Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Ep 192: Kylie Thompson, James Couti (October 4, 2016; originally aired April 26, 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 Kylie Thompson, and we find out that she is very much into jewellery making and beading.  She likes to get creative when she has some spare time, and make pieces for herself or friends and family.  Kylie's mother is also very much into those two activities also, and they've often talked about how they'd love to open a bead cafe where they could have a coffee and teach people how to bead.

Tonight's challenger is James Couti, a paramedic student.  That was a change of direction for James; he started out in architecture, since all through years 10, 11, 12 that was what he wanted to do.  But then he got involved in lifesaving and decided that he wanted to move into emergency health; thus the paramedic study.  James' eventual aim is to get into the air ambulance, but he says that is a long way off.

The game started off quietly enough, with fives and sixes in a couple of shared rounds.  James struck first blood with the numbers, solving a target that flummoxed Kylie.  Another shared round followed, then he extended his lead to sixteen points when Kylie erred in round five.  Kylie pulled back some ground in the next numbers round, and went into the second break a tantalising eleven points behind.

After the break, James handled a fertile mix better to pull away once more, and then chose a difficult numbers mix.  Kylie needed to solve it exactly in order to stay in contention, but the target was unreachable and that meant victory for James.  Neither could solve the conundrum -- both buzzed in with invalid answers -- and James finished the winner by eleven points, 40 to 29.

I had an excellent game tonight; optimal, even.  That included one round where I managed to find a better option than David, so I have finally gained that elusive solo victory -- only the second time that I have done so this series.  Not only that, but there were two full monties on offer today so I also (I think) registered my personal high score.  All in all, a very enjoyable game for me.

Round 1: G L E A C N O B E


The contestants have each found GLOBE for five, while David has easily settled on CONGEAL for seven.

I was surprised that the Macquarie does not have ENGLOBE, which makes CONGEAL the only seven.  The other sixes are BEACON, BEAGLE, BANGLE, BELONG, BEGONE, ENABLE / BALEEN, ENCAGE, ENLACE, and CONGEE.

Kylie: GLOBE
James: GLOBE

Scores: Kylie 0 (5), James 0 (5), me 7

Round 2: O E N R A B T I S

I had ROAN, BARON, BARONET, BARITONE, and the S obligingly appeared to give BARITONES / OBTAINERS / REOBTAINS.  I also noted some familiar eights of NOTARISE / NOTARISE / SEÑORITA, and after time added NIOBATES to that set.

It's sixes from the contestants, with Kylie having BANTER while James has BRAINS.  David points out that Kylie could have added an S for BANTERS, but has found the three nines I mentioned above.  At the end of the show he points out that there is even a fourth: BOTANISER (BOTANISE: "to study plants").

That's all the nines listed.  The other eights are BOTANISE / BOTANIES / OBEISANT, OBTAINER / REOBTAIN, BANISTER, BARONIES, BORNITES (BORNITE being a mineral), and TABORINS (TABORIN being a type of small drum).


Scores: Kylie 0 (11), James 0 (11), me 25

Round 3: Target 284 from 100 50 10 5 1 2

It seems desirable to make this target as 285 - 1, and I spent a little while distracted by the option of 5*57.  Then I realised that it would be better to make the 285 as 300 - 15, and so found 284 = 2*(100 + 50) - 10 - 5 - 1.  Looking at other approaches, I saw that going via 280 could also work: 284 = 2*(100 + 50 - 10) + 5 - 1.

Kylie has nothing to declare, but James has solved this using the first of the solutions that I found.  That was also Lily's approach.

Kylie: [no answer]
James: 284
Me: 284
Lily: 284

Scores: Kylie 0 (11), James 10 (21), me 35

First break: SLIM RENT ("Historical busker")

A reasonable description of a MINSTREL.

David's talk is about the words woggle and boondoggle.

Round 4: R M V A E A T S O

I had MARE, MATER, MASTER, MAESTRO, and though that I recalled OVERMAST being valid.  It rang enough of a bell that I decided to chance it, and I was very happy when that proved to be the right option.  This word turned up back in episode 78, and means "to provide a ship with masts that are too high or too heavy".

It's sixes again from the contestants, with Kylie having MOVERS and James having STREAM.  David has found MAESTRO for seven.  Ooh!  I perked up a lot at that, as I'm in with a chance at the solo victory now.

The other seven here is SAMOVAR ("a metal urn [...] used in Russia and elsewhere for heating the water for making tea").  There might be another, depending on whether it is considered acceptable to pluralise OMERTA ("the code of silence adhered to by members of the Mafia").


Scores: Kylie 0 (17), James 10 (27), me 43

Round 5: A G F E S R A I N

I had SAGE, RAGES, FEARING, REGAINS, FINGERS, and then a closer look at the -ING options turned up SEAFARING.  Two full monties, yay!

The contestants again have sixes; there's been nothing to separate them on the letters front.  Except that Kylie's answer of FRESIA is not valid -- the correct spelling is FREESIA.  James has the valid RESIGN, and so extends his lead to sixteen points.  David is on track again, finding SEAFARING.

