Thursday, 19 March 2015

Ep 284: Tina Rose, Samantha McLaine (March 19, 2015; originally aired September 29, 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.

It's Tina's fifth night, and Richard wheels out the technique question.  Sigh.  Tina says that as a child in Denmark they were encouraged to do numbers in their heads, and so that is something that is probably helping her here.

Tonight's challenger is Samantha McLaine, a commerce, property, and construction student who loves live music.  In fact, she has been to see 365 live bands perform, by her reckoning.  Richard asks what it is about live music that appeals to her; Samantha tries to explain it, but it doesn't come across to well.  It seems to be a combination of the physical immediacy and the uniqueness of the experience.

Samantha gained a small lead in the second round when she found a nice word, but Tina took the lead right back in the first numbers round.  A couple of shared letters rounds followed, and then Tina's form on the numbers seemed to dessert her.  Samantha closed out the game with two decent results on the numbers, and an excellent word in round 7.  She was safe going into the conundrum; neither was able to solve it, so the scoreline remained 45 to 29 in Samantha's favour.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: K T N S E I E R D

I had NEST, STINK, STINKER, TINKERED, and KINDEST.  After time I noted other eights of RESIDENT / INSERTED.

The contestants start off with sevens; they have both opted for STINKER.  David points out TINKER and thus TINKERED for eight.

The remaining eights are DEERSKIN, KERNITES (KERNITE being a mineral), and TRENDIES / SINTERED (SINTER: "Metallurgy to bring about the agglomeration of particles of a metal (or other substance as glass or carbides) by heating [...] to just below the melting point of the substance [...]") / NERDIEST*.

Samantha: STINKER

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

Round 2: P O L C U G A T M

I had CLOP, wrote down a speculative COUPLE but the E never arrived (the next vowel would have been an E, though, allowing COUPLET / OCTUPLE), and CUPOLA ("a rounded vault or dome constituting, or built upon a roof").  It's a nasty mix, and I think the fourth vowel was worth calling for.

Tina has only been able to find the four of MOAT, but Samantha takes the points with the very nice five of MOGUL.  (I'd suggest that CLAMP was an easier five to spot.)  David has gone with TALCUM for his six.

The other sixes are COPULA ("something that connects or links together") and PUTLOG ("one of the short horizontal timbers or pipes that support the floor of a scaffolding").

Tina: MOAT
Samantha: MOGUL

Scores: Tina 0 (7), Samantha 0 (12), me 14

Round 3: Target 146 from 100 50 6 3 7 10

The standard method suggests 150 - 4, and there's at least a couple of ways to make a 4.  I first went with 146 = 3*50 - 10 + 6, then 146 = 100 + 50 - 10 + 6.  Finally I considered the option of 140 + 6 to get 146 = (50 - 3*10)*7 + 6.

Samantha is one off the pace with 147, that I guess must have been 100 + 50 - 3.  If so, that shows a lack of dexterity with the small numbers.  Tina's solution is 146 = 100 + 50 - (7 - 3).  Lily points out the other way of making a 4 as 10 - 6.

Tina: 146
Samantha: 147
Me: 146
Lily: 146

Scores: Tina 10 (17), Samantha 0 (12), me 24

First break: ACRE TREE ("Adam and Eve, all over again")

That leads to RECREATE.

David's talk is about the word the origins of the phrase "to blow hot and cold".

Round 4: R E A S R O F S D

I had SEAR, REARS, FEDORAS, and spotted DROSERAS but knew from past experience that the Macquarie does not list it.  After time I checked up on FORDERS (not valid) and SOARERS (valid).

It's five-letter words from the contestants this time; Tina has FARED while Samantha has DRESS.  David points out the difficulties that repeated letters cause, and has gone with FEDORAS as his seven.

The other seven is ADORERS.

Samantha: DRESS

Scores: Tina 10 (22), Samantha 0 (17), me 31

Round 5: T R D M I E A N E

I had TRIM, MITRED, READMIT, ANTIMERE (listed as a synonym for ACTINOMERE: "a part corresponding to an opposite or similar part in an organism which is bilaterally or radially symmetrical"; e.g., the left and right halves of the human body), RETAINED, and REMAINED.

The contestants continue to be closely matched on the letters, with Samantha finding DEMERIT while Tina has TRAINED.  David has chosen REMAINED as his eight.

MINARETED is not valid, so eight is the best to be done.  The others are DIAMETER, DETAINER, and DEMENTIA.

Samantha: DEMERIT

Scores: Tina 10 (29), Samantha 0 (24), me 39

Round 6: Target 489 from 100 75 50 7 2 7

I slipped up here, and had to settle for one away with 490 = 7*(75 - (7 - 2)).  After time I realised that the offset of 14 was easily manageable as 2*7, and viewed that way it was easy enough to find 489 = 7*75 - 50 + 2*7, or tweak that to save a number with 489 = 7*(75 + 2) - 50.  I've had a few slips like that recently, alas, but the offset of 14 should have been fresh in my memory from yesterday's game.  Oh, well.

