent run on the conundrums, and form like that could carry her through to the finals.

As I do far too often, I had a maximal game except for one round.  I got lost unprofitably chasing the wrong approach in the last numbers game, and could not extract myself in time.  A shame.  Still, overall a good game, and a full monty is always a happy thing to have found.


Mike Backhouse said...

Great game Geoff. The full monty was only part of it.

2*(75+25+8+6+4)=236 (1 off)
BASSET (we should petition for inclusion of BATPOLES!)
x ran out of time
Lily's way
x wasted time on -ENCE and panicked a bit...

Sam G said...

Tina blows hot and cold on the numbers.

3. 237 = 6/2*(75 + 4)
4. POTABLE. Couldn't remember if it could be pluralised. Tempted by POSTABLES.
6. 118 = 75 + 50 - 6 - 1
8. 870 = ((10+1)*25-100)*5 - 5. Inelegant.
9. RESONANCE 5.0s. Hmm, was I ahead of Geoff here?

Geoff Bailey said...

General principle would tend to favour you having been ahead of me on the conundrum. :) I'm afraid I don't recall whether I was rounding up or down for that five seconds. Oh, and I like that round 8 solution, regardless of your feelings about its elegance.