Friday, 23 September 2016

Ep 183: Tom Fooks, Tony Loui (September 21, 2016; originally aired April 13, 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 third night for Tom Fooks, and the topic turns to knitting.  Tom says that he is part of a very esteemed club of motorcycle riders who knit.  (Sadly, he does not mean an actual club.)  He mostly knits little toys for cousins and friends and such, but occasionally does other things.  For instance, he has just completed a scarf, which he hopes will help out come winter.

Tonight's challenger is Tony Loui, a medical officer in a regional private hospital.  Tony also works as a hotel doctor in the Sydney CBD, so when a four- or five-star hotel has a guest who is ill, he might get called in to look at them.

The game started out quite closely, with matched scores in the first two letters rounds.  An error from Tony in the first numbers round saw Tom take the lead, but Tony levelled the scores again in the next letters round.  The remaining letters rounds provided no advantage to either contestant, but Tom was just slightly off the pace in the numbers; Tony solved them exactly, giving him a winning lead going into the conundrum.  It turned out to be too hard for everyone, so the game finished 52 to 32 in Tony's favour.

Round 1: U I E L N P C M N

I had LIEU and PENCIL.  After time I checked up on LINEUP (not valid -- only the hyphenated form LINE-UP is listed), noted ENNUI as a nice five, and another six of PLENUM ("a container of air, or other gas, under greater than the surrounding pressure").  I also confirmed my recollection that UNCLIP is not listed.

It's sixes from the contestants, with Tony's PUMICE matched by Tom's PENCIL.  David, as he so often does, has managed to go one better by finding the seven of PINNULE ("a part or organ resembling the barb of a feather, or a fin or the like").

The other seven  is NUCLEIN ("any of several proteins found in all living cell nuclei").  The other sixes are NUCLEI (plural of NUCLEUS) / LEUCIN (variant spelling of the amino acid LEUCINE), LUPINE ("relating to or resembling the wolf"; also a variant spelling of LUPIN, the flower), LUMPEN ("wretched; purposeless; unprincipled"), PILEUM ("the top of the head of a bird, from the base of the bill to the nape"), and NEUMIC (adjective derived from NEUME: "any of various symbols used in medieval music notation, and still used for noting Gregorian chant, etc.").


Scores: 6 apiece

Round 2: Z D I F U S G E H

Hardly an appealing mix, particularly with that Z to start.  I had DIGS, GUIDES, FUDGES, SIGHED, and GUSHED.  After time I noted FISHED as another six.

It's sixes all round again, with Tom having FUDGES while Tony opted for GUSHED.  David mentions GUIDES as another six.

The remaining six here is GUISED (GUISE as a verb: "Scottish to go in disguise").


Scores: 12 apiece

Round 3: Target 928 from 100 25 50 5 6 5

A tough round, which is not surprising given that most of the numbers are divisible by 5 -- it makes reaching a value not divisible by 5 quite hard.  I wrote down a fallback two away 930 = 6*(100 + 50 + 5), and was unable to do better.  I kept finding more ways to 930, but nothing better.

Both contestants declare 925, with Tom's answer being 925 = (5 + 5)*100 - 50 - 25.  But when Tony comes to give his answer he realises that he has made a mistake, and his answer is invalid.  So the contestants are finally separated, albeit on an error.  Lily describes it as difficult and says that she could not get to the target, but does not say how close she did get.  While it seems unlikely that she missed the many ways to get to 930, this still gives me leeway to pretend that I outdid her.  (I do prefer it when she says how close she was able to get in such situations.)

The target is unreachable, but it turns out that it is possible to get to one away.  There's four ways to do so, all reaching 929; I'll just demonstrate one of them, which I almost found within time but overlooked an option.  The starting observation is that we can get somewhere in the vicinity by using (25 - 6)*50 to get to 950.  That is 22 away from the target, and a couple of ideas immediately present themselves: Use 5*5 to make 25, for a three-off 925, or tweak with 5/5 to adjust by 19, for a three-off 931.  But the winning approach is to make 21 with (100 + 5)/5, leading to the answer 929 = (25 - 6)*50 - (100 + 5)/5.

Tom: 925
Tony: [invalid -- 925]
Me: 930
Best: 929

Scores: Tom 12 (19), Tony 12, me 19

First break: IRATE RIG ("To flood the plains")

That would be to IRRIGATE them.

David's talk is about the Latinitas Foundation, and the Latin terms it has come up with for modern day concepts.  (About a year and a half after this show was first broadcast, the Latinitas Foundation was superceded by the Pontifical Academy for Latin.)

