Sunday, 14 August 2016

Ep 153: Greg Beers, Glen Chandler (August 10, 2016; originally aired March 2, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.

It's the crucial fourth night for Greg, and it's the old question about technique.  This always feels like a waste of a contestant chat to me.  In this case, Greg states that in the letters rounds he likes to go with vowels first and consonants later.

Tonight's challenger is Glen Chandler, a retired foreign aid consultant with a PhD in geography.  Richard asks her for more details about what that involved; Glen responds that she worked on a range of projects -- mainly water supply and sanitation, but also agriculture, environment, planning, and livestock.  So she has learned a whole range of things about the world during the course of her work.

The contestants started out with identical answers in the first round, then Greg found an excellent word to take the early lead in round two.  The first numbers round was too difficult for the contestants, so Greg carried an eight-point lead into the first break.  Another round of shared points followed, then a phantom letter in round five led to an invalid answer from Greg, allowing Glen back within a point.  Greg stretched that lead a little in the second numbers round, but lost ground with another invalid answer in the last letters round.  Both contestants managed to make errors in the last numbers round, and the difference was just two points (in Greg's favour) going into the conundrum.  Greg managed to solve it, sealing his win 38 to 26.

Round 1: O I E T N L C M A

I had TONE, LECTION ("a reading or version of a passage in a particular copy of a text"), ELATION / TOENAIL, and CLIMATE.  A bit after time I managed to find the eight of COALMINE, and while checking up on MELATONIC (not valid) I happened to see the valid nine of MELANOTIC (adjective derived from MELANOSIS: "morbid deposition or development of black or dark pigment in the tissues, sometimes leading to the production of malignant pigmented tumours").

Both contestants have done well to find CLIMATE for seven, while David has spotted COALMINE.

That just leaves sevens, with the others being AILMENT / ALIMENT ("that which nourishes; nutriment"), COALMEN, ENCOMIA, NEMATIC ("of or relating to one of the forms of liquid crystals"), TELAMON ("a figure of a man used like a supporting column; an atlas") / OMENTAL (adjective derived from OMENTUM: "a fold or duplication of the peritoneum passing between certain of the viscera [...]") / LOMENTA (plural of LOMENTUM: "a dry fruit derived from one carpel which breaks up transversely into one-seeded segments at maturity"), LACTONE ("one of a class of internal esters derived from hydroxy acids"), ENTOMIC ("of or relating to insects"), and ACONITE.


Scores: 7 apiece

Round 2: P N R S E O U T H

I had SPORE, PUNTERS, SOUTHERN, UNHORSE, and STROPHE ("the part of an ancient Greek choral ode sung by the chorus when moving from right to left").

Glen has found HUNTERS for seven, but Greg has managed to go one better by finding SOUTHERN.  That's very well done; possibly he was assisted by SOUTH almost being spelled out at the end of the letters as presented.  SOUTHERN was also David's selection.

There's lots of other sevens to be had, of which the more common are SHORTEN, HORNETS / THRONES, POSTURE / TROUPES, and PUNSTER.


Scores: Greg 15, Glen 7, me 15

Round 3: Target 652 from 25 50 10 3 7 4

I found this a bit difficult, and in the end had to stick with one away via 653 = (10 + 3)*50 + 7 - 4.  Getting an offset of 2 seemed difficult; after time I contemplated doing so as 3*4 - 10, and was able to make that work with some tweaking: 652 = 4*(7*25 + 3) - 50 - 10.

Somewhat later I considered the possibility of 627 + 25, and 627 has some convenient factors: It is 3*11*19.  A little experimentation with that idea yielded another solution: 627 = (10 + 4 - 3)*(50 + 7) + 25.  That would certainly have been satisfying to spot within time!

Greg says that he has bombed out, and Glen admits that her working is confused, so neither has a result to declare.  Lily describes it as tough, but has seen her way through to a solution: 652 = (3*4 + 50)*10 + 25 + 7.  Oh, well done!

Greg: [no answer]
Glen: [no answer]
Me: 653
Lily: 652

Scores: Greg 15, Glen 7, me 22

First break: CLONE HUN ("Processed meat and a meeting process")

Both can be associated with LUNCHEON.

David's talk is about the dance style krumping.

Round 4: G T D I E B I L S


The contestants each have six-letter words, with Greg's DIGITS matched by Glen's LISTED.  David mentions SILTED as another six, but has managed that one better by finding GIBLETS.

The usual issue with the Macquarie stops BILGIEST* from being an answer.  GIBLETS is thus the best to be done, and the only seven.  Some of the other sixes are BIDETS, BILGES, DIGEST, GIBLET, GLIDES, and TIDIES.


