Wednesday, 16 September 2015

NG 678

New game 678 is now available.

Round 1: H E C A O L F C U

I had ACHE, LEACH, and CLOCHE ("a bell-shaped or tunnel-like cover, as used to cover and protect young plants, usually made of glass").  After time I checked up on COACHFUL (not valid as expected) and FELUCCA ("a long, narrow vessel propelled by oars or lateen sails, or both, used in the Mediterranean").  I was surprised to find that this last was valid -- I have no idea where I managed to dredge that up from. 

The other seven here is COCHLEA.  The other sixes are LOUCHE ("sinister; disreputable; devious"), FECULA ("starch obtained by washing the comminuted roots, grains, or other parts of plants"), CACHOU ("a pill or pastille for sweetening the breath"), and COUCAL (any of various birds of the cuckoo family).

My selection: CLOCHE

Round 2: L E A E E R S D N


The other eights are RESEALED and SERENADE.

My selection: RELEASED

Round 3: Target 384 from 50 8 4 5 1 4

I recognised the target as 3 times the seventh power of 2, and so there were lots of potential factorisations.  I first focused on 8*48, getting 384 = 8*(50 - 1 - 4/4).  I tried to find a solution in the small numbers alone, but I was too hung up on trying to make the 48 as 4*4*3 to do so within time.  Afterwards I did find such a solution: 384 = 8*(4 + 4)*(5 + 1).

My selection: 384 = 8*(50 - 1 - 4/4)

Round 4: D P T N I E R O L

I really wanted a final vowel here instead of that L; I particularly hoped for an E for TERPENOID, but an A (the actual next vowel) for PREDATION of an I for PERDITION would have been fine.  The consonant, however, was rather less helpful.  The perils of automatic selection!

Anyway, I had PINT, PINED, PRINTED, PROTEIN / POINTER, observed INTERPOL in the mix, and PILOTED.

Seven is the best to be done (the Macquarie does list TOP-LINER, but only with a hyphen).  The others are TRIPLED, PORTEND, TENDRIL, DROPLET, LENTOID, POINTED, PERIDOT / DIOPTRE / DIOPTER, RETINOL, TROPINE (a certain chemical) / PTERION ("the craniometric point at the side of the sphenoidal fontanelle"), PROLINE (a certain amino acid), and POTLINE ("a succession of electrolytic reduction cells used to make such metals as aluminium from a fused electrolyte").

My selection: PROTEIN

Round 5: T C T S H A D E I


The other eight is DICTATES.  The other sevens are DICTATE, DITCHES, AITCHES, CATTISH / TACHIST (adjective and noun derived from TACHISME, a particular style of painting), CATTIES (plural of CATTY: "a unit of weight used in Asia for the sale of rice, fruit, etc., equal to approx. 625 grams") / STATICE (a type of plant), SCATTED, SHITTED, TITCHES, and STAITHE ("a riverside berth or pier at which ships can load coal by gravity into their holds").

My selection: STITCHED

Round 6: Target 172 from 50 8 4 5 1 3

The target is 4*43, giving me 172 = 4*(50 - 8 + 1).  Rewriting this to avoid the large number gave me 172 = 4*(5*8 + 3).

My selection: 172 = 4*(5*8 + 3)

Round 7: M P S O A N C I O

I had MOPS, MOANS, CAMPIONS (CAMPION being a type of flower), and MASONIC / MANIOCS.  A shame that the last vowel was not an E, as then COMPANIES would have been available.

CAMPIONS is the only eight.  The other sevens are CAMPION, CAMIONS (CAMION: "a strongly built truck or cart for carrying heaving loads"), and OPSONIC ("of, relating to, or influenced by opsonin"; opsonin is a component of blood) / POCOSIN ("a marshy wetland with deep, acidic, sandy soil [...]").

My selection: CAMPIONS

Round 8: Target 464 from 75 8 6 4 7 10

Applying the standard method leads easily enough to 464 = 6*75 + 10 + 4.  Then I turned to the factorisation of 8*58 and also found 464 = 8*(75 - 10 - 7).  I tried to find a solution without the large number, but it was not until after time that I though to rephrase it as 4*116 and so found 464 = 4*(7*8 + 6*10).

My selection: 464 = 6*75 + 10 + 4


There's a story behind this conundrum.  My parents occasionally run a Letters and Numbers game for U3A people, and I dropped by on Monday.  The above letters turned up in one of the main rounds.  I struggled with it, only being able to find six-letter words.  This was a little exasperating because I overhead the nearest table indicate that they'd found an eight (the tables compete as a group, taking the best answer from the participants).  Just after time ran out I spotted what it must be: EUCALYPT.  Two of the tables had found it, and both had wondered about EUCALYPTI but not been willing to risk it.  However, it is listed as a variant plural form.

(I'll also notice that one other table found the lovely seven of PAUCITY, and my mother found TYPICAL.  I was comprehensively outplayed!)

My selection: [N/A -- chosen]


Mike Backhouse said...

3*(50+8-1)+5-4=172 the scenic route version. Saw 4*(50-8+1)=172 just after time
PANICS and wondered whether MASONIC could also be lower case?
x not aware of this variation

Mike Backhouse said...

In 4. I should have added a N for PORTEND. Such is life...

Geoff Bailey said...

Bad luck on seeing PORTEND too late, Mike -- a nice spot, regardless. And MASONIC is also valid: The job of a mason existed long before the semi-secret society did.

Alas, CASTED is not valid (the past tense of CAST is CAST).

Mike Backhouse said...

Thanks for the feedback Geoff and great game as usual.

Sam G said...

3. 384 = (5+1)*(4+4)*8
4. POINTED. INTERPOL does not appear to be valid.
6. 172 = (8*5+3)*4
8. 464 = (75-10-7)*8
9. -