Saturday, 1 October 2016

Ep 186: Tony Loui, Steve Simmons (September 26, 2016; originally aired April 18, 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 Tony Loui; a win here will surely put him into the finals.  In the pre-game chat, it is revealed that Tony has a prior interaction with both David and the Macquarie dictionary: About three years ago he entered a weekend cryptic crossword competition in the Sydney Morning Herald.  He describes himself as "lucky enough" to get it right, and then lucky to be drawn out first.  So he won a third edition Macquarie dictionary from solving a David Astle cryptic crossword.

Tonight's challenger is Steve Simmons, an English teacher who teaches Academic English.  That is for international students wishing to study at Australian universities (or other tertiary institutions).  And, huh, that's all the chat we have with Steve -- seems a bit short.

A miserly mix limited both contestants to fives in the first round, but thereafter the words went Tony's way.  Steve was unable to find longer than five (with the exception of one invalid answer); the numbers provided little scope for gain, and Tony was safe going into the last numbers round.  The conundrum ended up being too difficult for both contestants, and Tony finished the victor, 62 to 25.

Round 1: F T D O A O S N A

I had TOAD, AFOOT, and noticed one of David's favourite words: FANTODS (FANTOD: "a temperamental mannerism or affectation; performance").  I also added SONATA as a six.

It's fives from the contestants, with Steve choosing AFOOT while Tony has STOOD.  David, as expected, has found FANTODS for seven.

FANTODS is the only seven.  The other sixes are FANTOD, DOONAS, and TONDOS (TONDO: "a circular work of art, as a painting, relief, carving, etc.").

Steve: AFOOT

Scores: Tony 0 (5), Steve 0 (5), me 7

Round 2: S H I R E B R I E

Heh, SHIRE BRIE -- looks like a conundrum.  No nine on offer, though; I had HEIRS / HIRES, and BERRIES.  After time I checked up on HERBIER*, but as expected it is not listed.

Steve has five again, having read off the five of SHIRE.  But Tony has found BERRIES to get the early lead; it was also David's choice.

REHIRES is not listed, so BERRIES is the only seven.  The sixes are HIRERS and BRIERS.

Steve: SHIRE

Scores: Tony 7 (12), Steve 0 (5), me 14

Round 3: Target 294 from 100 4 7 3 10 6

The target is obviously 3*100 - 6, which means that it is 6*49.  So I wrote down the two solutions 294 = (4*10 + 9)*6 and 294 = (4 + 3)*7*6.

Both contestants have naturally opted for 294 = 3*100 - 6; it's implied that Lily also went that way.

Tony: 294
Steve: 294
Me: 294
Lily: 294

Scores: Tony 17 (22), Steve 10 (15), me 24

First break: GIANT PIN ("Best hung when dry")

That's certainly good advise for a PAINTING.

David's talk is about terms that are less well-known than their opposites.  He cites diurnal, aestivate, and the naked-nose wombat.

Round 4: T O C T A I R E G

I had COAT, COTTA ("a short surplice, with short sleeves or sleeveless, worn especially by choristers"), COATI, CATTIER, GOITRE, and EROTICA.  A little after time I saw that I had missed COGITATE for eight, and noted another seven of RICOTTA.

Steve continues his run of fives by finding GREAT, but Tony stretches his lead to fourteen points with the seven of GAROTTE.  David has found COGITATE for eight.

The other eight is COTTAGER ("someone who lives in a cottage").  The other sevens are COTTAGE, CITRATE (a type of chemical), COTTIER ("an Irish peasant holding a portion of land directly from the owner, the amount of rent being fixed not by custom or private agreement but by public competition"), and ARGOTIC (adjective from ARGOT: "the peculiar language or jargon of any class or group").

Steve: GREAT

Scores: Tony 24 (29), Steve 10 (15), me 31

Round 5: D S Y U A L P C O

An interesting mix of letters -- it almost, but not quite, comes together to something useful.  I had DAYS, LAUDS, was rightly dubious about LAYUPS (the basketball term; it is listed, but hyphenated: LAY-UPS), UPLOADS, and CUPOLAS (CUPOLA: "a rounded vault or dome constituting, or built upon a roof") / COPULAS (one plural form of COPULA: "something that connects or links together").

