There’s got to be a grim sort of mental arithmetic you have to do when you’re faced with a very short time limit and a decision as to whether you’re going to bust out ‘hentai’ as an answer on an otherwise quite wholesome game show. How will they respond? Is it worth it? Is my mum watching this? Will she Google what hentai is? We can’t know what went through the mind of Countdown contestant Marwan Riach when he decided to just go for it, but we can tell by looking at his face that he wasn’t 100% certain he made the right choice.

In an episode of the show that aired in Britain yesterday, Riach and his opponent Tom Silverlock were given 30 seconds to find the longest word they could out of the letters ‘TINEYATPH’. Silverlock, lacking Riach’s familiarity with cartoon porn, went the dismal 5-letter ‘patty’. Riach, moving his head in the distinct movement of someone who is freaking out but trying to appear relaxed, furtively put forth ‘hentai’, which the judge both confirmed as a word (direct quote: “Hentai is brilliant“) and defined somewhat obliquely as “a subgenre of a Japanese anime or manga”.

You can watch the clip below, and see just how close it seems to get to falling into silliness, without ever actually doing so:

As they point out on the show, he could have done even better with ‘patient’.