Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Ep 292: Deborah Kemper, Shaun Ellis (March 31, 2015; originally aired October 11, 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.

Deborah gets her first turn in the champion's seat, after her victory over Matthew yesterday.  Richard reveals that Deborah had a special anniversary recently, and asks her to tell us about it.  Apparently, a little while ago (from when the show was filmed) Deborah's 20th wedding anniversary was approaching, and her husband sat her down one day and said that he had been saving money -- where in the world would she like to go?  They ended up choosing a twenty-day cruise around the Mediterranean.

Tonight's challenger is Shaun Ellis, an online data producer whose goal is to live and work in New York.  Richard asks what the attraction of New York is; Shaun responds that he went there on his honeymoon last year for seven fantastic weeks, and when he came back to Australia he missed some of the things he had become used to: a 24-hour chemist a block away, things open all the time, and $5 cabs across town.  He can't wait to get back to that kind of living situation.  He told his brother, Cameron, about how great it was; Cameron had fewer ties, and just upped and moved to New York in response.  Now he posts on Facebook to tell Shaun what he is up to.

The contestants start out with a shared round, then Shaun took the lead in round two.  He then extended it in round four to move clear by more than the conundrum.  Deborah was not able to make any headway on that until the last letters round, where Shaun went against his instincts by gambling on a British colloquialism.  It was not valid, and that opened the door for Deborah.  But Shaun slammed it shut again by finding a good solution to the last numbers round, and was safe going into the conundrum.  Neither contestant managed to solve it, and Shaun won through, 43 to 27.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: R W A E I D S N O

I had WEAR, WIRED, SARDINE, ANEROIDS (ANEROID as a noun meaning an aneroid barometer), SNOWIER, WANDERS, and WONDERS.  After time I noted some other sevens of DOWRIES, INWARDS, ROADIES, ORDAINS / INROADS, and REDOWAS (REDOWA: "a Bohemian dance in two forms, the more common resembling the waltz or mazurka, the other resembling the polka").  Somehow I overlooked writing down ANEROID, though.

The contestants have each found WARDENS for seven.  David notes ONWARDS as another seven, and has found the eight of DISOWNER.

The other eight here (under the revised rules only) is DONARIES* (DONARY: "a votive offering; a thing given to sacred use").

Deborah: WARDENS

Scores: Deborah 0 (7), Shaun 0 (7), me 8

Round 2: U E P R M A S C I

I had PURE, SUPER, CRAMPS, and CAESIUM.  After time I noted some other sevens of SPACIER*, CERIUMS, APERÇUS (APERÇU: "a perception or intuitive understanding"), PUMICES, checked up on PUMICERS (not valid), UMPIRES, and URAEMIC (adjective derived from URAEMIA: "the morbid condition resulting from the retention of urinary constituents").

This time Deborah has CREAMS for six, but Shaun takes the points with his seven of SCAMPER.  David could not better that, and lists CAMPERS and UMPIRES as his finds.  He had hoped that a final consonant would have been called, as a Y would have allowed SUPREMACY.

The only potential eight here is SAPREMIC* (SAPRAEMIC is listed as an adjective derived from SAPRAEMIA -- "a form of blood poisoning [...]" -- and SAPREMIA is listed as an American spelling of that).  The other sevens are SAUCIER, CAMPERS, UPRAISE, AUSPICE, UREMIAS (UREMIA being a variant spelling of URAEMIA), SCRAPIE (a disease affecting sheep and goats) / EPACRIS (a type of shrub), SPERMIC, MURICES (plural of MUREX), and SPUMIER*.

As an aside, if that C had somehow disappeared then the next consonant would have been an X, allowing SUPERMAXI (a type of yacht) for nine.

Deborah: CREAMS

Scores: Deborah 0 (7), Shaun 7 (14), me 15

Round 3: Target 601 from 50 75 100 10 6 3

Deborah chooses the balanced mix that worked well for her last time, and gets an annoying game.  It's trivial to get one away with 600 = 6*100, but there's just no way to get to 601.

Indeed, everyone has found 600 = 6*100, and it is little surprise that this is the best possible -- the target is unreachable.

