Sunday, 14 December 2014

LAM Podcast 23

In this week's show: -

TV Questions
Talking points on Christmas quizzes, being forced out of a pub quiz, Mastermind, UC and OC
Court of Public Opinion
Do You Remember
Answers to last week's questions

Saturday, 13 December 2014

In The News

In the News

Who or what are the following and why have they been in the news in December?

Darren Wilson
These Days
Cressida Dick
It for Others
Stephanie Roche
Massimo Cellino
Myles Bradbury
Olivia Smart and Joe Buckland
Louise Burns
Girl Online
Overgate Centre, Dundee
Stegosaurus Sterops
Adam Peaty
Mark Pritchard
Daniel Anrig
Davy Russell and Phillip Enright
Richard Hollingworth
Zoe Suggs
Sky Swing
Mohammad Hafeez
Nigel Mills
Baroness Jenkin
Ross Taylor
Jeannette Traverso
Heather Cho
Roger Bird
Kailash Satyarthi
Paul Rosalie
Scot Young

In Other News

Who said she had delivered s House of Commons speech loaded with smutty innuendo for a dare?
Where was the world’s largest Christmas tree unveiled?
Who will provide the voice of Colonel K in the new Danger Mouse?
Which former African leader was cleared of all charges?
What was the score in the Autumn RU international between Australia and England?
And Wales and South Africa?
Who is the British Heavyweight champion?
Who much did shoppers spend in the UK on Black Friday?
What is the most popular boy’s name in the UK for newborn babies?
– and for girls?
Who announced he will stand down at the next election?
Which city was given the UNESCO city of Design award?
Which 3 players were shortlisted for FIFA world player of the year?
Who is to appear in a one off Downton Abbey sketch
Whose term as President of the European Council is coming to an end?
Who was investigated by the FA for an alleged anti semitic tweet?
Name the captain of the Costa Concordia on trial for manslaughter?
Chris Froome announced what last week?
Which Lego set will not be available in shops until January?
Which actor turned up drunk and obscene for a Holocaust Poetry Recital?
Who lost their appeals over their convictions for the murder of Lee Rigby?
Planning permission has been granted for what over the Thames?
Which former party leader passed away aged 85?
There have been allegations on German Tv over a systematic athletics doping programme in which country?
Why was Alastair Cook banned for one match following the 3rd ODI?
Where did the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit?
Which bridge celebrated its 150th anniversary?
Where was a video of the making of the Band Aid 30th anniversary single projected?
Nigel Farage used which excuse for being two hours late for an appointment in Wales?
What was the score between Stoke and Arsenal?
– and in the final of the UK Snooker championship?
Which ‘funny’ Christmas card did Clinton’s withdraw from their stores?
Why was the Shrien Dewani murder case dismissed?
Why were Gambian Diplomats jailed in the UK last week?
What was the score between Man Utd and Southampton?
Which actress celebrated her 80th birthday last week?
Who posted Daily Mail journalist Neil Sear’s phone number on Twitter?
Which DJ was rrested over alleged sexual assaults
Who fell off his chair during the Royal Albert Hall tennis exhibitions?
Which institution obtained memorabilia from the estate of Sir Patrick Moore?
Who bought James Watson’s nobel Prize medal so that he could give it back to him?
Which famous illustration sold for £300,000?
Which Hollywood couple confirmed they have split?
What was the Champs league score between Liverpool and Basel?
– and Arsenal and Galatasaray?
– and Man City and Roma?
– and Chelsea and Sporting Lisbon?
Who joined Ospreys from racing Metro?
Who did Angeszka Radwanska appoint her coach?
Who is to have a Lifetime Achievement award in SPOTY?
Why has the Brighton beach Christmas Day swim been officially cancelled?
Who was suspended for verbally abusing Leicester’s Richard Cockerill?
Who or what are Time Magazine’s Person of the Year?
Which area of London has been dubbed Britain’s most normal place?
Who stood down from attempt to become UKIP candidate
Which organization apologized for abuse of children during their time in the movement?
Which club were suspended from all football activity by the FA over ownership problems?
Who signed a new 1 year contract with McLaren F1
Who gave birth to twins Gabrielle and Jacques?
What was the score between Spurs and Besiktas?
And Dinamo Zagreb and Celtic?
And Everton and Krasnodar?
The wife of which politician will be a Booker Prize judge next year?
Whose statue was reinstalled in Morecambe Bay?
Which bird was found to be closest relative to dinosaurs?
What was the score in the Varsity rugby match?

