Wednesday, 17 March 2010

TV Watch - Only Connect

Only Connect – Quarter Final ¾ - Neuroscientists v. Strategists

Sorry for the delay, dear readers. Busy time at work, I'm afraid. Right then, on paper Monday night’s contest looked to have something of a David and Goliath flavour. The Neuroscientists booked their passage to the second round by beating the Rugby Fans by 17 points to 7. They’re a multi-national outfit consisting of Joseph Raimondo, Blake Richards, and captain Jonathan Webb. However they faced the formidable Strategists, who beat the Polymaths by 31 – 15 in the first round. Chris Cummins – Sarah Higgins and captain Michael Dnes were, for my money, one of the most impressive of the younger teams in the first round. I must say how nice it was to have Victoria reassuring me that I’m not an idiot, and the show is just really hard. Loins thus girded, lets begin.

Round One – What’s the Connection ?

The Neuros began with delta. Offered Bruckner’s Symphony in F Major, The Mean Machine , Fine ground Italian flower, and James Bond’s section, they went the wrong way thinking of M.I. – as in 6. The Strategists offered pretty much the same thing. I admit, I was stumped by the mean Machine thinking of the Burt Reynolds film – or the Vinny Jones remake, rather than Dick dastardly’s car in Whacky Races. OO was the answer.Strategists chose gamma, which gave them Mars Exploration Rover, Fab 1 and the Tyrrell P34. Confidently they buzzed in with Thunderbirds, but this was incorrect. The Strategists were given the last clue Thomas the Tank Engine. They missed it too, but thankfully it confirmed for me that I had it right with 6 wheeled vehicles. No points for anyone yet. The Neuros took zeta, and were offered Art Speigelman, Bell Hooks, K.D. Lang and E.E. Cummings. They suggested it had something to do with sexuality. Incorrect, however the Strategists – and me at home – knew that they all wrote their names with lower case initials. The last two gave it to me. So the Strategists took a narrow lead, and they then chose alpha. The picture clue, for such it was, revealed a picture of a shapely young lady in the clasp of Eros or Cupid. In my best answer of the night I shouted that this was Psyche, which must mean the set was John Keats’ Odes. This was confirmed as pictures of Autumn, a Nightingale, and a Grecian Urn followed. Alas, neither team could see it. Epsilon for the Neuros provided the music connection. I am ashamed to admit that I recognised the theme to Prisoner Cell Block H at once, and correctly guessed prisons – confirmed by The Green Green Grass of Home, and Tie a Yellow Ribbon etc. Again, it escaped both teams. So the Strategists ended with Hobson’s Choice, or beta, as they called it. Maypoles, horse racing, spoken theatre, and mince pies seemed an impenetrable quartet. Actually mince pies could have given it away, since they were all banned by Oliver Cromwell. Yes, you can see it now, I know. So a low scoring round ended with the Strategists leading by 1 - 0

Round Two – What comes fourth

Naughty Victoria had a quiet little dig to start – “Round Two is NOT easier than Round One . . . so fingers crossed . “ Gamma brought the Neuros Building – Antenna, at which they correctly identified the connection as base jumping, but they failed to get the 4th. The third clue was span, which didn’t help the Strategists, and the fourth was earth. Strategists picked delta, to get Losecote Field, and Barnet. After the third clue, Tewkesbury, they were on the right track with wars of the Roses, but they threw away Bosworth in favour of St. Albans. Having actually mentioned Bosworth, I expect that the Strategists may have been relieved to see the Neuro’s offer Hammersmith, thinking of railway stations. The Neuros picked zeta. NineteeN and Twenty EighT gave them sets of numbers which begin and end with the same letter. Once Thirty Eight had gone, that would leave Eighty onE. It’s a miracle announced Victoria, and for a moment I thought she was referring to the fact that I got it right. Amazingly, this was actually enough for the Neuros to take the lead. The Strategists were shown pictures of a bath, St. Patrick, and a thistle. They toyed with patron saints, but correctly predicted that garter – as in chivalric orders – would follow. So the Neuros lead was short lived. The Neuros were given iron age design – cogwheels and a silicon chip. Its to my shame that, like both teams , I didn’t know that all of these are on a £2 coin, and the missing symbol is the internet. So the Strategists finished off the round with soldier, capodecina, and underboss. They correctly identified the missing term as Don, meaning hierarchical ranks in the mafia. So at the end of the round the Neuros had managed to put points on the board, but the Strategists led by 5 – 2.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Strategists struck first, and they struck well. Within half a minute they had sorted out a set of tings governed by laws. Straightaway they followed this with a set of US State capitals. The hattrick was completed with welsh female vocalists, and this left Beaus – Nash, Bridges, Peep and Geste. Its got to be said, they made this wall look easy. Yet as we all know, the walls are never easy.
So the poor Neuros were going to have to up their game just to keep the gap between them and the leaders from widening. They saw a set of balls in baseball – curve ball, spit ball etc. Had they had a Brit there they might have seen Mr. Benn, Mr. Bean to go with Mr. Rochester and Mr. Potato Head.Still, they did see the connection. Lemon and Dover correctly suggested sole, and apparently Sandwich, Four Colour, Hairy Ball and Binomial are all mathematical theorems. So the Strategists now led by 15 to 6

Round Four – The Missing Vowels

With only 9 points the gap a good round could still see the Neuros do it. But it never really looked like happening. The first set was administrative areas of Scotland. The Strategists put the result beyond doubt by taking three of them to none for the Neuros. North American Nobel Literature Laureates went 3 – 1 to the Strategists too, although they did lose a point for offering Tina rather than Toni Morrison. English words derived from Arabic . This suited the Neuros, who won 3 – 1. Alloys followed, but there was only time for stainless steel which went to the Strategists. Final score - 22 – 10 to the Strategists.

So well done Strategists. Not quite hitting the heights of the first round performance, but a win is a win is a win. Hard lines Neuros – it really wasn’t your night.


Andrew B. said...

Small correction - the Strategists buzzed in with "Thunderbirds" on the second set for Round One, not "Fighter Aircraft".

Londinius said...

D'oh !I stand corrected, and will amend the post. Cheers Andrew


Andrew B. said...

You might also be interested to know that the Strategists and the Hitchhikers meet in the second semi-final, so there will be a "younger team" in the final.

Londinius said...

Yes Andrew, I am interested !

The Gamblers play the Bowlers on Monday night. Now, I don't know the outcome - and I'd like to pay tribute to all contributors for never giving away the results in advance - but if I was a betting man I'd go for the Gamblers. I know their quiz pedigree, and their first round performance was very impressive. Oh, the Bowlers were good, but not in my opinion as good.

So that would give us a semi final between yourselves and the Gamblers - please neither confirm nor deny this. In my opinion, that's a good enough match to be a final. OK - so the Hitchhikers haven't been so impressive as the other three teams perhaps. So one of three top teams, yourselves, Strategists and Gamblers/Bowlers was always going to get them in the semis. That's just the luck of the draw. One thing I can guarantee - whichever two teams win through to the finals they'll certainly deserve their place there.

I'm looking forward to it already.