Tuesday, 26 October 2010

TV Watch - Only Connect

Only Connect – First Round Match 8 – Alesmen v. Pool Sharks

They don’t tell you the average age of teams in Only Connect, which is probably just as well when you consider the poor teams which have old codgers such as myself among their members. However if they did at least we’d be able to check whether the average age of teams this year has been somewhat older than last year, which is what it seems to me. I say this only because one of tonight’s teams, the Pool Sharks, ( 7 on the nameo-meter) did seem to fit within the younger demographic. Not so my friends the Alesmen ( ooh – a pun ! That’s an 8 ). You may well have recognised Chris Quinn, Graham Barker, and captain Mark Kerr. They’re all very fine quizzers, and among the team there’s a wealth of quiz experience, broadcast and otherwise. So the Pool Sharks certainly had their work cut out for them. Michael Howes, Tim Jordan and captain Andrew Smithies would never have got on the show in the first place if they hadn’t been people of knowledge and character, though. On with the game.

Round One – What’s the Connection ?

Eye of Horus was much to the Alesmen’s liking, and they posted their serious intentions by getting the connection on just three clues – Profession=Gardening, Needle=Yucca and Ale=Water. They knew that Adam’s Ale is water, and Adam fitted the bill nicely for the others. 2 points in the bag. Horned viper seemed to speak to the Sharks with forked tongue, as pictures of a Guinea Pig, Chinese Chequers and a Panama Hat led them to say they are all named after countries. Ooh, close, but not quite. The Alesmen knew that a Guinea pig isn’t from Guinea, Chinese chequers aren’t from China, and , well, you get the picture, I’m sure. Now, prepare to be amazed. The Alesmen took one look at their first clue – Pugachev’s Cobra, and Chris had the answer. He’d been randomly looking through wikipedia the day before, and read all about this aerobatic manoeuvre. He insisted, they took it, and bagged a full 5 points. Stupendous, amazing, and probably completely demoralising for the poor Sharks. Twisted Flax concealed Tux – Sam Sawnoff ( no idea at this stage ) – Chilly Willy ( knew it now ) and Feathers McGraw. They didn’t know that they were all fictional penguins. The Alesmen did though. By the next clue it seems that the Alesmen were slipping, only scoring 3 points this time. Two reeds gave them Millie Small, by which time they were all ready leaning towards the correct answer, lollipops, and then operator of a brake on sign which confirmed it. The shell shocked sharks took the music bonus, where one I didn’t know, teddy bears picnic, Land of Hope and Glory and Anyone Can Fall in Love stumped both teams. I think I might have had this , since I had an inkling they were all existing pieces of music to which words were added at a later date. Oh dear, cover your eyes, Pool Sharks fans. The Alesmen led at the end of the round by 12 – 0

Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?

Don’t worry , Sharks fans, they DID fight back . However lets start with the Alesmen. They went for two reeds, and began with Jerk, and Acceleration. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really get the explanation, but all that matters is that their answer – Distance, was correct for 3 points. The Sharks put points on the board when they plumped for Lion. They knew that £1 – 20 p and 1p were British coins in shrinking order of diameter, and they also knew that 5p would be next. 2 points. The Alesmen showed a very rare hint of vulnerability when given Skull – scapulae – Patellae they failed. The Sharks though gave the right answer, falanges, for the wrong reason. Its anatomical name for Heads, Shoulders Knees and Toes ! Doesn’t matter, that’s a bonus earned. Alas, they missed their own set of Cole – Oakley – Marr, mistakenly guessing that these were other members of the Smiths. Mark , a confirmed Smiths fan, knew these were BBC political editors, and Nick Robinson completes the set. However they struggled with a picture set behind horned viper. Sylvester the Cat, Paul McCartney and St. Christopher had them thinking popes or saints. It was neither. The Sharks had it at once, knowing it was Dr. Who factors first names – David, as in Tennant, being next. Just as a last flourish to the round they took Water, where Rutlish Grammar, and Fettes gave them three points for identifying Eton , the set being schools attended by successive Prime Minister of the UK. So a great fightback had seen them score 7 points in the round to 5 for the Alesmen, who led by 16 to 7.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

Both teams delivered virtuoso displays on the wall, solving the whole thing in extra quick time. The Sharks going for water unpicked
Electric – Moray – Conger and Sand, as set of Eels,
Campion – Hillary – Rutherford and Finn, famous New Zealanders
Murray – Prior – Engineer and Gilchrist – all test wicketkeepers
Fife – Argyll – Angus – Sutherland – all Scottish counties.
The Alesmen, not to be outdone, showed great calm and poise unravelling these sets,
Lewis – Hall – Garcia and Springer – all Jerrys
Yell, Jersey, Hoy and Mull – all islands off the coast of Britain
Cocker, Field , King Charles and Sussex – all breeds of Spaniel
Ink – North – Flux - - Storm – all make a term when combined with – magnetic.
So the gap remained the same, as the scores were 26 – 17 to the Alesmen

