Monday, 1 August 2016

Ep 141: Brian Morgan, Damien Chua (July 26, 2016; originally aired February 14, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Brian Morgan takes his turn in the champion's seat tonight, and the topic turns to cricket.  Brian is an umpire, and has been doing that for six or seven years.  He says that he has always had a great passion for cricket, and being an umpire is a great way to keep involved.

Tonight's challenger is Damien Chua, an optometrist whose goal is to travel to every continent in the world.  So far he has been to four of them, with Africa, South America, and Antarctica to go.  He'd particularly love to do an African safari one day.

The contestants found identical words in the first round, then Brian gained a small lead in round two.  Two shared rounds followed, then Brian found another winning word in round five to go a crucial twelve points ahead.  An easy numbers game and a vowel-heavy letters round saw the contestants continue to share points, and Damien needed to outdo Brian in the last numbers round to stay in with a chance.  Brian was one off the target, but Damien was not able to solve it (or, indeed, to get close), and that ensured Brian's victory.  Brian finished off with a very quick solution to the conundrum to pad out the scoreline, winning 64 to 35.

Round 1: A O A P C O R E H

Those initial vowels are not particularly nice, but I still don't think I'd have chanced that fifth one.  It worked out this time, though.  I had COOP, COPRA, APACE, and POACHER.  After time I noted some sixes of COOPER and PREACH.

Both contestants have gone with COOPER as their selection, while David has found POACHER.

The other sixes are  ORACHE (also ORACH, a type of plant) / OCHREA (variant spelling of OCREA: "a sheathing part, as a pair of stipules united about a stem"), APACHE (it has a lowercase sense of "a Parisian gangster or tough"), EPARCH ("the prefect or governor of an eparchy"; an eparchy is an administrative area in Greece), and RAPHAE (plural of RAPHE: "Anatomy a seam-like union between two parts or halves of an organ or the like").

Damien: COOPER

Scores: Brian 0 (6), Damien 0 (6), me 7

Round 2: O U I B N F D A C

I had BOUND, FOUND, CANID, and COBIA (a type of fish).  After time I noted BACON as another five, and then somewhat later found the six of FUCOID (a type of seaweed).

Damien has been limited to FIND for four -- he should have looked at the past tense -- while Brian has found CABIN to take a small lead.  David has accurately found a six of ABOUND.

The other sixes are CUBOID, CONFAB, and ANODIC.

Brian: CABIN
Damien: FIND

Scores: Brian 5 (11), Damien 0 (6), me 12

Round 3: Target 261 from 50 75 10 4 6 7

Applying the standard method, both the offsets of 11 and 14 are easy enough.  I went with 261 = 10*(75 - 50) + 7 + 4, and then looked at more complicated options.  I noticed that the offset from 225 was 36, which is 6*(10 - 4), and used that for a tweaked solution: 261 = 7*75 - 6*(50 + 10 - 4).

After time I noted a variant of that last solution, saving a number with 261 = 6*(50 + 10 - 4) - 75.  I also wrote down the offset-of-14 method: 261 = 7*50 - 75 - 10 - 4.

Both contestants are one away with 260, and they have used the same method: 260 = 6*50 - 4*10.  Lily has found yet another solution: 261 = (75 - 10)*4 + 7 - 6.

Brian: 260
Damien: 260
Me: 261
Lily: 261

Scores: Brian 5 (18), Damien 0 (13), me 22

First break: WAS CHINA ("Linked to timber")

"Linked" is cluing the CHAIN part of CHAINSAW.

David's talk is about the word romance, since this episode was aired on Valentine's day.

Round 4: S N E O D E M F O


Again it is sixes from the contestants, with Daniel going for the "cheeky" MOONED, while Brian has DEMONS.  David has gone one better, finding the excellent seven of SOMEONE.

SOMEONE is the only seven, but there is an eight to be had: MOONSEED (a type of herb).  The other sixes are NOOSED / NODOSE ("having nodes"), OMENED, EMENDS, DONEES, and MONDOS (MONDO: "a question address to a student of Zen and demanding an immediate answer which, when spontaneous, is often illuminating").

