Social Networkers v. Antiquarians
The quarter finals commenced on Monday. The first of them pitted dark horses the Social Networkers against fellow dark horses the Antiquarians. The Social Networkers – Roger Pratley, Sean Carey and Beth Webster the skipper, won the first heat of the series, beating the Vegetarians by 26 to 22 in an exciting match. Their opponents , the Antiquarians- Simon Belcher, Debbie Challis and Will Howells- beat the Footballers by 27 t0 24 in heat 5.So hardly anything to choose between the teams on paper, and all to play for.
Round One – What’s the Connection ?
The Ants kicked off with the eye of Horus. They received Aneres – and here I had an inkling – then Seltaeb, and I knew the connection. Even from this point they were working on the right lines, but needed to go further, even when given Trebor and Harpo. They knew that these were names backwards, but that wasn’t enough. The Socs knew that these were all used by people with those names for tradenames. A chance missed, but plenty of time to go. The Socs found Music behind Flax, and only needed three clues to get the connection of Swans – Ride a white swan etc. The Ants are a good team, though, and mentally rolled up their sleeves at this point to get on with it. Given a photo, they worked it out that this was Mengele – the Angel of Death. This was followed by dancing skeletons, and a blue screen – known as the blue screen of death. Putting two and two together and making four they could see that the connection was death – skeletons dancing the dance of death , as it were. Neither team could unravel the set behind Horned viper. Prussian blue – Atropine – Amy nitrate and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. The last is of course The Antidote to Panel games – so they are all antidotes. Tricky but gettable. I'm sure I haven't a clue what Victoria was referring to in her comment about Amyl Nitrate. Water brought another set nobody could get. Elephant – Hippopotamus – Mississippi and One Thousand are all things you say while counting seconds. Easy when you can see it – I have to admit that I didn’t . The Socs finished the round with Teddy Roosevelt’s last words – The Sun 09/04/92 – Sir Edward Grey on the eve of World War I – Earth Hour, and they didn’t get it. The Ants knew that these were all to do with putting out lights. That was enough to put the teams level on 3 points . As I said – on paper the teams looked close, and in the studio , even more so.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?
Again the Ants began with the eye of Horus. Crack in the Floor put them on the right lines – Environmental Disaster 2058 and a Steel Structure confirmed it. They knew that these were all exhibits in the turbine hall of the Tate Modern,and Ai Weiwei’s sunflower seeds came next. Neither team got the viper set, but I might well have had the full 5. I probably would never have had the guts to gamble on 5 in the studio, but when 4th = Clement came up, I did say at once 1st= John – this being the most popular Pope’s name – with no less than 23 ( count ‘em ! ) . The Ants tried Flax, and given Queensboro, Williamsburg and Manhattan they were quite happy to offer Brooklyn Bridge as next – correctly, being the next bridge on New York’s East River. The Socs hit straight back, finding a picture of a lady dancing and someone milking behind Two Reeds. They knew this was the 12 days of Christmas, and working back you’d get laying. Good shout. Neither team score again in the round. #2 green - #1 and #3 = yellow - #3 – yellow were a hard set, I thought. They are the sequence of train signal lights. Silicate Rock – Pyrolite – Molten Iron and Nickel followed. Both teams knew what we were dealing with, but neither plumped for solid iron ( and nickel ) which is at the centre of the earth’s core. Still, the round was enough to give the Ants a 1 point lead of 7 to the Socs’ 6.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Socs kicked off with Lion. A special feature in this show was that if you watched live you could play along online with your computer. Alas, Monday night is Bridgend League night, and so I couldn’t. Sorry guys – I would have loved to. Still, the Socs found words preceded by weather in Report – Forecast – Balloon and Station. They didn’t unravel any others before time up. When shown , they didn’t know that Gray , Wotton, Hallward and Vane are all characters in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Neither did they know that Stocking, Diamond, Cable and Rice are all knitting stitches. They did know that Garters, stockings, confetti and bouquet can all be thrown at a wedding. 3 points hard earned, and hard lines, team. I confess I’d have done no better with that wall.
So though they didn’t know it the Ants could move further ahead. However their wall was no kinder to them. They too found one set – Camilla – Vincent – Ola and Anton, being professional dancers on Strictly. Zipper – Contra – Cherie and Squidgy they could see were all – Gate scandals. However they didn’t know the Vickers airplanes – the Viking – Vimy – Wellington and Viscount. I did – thanks Airfix. Yes, I did have the models I made all hanging from my bedroom ceiling. Maybe that’s why girlfriends were a bit thin on the ground until I went to Uni. Still, I don’t need to burden you with my problems. I dare say they dropped a point by saying that Condesa – Viceroy – Emir and Comte were all counts – when all that was required was ranks of the nobility. Still, if they hadn’t stretched the lead, it was still there at least. The Ants led by 10 to 9.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
Well the form guide showed that the Ants were second best to the Fantasy Footballers in their first round, and the Socs scored 1 less than the Vegetarians in their first round. So again, nothing to choose. Rival factions fell to the Socs by 2 to 1. All square . However there was only 1 point scored on Mathematical curves – and it was scored by the Ants. There was so little time left – bothy teams having spent the full time on the walls, and so that was it. The Socs had come heartbreakingly close, and never been more than a point behind, but in the end that was enough. So the Antiquarians are the first of this year’s semi finalists. Well played !