Ask Graeme?

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Mike Brown
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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Mike Brown » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:26 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:
Mike Brown wrote:
Graeme Cole wrote: According to the database, the show was nearly seven years old before anyone thought to pick 4 large. The caveat to this is that series 1 and 2 have hardly any round details associated with them, so we can't say for certain that it didn't happen then.
Given that I missed very little of Series 1 and 2 (even though I didn't start recaps straight away), I'm pretty certain that this is the first ever occurrence, especially as I noted "MB's dream" next to it at the time (sad, I know). What was the first 4 large in a non-Masters game? (sorry if I've missed it in the veritable sea of stats!)

Great stuff, Graeme, loving it...
Episode 954 was the first in a non-Masters game.
Thanks, Graeme, and my notes seem to concur. They also mention that M21 was the first-ever and that M33 was the second and third (by Clive Freedman, twice). I've added a note to 954 (in the wiki) as I think it deserves the recognition for its place in Countdown history. Follow-up question: what was the first 4-large round solved for 10 points by a contestant?

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Graeme Cole » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:32 pm

Mike Brown wrote:Thanks, Graeme, and my notes seem to concur. They also mention that M21 was the first-ever and that M33 was the second and third (by Clive Freedman, twice). I've added a note to 954 as I think it deserves the recognition for its place in Countdown history. Follow-up question: what was the first 4-large round solved for 10 points by a contestant?
Round 3 of the series 19 final.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Matt Bayfield » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:47 pm

Okay. Who are you, and what have you done with Matt?
Just because I have no interest in solving the arithmetic rounds in Countdown, doesn't mean I'm not interested in Maths and statistics... ;-)

Thanks for the thorough answer to the question!

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Mike Brown » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:58 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:
Mike Brown wrote:Thanks, Graeme, and my notes seem to concur. They also mention that M21 was the first-ever and that M33 was the second and third (by Clive Freedman, twice). I've added a note to 954 as I think it deserves the recognition for its place in Countdown history. Follow-up question: what was the first 4-large round solved for 10 points by a contestant?
Round 3 of the series 19 final.
Thanks; and nice to see it being solved (and chosen) by Gino Corr, one of the Countdown legends of yesteryear.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Dave Preece » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:10 pm

Q. What is the shortest word declared in any round, I've seen a three, surely no one has ever declared a two?[/quote]
I refer the honourable gentleman to... :-)[/quote]

Ah, of course, silly me!

;-)

Cheers Graeme, you're a legend!

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Dave Preece » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:25 pm

Graeme, It says on Wiki the following about perfect games, obviously this hasn't been updated (recently):

"Perfect game - A game in which the maximum possible score is achieved in every single round. There are currently five known perfect games, one under the 15 round format and the rest in the 9 round format. Maximum scores are noted in the "Max" column of games tables on the wiki; perfect games are shown in bold."

I've found:

Jenny Haldane
Darren Shacklady
and Allan Saldanha

Who is the fourth 9-Round-Era 'perfect game-ster'?

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:48 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:
Mike Brown wrote:
Graeme Cole wrote: According to the database, the show was nearly seven years old before anyone thought to pick 4 large. The caveat to this is that series 1 and 2 have hardly any round details associated with them, so we can't say for certain that it didn't happen then.
Given that I missed very little of Series 1 and 2 (even though I didn't start recaps straight away), I'm pretty certain that this is the first ever occurrence, especially as I noted "MB's dream" next to it at the time (sad, I know). What was the first 4 large in a non-Masters game? (sorry if I've missed it in the veritable sea of stats!)

Great stuff, Graeme, loving it...
Episode 954 was the first in a non-Masters game.
The target was just one different as well.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:53 pm

Dave Preece wrote:Graeme, It says on Wiki the following about perfect games, obviously this hasn't been updated (recently):

"Perfect game - A game in which the maximum possible score is achieved in every single round. There are currently five known perfect games, one under the 15 round format and the rest in the 9 round format. Maximum scores are noted in the "Max" column of games tables on the wiki; perfect games are shown in bold."

I've found:

Jenny Haldane
Darren Shacklady
and Allan Saldanha

Who is the fourth 9-Round-Era 'perfect game-ster'?
It might be an error.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Ryan Taylor » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:16 am

What's the most amount of conundrums needed to find a winner? Have there been more than two tie-break conundrums for a game?

