Monday, 22 August 2016

Ep 155: Rob Hunt, Richard Hartley (August 12, 2016; originally aired Match 4, 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.

I'm still very behind; details to be filled in later.


Ep 154: Greg Beers, Rob Hunt (August 11, 2016; originally aired March 3, 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.

I'm still very behind; details to be filled in later.


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Ep 153: Greg Beers, Glen Chandler (August 10, 2016; originally aired March 2, 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.

I've managed to fall behind yet again, so this is a bare-bones summary to be filled in later.


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Ep 152: Greg Beers, Rosemary Stafford (August 9, 2016; originally aired March 1, 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 Greg Beers, and Richard raises the topic of misadventure during Greg's outback adventures.  Greg relates how three years ago he (and others) were driving up the Innamincka track (maybe he was referring to the Strzelecki Track?); they stopped at a camp site, and he jumped into a natural spring there and dislocated his shoulder.  His wife and friends eventually got into contact with the Flying Doctors, who instructed a local to give Greg and injection of morphine.  Said local's qualifications were that he'd previously injected a camel once.  (Richard interjects that Greg probably did not put up as much argument as the camel.)  Anyway, eight hours later Greg was on the plane and into Whyalla hospital, the shoulder was put back in place, and all was well.

Tonight's challenger is Rosemary Stafford, a public servant for the Department of Justice in the Reporting Services Branch.  This branch deals with recording what happens in the courts -- which is done digitally -- then transcribing that into transcript for the judges and lawyers.


Rosemary took the early lead with a good word in round one, but Greg recovered with points in the next two rounds to be ten points ahead going into the first break.  Rosemary did better in round four, round five was shared, but the numbers were again favourable to Greg.  Rosemary kept her hopes alive by getting the better answer in the last letters round, and got close in the final numbers round.  However, Greg was closer, and that sealed the win for him.  He buzzed in on the conundrum with an incorrect answer, but still had the win, 46 to 20.


Ep 151: Greg Beers, Vikas Ahuja (August 8, 2016; originally aired February 28, 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 Greg Beers' turn in the champion's seat, and he'll be hoping to avoid last week's run of challenger victories.  It's a surprisingly short pre-game chat for him -- Richard informs us that Greg loves to travel to way-out places, and asks how off-road he goes with the four-wheel drive.  Greg responds that he goes for the rough stuff -- it is the most fun.  And that's it from him: A short answer to a longer question.

Tonight's challenger is Vikas Ahuja, a public servant with an engineering degree in computers.  Richard asks Vikas when he discovered that he had a real love of words, and Vikas relates how one of his uncles gave him a word game when he was seven or eight years old, and they loved playing that together.  Vikas adds that he thinks that he gave the same game to his son at a similar age, so this is a good family pastime for them.  He thinks his son has a larger vocabulary, but (as with Kannan from a couple of weeks ago) his son is not old enough to appear on the show.


Greg found the longer word in round one, and again in round two when Vikas fell victim to phantom duplication of a letter.  The first numbers round was easy enough for both to solve, but then Greg just kept on extending his lead, admittedly aided by another invalid word from Vikas in round four.  Greg was 34 points ahead going into the final letters round, meaning that Vikas needed a full monty to even have a chance, but the mix was an unproductive one.  Vikas got some points back in the last numbers game, but Greg solved the conundrum to finish an emphatic victory, 59 to 22.


Monday, 8 August 2016

Weekly summary: Episodes 146 to 150

This has definitely been a better week for me than the previous few.  All scores against the contestants were in the seventies, which is the first time that has happened this series (my solo totals managed it in week three, but I was beaten to the conundrum by one of the contestants).  Tuesday was particularly good, as I had a maximal game that included a word that David did not find, giving me the very rare solo victory.  I managed a tie on Wednesday, too, although that time the game turned out to be just short of optimal.  All in all, a welcome return after the long break.


MonTueWedThuFri
Me7674777270
Champion10120200
Challenger417103413
David + Lily7873778674
Me (solo)7674777270


The challengers won every game this week, so there was a lot of turnover.  Kannan's run came to an end on Monday, leaving him at five wins and displacing Brett from fifth place.  We're at the halfway mark (a little over it, since there are only 43 episodes left before the finals).

