Draughtsmen v. Numerists
Better late than never. I promise to do my best to post reviews of both UC and OC more promptly next week – and since it’s half term week I should be able to keep this promise for once. The first quarter final then threw together many people’s tip for the overall title, the Draughtsmen, and dark horses, The Numerists. In their first round match the team of Hannah Twitchell, Dorian Lidell and captain James Wilson disposed of the Trenchermen by 26 to 18. However they were behind after the first two rounds. The Draughtsmen, Andy Tucker, Steve Dodding and captain Iwan Thomas, had tied with the excellent Joinees in their first round match, winning because of captain Iwan’s steely nerve and superior buzzing. On paper this could be a close one. However you don’t play Only Connect on paper, and if I can refer you to a comment I made in last week’s preview – “Whichever of the other teams has to play the Draughtsmen will be up against it, I should think.” I thought that the Numerists would probably be too far behind to have a realistic chance of winning on the vowels.
Round One – What’s the Connection?
The Draughtsmen kicked off with the eye of Horus. They found Chichester’s Round the World yacht, and then Nicholas Breakspear. At about the same time as the Ds I could see that we had Gypsy Moth IV , and Pope Adrian IV. Nice start, and good points there. Behind Lion the Ns found a picture set showing an American crayfish, Japanese knotweed, a harlequin ladybird and a grey squirrel. They knew that these were all invasive species now introduced to the UK. Horned Viper was the Ds next choice, and this asked them the link between Marienborg – Chateau de Rambouillet ( at which I had an incorrect punt ) and Castel Gandolfo – which gave both me and the Ds the correct answer of Summer residences .The D’s chose Twisted Flax next, and received Papal Liaison to Mussolini (no idea ) – then Valentine Dyall. That was enough , since it’s an old quizzer’s question – who was Radio’s Man in Black ( and I’m an old quizzer. ) Agent J and Agent K gave it to the Ns.The music connection lurked behind two reeds, and it was the Ds who plumped for it. At the last moment I think it was Steve who saw that the connection between all of them was gemstones. Finally Water remained for the Ns. I had this one from the third clue – selling a broken laser pointer. That has been much touted in the past as the origin of eBay, so I guessed that Wardrobe Malfunction not found would have been the raison d’être for YouTube, and the other two clues the origins of two other well-known internet sites. Both teams were close, but not close enough to allow them a point for it. Which meant that the Ds led by 6 to 3, a useful lead, but the Ns were holding their own.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?
Again, the Ds kicked off with the eye of Horus. First to be revealed was 4th: Grant Fox. – It’ll be either Dan Carter or Johnny Wilkinson – I said. about a nanosecond before the Ds said exactly that themselves. Skipper Iwan bit the bullet, and went for the Talented Mr. Wilkinson, correctly. This wasn’t world top scorers in all test rugby, but the top points scorers in the rugby world cup. Great shout, and exactly what you want to do at the start of the second round if you really want to put the pressure on the other team. Two Reeds revealed a picture set, and I’m afraid I didn’t get it any more than the Ns did. The pictures showed Tall ships, a tangent ( tan ) and Kirsty Young. The Ds knew that Tall and tan and Young and lovely are all attributes of the Girl From Ipanema. Great shout , and the Ds were clearly taking a stranglehold on the match now. The Ds picked water for their own set, and received The Millennium, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, and Prince William and Kate’s wedding. They seemed disbelieving that the answer was as simple as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – these being the sequence of the last extra bank holidays. They answered it nonetheless. Horned Viper brought a good quizzers set , in fact a really good little set, for the Ns. 1: Cher and I didn’t know, but as soon as 2: Glenda Jackson came up I shouted- 4: Katherine Hepburn. The number of Oscars for acting which they won, you see. A bonus for the Ds again. They opted for Twisted Flax, and the set consisted of Switzerland 2002 – Timor-Leste 2002 – Montenegro 2006 , but failed to get the answer. This gave the Ns a much needed bonus with South Sudan 2011, these being the most recent states to join the United Nations. A good shout, and another chance of redemption was offered behind Lion. Now neither team knew the set comprising of Step 4: Moral inventory – Step 3 : turn life over to God – Step 2 : Belief in a higher power . Not through personal experience, I hasten to add, but from reading them in Jimmy Greaves’ 1st autobiography. I knew that they were part of the Alcoholics Anonymous12 step programme, and that the next would be to admit you’re an alcoholic. Nonetheless, despite missing out on this bonus, the fact is that this second round showed that there is no substitute for an excellent grasp of general knowledge, since the Ds now led by 15 points to 4.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
Going first, the Ns took the Lion wall, but I’m afraid they just couldn’t really get to grips with their wall. They unraveled a set of rabbits from Watership Down, in Blackberry, Hazel, Fiver and Clover, but the other three lines remained unsolved. Once resolved they knew that How – Magpie – Rainbow and Bod were kid’s TV shows, from the 70s, but not that marmite, olla, terrine and pipkin are all earthenware cooking pots. Nor did they know that Curry – Cocks – Honey and Tooth can all be followed by comb.
Given the water wall the Ds again showed their class. They had the connections, but took over a minute to unravel the first line of herbs, borage , savory, angelica and rosemary, but the other three fell into place pretty quickly after that. They knew that Mariette, Primrose, Montgomery and Pop are all members of the Larkins, from the Darling Buds of May and other novels. Lavender, Parliament, Ludgate and Tower they told us were all hills in London – quite right too. This left a group of field marshals – Alexander, Gort , Dill and Ironside. A full 10 points, to take the score going into the final round to 25 – 7.
Well, we know what a good vowels team the Numerists were in their first round, so even though little remained for them to play for except pride, they gave it a lash, and good on them for doing so. The first set were Fictional Roads. The first fell to the Draughtsmen, then the Numerists took the next two. However they also got the next one wrong, which undid the good work slightly. No problem, though. They won types of aircraft 3 – 1, and also words describing European citizens 3 – 1 as well. I loved the next category – Previous teams on Only Connect, but dash it all the round ended before the Archers Admirers had been guessed. Would the Radio Addicts have made a reappearance in this round ? Who knows ? The final score, for the record was 28 – 14. Well played Numerists, for coming back so well after having been under the cosh since the start of round 2. But well done especially to the Draughtsmen. I told you they were good, didn’t I ?!