Who became Asia’s first ever world number 1 snooker player?

Only Connect - Qualification Match

Linguists v. Gallifreyans

Another winners match last Monday saw the Linguists, Virginia Fassnidge, Gail La Carbonara and skipper Tom Fassnidge, who had taken the considerable scalp of the Chessmen in a tight and absorbing contest, take on John Dorney, Stuart Wildig and skipper Giles Sparrow, the Gallifreyans. The Gallifreyans had overcome the Wandering Minstrels rather comfortably if truth be told. On paper I couldn’t pick a favourite.

Round One – What’s the Connection?

The Linguists kicked off by putting the Gals into bat. They picked eye of Horus, and received Il Cantante (Mick Hucknall). I couldn’t quite get a handle on it at this stage. The second clue was Adega do Cantor (Cliff Richard) – which looked like Portuguese to me. Third was Inglenook (Francis Ford Coppola).That rang a bell, and going on the fact that Coppola’s inclusion meant we weren’t looking at singers, despite the first two , I plumped for wine brands made by the people in brackets. Actually it was vineyards, as it looked like Stuart supplied. Two Reeds provided the Linguists with a picture set. The first looked to me like Wells Cathedral – which made me idly think of Olympic 100m champions. I couldn’t recognise either of the people who came next, but the 4th picture was clearly a bolt. So my hunch was correct, neither team seeing it themselves. The singer was Tony Christie and the third picture David Bailey. The Lings took the music set next behind Lion, and although I didn’t recognise the first, I did recognise the overture to Die Fledermaus, and the theme to the Michael Keaton Batman film. So bats, then. I wasn’t sure what would be next, but Bat out of Hell certainly made sense. God enough for a point for the Gals. Water gave the Lings Formal Royal Ceremonies – When Including a Religious Service – huh? – Live Parliamentary proceedings less than 30 mins and then Children's less than 30 mins escaped both them and me. However the Gals were able to pick up a bonus, knowing that these were all types of television programmes where there can be no advertising breaks. Now, Twisted Flax showed just what can happen when you have the courage of your convictions. The first clue was Nicholas Cage Magician Film (2007).  As it happened we all knew that this was called Next. However I was off about clothing retailers while the Gals decided that actually the connection could well be just as simple as ‘next’ and so they went for it. Five points in the bag, and a good lead became a commanding one. Left with Horned Viper Ling skipper Tom added to his own team’s problems by not voicing the second vowel. A rat – zombies – a paternity dispute and racism looked unpromising until Captain Tom went for Michael Jackson songs right at the death. What a good set – gettable after 2, no doubt about that, even though I didn’t. At least this put a point on the board for the Lings, but the Gals had an ominous lead of 9 – 1.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth?