Scores: Greg 15 (21), Glen 7 (13), me 29

Round 5: A E O C N D I S T

I had OCEAN, DEACON, DEACONS, SEDATION, CANOEIST, and ACTIONED.  After time I spotted another eight of DISTANCE.

It's sevens from the contestants this time; Glen has opted for CANDIES, while Greg has fallen victim to errant duplication with SECONDS.  That costs him points, and allows Glen to close the gap to just a single point.  David has gone with SEDATION as his eight.

The remaining eights are ACONITES and DIOCESAN / OCEANIDS (OCEANID: "an ocean nymph").

Greg: [invalid -- SECONDS]

Scores: Greg 15 (21), Glen 7 (20), me 37

Round 6: Target 898 from 50 25 3 8 7 5

A large target can often be somewhat challenging.  In this case, applying the standard method sufficed for one away with 897 = (7 + 5)*(50 + 25) - 3, but I kept pushing and finally spotted an option that I frequently overlook: subtracting a small number from 25 to get something useful to multiply the 50 by.  Once I hit upon that idea a solution followed quickly: 898 = (25 - 7)*50 - (5 - 3).

Glen has not managed to get anywhere with this, but Greg recoups his losses from the previous game by getting to two away with 900 = (3 + 8 + 7)*50.  Lily has found the same solution that I did.

There's a few other solutions, but one I should have spotted is a tweak from my favourite 875 to get 898 = 5*(7*25 + 3) + 8.

Greg: 900
Glen: [no answer]
Me: 898
Lily: 898

Scores: Greg 15 (28), Glen 7 (20), me 47

Second break: HUNKY OAT ("You're welcome")

That phrase is naturally said in response to THANKYOU.

Round 7: O I E R A M S K B

I had MOIRE ("a watered fabric, as of silk or wool"), MOIRES, SMOKIER / IRKSOME, and AMBRIES (AMBRY: "a cupboard; dresser").  After time I checked up on MIKROBES just in case it was some kind of weird alernative spelling, but as expected it was not.

It's sixes from the contestants this time, with Glen going for BREAKS (or was it BRAKES?) while Greg chances BASKER.  Sadly for him, it is not listed, and so the lead narrows to just two points once more.  David mentions sevens of EMBARKS and IRKSOME.

The other seven left is ISOBARE (variant spelling of ISOBAR).

Greg: [invalid -- BASKER]

Scores: Greg 15 (28), Glen 7 (26), me 54

Round 8: Target 999 from 50 100 8 2 7 9

Speaking of large numbers targets... as Richard observes, that is as big as it gets for this show.  Getting to one away is easy, and I wrote down a fallback 1000 = (8 + 2)*100.  But we want to keep the 8 as part of the final offset of 1, so I looked for other ways to get to 1000 and spotted an option that worked: 999 = (50 / (7 - 2))*100 - (9 - 8).  Yay!

Glen is one away with 998, but Greg has reached the target; that will guarantee him the win.  However, his answer is (8 + 2)*100 - (9 - 7)/2, which uses the two twice.  That brings Glen's answer back into play; it is 998 = (8 + 2)*100 - 2, so she has also used the two twice.  Very careless, and possibly very costly!  Her explanation even acknowledges how unnecessary it was; she got to 1000, and then adds "and then for luck I took off the two".  Oh, dear.

Lily has gone a different route to everyone, considering the factorisation 9*111 to get 999 = (8/2 + 7 + 100)*9.  Nicely done!

Greg: [invalid -- 999]
Glen: [invalid -- 998]
Me: 999
Lily: 999

Scores: Greg 15 (28), Glen 7 (26), me 64


I got distracted by the -ABLE fragment for a while, but once I got past that I found ELABORATE soon enough.

Thanks to the errors in the previous round, it is Greg rather than Glen who is ahead going into this conundrum.  That could be disappointing for Glen if it ends up being too hard for both of them.  Perhaps fortunately for her peace of mind, though, Greg ends up solving this to seal his win.

Greg: ELABORATE (22s)
Glen: [no answer]

Scores: Greg 15 (38), Glen 7 (26), me 74

It was a tough night for the contestants on the numbers -- neither could get anywhere on the first set, only Greg could get within range on the second, then both had invalid answers on the last.  Greg did have that good early find of SOUTHERN in round two, but his last two letters rounds were invalid answers, giving Glen a chance.  This could easily have been a walkover for Greg if he had avoided those issues.  He survives the fourth game, but his total is looking a little low at the moment.

1 comment:

Mike Backhouse said...

50*(10+3)=650 (2 off)
(5+7)*(50+25)-3=897 (1 off)
x BASKER (grrr...)
(8+2)*100-(9-7)=998 (1 off)
x wasted time on -ABLE