Thursday, 2 June 2016

Ep 116: Jack Dell, Seb Dworkin (June 1, 2016; originally aired January 10, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Jack Dell gets his turn in the champion's chair tonight, and Richard returns to the topic of Jack's many jobs.  (We get a little more information about his teaching: It is secondary-level mathematics.)  Jack gets to slip in a small joke about being called a Jack of all trades, and that's about it for the chat.

Tonight's challenger is Seb Dworkin, a research scientist with a PhD in neurobiology.  But he has another occupation, as he has started up a company to host trivia nights.  Richard asks how that came about; Seb expands that he has always enjoyed trivia, obscure bits and pieces of knowledge, and standing up in front of an audience making a fool of himself.  So he hopes that if anyone wants trivia hosted, he'll be the man to go to.  (If anyone in Melbourne is interested in that, his company is Trivia Buffs.)

The game started off much like the previous episode, with Jack taking points in the first two letters rounds.  Seb struggled with the numbers, which put Jack's lead dangerously high going into the first break.  Then an invalid answer from Seb pushed that lead even higher.  He briefly stopped the rot by tying round five, but more number difficulties gave Jack a winning lead going into the second break.  Jack continued to score points in every round, just beating Seb to the conundrum to close out a 73 to 17 game.

I was in good shape tonight, although I don't think many of the maxima were that hard to find.  I did drop one because I decided not to risk the best option, but aside from that it was all smooth sailing.

Round 1: F R G U E A R T U

I had FRUG (a dance), AGUE ("a fit of shaking or shivering as if with cold"), RAGER, GRAFT, GRAFTER, and GRATER.  After time I noted FUTURE as another six, and checked up on REGRAFT (not valid).  I also observed that a final I instead of that U would have allowed the nice eight of FIGURATE.

Seb starts off with FUGUE for five, but Jack continues yesterday's trend by going one better with FUTURE.  David has found GRAFTER for seven.

GRAFTER is the only seven.  The other sixes are GARTER / GARRET (another term for an attic), RAFTER / FRATER ("a brother; comrade"), RETURF, ARGUER, AUTEUR ("of or relating to a class of films where the director is also largely the author"), and RUGATE ("wrinkled").


Scores: Jack 0 (6), Seb 0, me 7

Round 2: O I S E C S B A S

I had ICES, COSIES (as in teapot-coverings), ABCESS (not valid, of course -- this was a small brain failure), COBIAS (COBIA being a type of fish), SCABIES, and OBSESS.

This time Seb has the six of BASICS, but again Jack is one better with SCABIES.  David has opted for COSSIES as his seven.

The remaining seven here is ABSCESS, the correct spelling of the word I got wrong above.


Scores: Jack 7 (13), Seb 0, me 14

Round 3: Target 142 from 25 7 3 6 3 2

Starting with 6*25 is pretty clear, as it gets us to 8 away.  A minor tweak sorted it out: 142 = 6*(25 - 3/3) - 2.  Then I considered the factorisation 2*71 to get 142 = 2*(3*25 - (7 - 3)).  A bit after time I tried to get 7*20 + 2 to work, ending up with 142 = 7*(25 - 6 + 3/3) + 2.  And just now I have seen yet another option, working down from a bit further afield: 142 = 7*25 - 3*(6 + 3 + 2).

Seb is a bit far away with 136; that's a bit of a mystery, actually.  Maybe (7 - 3)*25 + 6*3*2?  In any case, Jack has solved this with 142 = 6*25 - (3 + 3 + 2).

Jack is already 23 points ahead, and at this point I'm confident he will win.  It feels a lot like the previous game so far, with Jack just outdoing his opponent, and me not quite being able to get clear of him.

Jack: 142
Seb: 136
Me: 142
Lily: 142

Scores: Jack 17 (23), Seb 0, me 24

First break: VERB IDOL ("Mates for life")

That would be a LOVEBIRD.

David's talk is about parts of the atmosphere, or rather the origins of the words: troposphere, stratosphere, and ozone.

Round 4: M L I P T O E I A

I had LIMP, POLITE, and then saw that I could extend it to IMPOLITE for eight.

The tables look like they have turned, with Jack having POLITE for six, while Seb has found a seven.  But Seb's choice of EPITOME uses the E twice, and his answer is invalid; a shame, as it is a lovely word.  David points out that Jack could have extended his answer to IMPOLITE, and Jack ruefully acknowledges that.

IMPOLITE is the best to be done.  The sevens here are OPTIMAL and PALMIET (a type of plant).

