Saturday, 26 November 2016

Ep 206: James Morris, Hugh Davidson (October 23, 2016; originally aired May 16, 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 James Morris, and we hear that he helps out at sports camps, trying to encourage kids under thirteen to get out and run and enjoy playing sport, to get outdoors into the fresh air and try to get fit.  It's something that he would like to continue to do when he retires from construction.

Tonight's challenger is Hugh Davidson, a freelance sound recordist who also hosts and produces his own community radio show.  That show aired on Radio 3MBS in Melbourne.  He mostly plays old recordings of piano music from the '30s, '40s, and '50s.

It's yet another close game tonight, with the contestants finding equal results in the first two letters rounds.  James gained a small lead from the first numbers round, but a tough letters round that followed saw Hugh equalise.  An invalid word from Hugh let James take the lead once more, then Hugh rallied in the second numbers round to take the lead for the first time in the game.  He extended it in the final letters round, only for James to narrow the margin with the numbers.  Hugh was very slightly ahead going into the conundrum, but that margin was enough to give him victory as neither was able to solve it, leaving the final scoreline as 32 to 30 in his favour.

Round 1: N T G E A I C B F

I had GENT, AGENT, EATING, CABINET, and BEATING.  A bit after time I finally saw the eight of FACETING.

Both contestants have found BEATING for seven.  David also found it, but then managed to spot FACETING for eight.

FACETING is the only eight, and CABINET and BEATING are the only sevens.


Scores: 7 apiece

Round 2: U R V O E O C S M

I had OVER, COVER, COVERS, SOURCE / COURSE, wished that the U had been another E for OVERCOMES, and MOVERS.

It's sixes from the contestants, with James choosing MOVERS while Hugh has found the nice six of MOROSE.  David mentions COVERS as another six, and points out that OVERCOMES was almost available.

Six is the best to be done here, with the others being CURVES, MOUSER (one term for a cat), COMERS, COOERS / ROSCOE (prison colloquial for "a gun"), CEROUS ("containing trivalent cerium"), COMOSE ("hairy"), CORVES (plural of CORF: "a small wagon (formerly a wicker basket) for carrying ore, coal, etc., in mines"), and VOMERS (VOMER: "a bone of the skull in most vertebrates [...]").


Scores: 13 apiece

Round 3: Target 942 from 75 6 3 3 8 4

The nearby multiples of 75 are 12*75 = 900 and 13*75 = 975.  The 13 is expensive to make, so I looked at working up from 900 instead.  The offset of 42 is six away from both 12*3 and 12*4, and so a tweak sorts it out: 936 = (8 + 4)*(75 + 3) + 6.  After time I found another solution using the factorisation 3*314 to get 942 = 3*(4*75 + 8 + 6).

Hugh has not been able to get within range, but James has got to 6 away with 936 = (8 + 4)*75 + (3 + 3)*6.  He was only lacking the tweak for my solution.  Lily has gone with that tweak, but making the 12 differently: 942 = 3*4*(75 + 3) + 6.

James: 936
Hugh: [no answer]
Me: 942
Lily: 942

Scores: James 13 (18), Hugh 13, me 23

First break: RABBI CAR ("Sharply savage")

The "sharply" in the clue is referring to the BARB of BARBARIC.

David's talk is about the term land of nod, and its biblical origins.

Round 4: E P L A I O E F H

Bleah, Hugh likes vowels far too much, especially with these terrible late vowels.  I had PEAL and ELOPE.  I wondered if there might be such a thing as a HALFIE, but I was right to avoid it.  The next consonant would have been a D, allowing HELIPAD for seven.

James has the plaintive four of HELP, while Hugh has done well to find the five of FOLIA (plural of FOLIUM: "a thin leaf-like stratum or layer").  David has found the fives of ELOPE and PHIAL.

PIEHOLE is not in the Macquarie, so five is the best to be done.  The others are ALEPH (the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet) and PILAF.

James: HELP

Scores: James 13 (18), Hugh 18, me 28

Round 5: D N T I U W S A O

I had DINT, UNIT, WINDS, DONUTS, ASTOUND, and noticed SUDATION (an archaic term for sweating) which I knew was in the Scrabble list.  But I correctly recalled that it was not in the Macquarie, and avoided it.  After time I noted down another six of AUDITS.

James has WANDS for five, while Hugh declares SOUNDS for six.  Of course, that uses the S twice and is not valid; he should have gone with WOUNDS instead.  David has gone with ASTOUND for seven.

Seven is the best to be done, with the other being OUTSAID.