Damien: MOONED

Scores: Brian 11 (24), Damien 6 (19), me 28

Round 5: E O E D R B A V M

I had RODE, BORED, BRAVED, and REMOVED.  After time I checked up on MADEOVER, but it is not valid (MAKEOVER is listed, but only as a noun).

Damian has DEROBE for six, but Brian takes the points with the seven of REMOVED.  David checks up on DEROBE, confirming his expectation that DISROBE is the appropriate verb.  David also found REMOVED.

REMOVED is the only seven.  There's various other sixes, of which I'll just mention ROAMED and ADVERB.

Damien: [invalid -- DEROBE]

Scores: Brian 18 (31), Damien 6 (19), me 35

Round 6: Target 750 from 50 25 10 1 6 10

Far too easy with those numbers; everyone has gone with 750 = 10*(50 + 25).  For good measure I noted an alternative of 750 = (10*10 + 25)*6.

Brian: 750
Damien: 750
Me: 750
Lily: 750

Scores: Brian 28 (41), Damien 16 (29), me 45

Second break: TAG RATIO ("A stirrer, especially on washing days")

That would be an AGITATOR.

Round 7: I E A G S T E R A

Argh, that fifth vowel; what was Brian aiming for?  Even the fourth vowel could have been too many, depending on the next consonant, but that fifth one sank a very promising mix.  It's possible that this was a bit of strategy, aiming to avoid losing ground when he was sufficiently ahead, but maybe Brian just likes vowels.

I had AGES, AGEIST, and GAITERS.  After time I noted some other sevens of TRIAGES / STAGIER and ATRESIA ("Medicine the congenital absence or excessive narrowing of a duct or canal") / ARISTAE.

It's sixes from the contestants, with Damien choosing GRATES while Brian had GREETS.  David echoes my feelings as he says that he was begging for a consonant, adding that Brian seems obsessed with the vowels.  GAITERS was also the best that he could do.

The other sevens are AERATES, TIRAGES (TIRAGE: "the act of drawing wine from a barrel") / SEAGIRT, RESTAGE / ERGATES (ERGATE: "the worker ant"), SERIATE ("arranged or occurring in one or more series"), and ASTERIA (one of a class of precious stones).

Damien: GRATES

Scores: Brian 28 (47), Damien 16 (35), me 52

Round 8: Target 499 from 25 75 8 9 10 4

Pretty clearing the goal is to get to 500 and then make the final adjustment by 1.  I went with 499 = 10*(75 - 25) - (9 - 8).

Damien has not been able to get anywhere with this, which ensures that Brian will win.  In any case Brian has got to one away with 498 = (25 + 75)*4 + 9*10 + 8, so Damien would have needed to solve this exactly to have a chance.  Lily has solved this using the same method that I did.

Brian: 498
Damien: [no answer]
Me: 499
Lily: 499

Scores: Brian 28 (54), Damien 16 (35), me 62


I saw the answer of EMBARRASS quickly; I used to have difficulty remembering whether to use one or two R's when spelling this word, until I internalised it as being different from HARASS (on the R front, that is).  I unpaused the video after solving it, and Brian immediately buzzed in.  It's nice to be on the right side of such close results.

Brian: EMBARRASS (2s)
Damien: [no answer]

Scores: Brian 28 (64), Damien 16 (35), me 72

Brian ran away with it at the end, but the game was still live going into the final numbers round.  Damien was unfortunately not able to take the chance offered there, but in any case Brian's quick solution to the conundrum would have ensured his win.  64 points is a good score, but maybe it would have been higher if he were less committed to those vowels.  Maybe next game...

I'm reasonably happy about my performance today; I was very unlikely to find the better options in round four, so it was only round two where I feel that I simply missed a better option.  A nice change from recent form!

1 comment:

Mike Backhouse said...

another 'cheeky' MOONED
Geoff's way