Monday, 28 November 2016

Ep 207: Hugh Davidson, Gabrielle Abel (October 24, 2016; originally aired May 17, 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.

Hugh Davidson gets his turn in the champion's seat tonight, and we find out that Hugh used to play A-grade competition table tennis in Geelong, back when he was in high school.  Richard asks how one trains for table tennis, and Hugh goes bizarrely off on a tanget saying that it's a weird sport that attracts weird people.  Did part of the conversation get snipped?  That made no sense as a response.

Tonight's challenger is Gabrielle Abel, an award-winning mechanic.  Richard asks how that came about, and Gabrielle responds that it was during her apprenticeship (which she entered at what she describes as "quite an older age").  Her employer suggested that she enter for the award, so she did, and she says that it was mostly about being a good ambassador for the trade and the industry.  (I'm not sure if this is her downplaying her abilities or not; it originally came across to me that way, but on reflection I am rather less certain of that interpretation.)

Gabrielle's award, incidentally, was the 2006 WA Motor Apprentice of the Year.  I can also find a suggestion that she received an RAC Pre-Apprentice of the Year award, although I'm not able to track down more information on that.  Earlier this year, She Skills had a post about Gabrielle.

Hugh started off by overreaching, trying an invalid nine in the first round.  That gave Gabrielle a good lead, but Hugh won the next two rounds (aided by an invalid answer from Gabrielle to the first numbers round) to take a slender lead into the first break.  The contestants shared the points in the following three rounds, and the match had the makings of a close game.  But Hugh found the better answer in round seven, and then solved the target in round eight to give him a winning margin going into the conundrum.  He did well to solve that, too, winning with 51 points to 22.

Round 1: I A E B R O N T C

Hugh is still awfully fond of the vowels, but fortunately stops at four in what looks like a good mix.  I had BEAR, BARON, BARONET, and REACTION / CREATION.

Gabrielle has REACTION for eight, but Hugh thinks that he has a nine.  Once he says that I look at the mix again and see that I missed CARBONITE.  Scorewise, that's not a problem, since I know from past experience that it is not valid, but I'm disappointed that I did not even see it.  That was good vision from Hugh, who found it after only seven seconds (Richard says ten seconds later, but by my reckoning he was done before the eighth second), but it does not work out well for him.  He points out correctly that it is a word from the Star Wars movies, but fictional words are not always listed in the dictionary.  So Gabrielle gets the points.

David also chose REACTION as his answer, noting that it has an anagram of CREATION.

The remaining eights are OBTAINER / REOBTAIN / BARITONE, BORACITE (a mineral), and BACTERIN ("a vaccine prepared from dead or attenuated bacteria").

Hugh: [invalid -- CARBONITE]
Gabrielle: REACTION

Scores: Hugh 0, Gabrielle 8, me 8

Round 2: L G A E F S U A T

I had GALE, LEAF, and FLAGS.  A tough mix, but I should have done better -- after time I found the sixes of AGATES and FLUTES, and then the seven of SULFATE.

Gabrielle has SLATE for five, but Hugh has done well to find FAULTS for six.  That narrows the gap to just two points, and is a good recovery after the previous round.  David notes another six of GATEAU (the plural form is listed as GATEAUX only), but has then found SULFATE for seven.

SULFATE is the only seven, and the best to be done.  There's various other sixes, of which I'll just mention SALUTE.

Gabrielle: SLATE

Scores: Hugh 6, Gabrielle 8, me 8

Round 3: Target 836 from 10 2 4 3 8 4

Hugh continues his set of interesting number choices from the last game, taking the ratpack again.  As I've mentioned before, a good technique with these mixes is to divide by the largest available number and see where that gets you.  In this case, the target is near 10*84, and it's not too hard to turn that into 4 away with 840 = 10*((2*3 + 4)*8 + 4).  There's also a better route to the 84 that gets one to just two away with 838 = (4 + 3)*(8 + 4)*10 - 2.

