Monday, 1 August 2016

Ep 143: Kannan Sethuraman, Cameron Ling (July 27, 2016; originally aired February 16, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Kannan Sethuraman gets his turn in the champion's seat, and the topic turns again to his son -- Richard asks whether Kannan compared his results with Anand after the previous game.  Kannan says that he did, and they both did well.

Tonight's challenger is Cameron Ling, a budding novelist who teaches English as a second language.  Cameron teaches in a school for new migrant children, so it is kids that have just arrived in Australia; the school tries to get them ready for mainstream schooling here.

Kanna found a good word in round one to take the early lead, then the next four rounds were shared.  Round six proved to be significant, with Cameron's invalid answer giving points to Kannan again, and the final numbers round also went Kannan's way.  That gave him a winning lead going into the conundrum; neither could solve it, so Kannan won 53 to 32.

Round 1: G C L A E A T I D

I had CLAG, LACE, LIGATED, DIALECT / CITADEL, GLACIATE ("to cover with ice or glaciers"), and GLACIATED.  Woohoo!

Cameron has been limited to the five of CLEAT, but Kannan has found DIALECT for seven to take the early lead.  This prompts David to do a somewhat unconvincing Dalek impersonation, due to "dialect" sounding very slightly like "Dalek".  He notes a small theme about coldness, from ICE to GELATI to GLACIATED.

The other eight is GLADIATE ("sword-shaped").  The other sevens are DELTAIC / EDICTAL.

Cameron: CLEAT

Scores: Kannan 0 (7), Cameron 0, me 18

Round 2: R S C E A P I E B

I had RACES, PACERS / SPACER, and PRECISE / RECIPES.  After time I noted another seven of CARBIES.

This time the contestants have each found sixes, with Cameron's CREASE matched by Kannan's BICEPS.  David has found the PRECISE / RECIPES pair.

Seven is the best to be done; the others are PIERCES / PIECERS (PIECER: "someone who mends, patches, or assembles something"), ESCAPER (acceptable alternative for ESCAPEE), ESCRIBE ("to draw (a circle) touching one side of a triangle externally and the other two sides extended"), APERIES, ASCRIBE, and SCRAPIE (a disease affecting sheep and goats) / EPACRIS (a type of shrub).

Kannan: BICEPS
Cameron: CREASE

Scores: Kannan 0 (13), Cameron 0 (6), me 25

Round 3: Target 123 from 75 50 9 3 2 6

All too easy -- everyone finds 123 = 75 + 50 - 2 in short order.  I also noted an alternative of 123 = 3*(50 - 9).

Lily gives in to persuasion to use all the numbers, but does so in rather boring fashion by using (9 - 6)/3 to make a 1 to multiply the two by.

Kannan: 123
Cameron: 123
Lily: 123

Scores: Kannan 10 (23), Cameron 10 (16), me 35

First break: OXEN TIRE ("What oxen display before they tire")

That would be EXERTION.

David's talk is about two films that have given English expressions: Groundhog Day and The Full Monty.  (Although in the latter case, the expression already existed, so it's slightly inaccurate to characterise it that way.)

Round 4: A O U A F M D I S

Not great letters.  I had MIAOU, MIAOUS, FAMOUS, and MAFIAS.  After time I found another six of SODIUM.

Both contestants have found MAIDS for five, while David has gone with FAMOUS as his answer.

The possible seven here is AMADOUS (AMADOU: "a spongy substance prepared from fungi [...] used as tinder and in surgery").  The other sixes are AMADOU, AUDIOS, ODIUMS, and AMUSIA ("the inability, whether congenital or acquired, to discriminate differences in pitch in musical tones; tone-deafness").

At the end of this round Richard refers back to David's intermission talk, and suggests that a nine-letter word should be called a full monty from now on.  So we finally get to see the origins of this term's usage on the show!

Kannan: MAIDS
Cameron: MAIDS

Scores: Kannan 10 (28), Cameron 10 (21), me 41

Round 5: P R B A I A D I N

Two uncooperative mixes in a row -- disappointing.  I had PAIR, BRAID, and BRAIN.  After time I noted another five of PANDA, then saw the six of RIBAND (an archaic form of RIBBON).