Tina has not been able to get close, which is a little unexpected.  Samantha is four away with 493 = (7 - 2)*100 - 7.  Lily demonstrates the first of those solutions that I found after time.

Tina: [not in range]
Samantha: 493
Me: 490

Scores: Tina 10 (29), Samantha 0 (31), me 46

Second break: LAST POGO ("They can keep on moving")

Heh.  That would be GOALPOSTs.

Round 7: C L T B O U I A G

Another unhelpful mix, but it's not completely hopeless.  I had BOLT, CLOUT, COITAL, and TABOULI.  After time I noted AGOUTI as another mix, an option which I should have seen within time.

Tina has CLOUT for five, while Samantha essays BAILOUT for seven.  She's not certain about it, but it gets the nod from David.  Bravo!  David points out that TABOULI is an anagram of it.

The other sevens are OTALGIC (adjective derived from OTALGIA, which is another name for an earache) and ABOULIC (adjective derived from ABOULIA: "the inability, usually pathological, to make or act on decisions").

Samantha: BAILOUT

Scores: Tina 10 (29), Samantha 7 (38), me 53

Round 8: Target 760 from 100 25 1 8 2 7

The target is 40 away from 800, and with 40 also being divisible by 8 that suggested the tweak 760 = (100 - 7 + 2)*8.  I also noted that working up from 700 was possible, opting for 760 = 7*100 + 2*(25 + 1) + 8.

Tina is five off the pace with 765, and I'll guess that was 8*100 - 25 - 7 - 2 - 1.  If so, it could have been adjusted to a solution without too much difficulty: 760 = 8*100 - 25 - 2*7 - 1.  In any case, Samanths declares that she is two off the target with 758, and that will give her the game.  Her answer is 758 = 100*8 - 25*2 + 7 + 1.  Lily points out the factor of 10, and thus the solution 760 = (100 - 25 + 1)*(8 + 2).

Tina: 765
Samantha: 758
Me: 760
Lily: 760

Scores: Tina 10 (29), Samantha 7 (45), me 63


All those O's, and all those vowels for that matter, somehow confused me.  It seemed very likely that the answer should end in -OUS (although my mind kept unhelpfully circling back to SUSPICION), but somehow I could not unravel the rest within time.  In fact, it took me a minute and sixteen seconds to find the answer of POISONOUS.

Neither contestant is able to solve this, so the scores remain unchanged.

Tina: [no answer]
Samantha: [no answer]
Me: [no answer]

Scores: Tina 10 (29), Samantha 7 (45), me 63

Tina was outplayed on the letters tonight, with Samantha finding the excellent options of MOGUL and BAILOUT.  On past form, she would have hoped to make up the gap on the numbers but she faltered on those also, and Samantha was good enough to make that a costly error for her.  The conundrum ended up being too difficult for both of them -- the first time Tina has not solved one -- but the game had been sealed before them.  Tina was defeated, but should be back for the finals.  Can Samantha repeat her winning form to finish out the week?  We'll find out tomorrow.

Things were going well for me until I slipped up in round six.  I'd have liked to see the conundrum earlier, but I'm somewhat used to difficulties with that.  I'm happy enough with my results tonight, overall.


Justin Thai said...

I'm surprised they don't re-take Richard's Round 3 gaffe where he says a numbers game is easy but turns out contestant hasn't got it...

Tina unfortunately is another victim of the long recording day, having said that Samantha's BAILOUT was a great spot regardless of the risk.

Had a shocker with the letters:
TRAINED (saw DEMENTIA a bit too late)
All Lily's solution for the numbers
15-16sec (I use a stopwatch to time it)

Sam G said...

Good letter rounds, Geoff.

3. 146 = 100+50-7+3
4. X DREARS. Saw ORDERS just after time.
5. READMIT. Got this before the last two letters were out, just could not get an eight.
6. 489 = (75+2)*7 - 50. Maybe next time, Geoff.
8. 760 = (100 - 25 + 1)*(8 + 2) or 7*100 + (25+1)*2 + 8
9. POISONOUS - 1.3s, I think, I don't have my notes on me.

Sam G said...

David's talk about "blowing hot and cold" was the same phrase I used to describe Tina's number play earlier in the week. Subconscious memory?

Tina really ran out of juice here.

Mike Backhouse said...

Justin, Richard makes gaffes about easy numbers rounds more often than I remembered (although he is generally right, just not whether the contestants agreed!)

MITRED and REMAINED just after time
7*(50+7-2)+100=485 (4 off)
Lily's way