Saturday, 5 November 2011

Only Connect - Quarter Final 4

Quarter Final Four – The Analysts v. The Technologists

An interesting last quarter final match this. You may recall my words about the Analysts last time out, a team of pure quiz talent. However you may also recall that the Technologists, in particular their skipper Bruce Lin, put on a bravura performance in the missing vowels last time out. So despite the Analyst’s undeniable pedigree, if the Technos could keep themselves in the hunt going into the last round, then anything could happen. Both teams fielded unchanged lineups, with Paul Steeples and William de’Ath ably supporting skipper David Lea in the Analysts. The afore mentioned captain Bruce of the Technos was flanked by Simon Jelley and John Loveluck.

Round One What’s the Connection ?

The Technos took the first set with Lion. Given Private Wilhelm, and Jelly babies, then I was struggling. I had an inkling with Mandrakes, which was confirmed by David Sutch. The Technos couldn’t see it, but the Analysts knew that screaming was the connection. They needed the bonus, though, since two reeds brought up the music set, and neither team could see the connection. All of them were by artists whose name included Jr. I didn’t recognize Harry Connick Jr, but I did Sammy Davis and Ray Parker – so why on earth I didn’t get the connection I can’t explain. Egg on face moment of the evening for me. As did the Technos, I saw that Rope – Phone Booth – Roger and Val have just got in – 24 – all happen in real time. The Analysts found a set of pictures behind twisted flax. I couldn’t see a connection between cow pats – wellies – phones and custard pies. Neither could the teams, but the answer – that there are world championships in throwing each of these items made perfect sense. Just one of those things that clicks with you or doesn’t. The Technos took their time, but supplied a good answer to – Cardiac Cycle – Scotch Snap – Lamb and A in Morse Code. They all have a rhythm which goes long – short . Well, that’s the gist of it anyway. Behind at this stage the Analysts needed a good shout, and they duly supplied it. Wakefield , Morley and Rothwell – Slaves, Molasses and Rum – and they were in like Flynn. All are triangles – the first being the Rhubarb Triangle. Good answer – I’d have needed at least one more set. So with that , the Analysts carried a lead of 4 points to 2 into round two.

Round Two What comes fourth ?

Neither team could unravel the first set behind Twisted flax. 4: School System – 3: City Govt. – 2: Seaports . All are themes from seasons of The Wire, and so the answer would be – well would you believe it , I didn’t write it down. No, I didn’t get it right either. Sorry. I did get the set that the Analysts found behind Water. Zeus’ Lovers and Descendants – Gods , Giants and Monsters – Characters from Pope and Shakespeare. What a lovely set. The first is what the moons of Jupiter are named after- the second Saturn – you get how it works. So the answer, as the Analysts knew, was Sea Deities, after which the moons of Neptune are named – Triton etc. Behind Two Reeds, having found Statant – Sejant – Couchant the Technos well knew that these were terms from heraldry, referring to positions of animals from standing downwards I think, but neither team could quite drag up Dormant which completed the set. Still , the Technos snagged themselves a bonus , when the Analysts couldn’t quite see a set containing pictures of something Southern, Indian and Atlantic. The next, as they knew, would be Pacific. Behind Viper they could even have earned a couple of more points had they gone earlier with the correct answer which they knew. Given Isildur and Smeagol, they knew we were talking about the ring bearers in Lord of the Rings. They took the next clue, Bilbo Baggins to be sure, and then gave the correct answer of Frodo. Still the Analysts took their own set with M40 – M1 – A1(M) which they knew were consecutive junctions with the M25, and as such, then M11 would follow. So after all of that, they had slightly stretched their lead to 3, with 8 to the Techno’s 5.

Round Three – the Connecting Walls

The Analysts chose the Lion wall, knowing that a maximum would give them the whip hand going into what was shaping up to be a tense final round. They duly unraveled the four sets. Purpura – Ringworm – Hives and Impetigo all being skin discolourants. They picked out belladonna – potato – oleander and poppy. I think that I would have made the same mistake as they did. They knew that belladonna and potato belong to the same plant family , but this was not the connection. No, it was that all are poisonous plants. Hickey, Atticus, Mandrake and Pandora they knew as newspaper diary columns. However they didn’t know Franky – Cassie – Mini and Effy. Neither did I . All are characters in the TV series Skins. So 6 points gained, and room for the Technos to narrow the gap, if not eradicate it.

They looked to be struggling, mind you, when they could onlu unravel two sets. They found Bell – Martello – Ivory and Conning – all towers, and Mark – Lookout – Roper and Shill, who are all participants in a scam. So 4 points gained for that. Still, when the wall was resolved, they knew that Brockman – Medford – Royle and Good are all families in UK sitcoms, and Bucket – Trotter – Kranky and Wormwood are all surnames of characters in Roald Dahl novels. So although they had not gained any ground, having earned 6 points they hadn’t lost any either. The Analysts led by 14 to 11. But anything could happen in the last round.

Round Four Missing Vowels

Right , I have a confession to make. I got so excited in this round I didn’t note down who scored what with which category. So I apologise now. what I’m pretty sure is that Bruce took the first 4 , which were all species of amphibian, and that put the Technos into the lead. Nobody would have criticized the Analysts if this virtuoso display had knocked them out of their stride, but they rallied, and pulled back with Lyrics of God Save the Queen. Lipids, and 2010 autobiographies published in 2010 followed. It was all desperately close, but having got back ahead it seemed to me that the Analysts were giving as good as they got. At the end , I wasn’t 100% certain that we didn’t have a draw, but Victoria confirmed a 1 point win for the Analysts by 19 to 18. Well played Technos ! But well played Analysts as well. You have nerves of steel !

Roll on the semis.

6 comments: said...

You might want to check your list of World Championship Throwing objects in the picture clue of round one. There's a rather embarassing typo there.

Londinius said...


Oops ! Red face !



Ray Hamel said...

I think you mean IAMB instead of Lamb.


joe said...

Dear, oh dear. The dumbing down of OC into just another game show continues. Series titles from 'The Wire' and characters from 'Skins' indeed.

BruceLin42 said...

Some random post-game thoughts from the Technologists.

I didn't know the Analysts by name but they looked experienced. It was like you described though - we hoped to keep ourselves competitive until the fourth round.

Our wall was a struggle, including the opportunity to say on national television 'Now for the random guessing.'

When I saw the missing vowels amphibians theme, I was pretty sure Only Connect wouldn't be able to resist using 'xltl'. I was very worried when I saw the theme of GSTQ lyrics, but Simon held the Analysts to gaining +2 on us on that theme, rather than +4.

I felt like we weren't quite catching up, then the music reached that dread-inspiring crescendo and it was all over, and Victoria was announcing our team's score first.

Wish we had been bolder on the Ringbearers and the iamb pattern. But had things gone slightly differently in another way, the Analysts could have been well ahead of us instead of it being a close game. Great game to the Analysts.

All three of us really enjoyed being on the programme, meeting the production crew and the team, and of course our bit of micro-fame!


redarsedbaboon said...

Bruce, I was sitting on Axolotl too (I'd predicted all four of our Sporting Controversies in the first round), but you just did me on the so often.

As I said on twitter at the time, we thought we'd lost when the gong went (I tried to keep tally of the gap on the fingers of my non-buzzer hand, but had to devote all my energies to trying to buzz quickly enough by the end). Certainly a great game against great opposition.

And a great write-up, Dave (sorry, just caught up, been away).