Monday, 22 August 2016

Ep 154: Greg Beers, Rob Hunt (August 11, 2016; originally aired March 3, 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 fifth night for Greg Beers, and his total is a little low so a win here may be necessary to reach the finals, or at least a high-scoring loss.  Richard returns to the topic of Greg's four-wheel driving adventures, and asks him what the wildest and most remote spot is that he has been to.  Greg immediately thinks of the Karunjie Track, up at the top of WA: They drove on that one day, going over rocky riverbeds and through grass over a metre high at times; when they got to the end they looked around and saw a sign that said, "Track closed".  Heh.  (Seems like he still had an easier time of it than this person did.)

Tonight's challenger is Rob Hunt, a web developer and scuba-diving instructor.  Richard remarks that that is quite a combination, and asks how Rob balances the two.  Rob opines that there is no better occupation in the world than swimming around underwater; he worked as a scuba-diving instructor for quite a few years, but it's a lifestyle choice and there is not a lot of money in it.  So he moved on after that to web design.

A nice word from Greg in round one gave him the early lead, but Rob levelled immediately in round two.  An easy numbers round did not trouble either contestant, and the scores were level going into the first break.  Rob took the lead in round four, and then a fifteen point swing hinged on the validity of Greg's word in round five.  Unluckily for him it was not valid, and Rob rode that fourteen point lead all the way to the conundrum.  Greg buzzed in very quickly with an invalid answer, and Rob solved it a little later to push over the half-century mark, winning 57 to 33.

Round 1: O I O B C E S R M

I had OBOES, CORBIES (CORBIE: Scottish for "a raven or crow"), MICROBES, and RIBOSOME ("one of the minute granules present in living cells, containing ribonucleic acid and protein.  They are the site of protein synthesis").  After time I noted COMBERS as another seven.

Rob has CRIMES for six, but Greg takes the early points with BOOMERS for seven.  David has found MICROBES for eight.

The remaining seven is MICROBE.  I was surprised that ROOMIES is not listed, and a bit less surprised that BOSOMIER* is also not explicitly listed.


Scores: Greg 0 (7), Rob 0, me 8

Round 2: J I R D R O E S T

I had RIDER, RIDERS, STRIDOR ("a harsh, grating, or creaking sound"), and STEROID.  After time I noted several other sevens: RIOTERS, SORTIED / STORIED / EDITORS, STRIDER, and ROISTER.

Greg stays with the safe six of STORED, said in response to Rob's risky seven of STRIDER.  David has opted for JOISTED as his seven.

Seven is the best to be done here; the others are STIRRED and TRIODES (TRIODE: "a radio valve containing three electrodes, usually an anode, a grid, and a cathode").


Scores: Greg 0 (7), Rob 7, me 15

Round 3: Target 570 from 50 25 7 3 10 4

A bit easy -- everyone gets 570 = 10*(50 + 7) pretty quickly.  After time I observed another solution of 570 = (5*50 - 10)*3.

Greg: 570
Rob: 570
Me: 570
Lily: 570

Scores: Greg 10 (17), Rob 17, me 25

First break: GIVE TENT ("A little tale of French origins")

That would be a VIGNETTE.

David's talk is about the word widget.

Round 4: H A T L I E D G N

I had HALT, LATHE, HALITE, LIGHTED, ALIGHTED (acceptable alternative to ALIT), and DELATING (DELATE: "to inform against; denounce or accuse").

Greg has HALTED for six, but Rob shows that he can use the -ING by finding HEATING for seven.  David, to my surprise, has also been limited to sevens; he chose DELIGHT.  He also noted that if the final N had been an H then HEADLIGHT would have been available.

The other eights are GILTHEAD (a type of fish) and ATHELING ("an Anglo-Saxon male of royal blood; a prince").  The other sevens are ALIGNED / DEALING / LEADING, GLINTED / TINGLED, HALTING / LATHING, HEADING, HEALING, LIGHTEN, TANGLED, INHALED, LIGATED, ELATING / GENITAL / GELATIN, and GAHNITE (a mineral).


Scores: Greg 10 (17), Rob 17 (24), me 33

Round 5: O E A S D G U T N

I had DOES, GOADS, GUSTED, TONGUES, and SONDAGE ("a deep, narrow trench, showing the stratigraphy of a site").  After time I wrote down some of the other sevens in this mix: ASTOUND, DONATES, NOUGATS, SOUTANE (a type of cassock), ONSTAGE, and OUTAGES.