Seb: [invalid -- EPITOME]

Scores: Jack 17 (29), Seb 0, me 32

Round 5: D E N D A T I C E

I had DEAN, DATED, DETAIN, DEDICATE, wondered about DEDICANT (not in the Macquarie), and noted that a final A instead of that E would have allowed CANDIDATE.  For a moment I thought that ANTICEDED was a full monty here, but of course the correct spelling is ANTECEDED; fortunately I caught that error!  After time I noted ENTICED as another seven, and saw another almost-there monty of INDICATED.

It's sevens from both contestants, so Seb gets on the board with his choice of ENACTED.  Jack has opted for ENTICED, while David has found eights of DETAINED and DECADENT.

The other eight here is DECANTED.  The other sevens are CANDIED, IDEATED (IDEATE: "to form ideas; think"), and NIDATED (NIDATE: "to implant in a uterus").


Scores: Jack 17 (36), Seb 0 (7), me 40

Round 6: Target 267 from 75 50 10 9 8 6

The standard method is very appealing here, with the offset of 8 being to hand.  I took a scenic route at first with 267 = (10 + 6 - 9)*50 - 75 - 8, then simplified it to 267 = (10 - 6)*50 + 75 - 8.  I also found that I could work up from 250 instead, getting 267 = 10*(75 - 50) + 9 + 8.

Seb is four off the pace with 263 -- I'm at a loss to figure out how -- but again Jack has solved this, using the second of the solutions that I found.  Lily demonstrates the third of those solutions.

That solution means that Jack is now 39 points ahead, and guaranteed the victory.  It is quite rare that victory is assured before we hit the second break!

Jack: 267
Seb: 263
Me: 267
Lily: 267

Scores: Jack 27 (46), Seb 0 (7), me 50

Second break: NAFF BOUT ("Puffy French")

A reference to a BOUFFANT hairstyle.

Round 7: L D R T A O A U I

After those first four consonants I thought that we might get the familiar IDOLATER / TAILORED pair, but no E arrived.  As it was, I had DART, DILATOR, TAILOR, RITUAL, OUTLAID, and considered ADULATOR but decided against it.

Jack went vowel-diving, presumably in hopes of getting that E, but did manage to use the I well.  His choice of AUDITOR once again outdid Seb's choice of TRAIL.  David has found ADULATOR for eight, and now I am disappointed to miss out on the tie.  Oh, well.

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


Scores: Jack 34 (53), Seb 0 (7), me 57

Round 8: Target 516 from 25 100 50 1 10 9

The small numbers are not very appealing, but the 9 is the required offset for the standard method.  That observation makes this easy enough, and everyone has found 516 = 10*50 + 25 - 9.

Jack: 516
Seb: 516
Me: 516
Lily: 516

Scores: Jack 44 (63), Seb 10 (17), me 67


The -IVE ending is often worth a look, and here I found the answer quickly.  As soon as I unpaused the video, both contestants attempted to buzz in, but it was Jack who got there first, finishing off a good game from him.

Jack: INTENSIVE (2s)
Seb: [no answer]

Scores: Jack 44 (73), Seb 10 (17), me 77

A dominant performace from Jack tonight, amplified by Seb's difficulties with the numbers.  Any score of seventy plus is a good one, and it sets him up very well indeed if total scores end up deciding places in the finals.  Seb had some decent answers, but struggled with the numbers all night.  He did find a lovely word but unfortunately it needed a letter selection which was not present.  Still, it was strong stuff from Jack and marks him as a serious contender.

In closing remarks, Seb displays good humour as he calls it a "nice, close game".

I was also in good form tonight, just missing out on the maximal game by not risking a word.  In some ways that is more frustrating than not even seeing the option.  Still, so far this week my totals have all been in the seventies, and that makes me happy.  I hope I can keep it up!


BadBeatPete said...

Round 1 - Grafter
Round 2 - Basics
Round 3 - (6*25)-(3+3+2)=142
Round 4 - Impale
Round 5 - Dedicate
Round 6 - (75-50)-10=250, 250+(9+8)=267
Round 7 - Auditor
Round 8 - (50*10)+(25-9)=516
Round 9 - x (Guessed wrong word)

Mike Backhouse said...

Good games Geoff and Pete.

Jack's way
Geoff's simple way
10*(50+1)+9-100/25=515 (1 off)
x grrr...

Sam G said...

Jack's answers beat mine, he was very strong.

3. 142 = (3+3-2)*25 + 7*6
6. 267 = (75-50)*10 + 9 + 8
8. 516 = 50*10 + 25 - 9
9. INTENSIVE ~ 15s