Saturday, 1 October 2016

Ep 188: Tony Loui, Gillian Stevens (September 28, 2016; originally aired April 20, 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 sixth and final night for Tony, at least until the finals.  He's already guaranteed at least sixth position, while a win would mean at least fourth position; if he wins with 46 points or more then he takes first place on the leaderboard.  But first, there's the pre-game chat to get through.  Richard starts by mentioning that Tony has found a couple of nine-letter words so far, then segues through that to a golfing 'hole in one'.  (At the time, there had been at attempt to refer to nine-letter words as a 'hole in one', but the term did not catch on in the same way that 'full monty' did.)  Tony, it turns out, has scored a hole in one on a par three at a golf course about three years ago.  An impressive achievement!

Standing between Tony and successful retirement is Gillian Stevens, a mechanical engineer.  Richard asks about Gillian's motivation for that career choice, and Gillian responds to general merriment that she thinks it was a boy.  Then, more seriously, she says that her school went on one of those excursions where you can choose your career, and she saw a working model of an internal combustion engine.  It looked interesting, and she thought, "I want to build that".  Richard asks if she has fulfilled that dream; Gillian sighs as she admits that she is not in automotive engineering, but rather works on somewhat larger systems.  She says "marine systems", which I take to mean boats (or ships, if you prefer), or perhaps oil rigs.

The contestants shared the points in the first two letter rounds, then a difficult numbers round gave Tony a chance to take the lead.  His calculation seemed like it would be sound, but apparently he made an error (he did not say what), so the scores remained tied going into the first break.  The points were again shared in round four, but then an invalid answer from Gillian in round five finally separated the contestants.  That seemed to be the catalyst for Tony, as he romped home with good number results and a long word in the last letters round.  Gillian ended up solving the conundrum, but Tony comprehensively won, 52 to 31.

Round 1: G V N A I E S T C

I had an early VINEGAR, but the R did not arrive, VAIN, GAINS, SEATING, VAINEST, and STAVING.  Although the -ING was present, something about the mix made me favour a fourth vowel here.  After time I considered that a bit more, seeing that an E would allow NEGATIVES or an A would allow NAVIGATES / VAGINATES.  The actual next vowel was an I, so it did not matter.

It's sevens from the contestants, with Gillian's STAVING matched by Tony's CASTING.  David has gone one better, finding VINTAGES for eight.

The other eight is VESICANT ("Chemical Warfare a chemical agent that causes burns and destruction of tissue both internally and externally").  The other sevens are VINTAGE, TEASING / EATINGS / TAGINES /  EASTING ("the difference in longitude between two positions on a map as a result of progress to the east") / GENISTA (any shrub or tree of a certain genus), NATIVES, CEASING, CAGIEST, ACTIVES, VESTING, and VENATIC ("of or relating to hunting").

Gillian: STAVING

Scores: 7 apiece

Round 2: N I E D T R U T P

I had DINE, INTER, INTRUDE, PRINTED, and NUTTIER.  After time I checked up on UNDERTIP, a concept familiar to waiters everywhere, but not in the Macquarie, and noted UNTRIED as another seven.  UNPITTED might apply to olives, but again does not find mention in the Macquarie.

This time they both have the same answer of INTRUDE.  David mentions PUTTED, harking back to the earlier golf talk, but by implication also found INTRUDE.

Seven is the limit here, with the others being TRIDENT, PRUDENT, PUTTIED (PUTTY as a verb: "to secure, cover, etc., with putty"), PUTTIER ("someone who putties, as a glazier"), and TURDINE ("belonging or related to the thrushes [...]").

Gillian: INTRUDE

Scores: 14 apiece

Round 3: Target 834 from 25 2 5 7 8 7

The target is 11*75 + 9, which makes it 33*25 + 9.  Playing around with that gave me one off with 833 = (5*7 - 2)*25 + 8.  Switching tacks, I looked at the descent from 5*7*25 = 875; the offset is 41, which is 7*7 - 8, and putting that together gives a solution: 834 = 7*(5*25 - 7) + 8.

Gillian has not been able to get anywhere close, while Tony declares one away with 835.  He starts with 25*7 - 8, which is 167, then stops and says that he thinks he has made a mistake.  That's a little strange, as all he needed to do was multiply by 5 at that point to reach his stated target.  Did he write down the wrong value on his paper?  An unfortunate error, if so -- it was good vision to see his way to 835.

Lily has found a solution here, using the approach that I considered initially.  She made the 33 a different way, leaving her the right numbers to complete the solution: 834 = (5*8 - 7)*25 + 2 + 7.  Nice one!

Tony: [invalid -- 835]
Gillian: [no answer]
Me: 834
Lily: 834

Scores: Tony 14, Gillian 14, me 24

First break: NET LINTY ("How you have to think to solve this")

That would be INTENTLY.

David's talk is about collective nouns for animals; he passes quickly over herd, flock, and pride to settle on a bask of crocodiles, an army of caterpillars, a skulk of foxes, a business of ferrets, a shrewdness of apes, an unkindness of ravens, and a pitying of turtledoves.