The Gals, who had yet to receive a really nasty set, picked Eye of Horus, and a picture set. The first picture showed 5p, 2p and 1p pieces. Small change? Second picture showed the same three coins together with a 10p piece. The temptation now was to go for 4th picture – 1p – 2p – 5p – 10p – 20- 50p -  – but surely that was too obvious? Well, the 3rd picture was right if that was the sequence. I wasn’t wrong, but the important thing, as the Gals said, was that the 50p went in the right place to make up the Royal Shield, which is on the back of the coins. Lings chose Lion, and began with Venus, 5,832. OK – what did that mean? Next came Mercury: 1408. – I had a brainwave. Venus has a day that lasts longer than it’s year. So I guessed that earth: 24 would be the answer, the sequence being the bumber of hours it takes to make a full rotation. After that we were given Mars – 24.62- which looked promising. It looked like Tom who figured it out. Victoria took far too long to explain the concept, although she gained brownie points from me for using a bourbon biscuit to represent Venus.  Captain Giles of the Gals showed just why his team were doing so well by giving us Hornèd Viper as his next choice. Epsilon and Eta – then – iota – Omicron. I hazarded a guess with upsilon , since it also started with a vowel in the latin alphabet, and so did the Gals. Correct. Left with Twisted Flax the Lings kicked off with 6 in Africa. Hm – no idea off the top of my head. 7 in Europe followed, then 9 in North America. Neither team knew it was 12 in Asia. Me neither, but then I’ve never played Risk. It’s continental territories. The Gals’ last choice was Water, which they began with Ball – Cox – Moyles. The last made it totally clear – being Radio 1 breakfast show presenters, so the last would be Grimshaw. The Gals knew the connection, but not the name, ceding a bonus to the Lings, who gratefully accepted. This left two reeds for the Lings, who started with O’Brien squeezing an udder. Fair enough. Then Bracknell Twerking – then Lucan Vaulting. At this point the idea of a Lord Leaping, following a lady dancing came to mind for all of us. I suggested the idea of Pepper Picker playing a wind instrument. Neither team could suggest anything. This meant that the Gals still had a commanding lead, with 13 to 4.

Round Three – Connecting Walls

The Lings chose the Lion wall, and took out rose – sash – electric and picture windows in fairly short order. They could see a set of Sherlock Holmes stories characters, but not isolate them.Hung – Flew – Smelt and Spoke – a set of past participles fell next. With a little jiggery pokerey, Adler – Hudson – Moran and Bradstreet separated into one line, then Watson – Deep Blue – Dr. Fill and Chinook were the other. I felt Victoria was a little mean not to allow Chess computers for Watson and the others , but there we are, she didn’t. They are all computers that play different games. This meant that they earned 7 points, and were rather unfortunate not to have a full house of 10.

An abortive attempt at Agatha Christie characters produced nothing at first so then the Gals switched to something, anything else. Tow thirds of the time had gone, with nothing being produced, and John produced a heartfelt sigh of – This is NOT our wall! Club – electric – high and easy fell to a random selection, but at first they couldn’t see they were all chairs. They didn’t solve any of the other lines, but Stuart at least salvaged another point by getting chair right at the death. When the wall was resolved the other lines were – Hastings – Race – Oliver – Lemon – which were the Poirot characters – then – Nobe,l Carver – Japp and Franklin. They were all chemists, so no point for inventors. The last line was Bath – Curtain – Pension – Picture. John could see that these are all things you can draw – a good shout, that. So they finished with 4, and had somewhat fortuitously only concede three points. They led by 17 to 11.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

The first set all shared their names with BRIC countries. A long hesitation saw the Gals lose the point they had already got, and the Lings therefore take two points from the lead. The Gals took three of Party Leaders with one letter humourously changed, but they lost one point for a wrong answer after that. Didn’t matter, they were in the lead. There was just enough time for both teams to add one more point to their scores with novels by EM Forster, but that was it. The Gals were deserved winners with 20, while the Lings must 

University Challenge - Round Two - Match 5

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine v. Bristol

The LSHTM team of Andy Taylor, Rebecca Glover, Anjaneya Bapat, and their captain Sarah Legrand defeated fellow London University team, the LSE in the first round, by just one starter. Monday’s opponents, Bristol, had a rather more easy time in their own first match, when the team of Lewis Rendell, Benjamin Moon, Miles Coleman and their captain, Anastasia Reynolds comfortably saw off the Courtauld Institute of Art. Let’s get on with the show.

It to0o0k a while for the first starter to get to the point, but when it did, it was Sarah Legrand who buzzed in first with the Blair quote – Educationx3. Three questions on the Minoan civilization followed – ah yes, a small thing, but Minoan. 1 was taken. Right, surgical instrument and window were not enough to provoke a buzz, but the addition of the word journal gave Sarah Legrand her second starter with The Lancet. A UC special set of pairs of words beginning with the same 4 letters – eg – protozoa and proton – provided two bonuses. Neither team could quite dredge up the name of the Leeds and Liverpool canal – home to Wigan Pier. This was only delaying Sarah Legrand’s hattrick of starters, as she knew next that Marc Chagall painted sad clowns etc. The music bonuses that followed asked for names linked by a word or words – for example – Ode to Joy and Joy Division. A full set of these followed. I was a little surprised that nobody took the picture starter which marked the site of the Battle of Monte Cassino on a map of Italy. Sarah Legrand was rather unfortunate to buzz early on the latin name passer domesticus with sparrow. The question specifically asked for a two word name, although this wasn’t obvious until after she had buzzed. This allowed Benjamin Moon in with House sparrow. This brought them the picture bonuses on locations of other battles in the Mediterranean during world war II. 2 bonuses made a dent in the lead, which stood at 55 – 20 at the 10 minute mark.

