Sunday, 2 October 2016

Ep 190: Robyn Lee, Kylie Thompson (September 30, 2016; originally aired April 22, 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.

Robyn Lee takes her turn in the champion's seat, and we find out that for a year and a half she used to play guitar in an eighteen-piece all-girl big band called Connie Lansberg and the Sisters of Sass.  Huh, that became quite short when written out; the chat seemed a bit longer than that.

Tonight's challenger is Kylie Thompson, a secondary school teacher with an Honours degree in astrophysics.  And she has a star named after her!  Her husband organised that for her 21st birthday, and it is called "Kylie's Celestial Utopia".  (Richard suggests that very few people would have a star named after them, but the star registry claims over two million people have done so.)

The contestants started with a nice pair of sevens, then shared the next round.  Then the momentum swung heavily in Kylie's favour: She solved the numbers round, found a longer word in round four, and Robyn miscounted her declaration in round five.  Another good numbers round for Kylie pushed her almost to a winning margin; when no full monty was available in the last letters round her victory was assured.  Robyn ended up solving the conundrum, but Kylie had a comfortable win, 58 to 28.

Round 1: M B S E U A D T E

I had MUSE, AMUSE, MEDUSA (another term for a jellyfish), and BEMUSED.  After time I noted another seven of MEDUSAE (one plural form of MEDUSA).

The contestants have each found sevens, with Kylie opting for STEAMED while Robyn chose BEMUSED.  David has gone one better with the eight of BEDMATES.

The other sevens are BEDMATE, DUMBEST, SAUT√ČED, and DEBATES / BESTEAD ("to help; assist; serve; avail").


Scores: 7 apiece

Round 2: S O A C R F U S I

I had SOAR, ORCAS, SCARF, CARIOUS ("decayed"), CURIOS, SCARFS (an acceptable plural form), ACROSS, and CURIOSA ("books, pamphlets, etc., dealing with unusual subjects, especially pornographic ones [...]").

It's fives from the contestants this time, with Robyn having FOCUS and Kylie having SCARF.  David has found the nice seven of FIASCOS.

The other sevens are CUIRASS (a piece of armour) and SARCOUS ("consisting of or relating to flesh or skeletal muscle").  But there is an eight: SCARIOUS ("(of a plant) thin, dry, and membranous, as certain bracts").

Robyn: FOCUS
Kylie: SCARF

Scores: Robyn 7 (12), Kylie 7 (12), me 14

Round 3: Target 174 from 25 100 7 10 6 8

I started with a simple 174 = 100 + 8*10 - 6, then tried to get the factorisation 2*87 to work, eventually getting there with 174 = (8*10 + 7)*(6 - 100/25).

Robyn is two off the pace with 176 -- presumably 100 + 7*10 + 6 -- but Kylie has solved this with the first of the solutions that I listed.  Lily says that she took a bit of a scenic route with her solution of 174 = (10 - 8)*100 - 25 - (7 - 6).

Robyn: 176
Kylie: 174
Me: 174
Lily: 174

Scores: Robyn 7 (12), Kylie 17 (22), me 24

First break: ROLL VASE ("To sum up: Work clothes")

Overall, those would be OVERALLS.

David's talk is about the first modern crossword, from 1913 (although back then, it was called a word cross).

Round 4: R E A N P G I R S

I had NEAR, RANGE, REARING, SPEARING, and SPARRING.  After time I noted another eight of EARRINGS.

Robyn has REAPING for seven, but Kylie has chanced the eight of REAPINGS.  David checks the dictionary, and REAPING does get a separate mention and so REAPINGS is valid.  A risky move that paid off, and that puts Kylie 18 points ahead.  David has gone with SPARRING for his eight.

The other eights in this mix are GRAINERS (possibly from the sense of GRAIN of "to paint in imitation of the grain of wood, stone, etc."), SPRINGER / RESPRING, and RESPRANG.


Scores: Robyn 7 (12), Kylie 25 (30), me 32

Round 5: D J G U O E N T C


Kylie has JUDGE for five, but Robyn's six turns out not to be -- she realises that she miscounted and actually had a five.  That is unfortunate -- she needed a comeback.  David has gone with the seven of JOUNCED.

