Monday, 1 August 2016

Ep 144: Kannan Sethuraman, Mali Konda (July 28, 2016; originally aired February 17, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

It's the third night for Kannan Sethuraman, and Richard turns the topic to Kannan's academic journey.  Kannan relates that he finished his MBA in India, then went to Wharton for his PhD; that is part of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.  After finishing his PhD in operations management, Kannan worked in Michigan for around six years, returned briefly to India, then joined the Melbourne Business School in 2001.

Tonight's challenger is Mali Konda, a senior analyst in the banking sector.  Richard slightly obliquely says that Mali has skills in working with blind people, and leads her to describe how that came about.  Mali was waiting for the bus one day, and a blind student asked her what she was studying.  After she answered (we never find out what it was), he asked if she would be able to help him read his books.  Mali was willing, and after a while all the blind students ended up joining in, and her whole family got involved in helping the blind.  Mali has since learned braille.

The contestants started out with a tied first round, then Kannan took a modest lead in round two.  The first numbers round was too hard for both of them, but thereafter it was all Kannan.  He picked up twenty points in the middle third of the game, and Mali needed to find a full monty in the last letters round to have a chance.  She could not, and that was game to Kannan.  He moved further ahead in the last numbers round; neither contestant could solve the conundrum, so Kannan got his third win, 45 to 13.

Round 1: F T R N A E O I D


It's sevens from the contestants, with Mali having TRAINED while Kannan has FAINTED.  David has naturally found RATIONED.  He points out something that I had noticed, that FEDERATION is nearly there, but that is ten letters long.

ORDINATE / RATIONED are the only eights.  The other sevens are FRONTED, DEFIANT, DETRAIN, and ANEROID.


Scores: Kannan 0 (7), Mali 0 (7), me 8

Round 2: A I S H U R S O I

Bleah, nasty letters,  I'd have liked a final consonan, with a T holding out the prospect of SAUTOIRS, but the actual R would not have been that helpful.  As it was, I had HAIRS and HOURIS (HOURI: "any alluring woman, especially one of Middle Eastern origin").  After time I noted another six of RUSSIA (in lowercase, an alternative term for RUSSIAN LEATHER: "a fine, smooth leather produced by careful tanning and dyeing, especially in dark red; originally prepared in Russia, but imitated elsewhere").

It's fives from the contestants, but Mali has chosen IRISH, and that is always proper and so not allowed.  Kannan has gone with the safer HOURS and so gets a small lead.  David has found HOURIS for six.

The other sixes are HUSSAR ("(originally) one of a body of light Hungarian cavalry formed during the 15th century") / SURAHS (SURAH: "one of the 114 chapters of the Koran [...]").  But the seven that can be found here is a bit more common: SOURISH.

Kannan: HOURS
Mali: [invalid -- IRISH]

Scores: Kannan 0 (12), Mali 0 (7), me 14

Round 3: Target 883 from 75 25 2 10 2 3

I was focused on two possibilities here: 875 + 8 or 880 + 3.  But I was not able to get either to work, and was only able to get to two away with 881 = (10 + 2)*75 - 25 + 2*3.  A bit after time, resigned to not quite solving this, I managed to get one off with 882 = (10 + 2 - 3)*(75 + 25 - 2).

Neither contestant has been able to get within range of this target (Kannan had reached 866, while Mali was further away at 853), so Kannan goes into the first break five points ahead.  Lily has done very well indeed to find a solution here: 883 = (25 + 2)*3*10 + 75 - 2.

There's only one other solution, which involves working up from 11*75.  I'd considered that approach but not seen how to make the 58.  That was careless of me, as it was findable if thought properly about: 58 is 3*11 + 25.  That realisation leads to the solution 883 = (10 + 2/2)*(75 + 3) + 25.

Kannan: [not in range]
Mali: [not in range]
Me: 881
Lily: 883

Scores: Kannan 0 (12), Mali 0 (7), me 21

First break: TRIM LOAM ("Vampire's age")

The vampire is supposedly IMMORTAL.

David's talk is about malapropisms, from the character of Mrs. Malaprop in a play by Sheridan.

Round 4: R F E T L I S A C


Mali has TALES for five, but Kannan takes the points with RETAILS for seven.  That puts Kannan 12 points ahead, so Mali has some catching up to do.  David has found ARTICLES for eight.

