Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Only Connect - Round One - Match 3

The Analysts v. The Editors

OC has no trouble attracting some serious quiz muscle to compete in each series. Last week we saw Mastermind and RBQ champion David Edwards make his OC debut. This week an exceptionally talented team, The Analysts, made theirs. William de’Ath, LAM regular, Mastermind 2011 finalist and Brain of Britain 2009 runner up Paul Steeples, and captain David Lea are all extremely good and nationally respected quizzers. My heart went out to the Editors sitting opposite. Wendy Toole, Rod Cuff and Ali Turnbull are not people I knew either by reputation or in person, but as we always say – there are no mugs on Only Connect. So lets get cracking.

Round One – What’s The Connection ?

The analysts won the toss, and made a comfortable start. Behind Lion they found Ho – Beetlejuice – and I divorce you. I suspect that they probably had it after the first two, but the third confirmed that these were all things said three times. Twisted flax gave the Editors the music set . They seemed to struggle a bit, with captain Ali stopping the clock, then rather stumbling round her answer. When she clarified it , though, as consecutive numbers, she was right. 1234, Len Barry’s 1 – 2 – 3, Steps’ 5, 6, 7, 8 and Manfred Mann’s 5 – 4- 3 – 2 – 1 . Great little set that . Two Reeds gave the Analysts Sarah Good, Ethel Rosenberg and my relative by marriage, Edith Cavell. I might have been tempted for a pop at this after the first two. As it was the Analysts made no mistake here with women who were executed. Viper gave the Editors a set of pictures here, and they showed their class by identifying a soft 17 from blackjack, a soft pedal from a piano, and a soft boiled egg. Easy when you know how, but I was floundering on this one. Good shout. Water gave the Analysts shell game, Queen’s 12th cake, and Referee’s whistle, and they knew that all of these had peas inside them. A good first round for the Analysts, who had solved all three of their sets without needing all 4 clues. Eye of Horus gave the Editors Tiresias to start. Immediately Rod said “The blind seer” from greek mythology. Unfortunately when the Weird Sisters, and Alice Cullen followed they chose to go down a blind alley , by suggesting they were all blind. As the Analysts knew, they were all prophets, as was Fiver in Watership Down. A slight blemish on an otherwise high quality round, which saw the Analysts lead by 7 to 3.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?

I fell into the trap that the Analysts found behind Water. They were given a set of pictures, the first showing blood, and the second showing a chap in a garden with his top off. They , as did I , thought that this would be sweat. Ah - Churchill’s famous speech. So they plumped for tears to end the sequence. Incorrect. The next picture was tears. The Editors couldn’t take a bonus. The key to it was that picture two represented toil, and so the last would be sweat. Often misquoted, the sequence is actually blood, toil, tears and sweat. Absolutely right – damn good set. I wouldn’t have had the set that the Editors found behind Flax either. Denise, Theo , Vanessa. Neither team knew that these were the kids in the Cosby show in the order of age, the next down being Rudy. Isn’t it funny how some shows stand the test of time, and others don’t ? Cosby was massive twenty plus years ago, but nobody remembers it that much now. A tricky set awaited the Analysts behind Lion. Category 4 professional – Category 3 – Display – Category 2 Garden left both teams floundering. I did briefly wonder if we were talking prisoners categories here – an absurd suggestion. They haven’t had garden prisoners for at least 10 years. No, it was fireworks, with the last being category 1 indoors. Finally the Editors got a gentler set behind Eye of Horus, with Dewar, McLeish and McConnell. I was shouting Salmond , and much relieved that I had at last got one right in this round, as did the Editors. Two reeds gave the Analysts Strong – Electro Magnetic. By this time William had worked out that the last would be gravity, but they played safe and took the third – weak to be certain. They are the four fundamental forces of physics , and yes, I would have got it after three myself . Finally a great little set for the Editors – T H R E E – S E V E N – E I G H T . I had the idea that what was needed was the next number up which would be written with five letters, but Ali had which one it would be a lot quicker than I did, with F O R T Y . Great shout , and a good round for the Editors, who had pegged back the score so that they only trailed by 7 to 9. As I said, no mugs on this show.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Editors plumped for Lion. Early doors they identified that there was a set of battles in there, but never unraveled them before the time was up. They did manage to untangle nox – lumos – avis and reducto, without realizing that they are actually spells in Harry Potter, going instead for their latin roots. Hard lines there. Also they found Alamo – Enterprise – Hertz and Budget , a set of car hire companies. That was as far as they got before time ran out, though. When resolved, they managed to idenfity Gettysburg- The Wilderness – Shiloh and Helena as a set of US Civil War Battles. However Hijack – Stupefy – Deface and Tuvalu escaped them . They all begin with 3 consecutive letters.
As for the Analysts, with their water wall they gave something of a masterclass in making a wall look easy. They achieved the rare feat of not making a single mistake. One by one, and very quickly, they identified a set, and resolved it, never once assigning anything to a wrong set. Victoria was hugely impressed, and quite rightly too. The sets were Barber of Seville – Cinderella – William Tell and Othello – which were all Rossini operas. Victoria mischievously insisted that they say they were by Rossini. Jung – Euler – Chevrolet – Spyri were all famous Swiss people. Running – Omega – Invisible and Third are all film titles when sandwiched between ‘the’ and ‘man’. The last set I would have struggled on , but they knew that cow – glacier – elephant and leg all have calves. Boys, that was impressive. It gave them a commanding lead as well, of 19 to 11.

