The Rowers v. The Linguists
Well, I will admit that I didn’t know anyone on last night’s show. That proves nothing. I don’t know everyone. The Rowers – whose connection with each other does exactly what it says on the tin – were Jason Gray, Dominic Guinness and captain Chris Harrison. Their opponents, the Linguists – again another team whose name seemed totally appropriate going by what Victoria told us about them – were Joanne Edwards, Jo Moore, and captain Charlie Lythgoe.
Round One – What’s the Connection ?
The Linguists kicked off with Twisted Flax. They were given 1970 Australian Nickel, 1846 Railways , and 1637 Tulips. Oh, they leapt right in with a wrong answer, I’m afraid, and when given 2000 Internet companies the Rowers were happy to take a bonus with bubbles that burst. Ah yes – I thought it was after railways – George Hudson the Railway king and all that. Still , early days. Given SS.GB behind Water I have half an inkling that the rowers might well have had a five on it – they certainly knew all about SS.GB, even if not about the other titles. Still, when they unearthed Peace in Our Time – The Man in The High Castle – Fatherland they worked their way round to the answer that these were all fictional works where the Nazis won world war II. The Linguists found the picture lurking behind the lion, and they might have had it after two , seeing a flower, and then a lotus car. Still, a point in the hand is much better than a bonus going over to the other side, and they knew once the lotus position came up in the 4th picture that they were all lotuses. Neither team took the next set. Ippon – His Nob – came out from the two reeds, and the rowers gambled early – wrongly as it happened. Given the letter z in scrabble – and this clue – the linguists couldn’t get it either. All are worth one point. Having unearthed the pictures previously, this time they gathered in the music, which emerged from the viper. Some chanting, and then some jazz piano followed. Thelonius Monk ? I wondered – monks chanting. I didn’t know the third bit, but Boney M’s much underrated Rasputin ( There was a cat that really was gone , you know ) confirmed it. Not for the Linguists, but for the Rowers who took a bonus. A tricky little set waited behind the Eye of Horus. Whore – Hell – Were and Cant stumped both teams. Cant did it for me. Put an apostrophe in the right place in any of them, and you’ll get another word. So, not the highest scoring round we’ve seen, and the Rowers led by 3 to 1.
Round Two – What comes Fourth ?
I thought that both teams would need to play a bit more cannily in round two, which I think is trickier than wound one by some distance. Linguists found quite a gentle set behind Eye of Horus – Mutsuhito – Yoshihito – by which time they were on the right lines – then Hirohito. Yes, they knew it was successive emperors of Japan, but didn’t know who the current one is. The Rowers did. It’s just the way that it is. If your general knowledge has some gaps – then OC will find them out for you. Still, things were about to look up for the Linguists. Lion looked easy at the start . 4th Yangtze – and the Rowers might have been forgiven for leaping straight in with Nile. It would have been wrong to do so, though, for it became clear that this was not about length. I think they knew, but guessed that 1 would be Nile. It wasn’t. The Linguists then did what any good quizzer should do when they don’t know the answer – play the percentages. If it’s not the Nile, then try the Amazon. They did, and it brought them a bonus – for the amount of water it discharges into the ocean. Thus emboldened they capitalized on their success with a good shout on the set behind twisted flax. They saw that A – H and I are all symmetrical, and so the next would be M. Mind you , I was impressed with the Rowers , who knew that Proportion – Therefore – Ratio would be followed by a decimal point. All to do with the number of dots in mathematical signs. Cracking answer. Neither team knew that Suggestion – Psychology – Misdirection are three parts of Derren Brown’s recipe for his act, the 4th being showmanship. Finally a lovely set of pictures for the Rowers behind Horned Viper. They realized at the same time that I did that they had pictures of a cook, a thief, and therefore the 4th would be his lover – Peter Greenaway film, you see. So at the last they had stretched out their lead further, with 8 to the Linguist’s 4
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Rowers took Lion, and it’s all in the eye of the beholder , I know, but they picked a wall which for me would have been a stinker. Sunshine – Millions – 127 Hours and The Beach they swiftly identified as Danny Boyle Films, then Galaxy – Scenic – Picasso and Alhambra followed suit – MPVs. That was it, though, Even when given World 64 – Land and Bros they couldn’t see Mario Games. This was my hang your head in shame moment – for I LOVE Mario 64 , but still didn’t get it. Note – Absolute – Fixative and Soliflore are all terms from perfume making. So with only 4 the door was open a little for the Linguists.
The water wall proved a tough ask for the Linguists, though. They did untangle the Irish playwrights Wilde – Beckett – Murphy – Shaw. That was it though. When revealed, they could see that Hyacinth – Sheridan – Daisy and Violet are all characters from Keeping Up appearances .I’ll admit, I didn’t get that you can be under the radar – the rose – the thumb and the weather – I think under the rose messed me up there. Finally Caley Thistle – Jam Tarts – Jags – Bairns are all the nicknames of teams in the Scottish football league.
So a tough round saw the lead edged out a little further, as the rowers now had 12 to the Linguist’s 7.
Round Four – The Missing Vowels
Right – I will try to put this carefully. I had a funny feeling about the Linguists, going into this round. I’ve always said that there are no mugs on OC, and I stick to that. Up to this point, without wanting to be horrible, the Linguists, although obviously highly intelligent, had not shown the level of general knowledge we often see from teams on the show. So I reckoned that chances were they might have something more to show us in the vowels round. And make no mistake, if they got a spurt on, then the Rower’s lead was by no means unassailable. So they got a spurt on . TV spin offs – 2 nil to the Linguists. 14 – 17. Regions of the world – 3 -1 to the linguists – 17 – 18- things that can be spiked – the Linguists took the first – all square ! Then the Rowers steadied themselves and took the next two, from this category, and the next – fishing equipment. That was that – game to the Rowers by 16 to 14. So well done Linguists. You could have been forgiven for being downhearted after the wall, but a very valiant fight back which made for an exciting climax.
But congratulations to the Rowers. There are some very strong teams in this year’s series – as always – and making it through to round two is nothing to be sniffed at. Well done.