Now, I didn’t know Chebyshev, but Lewis Rendell of Bristol did, and that brought them the next starter. Last words in poetry provided an interesting set of bonuses, and Bristol were slightly unlucky not to get. Asked for the full name of the academy of drama whose acronym resembles a Greek letter minus one letter, Miles Coleman eventually gave us the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Meteorology offered me little although I did get Indian Summer. Bristol had that and another and now trailed by 10. Anastasia Reynolds showed some nifty buzzer work on the next starter. Asked for an English King, as soon as she heard ‘born in Pembroke Castle’ she went for it and gave the correct answer of Henry VII.Bonuses on British monarchs since 1600, in the words of Walter Bagehot. 2 correct answers gave them a lead of 15. For the music starter the teams were asked to name the composer of the theme of Dances with Wolves. Nobody knew John Barry. A splendid speculative buzz from Sarah Legrand on The Well of Loneliness dragged LSHTM back into  the match following a fallow period of a few minutes. This brought the dubious blessing of the music bonuses. Three more winners of the Oscar for best original film score brought ten more points, the only one missed being the only one I got, Giorgio Moroder. Now, I got the geometry starter, don’t ask me how, but basically if you take all the internal angles of a 100 sided polygon and divide by 98, what you’re left with is 180 degrees. Only just behind me was Lewis Rendell. The judiciary provided two bonuses and the points to take the lead again. On the cusp of the 20 minute mark they led by 90 – 75.

Miles Coleman extended this lead knowing that the OPCW is dedicated to the eradication of Chemical weapons. For bonuses T H Huxley provided two more bonuses. The picture starter showed a University building. Andy Taylor took a punt that it was in Mexico and earned a heart felt Paxman ‘well done’. The bonuses were UNESCO world heritage sites that have housed educational institutions. I managed the same two that LSHTM managed. Now, if you’re asked for a French wine growing region, Burgubndy is always worth a shout. Especially if the question mentions Dijon. Rebecca Glover took that one.They took two bonuses which put them 5 points ahead, which moved JP to erroneously say ’10 points from this starter and you’ll be ahead.’ Already there Jez. Whatever the case, Sarah Legrand made sure of it by buzzing early for the next starter on smelting. The bonuses on number theory did nothing for me, but LSHTM took two of them, and with 3 minutes left they led by one full set. Asked for the two countries involved in the Chaco War, Miles Coleman supplied Bolivia and Paraguay to keep Bristol just 15 points off the lead. They duly obliged with a full set on forms of the verb avoir. All square, and what a good contest these two teams were serving up for our delectation. A crucial, and ironically appropriate buzz from Benjamin Moon saw him identify the IAU as the International Astronomical Union. Bonuses on sausages saw Bristol guess the name of a French city, any city, linked with a sausage. They came up with Toulouse, and that correct guess ensured a full set, and looked to be a crucial one. Quite simply, LSHTM needed a correct buzz on the next starter, or game over.Neither team recognised lines penned by A E Houseman. Neither did I. Was there time for a full set? Agaricae might have given either of the teams the idea of mushrooms – but it didn’t. Surely not enough time left for an LSHTM come back now? Indeed not. Bristol ran out winners by 160 – 135. Full marks to Bristol for holding their nerve after the LSHTM went off to their blitz start, and especially after being given the kiss of death encouragement from JP.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Oh dear. We hadn’t even reached the ten minute mark and our hero was already issuing the dreaded ‘Plenty of time to come back’ kiss of death to Bristol.
Later on , when asked for the name which appears at the end of last lines of a specific poem, he wouldn’t accept Lady of Shalott when only Shalott was wanted. His explanation “It’s harsh, I know, but it’s the only way to play this game.” Very true – just so long as the same harshness is applied to ALL teams – and there are some times it doesn’t seem to be.
Ah, at last a flash of spirit from the great man. When Miles Coleman suggested that the composer of the film theme ‘could be Purcell’ he gave him a splendidly old fashioned look and replied in high dudgeon, “No it couldn’t! It’s not a bit like Purcell!’
Having said all this, our JP is still taking his happy pills, as he hailed the gallant runners up as being ‘certainly the giggliest team we’ve ever had’ but also as being ‘very, very good.’ Well said.

