Sunday, 2 October 2016

Ep 189: Daniel Goff, Robyn Lee (September 29, 2016; originally aired April 21, 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.

We have two new contestants tonight, after Tony Loui's successful retirement last night.  First up, taking the champion's position, is Daniel Goff, a retiree who worked in the Texas education system.  Daniel describes himself during that time as a jack-of-all-trades; he worked a lot with creating multiple choice questions (and answers!) for mathematics, reading, writing, science, and social studies.  Quite the range!  Then he also worked with the teachers, teaching them the way that they scored compositions -- they felt like that method of scoring was very educational for the child in learning how to improve.  (I admit that I don't quite follow what he means here; "scoring a composition" sounds like a film or music activity, but he might just be referring to marking an essay.)

Taking up the challenger's position is Robyn Lee, an automotive engineering student.  Another engineer (after Gillian yesterday)!  I hope she got a chance to chat with Gillian during the downtime of the filming.  Richard asks about Robyn's motivation; she responds that she has a big interest in motorsports, particularly Formula 1, which she sees as the pinnacle of automotive technologies -- a blend of technology and sport.  Robyn would love to one day work in a Formula 1 team, engineering racing parts and maybe also being involved in the race weekends themselves.

Robyn started with the better word in round one, then the next three rounds were shared.  A slightly risky option from her in round five brought reward, and then she ran away with the game, scoring thirty unanswered points in the second half.  Daniel had a couple of invalid answers which did not help his cause, including the conundrum at the end where he buzzed in with an eight-letter answer.  Robyn was not able to solve it, but had done more than enough to win, 58 to 21.

Round 1: C S R E O U L E P

I had SCORE, SOURCE, CLOSURE, SPORULE, COUPLERS, and pondered but rightly rejected RECOUPLES.  After time I noted another seven of SCRUPLE.

Daniel has COURSE for six, but Robyn has found ELOPERS for seven to take the early lead.  David has found the eight of COUPLERS.

COUPLERS is the only eight.  The other sevens are COUPLER, COUPLES, RECLUSE, REPULSE, RECOUPS / CROUPES (CROUPE being a variant form of CROUP: "the rump or buttocks of certain animals, especially of a horse"), LEPROUS / PELORUS ("a plate graduated in degrees for determining the horizontal angle between the ship's heading and the bearing of an observed object"), CREOLES (CREOLE: "a language which has developed from a pidgin to become the primary language of a community"), COLURES (COLURE: "either of two great circles of the celestial sphere intersecting each other at the poles, one passing through the equinoctial and the other through the solstitial points of the ecliptic"), CEREOUS ("waxlike; waxy"), and COULEES (COULEE: "a stream of lava").

Daniel: COURSE

Scores: Daniel 0, Robyn 0 (7), me 8

Round 2: C H R A E A D R E


It's sevens from the contestants, with REACHED from Daniel and CHARRED from Robyn.  David has reached deep to find the eight of HEADRACE ("the race, flume, or channel leading to a waterwheel or the like").

HEADRACE is the only eight.  The other sevens are ADHERER, REACHER, and EARACHE.


Scores: Daniel 7, Robyn 7 (14), me 15

Round 3: Target 869 from 100 50 10 8 7 10

A tough one, in part due to only having the one off number.  The best I could manage was one off with 870 = 8*100 + 50 + 10 + 10; after time I noted another way to get there in small numbers only with 870 = (8*10 + 7)*10.

The contestants have also found their way to 870.  Daniel went with 870 = 8*100 + 7*10, while Robyn used the first of the approaches that I listed above.  870 was also the best that Lily could do.

It turns out that the target is unreachable, so one off is the best that can be done.

Daniel: 870
Robyn: 870
Me: 870
Lily: 870

Scores: Daniel 14, Robyn 14 (21), me 22

First break: AGE TRYST ("Good to have on this show")

They like to think that having a STRATEGY is a good thing.

David's talk is about animals with interesting literal meanings in other languages.  He mentions walrus ("whale horse" in Dutch), aardvark ("earth pig" in Afrikaans), and caribou ("snow-shoveller" in Micmac).

Round 4: D S G I O E T I S

I had DIGS, DOGES (DOGE: "the chief magistrate of the old republics of Venice and Genoa"), GEOIDS (GEOID: "an imaginary surface which corresponds with the mean sea level over the ocean and its extension under the continents"), DIGEST, DIGESTS, and STODGES.

Both contestants have found DIGESTS for seven, while David has opted for STOGIES.

The other sevens are EGOISTS and IODISES.


