austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I don't want to fake you out

The Price Is Right played ``Pay The Rent'' again Friday, and if they were making some concessions to putting on a game that wasn't impossibly difficult with the second outing, they changed their minds on the third and put on full torture. Perhaps they're hoping that they can cover the cost of all the refurbished game setups with introducing a game that teases people with a $100,000 payoff that they will never, ever get, and then decided to mix it up so that people who would go for the achievable goal of $10,000 lose too, although in this particular case the scheme didn't work; the contestant got $10,000 anyway.

This time around the six grocery items to be arranged were a can of Manwich sauce ($2.09), a bag of Cheetos dubbed ``Snacks'' because of how the sponsorship deal went down ($2.99), skin blemish Concealer ($5.49), a jar of pickles ($3.19), Febreeze air freshener ($4.99), and a microwave pizza ($7.49). Obviously the relatively generous range given by putting the Ramen noodles in last time was revoked.

More, this blows my proposed strategy out of the water. You have to put in the first level the second-most-expensive Concealer ($5.49). In the second level goes the second- and third-cheapest, Cheetos and Pickles ($6.18 total). In the third, mercifully, goes the cheapest Manwich sauce but also the third-most-expensive Febreeze ($7.08 total). Only in the top level does the obvious strategy hold, and the most expensive item belong there. At least that can't be changed without defying arithmetic.

I really wonder if they meant the game to be this difficult. The only real anchors are the most-expensive up top and the cheapest in the third level, and the position of the cheapest thing is so counterintuitive I wonder how long contestants will take to catch on. I'm not disapproving, I'm just pointing out the construction of the game.

Trivia: When the Virginia Company colonists, arriving on shore, opened the sealed orders naming the seven men who would rule the colony, they discovered one of the men was John Smith, who was at the moment under arrest for mutiny. Source: A Voyage Long And Strange: Rediscovering The New World, Tony Horwitz.

Currently Reading: Augustus: The Golden Age Of Rome, G P Baker.


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