Interesting Fact Of The Week That I Didn’t Already Know

The word chipolata originally denoted an onion stew.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Mastermind - Round One - Heat 17

I allowed myself a little chuckle as last night’s first contender, Carys Logan, settled into the chair, when I thought that she said that her specialist subject was the Life and Films of Gary Grant. Now, my erstwhile skipper is a man of many talents, but I didn’t know he’d branched out into acting. But no, it was in fact Cary Grant. As usual with an actor round there were a few gimmes – I’d never have had any right otherwise, but enough tough ones to almost stop Carys in her tracks once or twice, and so bearing that in mind she did rather well to rally enough to make 9.

Former semi finalists really haven’t been in short supply this year, and David Sutherland was just the latest to make a reappearance. Back in Jesse’s 2010 series he won his heat, but didn’t have the happiest of times in his semi. Last night he was offering us the C.S.S. Alabama. The Confederate warship is one of those subjects which you feel that a contender would only take if they have a special interest in the subject, and feel confident that they are unlikely to be caught out. David’s round of 11 was certainly a perfectly good one, but it wasn’t perfect, and it did allow just a little bit of room for another contender to head him at the turn.

Ewen McPherson was our second recidivist last night. His subject was the Masters of Rome novels of Colleen McCullough. Now, I will be honest, if you are going to take a series of novels as your specialist subject you have to know them inside out. I’m not saying that Ewen had not worked hard on preparing for his round, and I’m not saying that he does not have a deep knowledge of them. Not having read them myself I’m not in any position to comment on the difficulty and/or fairness of the questions. However the fact is that Ewen failed to answer as many correctly as he succeeded in answering, and he scored 7.

The man with the famous name, Rod Laver, finished off the specialist round with Marc Almond and Soft Cell. What a round it was. Rod had time to pass on one question, and still answer 16 questions correctly. It proves that it can be done this series, and would have put him in a good position in any heat. In this one it gave him a 5 point lead at the turn, and we were going to have to see something extraordinary if he wasn’t going to win.

Ewen’s GK round was a good demonstration of how frustrating a Mastermind appearance can be. Ewen’s answers showed that he is a good general knowledge quizzer, and he comfortably accrued 12 points to push him up to 19. Unfortunately though it still meant that he only led Rod by 4 points – a case of shutting the stable door, if you like. Carys was unable to match this in her round. She actually started very well, but there was a string of wrong answers and passes during the second minute, which took away all of her momentum, and meant that she was only able to equal Ewen’s overall score of 19. She still managed double figures on GK though.

David had the opportunity to make a second semi final, but being realistic it was either going to need a brilliant GK round to set a high enough score to give him a chance of a repechage slot, or a good enough one to at least put Rod into the corridor of doubt. It wasn’t a bad round at all, when you got right down to it. There were good answers throughout the round, but a few guessables which went begging as well. This meant that David levelled out at 11, which I thought just wouldn’t quite be enough to put Rod into the corridor of doubt. Which goes to show how little I know . . .

There was little or no hint that Rod would struggle to find the 8 points he needed to win outright, and the first couple of questions provided him with a couple straight away. After that, though, the nerves really set in, and what followed was actually a grim old struggle, with points being clawed in singly. It was tortuous at times, and as a viewer you genuinely started to fear that maybe Rod wouldn’t do it. He reached 22. Then one more answer followed, and he was through with hardly any time to spare. Congratulations Rod – you were made to suffer for your place in that semi – and best of luck.

