Friday, 13 May 2016

Ep 102: Jason Dunn, Raf Goodens (May 12, 2016; originally aired December 21, 2010)

Rounds: Here.

Jason Dunn takes up the champion's position tonight, after a good win over Brett yesterday.  Richard picks up on Jason's find of ELUTES in yesterday's game, and Jason gives a brief explanation of what elution is.  That doesn't really lead to us finding out anything about Jason, which seems a shame.

Tonight's challenger is Raf Goodens, a scientist whose life goal is to contribute to the advancement of theoretical physics.  Richard asks what theoeretical physics is; Raf responds that it is about trying to discover the laws of physics, the mathematical equations underlying the real world.

Raf grabbed a small early lead in the first letters game, but thereafter they were matched on that front.  But the numbers were all in Raf's favour, as he solved all three numbers rounds.  Jason was only able to solve the last one, but the game was already lost by that point.  He took the consolation prize of the conundrum, but Raf is the victor, 59 to 43.

I did reasonably, although again my letters maxima were low.  The best options were hard to see, so I'm happy enough despite that.  And I just pipped Jason to the conundrum, so that helped my scoreline.  I still don't feel that on top of things, but I'm hoping to settle into the groove in the next week or so.

Round 1: R S I A J M I E F

I had AIRS, JARS, ARMIES, FRAMES, MISFIRE, and FAIRIES.  That J was a bit of a spoiler.

Jason starts off with FIRES for five, outdone by Raf's choice of FRAMES.  David points out that Jason might have perhaps found MISFIRE instead, but has done even better again with RAMIFIES.

That is every word longer than six listed.

Jason: FIRES

Scores: Jason 0, Raf 0 (6), me 7

Round 2: R E O C C I S I S

Yuck, repetition is usually hampering.  I had CORE, wrote down a speculative COERCE but the second E never arrived, SCORE, SCORES, and COSIER.  After time I noted COSSIE as another six.

Both contestants have found SOCCER for six; I wish I'd seen that, because, like David, I would have then extended it to SOCCERS for seven.  (As he points out, SOCCER is also a verb.)

The other sevens here are CICEROS (CICERO: "a European unit of measurement for type, slightly larger than the pica") and CISCOES (CISCO being a type of fish).  But there is an eight to be had here: ECCRISIS ("the expulsion of waste matter from the body").


Scores: Jason 6, Raf 6 (12), me 13

Round 3: Target 810 from 100 25 2 8 9 6

I started by considering the standard method, and how one might get offsets of 10 or 15; the option that worked for me was 810 = 8*100 + 25 - 9 - 6.  Then I looked at the factorisation 9*90, and found 810 = (100 - 8 - 2)*9 and 810 = (25 - 8 - 2)*6*9.

Jason is one off the target at 809, resumably with 809 = 8*100 + 9.  Raf has found a nice solution of 810 = (100 + 2)*8 - 6, however, to scoot further ahead.  Lily has found the first of the solutions that I did.

Jason: 809
Raf: 810
Me: 810
Lily: 810

Scores: Jason 6, Raf 16 (22), me 23

First break: BRASS ONE ("Lady of nobility")

This clearly leads to BARONESS.

David's talk is about the bikini, and how it derives its name from the atomic testing at Bikini Atoll.

Round 4: L E O T D E A B G

I had TOLD, ELATED, and BELATED.  If one of those E's had been an I then we could have had OBLIGATED.  After time I noted down other sevens of GLOBATE ("shaped like a globe") and LOBATED (also LOBATE: "having a lobe or lobes"), and observed another near-monty of ELONGATED, requiring the B to change into an N.  Easy enough on a computer keyboard, not so much in the game.

It's sevens from the contestants, with Raf having BLOATED to Jason's BELATED.  David notes BLEATED as an alternative.

The remaining seven is GLOATED, but the eight here is GLOBATED (variant of GLOBATE).


Scores: Jason 13, Raf 23 (29), me 30

Round 5: D Q U U N F E A K

The U turns up immediately after the Q, but the second U is not so good.  I had FUND, UNDUE (I hoped for an O for FONDUE), QUAKED, and was a little tempted by UNFAKED but not enough (fortunately, since it is not valid).

Jason has also found QUAKED, while Raf has opted for the more interesting FUNKED.  David lets us know that FUNK has a verb sense ("to frighten"), so all is well for Raf.


