Saturday, 14 May 2016

Ep 103: Raf Goodens, Luke Brattoni (May 13, 2016; originally aired December 22, 2010)

Rounds: Here.

Raf Goodens gets to try out the champion's seat tonight.  Richard informs us that Raf moved to Australia from Belgium two and a half years ago, and says that Raf is quite an exception to the rest of his family.  Raf says that he is the son of a pig farmer, and many of the rest of his family are pig farmers also.  He adds that numbers have always appealed to him more.

Challenging Raf is Luke Brattoni, who currently works with primary school children.  However, last year he completed a media degree, and hopes to work in TV, film, or internet entertainment.  Richard segues a bit awkwardly from that to note that Luke is involved in rapping.  Luke takes the opportunity to demonstrate, with something he prepared a little earlier:
Throw me a letter or number, I'll make my competitor wonder how a veteran was bettered by a kid admittedly dumber, causing a vendetta of umbrage, bitter and sombre, once I flip the alphabet and get the nine-letter conundrum.
We'll see whether he manages to live up to that challenge.

Luke stumbled to start with, chancing a spelling that turned out not to be valid.  But he recovered in the next round to take a marginal lead, then extended it in the first numbers game.  It was mostly level-pegging after that, but Raf managed a key fightback in one of the middle letters rounds to close the gap to just four points.  So it continued until the conundrum, and true to his word, Luke solved it first to seal the win, 53 to 39.

I'm still not playing near my best, and had a bad miss in the first numbers round.  Fortunately I managed to scrape together enough of an advantage in the letters to be safe going into the conundrum, and it was sorely needed as I got just pipped to it.  A wobbly end to the week, but I'll hope next week will be better once I've had some sleep.

Round 1: J E I S B O N S A

I had JIBS, BONES, BASINS, and spotted SABINES but was correct about it being proper.  After time I noted other sixes of NOISES and BONSAI, then checked up on BANJO just in case the plural form was BANJOES.  It is not, so I kept looking for longer.  Overall it took me maybe a minute after time to spot BASENJI and thus BASENJIS for eight.  And then I realised that I could have pluralised BONSAI to make BONSAIS for seven.

Raf has found BONSAI for six -- I'm not the only one to miss the pluralisation option -- while Luke goes for a "tentative seven" of BANJOES.  That gets him off to a poor start, but there's plenty of time left.  David strangely does not point out the option of BONSAIS, but in any case has found the best answer of BASENJIS.

Aside from the words listed above, six is the best to be done.

Luke: [invalid -- BANJOES]

Scores: Raf 6, Luke 0, me 6

Round 2: S P F E A C E D Y


Raf has gone with SPACEY for six, but Luke has found ESCAPED for seven and takes a one-point lead.  David points out DEFACES as another seven.

ESCAPED and DEFACES are the only sevens, and the best to be done.


Scores: Raf 6, Luke 7, me 13

Round 3: Target 782 from 50 100 75 9 1 8

After starting with 8*100, the offset of 18 is 2*9.  Sadly, that was not manageable with the remaining numbers, although I did tweak my way to one off with 783 = 8*(100 - 1) - 9.  Then I considered the standard method, and the offset of 7 can be made as 8 - 1.  Viewed that way the task was to get to 775 with the rest, and I found that easily enough but had managed to run out of time before getting it down.  Pretty poor play on my part.

After time I finished jotting down the solutions I had found: 782 = 9*100 - 75 - 50 + 8 - 1 and 782 = 9*75 + 100 + 8 - 1.  It turns out that these are the only solutions.

Raf has also got to one away with 783, but Luke has managed to solve this with the second of those solutions.  That's well done, although it was apparently a late find for him also -- he continues writing on his pad for a couple of seconds after time runs out.  The camera cut away at that point, but I hope he was not writing longer than that; as it was, it felt to me right on the edge of acceptable overrun.  (Admittedly, this may all be sour grapes on my part.)

Lily also solved this, using the first solution that I found.

Raf: 783
Luke: 782
Me: 783
Lily: 782

Scores: Raf 6 , Luke 17, me 13

First break: EDGE RIPE ("Where you get your genes")

That would be your PEDIGREE.

David's talk is about cinema jargon for genres: sudser (a soap opera), oater (a Western), chopsocky (a martial arts film), zomcom (zombie comedy), and sprocket opera (apprently a Los Angeles term for a film festival).  Richard weights in with another one that he heard of recently: A teenage comedy can be called a zitcom.

Round 4: N I O D P U R G S

Ah, the -ING makes a welcome appearance.  Luke pleases me by sticking with three vowels; I'd been hoping for a final C for PRODUCING, but no such luck.  Instead, I had POND, POUND, and POURING.  I considered POURINGS but correctly decided it was too risky.  After time I noted other sevens of PURSING and SOURING / ROUSING, and checked up on IN-GROUPS just in case.  Only the hyphenated form is listed, though, as I expected.