Round Four – Missing Vowels.

Well, we’ve seen underdogs come back strongly in this round before, so nobody was taking anything for granted. A set on routine medical tests went two apiece. Art Tools and materials proved very much to the Editors’ liking , and fell to them 3 – 1. On the other hand sporting controversies were very much the Analysts’ , and tit for tat they took these 3 – 1. We only had time for one more set, Sci Fi characters and their home planets. The Analysts took two. Neither team fancied Doctor Zoidberg and Decapod Ten. I did have Zoidberg, but wasn’t even close to Decapod Ten. William had a great buzz on the last one, knowing that we had a Skywalker and Tatooine, but plumping for Luke rather than Anakin. Didn’t matter. The final score was a win for the Analysts by 26 over 17.

Well done guys ! A very impressive performance, which for me marks them out as potential champions. I only say potential as we’ve only seen 3 matches so far, and I didn’t do Paul any favours by tipping him in the Mastermind final. So I shan’t do it now – not yet , anyway. And well done to the Editors. A strong performance against a top notch team. Nothing to be ashamed of.


Paul Steeples said...

Thanks for the kind words, David. We actually got the wall more quickly than we expected, and were slightly struggling to make sense of the last set (until inspiration struck Dave Lea). The broadcast was the first time I'd seen the Editors' wall, and I did feel they got a slightly harder one. Our quarter final goes out on 31 October, and I hope to continue to justify the LAM endorsement...

bj said...

I know we haven't seen all the teams. But, bearing in mind the quizzers who have already appeared on past series (and those who are currently tied up as regulars on other tv shows), I would be hard-pressed even to come up with three names for a theoretical dream team to beat this trio. I think they could give Stainer, Bailey and Grant a decent game. However we will see...

Londinius said...

Hi Paul

I'd maybe agree that the Editor's wall was perhaps a little trickier, but I don't think there was that much in it. Yours probably looked easier because you solved it so quickly. Thanks for the heads up about the quarter final.

Hi bj

As I said, its early days. Like you I was highly impressed with the Analysts, and I can say with some confidence that this performance won't have been a one off. As you say, we'll see what we see.

Andrew B. said...

I'm a bit surprised at the comments here: the Analysts looked a good team, but didn't leave me gasping with admiration as everyone else seems to have been. (Which isn't to say they won't in the later rounds, of course).

redarsedbaboon said...

Just caught up with this, David, thanks for the write-up. As Paul said, our wall was a combination of inspiration, bad tactics, and luck as much as anything. And the wall proved the difference between us and the Editors, really.

Londinius said...

Hi Andrew

Well, many things are in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. I think that it was the wall performance which took my breath away really. And , hand on heart, its really difficult for me to forget what I know about just how good Paul, David and William all are as individual quizzers. But I stand by what I say about this team being a very, very strong one. As always, feel free to . . .

Hi David

Many congratulations on a fine performance.

Just a final note as well, I have received email from Ali and Rod of the Editors. They are newly converted LAM readers ! They are full of admiration for your performance, and really enjoyed their time on the show.