Monday, 6 June 2016

Ep 118: Jack Dell, Jonathan Goodman (June 3, 2016; originally aired January 12, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

It's the crucial fourth night for Jack Dell, and we find out that his name is not actually Jack, but rather Alan.  He has three brothers (older ones, by inference), and when they were all home the eldest brother would be given a job by one of the parents.  He'd look at the next brother and say, "Good on you, Jack", thereby delegating the job.  That brother would also be "Good on you, Jack" to the next one, and you can see how this goes.  When it reached Alan he had no-one to pass it on to, and so became the designated Jack.  It seems the name ended up sticking.

Tonight's challenger is Jonathan Goodman, an American bioiphysics student studying in Australia.  Jonathan has had a few misfortunes when travelling, and in the past year has managed to miss three flights and left his luggage on the carousel twice.  He only provides details about one of those incidents: The second time he missed a flight, he got to the gate and was all ready to go... and then he fell asleep.

It was a close game tonight, with the contestants always being near to each other.  Jack took the early lead with a good find in round one, then a couple of shared rounds followed.  Jack overreached in round four, which allowed Jonathan to narrow the gap to a single point, and then Jonathan found another good word in round five to take the lead.  He lost it just as quickly with a numerical error, recovering when the final numbers round went more in his favour.  Jonathan had a small lead going into the conundrum, but Jack continued his good form on those to snatch victory, 50 to 44.

I was mostly on target tonight, but I also took the risky and incorrect option in round four.  Aside from that I only dropped one other maximum, and a fast solution to the conundrum gave me another solid win.

Round 1: R L U O C G E I D

I had LOUR ("to frown, scowl, or look sullen"), CRUEL, COLDER, CLOUDIER, and LOURED.

Jonathan starts off with ROILED for six, but Jack has found CLOUDIER to take the early lead again.  It was the best that David could do; he mentions that it is an anagram of CRUDE OIL.

The sevens here are GLORIED / GODLIER, and GUILDER (former currency unit of the Netherlands).

Jonathan: ROILED

Scores: Jack 8, Jonathan 0, me 8

Round 2: O P S A O H F A P

Yuck, what an unhelpful set of letters.  I had SOAP, HOOPS, noted SAPPHO, PASHA ("(formerly) a civil and military official of high rank in Turkish dominions (as a title placed after the name)"), and rightly assumed that OP SHOP would be two words.

It's fives from both contestants; Jack chose HOOPS while Jonathan went for PAPAS.  David has gone with PASHA as his choice.

The remaining fives here are HOOFS, POOPS, POOFS / SPOOF, POOHS (interjections are not automatically pluralisable, but in this case POOH is also given as a variant form of POO), and OPAHS (OPAH being a type of fish).

Jonathan: PAPAS
David: PASHA

Scores: Jack 13, Jonathan 5, me 13

Round 3: Target 346 from 100 50 8 3 4 4

This solution practically writes itself; everyone has 346 = 3*100 + 50 - 4 in short order.

Jack: 346
Jonathan: 346
Me: 346
Lily: 346

Scores: Jack 23, Jonathan 15, me 23

First break: IN ACTUAL ("Ahoy there, me hearties")

For a brief moment I thought this was LUNATIC from the letters, but then realised I needed to shuffle in the A to get NAUTICAL.

David's talk is about the names of three eucalypts: angophora, messmate, and kurrajong.

Round 4: R C E A R B E I H

I had RACE, RACER, BEARER, noted that a fourth vowel of A would give CARE BEAR, CHARIER (CHARY: "careful; wary"), and was uncertain about all of BREACHER (not valid), BEACHER (valid), and BEACHIER (not valid).  In the end I jumped the wrong way by risking BREACHER.  After time I checked up on CHAIRER, but it is not valid either.

Jonathan has found REACHER for seven, while Jacks shows that he is on the same wavelength as me by somewhat hesitantly choosing BREACHER.  That invalid answer lets Jonathan close the gap to just a single point.  David has gone for BEACHER as his seven.

The other seven here is CEREBRA; with revised rules, you could add in HERBIER*.

Jack: [invalid -- BREACHER]
Jonathan: REACHER
Me: [invalid -- BREACHER]

Scores: Jack 23, Jonathan 22, me 23

Round 5: C S O A R E T N U

This ended up being a familiar mix, thanks to episode 431.  Which is in the future, from the point of view of this show, but try not to think about that too much.  I had SOAR, ACRES, SECTOR, ANCESTOR, and then that final U gave COURTESAN / COURANTES (COURANTE: "an old-fashioned dance [...]").

