Thursday 2 December 2021 (Series 84, Preliminary 113)

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Rhys Benjamin
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Thursday 2 December 2021 (Series 84, Preliminary 113)

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Annedown CXII and it's not long to go until the finals. Is it me or has this series felt very long?

Countdown recap for Thursday 02 December 2021.

On this day in 1982, the first artificial human heart was implanted.

C1: Champion Stu Harkness (6 wins, 670 points.) Maths teacher with a ponytail and a parrot. Apterite.
C2: Challenger David Danskin. Lives in Northamptonshire, originally from Wiltshire thanks to his father being a gunner in the army. Semi-retired solicitor. Anne asks whether part-time working is better in one go or spread over a week - David believes the latter.
DC: Susie Dent and Clare Balding.
RR: Rachel Riley.
OT: Other words or solutions.

R01: T E M O S F A N O
R02: D R B T I A O G A
R03: 25, 10, 5, 8, 2, 6. Target: 559.
TTT: TINACOOL - "Tina went cool on the house purchase. She wasn't sure about the area."
R04: H F S C I A I I H
R05: M O S L E G O T D
R06: 100, 9, 2, 8, 6, 7. Target: 297.
R07: N I R E L E T E A
R08: M S Y N A I E I P
R09: 25, 4, 9, 10, 6, 8. Target: 359.
TTT: SEEKTALL - "She was seeking a tall man who was very thin."
R10: L T W R E O I N U
R11: P O D E S R O B N
R12: C T L S A E I N E
R13: D A G E V E N R L
R14: 100, 2, 1, 4, 5, 6. Target: 321.
R15: I L L E T H I C S (conundrum)


And now a brief interlude before our main feature:

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
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Enjoy the show.

Round 1: T E M O S F A N O

Stu: FOOTMAN (7)
David: FOMENTS (7)
DC: FESTOON (7) MOONSET (7) FOOTMEN (7)
OT: MESONOTA (8)
Score: 7–7 (max 8, jos 7)
Darren-o-meter: 1/1 (100%)

Lots of sevens available here, and both contestants see one to start off. No max for Susie today.

Round 2: D R B T I A O G A

Stu: BIODATA (7)
David: ABOARD (6)
DC: TAGBOARD (8)
Score: 14–7 (max 16, jos 15)
Darren-o-meter: 2/2 (100%)

No jos for our contestants today as Clare "spots" TAGBOARD for eight, although she seems to think it's a game.

Round 3: 25, 10, 5, 8, 2, 6. Target: 559.

Stu: 558. (6 + 5) × 2 × 25 + 8 (7)
David: 561.
RR: 559. (after ads) (10 + 5 + 6) × (25 + 2) − 8 (10)
Score: 21–7 (max 26, jos 25)

The numbers have not been kind to Stu in his run, and once again three points go begging for him.

Teatime teaser: TINACOOL -> LOCATION

Round 4: H F S C I A I I H

Stu: FISH (4)
David: fascia (phantom A)
DC: CHIAS (5)
OT: ISCHIA (6)
Score: 25–7 (max 32, jos 30)
Darren-o-meter: 3/3 (100%)

Awful round. As if four vowels weren't enough, David invents a fifth, so gives Stu another four points. Susie gets a dubious plural (says mass noun in Lexico) that she sounds slightly unsure about, whilst the computer makes it 100% on the darren-o-meter so far.

Round 5: M O S L E G O T D

Stu: TOODLES (7)
David: MOLEST (6)
DC: dogsome STOOGED (7)
OT: GLOOMED (7) GODLETS (7) MOGOTES (7) MOODGES (7) MOODLES (7) SMOODGE (7) SMOOGED (7) STOOLED (7)
Score: 32–7 (max 39, jos 37)
Darren-o-meter: 3/4 (75%)

Stu extends his lead as David misses about a dozen sevens.

Round 6: 100, 9, 2, 8, 6, 7. Target: 297.