(I appreciate there may have been a game with 6 tie-break conundrums or whatever and for time constraints they would maybe only show a couple, so basically, what's the most been televised?).

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by James Robinson » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:32 am

Ryan Taylor wrote:What's the most amount of conundrums needed to find a winner? Have there been more than two tie-break conundrums for a game?

(I appreciate there may have been a game with 6 tie-break conundrums or whatever and for time constraints they would maybe only show a couple, so basically, what's the most been televised?).
No more than 2 tie-breaks have been televised (i.e. 3 conundrums altogether). :geek:
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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Johnny Canuck » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:11 am

Ryan Taylor wrote:What's the most amount of conundrums needed to find a winner? Have there been more than two tie-break conundrums for a game?
I heard somewhere ("somewhere" is a very reliable source, I know) that this match in Series 60 actually featured four conundrums, but the middle two were cut from the broadcast. The answer to one of the cut conundrums, not that anyone cares, was PUPPETEER.

EDIT: "Somewhere" = here.
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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Dave Preece » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:10 pm

Question:

Graeme, who is the best Countdown Contestant ever, and what is the most accurate way to rank them all, in your opinion?

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Adam Gillard » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:14 pm

Dave Preece wrote:Question:

Graeme, who is the best Countdown Contestant ever, and what is the most accurate way to rank them all, in your opinion?
How about we have a knock-out tournament where some of the best Countdown contestants ever play each other and see who wins? ;)
Mike Brown: "Round 12: T N R S A E I G U

C1: SIGNATURE (18) ["9; not written down"]
C2: SEATING (7)
Score: 108–16 (max 113)

Another niner for Adam and yet another century. Well done, that man."

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Dave Preece » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:46 pm

LOL - Good one!

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Johnny Canuck » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:57 pm

Dave Preece wrote:Graeme, It says on Wiki the following about perfect games, obviously this hasn't been updated (recently):

"Perfect game - A game in which the maximum possible score is achieved in every single round. There are currently five known perfect games, one under the 15 round format and the rest in the 9 round format. Maximum scores are noted in the "Max" column of games tables on the wiki; perfect games are shown in bold."

I've found:

Jenny Haldane
Darren Shacklady
and Allan Saldanha

Who is the fourth 9-Round-Era 'perfect game-ster'?
Oops, that was actually a mistake on my part. In Mike Brown's notes for this game, LUTEOUS isn't mentioned, so I assumed Harvey Freeman had gotten a perfect score.
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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Graeme Cole » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:52 pm

Dave Preece wrote:Question:

Graeme, who is the best Countdown Contestant ever, and what is the most accurate way to rank them all, in your opinion?
This is even harder than Gevin's question about his weird scoring system (and because it's Gevin, I need to give clarification about which scoring system), which I haven't even started on yet.

I'm never going to come up with an answer to "what is the most accurate way to rank them all" to anyone's complete satisfaction, even my own, so I'm not going to attempt it.
Adam Gillard wrote:How about we have a knock-out tournament where some of the best Countdown contestants ever play each other and see who wins? ;)
This. :-D

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Nick Deller » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:29 pm

Graeme: you remarked in today's recap about Rachael's long wait to resume her position in the champion's chair - and I think we're all looking forward to that. But which contestants took the longest time on screen between starting and concluding a) an octochamp run and b) any champion's run?

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Dave Preece » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:28 pm

What numbers game had the best solution that was the furthest away from the correct solution? IE 25 1 1 2 2 3 with a target of 999 (You can only possibly get 399 away from the target)!

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Grant Waters » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:36 pm

I can get 324 away :-)

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Jon O'Neill » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:57 pm

Happy Birthday Graeme!

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:38 pm

Couple of gender-related questions:
- What's the average max percentage for each gender?
- What percentage of series finalists have been female? (A table of female series finalists ranked by max percentage would be cool.)