The Details

Carys Logan The Life and Films of Cary Grant9 - 310 - 419 - 7
David SutherlandThe C.S.S.Alabama11 - 211 - 522 - 7
Ewen McPhersonMasters of Rome novels by Colleen McCullough7 - 112 - 219 - 3
Rod LaverMarc Almond and Soft Cell16 - 17 - 523 - 6

Sunday, 7 December 2014

LAM Podcast 22

In this week's show: -

Connections/News headline questions
Talking points - positive discrimination - favourite shows
Court of Public Opinion
Do You Remember
Answers to Last week's questions

Only Connect - Match 14

The History Boys v. The Felinophiles

On paper a very serious contest between Rob Hannah, Gareth Kingston and Craig Element, the History Boys who comfortably beat the Oxonians in the first match, and the Felinophiles. Simon Turmaine, Helen Lippell and Simon Koppel also scored a ten point win in their first match against the politicos. Knowing Rob, Gareth and Craig I fancied the Hists to go straight through after this one, but then the Clark tip has been fatal to many a team in the past. Let’s see what actually happened.

Round One – What’s the Connection?

The History Boys chose Lion first and kicked off with Oswald Mosley Group, 1934. I idly toyed with blackshirts, and British Union of Fascists as did the Hists. The second was Polish rebellion 1863. Wisely I think the Hists took the third – number 1 single for Pilot 1975. Now that I knew for a fact could only be January – which the Hists knew full well. I stuck on January, while the Hists twisted and took the final clue – Betty Draper 2007. Betty Draper was played by January Jones in Mad Men – apparently. Never mind – much better to make sure of the point. After being told off by Victoria for being Felinophiles rather than the probably more correct ailurophiles the Fels opted for Twisted Flax, and GB1331655:Flying Saucer. Huh? The second – GB1426698: Cat flp/Peace keeping bomb shed a little more light. This looked like patents . The third – GB1333548 – Exploding nail was enough to convince the Fels, and they took the two points. Opting for Eye of Horus the Hists received Meher Baba. Nope – didn’t know him. Cuzco, Peru for the second clue was the capital of the Incan Empire. The boys toyed with going for capitals of ancient empires – just as well they took the next clue, for this one was Peace. Did they all have roses named after them? I mused. Stumped, they opted for the final clue – LGBT Community. All I could come up with were rainbow flags – which the History Boys went for as well – and was correct. So far the Hists had come up with the harder sets. The Fels now took full advantage of being ahead, and opted for all the blessings upon their houses that pro0nouncing Hornèd Viper doubtlessly brings. Lara Croft:Tomb Raider suggested possibly Angelina Jolie films, but that was surely too straightforward. Wall Street, the second clue, was a film, but I didn’t think that Angelina Jolie had been in it. The Pursuit of Happyness came third and I had an inkling. Angelina Jolie – star of the first, has a film star Dad, as does Michael Douglas, star of the second, as does Jaden Smith, star of the third. The Fels were in with this idea as well and pointed out that Will Smith was also in the third. So did their Dads all appear in their film with them? On Golden Pond, the last clue, fitted that very well. A bit mean the adjudication. When they gave a general answer the Fels were asked for more. They went for fathers and sosn – not correct. The Hists went for fathers and daughters – not correct. Fathers and children PLAYING fathers and children was the answer. Fair enough.  The Hists took their last clue of the round with Two Reeds and the Music set. The immortal Hayzi Fantayzee with John Wayne is Big Leggy kicked off, followed by Scritti Politti which suggested groups/artists with rhyming names. The Hists needed Milli Vanilli to get there. This left the Fels with Water and pictures. The first was a ladder in a lady’s tights, with a big red circle and diagonal bar across them. No ladders then. Huh? Next a silhouette of a family with a small dog, and the circle and bar through the dog. So no dogs. Huh? Simon had it at this point. It wasn’t a ladder – it was a run. Dog was too specific – it was a pet. No running – no petting – surely they weren’t going to also include no peeing in the shallow end? No, thankfully – the missing ones were ducking and bombing. That was a timely answer off two for the Fels, as it meant that they had a lead of 5 to 4.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth?

