Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Ep 293: Shaun Ellis, Patrick Clark (April 1, 2015; originally aired October 12, 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.

Shaun gets his turn in the champion's seat tonight for the last game before the finals start.  Richard lets us know that Shaun is a keen poker player.  Shaun expands on that by saying he is trying it as a hobby with the hopes of making it into a career one day.  Shaun adds that he has had "a million" jobs in his life, and none of them have involved sitting at home in his pyjamas, drinking coffee, and doing maths puzzles all day.  Richard points out that -- based on Shaun's previous game -- he does not exactly have a poker face.  Shaun laughs and agrees, and responds that that is why he plays poker online.

Tonight's challenger is Patrick Clark, a neuroscience student.  Patrick is very interested in the brain and the nervous system and how it all comes together.  There's really not much more content than that, I'm afraid -- Patrick is doing that thing of responding to Richard's questions, but not expanding on them of his own accord.  That's a common enough habit, but in a situation like this you need to be a bit more expansive.

The contestants started off by sharing a round, and then Shaun was a bit too risky in the second round and Patrick gained a modest lead.  Some more shared rounds followed, and then Shaun levelled the scores on a reasonably awkward letters round.  Another pair of shared rounds maintained the trend -- there really wasn't much to choose between the contestants -- but Patrick found the better option in the last numbers round to be ahead going into the conundrum.  Shaun rallied, though, solving that conundrum in good time to finish victorious, 56 to 53.

I was a bit off my game tonight, and it was reflected in the low maximum count.  Fortunately I managed to do enough to see off the contestants, although I was not able to get nearly as far clear as I should have done.

As usual, details after the jump.

Round 1: N T O E S R H E U

I had TONE, STONE, STONER, THRONES / SHORTEN, ENTHUSE, rightly rejected ENTHUSER, and SHOUTER.  RENTHOUSE seemed unlikely to be a single word, so that was the best that I managed.  After time I noted some other sevens of UNHORSE and TENURES / TUREENS.

It's seven from each contestant, with Patrick finding HUNTERS while Shaun has HORNETS.  David has gone one better, finding SOUTHERN for eight.  He wished that Shaun had tried a final consonant, as a D would have allowed SHORTENED for nine.  I wish that, too, as I'd seen the potential for that (and its anagram DETHRONES)

The other eight is HEREUNTO.  The other sevens are SOUTHER, NEUTERS / RETUNES, OUTSEEN, SHUNTER, REHOUSE, THEREON, TONSURE, HETEROS, and ESTRONE (variant spelling of OESTRONE (a certain hormone).

Patrick: HUNTERS

Scores: 7 apiece

Round 2: S D B C I O A E M

I had BIDS, DISCO, BASIC, BODIES, COMEDIA (variant spelling of KOMEDYA: "a once-popular Philippine dramatic form dealing with the conflict between Christians and Moors in early medieval Europe"), and COMEDIAS.  After time I noted some other sevens of AMOEBIC, MEDICOS, and CODEIAS (CODEIA being another name for CODEINE).

Patrick has BODIES for six, while Shaun goes out on a limb, tentatively suggesting COMBIES.  Alas for him, COMBI is listed but without a specific plural form, so the plural is inferred to be COMBIS.  David has found BODICES for his seven.

So I've got the consolation of outdoing David, although the legitimacy of COMEDIAS is a bit uncertain.  I'm counting it, though. *chuckles*  COMEDIAS is the only eight, with the remaining seven being AMEBOID (variant spelling of AMOEBOID).

Shaun: [invalid -- COMBIES]
Patrick: BODIES

Scores: Shaun 7, Patrick 7 (13), me 15

Round 3: Target 312 from 25 100 75 4 9 3

Getting close with 3*100 is easy enough, and a tweak got me to the target with 312 = (100 + 4)*3.

Both contestants have solved this, with different methods.  Shaun went with 312 = 3*100 + (75/25)*4, while Patrick opted for 312 = 25*9 + 75 + 3*4.  Richard jumps in to demonstrate that he has found a tweaked solution; it turns out to be the same one that I listed.  Lily has also tweaked, but a different way: 312 = (75 + 3)*4.

Shaun: 312
Patrick: 312
Me: 312
Richard: 312
Lily: 312

Scores: Shaun 17, Patrick 17 (23), me 25

First break: DIME TEAT ("Find the answer and find peace")

Peace is hopefully the result if you MEDITATE.

David's talk is about a few words (or terms) notionally related to insects: 'paparazzo', 'Vespa', 'WASP', and 'carmine'.  He also mentions 'vermillion', but points out that its derivation is from worms, not insects.

Round 4: N F D R I A E U G

I had FIND, DRAIN, FRIEND, FIGURED, READING / GRAINED, and was briefly tempted by FRAUDING (not valid) but decided against it.  After time I noted FEUDING as another seven.

The contestants have each found seven-letter words; Shaun has READING while Patrick has GRAINED.  David has found FEARING and GUNFIRE for his sevens, and points out that FRAUDING is not valid.

There is an eight to be had, though: ARGUFIED (ARGUFY: "to argue or wrangle").  The other sevens are UNFIRED, GAUDIER, FRINGED, GRADINE (variant spelling of GRADIN: "one of a series of steps or seats raised one above another") / DERAIGN ("to dispose troops for (battle)"), URANIDE, REFUGIA (plural of REFUGIUM: "an area where an organism can survive during a period of unfavourable conditions"), and DUNGIER*.

