Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Ep 208: Hugh Davidson, Amrit Singh (October 25, 2016; originally aired May 18, 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 returns for his third night, and Richard returns to the topic of Hugh's radio work, asking him how many programs he is putting to air at the moment.  Hugh responds that he is doing two shows a week at the moment -- a live performance show on Tuesdays, and the piano show on Saturdays.  Hugh would love to work in radio in the future, and particularly for one of the national broadcasters like the ABC or SBS.

Facing Hugh tonight is Amrit Singh, an IT professional who describes his greatest achievement as bungee jumping off the Auckland bridge.  Richard asks Amrit whether he can describe what it is like to bungee jump.  Amrit says that it is a pretty scary experience, and to him personally it was quite fulfilling.  The worst moment was when he had to step out and just jump... they counted him down, and that was the scariest part.  After that it was great.

Hugh starts out with a pair of seven-letter words, while Amrit is unable to match him.  Neither could make headway on the first numbers round, but thereafter it all goes Hugh's way.  He picks up points in all the remaining rounds, including the conundrum, and Amrit was only able to get on the scoring board in the last numbers round.  It's a very one-sided affair, with Hugh winning 62 to 10.

Round 1: O E S K I A L R T

I had OAKS, ALIKE, ISOLATE, RETAILS, TAILORS, STARLIKE, and was rightly dubious about ISOLATER (not valid).  After time I noted another seven of TROIKAS.

Amrit has TRIALS for six, but Hugh has found REALIST for seven to take the early lead.  David found STALKER, and then mixed in the I to make STARLIKE.  He does say that this was with the help of the dictionary, so I shall feel slightly smug about knowing it was valid already.

STARLIKE is the only eight (the Macquarie does list STALKY, but not STALKIER*), and the best to be done.


Scores: Hugh 0 (7), Amrit 0, me 8

Round 2: F C P E O U D S E

I had COPE, COUPE, wondered about COUPED (not valid), and FOCUSED.

It's sevens from the contestants, with Hugh finding FOCUSED while Amrit goes with SOURCED.  But that uses an R that is not present -- presumably it was the P that he mistook for an R, whether on the board or in his writing.  David has also found FOCUSED, pointing out that it is acceptable with either a single or a double S.

FOCUSED is the only seven.  The sixes are COUPES, DEFUSE, DEPOSE / SPEEDO (not the swimwear, but colloquial for a speedometer) / EPODES (EPODE: "a kind of lyric poem [...]"), DEUCES / SEDUCE / EDUCES (EDUCE: "to draw forth or bring out; elicit; develop"), PSEUDO ("a person who pretends to be what he or she is not [...]"), ESCUDO (former currency of Portugal or Chile), CUSPED, and FESCUE (any of several types of grass).

Amrit: [invalid -- SOURCED]

Scores: Hugh 7 (14), Amrit 0, me 15

Round 3: Target 514 from 7 9 8 1 8 3

I was doing the usual pre-multiplication when the numbers went up, and I am rather familiar with 7*8*9 = 504.  When the target was so near to that I had most of the work done already, giving me 514 = 7*8*9 + 8 + 3 - 1.  After time I looked at working down from 9*8*8 = 576 and so found 514 = 9*(8*8 - 7) + 1.

I'm glad that Hugh continues to choose six small, which is probably my favourite of the choices (although sadly also the one which is least often solveable).  However, neither he nor Amrit have been able to make any headway.  Which I guess is a decent result from his point of view, if he expects to be doing better on the letters (as he probably does at this point).  He describes it as brutal, although I think that rather overstates things.

Lily has found a very interesting solution: (8*7 + 3 - 1)*9 - 8.

Hugh: [no answer]
Amrit: [no answer]
Me: 514
Lily: 514

Scores: Hugh 7 (14), Amrit 0, me 25

First break: SPACE RAN ("Helps control sugar from the inside")

That is the function of the PANCREAS.

David's talk is about mesmerism.  Toward the end of the talk he pretends to hypnotise Richard using his pen, so that Richard should cluck like a chicken when David finds a nine-letter word.  There's three rounds left for that to perhaps happen.

Round 4: N A H B I T R E L

I had HABIT, TRAIN, RETINA, INHALER, and RETINAL.  After time I noted down another seven of RELIANT.

Amrit has HALTER for six, but Hugh has again managed better with his choice of BLITHER (he pronounces that as in the sense of "more blithe").  David has found the lovely eight of HIBERNAL ("of or relating to winter; wintry").