Round Four – The Missing Vowels

One thing the two teams accomplished by conquering their walls so quickly was to provide lots and lots of lovely time for the missing vowels. But whose advantage would this prove to be ?
First set, Kitchen gadgets , went 2 – 1 to the Sharks. The teams both shared types of Drama 2 apiece. Supernatural creatures saw a 4 – 0 shut out to the Sharks, just about raising up the possibility of them making the greatest comeback since Lazarus. Occupations of Mr. Benn fell evenly, ah, but there was a wrong buzz by the Sharks. Ancient languages and Parts of an aircraft fell 1 apiece to both teams. So in the end the Alesmen won by 33 to 28, but my goodness the Sharks, what a fightback they made. However the Alesmen were just formidable throughout. Very well played to both teams, a pleasure to watch.


Jonathan said...

The one you didn't know in the music round was John Cleese et al. singing "The Ballad of Oliver Cromwell" to Chopin's Polonaise No. 6 in A flat, first sung on the brilliant radio show "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" and recycled for use by the Pythons (which was the version heard on the show).

They can be heard in full here:




Andrew B. said...

It was generous of them to allow "distance" rather than "displacement" in the "jerk-acceleration-velocity" sequence...

LisaH said...

Does it say something about my quizzing strengths and weaknesses that I got the link for "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" after the second clue but didn't know the medical name for toes?!

davidbod said...

@Andrew, there's usually a degree of latitude we allow new contestants, and indeed you've been such a beneficiary.

To disallow "Distance" on a technicality between scalar and vector quantities would have been more than a little churlish at the heats level.

For the benefit of David:
The rate of change of Displacement (Distance, whatever) is called Velocity (Speed, whatever).
The rate of change of Velocity is called Acceleration.
The rate of change of Acceleration is Jerk.

After "Jerk" comes "Snap", and after "Snap" comes "Crackle" and "Pop" (no, I'm not making that up!)

Londinius said...

Thanks Jonathan, I was going to watch the show back again, but you've saved me the effort.

All I can say, Andrew, is that I doubt that any show is more meticulous checking out questions, so if they allow an alternative, then it must be a genuine alternative.

Lisa, you still get my admirations for doing that, especially since I myself was barking up the wrong tree with headbone connected to the shoulder bone, and somehow then shoulder bone connected to the kneebone - which of course it isn't !

As regards the distance question, I think I get it now - I think ! Thanks for that , David. Was it OC that used a question about snap crackle pop once, or did I just dream it, or get confused with another show ?

Thanks all


Andrew B. said...

@David B - Had I been the one responsible, I'd have asked them to clarify their answer; since they'd mentioned vectors in their discussion, I'd have backed them to get "displacement". Whether I'd have allowed "distance" if they'd looked blank... not sure! (I'd probably be a terrible adjudicator...)

Incidentally, I'm intrigued to hear that we were allowed some leeway - can you remember what it was?

@David C - it was OC that had "snap, crackle, pop" in 4 languages (we had it as a practice question in our warm-up!)

Londinius said...

Ah - thanks Andrew re: Snap , Crackle, Pop. OK - Forgive me for getting involved in this whole leeway issue, but I'll be honest, this is beginning to make me slightly uncomfortable. Obviously this is a public forum where views and opinions are going to be expressed, and maybe I'm being over sensitive, but I don't want things getting unpleasant here, and I have half a mind that these are the kind of waters that may lay ahead of us if we don't change course.

Might I politely suggest that a discussion of where leeway might have been given to your excellent team from series 3 is perhaps something best done between yourselves perhaps by email, for example.

No personal criticism of yourself or David is intended, but its how I feel. Sorry.


davidbod said...
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davidbod said...

Sorry, reposting due to a key typo.

Dave, I'm sure AndrewB is just being inquisitive, and likewise no malice is meant from this side.

@AndrewB, apologies - it was your team mates who got a bit of leeway with the "Fool's Errand" question when they said it was "Things that don't exist". Although that's not quite what the list of items was famous for, it is still quite true that they were items that didn't exist.

The reason why you have to allow Distance is because there's no real reason why a team couldn't justify the sequence by saying "these are all terms used to describe the motion of a particle moving in one direction in one-dimension", at which point (I think) Displacement and Distance become exactly the same thing.

The key point was that this had all been discussed and agreed with the verifiers beforehand, and that "ACCEPT: Distance, Position or any similar synonym" on the script so that's what we go by, in the abscence of a contestant challenge.

davidbod said...
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davidbod said...

Doh, not team mates, opponents. Time for bed, I think...

Londinius said...

Hi Guys

I was right - I AM being over sensitive ! Sorry, I should have trusted you guys.


Andrew B. said...

David - apologies for hijacking your blog like this...

DavidB - thanks for the explanation, very interesting; I think their answer to the "Fool's Errand" was fine... there were a couple of our answers where Victoria said "I'll accept it", so I thought they might have been a bit marginal!

Londinius said...

No apology needed Andrew !