Deborah: 600
Shaun: 600
Me: 600

Scores: Deborah 7 (14), Shaun 14 (21), me 22

First break: ROSE FARM ("But you really only have two on your body")

There are only two FOREARMS on most people.

David's talk is about three fabrics: chiffon, chenille, and chintz.

Round 4: X T A O L P T U E

Shaun utters a cheery "faan-tastic" when the X comes up first; he very much wears his heart on his sleeve, and it's quite engaging.

I had PLOT, and wrote down PALETOT ("a loose outer garment or coat") early on the grounds that if the E did not turn up then I was not going to find anything worthwhile regardless.  I also noted POTTLE ("a former liquid measure equal to two quarts"), EXULT, and EXALT.

Deborah laughs a little at only having PLOT for four, and Shaun does seize his chance by finding EXTOL for five.  That puts him ahead by more than the conundrum, which is always a good state to be in.  David has found TEXTUAL for seven, and also points out PALETOT's presence.

The other sevens are TOLUATE (a type of chemical) and OUTLEAP.  In fact, that leads to the eight in the mix: OUTLEAPT.  I even looked at the OUT- fragment, but I'd mentally given up on anything better than PALETOT so I sabotaged myself.  There's a few sixes, of which I'll just mention TEAPOT and OUTLET.

Deborah: PLOT
Shaun: EXTOL

Scores: Deborah 7 (14), Shaun 14 (26), me 29

Round 5: R B A E I L N K O

I had BEAR, BRAIL (a type of rope attached to a sail), BAILER, LINEAR, BLINKER, BLANKER, and AILERON.

It's sevens from each contestant, with Shaun chancing BLANKER while Deborah has chosen the safer BLINKER.  David takes this opportunity to explaing the single-syllable rule for adjectives that automatically makes BLANKER acceptable since BLANK is an adjective.  Shaun had been concerned about it, and I recall various commenters on the SBS website at the time complaining about the idea of "more blank" being a bit of a nonsense.  Still, it gets the points here.  David could not do better, although he does not say which of those he went with.

The Macquarie does not list BARNLIKE, so seven is the best to be done.  The others are OARLIKE, LANKIER, ALIENOR (a legal term: "someone who transfers property"), and BLOKIER*.

Deborah: BLINKER

Scores: Deborah 14 (21), Shaun 21 (33), me 36

Round 6: Target 659 from 25 100 5 5 9 10

Shaun takes the traditional family mix, and the standard method is clearly tempting since we have the offset of 9.  I found my way there by working up from 625 with 659 = 5*(100 + 25 + 5) + 9.

Neither contestant has managed to get within scoring range, and I guess it is a bit nasty if you're trying to start by making 600 or 700.  (Thinking about 75-times tables might get one to one away with 660 = 9*(100 - 25) - 10 - 5, though.)  Lily deftly demonstrates another solution: 659 = (100 - 25 - 5 - 5)*10 + 9.

Deborah: [not in range]
Shaun: [not in range]
Me: 659
Lily: 659

Scores: Deborah 14 (21), Shaun 21 (33), me 46

Second break: SAY JOULE ("Something green and unpleasant")

That would be JEALOUSY, sometimes known as the green-eyed monster.

Round 7: H S G E A A T D I

That pair of A's is not great.  I had SAGE, AGATES, AGISTED (AGIST: "to take in and feed or pasture livestock for payment"), and SIGHTED.

Deborah has found DIGEST for six, but Shaun makes a rather surprising try of GASHEAD.  He agonises a bit over doing so -- I think he doesn't really expect it to stand up at all -- but gives it a try.  The urban dictionary suggests that it is British slang, but the Macquarie has not heard of it and so Shaun's answer is invalid.  That's good news for Deborah, allowing her to get back within striking distance.  Tactically, a rather poor choice from Shaun.  David has gone with SIGHTED as his choice.

Some sources would allow AGATISED (presumably AGATISE is a verb meaning to turn something into AGATE), but the Macquarie does not.  That makes seven the limit, and there's only those that have already been listed.  There's a decent number of sixes; I'll just mention some of the more common ones: SIGHED, ADAGES, STAGED, GASHED, and GEISHA.

