Monday, 16 May 2016

Ep 104: Luke Brattoni, Aram Kalyanasundaram (May 16, 2016; originally aired December 23, 2010)

Rounds: Here.

Richard welcomes Luke back as the carry-over champion, and Luke remarks that he is "delightfully surprised to be here".  Richard then asks for more details about the work that Luke does with primary school children.  Luke explains that it is an after school activity; they prepare an afternoon tea for the kids, clean up after them, and supervise them on the playground.  Apparently there is a minor fad at the moment for fake IDs, so he has been drawing little cartoons on pieces of paper for seven-year-olds.

In the challenger's seat we have Aram Kalyanasundaram, an IT consultant in the retail industry whose dream job is to be a TV presenter.  Aram has taken steps in that direction by working as a radio jockey in his college days, but since then has had to focus on work responsibilities.

Luke took the early lead, with Aram unable to score points in the first two rounds.  But Aram struck back in the first numbers round, closing the gap to just three points.  The letters continued to favour Luke -- Aram was only able to score points in one letters round, and that was shared with Luke -- and the numbers were not kind enough to Aram.  Luke sealed the game by solving the final numbers round; Aram got the consolation prize of solving the conundrum, but Luke got the win, 52 to 36.  That's the first time this series that the challenger has not won.

I had a much better game than last week.  I only dropped two maxima; one was a word I had written down but did not chance, while the other I found somewhat too late.  So that's definitely progress for me.

Round 1: E I E T C B L P D

I had CITE, ELITE, BELIED, and DECEIT (only just noted down in time, not that it mattered).  After time I spotted EDIBLE as another six, and then another half minute or so later found DECIBEL for seven.

Aram starts with the five of PILED, while Luke has gone one better with PIECED for six.  David has spotted DECIBEL, then found the alternative of PEDICLE ("a small stalk or stalklike support").

The remaining seven here is PEDICEL, which seems to be essentially just a variant spelling of PEDICLE, although it gets a longer entry in the dictionary.


Scores: Luke 6, Aram 0, me 6

Round 2: G T U I M H E L D

I had MIGHT, HELIUM, DILUTE, MIDGUT, and LIGHTED / DELIGHT.  There was a gap between those two, and I had started to fret over whether LIGHTED was even valid or whether it was always LIT instead.  Fortunately I spotted the alternative of DELIGHT to ease my mind, even thought LIGHTED is perfectly fine.

This time Aram has been limited to the four of GLUT, while Luke has accurently found DELIGHT.  David points out the alternative of LIGHTED, and then mentions GUILTED as another seven.

Those are all the sevens listed, and the best to be done.

Aram: GLUT

Scores: Luke 13, Aram 0, me 13

Round 3: Target 608 from 75 25 100 50 6 10

Starting with 6*100 was clear enough, and it was a short step to 608 = 6*100 + 10 - 50/25.  I also spent a little while working on the factorisation 8*76 but without success.

Luke is 13 points ahead, so Aram needs to get some ground back in this round.  He manages to do so by solving this exactly with the interesting 608 = 6*100 + 75 / 25 + 50 / 10, while Luke has been limited to 609.  That closes the gap up to just three points, which is a much-needed result.  Lily has chosen the same solution that I had.

I'll note that Luke keeps writing well past the time limit here, to the extent that Richard has to tell him to put the pen down.  I commented about him going overtime in episode 103, but this was a much more egregious example.

Aram: 608
Me: 608
Lily: 608

Scores: Luke 13, Aram 10, me 23

First break: CALF ROSE ("A kind of dining")

That dining is ALFRESCO.

David's talk is about words with family connections: nepotism, pope, and gossip.

Round 4: N E C N A I T M N


I don't want to flog a dead horse here, but Luke again runs overtime, starting to write something just as the clock runs out.  It's situations like this that make me prefer the Countdown approach of allowing contestants to declare that they have a result that is not written down.  Anyway, Aram has been limited to four again with MINT, while Luke once again outpoints him in the letters with CINEMA for six.  David has found ANCIENT for seven.

The other seven here is NEMATIC ("of or relating to one of the forms of liquid crystals").

