Friday, 1 July 2016

Ep 131: Barry Harridge, Frank Rice (June 22, 2016; originally aired January 31, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

It's the crucial fourth night for Barry Harridge, and it looks like we're out of talking points for now.  Richard asks whether Barry practised being the carry-over champion over the weekend.  Barry manages to work in a comment about trying to do the crossword by DA, but really there's no substance here.

Tonight's challenger is Frank Rice, an education consultant who loves applying mathematics to everyday situations.  When asked for examples, Frank cites using Pythagoras' Theorem to check that they had correctly marked out their tennis court.  And that's it... two short contestant chats today; were they already running late this early in the filming?

It was another one-sided game, with Barry jumping to an early lead in the first two letters rounds.  Frank was not able to get anywhere with the first numbers round, and Barry took a 21 point lead into the first break.  He extended that in the next numbers round; Frank managed to stop the rot over the next few rounds but was not able to peg Barry back at all.  Barry was safely ahead going into the conundrum; he buzzed in with an incorrect answer, but still finished a comfortable victor, 54 to 15.

I managed to match David and Lily throughout, but then messed up on the conundrum by buzzing in too early.  So close!

Round 1: G R S B U I F G E

I had GRUBS, BUGGERS, a more polite FIGURES, and looked at FIRE- and found FIREBUGS for eight.

Frank starts off with BRUISE for six, but is outdone by Barry's choice of FIGURES for seven.  David has managed to go that one better with FIREBUGS.

FIREBUGS is the only eight; the other sevens are FIREBUG, BUGGIES, and BUGGIER.  The almost sevens are RUGBIES* and FUBSIER* (FUBSY: "Colloquial short and fat; stumpy").


Scores: Barry 0 (7), Frank 0, me 8

Round 2: T D O S T C A S E

I had DOTS, COAST, TOASTED, COASTED, COSTATE ("bearing ribs"), and started to write down COSSETED before realising that I'd duplicated the E.

Again it is six-seven from the contestants, with Frank having CASTED while Barry has TOASTED.  David points out that Frank could have dropped an O into CASTED to get COASTED.  Strangely, however, he does not point out that CASTED is not valid -- the past tense of CAST is also CAST.  Not that it matters, but it's the sort of thing he might have picked up on and mentioned.

There is an eight here: CODETTAS (CODETTA: "a short coda").  The other sevens are CODETTA, SCATTED, and STACTES (STACTE: "one of the sweet spices which composed the holy incense of the ancient Jews").

Frank: [invalid -- CASTED]

Scores: Barry 7 (14), Frank 0, me 15

Round 3: Target 693 from 50 75 25 8 4 7

Barry goes for the difficult balanced mix, and gets a moderately large target.  I immediately focused on the factorisation 7*99, but was not able to get to 99 easily.  Instead, I realised that I was overcomplicating things and looked for 700 - 7.  That was much easier, giving me 693 = 8*75 + 4*25 - 7.

After time, I found a way to use that factorisation after all, using an idea that I had had within time: 99 is 75 + 24.  My error was to think of the 24 as only 8*3, but later I realised that 6*4 was better, leading to 693 = (4*(8 - 50/25) + 75)*7.  Considering other factorisations, I saw that the target was 21*33, and a little thought gave another solution: 693 = (25 - 4)*(25 + 8), where one of those 25's is (75 - 50).

The round has been too hard for Frank -- he has not got anywhere with it -- but Barry has managed to get to one away with 692 = (25 + 75)*7 - 8.  That puts him 21 points ahead going into the first break, and Barry has started strongly in every game so far.  Lily demonstrates the solution that I found within time.

Barry: 692
Frank: [no answer]
Me: 693
Lily: 693

Scores: Barry 7 (21), Frank 0, me 25

First break: SMITE WHO ("For us, it's six o'clock")

That would be SHOWTIME.

David's talk is about the word skyscraper.

Round 4: N S U L R D E H O

I had RUNS, SUNDER, SHOULDER, and UNHORSED.  After time I checked up on HOUNDERS, but it is not valid.

Frank has been limited to the five of SHRED this time, while Barry continues to stretch his lead by finding SHOULDER for eight.  He says that it was a last-moment find, and it does seem that he only had four seconds left when he started to write it down.  David has found ROUNDEL ("something round or circular") and thus the eight of ROUNDELS.

The other eights are ENSHROUD and UNSOLDER.  There's various sevens, of which I'll just mention HOLDERS, HURDLES, and SOUNDER / RESOUND.

