Friday, 19 February 2016

NG 780

New game 780 is now available.

The re-run is episode 43; its rounds are here and its writeup is here.

Round 1: L A I A F E T H K

I had FAIL, FETAL, FAITH, was uncertain about FATLIKE (not valid), and HATLIKE.  This was found by David only a few weeks ago in episode 31.

There is almost a nine here; Scrabble allows KHALIFATE, but the Macquarie does not list it.  It does give KHALIF as a variant form of CALIPH ("the head of a Muslim state"), and CALIPHATE ("the rank, jurisdiction or government of a caliph") is listed but not further variations.  Since CALIPHATE has a separate entry, it does not count as a derived form for the purposes of my revised rules, so KHALIFATE does not get the nod there, either.

That leaves seven as the limit here, with the other being KHALIFA (given as a variant of KHALIF).  The sixes are ALTHEA (variant spelling of ALTHAEA, a type of plant), HALITE ("rock salt"), HIATAL (adjective derived from HIATUS), KHALIF, TAKAHE ("a rare flightless New Zealand bird [...]"), and TALKIE.

My selection: HATLIKE

Round 2: U A P N A S M R N

If only one of those A's had been an E then SUPERMAN would have been there.  Without that, it was a limited mix; I had SNAP, SAUNA, PUMAS, UNMANS, UNSNAP, and MANNAS (MANNA has several meanings, including "an exudate of insects living on many Australian eucalypts [...]").

The seven here is ANURANS (ANURAN: "a frog or toad").  The other sixes are ANURAN, SAMPAN, UNARMS, and PRANAS (maybe; PRANA: "one of the vital principles in Vedic and Hindu religion; a life breath").

My selection: UNSNAP

Round 3: Target 435 from 25 75 9 2 7 10

I wanted to make this as 425 + 10, but could not see my way there.  Instead, I looked further afield, and started with 7*75.  The offset of 90 turned out to be simply 9*10, leading to 435 = 7*75 - 9*10.  Somewhat after time I considered working down from 450 instead, getting 435 = 9*(75 - 25) - 10 - (7 - 2).

There's many solutions, and it turns out that I did miss a reasonably obvious solution of the form I was looking for: 435 = 2*7*25 + 75 + 10.  Bother.

My selection: 435 = 7*75 - 9*10

Round 4: S I R E I S E C E

I had RISE, IRIS, IRISES, wondered about SEISER (SEISE: "to put in seisin, or legal possession of"; but SEISER is not listed), and CERISES.  After time I noted CERISE and RECESS as other sixes.

The other seven is CREESES (CREESE being a variant spelling of KRIS: "a short sword or heavy dagger with a wavy blade, used by the Malays").  The other sixes are CREESE, SERIES, SCREES / CESSER ("Law the coming to an end, as of the period of duration of a mortgage"), CRISIS, CRISES / SCRIES (SCRY: "to perceive, especially by crystal-gazing"), and ECESIS ("the establishment of an immigrant plant in a new environment").

My selection: CERISES

Round 5: A O N T L W M R E

I had TALON, ETALON, and MANTLE.  It felt like there must be sevens here, but it was not until a bit after time that I finally saw LOMENTA (plural of LOMENTUM: "a dry fruit derived from one carpel which breaks up transversely into one-seeded segments at maturity") / OMENTAL (the adjective derived from OMENTUM: "a fold or duplication of the peritoneum passing between certain of the viscera [...]") / TELAMON ("a figure of a man used like a supporting column").

The remaining seven is the rather more common ALMONER.

My selection: ETALON

Round 6: Target 103 from 25 7 5 6 9 5

Such a low target seemed unlikely to be troubling, so I started by looking for a solution in small numbers alone.  My usual technique is to divide by the largest number available; in this case, the target was near 9*11 and 9*12, but the offset of 5 for the latter was better, leading to 103 = 9*(7 + 5) - 5.

While writing this up I have seen the alternative similar option of 103 = 7*(9 + 5) + 5, as well as a solution using the 25: 103 = (9 - 5)*25 + 6/(7 - 5).

My selection: 103 = 9*(7 + 5) - 5.

Round 7: M D C G D E O N E

I had DOMED, DEMON, CONGEED (CONGEE as a verb: "to take one's leave" or "to bow"), and ENCODED.

That's both sevens listed.  The sixes are CONGEE, ENCODE, DECODE, DEMOED, DODGEM, DOGMEN (plural of DOGMAN: "a construction worker who works with cranes, often travelling up and down with the load or on the crane hook; rigger") / MONGED (MONG: "Also mong out. to relax; do nothing"), DONGED, GENOME, MENDED, and OMENED.

My selection: CONGEED

Round 8: Target 242 from 50 75 9 4 6 1

I considered the target as near 240, which is 4*60.  That did not quite work, but the adjustive to 4*59 + 6 was easy enough: 242 = 4*(50 + 9) + 6.  I'd also observed the factorisation 2*121 or 2*11*11, and the former was slightly more useful: 242 = (9 - 6 - 1)*(75 + 50 - 4).  Seen just now is the simpler option of 242 = (6 + 4)*(75 - 50) - (9 - 1).

My selection: 242 = 4*(50 + 9) + 6


The -LY ending seems clear, and the extension to -ALLY was plausible.  But it turned out to be -FULLY instead; fortunately I did not get sidetracked for long.

My selection: CAREFULLY (2.4s)


BadBeatPete said...

Round 1 - Hatlike (?)
Round 2 - Prams
Round 3 - (75-25)*9=450, 450-10-(7-2)=435
Round 4 - Series
Round 5 - Mantle
Round 6 - (5+7)*9=108, 108-5=103
Round 7 - Mended
Round 8 - (50+9)*4=236, 236+6=242
Round 9 - Carefully (Total time: 1.8 seconds)

Mike Backhouse said...

Pete's way

Sam G said...

Awkward letter mixes.

1. FLAKE. HATLIKE is fine, I barely gave it a second thought before rejecting it.
3. 435 = 7*75 - 9*10
5. ALMONER, possibly late.
6. 103 = (25-5)*5 + 9 - 6
8. 242 = 4*75 - 50 - 9 + 1
9. CAREFULLY - 2.4s. Felt this should have been a faster time, but didn't pick the letters up quickly enough.

Mike Backhouse said...

Sam, surprised that HATLIKE is a valid word.

And that modulo thingy technique used in round three (and previously) is wonderful: it's just that there would seem to be so many possible options using it that the 30 seconds would be up before I knew it. My technique (such as it is) is to try and get as close to the target as I can using one large and a small (and maybe an extra number using a bracket), and then get the remainder with the other numbers. Is there any 'trick' to using your technique, other than having lightning fast calculation ability? Also, Pete, Senaka and Geoff, any tips? as I've seen you all use this technique.

Geoff Bailey said...

HATLIKE was my choice, but I knew it was safe because it had come up before. One of those times was only a few weeks ago, in episode 31, as it turns out.

I'm not sure what to say about round three. My usual technique is to try and get close as efficiently as possible, using one multiplication. In this case the first near (for a suitably broad definition of 'near', admittedly) value that I considered was 7*75. I was looking at what was involved in tweaking my way closer when I realised that the offset of 90 was simply 9*10.

Somewhat after time I found Pete's approach. That came from using 9*(75 - 25) as the starting point. I'd have liked to make this as 425 + 10, but it just doesn't seem feasible.