The ATC Report

"In Control" Vol. XV, No. 10

Let's play a game. We will give you six letters. You make a word out of the six letters. Pretty simple rules, huh? Here are your letters:

U  P  D  T  I  S

Don't read any further until you've finished!!

We SAID, stop reading until you've finished.

OK, so now you have the word, right? It's ‘stupid'. Did it take you four hours to figure it out? We even gave you an extra letter (as opposed to the five that the racers had). If it were worth a chance at a million dollars, do you think you could have figured it out in less than four hours? Or are you the type to just give up and assume it would have taken you four hours?

If you are one of those ‘just give up' types, then we're going to call you...well, stupid.

Think about it. You have the following five letters: ‘Z-A-N-F-R'. Now think about all the words you know. Next, pick any 3 of those 4 consonants. Can you come up with any word that has those three consonants in a row? We can't either, which means that only 2 consonants can be in a row, which leaves the ‘A' for the middle letter. Since we can't come up with a word that has a ‘FN' or a ‘FZ' (or a ‘NF' or ‘ZF' either), that must mean that the F and R go together.

So using a little logic, and by process of elimination we are left with the following combos:









We can probably discard both the ‘NZ---' choices, since we've never actually seen a word that begins like that. Likewise, we can do the same with the ‘RF---' choices.

That leaves us with four possibilities. One for every hour the Globetrotters spent in penalty. Of those four, only one of them even looks like a word. That's right, all the teams should have guessed ‘FRAZN' as their first choice.

But it's easy to second-guess the racers. We've heard a little second-guessing ourselves, and we know what that's like. (Dig through poo or tote cheese? Obviously, who WOULDN'T dig through poo?) We're just kind of bummed that the Globetrotters won't be in the final.

Which leads us to our picks to win.

Steve: Actually, this is pretty easy. The teams will finish in the same order that the finished this leg in.

Dave: You mean Meghan/Cheyne, Sam/Dan, and then Brian/Ericka? You're probably right.

Steve: Yep, that's it. Meghan and Cheyne have run a really smart race, and haven't made too many glaring mistakes - like taking a four-hour penalty in an eight-hour long leg.

Dave: I agree, but boy are they vanilla.

Steve: They will probably be the most forgettable team ever to win The Amazing Race.

Dave: So you're saying they are no Chip and Kim then, huh?

Steve: Nope. They will be more like a Steve and Dave.

Dave: Who were they?

Steve: My point precisely.

Dave: Even though I agree with your picks, I feel compelled to change my picks so that we're a little different at least.

Steve: You have a compulsion to be wrong?

Dave: Apparently so. At least my wife thinks so.

Steve: Fine. What's your order then?

Dave: I'll say that there will be a bunch-up on this leg, and that somehow Brian and Ericka will manage to come out of it in the lead. Since Sam and Dan have been shown recently as the "bad boys", they will finish third (so that all the viewers can feel happy that evil does not profit), which leaves Meghan and Cheyne in second.

Steve: Wow, if you're going to be wrong, you might as well be wrong as far as you can.

Dave: Are there varying degrees of wrong? I always assumed that if you were wrong, you were wrong - kind of like being ‘a little pregnant'.

Steve: You have a point...

So there it is. Our picks, flawed though they may well be. Just in case you skipped all of the above to get to the picks, here's a recap:

STEVE'S PICKS:1st - Meghan & Cheyne
(and Dave's secret picks as well)2nd - Sam & Dan
3rd - Brian & Ericka

DAVE'S PICKS:1st - Brian & Ericka
(although he disavows them)2nd - Meghan & Cheyne
3rd - Sam & Dan