But I did not even see either of those, as for some reason I first looked at dividing by the 8.  The target is near 8*104, and I knew that 104 is 8*13.  Putting those together, the leftover 4 was precisely the required value, giving the solution 836 = 8*2*4*(10 + 3) + 4.

The contestants are both six off the target with 830; Hugh's answer was 830 = ((4 + 4 + 2)*8 + 3)*10.  When Gabrielle is called upon to give her answer, she indicates that she has made a mistake.  I hope it wasn't a case of her finding 840 and accidentally declaring 830 after Hugh did so.  Whatever the reason, Hugh has now taken the lead as a result.

Lily describes this list as brutal, and says that she could not do much better.  For my scoring purposes, I am going to assume that she got to 840; clearly she did not solve it, anyway.  (Looking at the solo totals at the end, I really wish that I could score her as an 830, since those two points matter.  Oh, well.)

There are three other solutions, all arising from noticing that the target is 11*76.  The first is 836 = (8 + 3)*(2*4*10 - 4), and the second is essentially the same, formed by swapping the 8 and 2*4.  The remaining solution pushes the factor of 4 around, making the target as 44*19 with 836 = (4*10 + 4)*(2*8 + 3).  Quite the interesting round!

Hugh: 830
Gabrielle: [invalid -- 830]
Me: 836

Scores: Hugh 6 (11), Gabrielle 8, me 18

First break: FIRE IRON ("Not as good")

Something that is not as good might be said to be INFERIOR.

David's talk is about the terms raising Cain and mark of Cain.  He points out the coincidence of talking about Cain while one of the contestants is named Abel.

Round 4: Y C O N E S I A D

I had CONE, CONEY (also CONY, another name for a rabbit), CONES, CONEYS, SECONDI (plural of SECONDO: "the second or lower part in a duet, especially in piano duets"), DEACONS, and DIOCESAN / OCEANIDS (OCEANID: "an ocean nymph").  After time I spotted another eight of CYANIDES.

Both contestants have gone with DEACONS for seven, while David continues the religious theme with his eight of DIOCESAN.

That's all the eights listed.  The other sevens are OCEANID, CYANIDE, CYANIDS (CYANID being a variant of CYANIDE), CANDIES, ANODISE, CODEINS (CODEIN being a variant spelling of CODEINE), CODEIAS (CODEIA also being another name for CODEINE), ACINOSE ("consisting of acini", which are (in one definition) the small parts of a compound fruit like a blackberry or mulberry), ACNODES (ACNODE: "Geometry a node [...] at which the tangents to two curves are imaginary and distinct"), SYCONIA (plural of SYCONIUM: "a multiple fruit developed from a hollow fleshy receptacle containing numerous flowers, as in the fig"), and SYNODIC ("relating to a conjunction, or to two successive conjunctions of the same stars, planets, etc.").

Gabrielle: DEACONS

Scores: Hugh 6 (18), Gabrielle 8 (15), me 26

Round 5: R S L O E M D U I

I had ROLES, MOLDERS, MOULDERS, and SOREDIUM ("an asexual reproductive unit of a lichen [...]").

Gabrielle has MODULES for seven, matched by Hugh with his choice of MOUSIER.  David has to check it, of course, but it is valid.  David has found the eight of MOULDERS.

David has been lamenting the lack of full monties so far this series, but this round could have been the one he was looking for.  The missed nine is LEMUROIDS (LEMUROID being both an adjective meaning "lemur-like" and a noun equivalent to "lemur").  The other eights are LEMUROID, SMOULDER / REMOULDS, MOULDIER, MISRULED, DIMEROUS ("consisting of or divided into two parts"), and EMULSOID ("a sol in which the disperse phase is a liquid"; here "sol" means "a colloidal suspension of a solid in a liquid").

