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What is the world coming to?

#1 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-25, 22:37

I have been watching Countdown lately, after a break of several months. Susie Dent is using a computer! Is anyone else as shocked and disappointed as I am?
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#2 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-December-26, 04:35

View PostVampyr, on 2017-December-25, 22:37, said:

I have been watching Countdown lately, after a break of several months. Susie Dent is using a computer! Is anyone else as shocked and disappointed as I am?


As a former contestant, I can confirm Carol had an earpiece in and wasn't working the numbers out herself.
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#3 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-December-26, 05:03

As far as I know, they use a laptop to show the words now but the solutions are still produced manually by Susie+guest+production team, for the numbers and Rachel, for the numbers. A software program is used by the production team to check if any solution is possible for the numbers but the solution is not given to the resident mathematician. Some useful links:-
Earpiece but no computer
Laptop for checking answers
Nov16 - no computer programs allowed
(-: Zel :-)
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#4 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-December-26, 05:05

View PostCyberyeti, on 2017-December-26, 04:35, said:

As a former contestant, I can confirm Carol had an earpiece in and wasn't working the numbers out herself.

They all wear earpieces but are you sure she was receiving the solutions through it CY?

As an aside, are your appearances online? I think many of the episodes are available in some form or another.
(-: Zel :-)
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#5 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-December-26, 05:36

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-December-26, 05:05, said:

They all wear earpieces but are you sure she was receiving the solutions through it CY?

As an aside, are your appearances online? I think many of the episodes are available in some form or another.


It was one singular appearance, I had the misfortune to meet a guy who finished top 3 in the series, we both could have put 20 points on anybody else that was there that day, he was probably about 5 points better than me but had the advantage of having done a couple of episodes in front of the camera before facing me, which was actually extremely useful.

I'm 100% sure, there was a numbers game where nobody got it and it was clear she got the solution through the earpiece.
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#6 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2017-December-26, 06:16

Rachel Riley is solving them all in her head, that's still true, I hope?

Full Disclosure: I only watch the 8/10 Cats version.

One of the episodes featured Rachel saying, authoritatively, "this one had no exact solution, and 1 off is the best you could do." I can imagine her being able to solve all the puzzles in her head in 30 seconds (or maybe a bit more, allowing for some editing), but how can she be that sure that something is impossible? Maybe that's the only thing she gets help with - confirming her suspicions.
... and I can prove it with my usual, flawless logic.
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#7 User is offline   PhilG007 

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Posted 2017-December-26, 06:34

View PostCyberyeti, on 2017-December-26, 04:35, said:

As a former contestant, I can confirm Carol had an earpiece in and wasn't working the numbers out herself.

I looked up the Wikipedia profiles of Vorderman and Dent and,although both women are
well educated and have qualifications,it doesn't say if they're in mathematics
"It is not enough to be a good player, you must also play well"
- Dr Tarrasch(1862-1934)German Chess Grandmaster

Bridge is a game where you have two opponents...and often three(!)


"Any palooka can take tricks with Aces and Kings; the true expert shows his prowess
by how he handles the two's and three's" - Mollo's Hideous Hog
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#8 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-December-26, 08:13

View PostPhilG007, on 2017-December-26, 06:34, said:

I looked up the Wikipedia profiles of Vorderman and Dent and,although both women are
well educated and have qualifications,it doesn't say if they're in mathematics


And this is relevant how? my mental arithmetic didn't change much between me being a chemistry student in the 80s to getting a maths degree 25 years later.
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#9 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-December-26, 08:23

View Postgwnn, on 2017-December-26, 06:16, said:

Rachel Riley is solving them all in her head, that's still true, I hope?

Full Disclosure: I only watch the 8/10 Cats version.

One of the episodes featured Rachel saying, authoritatively, "this one had no exact solution, and 1 off is the best you could do." I can imagine her being able to solve all the puzzles in her head in 30 seconds (or maybe a bit more, allowing for some editing), but how can she be that sure that something is impossible? Maybe that's the only thing she gets help with - confirming her suspicions.

If you go through the links I gave, it says that she does the solutions in her head but software is run to confirm whether and solution is possible. On the other hand, from what CY writes, it sounds like a little "TV magic" might be involved with her receiving slightly more information in some cases.
(-: Zel :-)
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#10 User is offline   PhilG007 

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Posted 2017-December-27, 06:19

View PostCyberyeti, on 2017-December-26, 08:13, said:

And this is relevant how? my mental arithmetic didn't change much between me being a chemistry student in the 80s to getting a maths degree 25 years later.

I didn't have any qualifications at all. I didn't have the brain power to merit going to
university but it didn't hinder me in life. Winston Churchill couldn't read until his teens. Enrico Caruso was told by his music teacher
he would never be a singer. H.G. Wells started his working life putting labels on bottles.
Very often you just have to play the hand Fate deals you.
"It is not enough to be a good player, you must also play well"
- Dr Tarrasch(1862-1934)German Chess Grandmaster

Bridge is a game where you have two opponents...and often three(!)


"Any palooka can take tricks with Aces and Kings; the true expert shows his prowess
by how he handles the two's and three's" - Mollo's Hideous Hog
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#11 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2017-December-27, 07:13

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-December-26, 08:23, said:

If you go through the links I gave, it says that she does the solutions in her head but software is run to confirm whether and solution is possible. On the other hand, from what CY writes, it sounds like a little "TV magic" might be involved with her receiving slightly more information in some cases.

Yes I was way too lazy to click on them.

Good to know! <3 Rachel.
... and I can prove it with my usual, flawless logic.
      George Carlin
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#12 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-27, 18:18

View PostPhilG007, on 2017-December-26, 06:34, said:

I looked up the Wikipedia profiles of Vorderman and Dent and,although both women are
well educated and have qualifications,it doesn't say if they're in mathematics


Rachel has a mathematics degree from Oxford University.

EDIT: Susie has a degree in modern languages from Oxford and a masters in German from Princeton.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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