Thursday, 6 October 2016

Ep 193: James Couti, Andre Sardone (October 5, 2016; originally aired April 27, 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.

James Coutie gets his turn in the champion's seat, for the last game before the finals.  James has just finished his sixth season of lifesaving; he started of with normal lifesaving, then transitioned into teaching it.  He says that he mainly teaches the First Aid Awards now (I'm not sure what that is -- there is a UK organisation by that name, but presumably that is not what is meant), but he also does other things like Emergency Response, where he gets to ride jet skis.

Tonight's challenger is Andre Sardone, a roof plumber and Richard informs us that Andre has turned roof plumbing into a more creative endeavour.  Andre explains that he has always been good at drawing and painting, but about six years ago he decided to create artworks out of Colorbond steel (his chosen material in roof plumbing).  He creates wall-hanging artworks out of it: Like paintings, but instead of painting colours, he cuts shapes and layers them together to create an image.  (Unfortunately, Andre's website seems to be under construction at the time of writing this post, but a few older examples of his art can be found elsewhere, such as on this page.)

Andre bolted to an early lead by finding good seven-letter words in the first two rounds whereas James only managed five-letter words.  A win in the first numbers round from Andre saw him 19 points ahead at the first break.  James rallied a bit in the second third, finding one longer word in round four and then sharing the points in round five.  Andre squashed that recovery by solving the second numbers round, though, and was 22 points ahead at the second break.  That left James needing to outscore Andre on the last letters round, but his five-letter word was not sufficient to the task.  Neither was able to score in the final two rounds, and Andre won, 42 to 13.

Round 1: R P T I A E G F A

I had TRIP, TAPIR, PIRATE, FRIGATE, and rightly rejected PIRATAGE.  After time I noted that a final I instead of the A would have allowed the eight of APERITIF.

James has GRAFT for five, but Andre has found FRIGATE and takes the early lead.  David points out another seven of PARFAIT.

That's both sevens found; the other sixes are GAITER / TRIAGE / TIRAGE ("the act of drawing wine from a bottle"), PARGET ("gypsum or plaster stone"), PRATIE (an Irish term for a potato), and AGRAFE (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").

James: GRAFT

Scores: James 0, Andre 7, me 7

Round 2: R E S T N I U B M

I had REST, STERN, INTERS, UNITERS, TRIBUNES / TURBINES, IMBRUTES (IMBRUTE: "to degrade to the level of a brute") / TERBIUMS, and NUMBERS.  After time I found another pair of eights: TERMINUS / MUNTRIES (plural of MUNTRY, a type of shrub).

Again James has a five (TURNS) while Andre has found a seven (MINUTES).  That's an early fourteen point lead to Andre, and at this rate James is going to need good results from the numbers in order to stay in contention.  David has chosen TURBINES as his answer.

The remaining eights are RESUBMIT and BITUMENS.

James: TURNS

Scores: James 0, Andre 7 (14), me 15

Round 3: Target 873 from 50 75 6 6 4 5

A clear win for the standard method: I put the 6 and 4 aside for the final offset of 2, and was able to get to 875 with the rest.  That gave me 873 = (6 + 5)*75 + 50 - (6 - 4), and this turns out to be the only solution.

James has not been able to get anywhere with this, but Andre has reached seven away with 880 = (6 + 6)*75 - 5*4.  If he had subtracted the 50 and added the 5*4 then he would have been just three away and earned another two points.  As it is, the margin is just under twenty points.

Lily has found the solution.

James: [no answer]
Andre: 880
Me: 873
Lily: 873

Scores: James 0, Andre 7 (19), me 25

First break: ITS FAULT ("Sounds like a grounded musician")

The clue is referring to the "floor" sound of FLAUTIST.

David's talk is about the words syllabus and corriculum.

Round 4: H D E A N I D G M

I had HEAD, HANDED, and HEADING.  After time I noted down a couple of sixes: MAIDEN and ADDING.

Andre has found HANDED for six, but James gets some valuable ground back by finding HEADING for seven.  That was also David's choice.

The remaining seven here is MADDING ("mad; acting as if mad").


Scores: James 7, Andre 7 (19), me 32

Round 5: S T H E O E T L O

I had ETHOS / THOSE, HOSTEL, and TOOTLES.  After time I noted another seven of TELEOST (a type of fish), and another six of SOOTHE.

The contestants have each found six-letter words, with James having SOOTHE while Andre has HOTELS.  We had this precise mix back in episode 142, it turns out.  Back then David noted that LESOTHO was in the mix (although not a valid word), but had not found a seven; this time he has found TOOTLES.