Scores: Daniel 21, Robyn 21 (28), me 29

Round 5: M C P O A O T L I

I had COMP, wrote down a few speculative words that needed an E but it never showed up, ATOMIC, TOPICAL / OPTICAL, and OPTIMAL.  After time I noted another seven of POTAMIC ("of or relating to rivers").

Daniel has IMPACT for six, while Robyn has chanced CAPITOL for seven.  At first I thought she meant CAPITAL, which would be invalid due to having too many A's, but David asked her to confirm her spelling and all is well.  Well, he does have to check that it has an acceptable lowercase sense, but it does.  Phew!  But David has gone one better, yet again, with the eight of COMPITAL ("of or relating to crossroads").

COMPITAL is the only eight.  The remaining sevens are COPILOT, COMPLOT ("a joint plot; a conspiracy"), and APOMICT ("an organism produced by apomixis"; that seems to be non-sexual reproduction so that genetic structure is preserved).

Daniel: IMPACT

Scores: Daniel 21, Robyn 28 (35), me 36

Round 6: Target 862 from 25 100 3 9 10 2

I started by working down from 900, and that turned out to get the target exactly: 862 = 9*100 - 25 - 10 - 3.  Then I viewed this as 875 - 13 and so found an alternative solution of 862 = (9 - 2)*(100 + 25) - 10 - 3.  After time I also looked at working down from 1000; the offset of 138 is 6*23, leading to 862 = 10*100 - (9 - 3)*(25 - 2).

Daniel is eight away from the target with 854.  That's a strange one, and I would guess that he has made a mistake somewhere.  If not, then he has either gratuitously subtracted in order to get further away, or failed to add a remaining number to get closer.  Not that it matters, since Robyn has solved this using the first of the solutions that I listed; that was also Lily's approach.

Robyn has sprinted away in these last two rounds, and is now 24 points ahead.  Daniel needs to outscore her in the last letters round to stay in with a chance.

Daniel: 854
Robyn: 862
Me: 862
Lily: 862

Scores: Daniel 21, Robyn 38 (45), me 46

Second break: OPEN TILL ("Essential to a good story")

Yes, a good story should have a PLOTLINE.

Round 7: T D N T O E U H N

I had NOTED, HUNTED, HOUND, TOUTED, and tossed up between UNTONED (not valid) / UNNOTED (valid), fortunately choosing the right option.  After time I noted another six of TENDON.

Robyn has HUNTED for six, while Daniel takes a chance on HOTTEN.  That is not valid, and Robyn is now guaranteed to win the game.  David has found UNNOTED for seven.

UNNOTED is the only seven.  The other sixes are UNDONE, NUTTED, HUTTED, TUNNED (TUN as a verb: "to put into or store in a tun or tuns"; TUN as a noun is "a large cask for holding liquids, etc., especially wine, ale, or beer"), THOUED (THOU as a verb: "to use 'thou' in discourse"), and TENUTO (a musical direction).

Daniel: [invalid -- HOTTEN]

Scores: Daniel 21, Robyn 38 (51), me 53

Round 8: Target 824 from 75 25 8 7 10 9

The target is 8*103, leading easily to 824 = 8*(75 + 25 + 10 - 7).  I also amused myself with a more complicated utilisation of the same idea: 824 = 8*(75 - 25 + 7*9 - 10).

Daniel realises that he has made an error before he declares anything, but that leaves him without anything to declare.  Robyn has got to two away with 826 = (25 + 75)*8 + 9 + 10 + 7.  Lily demonstrates the first of the solutions that I listed.

Daniel: [no answer]
Robyn: 826
Me: 824
Lily: 824

Scores: Daniel 21, Robyn 38 (58), me 63


The IMP- fragment is often useful, and in this case it guided me to the answer of IMPRESSED.

Daniel buzzed in a little after the halfway mark, thinking that the answer was SIMPERED.  He realised that it was not just after buzzing, but could not usefully recover.  Robyn was not able to solve the conundrum in the remaining time, so the scores remain unchanged.

Daniel: [invalid -- SIMPERED (19s)]
Robyn: [no answer]

Scores: Daniel 21, Robyn 38 (58), me 73

The game started off relatively close, but CAPITOL being ruled valid served as a springboard for Robyn -- including that round, she scored 30 unanswered points over the rest of the main rounds.  Daniel was just not able to do anything about that; if he had been defter with the numbers he could have got 27 points of swing and made the conundrum matter.  A good game from Robyn, and if she can keep that form up there's just barely enough time for her to make it into the finals.


Mike Backhouse said...

x SIMPERED also jumped in with this!

Geoff Bailey said...

The very Australian COMPO gets the nod from the Macquarie. My condolences on SIMPERED, and that's a pretty good game from you. Well done!