Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Ep 288: Anthony Kendall, David Lowden (March 25, 2015; originally aired October 5, 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.

This is the crucial fourth night for Anthony: A win here will very likely get him to the finals, particularly if he can keep his average up.  But first, Richard lets us know that Anthony used to be very competitive in rugby, and asks if he still plays it.  Anthony responds that he had to give up rugby some time ago; he grimaces as he says it was due to too many knee injuries.  As Richard observes, they've obviously been fixed if Anthony is doing all that running!  In fact, as Anthony explains, it was the reason he got into running in the first place.  Part of going through his many knee reconstructions (I wince at the thought) meant that he had to run to get back to fitness in order to be able to play sport.  Somewhere along the way he became enthused by the running itself and turned that into his sport of choice.

Tonight's challenge is David Lowden, a police officer who has proudly completed a couple of marathons.  That is two full marathons, as he points out, but since then he has cut back and now does half-marathons, just like Anthony.  He jokingly suggests that if the scores are tied at the end they should do a lap around the block to settle it.

David found an excellent word to take the initial lead, but then fell victim to a misheard (or mis-seen) letter and had an invalid answer in the second round.  A couple of shared rounds followed, but Anthony took the lead in round five and extended it in round six.  David was more than a conundrum's worth behind going into the final numbers round, so he tried to shake things up with a rat pack.  But Anthony navigated it better to be safe going into the conundrum.  He put the finishing touch on the victory with a fast solution to the conundrum, and the 63 to 31 victory gets him to his fifth game and likely into the finals.

In the rest of this write-up, I'll use "David" to refer to David Astel, and "David L" to refer to David Lowden.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: G D B R O U E I F

I had GOURD, BROGUE, BRIDGE, and FIREDOG (another term for an ANDIRON: "one of a pair of metallic stands used to support wood in an open fire").  After time I noted FORBID as another six, and checked on FUDGIER -- it is not valid.

Anthony starts off with the six of FORGED, but David L has done quite well to find FIGURED for seven.  I wish I had seen that!  David notes FIREBUG as another seven.

That's all the sevens listed, and the best to be done.

Anthony: FORGED

Scores: Anthony 0, David L 7, me 7

Round 2: M A S E C O P A N

I had SEAM, CAMEOS, CAEOMAS (one plural of CAEOMA, which I mentioned in episode 391), SPACEMAN, and CANAPES.  I got a little distracted by MASCARPONE almost being there, but of course that is one too many letters.

The contestants each opt for five-letter words here; Anthony has COPES while David L has GAPES.  Unfortunately for him, he has manufactured a G and his answer is invalid.  David points out the -MAN ending, which led him to PACEMAN and then to SPACEMAN.

The other sevens are ENCAMPS, APNOEAS (APNOEA: "suspension of respiration"), and POMACES (POMACE: "the pulpy residue from apples or similar fruit after crushing and pressing [...]").

Anthony: COPES
David L: [invalid -- GAPES]

Scores: Anthony 0 (5), David L 7, me 15

Round 3: Target 976 from 75 10 8 6 9 7

The target is only one away from a multiple of 75, so the standard method is clearly the right option.  The necessary cofactor is 13, easily made, and I went with 976 = (7+ 6)*75 + 9 - 8.  After time I used the factor of 8 (with cofactor 122) to find an alternative solution of 976 = (75 + 9*6 - 7)*8.

Both contestants have solved this; Anthony took the same approach that I did, while David L introduced the minor variation of making the final 1 as 10 - 9.  No mention of Lily's approach, but she surely saw both of those.

Anthony: 976
David L: 976
Me: 976
Lily: 976

Scores: Anthony 10 (15), David L 17, me 25

First break: BRAIN SET ("Slide down this for fun")

That would be a BANISTER.

David's talk is about terms arising from the Beatles: 'mop top', 'gear' (in the sense of "something groovy"), and 'grotty'.

Round 4: D I S E T A W O M


It's a pair of sixes from the contestants this time; Anthony has WIDEST while David L has STOWED.  David points out a couple of sevens in the form of WAISTED and MEADOWS, but has also found ATOMISED for eight.

ATOMISED is the only eight.  The other sevens are ATOMISE / ATOMIES (ATOMY being an archaic term for an atom), MIAOWED, TOADIES / IODATES, DIATOMS / MASTOID, MISDATE, and MODISTE ("a maker of or dealer in articles of fashionable attire, especially women's dresses, millinery, etc.").

Anthony: WIDEST

Scores: Anthony 10 (21), David L 17 (23), me 33

Round 5: R S L N I A E D R

I had RAILS, LINERS, ISLANDER, and DRAINERS.  I certainly wanted a final consonant here, with an S yielding ISLANDERS or an N allowing INLANDERS.  No such luck with the R, alas.  After time I noted some of the sevens: DENIALS, SLANDER / LANDERS, and SANDIER.

David L has DRAINS for six, but Anthony has found DERAILS for seven to finally take the lead.  The scores would have been tied if not for David L's error in round two.  David compounds David L's woes by pointing out that he could have inserted the ER for DRAINERS, and then mentions ISLANDER as another eight.

The remaining eights are SERRANID (any fish of the Serranidae family) and SNARLIER*.  There's a goodly selection of other sevens, of which I'll just mention ERRANDS, LARDERS, SARDINE, SNARLED, and RAIDERS.