The other sevens are LOTHEST (LOTH being a variant spelling of LOATH) and TOETOES (TOETOE being a New Zealand term for a type of grass).  The other sixes are TOOTLE, TOETOE, SETTLE, LOTTOS, TOOTHS (not a plural, but from a verb form of TOOTH), THOLES (THOLE: "a pin inserted in a boat's gunwale or the like, to act as a fulcrum for the oar") / HELOTS (HELOT: "a serf or slave; a bondman"), and THOLOS (variant spelling of THOLUS: "a circular building or part of one, as a dome, cupola, or lantern").


Scores: James 7 (13), Andre 7 (25), me 39

Round 6: Target 921 from 100 75 4 1 10 2

I started by trying to work up from 900, getting to one away with 922 = (10 - 1)*(100 + 2) + 4, then realised that I should be applying the standard method and making the target as 925 - 4.  That gave me the solution 921 = 10*100 - 75 - 4.  After time I found another route to the target, via 10*92 + 1 with 921 = 10*(100 - 2*4) + 1.

James has ended up one away with 922, which I'll guess was the approach that I tried first, but Andre has solved this using the same solution that I found within time.  That was also Lily's approach.

James: 922
Andre: 921
Me: 921
Lily: 921

Scores: James 7 (13), Andre 17 (35), me 49

Second break: HURT NOSE ("Icehouse's great kind of land")

The clue is referring to the band Icehouse, and their song Great SOUTHERN Land.

Round 7: C R F E I O T R A

I had FIRE, FORCE, EROTIC, EROTICA, knew from past experience that the computer programming term REFACTOR was not listed, CRAFTIER, ERRATIC, and AIRFORCE (not valid -- it is only listed as two words: AIR FORCE).  I was slightly surprised about AIRFORCE not being valid; it's fortunate that I had found CRAFTIER earlier and chosen that!

James need unanswered points here to stay in the game, but his find of TRACE for five leaves him needing Andre to have an invalid answer.  But Andre has found the nice REFRACT for seven, and is now guaranteed to win the game.  David has accurately found the eight of CRAFTIER.

CRAFTIER is the only eight.  The other sevens are CREATOR / REACTOR, CROFTER, CIRRATE ("having CIRRI", which in this context are tendrils), and ROTIFER (a type of microscopic animalcule).

James: TRACE

Scores: James 7 (13), Andre 17 (42), me 57

Round 8: Target 817 from 50 100 25 7 7 4

The offsets are hard to make, so I was forced to settle for one away with 818 = 7*(100 + 25) - 50 - 8.

Andrew has not been able to make progress here, but James has managed to get to four away with 821... or so he declares.  Unfortunately, he has erred in his answer, which starts with (100 + 25)*7, which he says is 825 but is actually 875.  Presumably his remaining step was to subtract the 4 (instead of the 7, strangely); if he had realised his error, he could have recovered by subtracting 50 instead.

Lily has also been limited to one off the target with 818; it turns out that the target is unreachable, so this is the best that can be done.

James: [invalid -- 821]
Andre: [no answer]
Me: 818
Lily: 818

Scores: James 7 (13), Andre 17 (42), me 67


I spotted SATANISTS here, and knew that there was a valid anagram of it.  Not able to recall it offhand, I buzzed in with SATANISTS anyway on the grounds that it was a word and maybe they had made one of their rare errors with a conundrum with more than one solution (there has been at least one instance of that before).  Sadly, SATANISTS is listed only with a capital letter, although SATANIC is lowercase.  Oh, well.  Within the remaining time I did find the answer of ASSISTANT, so I am rightly punished for buzzing in with what I did not think was the answer.

Neither contestant managed to unravel this, so the scores stay as they are.

James: [no answer]
Andre: [no answer]
Me: [invalid -- SATANISTS (9s)]

Scores: James 7 (13), Andre 17 (42), me 67

Andre bolted to a big lead at the start, with James' five-letter words not providing enough of a challenge to him.  The numbers also went Andre's way, and the combination is obviously hard to overcome.  James really needed to find longer words in order to stay in contention, but it was not his night.  Andre found some nice sevens -- I particularly liked REFRACT -- and deservedly won, but we'll have to wait another week or so to see how he continues.

I blew my chance at a maximal game with that foolish conundrum decision.  Bother.  It was still a decent game, so a good note to finish the main rounds of the series on.


Mike Backhouse said...

AFTER and was wondering about the unlikely REGIFT?
TRACER (should have seen CRAFTIER)
(7+4)*(50+25)-7=818 (1 off)

Mike Backhouse said...

I meant to add that I went over slightly in the last numbers game.

Geoff Bailey said...

You were right to avoid REGIFT -- a well-known concept, but not a word in the Macquarie's eyes. (Neither is GIFTER, incidentally.)

Nice work with the numbers, Mike, and some nice words as well.