The Scribes v. The Draughtsmen
The Scribes, who have been this year’s surprise package , consisting of Holly Pattenden , Gareth Price and Dom Tait, had a fairly resounding first round victory over the Ciphers, winning 31 – 13. In the quarter final they saw off the TEFL Teachers 27 – 9.Then in the semi-final they beat the much fancied Wordsmiths by 25 – 14. Their opposition in this Grand Final were 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.The quarter final proved a little more relaxed, seeing them win by 28 – 14.In the semi final they face the Footballers, who gave them all the trouble they could handle, eventually squeezing through 19-18.
So who would win ? On paper, before the start of the series I’d have said the Draughtsmen. But you just couldn’t ignore the form that the Scribes had shown all series. One thing I was sure of, though. If the Draughtsmen weren’t ahead going into the last round, then the whip hand would be with the Scribes.
Round One – What’s the Connection ?
Eye of Horus kicked things off for the Draughts. England : Wales and Brazil:Scotland gave them the correct answer that these were footballers whose names were countries other than those they played for. Horned Viper brought the Scribes a set of pictures. We saw Girl with A Pearl Earring – Victoria Coren – Men at Work sign – and Statue of Liberty. Neither side saw that they were all flipped – the wrong way round – and neither did I. The Ds took Lion, and had Marty Feldman’s last film – Captain of Queen Anne’s Revenge – at which stage I had it – Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I , and with a rush of blood to the head they went with Red Beards. They were probably kicking themselves after when the Scribes had the bonus for saying that these were all people with different coloured beards – Yellow – Black – Red, and the last one , the wife murderer, being Blue Beard. Scribes took two reeds, and had Head : Meissa – Beltbuckle – Alnilam – and I had this one at this stage – Left Leg : Rigel, and skipper Dom knew that these were star positions in the constellation Orion. The Ds had water, and Champion of 1981 Grand National . They considered going for a five pointer, but wiser heads prevailed. -It told of Pennywise the Clown , and - Town where Battle lies were not enough to give them the answer. The Scribes gratefully took a bonus, knowing that the three of these , and - Had a 1974 hit with Killer Queen were all clues in which the answer is actually contained. Twisted Flax brought the Scribes the music set. They took the first three, and impressed me hugely by knowing that they were all written in the form of a letter. Well done for that. This meant that they actually led after the first round by 6 points to 3. You couldn’t help wondering whether dropping those two gettable sets was going to play on the D’s minds as we went into the next round.
Ropund Two – What Comes Third ?
Horned Viper gave the Ds a tricky set – A=azure a saltire argent ( St. Andrew’s cross ) – D = Sable a cross or (St. David’s Cross )– at which they guessed G=argent a cross gules, knowing that this was the cross of St. George. Unfortunately this was actually next in the sequence alphabetically. The Scribes couldn’t take advantage, not knowing that the cross of St. Patrick is P = Argent a saltire gules, Very very bad luck to the Ds, and it was turning out to be one of those nights for them. Scribes took the Eye of Horus. Now, not that I’m one to brag ( alright , I am ) but as soon as Kendal Mintcake came up I said “Young Ones – University Challenge “ and ticked them off to Lord Monty ( Hugh Laurie). So that would have done me fine for a five pointer . Neither team could dredge it up, although both knew what it was all about. Two Reeds gave the Ds 5:Marylebone Old Church – 6: White’s Club Soho – 7: Fleet Debtor’s Prison. I guessed the connection – the Rake’s Progress – but not the 8th destination. It was Bedlam Hospital. Lion was taken by the Scribes, and I wouldn’t have had this one on all three ( and to be honest would have struggled even if the answer had been in front of me. ) Disposable Cigarette Lighters – Hot Air Balloons – Production of Ethylene were the clues, and the Scribes knew that it was uses of simpler alkane gases, so something methane-y would do. Fair enough. Twisted Flax brought a good picture set for the Ds. They knew a tamarind, followed by a tamarin monkey , so it would probably show the river Tamar in the last. Sounds easy, but you have to know a tamarind when you see it in the first place, and I certainly didn't. Just water remained for the scribes. NNNE – NEENE – EESE. These I thin k they all figured out as compass directions, but neither team knew that they were pairs of compass points going clockwise. The scores, then , were 6 to the Ds, and 8 to the Scribes. The gap had been narrowed to 2, but being realistic the Ds needed a lead, and there was only the wall round remaining before the vowels in which to get it.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Scribes kicked off with the Lion wall. Some fairly adept button pushing saw them untangle Fry – Smolt - Alevin and Codling – young fish. They could see a set of boats, and a set of Jacks, but these would not untangle. Eventually they could see a set of contributors to That Was The Week That Was , and they untangled Levin – Martin – Rushton and Percival. That was it. When the wall was resolved they saw Mormon – Ketch – Frost and Sprat were the Jacks, and Snow – Brigantine – Buss and Yawl were the boats- two mast-ers to be precise. That was 6 points, and just a glimmer of a chance for the Ds.
The Water wall was no more forgiving to the Ds than the Lion had been to the Scribes. Eight Ace – Mr. Logic – Tin Ribs and Black Bag they knew were all characters from Viz. They knew there was a set of plural nouns used as singulars, but they just wouldn’t unravel, nor would the other 2 lines. When Sportscene – Burnistoun – River City and Landward were revealed they guessed correctly – based on Sportscene I’d guess – that these are programmes made by BBC Scotland. Coast – Employment – Data and Consumer are all things that can be followed by Protection. This left the plural singular nouns, which were Graffiti – Opera – Agenda – Candelabra. Hard luck on that wall, and it meant that they scored 5, to give the Scribes another precious point to add to their lead, which now stood at 14 to 11.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
Put in its simplest terms, the Scribes had been one of the finest vowels teams we’ve seen all series, and while the Ds have been good, they haven’t been as good as the Scribes when it comes to the vowels. You fancied by this stage that the 3 point lead , although slender, would be too much of a gap to bridge. It certainly looked that way when the Scribes took Things that Good Children do by 3 to 1. Wooden objects and their traditional wood saw the Ds lose a point and gain a point, and the Scribes take three. The last category – three consecutive months saw the Ds lose another, and the Scribes take 1. At the end, then, the final scores were 11 to the Draughtsmen, and 20 to the Scribes.
Commiserations to the Draughtsmen. It just wasn’t your night. Many congratulations to new champions the Scribes. Worthy champions indeed – and I apologise for never marking you out as such at any time earlier in the series.
Congratulations also to Jenny, Rachel, David and the Only Connect team, on another fantastic series, and on your 100th show. By the way – I really liked the lovely Only Connect badges all the team were sporting. Any chance of them being awarded retrospectively to other runners up – specifically the runners up in series 4 ? No ? Well you can’t blame a chap for asking . Great show.