Patrick: GRAINED

Scores: Shaun 24, Patrick 24 (30), me 32

Round 5: O I E W L T E S P

I had WILE, TOWEL, TOWELS, EPISTLE, and angsted over EPISTOLE (not valid).  I knew there was a valid anagram of those letters, but was pretty sure that EPISTOLE was not it.  Just after time expired I finally saw it: PETIOLES (PETIOLE: "the stalk by which a leaf is attached to the stem").  I was just a bit too slow, alas.

Patrick has been limited to SPOIL for five, but Shaun gets the points and ties up the scores with his find of TOWELS.  David has found EPISTLE, but also PETIOLES.

The other eight is SWEETLIP (also SWEETLIPS, any of various fishes).  The other sevens are PETIOLE, PEEWITS, POETISE, and PELITES (PELITE: "any clay rock").

Patrick: SPOIL

Scores: Shaun 24 (30), Patrick 24 (30), me 39

Round 6: Target 550 from 100 50 25 75 8 1

Patrick chooses the heavyweight mix (which he calls the "dysfunctional family mix"), and I imagine Sam being pleased.  Then the target turns out to be divisible by 25 and I imagine Sam being disappointed.  Heh.  I started off with 550 = (8 + 75/25)*50, then found the simpler 550 = 8*75 - 50.

It comes as little surprise that both contestants have solved this, using the second of the solutions that I did.  It was also Lily's solution.  However, David pipes up with a solution of his own: 550 = (8 - 75/25)*100 + 50.  It's been good to see the hosts getting involved in the numbers tonight.

Shaun: 550
Patrick: 550
Me: 550
Lily: 550
David: 550

Scores: Shaun 34 (40), Patrick 34 (40), me 49

Second break: HAND BEAD ("Helps tame your mane")

Just swap the endings around to find HEADBAND.

Round 7: H F C R O E U T K

I had FORCE, FOURTH, TUCKER, and ROCKET.  After time I noted CHOKER as another six, and then finally spotted TOUCHER (amongst other meanings it is a term from lawn bowls) for seven.

The contestants continue to be well matched, each finding sixes.  Patrick has TUCKER -- he calls it "a delectable six" -- while Shaun ripostes with TOUCHÉ.  David points out the sevens of TOUCHER / RETOUCH, and then the very interesting seven of FUTHORK ("the runic alphabet").

The other sevens are COUTHER and FUTHORC (variant spelling of FUTHORK).

Patrick: TUCKER

Scores: Shaun 40 (46), Patrick 40 (46), me 55

Round 8: Target 484 from 75 100 25 7 1 4

With the contestant's scores tied, the conundrum is going to matter whatever happens here.  But there is still position to be jockeyed for, of course.  Patrick tries the balanced mix this time, which has been surprisingly popular recently.  I struggled to make anything with this, eventually settling for one away with 483 = 4*100 + 75 + 7 + 1.  It took a little while after time before I realised that 121 could be made in another way than 100 + 25 - 4, and so found the solution 484 = (100 + 7*75/25)*4.  That turns out to be the only solution.

Shaun is four away with 480; I'll take a wild guess that it was 7*75 - 25 - 100/(4 + 1).  But Patrick has managed to get to just two away with 486 = (100 + 1)*4 + 75 + 7.  A rare instance of tweaking from a contestant!  Lily has found the solution to this round; well done, Lily.

Shaun: 480
Patrick: 486
Me: 483
Lily: 484

Scores: Shaun 40 (46), Patrick 40 (53), me 62


With the -ING, QU-, and a probable double T there was little rearrangement left to do to find the answer of SQUATTING.  Shaun managed to get there in good time, and so survived a very close game.

Shaun: SQUATTING (3.5s)
Patrick: [no answer]
Me: SQUATTING (1.5s)

Scores: Shaun 40 (56), Patrick 40 (53), me 72

There was very little to choose between the two contestants tonight.  A little each way, and the conundrum decided it all.  I admit that I was glad to see Shaun win; he has been entertaining to watch.  Bad luck to Patrick; it's rare that a contestant scores over fifty points and still loses.  Not that I'd know anything about that. *cough*


Sam G said...

Patrick's voice reminds me of Bill & Ted, Butt-head, Spicoli, et al.

Is this going to be the last un-blogged episode for months? What a disappointment. Hopefully Eps 101-250 will get a run before long.

2. DEMOBS. MEDICOS a few seconds after time.
3. 312 = (100+4)*3
5. SWEETLIP. Quite happy here, this one wouldn't have been long-term memory
6. 550 = 8*75 - 50. What a drag.
8. one off: 483 = 4*100 + 75 + 7 + 1
9. SQUATTING - 1.9s

Mike Backhouse said...

I'm disappointed Patrick didn't stay on as he seemed a real character with a laconic sense of humour.

(8-75/25)*100+50=550 (David Astle's way!)
Had TOUCHER but went with the safer RETOUCH

Mike Backhouse said...

Sam, noting your favouring the 'heavyweight' numbers mix, I did like Patrick's description of it as the 'dysfunctional family mix'!

Sam G said...

Yes, it was amusing. I was always too focused to dwell on those labels while I was filming.

Geoff Bailey said...

Sam: It's going to be the last episode new to the blog for a long while. I'm not very hopeful about them ever showing the missing in-between ones. It's bizarre that they resumed where they did. Maybe they planned it out so that they could finish at a certain point with the grandest final. *shrugs*

I'll at least be providing links to the older posts. I imagine my performance will have improved, but I will remember a lot of them so that is not saying too much.