And a couple of non-gender-related questions (not sure if anyone's asked these):
- What's the vowel pick breakdown? (In fact, could you do a graph similar to the 'numbers picks over time' one, but by number of vowels picked in letters rounds over time instead?)
- How many times has a word been disallowed because it was invalid at the time, but has become valid since? (For example, R3 in this game)
go away xoxo

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Dave Preece » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:41 am

Grant Waters wrote:I can get 324 away :-)
Good one, but you know what I mean ;-)

PS Im 324 away now youve pointed it out to me, LOL!

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Tom » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:34 pm

Dear Graeme....

Apologies if this question has already been asked as I'm too lazy to trawl through the rest of this content, but if you can answer, who are the youngest people in the 30 year history of Countdown to have made a series final as I'm keen to see where I would be in the list?

I was 17y and 1 month when my series final broadcast and obviously Conor was younger and I also know the 2 Saldahna brothers were younger than me too but other than that, I don't know of anyone else and would be interested to know where I was in the standings.....
Probably the second tallest ever series finalist.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:58 pm

Eoin Monaghan was younger than Conor when he made the final in series 63.
go away xoxo

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Ben Wilson » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:28 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:Eoin Monaghan was younger than Conor when he made the final in series 63.
I think Andrew Perry was 11 or 12 when he reached the final.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by James Robinson » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:48 pm

Ben Wilson wrote:
Jennifer Steadman wrote:Eoin Monaghan was younger than Conor when he made the final in series 63.
I think Andrew Perry was 11 or 12 when he reached the final.
Allan Saldanha was sub 10 when he reached his final.
CO:WY COMING SOON.... ;) :) :D :mrgreen: 8-) :geek: :ugeek:

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:13 am

James Robinson wrote:
Ben Wilson wrote:
Jennifer Steadman wrote:Eoin Monaghan was younger than Conor when he made the final in series 63.
I think Andrew Perry was 11 or 12 when he reached the final.
Allan Saldanha was sub 10 when he reached his final.
I've heard people saying before that he was 9 when he was on, but I'm pretty sure he was 10, and 19 for the supremes, which would have been impossible if he had been 9. I'd say he was born some time in the middleish of 1977.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Chris Marshall » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:15 pm

Is it possible to get a letter distribution frequency for each letter over the data you have?

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Mike Brown » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:23 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
James Robinson wrote:Allan Saldanha was sub 10 when he reached his final.
I've heard people saying before that he was 9 when he was on, but I'm pretty sure he was 10, and 19 for the supremes, which would have been impossible if he had been 9. I'd say he was born some time in the middleish of 1977.
I can confirm he was 10 when he filmed Series 15. Where did you get your info from, James? I hope it wasn't me. :) :lol:

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by James Robinson » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:53 pm

Mike Brown wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
James Robinson wrote:Allan Saldanha was sub 10 when he reached his final.
I've heard people saying before that he was 9 when he was on, but I'm pretty sure he was 10, and 19 for the supremes, which would have been impossible if he had been 9. I'd say he was born some time in the middleish of 1977.
I can confirm he was 10 when he filmed Series 15. Where did you get your info from, James? I hope it wasn't me. :) :lol:
I was getting the info from Mr. Whiteley himself in the episode where he introduced Tanmay Dixit, as you can see here (at about 3 minutes in): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhI_-2BgOyc
CO:WY COMING SOON.... ;) :) :D :mrgreen: 8-) :geek: :ugeek:

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Jack Worsley » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:18 pm

Is it possible to work out the most consecutive letters rounds an individual contestant has gone without having a nine available? I've gone 95 and counting and I was wondering if this was close to a record.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Mike Brown » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:24 pm

James Robinson wrote:I was getting the info from Mr. Whiteley himself in the episode where he introduced Tanmay Dixit, as you can see here (at about 3 minutes in): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhI_-2BgOyc
Ah, a reliable source, then! :) Well remembered, though, or did you happen to watch it recently?