It's fives again from the contestants, with Cameron having BRAID while Kannan goes for BRAIN.  That's four matched rounds in a row, with only the first round having made a difference so far.  David has accurately found RIBAND for six.

The other six to be had is RADIAN.

Kannan: BRAIN
Cameron: BRAID

Scores: Kannan 15 (33), Cameron 15 (26), me 46

Round 6: Target 183 from 100 8 8 4 7 1

Starting with 100 seemed reasonably obvious, so it remained to find good combinations of the remaining numbers to get to 83.  I was fortunate that the first think I tried worked: 183 = 100 + 8*(8 + 1) + 7 + 4.  After time I found a couple of other solutions: 183 = (8/4)*(100 - 8) - 1, and 183 = 100 + 7*(8 + 4) - 1.

Kanna is two off with 185, but Cameron has got to 183.  However, he starts with 100 + 8 + 1 = 109, then says that he has made a mistake.  I wonder what he did?  That brings Kannan's answer back into play, and it was 185 = (8/8 + 1)*(100 - 4) - 7.  Note that he could have got one closer with 182 by swapping the 7 and 4.  Lily demonstrates the last of the solutions that I listed.

Those seven points put Kannan 14 points ahead, so Cameron is now in trouble.

Kannan: 185
Cameron: [invalid -- 183]
Me: 183
Lily: 183

Scores: Kannan 15 (40), Cameron 15 (26), me 56

Second break: NOTE MOON ((in a flat voice) "And your clue is this")

This clue does not come across well in text, of couse, as Richard delived the clue in a very MONOTONE way.

Round 7: F E R N I O D H E

I had FERN (no surprise there), FINER, FONDER, HEROINE, and INHERED.

It's sixes from the contestants this time; Cameron had FRIEND while Kannan had HINDER.  David describes himself as a DEFINER, and notes HEROINE as another seven.

The remaining seven is REFINED.

Kannan: HINDER
Cameron: FRIEND

Scores: Kannan 15 (46), Cameron 15 (32), me 63

Round 8: Target 386 from 25 4 3 5 10 8

One of the first things I considered was putting aside the 10 and 4 for the offset of 14, and the rest conveniently fell into place: 386 = (8 + 5 + 3)*25 - 10 - 4.  After time I looked at the possibility of 390 - 4, finding 386 = (10 + 3)*(25 + 5) - 4, then found another answer by working up from 375 with 386 = (10 + 5)*25 + 8 + 3.

Cameron needs to outscore Kannan in this round to have a chance, but his answer of 384 is just short of the mark -- Kannan has beaten him with 385 = 4*25*3 + 8*10 + 5.  So Kannan is now guaranteed to win.

Lily starts by asking Richard if he recalls the trick that she taught him about 25's a long long time ago, and Richard gets a bit "deer in the headlights".  What she is referring to is how to work out how many 25's in a multiple of 100 -- just multiply the number of hundreds by four.  She turns to David and asks him if he remembers, and it turns out that he does.  As he explains, four fours are sixteen, so sixteen twenty-fives are 400.  He then gives the answer that I first found.  Well done, David!

Kannan: 385
Cameron: 384
Me: 386
David: 386

Scores: Kannan 15 (53), Cameron 15 (32), me 73


I buzzed in very quickly with INTENSIVE, then was fortunately able to correct myself to SENSITIVE within an acceptable time.

Time ticks down, but neither contestant was able to solve this, so the scores remain unchanged.

Kannan: [no answer]
Cameron: [no answer]

Scores: Kannan 15 (53), Cameron 15 (32), me 83

There was little between the contestants on the word front: Kannan found a good word in round one, but the points were shared in all the other letter rounds.  The numbers rounds were arguably the key ones, with Kannan getting close to two of them but not solving them.  If Cameron had been able to navigate those successfully then he could have pinched the win.  But it was Kannan who did so -- it does seem to me that he has been better on the numbers, in general -- and so gets to have a third night on the show.


Mike Backhouse said...

TAILED (well done on the full monty Geoff)
ESCAPE and wondered about ESCAPER (seems to be ok...grrr...)
8*(8+1)+4+7+100=183 (went over sadly)
5*3*25+10=385 (1 off and went over time)

Geoff Bailey said...

Yes, ESCAPER is all right. My condolences! Also, thank you on the round one result. :)