Only Connect – Semi Final Special
2) The Francophiles v. The Cartophiles
Som who would go through to face the Celts in next week’s final? The Cartophiles, Colin Kidd, Mark Cooper and Josh Mandel, this week’s underdogs, lost to the Celts in their first match, then won tough scraps against the Corpuscles and the Fell Walkers. Their opponents, the Francophiles, had sailed straight through to the semis by defeating the Festival Fans in the first match, and then disposing of the Fell Walkers in their second. The Francophiles, Ian Clark , Sam Goodyear, and captain Mark Walton, certainly looked the more likely team to make the final, but as we all know, given the right set of circumstances any team can beat any other team. I still felt that the Francs would win.
Round One – What’s The Connection?
The Francs opted for Horned Viper – second vowel voiced – and received the music set for their pains. I’ll be honest, the only one I really knew was the Specials’ Free Nelson Mandela. That was enough to give the connection of protest songs against wrongful imprisonment. The Francs didn’t have it, but the Carts were happy to take the bonus. Twisted Flax revealed a set very much to my liking. The Ghostbuster’s Cadillac. Well, my boy loved Ghostbusters when he was little, and he actually had an ECTO 1. The second , Dr. Who’s Bessie was obviously Who 1. So number plates ending in 1 was obviously it – which was borne out by Postman Pat’s van, and Lady Penelope’s Rolls Royce. The Carts took it for a point. The Francs got a nice set of Remotopic – Egokinetic – Sexadekal and Uniglossal. Like the Francs I could see that these were manufactured words made up of half latin and half greek. what I didn’t see was that they are what you get if you take an exisiting half and half manufactured word like television – and put the greek word for the latin bit – opic for vision – and the latin bit for the greek bit – remot for tele. Now that’s clever. So we get automobile – hexadecimal and monolingual. What a terrific set. Two Reeds gave the Carts - Self declared king of Iceland – Hmm – Prolific Welsh Hymn writer – still hmmm – Male Star of A Star is Born. Now, the latest version of that would be Kris Kristofferson. Which gave me the answer at the same time as the Carts – that they all had names where the first name is an element of the second. The last would have been The first Presenter of Mastermind. Again, a nice set. Eye of Horus gave the Francs Judit Polgar. Now, Judit Polgar is very well known in the world of chess. I think that the Francs were on the right lines from this point. The second clue was Danica Patrick. The third , Charlotte Brew, they knew was the first woman jockey to ride the Grand National, and so this confirmed our theory that these were all women who have competed on equal terms with men in male competitions. The Cartophiles finished the competition with a set of pictures showing Nelson’s Column, and Olympic Swimming Pool, and Wales – which was enough to give them the good connection that these are all things often used as size comparison points. This completed a great round for the Carts, who now led by 6 to 3.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
Now, Two Reeds gave the Franciphiles what I thought was the first chance at a five pointer in this show. When 1969: Swansea came up I was able to say 2012:St. Asaph – that being the latest Welsh town to become a city. The Francs took it off two clues for a useful 3 points. Twisted Flax didn’t offer an immediate opportunity to the Carts, with the first clue being Bully – the second Patty and Selma , who are Homer Simpson’s sisters in law – the third was Mr. Krabs. I didn’t really have much of a clue where we were going with this one. Neither team had it, and Victoria suggested that even if she gave the teams 14 months they wouldn’t have been able to work it out. Charming. Actually the connection was fiendishly brilliant. Bully was the cartoon bull in Bullseye – Patty and Selma are cartoon twins – Mr. Krabs is a crab. So the next sign of the Zodiac would be a cartoon Lion. Brilliant. Speaking of brilliant, the Francs had the guts to go for a five pointer off 3rd mate: Flask. I knew they were going to say Captain Ahab, but whether I would have had the guts to go for it in the studio is another question. They were quite right, as this was the herarchy of command on the Pequod. Horned Viper revealed a set of picture clues . We saw sterling silver – a mini cooper – hallo, I thought – Stirling Cooper – is that Mad Men again? – and some cloth. The Carts didn’t have it, and the Francs, like me, knew the connection, but not that the last one would be Price. My favourite set came next. Eustace – Here the French do battle. Immediately I said “Hic Harold Rex Interfectus Est / Here King Harold is killed. They are successive inscriptions on the Bayeux Tapestry. Right – pedantry warning. Eustace – or Eustatius is certainly the common interpretation of an inscription on the Tapestry – however the fact is that the few letters after the first E are missing, and have been for a long time, so although it is highly, highly likely that the inscription does say Eustatius, we don’t know for certain. Anyway, the Francs had it off the third clue – And those who were with Harold Fell. The Carts received auditory meatus – Tympanum – and here we were obviously dealing with the ear , and the Carts opted for aricle. Incorrect. Given the last clue of ossicles the Francs offered stirrup – which I’m afraid is actually an ossicles. I took a flyer on cochlea, and that proved to be the right answer. A great round for the Francs had seen them increase their score to 13, giving them a 7 point lead.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Carts fairly quickly sorted out a set of battles in which a king was killed – Clontarf – Bosworth – Crécy and Flodden . Paterson, Irvine – Sole and Hastings all played Rugby for Scotland – and did it very well too. Whiz – Shark – Maestro and Maven they found as terms that all are used for someone who is very good at something. Finally the last line Dab – flounder – Brill and Megrim they knew are all flat fish. A full ten points scored – just what the doctor ordered.
The Francs singlemindedly pursued a set of racehorse trainers, and quickly isolated Stoute – Cumani – Hills and Nicholls. They tried to isolate a set of porcelain factories next, but found a set of warblers first – Reed – Cetti’s – Dartford and Willow. Chord Hammond Pipe and Mouth they found next as a set of organs, and this left the porcelain factories – Limoges – Meissen – Doccia and Coalport. So their 10 point haul gave them a 7 point lead going into the vowels round.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
Film crew professions kicked us off, and went 1 apiece with 2 going begging. Political factions fell 2 – 1 to the Carts. The deficit was being cut, but not quickly enough. Scottish inventors and their inventions fell 4 – 0 to the Francs with unfortunately a Carts’ miscue as well. All over bar the shouting really. Opposites in German finished the show off , giving the Carts just enough time to add another point to the score. This meant that they finished with 19 to the Francs’ 29.
So in the end it turns out that we have two teams who have both proven strong enough to withstand the Curse of the Clark sofa to contest next week’s final. Well played all.