Anthony: DERAILS

Scores: Anthony 10 (28), David L 17 (23), me 41

Round 6: Target 567 from 50 25 8 5 8 6

The target is 7*81, and the 81 was easily makeable as 50 + 25 + 6.  But the remaining numbers could not make a 7 -- disappointing!  Switching back to consider the standard method, the offset of 8 is present, so getting to 575 with the rest must be the way to go.  A little experimentation produced an answer of 567 = (6 + 5)*50 + 25 - 8.

David L is three away at 570.  I'm not sure how, but I'll take a stab at it being 8*(50 + 25) - 5*6.  Anthony has solved this -- using the same solution that I did -- and scoots clear going into the second break.  It was also Lily's approach.

Anthony: 567
David L: 570
Me: 567
Lily: 567

Scores: Anthony 20 (38), David L 17 (23), me 51

Second break: SCORN EVE ("Prison rations")

That would be a con serve, or CONSERVE.

Round 7: T L P G A E I A N

I had TALE, PIGLET, PALATE, PLEATING, and wondered about PLANTAGE (not valid).  After time I noted PAGINATE as another eight.

Both contestants have found PLEATING for eight, although David L seems less sure of it than Anthony was.  David had found PLEATING also, and PAGINATE as well.

The other eights are PALATINE ("a shoulder cape formerly worn by women", amongst other meanings) and AGENTIAL ("relating to an agent or to an agency") / ALGINATE.  The other sevens are LEAPING / PEALING, PAGEANT, PELTING, PLATING, ELATING / GELATIN / GENITAL, PANTILE ("a roofing tile straight in its length but with an S-shaped cross-section so that the downward side of one tile overlaps the upward side of the adjacent tile"), PLATINA ("a native alloy of platinum with palladium, iridium, osmium, etc."), PAGINAL ("of or relating to pages"), and PATINAE (plural of PATINA: "a broad, shallow dish used by the ancient Romans").


Scores: Anthony 28 (46), David L 25 (31), me 59

Round 8: Target 651 from 1 6 3 5 9 4

David L needs unanswered points if he is to stand a chance here, so shakes things up with the rat pack.  He might have taken a more conservative approach if not for that error in round two, as shared points in this round would have then meant a difference of ten going into the conundrum.  In any case, he chances the six small mix.

I observed the factorisation 3*217, and noticed further that 217 was 7*31.  It turned out that I could make the necessary 31 from the remaining numbers, and that gave me the solution 651 = (4*9 - 5)*(6 + 1)*3.  After time I considered the other approach for the six-small mix: Divide by the largest and aim to get close that way.  In this instance the target is near 9*72, and repeating the process 72 is 6*12.  The 12 can be made as 3*4, so the target is near 9*6*4*3.  In fact, that product is 648, just 3 away; that means a quick tweak finishes it off: 651 = (9*6*4 + 1)*3.

David L was writing at the end, and it's possible he may have found something useful but not finished getting it down.  When Richard asks him about it, he says that he "didn't quite get there"; it's not clear if he had nothing near, or saw an answer but had not finished getting it down.  In any case, that sinks his chances and Anthony is guaranteed to win.  Meanwhile, Anthony has got to just two away with 649 = 3*4*6*9 + 1.  If he'd just paid a bit more attention to tweaking possibilities he could have solved that.

Lily praises Anthony's efforts, and says it took her a while to solve it.  The solution she ends up demonstrating turns out to be just the tweaked version of his solution (which is to say, the solution that I found after time).  I'm a little surprised that she did not note the similarity, but perhaps she was too busy holding on to that solution in her mind to think about it.

Anthony: 649
David L: [not in range]
Me: 651
Lily: 651

Scores: Anthony 28 (53), David L 25 (31), me 69


Anthony just beat me to this one -- I paused the video as his screen lit up.

Anthony: VIBRATION (2s)
David L: [no answer]

Scores: Anthony 38 (63), David L 25 (31), me 69

A good game from Anthony, and that conundrum solution pushes him up over 60.  I think this game might well have gone differently if David L had not slipped up in round 2, as he might well have chosen an easier numbers game for round 8.  Anthony's fast solution to the conundrum puts it all well beyond doubt, though, and he has won that important fourth game.  His average is excellent at over 55 points, so he'll make the finals.

A maximal game from me tonight, even if I got beaten to the conundrum.  I hope I can do similarly tomorrow.


Mike Backhouse said...

Yet another winning game against the contestants from you Geoff . Well done.

8*(75-5)+6=566 (1 off, and Anthony's way after time)
Had the same divide by 9 strategy as Anthony but was one further away (6+3)*(5+4-1)*9=648 (3 away)

Mike Backhouse said...

Oops typo in round 3. First '=' should be a '+'.

Sam G said...

2. CANAPES. Eventually saw SPACEMAN.
3. 976 = (6+7)*75 + 10 - 9
4. ATOMISED, not with much time to spare.
6. one off: 566 = (50+25-5)*8 + 6. Saw the solution before too long.
8. 651 = (9*4*6 + 1)*3. Got this quite quickly, thought 72*9 would be an easy approach. My tweaking has improved on these rat packs over the years.
9. VIBRATION - 1.15s