Jack has COARSEN for seven, but Jonathan has hit the lead by finding COUNTERS for eight.  David was pleading for the final U as he saw the potential for COURTESAN.

The other nine here is  NECTAROUS (variant spelling of NECTAREOUS).  The other eights are COURANTE, COURANTS (COURANT being a variant spelling of COURANTE), TROUNCES / RECOUNTS, ENACTORS, CENTAURS / RECUSANT ("refusing to submit, comply, etc."), CONSTRUE, and NACREOUS ("(of minerals) having a lustre resembling that of pearl").

Jonathan: COUNTERS

Scores: Jack 23, Jonathan 22 (30), me 41

Round 6: Target 950 from 75 25 10 1 9 9

It was very tempting to use the 75 and 25 to make 100, and so get to either 900 or 1000 and adjust, bBut those adjustments went very poorly for me.  Casting about for alternatives, I realised that I could instead make a 50, and then everything was easy: 950 = (75 - 25)*(10 + 9).

Both contestants declare solutions; Jonathan starts us off with (9 + 1)*10, which he erroneously states is 1000.  Multiplying by 10 and getting a result as though one multiplied by 100 is a surprisingly common error with respect to this show, especially back when the SBS website allowed user comments.  That makes his answer invalid, and Jack retakes the lead as he has found the same solution that I did.  It was also Lily's method.

There's a few other solutions, but perhaps the most findable is 950 = 9*10*(9 + 1) + 75 - 25.

Jack: 950
Jonathan: [wrong answer]
Me: 950
Lily: 950

Scores: Jack 33, Jonathan 23 (30), me 51

Second break: ELM ABYSS ("Henry Ford's inventive line")

Henry Ford is associated with the ASSEMBLY line; he did not invent the practice, but he certainly improved it greatly.

Round 7: T D O E M T U A S

I had DOTE, MOTTE ("a fort on top of a mound"), and MUTATED.  After time I jotted down MUTATES as another seven.

It's sevens from each contestant; Jonathan has TOASTED while Jack has MUTATED.  David has managed to go one better with OUTDATES.

The other sevens are OUTDATE, SMUTTED, and TESTUDO ("a shelter formed by soldiers overlapping their oblong shields above their heads").

Jonathan: MUTATED

Scores: Jack 40, Jonathan 30 (37), me 58

Round 8: Target 569 from 25 50 5 6 4 2

Applying the standard method meant putting aside the 6 and aiming to get to 575 with the rest.  I chased a few wrong leads, but found a solution in the end: 569 = (5 + 4 + 2)*50 + 25 - 6.  Just now I have seen an alternative of 569 = 4*(5 - 2)*50 - 25 - 6.  I'd tried to find that within time, but missed how to make 12 from 5, 4, and 2.

Jack is four away with 565, and I can't see offhand how he did that.  (It does lead me to another solution, though: 569 = 2*(6*50 - 5) - 25 + 4.)  Jonathan has managed to get to just one away, though, with 570 = (25 + 50)*4*2 - 6*5.

Lily demonstrates a minor variation of the solution that I found: 569 = (6 + 5)*50 + 25 - 4 - 2.

Jack: 565
Jonathan: 570
Me: 569
Lily: 569

Scores: Jack 40, Jonathan 30 (44), me 68


The game has been much closer overall than yesterday's one, but the end result is the same: Jack is behind but not safe going into the conundrum.  With a Y in play the -ITY ending is always worth a look, and in this case it soon guided me to the answer of LIABILITY.

Jack makes a few gestures of frustration, but then the light strikes and he buzzes in with the answer to take another victory on the back of the conundrum.

Jack: LIABILITY (8s)
Jonathan: [no answer]

Scores: Jack 40 (50), Jonathan 30 (44), me 78

This game was close all the way, with the largest difference being Jack's lead of eight points at the end of round one.  The lead changed hands a few times, twice as the result of invalid declarations, and in the end it came down to the conundrum.  Jack continued is good form on those, and with consistent good scoring is very likely to make the finals now.


Mike Backhouse said...

Great game Geoff. Not so much for me...

x error

Sam G said...

3. 346 = 3*100 + 50 - 4
6. 569 = (50-4)/2*25 - 6
8. 950 = (10+9)*(75-25)
9. LIABILITY - 2.0s