Luke says that he has two rhyming eights, and that prompts Raf to chance an eight also.  But Luke's selection of ROUNDINGS (presumably his other option was POUNDINGS) is doubly wrong, as David points out: it is nine letters long, not eight, and uses the N twice.  Raf's eight is POURINGS, and that's an invalid answer also.  I think it's likely he would have stayed with a seven if Luke had not declared the eight, so in a sense he got done in by Luke's error.

David could only find sevens; he mentions PURSING and SOURING.

Seven is indeed the limit here; the others are GROUNDS, DOUSING / GUIDONS (GUIDON: "a swallow-tailed pennant, used as a military standard"), PROSING / SPORING, UNGIRDS, DURIONS (DURION being a variant spelling of the fruit DURIAN), and PONGIDS (PONGID: "one of the great apes of the family Pongidae, which includes the chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan").  SOUP is only a verb as part of the phrase SOUP UP, so SOUPING* would not get the nod on the show.

Raf: [invalid -- POURINGS]
Luke: [invalid -- ROUNDINGS]

Scores: Raf 6, Luke 17, me 20

Round 5: R A O T F E H I T

I had ROTA, AFTER, FATHER, and FATTIER.  I did wonder if THROATIE might be colloquial for a throat lozenge, but decided not to chance it and fortunately that was the correct decision.

Luke has gone with HATTER for six, but Raf has found FATTIER to get back within the conundrum range.  A much-needed result for him!  David could not better it (he actually says that it looked like there might be a seven or eight but he could not find one, but he may have meant aside from FATTIER; it seems unlikely that he would have missed it).

The other seven here is THORITE.  But it turns out that there is an eight here after all: FORTIETH.


Scores: Raf 13, Luke 17, me 27

Round 6: Target 182 from 25 100 75 50 9 6

Luke shows the signs of a numberworker on the show by opting for four large numbers.  This time I look for the standard method first and find 182 = 100 + 75 + 9 - 50/25.  Then I used the factor of 2 to get the shorter 182 = (100 - 9)*50/25.

Both contestants have solved this, using the first of those solutions, as did Lily.

Raf: 182
Luke: 182
Me: 182
Lily: 182

Scores: Raf 23, Luke 27, me 37

Second break: MEAN TORY ("Dollar, pound, yen, or euro")

A fiscal connection, leading quickly to MONETARY.

Round 7: C I E M R U O M S

I had MICE, CRIME, CERIUM, CORIUM ("the sensitive vascular layer of the skin, beneath the epidermis"), CERIUMS, IMMURES / RUMMIES*, and COMMIES.  After time I noted MOUSIER as another seven, and then a bit later finally found the eight of SCUMMIER.

Both contestants have found sixes here; Luke went with a pretty safe SOURCE, while Raf's option of MIMERS was riskier but turned out to be valid.  David has found MEMOIRS and SCUMMIER.

The other seven here is MURICES (plural of MUREX, a type of sea snail).


Scores: Raf 23 (29), Luke 27 (33), me 44

Round 8: Target 847 from 50 100 75 25 6 3

Luke persists with four large, and the standard method looks good.  We have the needed offset of 3, and it is possible to get to 850 with the rest (handy fact that Sam taught me: With the four large numbers, and any small number from 3 to 9, it is possible to get to all multiples of 25 up to 1000).  A little thought produced a solution from this: 847 = 6*(100 + 50) - (75 - 25) - 3.  I then spent a little while playing with the factorisation 7*11*11, but was not able to get it to work.

Both contestants have solved this with a slightly different approach: 847 = (6 + 3)*100 - 50 - 75/25.  There was no word on Lily's approach.

Raf: 847
Luke: 847
Me: 847

Scores: Raf 33 (39), Luke 37 (43), me 54


I got sidetracked by the IMP- fragment, and that cost me a precious second or two.  I buzzed in, but Luke had just got there first.  Raf gives an exclamation of annoyance when that happens, and I can sympathise with that.

Raf: [no answer]
Luke: PERIMETER (3s)

Scores: Raf 33 (39), Luke 47 (53), me 54

A slightly flawed performance from Luke tonight; he found a good numbers solution to get a useful lead, but two invalid words allowed Raf back into the game.  Raf did well to hang on in rounds with little scope for improvement, and the game was still live going into the conundrum.  Luke lived up to his claims by solving it quickly.

An interesting start to the series, with the challenger winning each game.  Luke will be hoping to break that streak; we'll find out next episode how that goes.


Mike Backhouse said...

(9+1)*(75+100/50)+8=778 (4 off)
x POURINGS (grrr...)
100+75+6=181 (1 off)
PERIMETER (beat Luke!)

Sam G said...

3. 782 = 9*75 + 100 + 8 - 1
5. FATTIER/THORITE. Was worried about which was valid (both are).
6. 182 = (100*50 - 6*75)/25
8. 847 = 6*(100 + 50) - 75 + 25 - 3
9. PERIMETER - 2.0s