Barry Harridge755145543959323
Matthew Thomason466449445265310
Oli Bryant714660555432318
Jack Dell5973405036258
Kannan Sethuraman4253454129210
Brett Chaiyawat2559284234188
Samuel Hastings46585824186
Avi Chanales53374330163


Another week with little to report on this front -- there was just the one full monty on Thursday.  Lily continues her excellent solving form.

MonTueWedThuFri
Full Monties11
Missed Full Monties0
Tough Numbers0
Impossible Numbers0


This was a much better week for the maxima, with Tuesday's maximal game being the highlight.  A couple of oversights on the numbers at the end of the week, but the letters performance is getting better.


MonTueWedThuFri
Maximums: L35433
N33322
C11101


Contestants sorted by average score:


TotalGamesAverage
Barry Harridge323653.83
Oli Bryant318653.00
Matthew Thomason310651.67
Jack Dell258551.60
Jason Dunn102251.00
Colwyn Buckland51151.00
Brian Morgan151350.33
Luke Brattoni149349.67
Raf Goodens98249.00
Gary Beer49149.00
Ryan Turk48148.00
Samuel Hastings186446.50
Daniel Drumm92246.00
Jonathan Goodman44144.00
Kannan Sethuraman210542.00
Kathryn James123341.00
Jodi Knight82241.00
Avi Chanales163440.75
Margaret Frangos79239.50
Peter Stephenson78239.00
Brett Chaiyawat188537.60
Janine Huan37137.00
Aram Kalyanasundaram36136.00
Luke Warden72236.00
David Waddell71235.50
Greg Beers*35135.00
Damien Chua35135.00
Jayden Spudvilas-Powell34134.00
Michael Bakker66233.00
Nathan Boadle33133.00
Cameron Ling32132.00
Neil McInnes32132.00
Ben Ripley32132.00
Felix Johnson95331.67
Mike Vitale63231.50
John Marsiglio31131.00
Bryce Lawrence30130.00
Matt Pitcher29129.00
Anna Gunn27127.00
Nicky Henderson24124.00
Louise Kuchmar23123.00
Rob Carter20120.00
Liam Murphy18118.00
Basil Theophilos18118.00
Seb Dworkin17117.00
Frank Rice15115.00
Vanessa Rule15115.00
Dane Watkins15115.00
Susan Bee13113.00
Mali Konda13113.00
Rhys McCaig13113.00
Matthew Ball12112.00
Matt Bolton12112.00

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Ep 150: Margaret Frangos, Greg Beers (August 5, 2016; originally aired February 25, 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.


Margaret Frangos returns for her second night, and Richard says that there is a connection between Margaret and the Macquarie dictionary that David is using.  As Margaret explains, she studied English linguistics at Macquarie University in the late 1970's, and had to do a paper at the time about what should and should not go into a dictionary; it was very much on everyone's mind then -- the first edition was published in 1981, and would have been in the works for some considerable time.  Margaret adds that two of the lecturers that she had were very involved in the executive committee that was formed to put the dictionary together.  Richard suggests that Margaret was thus part of the genesis of the show's reference book; Margaret would like to be able to say that is true, but does not think that much of her paper was used.

As an aside, Margaret was somewhat hoarse during this episode; it's a good thing this was the last episode of the day.

Tonight's challenger is Greg Beers, a customs broker and very keen coin collector.  Greg likes to collect Australian coins, particularly the older ones but also the newer issues.  He has always found it fascinating that a coin can be worth a lot more than its face value, in some cases many of thousands of dollars.  He even has some of those, but mainly they are worth a lot less than that.


The game was a little low-scoring, and that's been a theme all this week. The contestants started out with a pair of five-letter words, then Margaret took the lead in round two.  Greg struck back immediately with points in round three, going into the break one point ahead.  Another shared round followed, then Greg did well to find a good answer in round five and move seven points ahead.  The scores should have been tied going into the second break, but an error from Margaret in the seoncd numbers round meant that Greg moved fourteen points ahead instead.  The next two rounds produced no swing, and Greg was safe going into the conundrum.  Margaret managed to solve it, but the damage from her error in round six was too much: Greg won the game, 35 to 31.