The Trenchermen v. The Numerists
Every OC match up offers us something of interest. Tonight it was a Youth v. Experience confrontation. Experience featured in the persons of the Trenchermen, Steve Donnelly, Gareth Williams and captain Bob Hughes.Youth on the other hand was ably represented by the Numerists, Hannah Twitchell, Dorian Lidell and captain James Wilson. In an everyday quiz you’d give experience the nod over youth the majority of time. But then OC is no ordinary quiz. None of the competitors were previously known to me, as far as I know, so I wasn’t making any predictions this time round.
Round One – What’s the Connection ?
Kicking off with the horned viper, the Trenchermen were given music to start. I didn’t recognize an excerpt from The Soldier’s Tale, but I did know Soldier, Soldier, and A Scottish Soldier. The Trenchers also took Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier, before supplying the correct answer. Nice little music set that. The Numerists also took a full set from twisted flax. Shaking a pair of gloves – snapping a carrot in half – Crumpling cellophane and walking in cat litter gave them Foley sound effects. I went with that, but it also occurred to me that maybe all 4 of them also form part of the initiation ceremony of the Masons, but I digress. Now, when the Trenchers went for two reeds, they were given Miss World 1973 as the first clue. I shouted out the correct answer – and so, in a manner of speaking, did they. They went for the full five, and found them, with the correct answer that the connection would be that all of the people in the list were stripped of their titles. Maybe a gentler one that if you were around at the time, but then that’s just the lack of the draw. Kudos to the Trenchers for having the guts to go for it, rather than taking ‘another one to be sure’. Adding insult to injury, the Nums then found pictures behind Lion. They maybe didn’t know that the hyena shown in the first was in fact an aardwolf, and that the third picture showed Ffion Hague. They had the right idea, but zigged with doubled letter Fs, when they should have gone with double letters starting the words. This was a bonus which the Trenchers were happy to accept. Still, the Trenchers then returned the favour. They two were in the ballpark, saying that the set behind the eye of Horus – A heart – The Once and Future King – Post War Berlin were all divided in two. Ah, but a heart has 4 chambers. The last part – This question – proved that the Nums were right in saying that they were all divided in four parts – post war Berlin had 4 sectors. The Nums finished the round, and their own mini fightback , by knowing that Sierpinski’s Triangle – The Blind Assassin and Matryoshka are all examples of recursion – each has a little version of itself inside, which has a little version fo itself inside – you get the point. So did the Nums, which put them up to 4, as against the Trenchers’ 7.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?
I’m afraid that basic quiz knowledge let down the Trenchers for the set behind Lion. They knew that Kauai and Oahu were islands, but didn’t get that they all formed part of Hawaii. The Nums knew that the largest island of the group is Hawaii itself, aka the Big Island. For their own question they impressed Victoria no end by knowing that 2005 – 8 Isthmian Premier / 2008 – 9 Conference South / 2009 – 11 Conference National – would be followed by 2011 League 2. I had it , but I didn’t know why, other than it’s the next league up. However the Nums also knew that this is the sequence of the rise and rise of AFC Wimbledon. Impressive stuff. Stung into action, the Trenchers called for Water, and given 10: The Wheel of Fortune, and 11: Justice, they played the percentages, knowing this would be tarot cards, and plumped for 13: Death. Simple as that, and a good couple of points earned. Still, if the Trenchers could go early successfully, so could the Nums. Given Kitty – Mary – they leapt right in with Jane, the oldest of the Bennett sisters from Pride and Predjudice – knowing that the youngest, Lydia, had been left off. The twisted flax picture clues called for real lateral thinking. Viper gave the Trenchers pictures of a handball, a volleyball, and a basketball. Neither team figured that these were 7 , then 6, then 5 a side games. So any ball from a 4 a side game – like polo – would have done. No, I didn’t get it either, but it’s a great set. Finally the Numerists let points slip by working out that Centre – Down Centre – Apron were all moving forward along a stage, but not figuring out that if you come any further forward then you’re in the orchestra pit. The Trenchers knew this, and so it meant that at the end of the round they still led, but only by 10 to 11.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Numerists were impressing me a little more as the game went on, and they managed to unravel the whole wall before the time was up. They knew that Turin – Calgary – Chamonix – Nagano have all been host cities for the Winter Olympic Games. Haymarket – Criterion – Prince of Wales and Lyric they knew were large London Theatres. Lillehammer – XYZ – Iran-Contra – Profumo provided one of those moments when Victoria allows a little leeway, and in this case I think it was justified. The Nums offered scandals – while the word being sought was – Affairs, but this time I certainly agreed that they were close enough. The set which they couldn’t get was Boateng – Guinness - Oldfield and Wakely. I’ll be honest, only Boateng and Oldfield gave me fashion designers. A good wall though to give them 7 points.
The Trenchers didn’t fare so wwell with the Lion. They unraveled Shut up – Michael Caine – House of Fun and Lovestruck as Madness songs. That was it though. When the wall was resolved, they could see that Insurance – benefit – Advance Fee and Carousel are all forms of financial fraud. They also knew that Teacup – Octopus – Waltzer and Pirate Ship are all forms of fairground ride.However they didn’t recognize Jel - Mayja – Reem and Vajazzle. It was Vajazzle that gave this one to me . They are all slang terms from The Only way Is Essex – which I believe is a television programme which is popular with a certain stratum of the viewing public. The 4 points they earned were not enough to keep the lead. This now belonged to the Numerists, who led by 17 to 15.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
The Nums had the air of a team that could do very well in the last round, and this impression was confirmed as they leapt into the fray with a 3 -1 score on Air travel terms. This score they repeated on major geographical features of Africa. They only managed two of the Misers, but since the Trenchers only managed 1 it didn’t matter. There was just time for the Nums to pick up one of the Undergarments before the end of the contest.
At the end it looked a very comfortable win for the Numerists by 26 to 18. It was just the way that things worked out. The Trenchermen have nothing to reproach themselves about, it just didn’t work out for them on the wall, and they were beaten by a very good ‘vowels team’. Well done Numerists – good luck in the next round.