The Wintonians v. The Quitters
Right, well, as I was saying in a recent report, despite what might appear to be cut and dried on paper we haven’t seen any mismatches this series. I don’t think I know any of last night’s players, and so I really couldn’t have said for certain at the start of the show who were the favourites, and who the underdogs. Poked with a stick I’d probably have gone for the Wintonians – all alumni of King Alfred’s College Winchester. Probably more on account of Andrew Steen’s excellent facial hair than anything else. He was joined by Paul Baker, and captain David Norcott. As for their opposition, well, the Quitters were certainly tempting fate with their team name. They all quit smoking last year, you see. Nathan Hamer’s facial hair was good, but not quite as good as Andrew’s – first blood to the Wintonians there. Nathan was joined by Andrea Lowe, and Rachel Pagan, their captain. Let’s get on with the show.
Round One – What’s the Connection ?
The Wintonians kicked off with Horned Viper, and they unearthed an absolute little beauty. It’s just my good fortunate that when I saw Cymraeg: 9 10 8 I happened to read it out loud. I will confess here and now that as an Englishman in South Wales, albeit one who has lived in Wales for longer than I lived in England, my Welsh isn’t great at all. However I do know my numbers, and so I wasted no time in displaying my prowess to the empty living room by intoning “Cymraeg – naw – deg – wyth.” Then for no reason I added “ That’s 98 in Welsh “. Not yet having an inkling that this was in fact the connection. Well, not until “Français : 4 20 10 8" came up, anyway. “Quatre vingt dix huit – 98 again. “ To say I was pleased with myself was an understatement. If they give out prizes for great ( but difficult ) question for this series, whoever came up with that one should head the nominations list. Fantastic question. Neither team got it, mind you. The Quitters picked out the music behind twisted flax. I had it on the last , after BB King in 3rd was followed by ZZ Top in 4th. You can see it when it’s written down. Unfortunately the Quitters didn’t have that luxury, and so a bonus went to the Wints. The Wints took two reeds ,, and showed a bit of class, taking exposure to cosmic rays – super soldier serum ( on the seashore ? ) and Vita Rays ( Oh, oh, Vita Rays ) which was enough to tell them that these were things that gave superheroes their powers. Nice set off two clues. Quitters found a tricky set behind Lion. – Estee Lauder – Frida Kahlo – Dorothy Parker were followed by Elizabeth Taylor – and just as well or I would never have got it. The Qs didn’t see it, neither did the Wints. They all married the same man twice – ( well it was a different man for each of them, but you know what I mean. ) Difficult but gettable from Liz Taylor. A set of clues all led them to words ending in nik – refusenik – beatnik etc. Again, they didn’t use all of the clues, and took it off three this time. The Qs were watching their opponents disappear over the horizon, and really needed to take the set behind Water. A set of pictures seemed friendly, and they knew that the shoes shown were mules. Unfortunately they zagged with mules and horse, while the last picture, of a snooker spider would surely have given it to them. The Wints knew they were just all named after creatures, and even knew the frog in a brick, and the hawk for holding plaster. I can’t say that the Q’s had had the best of luck in that round, and they were yet to score, while the Wints had amassed a very tasty 7.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?
The Wints began the round with two reeds. Given 8:Women of Jerusalem Weep - they worked out a series of stations of the cross pretty quickly, and even more impressively gave the right one to complete the sequence right on the wire. The Qs took water, and got another lovely set – although not one which necessarily rewarded you that much for hanging on and completing the set. Iunius – Quintilis – Sextilis I suspect are one of those things you know or you don’t. I’m happy to say that I knew that they were roman months, and so September ( same word ) would be next. Neither team managed that. AT
t home , I took a flier off one from the Eye of Horus. The Wints found a picture of someone signing a cheque. Signed, Sealed, Delivered. . . I’m yours I sang ( alright, croaked ). A seal duly came next, and a nod was as good as a wink to the Wints. Good shout. Twisted Flax gave the Qs Malcolm III. Now – I’m not saying I would definitely have gone for a flier on this one had I been in the studio. But I certainly went for it at home. MACBETH ! I shouted. It was a relief that they took all three, and when Duncan I came up, then Nathan knew straightaway, and Rachel gratefully announced the answer, thus collecting the Q’s first points of the show. Fate had not been that kind to them so far, but at least they were underway now. Horned Viper gave the Wints a rather gentle set, and they had it off the first clue – Ingestion. I think I would have gone for five in the studio on that one. They knew these were going to be stages of digestion, and they went for excretion – thankfully not literally – bagging the full points. I don’t blame them either, but it takes guts to go for it off one clue, I can tell you. It’s probably an easier gamble to take when you are so far in front. So the Qs were left with Lion. Douglas Coupland’s Generation and Female Chromosomes was a great little sequence, along the lines of the rings one a couple of shows ago. Well played the Qs for working it out off two that we had X , then XX, and so the last one would be Castlemaine XXXX ( LAM would like to remind readers that other brands of Australian lager are available ) . A good shout which meant that at the end of the round the Wints led by 17 – 5.
The Connecting Walls
The Qs picked Lion, and quickly solved a set of punches in boxing – Cross – Haymaker – Hook and Jab, Very soon after this they found Sea – Oil – Climate and Regime, which they knew can all be followed by Change. They resolved the wall, and knew that you can sing about blaming it on the Rain, the weatherman, the bossa nova and of course the Boogie . Darn – Shoot – Dickens and Freak are all some of those useful non sweary swear words. Well played Q’s – 10 pointa proving that they are no mugs indeed.
The Water Wall proved little obstacle to the Qs in their stead. They solved their own wall within the time, and even had time to take stock after uncovering the first two lines, even thought this took them a little time. They knew all four connections before unraveling any of the lines. It took a while, but once they began to knock them off it was like shelling peas. First they found darts players nicknames with the Count, Silverback, Prince of Wales and Wolfie, then Cesar, BAFTA, Golden Bear and Golden Rooster, which are all major film awards. The Sesame Street characters finally revealed themselves to be Elmo, Guy Smiley, Grover and Oscar. This only left a set of pub names – Lamb and Flag – Green Man – Cross Keys and Turks Head. Another full set – once again well done.
The score going into the last round was 27 – 15.
Round Four – The Missing Vowels
There seemed little chance of a win for the Qs, but not to worry, they had already reached respectability. Reference works used by OC Question setters fell 3 – 0 to the Wints, and unfortunately the Quitters lost a point for an early buzz. Good sources of iron. cam next. - Will they put haematite down - I wondered, but no, they weren't that mean. These proved more fruitful to the Quitters even though they lost a point very unluckily by giving green leaf vegetables instead of green leafY vegetables. Bad luck. Still, they narrowed the gap by two points on the round. Stringed instruments went two apiece. Monsters from literature saw the Wints lose a point, but gain 2. That was it. So at the end the final scores were 18 – 34 to the Wints. Hmm – that’s quite a score, and demands to be taken seriously. It’s alright boys, don’t worry. I won’t be cursing you with the Clark tip . . . yet ! But it was a very good performance. Hard lines, Quitters, but no shame at all. 18 points – well, teams have won shows with lower scores than that before. Well done.