Round One – Match 6 – Mensans v. Bloggers
Right then, lets get the most serious business out of the way. I’ll give Mensans a 7 out of 10 on the exotic team nameometer, and Bloggers a 6. Both teams lose points a little from being , well, exactly what it says on the tin. The Mensans are all members of the famous society for people with a demonstrably high I.Q. Quizzer Paul Murphy and John Paines flanked captain Martyn Smith. Across the studio sat the Bloggers. They were Chris Rubery , Steve Perkins, and captain Ruth Deller. If you’re thinking to yourself, well, I bet he was supporting the Bloggers, being as he is himself a blogger, all I can tell you is that you clearly know me too well by now.
Round One – What’s the Connection ?
The Mensans won the toss and elected to go first. They went with Water, and for their pains got pictures of Raymond Blanc – Vivaldi ( The red Priest – colours perhaps ?) – Frankie Valli and the boys – ah, I know, and a pizza. 4 seasons, of course- Raymond’s gaff being the Manoir aux Quatre Saisons. Nice point earned there. The Bloggers picked Eye of Horus and got a terrific connection . Powder : Blue – Water : Red – Foam: Cream – at which they twigged that this was the contents of different coloured fire extinguishers. Black :Co2 would complete it. Lovely connection, and 2 good points. Mensans took 2 reeds, and got Mr. Freese, Mr. Dahl, Mr. Magnol and Mr. Fuchs. I’ll be honest, I never twigged until Leonard Fuchs came out, but neither team saw it in studio conditions – all have plants named after them. The Bloggers, looking to build on their early lead, took Lion. 240 tolars , 5.95 markkas, 1936 lire and 0.79 punt were all they had to work on. Currencies , obviously. They plumped for all being equivalent to a pound. Close, but the cigar went to the Mensans, who knew that each was equivalent to a euro at the time when those countries adopted the euro. Lovely connection again. The Mensans showed their mettle with the dreaded music bonus. They recognised Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps, and Say , Say , Say. Yes, it may look easy when its written down, but try doing it when you listen to them in the studio. They earned a good three points by having the courage of their convictions to go for it. Bloggers then took horned viper, and here was my Moment At Home Of The Week. When 1923 FA Cup Final flashed up I shouted “White Horse “ ! No, I wouldn’t have gambled in the studio. Still, TV Theme by Jacky confirmed it. D’you remember that old series about the white horses of the Carmargue ? Used to be on kids TV every holiday, along with Robinson Crusoe. Ah, now there WAS a TV theme ! – Sorry, I just went a little All Our Yesterdays for a moment there. Back to the show. Even Foam crested waves couldn’t give it to the Bloggers. The Mensans got it. That was enough to give them a lead of 6 points to 2 at the end of the round.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?
The Mensans took the viper by the horns and for their trouble were given G on a blue background, E on a pink one, and H on a yellow one. They worked out we were dealing with Trivial Pursuit categories, but not which should come next. The Bloggers knew it would be A and L on brown. Good bonus. Two reeds gave bloggers one of those which you can’t believe that its right , but there’s only one thing it might be. Translunar – interplanetary – Interstellar, they were sure must be followed by Intergalactic. As indeed it was. The Mensans found a nice one behind lion. Alexander the Great was followed by Aristotle. They knew, I think that Aris taught Alex, and working back, he was taught by Plato, who was taught by the star of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Keanu Reev- I mean Mr. So-Crates. They took Plato to be certain, and indeed it was. Nice link back. Ah, the poor young Bloggers found this behind twisted flax. Mice – Madeleine – Gabriel. They had, I think its fair to say, not an earthly. The slightly older Mensans knew we were in Bagpuss country here, but which came next in order of waking up. If it’s a Bagpuss question I ALWAYS say Professor Yaffle , and this was right in this case for the Mensans. Again, they could have gambled early on their next set. Eye of Horus revealed Maria – Joseph, and here they knew it, but took Nancy and Oliver to be sure. Yes, it was those Andrew Lloyd Webber/Graham Norton shows, Britain’s Got Dorothy, or some such. A shame that both teams could see that Tamar – Severn and Forth were all bridges, but not that the longest of the set of single span suspension bridges would be the magnificent Humber Bridge. So the Mensans still led by 11 to 5.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
All change as the Bloggers got first choice and plumped for Lion. Methodically they unravelled a set of parts of a tooth, and then a set of places in the Ukraine. With not a huge amount of time remaining they solved the last two sets – Democracy – Benefactors, Noises Off and Copenhagen, which they knew were a set of plays by Michael Frayn – pretty good shout that one – and Marengo, Nelson – Traveller and Bucephalus, a set of famous horses. 10 points at any stage of the game can make a hell of a difference. Whatever happened the Mensans couldn’t possibly increase their lead before the vowels.
They had a great go at maintaining it though. I don’t now if all Mensa members are this good and quick at unravelling these puzzles, but the boys made pretty short work of untangling the four sets. They found May – Taylor – Mercury and Deacon – members of Queen. Then Zodiac – Prefect – Transit and Scorpio – Ford models -. Then Priest – Bishop – Pastor and Cantor – all religious offices. This then left them with Telescoping – Power – Harmonic and Fourier. I didn’t have a clue. They had a decent stab with scales of measurement, and Victoria gave them another go, but to no avail. They are all mathematical series. Fair enough. So the lead was reduced slightly, and going into the final round it was Mensans 18, and Bloggers 15.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
Now, the bloggers had solved the whole wall in less than the allotted time, and the Mensans had been even quicker. So a long final round looked likely. The first set, Terms in Criminal Law, saw one wrong buzz from the Bloggers, but they managed two correct ones, to the Mensans' 1. People with millions of twitter followers was very much to the Bloggers taste, and they took it 3 – 1. The Bloggers were then superb on Dependencies, and took the lot . They enjoyed that so much they did the same with Races. Game pretty much over, but to finish off they took three points on films starring married actors. I’m sorry to use this phrase , Mensans, but they were blown away by the Bloggers’ onslaught. A fantastic performance on the vowels, reminiscent of the brilliant Epicureans from match 1. The final score was a win for the Bloggers by 30 to 19.
Well played to both teams. A fascinating match, in which neither team let themselves down at all. Good show.