Round 4: T R S A E I R M D

Good letters, but too many consonants (a rare complaint from me).  With the letters being so promising, longer options are more likely to open up with a fourth vowel than the sixth consonant.  I had STAR, TEARS, SATIRE, MAESTRI (plural of MAESTRO), MARRIED, and TARRIED.  Just after time I saw the eight of ADMIRERS, noted other sevens of STIRRED and MISREAD, then found another eight of READMITS.

Tom has DREAMS for six, but Tony has found RAIDERS for seven to take the points and level the scores once more.  David says that in Tony's shoes he would have taken a final vowel, hoping for an E for AIRSTREAM.  Of course, he meant an A, but the point stands.  The next vowel would have been an A, too, so this decision cost a full monty.  David has found ADMIRERS for eight.

The remaining eight is DISARMER.


Scores: Tom 12 (19), Tony 19, me 26

Round 5: A O T P N I T B G

I had ATOP, PANTO, PIANO, OBTAIN, PATTING, BATTING, and BOATING.  After time I noted POTTING as another seven.

The contestants have both found BATTING for seven, so the scores continue to be equal.  David has found the sevens of BATTING, POTTING, and PATTING.

That's all the sevens listed, and the best to be done.


Scores: Tom 19 (26), Tony 26, me 33

Round 6: Target 295 from 25 1 2 3 10 4

A much easier numbers round than the previous one!  The standard approach is clear, leaving us wanting to make 12 and 5 from the small numbers.  I started with 295 = (10 + 2)*25 - 4 - 1, then also noted 295 = 3*4*25 - 10/2.

Tom is two away with 297 -- perhaps (25 + 4 + 1)*10 - 3? -- but Tony has solved this with 295 = (25 + 4)*10 + 3 + 2.  He takes the lead as a result, but a ten-point gap can sometimes be a bit fleeting.  Lily has solved this using the first of the solutions that I listed.

Tom: 297
Tony: 295
Me: 295
Lily: 295

Scores: Tom 19 (26), Tony 36, me 43

Second break: OWL DOWNS ("Approaching roadworks...")

Sometimes seen on signs in the vicinity of roadworks are instructions to SLOWDOWN (although as two words, rather than the single word that this answer is).

Round 7: H R S O E O D J R

Wow, it's been a pretty miserly set of letters games tonight -- not much hope for swings.  I had HORSE, HORDES, RODEOS, and JOSHED.

It's sixes from the contestants, with bothing opting for HORSED.  David has to check up that HORSE is a verb in its own right, rather than being part of HORSE AROUND, but fortunately it turns out to be.  He suggests that HORDES would have been a simpler use of the same letters, and mentions JOSHED as another six.

The other sixes are SHORED, ORDERS / DERROS (DERRO being a variant spelling of DERO: "a vagrant, especially one with an unkempt or unhealthy appearance"), SHOOED, and JOSHER.  RESHOD is, strangely, not valid -- the past tense of RESHOE is given as RESHOED.  I find that very surprising!


Scores: Tom 25 (32), Tony 42, me 49

Round 8: Target 834 from 75 6 5 8 9 2

The standard method applies easily, as long as you know the 75-times tables: 834 = (6 + 5)*75 + 9.  If not, it's possible to use the "find a nearby multiple of ten" option to get another solution: 834 = (8 + 2)*(75 + 9) - 6.

If Tom can solve this while Tony does not then the scores will be tied going into the conundrum.  But it is actually the other way around, with Tom being one away at 833 while Tony has solved this using the first solution that I listed.  That pushes his score over fifty points, and he is now guaranteed to win.  Lily also solved it that way.

Tom: 833
Tony: 834
Me: 834
Lily: 834

Scores: Tom 25 (32), Tony 52, me 59


I was rather nervous about this conundrum, since Tony could beat me by solving it first.  The -ING ending is not the way to go; I almost buzzed in at one point with MALIGNANT, but caught the problem with that in time.  In the end the conundrum was too hard for everyone, and it took me another four minutes after time expired to find the answer of LAMINGTON.

Tom: [no answer]
Tony: [no answer]
Me: [no answer]

Scores: Tom 25 (32), Tony 52, me 59

There was not a lot of scope for differentiation tonight, with the letters rounds being pretty parsimonious.  Tony found one longer option than Tom there, but it was the numbers rounds where Tom fell behind.  He was just a little bit off in the latter two, and that was enough to give Tony a winning lead, despite his error in the first numbers round.  Overall, a strong first game from Tony, and with a slightly easier conundrum I might well have had my first loss of this series.

1 comment:

Mike Backhouse said...

(5+5)*100-25-50=925 (3 away) and then saw 2 away but went over (5+6)*(25+50)+100+5=930