Monday, 29 August 2011

Only Connect - Round One - Match 2

Edwards Family v. Inorganic Chemists

For some reason we couldn’t pick up BBC4 at the Casa Me Duck ( don’t ask ) last week, and so I didn’t actually get to see this one until back in Wales. Still, it was well worth waiting for. The Edwards Family consisted of David Edwards, his daughter-in-law Charlotte Martyn, and her husband and David’s son, Richard Edwards, their captain. If you were wondering, would that be 1990 Mastermind champion, Are You An Egghead finalist, Round Britain Quiz winning David Edwards , then the answer is, yes, indeed it would. So I’m afraid that the Edwards were to be weighted down with the burden of support from the Clark sofa in this show. Their opposition was a team called The Inorganic Chemists. Saul Moorhouse, Henry Fisher and captain Charles Markland I haven’t met before, but that, as we know, means nothing in Only Connect. What do we always say – all together now – there are no mugs on this show. Lets go .

Round One – What’s the Connection ?

We saw fireworks right from the start in this first round. The Edwards kicked off with Twisted Flax. From French Nuclear tests, and then Kieslowski film trilogy they confidently extrapolated red, white and blue. Really good shout from two clues there. One would have forgiven the Chemists for being daunted by this, but they hit straight back with Horned Viper, which gave them A Treasure Island, and A Hike Together. OK, I had this on 2 myself, but I can personally vouch for the fact that it is a lot easier at home than it is in the studio. The Chemists knew we were dealing with the Famous Five. Good shout, and a lovely answer to Victoria, who wondered how they knew , never having read them. ‘ Ah, knowledge.' they mused,' Where does it come from ? ‘ Wonderful. Equally entertaining was David’s response to Victoria that Noddy is one of the most disturbing pieces in the whole of literature, still, I digress. The Edwards took Lion and found pictures of Rudolf Hess, Walter Raleigh and the Kray Twins. They kicked a couple of ideas around here – including the possibility that they all died in prison. Well, I’m certain that ‘nutty Walt’ as Bob Newhart called him, was executed. In brilliant lateral thinking, they put Rudolf Hess who died in Spandau and the Kray Twins, played on film by the Kemp’s from Spandau ballet together. Wrongly so, since it was simpler than that. As the Chemists knew or guessed, they were all incarcerated in the Tower of London at one time or another. I may be wrong, but I fancy that the Krays may have been imprisoned there after going AWOL from National Service. A fiendish set lay in wait behind Eye of Horus for the Chemists. Commander, Colonel , Caretaker and Dashing escaped both them and the Edwards. And me. The answer was, of course, staring all of us in the face. Each word begins with a punctuation mark – Colon – Comma etc. Just in case any of us were in danger of forgetting why we love this show so much. It was back to form for the Edwards with Water. Black and White Liqueur and MSP for Glasgow brought a confident answer of Sheridan. I don’t know that I would have gambled myself – I knew the liqueur, but not the MSP. Still , they were right. Once again, though, a display of virtuosity from the Edwards did nothing to upset the Chemists, who took the music set , and correctly derived Berlin from David Hasselhof’s song about Freedom, White Christmas, and Take my Breath Away. So after a high quality first round the Edwards led by 6 to 5.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?

Richard overruled David when the Edwards found a set of pictures behind Two reeds. Clint Mansell, a hill, and Geoff Hamilton clearly made you think of formula 1 world champs. David was all for going for the current one, Sebastian Vettel, but Richard knew it was British world champs specifically, and this led him to give the correct answer of Button. Behind twisted Flax the Chemists found Peat , and lignite. They knew what these were, and where it was going, but made the mistake of not being specific enough. They answered coal, which just was not enough. I suspect that the Edwards would have had anthracite coal anyway even if they hadn’t been shown the next – bituminous coal. They capitalized on this with their next set – 01 and 071 were recognized as dialing codes for Central London, They knew that the 4th would be 0207. The Chemists took water, and were rather understandably treading water when they found S. America or Australia = 2, Africa = 3, Europe or N. America =5. I think both teams guessed correctly that we were dealing with the game of Risk here – as did I – but couldn’t get the specific answer, which is Asia = 7. Its all to do with how many extra armies you can earn if you control the whole continent. Fair enough. Behind the Eye of Horus the Edwards uncovered Mercury and Gemini. They had the connection – NASA manned space missions, and knew that Apollo would be next. However they plumped for the space shuttle next, incorrectly. The chemists couldn’t take a bonus, and thus the correct answer, Skylab, went begging. Easily done when you’re under pressure. A nice cryptic set followed for the Chemists. They impressed hugely by knowing that the capital of Laconia was Sparta. The next – strong grass, passed both them and me by. However Box with a partner being spar it seemed a fair bet that the grass would be spart. So, as the Chemists said, the next would be a bath, or anything which qualified as a spa. Very good round, and the Edwards had pulled further ahead with 12 to the Chemist’s 7.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Chemists plumped for the water wall, and quickly unraveled sets of Disney films – Tangled, Mulan, Cinderella and Fantasia, and then a great set with Level, Maroon, Sham and Heaven. If you put the right number after each of them , then you get names of bands. I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t have got any further with this particular wall myself, and the Chemists were locked out just before time up. The third line, consisting of Po Nana, Fabric, Gatecrasher and Tiger Tiger they did identify as nightclubs. However they didn’t see that Bolt – Cream – Mark and Test can all be preceded by – eye. Tough line, that one, I thought.

The Edwards quickly uncovered Wing, Prop, Hooker and Number 8 , being rugby positions. Charlotte was very on the ball , I thought, spotting asparagus, felt , rubbish and filter as a set of things with tips. She had also spotted that there were a set of kitchen utensils there too, but they were unable to untangle them all without locking out the wall. The set which were left were whisk – box – promenade and lock. I have to admit that I didn’t get it either, although I did recognize it when Victoria explained that these are all steps in ballroom dancing. So the gap between the teams remained the same, even though the scores had increased to 17 and 12 .

Round Four – Missing Vowels

5 points is not a huge lead to take into the missing vowels round. So it was still all to play for. The first set , non alcoholic drinks, saw both teams get two right, and both teams make one mistake. Café latte has 2 T’s , which café au lait doesn’t, and lemonade has an n, which limeade doesn’t. A full set of fictional vehicles were taken by the Edwards, and the game looked won. Fair play to the chemists, they took three of the world cities and major rivers, but the Edwards then took three back on Techniques in Art. By the end of the round, the Edwards had won comfortably with 27 to the Chemist’s 15.

Well done David, Charlotte and Richard. This is a performance made all the more impressive by the fact that the chances are they will do better than this on the wall in rounds to come. Spare a thought for the Chemists, too. The margin of victory might be significant, but they were by no means outclassed by a very good team. Well played both.

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