Stu: 297. (100 − (8 − 7)) × (9 − 6) (10)
David: 297. (9 − 6) × 100 − (7 − 8 ÷ 2) (10)
Score: 42–17 (max 49, jos 47)

Not quite Ariana... but not far off. Not going to lie, though, David needed those 10 points...

Clare's been learning French, doing crosswords, playing Scrabble, written two books, and done Wimbledon and the Olympics in 2021. So not a massively busy pandemic for her. She gets to plug her book. Yawn.

Round 7: N I R E L E T E A

Stu: TREENAIL (8)
David: RELIANT (7) (not written down)
DC: TREELINE (8) LATRINE (7)
OT: LATEENER (8)
Score: 50–17 (max 57, jos 55)
Darren-o-meter: 3/5 (60%)

TREENAIL a proper Apto word, which extends Stu's lead to 33 already.

Round 8: M S Y N A I E I P

Stu: PIEMAN (6)
David: MEANS (5)
DC: PIANISM (7)
OT: PAYNIMS (7) PIAIMEN (7)
Score: 56–17 (max 64, jos 62)
Darren-o-meter: 3/6 (50%)

Stu drops another point as he misses a trio of sevens. David is stuck on five, however.

Round 9: 25, 4, 9, 10, 6, 8. Target: 359.

Stu: 359. (10 + 4) × 25 + 9​ (10)
David: 359. (10 + 4) × 25 + 9​ (10)
Score: 66–27 (max 74, jos 72)

Now, this one is an Ariana.

thank u, next
thank u, next
thank u, next
i'm so f*ing grateful for my ex

Teatime teaser: SEEKTALL -> SKELETAL

Round 10: L T W R E O I N U

Stu: ROUTINE (7) (stick with)
David: WINTER (6)
DC: unwrote unwrite OUTLINER (8)
Score: 73–27 (max 82, jos 80)
Darren-o-meter: 4/7 (57%)

Not sure what Stu rejected (bring that back, please, Anne), but unless it was OUTLINER, a good move not to risk.

Round 11: P O D E S R O B N

Stu: PONDERS (7)
David: PROBED (6)
DC: RESPOND (7) SNOOPED (7)
OT: PRODNOSE (8)
Score: 80–27 (max 90, jos 87)
Darren-o-meter: 5/8 (63%)

Yet another darren, as Stu extends his lead once more and now leads by 53 points. Not quite home and dry yet, but David needs a metamax to win this now.

OOW Susie talks about various nicknames for "Robert" and their connection to "hobby horse".

Round 12: C T L S A E I N E

Stu: CLEANEST (8)
David: CLEANEST (8)
DC: ELASTIC (7) ELASTIN (7) SALTINE (7) LATENCIES (18)
Score: 88–35 (max 108, jos 105)
Darren-o-meter: 6/9 (67%)

A good day for darrens, but the nine goes unnoticed by the contestants. Well done, Susie.

Round 13: D A G E V E N R L

Stu: LAVENDER (8)
David: graveled ("have to go") - US spelling
DC: ENGRAVED (8) ENLARGED (8)
OT: LARGENED (8)
Score: 96–35 (max 116, jos 113)
Darren-o-meter: 6/10 (60%)

David's last-ditch gamble puts his car in said ditch, and before I mix up my metaphors further, Stu is home and dry. Well, he was in the last round, actually. I just didn't mention it. Can he get another ton?

Round 14: 100, 2, 1, 4, 5, 6. Target: 321.

Stu: 321. (5 − 4 + 6 + 100) × (2 + 1) (10)
David: 321. (100 + 6 + 1) × (5 − 2) (10)
Score: 106–45 (max 126, jos 123)

Another ton for Stu. Well played.

Round 15: I L L E T H I C S

Stu buzzes on 1.25 second to say CHILLIEST which is correct.
Final Score: 116–45 (max 136, jos 133)

And 116/136 isn't all too bad a score, given that 10 of those dropped points came in one round.

He'll be back on Friday (SPOILERS: or will he ;) ) to go for octochampdom, and a place on the seedings table.


Further summaries are at:
http://cdb.apterous.org/series.php?series=84
The forum's resident JAILBAKER, who has SPONDERED several times...
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