The Footballers v. The Wordsmiths
Two weeks ago we saw the Footballers, Barry Humphrey, Michael McPartland and captain Jamie Turner, lose out to the Draughtsmen in a fine first semi final. In order to get there they had already defeated both the Second Violinists and the Cinephiles. Their opponents in this bronze medal play off were the Wordsmiths. Brian Pendreigh, Chris Brewis and captain Dave Taylor had tough tussles with both the Educators and the Wintonians in order to win their way through to the semis where they lost out in another excellent contest to the Scribes. I didn’t want to call this one, and so I didn’t, and instead just let the whole thing unfold.
Round One – What’s the Connection ?
The Foots kicked off with a great answer. Given Jed Clampett : 9.5 – Artemis Fowl II : 13.5 They confidently supplied the correct answers that these were fictional characters and their worth in billions of dollars. Nice shooting there, boys. Eye of Horus gave the Smiths Combined English Universities – Westminster Abbey – Calais and Kensington and Chelsea. Now, I think it was the universities which gave me an inkling, and Kensington and Chelsea which confirmed it, but I had the feeling that these were defunct constituencies. Neither team had this. The Foots took Twisted Flax and the music. They took all four clues, and they knew that the last was “Children of the Revolution”. So which way do you go – children or revolution. They zigged with Revolution, but should have zagged with children, which brought a bonus point to the Smiths. They chanced their collective arm with two reeds. Bacon and egg icecream came up, and they went too soon off just one clue with Heston Blumenthal. Given Crepes suzette – Steak tartare – the original Caesar salad they didn’t know that these were all prepared at the table. Water brought the Foots a picture set, which they didn’t get. Barry was actually on the right lines, knowing it was to do with the names, but it took the smiths to take a bonus, knowing that venetian blinds, leghorn chickens and Florentine biscuits were all named after Italian cities. They finished off the round with Lion, and Derek McCulloch ( Uncle Mac ) – Federal Home Loan Mortgage Coporation ( Freddie Mac ) and that was enough to give them the answer – all being Macs. This was enough to ensure that they led by 5 to 3.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?
The Foots again kicked off, and took Lion themselves, and the pictures. The DVLA – A pig – and the Albion pub all rang a bell. That was because Victoria had said at the top of the show that she wasn’t allowed within 100yards of any of them – the last of the list being UC all-time great Alex Guttenplan.The eye of Horus revealed more resistant to scratching – Improved in Health – Having greater velocity , The Smiths offered at first – being taller than, which they modified to stronger. Unbeknownst to them this is from a Daft Punk song. Fair enough. Flax brought the foots octonion – quaternion – and they tried union. Made sense to me. Complex number was the third, and Dave surprised Victoria by giving the right answer of real number. Normed division algebras don’t you know. Well, I didn’t, anyway. Horned viper gave the Smiths 1924 Paris, and 1948 London. I had it at this clue. 1984 Los Angeles was the third, and I’m sorry, but they shouldn’t have made a mistake with this, going for 2013, London. The Foots knew that it was 2004 Athens – these being the successive second times these cities hosted the summer Olympics. Two reeds brought them Star = G – Are =P – High = V . They didn’t know, neither did the Smiths, and neither did I. It was fiendish and brilliant. In the alphabet version of Twinkle Twinkle little star, G takes the place of star – P takes the place of Are and so on. So the last would be Sky =z. Devilishly clever that. Finally the Smiths took Water, to find Woodrow Wilson – Calvin Coolidge - ah , thought I, alliterative presidents, and thought the Smiths took Herbert Hoover as well they made no mistake with Ronald Reagan. So that brought the round to an end, and they led by 10 to 6.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Smiths took the water wall to start. They could see that there were scientific effects in there, but couldn’t untangle them. SO they settled for Laurence – Rhys – Jones - Ferguson – Middleton , all the names of people who have married into the Royal family. Fireflies – Domino – Wherever You Are – and Forget you were a selection of number 1 singles from 2010 onwards. Those pesky effects were still refusing to untangle, and the three tries couldn’t find them. When the wall untangled we saw Tyndall ( not Tindall ) – Doppler – Coriolis and Greenhouse were the effects, which left Butterfly – smoke – beauty and calico . Neither the Smiths nor I guessed that these are bushes – I’ve heard of the butterfly bush but that’s it.
The Foots were left to tackle the lion war. Dr. Who monsters beckoned invitingly , but they kicked off with metaphorical streets – Grub – Civvy – Easy – Queer. Then Macra – The Silence – Ood and Weeping Angels were untangled for the Dr. Who set. They knew that a set of larvae were there, but they just wouldn’t untangle for them. Still, once the wall was resolved they could see Smiler – Pethead – Little Monster – Maggot – and I guessed from the name Maggot these might be members of Goldie Looking Chain. Barry guessed the same, but it was not to be. They were all fans of musical artistes. I should really have had it from Little Monster. Finally the larvae were revealed as nymph – caterpillar – wriggler and tadpole. So the gap remained the same, and the Smiths still led with 15 to 11.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
So how would it pan out ? The Smiths have not been, by their own admission, at their best on the vowels, while the Foots have shown quite a nifty turn of speed in this round. 4 points was a significant gap , but not unbridgeable. Fictional languages fell to the Foots 2 – 0. Government information slogans fell 1 apiece. Films released with posthumous performances fell 2 – 1 to the Foots. Only one point difference now. However that was that, and not another one was solved. The gallant Footballers finished with 16, but the Smiths still had just a nose ahead, with 17. Well played both – congratulations on your efforts this series.