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by James Robinson » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:43 pm

Mike Brown wrote:
James Robinson wrote:I was getting the info from Mr. Whiteley himself in the episode where he introduced Tanmay Dixit, as you can see here (at about 3 minutes in): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhI_-2BgOyc
Ah, a reliable source, then! :) Well remembered, though, or did you happen to watch it recently?
No, remembered this time, for once. :P
CO:WY COMING SOON.... ;) :) :D :mrgreen: 8-) :geek: :ugeek:

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Graeme Cole » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:55 pm

Nick Deller wrote:Graeme: you remarked in today's recap about Rachael's long wait to resume her position in the champion's chair - and I think we're all looking forward to that. But which contestants took the longest time on screen between starting and concluding a) an octochamp run and b) any champion's run?
I've taken this as the longest gap between two preliminary games by the same player, that have no other preliminary games featuring that player in between. This causes a bit of ambiguity, though. Sometimes players are invited back many years after their first apperance (e.g. Peter Lee, Philip Jarvis), but that can't realistically be considered a continuation of the same run. Occasionally, though, a player gets invited back because it was found they may have lost unfairly, e.g. they had a word wrongly disallowed, or their opponent had a word wrongly allowed. Often in these cases it's unclear whether the player's wins or points total carries over to their new run.

So here are some notably long breaks:

Monica Sutcliffe holds the record for the longest break between consecutive appearances in heats. She appeared in series 14 and again in series 66 nearly 25 years later - 8,929 days, to be precise. While this isn't a continuation of a single run, I still think it's interesting so I've included it here.

Martin Howell lost his first game in series 26, and appeared again 337 days later in series 28. This is the longest break in what might have been treated as a single run. The wiki explains that his first opponent Andrew Perry was allowed a dubious (and unspecified) word. All his words look fine to me though, so I've no idea what was going on there.

The next longest break, if we disregard cases where a player lost under controversial circumstances and was invited back, was by octochamp Clive Freedman. He won his first game in the last preliminary of series 6, and 216 days later he won the first preliminary of series 7. However, due to a silly rule in place at the time, he wasn't allowed to carry over his win in series 6 towards his total, so you could argue that this isn't one single run.

Martin May won two games in series 56 then had to retire for unknown personal reasons. He was allowed to continue his run in the following series, 191 days later.

The longest "natural" break in a run, if you don't count Clive Freedman, was 144 days, by Mark Kingston, who won the last preliminary of series 9 and came back for the first preliminary of series 10 five months later.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Graeme Cole » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:12 pm

Dave Preece wrote:What numbers game had the best solution that was the furthest away from the correct solution? IE 25 1 1 2 2 3 with a target of 999 (You can only possibly get 399 away from the target)!
Can't do this one I'm afraid. The database table I made doesn't include the optimal solutions, only the highest number of points available.
Jennifer Steadman wrote:Couple of gender-related questions:
- What's the average max percentage for each gender?
- What percentage of series finalists have been female? (A table of female series finalists ranked by max percentage would be cool.)
Same goes for this, the database doesn't know who's male and who's female.
Tom wrote: Apologies if this question has already been asked as I'm too lazy to trawl through the rest of this content, but if you can answer, who are the youngest people in the 30 year history of Countdown to have made a series final as I'm keen to see where I would be in the list?
The database doesn't have contestant ages in it either, and nor, in general, does the wiki, so I don't think we'll ever have this information. However, James and Mike seem to have provided some good answers on this one.
Jennifer Steadman wrote: And a couple of non-gender-related questions (not sure if anyone's asked these):
- What's the vowel pick breakdown? (In fact, could you do a graph similar to the 'numbers picks over time' one, but by number of vowels picked in letters rounds over time instead?)
Throughout the late eighties and nineties, three vowels was king. Now four vowels is by far the most popular selection. Note that although nowadays you've got to pick between three and five vowels, that rule hasn't always applied.

Series 66 had the highest proportion of five-vowel picks of any series since 1985, because Jonathan Rawlinson was in it. (No, really - 43 of the 82 five-vowel letters rounds in that series were in his games.)

Image
Jennifer Steadman wrote: - How many times has a word been disallowed because it was invalid at the time, but has become valid since? (For example, R3 in this game)
I'm going to answer the slightly easier "how many times has a word been disallowed for being invalid, which is valid on apterous now?"

The answer is 474, from over 46,000 letters rounds.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Conor » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:29 pm

Graeme Cole wrote: Series 66 had the highest proportion of five-vowel picks of any series since 1985, because Jonathan Rawlinson was in it. (No, really - 43 of the 82 five-vowel letters rounds in that series were in his games.)
I suspect Series 68 might break the record. In the semifinal between Jack Hurst and Jonathan Rawlinson there were 5-vowel picks in 8 out of 11 letters rounds. Is this the most five-vowel-tastic game ever?