Frank: SHRED

Scores: Barry 15 (29), Frank 0, me 33

Round 5: T R T I E I D E L

I had TIRE, TRITE, TITLED, was unsure about RETITLED (valid) then saw that LITTERED was a safe anagram of it.

Both contestants have also found LITTERED, so Frank gets on the board at last.  David has also found RETITLED.

Those are the only eights; the sevens are RETITLE and RETILED.


Scores: Barry 23 (37), Frank 8, me 41

Round 6: Target 617 from 50 25 10 8 5 1

Frank opts for the more traditional family mix, and I went the complicated way at first.  The target is near 8*75, and by default that would get to one away with 616 = 8*(50 + 25) + 10 + 5 + 1.  However, I spotted the tweak that turns that idea into a solution: 617 = 8*(50 + 25 + 10/5) + 1.  Then I saw that the simpler approach must be to make the target as 625 - 8; there's various solutions that way, but the one I wrote down was 617 = 5*25*50/10 - 8.

Frank says that he got "further away this time", which is a little odd since last time he said that he could not get anywhere.  Barry thinks he has 611, but his answer starts with (8 + 5)*50 - 50 and he has used the 50 twice.  Lily demonstrates the solution 625 = 50*10 + 5*25 - 8.

Barry: [wrong answer -- 611]
Frank: [not in range]
Me: 617
Lily: 617

Scores: Barry 23 (37), Frank 8, me 51

Second break: LARCH IVY ("Of the knight")

That clue works better spoken, when "knight" may be misinterpreted as "night".  The answer is CHIVALRY, of course.

Round 7: N R P T O E O I R

Barry has been reasonably domination here, and Frank needs a full monty to have a chance.  It's a provocative letter mix, too, so it's not out of the question.  I had PORT, TROOP, POTION, PROTEIN / POINTER, and PRINTER.  After time I saw PORTION as another seven, leading me to wonder about PORTIONER (not valid, but OK in Scrabble) and then REPORTION.  I'd have definitely gone with that if I had seen it within time, but that just means I was lucky: It is not in the Macquarie, and not even in the Scrabble list.  Huh.  I could swear I've heard it in use in food contexts.  Oh, well.

It's sevens from the contestants, with Frank's PRINTER matched by Barry's REPRINT.  Barry is now guaranteed to win the game.  David has gone with PORTION for his answer, and from the position that the dictionary is open to it looks like he would have checked on at least one of PORTIONER / REPORTION.

Seven is the best to be done; the others are TROOPER, ROOTIER, and TROPINE (a certain chemical) / PTERION ("the craniometric point at the side of the sphenoidal fontanelle").


Scores: Barry 30 (44), Frank 15, me 58

Round 8: Target 274 from 50 75 4 3 3 7

The standard method looks most tempting here, and I put aside the pair of 3's to make the final offset.  My solution was 274 = 7*50 - 75 - 3/3, then I found an alternative by not pre-choosing which numbers to put aside: 274 = 3*75 + 50 - (4 - 3).

Both contestants declare solutions, although Barry adds the caveat that he hopes he has not doubled up again.  Frank's answer is 4*50 + 75 + 3 - 4, and it is he who has doubled up.  He very nearly had a solution, but that carelessness has cost him points.  Barry, however, has made no mistake, using the soluution 274 = 4*50 + 75 - 3/3.  That is also Lily's way.

Barry: 274
Frank: [wrong answer -- 274]
Me: 274
Lily: 274

Scores: Barry 40 (54), Frank 15, me 68


I jumped in too early with DOMINATE; I knew it was wrong as I did it, but was not able to correct within what I felt was an acceptable time.  Call it somewhere between five and seven seconds for me to find the real answer of MEDIATION.  In practice I might have had enough time, depending on how much time was lost in the answering process, but I rather doubt it.

Barry buzzed in a few seconds later, but made the same error that I did.  Frank gets the remaining time, but is not able to find the answer.

Barry: [invalid -- DOMINATE (7s)]
Frank: [no answer]
Me: [invalid -- DOMINATE (2s)]

Scores: Barry 40 (54), Frank 15, me 68

Another one-sided game for Barry; he is quite strong on the letters and his opponents have not really been able to match him there, nor capitalise much on the numbers.  In fact, Frank failed to find any valid answer at all in the numbers rounds tonights.  Barry gets his fourth win, and with a total of 225 so far is extremely likely to make the finals.

I was on track for a tie with David and Lily, but blew it at the end by buzzing in too early on the conundrum.  Bother!

1 comment:

Mike Backhouse said...

7*(75+25)-8=692 (1 off)
(8+5)*50-25+1-10=616 (1 off)
Geoff's solution