Steve breaks his run of fives, but by using a phantom letter in his invalid choice of SCALPED.  Tony has found the lovely seven of CALYPSO.  Oh, well done!  As David notes, it can be a Caribbean song or an orchid.  David has gone with UPLOADS as his seven.

The other seven is SCOPULA ("a small tuft of hairs, as on the feet of some spiders").

Steve: [invalid -- SCALPED]

Scores: Tony 31 (36), Steve 10 (15), me 38

Round 6: Target 416 from 25 100 4 6 7 9

I went with a straightforward 416 = 4*100 + 9 + 7, then looked at the various factorisations and found another solution of 416 = (4 + 9)*(25 + 7).

Both contestants solved this with the first of those solutions, but Lily took a more scenic route: 416 = (100 + 6 + 7 - 9)*4.

Tony: 416
Steve: 416
Me: 416
Lily: 416

Scores: Tony 41 (46), Steve 20 (25), me 48

Second break: BUNT ROBS ("Hard to move")

A straight clue for STUBBORN.

Round 7: H N T A E I S N C

I had THAN, THANE, STHENIA ("Pathology strength; excessive vital force"), CANNIEST, and recalled that CHANTIES* was not valid (CHANTY is listed as a variant spelling of SHANTY -- and only under that listing, which is annoying -- but the plural form for the variant spelling is not listed).  After time I noted another eight of ASTHENIC ("weak; lacking strength").

Steve needs to outscore Tony here in order to stay in the game, but his answer of INATE is both invalid and too short.  It turns out that he was unsure whether it was INATE or INNATE, and chose the wrong option.  In any case, Tony had CHEATS for six which is enough to seal the game for him.  David has found INSTANCE for eight, a safer anagram of CANNIEST.

The Macquarie does not include ENCANTHIS, so eight is the best to be done.  The other eights are ENCHAINS, ENCHANTS, and ANCIENTS.  The other sevens are ANCIENT, ENCHANT, ENCHAIN, AITCHES, ETHNICS, CANINES, CHASTEN, NASCENT, STANNIC ("of or containing tin [...]"), and STHENIC ("sturdy; heavily and strongly built").

Steve: [invalid -- INATE]

Scores: Tony 41 (52), Steve 20 (25), me 56

Round 8: Target 697 from 50 100 9 7 8 4

Another disappointingly easy number game: 697 = 7*100 - (8 + 4 - 9).

Steve has ended up one away with 696, presumably 7*100 - 4.  It's a little surprising for him to miss using (9 -8) for the remaining adjustment.  Tony has found the nice solution 697 = (100 - 9 + 8)*7 + 4.  Lily has gone with the solution that I listed.

Tony: 697
Steve: 696
Me: 697
Lily: 697

Scores: Tony 51 (62), Steve 20 (25), me 66


It took me longer than it should have to focus on -ANT and so find RELUCTANT.  I think the key here was that there are only three vowels, so other endings are much less likely to be useful.

The mix proved to be too difficult for the contestants, so the scores remain unchanged.

Tony: [no answer]
Steve: [no answer]

Scores: Tony 51 (62), Steve 20 (25), me 76

Another good game from Tony, although the numbers did not provide much challenge tonight.  That score of 62 points ensures his position on the leaderboard, and even a bad loss in the next game would likely see him move to seventh spot.  Steve was unable to find any (valid) word longer than five letters tonight, and that was too much ground to give away to Tony.  Hopefully he can take comfort in being beaten by a strong player.


Mike Backhouse said...

Bombed out on the words today.

4*100+25-9=416 (different method)
Geoff's way
x CATTLERUN grrr...

Geoff Bailey said...

CATTLE RUN is listed, but only as two words. Another good spot, even if it was not right!