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:46 pm

In what proportion of games (separately for 9 and 15 rounders) are all the numbers games rendered "worthless", by both contestants maxing them all? Actually I know you can only go by points rather than true maxes so yo uwon't be able to get whether a 7 is the true max. So maybe two separate stats - one for all max scores (erring on the side of inclusivity), and one for all 10s (erring on the side of exclusivity).

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:50 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Please list every 15-round octochamp in order of maximums out of 120. Do it for 9-rounders as well (but not out of 120). And a separate xicount list. Or at least top tens. That would be gruesome.

Edit - I want pro rata scores for top potential octochamps like John Clarke and Helen Grayson.
Here's the first bit - 15 round octochamps ordered by the number of maxes out of 120 in heat games. A maxed round is where the player got the most points available. Tiebreaks aren't counted.

The 9-rounder one is going to need a bit more thought to exclude people who had more than one run, so I'll come back to that one another day.

Code: Select all

    1. Edward McCullagh           95
    2. Julian Fell                94
    3. Jack Hurst                 91
    4. Jonathan Rawlinson         89
    4. Craig Beevers              89
    6. Stewart Holden             86
    7. Kirk Bevins                85
    8. Chris Davies               84
    9. David O'Donnell            82
   10. Eoin Monaghan              81
   11. Conor Travers              80
   12. Graeme Cole                79
   12. Chris Wills                79
   14. George Greenhough          78
   14. Oliver Garner              78
   14. Adam Gillard               78
   14. Paul Gallen                78
   14. John Mayhew                78
   19. Jack Welsby                77
   20. Andrew Hulme               76
   20. Paul Howe                  76
   20. Innis Carson               76
   23. Peter Lee                  75
   24. Daniel Pati                74
   25. Marcus Hares               73
   26. Martin Bishop              72
   26. Jimmy Gough                72
   28. Tom Barnes                 71
   28. Ryan Taylor                71
   30. Grace Page                 70
   30. Aaron Webber               70
   30. Chris Cummins              70
   33. Richard Heald              69
   33. Jon Corby                  69
   35. Matthew Shore              68
   35. Lee Hartley                68
   37. Neil Zussman               67
   37. Mark Deeks                 67
   37. Charlie Reams              67
   37. Mark Tournoff              67
   37. Steven Briers              67
   37. Paul James                 67
   43. Jack Worsley               66
   44. James Hurrell              65
   44. Tom Rowell                 65
   44. Andy McGurn                65
   44. John Brackstone            65
   44. Jeffrey Hansford           65
   49. Tom Hargreaves             64
   49. Stuart Earl                64
   51. Scott Gillies              63
   51. John Hunt                  63
   53. Stuart Solomons            62
   53. Wendy Roe                  62
   53. John Davies                62
   53. Junaid Mubeen              62
   57. Jon O'Neill                61
   57. Jean Webby                 61
   59. Richard Brittain           60
   59. Martin Gardner             60
   59. Shane Roberts              60
   62. Cate Henderson             59
   62. Michael Bowden             59
   62. Ross Allatt                59
   62. Steven Moir                59
   62. Jonathan Coles             59
   62. John Gray                  59
   68. Mike Pullin                58
   68. Stu Horsey                 58
   68. David Edwards              58
   68. Brian Selway               58
   72. Jim Bentley                57
   72. Danny Hamilton             57
   72. Liam Shaw                  57
   72. Keith Maynard              57
   76. Nik Von Uexkull            56
   77. Rupert Stokoe              55
   78. Tim Reypert                54
   78. Sweyn Kirkness             54
   78. David Von Geyer            54
   78. Jeffrey Burgin             54
   82. James Roberts              53
   82. Paul Keane                 53
   82. Kai Laddiman               53
   82. Nick Wainwright            53
   86. Ned Pendleton              52
   86. Amey Deshpande             52
   86. Jayne Wisniewski           52
   89. Carl Williams              51
   89. Michael Macdonald-Cooper   51
   89. Dave Taylor                51
   92. Judith Young               50
   92. Gary Male                  50
   92. Julia Wilkinson            50
   95. Danny Pledger              49
   96. Tony Warren                48
   97. James Doohan               46
   98. Joe Zubaidi                44
   99. Tia Corkish                43
   99. Brenda Jolley              43
  101. Chris Marshall             42
  101. David Thirlwall            42
  103. Steve Wood                 37
  103. Suzi Purcell               37
  103. Chris McHenry              37
By the way, I think when percentage of max score came out for everyone, it was "revealed" that Chris Wills's octorun wasn't actually that great based on max score available, and that it was worse than Tom Hargreaves's from the same series. Well, this puts a different spin on that.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Nick Deller » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:02 am

