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In the country of Vocabuleria each year in February The Great Word Competition is held. Words from all over the country gather to compete against each other. This year's competition attracted 32 participants and all of them were drawn blindly in a knock-out tournament that consists of five rounds.

To keep the competition fresh and exciting each year the rules are re-established. This year the following rules were agreed upon:

  • First of all, as was the case last year, the maximum allowed word length is 7. Shorter words are allowed to enter the competition, but they have a significant disadvantage to the longer words.
  • In each round all members of a word are allowed six shots to score points. The points of all the members of a word are added together and the word with the highest number of points proceeds to the next round. The loser will be out of the tournament. Should a match end in a draw, the first members of the words will play a head-to-head match in which they are again allowed six shots. If this does not produce a winner, the second members will play a head-to-head by the same rules and so on, until there is a winner.
  • The scores that can be earned are different each round. They are as follows:
    First Round: All scores are worth $1$ point.
    Second Round: Scores in either of the top corners are worth $2$ points. All other scores are worth $1$ point.
    Quarter-finals: Scores in either of the top corners are worth $3$ points. All other scores are worth $1$ point.
    Semi-finals: Scores in either of the top corners are worth $4$ points. Scores in either of the bottom corners are worth $2$ points. All other scores are worth $1$ point.
    Final: Scores in either of the top corners are worth $5$ points. Scores in either of the bottom corners are worth $3$ points. All other scores are worth $1$ point.

Below you can find this year's schedule of play. The green and red shading indicates the winners and losers of the matches that have already been played. As you can see, we have reached the semi-finals by now. The quarter-finals have all been very exciting; especially the match of VICTORY against VOYAGER, which ended in 42-41 and was decided only on the very last shot. Now for the semi-finals we have two highly-contested matches coming up: "WINNING vs. SYNONYM" and "VICTORY vs MYSTERY".

Can you predict the winners of the semi-finals and the final?

Bonus questions:
1. What will be the final score in each of the semi-finals and the final?
2. Which word lost their first round match by the biggest margin?
3. What is the only match in this competition during which the second members of the competing words have had to play a head-to-head?

GWC 2017

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you make that a lighter green? That's one of the worst greens you could've chosen for colorblind friendliness. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Feb 2 '17 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, sorry about that. I will change it in a minute. Let me know if it's better. $\endgroup$ – Levieux Feb 2 '17 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ In the graphic you have the word WINNING, while in the story you have the word WINNERS. Which is correct? $\endgroup$ – Sconibulus Feb 2 '17 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ WINNING is correct, the other's a typo $\endgroup$ – Levieux Feb 2 '17 at 22:02
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    $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan: Or Vocabulgaria, but then they'd probably use Cyrillic script.. $\endgroup$ – Levieux Feb 2 '17 at 22:40
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I believe scores are allotted on the basis of

presence of raised dots in Braille letters.

So, for instance,

when in the third round VICTORY plays VOYAGER, the former scores 3+1+1+1=6 for V, 3+1=4 for I, 3+3=6 for C, 3+1+1+1=6 for T, 3+1+1=5 for O, 3+1+1+1=6 for R, and 3+3+1+1+1=9 for Y. Total: 6+4+6+6+5+6+9=42, as claimed.

Now, what happens in the last rounds? Semi-final:

WINNING scores 8+5+11+11+5+11+10=61 and SYNONYM scores 7+13+11+7+11+13+10=72, so SYNONYM wins. VICTORY scores 9+5+8+8+7+8+13=58 and MYSTERY scores 10+13+7+8+5+8+13=64, so MYSTERY wins.

Final:

SYNONYM scores 9+17+14+9+14+17+13=93 and MYSTERY scores 13+17+9+10+6+10+17=82, so SYNONYM wins the final and the tournament.

Bonus questions:

1 (scores in semi-finals and final): done above. 2 (biggest loss in first round) and 3 (only match in which second members went head to head): ugh, I suppose I have to do all the calculations. Fortunately, I have a computer.

So I think round 1 goes like this:

yoghurt polygon (26, 26, [(5, 4), (3, 3), (4, 3), (3, 5), (3, 4), (4, 3), (4, 4)]) yahtzee playoff (21, 22, [(5, 4), (1, 3), (3, 1), (4, 5), (4, 3), (2, 3), (2, 3)]) pancake winning (16, 24, [(4, 4), (1, 2), (4, 4), (2, 4), (1, 2), (2, 4), (2, 4)]) quizzes puzzles (23, 23, [(5, 4), (3, 3), (2, 4), (4, 4), (4, 3), (2, 2), (3, 3)]) quickly yawning (22, 24, [(5, 5), (3, 1), (2, 4), (2, 4), (2, 2), (3, 4), (5, 4)]) seventy sixty (24, 18, [(3, 3), (2, 2), (4, 4), (2, 4), (4, 5)]) enzymes synonym (23, 27, [(2, 3), (4, 5), (4, 4), (5, 3), (3, 4), (2, 5), (3, 3)]) synergy failure (27, 18, [(3, 3), (5, 1), (4, 2), (2, 3), (4, 3), (4, 4), (5, 2)]) victory variety (24, 22, [(4, 4), (2, 1), (2, 4), (4, 2), (3, 2), (4, 4), (5, 5)]) carbon oxygen (16, 22, [(2, 3), (1, 4), (4, 5), (2, 4), (3, 2), (4, 4)]) mixture autopsy (22, 23, [(3, 1), (2, 3), (4, 4), (4, 3), (3, 4), (4, 3), (2, 5)]) liquify voyager (23, 23, [(3, 4), (2, 3), (5, 5), (3, 1), (2, 4), (3, 2), (5, 4)]) quality anybody (23, 23, [(5, 1), (3, 4), (1, 5), (3, 2), (2, 3), (4, 3), (5, 5)]) gravity gangway (24, 23, [(4, 4), (4, 1), (1, 4), (4, 4), (2, 4), (4, 1), (5, 5)]) equinox conquer (23, 23, [(2, 2), (5, 3), (3, 4), (2, 5), (4, 3), (3, 2), (4, 4)]) fantasy mystery (21, 26, [(3, 3), (1, 5), (4, 3), (4, 4), (1, 2), (3, 4), (5, 5)])

so the biggest loser is

FAILURE, appropriately enough, losing to SYNERGY by nine points.

And

EQUINOX/CONQUER goes to the second head-to-head, which is won by Q over O.

Incidentally:

"drawn blindly in a knock-out tournament": I see what you did there, Levieux. Or perhaps I should say I feel what you did there.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well done! And as far as I've checked, all your scores are correct, so you've got the bonus questions correct as well. $\endgroup$ – Levieux Feb 2 '17 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ And I'd like to add to that that I had this puzzle ready about two weeks ago, but then all of a sudden a cascade of Braille puzzles came along. Seeing your quick answer I guess I might have waited a little bit longer :P $\endgroup$ – Levieux Feb 2 '17 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think my answer was quick because of earlier Braille puzzles (though of course it's always hard to know). It was, of course, the stuff about corners that was the giveaway. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Feb 2 '17 at 22:28

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