Aram: MINT

Scores: Luke 13 (19), Aram 10, me 30

Round 5: R O E N S B O A D

I had SNORE, BONERS, BROADENS, and wondered if BROADNOSE might be a type of animal.  I decided against it in the end, and that was the right decision.  After time I noted BANDORES (BANDORE being an old instrument similar to a lute) as another 8, and checked up on ONBOARDS.  I knew that INBOARDS was valid -- INBOARD being a term for an inboard motor -- but it turns out that ONBOARD is only listed as an adjective.

This time both contestants have found sixes: Aram has SNORED while Luke has BARONS.  David has accurately found BROADENS.

BROADENS / BANDORES are the only eights.  The other sevens are ONBOARD, BROADEN / BANDORE, BONDERS, BOONERS (BOONER is the ACT version of BOGAN: "a person generally from an outer suburb of a city or town and from a lower socioeconomic background, viewed as uncultured"), ROBANDS (ROBAND: "a short piece of spun yarn or other material, used to secure a sail to a yard, gaff, or the like"), NARDOOS (NARDOO: "any of the Australian species of the mud-loving or aquatic genus of ferns, Marsilea"), and BORANES (BORANE being a certain chemical).


Scores: Luke 13 (25), Aram 10 (16), me 38

Round 6: Target 910 from 100 50 6 9 5 10

It's a very easy target, and everyone goes with 910 = 9*100 + 10.

Luke: 910
Aram: 910
Me: 910
Lily: 910

Scores: Luke 23 (35), Aram 20 (26), me 48

Second break: BEAR POLE ("A cowboy who lost his lasso")

Such a cowboy might be, ironically, ROPEABLE.

Round 7: S F R R I E O O G

I had FIRS, FIRES, ROOFIES (not valid, as it turns out; I'm surprised by that), FORGERS, was unsure about GOOSIER* (not valid under the show's rules), and was unsure about FORGOES and FORGOERS.  In my mind the main spelling was FOREGOES, and I expected that we would run into the situation where FOREGOER was listed and so was FORGO as a variant of FOREGO, but that FORGOER would not be explicitly listed as it needed to be.  In the end I decided against them, but it turns out that the Macquarie considered FORGO to be the main spelling and all of those versions would have been fine.  That left me declaring a seven, and I was fortunate that I settled on FORGERS instead of the invalid ROOFIES.

Luke has found FORGERS for seven, outdoing Aram who had FRIES for five.  David has opted for FORGOERS, and it is the only eight.

The other sevens are FORGOER, ROOFERS, and GOORIES (GOORIE being a varient form of KURI: "one of an extinct breed of New Zealand dogs").  The comparatives GOOFIER* and GORSIER* are not explicitly listed, unfortunately.


Scores: Luke 30 (42), Aram 20 (26), me 55

Round 8: Target 613 from 100 25 4 4 9 2

Oh, my, I very nearly messed this up.  I got overly focused on getting to 625 first, and could then only adjust to one away with 612 = 25*100/4 - 9 - 4.  With time running out I realised that I should be making this as 600 + 13, and found 613 = (4 + 2)*100 + 9 + 4.  I managed to get that down just before time ran out, to my considerable relief.

That last letters round has pushed Luke 16 points ahead, so once again Aram needs unanswered points here to be in with a chance.  Luke solves it early, however, with that solution above.  Aram only says that he was "far away", and that is game to Luke.

Luke: 613
Aram: [not in range]
Me: 613
Lily: 613

Scores: Luke 40 (52), Aram 20 (26), me 65


With only three vowels the -ATE ending was not tempting, and I was happy to find SPECTACLE quickly.  Aram solved this around the twenty second mark.

Luke: [no answer]
Aram: SPECTACLE (21.5s)

Scores: Luke 40 (52), Aram 20 (36), me 75

Aram struggled on the letters tonight, and seemed better on the numbers but was not able to get back on track with them.  Luke sealed the game in the numbers round, but note that if it had gone Aram's way instead then Aram would have won by four points.  This game was a lot closer than it may have seemed.  Luke carries the day, with another half century result, and that puts him in good shape for the finals if he can manage three more wins.


Mike Backhouse said...

I played off this site rather than the TV today.


Sam G said...

Virtually identical results to Geoff.

2. LIGHTED. Worried only LIT was valid, DELIGHT was safer.
3. 608 = 6*100 + 10 - 50/25
6. 910 = 9*100 + 10
8. 613 = (100*25-4)/4 - 9 - 2 (This actually was my first approach.)
9. SPECTACLE - 1.5s