Thanks for the thorough answer on "longest duration of championhood", Clive Freedman and Mark Kingston best reflect what I was looking for but the other contestants of note are interesting too. No idea what's going on with the Andrew Perry/Martin Howell game.
Graeme Cole wrote:
Dave Preece wrote:What numbers game had the best solution that was the furthest away from the correct solution? IE 25 1 1 2 2 3 with a target of 999 (You can only possibly get 399 away from the target)!
Can't do this one I'm afraid. The database table I made doesn't include the optimal solutions, only the highest number of points available.
Intuitively, it's likely to be a six-small game with a target above 900. Does that offer up a manageable set of candidates for hand-checking?

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:09 am

Can we do - what's the lowest highest number that's come out in a selection? So in 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, the highest is 3, and that would be the lowest possible. Or, how often has no number been higher than 5?

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Clive Brooker » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:32 am

Graeme Cole wrote:
Dave Preece wrote:What numbers game had the best solution that was the furthest away from the correct solution? IE 25 1 1 2 2 3 with a target of 999 (You can only possibly get 399 away from the target)!
Can't do this one I'm afraid. The database table I made doesn't include the optimal solutions, only the highest number of points available.
According to my rival database, the answer is round 8 in this game.

Not including the masters series (WIP) there have been 13 cases where the nearest to the target is over 100 away, and 31 in all where it was impossible to score.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Mark Ivey » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:48 am

Great thread, very interesting to see all these facts and figures. Ok, here's a question:

What is the highest winning score posted by a challenger who's gone on to lose in their second game?

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Dave Preece » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:40 pm

Can't see it being a century, definitely maybe in the 90s?

Great question!

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Innis Carson » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:24 pm

I can remember one striking example from my series: John Drinkwater. I'd expect this to be the highest, and surely the biggest slump from one game to the next.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Chris Philpot » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:45 pm

Graeme, I hope you don't mind but I have cherry-picked the awesome facts from this thread to freshen up the "Did you know..." box on the homepage of the Wiki. :)

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Adam Gillard » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:14 pm

Innis Carson wrote:I can remember one striking example from my series: John Drinkwater. I'd expect this to be the highest, and surely the biggest slump from one game to the next.
Remembering Sue Drinkwater, who was beaten by Tanmay, I just checked the wiki and there have been three Drinkwaters on Countdown. What are the odds (Graeme)?
Mike Brown: "Round 12: T N R S A E I G U

C1: SIGNATURE (18) ["9; not written down"]
C2: SEATING (7)
Score: 108–16 (max 113)

Another niner for Adam and yet another century. Well done, that man."

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Mark Deeks
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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Mark Deeks » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:17 pm

And who was the most arrogant? Because anyone to drink water on Countdown can only be arrogant.
Eoin Monaghan wrote:
He may not be liked on here, but you have to give some credit to Mark

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Adam Gillard » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:28 pm

Mark Deeks wrote:And who was the most arrogant? Because anyone to drink water on Countdown can only be arrogant.
Didn't Rawlo have about 10 sips a round in the 30BC?
Mike Brown: "Round 12: T N R S A E I G U

C1: SIGNATURE (18) ["9; not written down"]
C2: SEATING (7)
Score: 108–16 (max 113)

Another niner for Adam and yet another century. Well done, that man."

