The Footballers v. The Cinephiles
A good match pairing this. The Footballers are one of the more experienced teams of telly campaigners in the series. In the first round the team of Barry Humphrey, Michael McPartland and captain Jamie Turner beat the Second Violinists 18 – 11. Their opposition, the Cinepiles were also a more telly experienced team, and they consisted of Howard Kelly, Tim Catlin and Nancy Dickmann. They disposed of The Accountants 33 – 8 in the first round. On paper the Cines’ first round appearance seemed the more impressive, but I had predicted in my preview that they might just have the better of this game, so they had the curse of the Clark sofa to contend with.
Round One – What’s the Connection ?
The Cines kicked off with Twisted Flax. Alaska 10/10/1867 was the first clue. Like Nancy I was working along the lines that I believed this was when the USA purchased the state. The next two, though, made it clearer.Samoa – 30/12/2011 and England 09/09/1752. Switch over from Julian to Gregorian calendar – I thought – days never happened – so that must be the connection. The Cines had it on this clue too. The Foots took Two Reeds. Sachertorte and Valrhona Chocolate made Barry leap in with things named after hotels. I saw where he was coming from with Sachertorte. However that wasn’t the connection. Given Custard Cream and Polo Mints the Cines couldn’t take a bonus, which was that they all have their name written on the actual item. There you go. Looks simple, but it didn’t occur to me either. Eye of Horus gave the Cines the music bonus – and I had a full 5 points ! The first one was probably best known as the Pick of the Pops theme – but I knew that its real name was At the Sign of the Swinging Cymbal. So I went correctly for musical instruments. Just as well really, because I didn’t really recognize the other clues. This one stumped both teams. The Foots took the water clues, and really earned their points with Ptomaine – Biowarfare and Foregone – seeing that each of these words contained the name of an American State. Well spotted that. Horned Viper gave the Cines a set of pictures. We saw a squid – a turtle shell – a banana skin and a mushroom. I’m ashamed that I didn’t get this. The Cines did though – linking them all up with Mario video games. I’ve actually played Mario Kart so have no excuse. Good shout by the Cines. The Foots found God Bless Our Native Land – Oben am Jungen Rhein – and the clincher – My Country Tis of Thee. As they knew they all have the same tune as God Save The Queen. So although it hadn’t started that well, it had turned out to be a good round for the Footballers, who led by 4 – 3.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?
The Cines kicked off with Twisted Flax. The Wedding Party and The Hotel Inspectors gave it to me, and Gourmet Night told them it was definitely Fawlty Towers episodes – but which came next ? They went for Waldorf Salad – which was the wrong series, but the Foots had it spot on with the Germans ( and if you think I’m going to let this opportunity to write ‘Don’t mention the war’ go by, then you are sadly mistaken.) Water brought the Foots the pictures. We saw Mary J. Blige, then Stephen K. Amos, so that was enough to give them Iain M. Banks to complete the sequence. Middle initials, you see. Good shout again. Two Reeds saw the Cines given High Level – Swing – Tyne.This is the kind of set where it’s not really cryptic, just a matter of knowledge. I thought that they might have had it from Tyne, but no, and they’ll maybe be disappointed that they didn’t get that relatively benign set. The Foots were very happy to take a bonus with Millennium, these all being a sequence of bridges on the River Tyne moving downstream. The Foots were given the chance to tighten the screw further with Eye of Horus. M(4) = 127, M(3) =31, M(2) =7 left me stumped. The Foots were honest enough to admit that it left them stumped as well, but their stab in the dark answer – M(1) = 3 was perfectly correct. They are Mersenne Prime Numbers. Fair enough. All more proof that the Foots were having a blinder. Cines took Horned Viper. 1927: Kingston Upon Thames , 1965: Kensington and Chelsea; 1974 : Windsor and Maidenhead gave them Royal Boroughs, and they offered Wooton Basset – and I’ll be honest I might have had a dab at that one myself. The real answer was 2012 : Greenwich. Tricky but fair. The Foots saw out the round with Fairyhouse – Aintree – by which time they had Irish and English Grand National. SO the question really was did you gamble on the 50/50 between Ayr and Chepstow, or make certain by taking another clue ?The Foots played safe and made certain, taking Chepstow, and winning an appreciative “You’re too good !” from Victoria. All of which meant that the Cines had failed to add to their score of 3, but the Cines had scored an impressive 9 to take their total to 13.
Round Three - The Connecting Walls
The Foots got to try their wall first, and a maximum would put them in a very strong position indeed going into the last round. Lion they picked, and it was a good choice for them. They unraveled Basque – Alsatian – Gallo and Catalan – but failed to quite give the connection that Victoria required, which was that they are all regional languages of France. . Coupling – Press Gang – Jekyll and Sherlock was the next set to fall but again they didn’t manage to give the connection that they are Steven Moffat TV series. Tough connection . Whistle, cylinder, bogie and boiler fell into line almost immediately after, and they knew that they were all parts of a steam locomotive. Finally Breton – Pin – Chalk – and Candy they knew as stripes. So 6 points earned – and whatever happened they would have a lead of at least 6 going into the last round. The Water wall quickly yielded up a set of Yiddish words to the Cines – Golem – Nosh – Mensch – Klutz. Then Muggins – Dipstick – Drongo and Gowk – a set of dialect words for an idiot. Kinsella – Keyes – Aherne – Fielding they knew as writers of ‘chick lit’ . Finally Snorlax – Bulbasaur – Jigglypuff – Ditto. I’ll be honest , I’ve heard of Bulbasaur, but that’s it. Nancy had this set – all of them being pokemon. So a full set, and this at least gave the Cines a sniff of a chance. The Footballers led by 19 to 13.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
The first group – four names for the same thing – puma – panther etc. fell to the Cines 2 – 1. 2012 Olympic venues fell to the Foots 2 -1 however they also lost a point for an incorrect buzz. The gap was narrowed to 3, but there was no need for the Foots to panic. Yet. The next set of things represented by the letters OC saw the Foots lose another point, and the Cines score 1. The round ended, and the Footballers had done it by a point 20 to 19. Very well done ! Not an upset of Foinavon proportion by any stretch of the imagination as I said in my preview, but nonetheless a very good scalp for the Footballers to collect during their campaign. Well played both – good game.