Deborah: DIGEST
Shaun: [invalid -- GASHEAD]

Scores: Deborah 14 (27), Shaun 21 (33), me 53

Round 8: Target 620 from 50 75 25 8 8 10

Shaun apparently decides that the family mix was not kind to him, so tries the balanced option.  Getting close with 8*75 seems like a good first step, and I was able to turn that into a solution of 620 = 8*75 + (50/25)*10.  After time I noted an alternative solution of 620 = (8*8 - 50/25)*10.

Deborah declares that she is three away with 617, presumably 8*75 + 25 - 8.  Shaun was writing up until the end, and says that he thinks he has got to the target.  He displays uncertainty about it, presumably because he had not had time to check that his calculations were correct.  If he has made a mistake then Deborah will take the lead by a point, which would be a huge relief for her.  But, haltingly though it is given, Shaun's answer is correct: 620 = 75*8 + 8 + 10 + 50/25.  He is now guaranteed to win the game -- a lot hung on that result!

Lily has found yet another way to the target with 620 = 8*75 + 25 - 50/10.  Nice one!

Deborah: 617
Shaun: 620
Me: 620
Lily: 620

Scores: Deborah 14 (27), Shaun 31 (43), me 63


The M and P often go well together, and I started with COMP- as a plausible beginning and that guided me directly to the answer of COMPOSURE.

Neither contestant was able to make headway on this, so the scores remain unchanged.

Deborah: [no answer]
Shaun: [no answer]
Me: COMPOSURE (1.5s)

Scores: Deborah 14 (27), Shaun 31 (43), me 73

Good numberwork at the end saw Shaun safely home, although he almost lost it.  He was generally just a bit better than Deborah, with only his invalid attempt of GASHEAD allowing her to take points off him.  That said, it was close throughout, and it would not have taken much for Deborah to turn the tables in this game.  I do feel that Shaun has been one of the more engaging contestants on the show, so it's pleasing that we'll get to see him again tomorrow.


Sam G said...

Shaun sure does fidget.

3. one off: 600 = 6*100. Frustrater!
6. 659 = (100+25+5)*5 + 9
8. 620 = 8*75 + 50/25*10
9. x Didn't even get it after a couple of minutes extra time.

Emily said...

Ah, Shaun. He's an open book!

6*100=600 (1 off)
BLINKER (had BLOKIER but spotted BLINKER just in time to get it down and figured it was the safer option)
(100+25+9)*5-10=660 (1 off - loved Lily's rueful smile when the two 5s came out - there's the 1 she needed for the first numbers game!)
75*8+10+8+(50/25)=620 (I'm sure it was legit, but I felt like Lily led Shaun on this one and perhaps his solution should have been checked)
x (twigged to it before Richard revealed it, but after time)

Mike Backhouse said...

x CAMPIER (thought this might be ok but was not in my second edition-should have used CAMPERS!)
EXALT (do I get one of David A's bonus points for using the X? I wrote down but did not declare a complete guess PATTLE not realising (thanks to Geoff) there was the similar POTTLE available)
6*100=600 (1 off)
10*(100-25-9)-5/5=659 (slightly different method)
x - used number twice
COMPOSURE (20s - a rare solve in time for me)

Geoff Bailey said...

Sam: Yes, totally annoying round 3. On the plus side, at least there wasn't an infeasibly-difficult solution after all.

Emily: Nicely done with TEXTUAL -- my favourite of the options there (nicer than the eight, in my opinion).

Mike: No joy with respect to CAMPIER, I'm afraid. And nice work to solve the conundrum!

Justin Thai said...

Shaun was a laugh a minute

659-lilys solution

Brenton Reeves said...

Not sure on the rules...
For round 3 can you do the following


Geoff Bailey said...

G'day, Brenton! It's a nice idea, but the rules are that every intermediate step of the calculation must produce an integer. So (6*75)/50 would be OK, but (75/50)*6 is not. So starting with 75/50 is not allowed. A shame, because that was well spotted.

Brenton Reeves said...

So this should be OK?

Geoff Bailey said...

Brenton: The calculation is legal in the sense of every intermediate being an integer, but it evaluates to 101, not 601. There's no way to use the 6 to multiply both the 100 and the 75/50.