austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Take an hour for lunch and then at two we're done

So for the Halloween Price is Right, done in a Wizard of Oz theme which looked really rather good, they played ``Pay The Rent'' again. This time around the grocery items were candy ($3.46), nuts ($6.29), beverage (``Brain Toniq'', one of those attempts at marketing a drink as boosting one's intelligence) ($2.59), spray (WD-40, which apparently didn't have the proper marketing stuff worked out or they'd have named it, although there was a cute tie-in to the Tin Woodsman costume) ($4.99), seeds (really) ($1.79), and bottled water ($2.99).

The contestant, who can't have seen the game before due to the taping dates, put the cheapest seeds in the bottom level, but on the second level put the nuts and water. Following this the contestant rather wisely walked away rather than be defeated; in effect, this was following the sure-bet strategy, since you have to work really hard to not make the sum of the two items in the second level not be greater than the single item of the first level.

The range of prices is tough, but to my delight there are at least two winning approaches: for the first level the candy ($3.46) must go; for the fourth level the most-expensive nuts ($6.29) must go. But for the second level one can have either the seeds and candy ($5.25 total) or the beverage and water ($5.58 total); or one could have the seeds and water ($4.78) in the second level and the beverage and candy ($6.05).

I had not previously considered the prospect of multiple winning placements, and I'm not sure the game designers did either. I think this might be the only Price game with multiple winning strategies, discounting games like Bullseye which offer a ``wild card'' last-minute save based on pure luck.

This is a really interesting pricing game.

Trivia: The best Atlantic telegraph cables of the 1930s could send up to 400 words per minute, roughly a hundred times better than the 1858 cable could do when it worked. Source: How The World Was One: Beyond The Global Village, Arthur C Clarke.

Currently Reading: A History Of Modern Computing, Paul E Ceruzzi.


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