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Andy Platt
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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Andy Platt » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:38 pm

Jonathan Drinkwater-Rawlinson

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Jack Worsley » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:40 pm

Innis Carson wrote:I can remember one striking example from my series: John Drinkwater. I'd expect this to be the highest, and surely the biggest slump from one game to the next.
Another contestant who got 108 in his first game and lost his second:
http://wiki.apterous.org/Richard_Woodward

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:40 am

There's no reason why Graeme in particular should know the answer to this, but it seems like a good a place as any to ask it:

Can you press the conundrum buzzer at any time? Would it ring and light up if Nick was just chatting away at the start? Or would it stop the clock in normal rounds? Can't believe it never occurred to me to try this.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Andy Platt » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:58 am

They told me that it would only activate in sync when Nick presses the conundrum scramble reveal button and wouldn't have any effect before that

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:01 am

I asked that question several years ago and I'm still waiting for an answer. Corby asks and gets an answer in 18 minutes. Not on.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:32 am

Andy Platt wrote:They told me that it would only activate in sync when Nick presses the conundrum scramble reveal button and wouldn't have any effect before that
Wait, what? Nick has a button which actually reveals the conundrum? I assumed it was all just stagehands turning levers and stuff on cue. That's pretty hi-tech.

(Dave, anything else you'd like me to ask?)

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Graeme Cole » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:36 am

Jon Corby wrote:There's no reason why Graeme in particular should know the answer to this, but it seems like a good a place as any to ask it:

Can you press the conundrum buzzer at any time? Would it ring and light up if Nick was just chatting away at the start? Or would it stop the clock in normal rounds? Can't believe it never occurred to me to try this.
I'm going to skip ahead to this one even though I know there are older questions I haven't answered yet. Because I can.

I don't know exactly how it's set up, so I'm only speculating. I would think the most likely answer is that it works whenever the clock is running. That was the case in the Countdown Gotcha episode, although it's possible they did something specially to allow it on that occasion.

As far as I know there isn't a "conundrum scramble" button, at least not on Nick's desk. There's one button to start the clock, and the conundrum is revealed by someone behind the board manually turning the flippything.

I'd be surprised if the buzzers had to be manually enabled for the conundrum round only, as that's one extra thing they have to remember to do, which if they forget could give a contestant legitimate cause for complaint if they tried to buzz in for the conundrum and couldn't. It's be easier to leave the buzzers enabled for all rounds and assume nobody's going to try to buzz in during a letters or numbers round, and excepting the Gotcha episode, as far as I know nobody has.

The same goes for buzzing in after you've already got the conundrum wrong. There's no reason to disable the buzzer of the person who answered wrongly. If they buzz in a second time, Nick just has to tell them they aren't allowed to buzz again and restart the clock. All they're doing is giving extra time to their opponent.

Another interesting question, which I have no idea about the answer to, is this. Suppose your opponent buzzes in with half a second left, then you realise what the answer is. Your opponent gives the wrong answer. So now you've got half a second to buzz in. If you hold down the buzzer before Nick restarts the clock, so you're already holding it down when the clock restarts, would that count as a buzz? Or does the actual press have to be while the clock is running? In technical jargon, the question is does the thing that detects buzzer presses while the clock's running detect a high voltage or a rising edge? Could be important in this situation.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:39 am

Cheers Graeme - that would have been my guess as well, but is completely at odds with Andy's answer.

Charlie did a couple of very late buzzes after late guesses against Junaid and Steve in the CoC, at least one of which I'm sure had hardly any time left at all in which to buzz, so maybe he can offer something here.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Andy Platt » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:30 am

OK so could it be that Nick's button both starts the clock and enables the contestant buzzers?

Edit: I could just have invented this from somewhere

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Graeme Cole » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:57 am

Andy Platt wrote:OK so could it be that Nick's button both starts the clock and enables the contestant buzzers?

Edit: I could just have invented this from somewhere
Yes, that's what I mean. I think the buzzers are enabled whenever the clock is running.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:42 am

I buzzed when I wasn't supposed to when filming The Chase - at the point where I was down to just me on the team and joked that I was annoyed because I wouldn't get to press the buzzer any more.
My name rung out around the studio and it broke the display on the front of the desk, filming was delayed by about 5 minutes while they fixed it. Oops.

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Re: Ask Graeme?

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:17 pm

Think you meant to post that on the 'The Chase' forum mate.

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