HIBERNAL is the only eight.  The other sevens are LATRINE / RATLINE ("Nautical any of the small ropes or lines which traverse the shrouds horizontally, serving as steps for going aloft") / TRENAIL (variant spelling of TREENAIL: "a cylindrical pin of hard word for fastening together timbers in ships, etc."), BLATHER, ENTHRAL, HAIRNET, HERNIAL, HALBERT (variant spelling HALBERD), and LIBRATE ("oscillate; sway") / TRIABLE.


Scores: Hugh 14 (21), Amrit 0, me 32

Round 5: A M O S E P I R T

I had SOMA ("the body of an organism as contrasted with its germ cells"), POEMS, PIRATES, IMPORTS, was correct to reject the American spelling IMPOSTER, and PRIMATES.  After time I found two other eights: ATOMISER / AMORTISE.

In what is becoming rather a trend, Amrit has six again with MISTER while Hugh has seven with PIRATES.  David has found PRIMATES for eight, and mentions how difficult Hugh's fondness for vowels is making things.  I don't think this was the right mix to complaing about that, although I do agree in general that he takes too many vowels.

The remaining eight here is ATROPISM ("the morbid state induced by atropine").


Scores: Hugh 14 (28), Amrit 0, me 40

Round 6: Target 127 from 25 100 7 7 10 4

A low target, but it's still a little tricky to make the required offset of 2.  I went with 127 = 100 + 25 + (10 + 4)/7, and after time noted an alternative of 127 = 100 + 25 + 10 / (4 + 7/7).  Also after time, I tried for 10*12 + 7, finding 127 = 4*(7 - 100/25)*10 + 7.

Amrit is three away with 130, which is rather puzzling to me -- even just 100 + 25 is better.  Hugh has got to just one off with 126 = 100 + 25 + 7/7.  Lily acknowledges that this was a tricky one, and has gone with the same solution that I used.

Hugh: 126
Amrit: 130
Me: 127
Lily: 127

Scores: Hugh 14 (35), Amrit 0, me 50

Second break: COOK AJAR ("Works at a station")

That would be a JACKAROO.

Round 7: O U E N G B D C N

After the third letter, both Lily and David get in on commenting about Hugh already taking many vowels.  Hugh seems to take that to heart, taking consonants thereafter.  I have to say that I don't like this behaviour from the hosts; a contestant should not feel pressured to choose a mix that they may not be comfortable with.  (Even if I do think that it's generally not so good to take that many vowels.)  I'd certainly not object to a fourth vowel here, for instance, although it is unlikely to help much.

Anyway, I had GONE, BOUND, and BOUNCED.

Amrit has BUDGE for five, while Hugh has found BOUNCED for seven.  David has gone with DUNGEON as his choice.

The remaining sevens are UNBONED / BOUNDEN ("morally obligatory (only in the phrase bounden duty)").  That's a very odd situation -- the Macquarie is essentially saying that it only occurs as part of the term BOUNDEN DUTY, but does not have an entry for that and instead lists BOUNDEN alone.  It thus is valid, even though it is only ever used in a longer term.

Amrit: BUDGE

Scores: Hugh 21 (42), Amrit 0, me 57

Round 8: Target 667 from 100 50 2 5 7 7

Amrit sticks with the family mix, which does look like his best chance of finally getting on the scoreboard.  The offset from 700 is 33, which is 7*5 - 2, and I went with the tweaked version: 667 = 7*(100 - 5) + 2.  I also looked at working up from 650 to get 667 = 7*100 - 50 + 2*5 + 7.

Both contestants have solved this, and Amrit must be relieved to have scored some points at last.  His solution was 667 = 100*7 - 7*5 + 2.  There's a bit of confusion in the explanation which causes Lily to write down an incorrect answer, which was not caught, but it's clear that he knew what he was doing and Lily has understood, even if she does not get it down correctly.  Hugh has gone for the approach of my second solution, although he expresses it slightly differently.

No indication as to what Lily did, but it's safe to assume that she solved this, and I'd guess using either the solution that Amrit had or the tweaked version that I went with.

Hugh: 667
Amrit: 667
Me: 667
Lily: 667

Scores: Hugh 31 (52), Amrit 10, me 67


Well, that was an easy conundrum.  I buzzed in instantly with the answer of DEPENDENT, and only just barely beat Hugh to doing so.

Hugh: DEPENDENT (1s)
Amrit: [no answer]

Scores: Hugh 31 (62), Amrit 10, me 77

This was a very consistent game for Hugh, who scored seven points in every letters round and also one numbers round.  Amrit was also consistent, but unfortunately in generally finding a six-letter word.  Hugh was just too good for him tonight, and so gets to the crucial fourth game tomorrow.

1 comment:

Mike Backhouse said...

9*(7*8+1)=513 (1 off)
7*(100-5)+2=667 but went over
x got answer early but rejected it, until after time. Grrr...