James: WANDS
Hugh: [invalid -- SOUNDS]

Scores: James 13 (23), Hugh 18, me 35

Round 6: Target 456 from 5 8 10 4 3 1

Sigh.  I made two silly errors in a row in this round, and ended up without a valid answer for this actually fairly simple target.  My downfall was that I saw immediately that the target was divisible by 6, since both 450 and 6 are.  The cofactor is clearly one more than 450/6, and then confusion set in.  Somehow I ended up dividing by 5 instead, getting 90, and thus tried to make the target as 6*91, which is actually 546, not 456.  I found a satisfying method of doing so as (3*4 + 1)*(5*10 - 8), then checking revealed my error.

Trying to recover, I made a different error -- I divided 450 by 9 this time to get 50, and thus tried to make 6*51 = 306.  I did that with 3*(8/4)*(5*10 + 1), but again checking revealed my error.  I finally realised that I wanted to make 6*76, but then I had run out of time.

Once I had the right factorisation, I pulled out factors of 2 to turn it successively into 12*38 and then 24*19.  This last was approachable, and gave me 456 = (4*5 - 1)*3*8.  It was easy enough once I had the right factorisation; this was just a terrible miss on my part.  A shame, as I do like the six small mix and few contestants are willing to chance it.  Kudos to Hugh for doing so.

Speaking of Hugh, he puts his pen down with ten seconds left on the clock, but has not actually solved this; instead he is one away at 457, beating out James's option of 453.  Hugh's answer is 457 = (8 + 1)*5*10 + 4 + 3.  It's a good answer, but I really don't like giving up on finding better with so much time left on the clock.

Lily has avoided my errors, and found a nice solution using the factorisation 8*57 to get 456 = (5*10 + 4 + 3)*8.

James: 453
Hugh: 457
Me: [no answer]
Lily: 456

Scores: James 13 (23), Hugh 25, me 35

Second break: DIAL DOFF ("This is one special day per year")

That day is DAFFODIL day.

Round 7: K R I E S P O H A

I had RISK, SKIER, SPIKE, was unsure about SPIKER (valid: "a stag with his first set of antlers"), SHAKIER, and APHORISE.

James has SPIKER for six, while Hugh has found SHAKIER for seven.  David has found PORKIES for seven, but then gone one better with APHORISE for eight.

The other sevens are SOAPIER, SHARPIE (a type of boat), SPARKIE, ROSEHIP, and KAROSHI (which I mentioned in episode 204: "(in Japan) death from a heart attack or stroke brought on by the stress of long hours of work and job pressure").


Scores: James 13 (23), Hugh 25 (32), me 43

Round 8: Target 309 from 75 100 25 50 2 4

Hugh shakes things up by taking four large numbers, and so far I like his policy on number selections.  Getting close using 4*75 seemed clear, but an offset of 9 is a bit awkward.  Fortunately I hit upon the idea of making the target as 325 - 16, which played much better with all those even numbers, and so found a solution: 309 = 4*(75 - 2*100/50) + 25.

Hugh is six off the pace with 303, but James has got to three away with 306 = 50*4 + 100 + 2*75/25.  Lily, quite surprisingly, says that she was not able to get much better than 306.  That was very unexpected, and now I am even more vexed about my mental lapse in round six -- if I had solved that, then I would be ahead on the solo scores.

Even more surprisingly, arguably, David pipes up with the news that he has got to 308 with 308 = (100 + 4)*2 + 75 + 25.  It's not often that David beats Lily!  (I don't recall another instance offhand, although there are times that he has found a different solution to hers.)

James: 306
Hugh: 303
Me: 309
Lily: 306
David: 308

Scores: James 13 (30), Hugh 25 (32), me 53


I spotted the answer of FEROCIOUS pretty quickly -- with all those vowels, a -OUS ending was pretty likely.

James needed to solve this, and buzzed in at the 25 second mark with FRICASSEE, but that was clearly not right.  That gave Hugh the win; he had the remaining five seconds to try for the extra points, but was unable to find the answer.

James: [invalid -- FRICASSEE (25s)]
Hugh: [no answer]
Me: FEROCIOUS (1.5s)

Scores: James 13 (30), Hugh 25 (32), me 63

Hugh was probably worried when James buzzed in on the conundrum, and might well have ended up lamenting his invalid answer in round five if James had found the correct answer.  There was a lot of back and forth in the scoring, with James having the better of the numbers while Hugh did just enough more with the letters to get a winning lead.  Either could easily have one this.


Mike Backhouse said...

(4*75+8+6)*3=942 but went over
10*(5*8+4+1)+3=453 (3 off and went over)
4*(75+2)=308 1 off and well done Geoff for beating Lily in this round

Geoff Bailey said...

Thanks, Mike. It surprised me greatly -- it seemed pretty obvious to me at the time.