The Hists started again with Lion. 3: Connecticut didn’t look very helpful to me. They ingeniously came up with the fact that there are 3 Cs in Connecticut. The second – 2: Florida didn’t help that hypothesis. However 1. Maine did help . They worked out that it’s borders with other states, and knew that they could go with 0: Hawaii or Alaska. That was a well worked out set. 2 reeds gave the Fels pictures – the first of which looked like an Alsatian or German Shepherd dog, the second a springer spaniel and the third a cocker spaniel. I reckoned that these were most popular breeds in the UK, the 4th of which ahd to be a Labrador. The Fels didn’t get it going with poodle, and the Hists aren’t going to turn their noses up at that kind of bonus. Gareth too offered Hornèd for the Viper, and this gave the Hists Battery LR8D425 – Highest credit rating. Well, the highest credit rating is Triple A, presumably the battery was a quadruple A – so what we were looking for was something A – eg. -  highest mark in an exam. That’s what the Hists went for, correctly so. Up against it the Fels opted for water, and immediately encountered Count Dooku. OK – so we had a dark lord of the Sith from Star Wars – but where would that lead? Next was Qui-Gon Jin. Right – I reckoned it might be that he trained Obi Wan. Which gave us a problem – since to some extent Obi Wan trained both Anakin/Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Mind you – Yoda also trained Luke – and Anakin was his official apprentice, so that was what I went for. The Fels went for Luke and were denied,since Luke was not Obi Wan’s Padawan. There you go. Bonus for the Hists. Eye of Horus gave them a musical sequence, and Hit the Road Jack, by Ray Charles, The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel, and In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg were a lovely little sequence. I predicted Ace of Spades by Motorhead. The Hists just didn’t see it. The Fels went for Ace of Spades, which was indeed the example. A much needed bonus there, and they finished the round with Twisted Flax. The first clue – E:13.6.10 meant nowt to me. S:17.3.19 didn’t help. The Fels were thinking about compass points, and the next was W: 8.11.14 didn’t discount this. I had no idea nor, really, did either team. The answer – N:5.20.1 came from the sections of a dartboard. Fair set – it just didn’t click with me. Ironically I think that the letters on each really didn’t help. Well, it’s often said that the second round is the one which seperates the really good from the nearly good, and plain fact was that the Hists now led by 11 – 6.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Fels opted for Water. Extremely quickly they sorted out Help The Aged – Common People – Disco 2000 and Mis-Shapes, all linked by Jarvis Cocker/Pulp. Mencap – Scope – Save the Children and Refuge fell very quickly as well, as a set of charity organisations. I could see Agony Aunts and TV cops in the other sets – Ironside – Proops – Sanders and Rayner being the Agony Aunts, which left them Drebin – McNulty – Mcmillan and Lacey.  Think the key was getting the songs first – that helped make the wall – which wasn’t easy – look easy.

So the Hists needed a full house to preserve a serious lead. Lion wall offered them Muse rather than Pulp songs, but they still found them quickly – Starlight – Hysteria – Uprising and Knights of Cydonia. There looked to be Expresses, Bears and heaven alone knew what. Shanghai – Pineapple – Midnight and Von Ryan’s were the Expresses. Left with two lines to solve they worked out that there was also a set of words with numbers spelled out in them. Bingo. Quinine – Weighty – Network and Honey left bear – Polar – Cinnamon – Spectacled and Brown. A full house asked for, and a full house supplied.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

So, at 21 – 16 it wasn’t over, and we’ve seen bigger turnarounds. It was asking quite a bit though. The first set were all domestic assistants, and they fell 2 apiece. I thought that Gareth might do well on former English football league grounds, but the Fels also managed 1 to 3 for the Hists. Chemical elements and symbols seemed made for the Hists as well, being good old standard quiz stuff. Again these fell 3 – 1 and the game was as good as over. Actually, come to that, it really was over. Winners by 29 – 20 were the Hists – when you got right down to it they just had too much all round knowledge for the Fels. Don’t count the Fels out yet though – if they win their own next match, then they also go through. Well done boys – good performance.