Monday, 21 September 2015

NG 681

New game 681 is now available.

Round 1: D E S U E T H O T

I had USED, SUEDE, HOUSED, HOSTED, a very dubious SHUTTED (not valid), and an uncertain SHOTTED (valid; the sense of SHOT here is "to load or supply with shot").  I was not convinced by SHOTTED, so had to stay with six.

After time I found the seven of TESTUDO ("a shelter formed by soldiers overlapping their oblong shields above their heads").  But the rather more obvious seven that I missed is SHOUTED.  Those are all sevens listed, and the best to be done.

My selection: HOSTED

Round 2: P L E I F A D L O

I had PILE, PILAF, FAILED, FILLED, PILLED, and PALLID.  I just could not see better, alas.

The seven that I should have seen, particularly given that I chose FAILED, is FLAILED.  The other seven is OEDIPAL, which is listed as usually uppercase but not necessarily so.

My selection: FAILED

Round 3: Target 518 from 75 100 7 9 6 4

The target is 7 away from 525, and of course 525 is 7*75.  That means we have the factorisation 7*74 and so I went with 518 = 7*(75 - (6 + 4 - 9)).  Casting around for alternatives I spotted an unusual way to make a second 7 with the kitchen sink solution of 518 = 7*75 - ((100 - 4)/6 - 9), and only after that point went back to first principles for the short 518 = 6*100 - 75 - 7.  I do tend to overcomplicate the numbers sometimes!

My selection: 518 = 7*75 - ((100 - 4)/6 - 9)

Round 4: I M U T R B T A I

I had TRIM, ATRIUM, and TRITIUM (an isotope of hydrogen).  After time I noted BARIUM as another six.

TRIM TAB ("a small, adjustable airfoil fitted to the trailing edge of the control surface, to aid in balancing or trimming the aircraft") is only listed as two words, so that leaves TRITIUM as the only seven.  The other six is TURBIT, a type of pigeon.

My selection: TRITIUM

Round 5: G A S N P U E R A

I had SANG, PANGS, PRANGS, ANGERS, SPRUNG, NAUSEA, and GRAPES.  Yet again stuck on six when it felt like better should be possible!

SPEAR GUN is only listed as two words, so eight is not possible.  There are some sevens, however: REPUGNS, PARANGS (PARANG: "a large, heavy knife used as a tool or weapon by the Malays"), and GUANASE ("an enzyme found in thymus, adrenals, and pancreas that converts guanine into xanthine").

My selection: PRANGS

Round 6: Target 427 from 100 50 75 7 10 4

I first wrote down a fallback 425 = 7*50 + 75, then pushed a little harder.  Some thought got me to one away with 428 = 10*50 - 75 + 7 - 4, which I then realised I could make more easily as 428 = 4*(100 + 7).  But that was as close as I could get within time.

After time I hit on the idea of trying 10*42 + 7.  That did not work out, but trying to do that led me to consider the similar 43*10 - 3, and so to find 427 = 10*(50 - 7) - 4*75/100.

Seen while writing this up is that I made this much harder than it needed to be.  The target is 7*61 (the factor of 7 was made clear by thinking of it as 10*42 + 7), leading to 427 = 7*(75 - 10 - 4).  Oh, well.

My selection: 428 = 4*(100 + 7)  [1 off]
Best: 427 = 7*(75 - 10 - 4)

Round 7: T O E S M L Y S I

I had TOES, TOMES, MOSTLY, MOISTLY, MOLESTS, was unsure about MITOSES (not valid; in general, the Macquarie lists fairly few -SES plurals of -SIS words), felt a bit SEMILOST (not valid, obviously), and LISSOME (American spelling of LISSOM: "lithe, especially of body; limber or supple").

MISSTYLE is not listed, so seven is the limit on this mix.  I was also surprised that MESSILY is not valid.  The other sevens are STYLISE, STYMIES, SMILEYS, MOTLEYS, MOTILES (MOTILE: "someone in whose mind motor images are predominant or especially distinct"), TOYLESS / SYSTOLE ("Pathology the normal rhythmical contraction of the heart [...]"), SOMITES (SOMITE: "any of the longitudinal series of segments or parts into which the body of certain animals is divided"), and TYLOSIS ("balloon-like extensions of the walls of xylem vessels, found especially in heartwood").

My selection: MOLESTS

Round 8: Target 829 from 50 5 3 4 9 6

The nearby multiples of 50 are 16*50 and 17*50, but making either 16 or 17 is a bit wasteful of the small numbers.  I went one higher with 18*50, and that got me to one away with 828 = 3*6*(50 - 4).  Switching tacks, I considered 15*50; the offset of 79 is 15*5 + 4, and it works out quite handily: 829 = (9 + 6)*(50 + 5) + 4.  (A small variation on that idea: 829 = 5*(3*50 + 9 + 6) + 4.)

My selection: 829 = (9 + 6)*(50 + 5) + 4


Inspired by the presence of BISHOP in the last letters round of NG 680, we now have BISHOPRIC ("the see, diocese, or office of a bishop").

My selection: [N/A -- chosen]


Mike Backhouse said...

(3+4+9)*50+6*5=830 (1 off and went over)
x never heard of this one

Sam G said...

3. 518 = 6*100 - 75 - 7
6. 427 = (50-7)*10 - 4*75/100
8. 829 = (50+5)*(9+6) + 4
9. Unfamiliar with this word.

Geoff Bailey said...

Ooh, you're hard done by with MESSILY, Mike. I'd have awarded it if I'd not checked up on it, but there's no mention of it anywhere in the Macquarie. *grimaces* Nice solution to round 3, by the way -- I missed that option completely. Your round 6 answer evaluates to 422, as written, though; adjusting the - to a + still only gets you to 428. Round 8 was a good result, mind you, even for over time.

Sam: Too good for me! Although I can't believe I missed both those words in the first two rounds. *shakes head sadly*

Sam G said...

FAILED/FLAILED is an amusing miss, as was my recent PHOBICS/PHOBIAS mishap.

Geoff Bailey said...

But as I pointed out there, PHOBICS is valid. :)