The other eights are FRAILEST and STERICAL (variant form of STERIC: "relating to the spatial relationship of atoms in the molecule").


Scores: Kannan 0 (19), Mali 0 (7), me 29

Round 5: T P B E O A M N E


Mali has MOAN for four, but Kannan has found the extension to BEMOAN and moves further ahead.  It looks like Mali will need some favourable numbers in order to get ground back, but Kannan has seemed more comfortable on those.  David has found BOATMEN for seven.

BOATMEN is the only seven.  There are various other sixes, of which I'll just mention ENTOMB, BEATEN, and TAMPON.

Kannan: BEMOAN
Mali: MOAN

Scores: Kannan 0 (25), Mali 0 (7), me 36

Round 6: Target 265 from 50 75 4 8 5 9

I looked at a few approaches, but the factorisation 5*53 seemed very promising.  A little thought then gave me 265 = 5*(50 + 8 + 4 - 9).  After time I realised that I could make the offset of 15 as 75/5, and so found an alternative of 265 = (9 - 4)*50 + 75/5.

Mali is just two away with 263, perhaps 5*50 + 9 + 4, but Kannan has managed to go one better by finding 264 = 4*75 - 50 + 9 + 5.  Lily has found the same solution that I first found, although she presents it slightly differently.

Kannan: 264
Mali: 263
Me: 265
Lily: 265

Scores: Kannan 0 (32), Mali 0 (7), me 46

Second break: DIG ISSUE ("Standard uniform for bankrobbers")

Unless they want to be caught very quickly, they should wear a DISGUISE.

Round 7: T S D C I O E O R

I had DISCO, CESTOID ("(of worms) ribbonlike"), STEROID, ROOSTED, TOROIDS, EDITORS, DIRECTS / CREDITS, and CORDITES.  Just after time I finally recalled something that had been nagging at me: An anagram of CESTOID is COEDITS.  Once I recalled that, it was a short step to the nine of COEDITORS.  I so nearly saw that in time!  I also noted another seven of DOCTORS.

Mali needs a full monty in this round to stay in contention, so it is arguably a lucky mix for her.  However, both contestants have six-letter words, and that means that Kannan will win.  He had DECORS while Mali had SCORED.

David has accurately found COEDITORS, and we have a bit of history for the show: Following on from the conversation yesterday, David refers to this as a full monty -- the first time on the show that the term is used to describe a nine-letter word.

The other eight is COEDITOR, and there were more potential sevens than I felt like checking on.

Kannan: DECORS

Scores: Kannan 0 (38), Mali 0 (13), me 54

Round 8: Target 533 from 25 100 75 5 6 4

I almost got a little lost trying to make this as 525 + 8, but managed to recover when I looked at working up from 500 instead -- a little tweaking gave me 533 = 5*(100 + 6) + 75/25.

Mali is eight away with 525, but Kannan has again done better, getting to just two away with 535 = 5*100 + 25 + 6 + 4.  Lily has gone with the same solution that I had.

There is only one other solution: 533 = (100 - 4*75/25)*6 + 5.

Kannan: 535
Mali: 525
Me: 533
Lily: 533

Scores: Kannan 0 (45), Mali 0 (13), me 64


This felt like a difficult conundrum -- not many of the usual hooks to build around.  I tied -ANCY without success, then moved to -ARY and was very happy to spot the adjustment to CHICANERY.  Phew!

Neither contestant was able to solve this, so the scores remain unchanged.

Kannan: [no answer]
Mali: [no answer]

Scores: Kannan 0 (45), Mali 0 (13), me 74

This game was all Kannan's, with Mali only able to score points in two rounds by matching him.  The numbers were a little difficult today, which kept the scores somewhat lower than they might otherwise have been.  Kannan moves on to the crucial fourth game tomorrow.


Mike Backhouse said...

(10+2)*75-25+3*2=881 (2 off)
BEMOAN (and I've used BOATMEN previously I think)
(50+4-(9-8))*5=565 (went over)
5*(100+6)+75/25=533 (slightly over)

Geoff Bailey said...

Belatedly, well done on finding CHICANERY! (Not to mention that you got there faster than I did.)