Rob has TONGUES for seven, but Greg scoops the pool with UNSTAGED for eight.  That's a good find, but then I was rather surprised to find out this was not valid.  That's unfortunate for Greg -- I think I'd have tried UNSTAGED if I had seen it.  That's a swing of fifteen points, and Rob now has a potentially-winning lead.  David has chosen ASTOUND as his seven.

Seven is the limit after all, with the others being TONGUED, TANGOED, TANGOES, SNOUTED, DOTAGES, OUTSANG, and AUGENDS (AUGEND: "a number to which another number, the addend, is added").

Greg: [invalid -- UNSTAGED]

Scores: Greg 10 (17), Rob 24 (31), me 40

Round 6: Target 670 from 50 2 1 4 9 3

I got a little lost with this one, concentrating on the standard method and only managing to get to one off in a variety of ways starting from 13*50 or 14*50.  The one that I actually wrote down was 669 = (9 + 1 + 4)*(50 - 2) - 3.

After time I revisited my first instinct, which was to start by getting to 9*75 = 675.  That would have been obviously right if we had a 75, but I dismissed it out of hand since we did not have one.  But we can make the 75 from the 50, and the solution follows very easily indeed once this is done: 670 = 9*(50/2)*3 - 4 - 1.

The contestants have also struggled with this one, not managing to get anywhere near it.  Lily rounds continues her excellent solving form by finding the above solution.

There are only two other solutions, both variations on the idea of using 9*75 in such a way: 670 = (50*3/2 - 1)*9 + 4 and 670 = (9*50 - 4)*3/2 + 1.

Greg: [no answer]
Rob: [no answer]
Me: 669
Lily: 670

Scores: Greg 10 (17), Rob 24 (31), me 47

Second break: CORN TIED ("Principle of medicine")

The principle is the DOCTRINE, which sounds a bit like "doctoring", hence the reference to medicine.

Round 7: A E I C P R A M T

I had PACE, PRICE, CAMPER, IMPART, and PRIMATE.  I had hoped for a final D for PARAMEDIC, but no such luck.

It's sixes from the contestants, with Rob having CARPET while Greg has gone for CAMPER.  David has found PRIMATE for seven.

The other sevens are PICRATE / PARETIC ("someone who has general paresis").  There are no eights, but there is a nine!  It is METACARPI, the plural of METACARPUS ("the part of a hand or forelimb (especially of its bony structure) included between the wrist or carpus and the fingers or phalanges").


Scores: Greg 10 (23), Rob 24 (37), me 54

Round 8: Target 848 from 100 5 9 2 6 10

Too easy again; I went with 848 = (10 - 2)*(100 + 6), but the contestants found the simpler 848 = 9*100 - 5*10 - 2.  Lily demonstrates the solution that I found.

Greg: 848
Rob: 848
Me: 848
Lily: 848

Scores: Greg 20 (33), Rob 34 (47), me 64


Greg buzzed in just faster than I did, but with an incorrect answer.  I was pretty quick to spot ALLEVIATE, too, so I was a little pleased that Greg was incorrect with his guess of ALTERNATIVE.  Not exactly gracious of me, but there you go.  Rob got there only a few seconds later to round off a good win.

Greg: [invalid -- ALTERNATIVE (1s)]
Rob: ALLEVIATE (5.5s)

Scores: Greg 20 (33), Rob 34 (57), me 74

It was a good game from Rob, but I do feel that Greg was a bit unlucky over UNSTAGED.  If that had been valid, he would have been a point ahead going into the conundrum instead of 14 behind.  Rob's conundrum solution would still have given him the win, of course.  Greg finishes with five wins and 211 points, which feels tantalisingly close to the cutoff point of making the finals.  We'll have to see how that shakes out.


Mike Backhouse said...

(9+3)*(50+2+4)-1=671 (1 off, and went over)
(6+2)*(100+10-(9-5))=848 (my scenic route version of Lily's solution)

Mike Backhouse said...

Geoff, well done on pipping David in Round 4.

Geoff Bailey said...

Thanks, Mike -- if only I'd solved round 6 I could have had the solo win. Ah, well.