Scores: Jason 19, Raf 29 (35), me 36

Round 6: Target 760 from 25 7 6 4 9 3

My first obsevartion was that the target was 19*40, and I could make the 19 as 25 - 6.  That quickly led me to 760 = (25 - 6)*4*(7 + 3).  Then I considered the standard method to get 760 = (3*7 + 9)*25 + 6 + 4.  While time was running out I spotted a nice tweak, but could not quite get it down in time: 760 = 7*(4*25 + 9) - 3.

Jason has not managed to get close, but Raf has solved this exactly with 760 = (9 - 4)*6*25 + 3 + 7.  That's well done!  There's no word on Lily's performance -- she simply congratulates Raf on doing well, saying that it wasn't easy.  I wonder if she'd not solved this?  In any case, this solution puts Raf a daunting 26 points ahead of Jason, who is in all sorts of trouble.

Jason: [no answer]
Raf: 760
Me: 760

Scores: Jason 19, Raf 39 (45), me 46

Second break: STARE SKI ("Stellar punctuation")

This refers to the star shape of the ASTERISK.

Round 7: D H O A D T A O N

Jason needs at least six unanswered points here to even have a technical chance, but gets a terrible mix for it.  Mind you, based on what we've seen in the numbers rounds so far I'd think it extremely unlikely for him to outpoint Raf there, so the bad mix here seems unlikely to change matters.  I had DADO ("the part of a pedestal between the base and the cornice or cap"), OATH, HAND, and DOONA.

It's unsurprising that the contestants have been limited to four letters, with Raf having TOAD and Jason having DODO.  David has found DOONA, but then gone better again with DOODAH (listed as a colloquialism equivalent to "thingummyjig").  David further notes the word HODAD, which he describes as 60's slang for a non-surfer (Wiktionary provides a little more context to that definition).  However, HODAD is not actually in the Macquarie, so it would not have been valid.

The other fives here are DADAH ("Malaysian English illegal narcotic drugs, such as heroin, marijuana, etc."), DONAH (an obsolete colloquial term for "a woman"), and TONDO ("a circular work of art, as a painting, relief, carving, etc.").

Jason: DODO

Scores: Jason 19 (23), Raf 39 (49), me 51

Round 8: Target 755 from 100 75 8 8 1 7

Raf has now won the game, and takes a simple two large mix.  I first considered starting with 800, then realised that the offset of 45 might be a little awkward.  But it was also 75 - 30 or 120 - 75, and that latter was promising since 120 is also divisible by 8.  The tweaking worked out, giving me 755 = 8*(100 - 7 - 8) + 85.  Then I did what I should have done from the start and looked at working up from 700; the tweak to get a solution from that was pretty clear: 755 = 7*(100 + 8) - 1.  However, I did not quite manage to get it down in time, so I'm fortunately that my first approach did get me a solution.

Both contestants have solved this.  Raf has opted for the version that I did not get down in time, while Jason has found another approach: 755 = 8*75 + 100 + 8*7 - 1.  Lily solved this in the same way that Raf did.

Jason: 755
Raf: 755
Me: 755
Lily: 755

Scores: Jason 29 (33), Raf 49 (59), me 61


I got hung up a bit on the -ED ending, and it took me a while to consider -ATE.  Once I did, though, I soon found the answer of CANDIDATE.  And not a moment too soon, as Jason buzzed in just half a second later!

Jason: CANDIDATE (13.5s)
Raf: [no answer]

Scores: Jason 29 (43), Raf 49 (59), me 71

The numbers proved the difference tonight, with Raf's flawless performance giving him a comfortable victory.  It's hard to have much sense of his letter abilities on today's mixes, so we'll have to see how he goes tomorrow.


Mike Backhouse said...

FIRES and wondered about FIRIES
7*100+75-8-8-1= 758 (3 off)

Sam G said...

I missed Ep101 the other night, and SBS hasn't updated their L&N series homepage on-demand episodes yet. I endorse their new page background.

Solid effort from Raf, particularly on numbers. Where is that accent from?

My guess is that I had seen this episode, the bikini vignette rang a bell.

3. 810 = (100+2)*8 - 6
6. 760 = (9 - 4)*6*25 + 3 + 7
8. 755 = 7*(100 + 8) - 1
9. CANDIDATE - Perhaps 7.5s