That's all the sevens listed.  The other sixes are JOUNCE, COGENT, ECONUT ("Colloquial a person who is deeply concerned with ecology and environmental issues"), JOCUND ("Poetic cheerful; merry; gay; blithe; glad"), and DOCENT ("a guide, as in a zoo, museum, etc., often a volunteer with some training").

Robyn: [invalid]
Kylie: JUDGE

Scores: Robyn 7 (12), Kylie 25 (35), me 39

Round 6: Target 509 from 75 50 9 8 8 9

Oh, dear, I got completely lost on this one.  Making the target as 500 + 9 is completely obvious, but for some reason I blanked on how to satisfactorily make a 500.  Then I also overlooked 525 - 8 - 8, and ended up wandering all the way to 600, which was only good enough to get me to two away with 511 = 8*(75 - 9) - 8 - 9.  After time I looked again at 500 + 9 and finally saw the obvious 509 = (9 + 8/8)*50 + 9.  Oh, dear, that was a very bad miss.

Robyn has 511, so at least I was not the only one, but Kylie has solved this with 509 = 50*9 + 75 - 8 - 8.  Lily went with the solution that I found after time.

There is only one other solution: 509 = (9*9 - 8)*8 - 75.

Robyn: 511
Kylie: 509
Me: 511
Lily: 509

Scores: Robyn 7 (12), Kylie 35 (45), me 39

Second break: SO TEAPOT ("A dirt-cheap feed")

Referring to the earth that often adorns POTATOES.

Round 7: D H C O A E T F A

Robyn is very far behind, and needs a full monty from this mix to stay in touch.  It's hardly promising on that front, however.  I had CODA, ACHED, and CATHODE.  After time I found another seven of FATHEAD.

The contestants have both found COATED for six, and that is game to Kylie.  David has gone with the seven of CATHEAD; he says that it is another name for the goat's head (a plant that got a mention in episode 175), but that sense is only as two words: CAT HEAD.  The single-word CATHEAD is actually "Nautical a projecting timber or beam near the bow, to which the anchor is hoisted".

That is all the sevens listed.  The other sixes are CHAFED, DETACH, FACADE, HAFTED, and CHAETA ("a bristle or seta, especially in annelid worms").


Scores: Robyn 7 (18), Kylie 35 (51), me 46

Round 8: Target 358 from 25 100 5 3 5 9

The target is 350 + 8, but I overlooked the method of getting to 350 while keeping the 5 and 3 aside.  Instead, I worked down from 375 with a little tweaking -- the offset of 17 looks a little troublesome, but it is 3*9 - 5 - 5.  Putting that together gave me 358 = 3*(100 + 25 - 9) + 5 + 5.

After time I realised that 17 is also 9 + 5 + 3, finding 358 = 5*(100 - 25) - 9 - 5 - 3.  And then I went a little further afield to find another solution of 358 = (9 - 5)*(100 - 5) - 25 + 3.

Robyn is seven away with 365, but Kylie has got to just one away with 359 = 3*100 + 25 + 5*5 + 9.  Lily has found the solution that I mentioned missing at the beginning: 358 = (5 + 9)*25 + 5 + 3.  Very nice!

Robyn: 365
Kylie: 359
Me: 358
Lily: 358

Scores: Robyn 7 (18), Kylie 35 (58), me 56


I avoided the -NESS red herring and was fortunate enough to quickly spot the answer of PASSENGER.  Robyn managed to spot it after ten seconds.

Robyn: PASSENGER (10s)
Kylie: [no answer]

Scores: Robyn 7 (28), Kylie 35 (58), me 66

The night was all Kylie's, after those first two rounds.  She demonstrated rather more comfort with the numbers than Robyn, taking 27 unanswered points there.  Some good word-finding pushed her margin up beyond that, despite Robyn solving the conundrum.  She won't have enough time left to make it into the finals, so the leaderboard is now solidified.

1 comment:

Mike Backhouse said...

7*25=175 1 off
5*(100-25-3)=360 (2 off)