Gabrielle: MODULES

Scores: Hugh 6 (25), Gabrielle 8 (22), me 34

Round 6: Target 520 from 100 25 3 9 7 9

Gabrielle goes for the family mix, but gets a rather difficult one.  Getting close is not too hard -- I wrote down the fallback 521 = 7*(100 - 25) - 3 - 9/9 -- but finding an offset of 5 is hard.  We can make a 5 as 9 + 3 - 7, but that seems to use up too many useful numbers.

Neither contestant was able to get anywhere with this, which does surprise me -- there's many findable ways to get to 525, let alone closer.  Maybe they were trying too hard to reach the target exactly?

Lily has done exceptionally well to solve this, and she starts out by making a 5.  I'd looked at that a certain amount and not been able to get anywhere with it during time, but with that hint and another minute or two of thought I finally found her solution: 520 = (9 - (7 - 3))*(100 + 9) - 25.  Oh, that is excellently done!

There's only one other solution: 520 = (100 - 3*9)*7 + 9.

Hugh: [no answer]
Gabrielle: [no answer]
Me: 521
Lily: 520

Scores: Hugh 6 (25), Gabrielle 8 (22), me 41

Second break: MINOR GAS ("It's life, Jim, but not as we know it")

That life being an ORGANISM.

Round 7: E O E B P I A T M

Gah, always with those vowels, and especially the fifth vowel before even finding out what the consonants are like.  I really dislike that selection approach from Hugh.  Anyway, I had BEEP, OPIATE, and EPITOME.

Gabrielle has been limited to BOAT for six, while Hugh has found OPIATE for six.  David mentions OPTIMA as another six, but has also found EPITOME for seven.

EPITOME is the only seven.  The other sixes are BOATIE, BITMAP, MATIPO (a type of tree), and METOPE ("Architecture one of the square spaces, either decorated or plain, between triglyphs in the Doric frieze").

Gabrielle: BOAT

Scores: Hugh 6 (31), Gabrielle 8 (22), me 48

Round 8: Target 881 from 100 25 2 7 9 4

Gabrielle is 9 points behind, so she cannot afford to concede points to Hugh in this round.  She chooses the family mix again, and gets a much more approachable target.  The standard method says to make this as 875 + 4 + 2, and I soon had 881 = 9*100 - 25 + 4 + 2.  I also noticed that the offset of 81 was 9*9, leading to an alternative answer of 881 = 9*(100 + 7 + 2) - 4*25.  After time I noted down two other solutions: 881 = 2*4*(100 + 7) + 25 and 881 = 7*(100 + 25) + 4 + 2.

Gabrielle is a bit far off the pace with 888, which I'll have to guess was 2*4*100 + 9*7 + 25.  It looks like she is not that comfortable with getting higher and subtracting, as starting with 9*100 always looks far more useful.  That's bad news for her, as Hugh has solved this using the first of the solutions that I found, and will now win the game.  That was also Lily's approach.

Hugh: 881
Gabrielle: 888
Me: 881
Lily: 881

Scores: Hugh 16 (41), Gabrielle 8 (22), me 58


A tricky one, I think.  It took me a few seconds to find the answer, and Hugh just pipped me to the buzzer with the correct answer of PROMENADE.

Hugh: PROMENADE (5s)
Gabrielle: [no answer]
Me: PROMENADE (5.1s)

Scores: Hugh 26 (51), Gabrielle 8 (22), me 58

The game was close going into the second break, but then Hugh shut out Gabrielle in the last three rounds to finish rather far ahead.  On the other hand, Gabrielle only managed to outdo Hugh in the first round where he reached too far with the invalid CARBONITE, so you'd certainly have to say that Hugh was the deserving winner her.  I just hope that he cuts back on the vowels next game.


Mike Backhouse said...

BANTER (blew that one)
(8+4)*((4+3)*10)-2=838 (2 off and went over)
(7-3)*(100+25)+9+9=518 (2 off)
TOMB (loved EPITOME Geoff)

Geoff Bailey said...

Yes, CANDIES is fine (I did put it in the list), both as a verb and a noun. Nice work to spot MOULDIER! Also some pretty good numbers results from you tonight, so well done.