There are no eights to be had; the other sevens are SEARING / ERASING / GAINERS / REGINAS (REGINA: "reigning queen") / SERINGA (a type of tree) / EARINGS (EARING: "a small rope attached to a cringle of a sail and used in reefing, etc."), FRINGES, SANGRIA, FARINAS (FARINA: "flour or meal made from cereal grains [...]"), and AGRAFES (AGRAFE being a variant spelling of AGRAFFE in the sense of "a metal clip used to hold in place the temporary cork used in a champagne bottle during fermentation").

Kylie: [invalid -- FRESIA]

Scores: Kylie 0 (17), James 10 (33), me 61

Round 6: Target 646 from 75 25 7 3 9 5

The standard method was clearly tempting, and once I found my way to 650 the offset of 4 was handily present: 646 = 9*75 - 25 - (7 - 3).

This time it is James who has no answer to declare, while Kylie has got to six away with 652 = (75 + 25)*7 - 9*5 - 3.  Lily demonstrates the solution that I found.

Kylie: 652
James: [no answer]
Me: 646
Lily: 646

Scores: Kylie 0 (22), James 10 (33), me 71

Second break: MEET PEAR ("This one will get under your skin")

That is, it will PERMEATE.

Round 7: E T S O T S I D R

I had TOES, TOTES, DESISTS, STEROIDS, and DOSSIER.  After time I noted another eight of DISTORTS.

Kylie has SORTED for six, while James has found STRIDES for seven.  I was on tenterhooks here as to whether David could have found a nine from this set of letters; if not, I was in excellent shape to take the solo victory.  And indeed, he has found STEROIDS and DISTORTS, but nothing longer.

STEROIDS and DISTORTS are the only eights.  The other sevens are STEROID / EDITORS / STORIED / SORTIED / TRIODES (TRIODE: "a radio valve containing three electrodes, usually an anode, a grid, and a cathode"), DISTORT, STORIES / ROSIEST / SORTIES / ROESTIS (ROESTI being a variant spelling of ROSTI) / SORITES / SIROSET ("of or relating to wool garments which have been treated with a chemical solution to render them permanent press"), SITTERS, DOTTERS, DOTTIER, and DISSERT ("Obsolete to discourse on a subject").


Scores: Kylie 0 (22), James 10 (40), me 79

Round 8: Target 577 from 75 50 100 1 9 5

The seven in round one means it's not possible to get to 100, but a score of 99 is still possible.  But James chooses the tough balanced mix, and the numbers are decidedly not promising.  I wrote down a one-off 576 = 9*75 - 100 + 1, but that was the best I could do.  So now I was nervously waiting Lily's result -- if she has found a solution here then my solo victory will vanish away.

Kylie is two away with 575, but James is one closer with 578.  But his answer starts out with 5*100 + 75, and then he realises that he has used the 5 twice.  That error brings Kylie's answer back into contention, and she has made no mistake with her answer of 575 = 5*100 + 75.  Which was just what James had started to do, but without the error.

That seven points is not quite enough -- Kylie is eleven points behind going into the conundrum.  Did James consider this when choosing a tough mix?  Sound strategy if so, even if it does probably cost me three points.

The moment of truth has come, and to my relief Lily has been unable to solve this.  She points out that just adding one to Kylie's answer gets to 576, but the target is elusive.  With good reason, as later checking confirms that this target is unreachable.

Kylie: 575
James: [invalid -- 578]
Me: 576
Lily: 576

Scores: Kylie 0 (29), James 10 (40), me 86


I spotted the answer of SENTIMENT in good time, rounding out what was a maximal (arguably optimal, although I'm sure Sam would have beaten me to the conundrum) game.  Hooray!

James buzzes in at 22s with the incorrect TESTAMENT.  A few seconds after time restarted, Kylie buzzed in with the also invalid EMINENTS.

Kylie: [invalid -- EMINENTS (26s)]
James: [invalid -- TESTAMENT (22s)]

Scores: Kylie 0 (29), James 10 (40), me 96

James first took the lead with the first numbers round, but Kylie gained points in the other two numbers rounds to register a slight overall gain on the numbers.  So it was the letters which proved the difference for James, aided by Kylie's invalid declaration in round five.  An eleven-point margin going into the conundrum is obviously nice to have.

I'm super stoked to have played an optimal game, as well as beating David and Lily on the combined totals.  So often when I do manage to get ahead in one facet of the game I end up conceding ground in the other, so I'm glad that I avoided that this time.  I still wish that James had chosen an easier set of numbers in the last letters round, but 96 points might still be a personal record.


Mike Backhouse said...

BOATERS (well done on the full monty Geoff)
(2+1)*(100-5)=285 (1 off)
MASTER and STEAMER after time
(9+1)*50+75=575 (2 off)
x I could tell this looked straightforward but just could not see it...)

Sam G said...

I had a good one here, not sure if I saw it first time around or not.

3. 284 = (100+50-10)*2 + 5 - 1
6. 646 = (75-3)*9 - 7 + 5
8. one off: 576 = 9*75 - 100 + 1
9. SENTIMENT - 3.1s