New game 57 is now up.
Round 1: S L O I N I M P O
I had SOIL, LIONS, and then stalled for a bit. Once the P went up I hoped for a final O; fortunately it arrived and I had IMPLOSION for nine. Always nice to start with a full monty!
The next best is the single seven of PLOSION ("Phonetics the audible end of a stop consonant at break of closure"). The sixes are POISON, SIMOON (variant spelling of SIMOOM: "a hot, suffocating sand-laden wind of the deserts of Arabia, Syria, Africa, etc."), and possibly POLIOS.
My selection: IMPLOSION
Round 2: R S R T E E U G R
I had REST, wondered about RESTER (not valid), GESTURE, an uncertain GESTURER, RESURGE, wondered about RESURGER (not valid), and REGRETS. I decided to chance GESTURER and that turned out to be the right decision.
That is the only eight, and the only other seven is URETERS (URETER: "a muscular duct or tube conveying the urine from a kidney to the bladder or cloaca").
My selection: GESTURER
Round 3: Target 116 from 100 25 8 9 2 8
Oh, dear. I wrote down 116 = 100 + 2*8 and 116 = 100 + 25 - 9, then took a break for the remaining time.
My selection: 116 = 100 + 2*8
Round 4: F S L T E A E T A
I had FELTS, FLATS, TEASEL (any one of a few herbs of the same genus), regretted that the final vowel was not an O for FALSETTO, and ESTATE. I also amused myself by noting SEATTLE (listed, actually, but with a capital letter as expected) and FELTEST as a gamble that I did not take.
There are some valid sevens; FETTLES is one I feel I should have seen (FETTLE as a verb: "Mechanics to remove the roughness from (a casting) and to verify that it is free from flaws, by hanging in chains and striking with a hammer). The others all take advantage of the single-syllable rule for adjectives and are of debatable validity if not for that: LEFTEST / FELTEST (I should have risked it; FELT as an adjective: "relating to or made of felt") and FEATEST (FEAT having an archaic adjected sense of "apt; skilful; dexterous").
My selection: ESTATE
Round 5: B G A O S U N D O
I had BAGS, BONUS, and ABOUNDS. I also wondered if there was such a thing as a SANDBUG, but it seems not.
The other seven is BANDOGS (BANDOG: "a dog bred as a guard dog, especially from such breeds as mastiff, Rottweiler, pit bull terrier, etc.").
My selection: ABOUNDS
Round 6: Target 116 from 100 4 3 9 6 10
Oh, dear, the same target again and just as trivial. This time I wrote down 116 = 100 + 10 + 6 and 116 = 100 + 9 + 4 + 3, then used small numbers only to get 116 = (9 + 3)*10 - 4.
My selection: 116 = 100 + 10 + 6
Round 7: N C O E R A E C W
I had ONCE, CRONE, ENCORE, CORNEA, and CANCER. It was only after time that I considered that CORNEAE might be a valid plural form of CORNEA; I had to look that up -- I knew that CORNEAS was all right -- and indeed that turned out to be the case.
CORNEAE is the only seven; the other sixes are CAREEN, COERCE, ERENOW ("before this time"), WEANER ("a young animal which has been weaned from its mother's milk, to live wholly on grass"), and OCREAE (plural of OCREA: "a sheathing part, as a pair of stipules united about a stem").
My selection: ENCORE
Round 8: Target 743 from 6 4 4 1 3 8
One technique to try with the six small mix is to divide by the small numbers and find an approximate cofactor, and try to get near that way. In this case I started with 8, finding that the target was 8*93 - 1. That turned out to give a solution quite handily: 743 = (6*4*4 - 3)*8 - 1, and it is the only way to get there.
My selection: 743 = (6*4*4 - 3)*8 - 1
Round 9: MELT PECAN
I spent far too long on -ANCE before consideration of -MAN / -MEN led me to -MENT and PLACEMENT after 12.0 seconds.