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


Once again it's sevens from the contestants, with Tony opting for DELUGES while Gillian goes with GUILTED.  David mentions DILUTES as another seven.

The eight in this mix is DILUTEES (DILUTEE: "any inadequately trained or otherwise incompetent employee").  The other sevens are DILUTEE, UGLIEST / GLUIEST, GUESTED, LEGSIDE, ELEGITS (ELEGIT: "a writ of execution against a judgement debtor's goods or property held by the judgement creditor until payment of the debt"), and TELEDUS (TELEDU being a stinking badger from southern Java).

Gillian: GUILTED

Scores: Tony 21, Gillian 21, me 31

Round 5: M S R O O N L E O

A shame about all those O's.  I had ROOMS, MORONS, wondered about LOOMERS (not valid), MOROSE, and MERLONS (MERLON: "(in a battlement) the solid part between two crenels").  After time I noted SOLEMN as another six, and checked if SOLOMON had a lowercase sense (it does not).

Tony has LEMONS for six, but Gillian takes a chance on LOOMERS.  Unfortunately for her that does not pay off, so Tony gets the lead.  David has found MERLONS, and it is the only seven (and the best to be done).

Gillian: [invalid -- LOOMERS]

Scores: Tony 21 (27), Gillian 21, me 38

Round 6: Target 230 from 75 25 8 10 6 7

The target is clearly 10*23, leading to 230 = (25 + 6 - 8)*10 in short order.  I played around with other approaches, and ending up amusing myself with the roundabout 230 = ((75 - (7 - 6))*25 - 10) / 8.  I did not quite get it down within time, but if I had, I would totally have declared it as my answer on the show.

Gillian is one away from the target with 229, which I'll guess was 10*25 - 8 - 7 - 6, but Tony has solved this using the first of the solutions that I listed.  That was also Lily's approach.

The game has turned in the last two rounds, with Tony sprinting out to a sixteen-point lead.  Gillian is suddenly in a lot of trouble, after a good start.

Tony: 230
Gillian: 229
Me: 230
Lily: 230

Scores: Tony 31 (37), Gillian 21, me 48

Second break: HEMP TINS ("Delivered by boat")

That would be a SHIPMENT.

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

I had CERT, TRICE, TRICK, TICKER, ROCKET, ROCKETS, and ROCKIEST.  After time I noted some other sevens of RICKETS, CORRIES (CORRIE: "a circular hole in the side of a hill or mountain [...] formed by glacial action"), EROTICS (EROTIC having a noun sense of "an erotic poem"), and CROSIER (alternate spelling of CROZIER, the hooked staff of a bishop).

Gillian has ROCKETS for seven, but Tony has found the eight of STOCKIER.  A little risky, perhaps, but it is listed and that gives Tony the win.  David has gone with ROCKIEST as his selection.

The remaining eight is TRICKERS, and there were more sevens than I felt like checking.

Gillian: ROCKETS

Scores: Tony 39 (45), Gillian 21, me 56

Round 8: Target 657 from 100 7 8 10 4 10

Ooh, a tough one.  There's only one odd number, so the temptation is to try to make this as 650 + 7 (or maybe 664 - 7).  I was not able to get that to work, and in the end had to settle for one away with 658 = 7*(100 - 8) + 10 + 4.

Gillian has not been able to get anywhere with this, but Tony has managed to get to one away with 658 = (100 - 10 + 4)*7.  That's good solving!  But speaking of good solving, Lily has come through with the goods, finding the excellent solution 657 = (100 - 4 - 10/10)*7 - 8.  Bravo!

There's only one other solution, a minor variant of Lily's approach that makes the 5 differently: 657 = (100 - (10 + 10)/4)*7 - 8.

Tony: 658
Gillian: [no answer]
Me: 658
Lily: 657

Scores: Tony 46 (52), Gillian 21, me 63


I wandered down unprofitable paths like -ATE for a while, then Gillian buzzed in.  I found the answer of ENTERTAIN as I was pausing the video in response -- just a little too late!

Tony: [no answer]
Gillian: ENTERTAIN (11s)

Scores: Tony 46 (52), Gillian 31, me 63

It was a game of two halves, as they say.  The scores were tied after the first four rounds, but then Tony just ran away with it, scoring 31 unanswered points in the remaining four main rounds.  Gillian did well on the conundrum, but the damage had been done.  I feel she was a bit unlucky tonight, being matched against Tony; against a good many of the other contestants this series she could have done quite well.  Tony managed to get the points he needed in order to get first place, and I'd have to say that he is looking very strong.


Mike Backhouse said...

(5*7-2)*25+8=833 (1 off)
LISTED and was not confident about GUESTED grrr...
(10-4)*(100+8)+10=658 (1 off)
x jumped in with the incorrect ITINERANT

Geoff Bailey said...

The past tense of INPUT is given explicitly as INPUT, so no joy on the INPUTTED front. A shame that you saw ROCKIER but not ROCKIEST, or was that just a typo on entry?

Mike Backhouse said...

Sadly I overlooked ROCKIEST.