Only Connect – Semi Final Special
1) The Festival Fans v. The Celts
The Festival Fans, Ed Dovey, Stewart McCartney and captain Marianne Fairthorne, lost to the Francophiles in their first match, then beat the GPs and the Cat Lovers on their way to the semis. For my money they were the underdogs , but a good team in the first three rounds. Which suggested that if they could have a very good vowels round they were capable of causing an upset. The Celts, Beverley Downes, Huw Pritchard and David Pritchard, had won both of their matches, beating the Cartophiles and the Cat Lovers. With a slightly higher average score than the other three semi-final teams they were the team to receive the kiss of death in the form of the tip from the Clark sofa.
Round One – What’s The Connection?
The Celts kicked off with two reeds, for a picture set. I won’t lie, I recognized the picture of a design for a perpetual motion machine at once, and took a 5 pointer. I think that the Celts were onto it pretty quickly too, but they played cautiously and took it on the third. Horned Viper gave the Fans US Intervention World War I. Cause of the Franco Prussian War didn’t really help me for the second clue. However the Fans had it – telegrams. Of Course! The Zimmerman telegram suddenly rang a bell. I’d like to think that I’d have had it off the third clue – How Dr. Crippen was caught, but even so, a great shout by the Fans. Lion brought the sound of music to the Celts. I didn’t get it, the Celts didn’t get it, and the Fans didn’t get it. They were all terms from scoring in tennis.Eye of Horus brought the Fans – Pet Shop Boys “Behaviour “Album – “Fun” Indie pop group – “Eat” Sandwich chain and “Bench” clothing label. The Fans didn’t get it, but the Celts offered that they all had an exclamation mark at the end of the name, and, given a second bite of the cherry by Victoria they got the answer that they all have punctuation marks at the end of their name. Now, you can believe this or not, but I did know the Celts’ set behind Twisted Flax from the first clue. For some reason I remember that Levitating a Frog won the IgNobel prize a couple of years ago. How Swearing Relieves Pain – The odds that Gorbachev was the Antichrist – and – How woodpeckers avoid headaches just confirmed it. The Celts did rather go round the houses in their answer . I had a pretty good guess for the last set for the Fans too. Seeing US Green Cards I guessed that these were all things given out by lottery. Not that I’m saying I would have actually chanced it without looking at another clue on the show, mind, as I would have done with the perpetual motion machines and the IgNobel prizes. The Fans also took Vietnam Conscription and £161,653,000 and drafting picks in the USA before they managed to tease out the correct answer. All of which meant we had a 4 all draw at the end of the round.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
The first picture set received by the Celts did pass me by completely, I’m afraid. Neither team had it. Basically we had a quadrille – a trill – the Bill – and if you add –ion to them you get three noughts less each time. So the last would be a mill. Fiendish. Twisted Flax gave the Fans – Name for Anne Boleyn’s Marriage. This I believed was the Thousand Days. Napoleon’s rule after escape from Elba was the Hundred Days. So I predicted that the third would be John Reid’s – that shook the world. The Fans had the connection by this time as well. The third clue was actually John Reid October Revolution story, but you can see where I was coming from. The last would of course be one day – as in the David Nicholls novel. Lovely set – good shout. Lion gave the Celts Melancholia – and I wondered if this was to do with the 4 humours – Cargoes suggested that this was a load of cobblers. However it did suggest John Masefield. Which mean that the next would be Cecil Day Lewis, and the last john Betjeman. So I plumped for Slough as possibly his most famous poem. Where are the War Poets? for the third clue put the Celts onto poets, but not the Poet Laureates I’m afraid. The Fans didn’t have it. Horned Viper gave the Fans 4:Inside Straight – which earned a disapproving – oh flipping heck, is that poker terms? – from the Clark sofa. 3: Pairing your overcard didn’t quite sound like that, although 2: open-ended straight flush did. The Fans didn’t know, but the Celts did – 1: Inside Straight Flush. There was an explanation to do with odds, but I’m afraid it went in one ear and out the other with me. Water gave the Celts GSM – nope – GPRS – nope – EDGE – nope. The Celts knew it was to do with mobile phones and went for 3G. Which was the correct answer. Eye of Horus remained for the Fans. I=Moneybag – II=The Red gave neither of us anything, but – 3=The Great certainly did. I guessed these were Ivans, and I knew that the 4th of these was the infamous Terrible. Stewart of the Fans knew it as well. So this little boost meant that by the end of the round the scores were 9 to the Fans, and 7 to the Celts.
Round Three – The Connecting Wallls
Taking the Lion wall the Fans , sadly, did not isolate any of the lines before the time was up. They knew the connections of at least some of them, but they just wouldn’t unravel. Caesar’s Palace – Paul Ricard – Aintree and Monaco I’m afraid they didn’t know. Monaco and Paul Ricard were the real clues to this – all of them have staged formula 1 grands prix. Jealousy – Britt Reid – Absinthe and Vermont they knew are all nicknamed Green – eyed monster – hornet – fairy and Mountain State .Guy – pyre – Christmas Pudding and Chametz they also knew as all things you would set alight. Black jack – Fennel – Gunpowder Kali and Sambuca they also knew were all aniseed flavoured. So 3 points hard earned on a wall which jealously guarded its secrets.
The Water wall didn’t guard its secrets quite so closely, yielding Master of Foxhounds – Toastmaster – Butlin’s employee – Chelsea Pensioner – which all traditionally wear red. Brie – Moss – Jones and Hendricks I didn’t have a clue about, but the Celts knew that they are all actresses from Mad Men. In fairly short order they untangled the last two lines. The next was Penny Black – Crimea Medal – Double Florin and Bombay Sapphire, but they didn’t know all carry a portrait of Queen Victoria. Beefeater – Citadelle – Tanqueray and Cork Dry they had spotted as gins. The 7 points they had earned meant that they overhauled the Fans, and now led by 14 to 12.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
All to play for, then, with the form guide suggesting that the Celts had an edge in this discipline. Provinces of South Africa fell 2 apiece. Schools of thought went 3-1 to the Celts, but sadly there was also a miscue and a lost point for the Fans. A lovely set on what people say when they’re breaking up went 2 apiece, but there was a Celts miscue this time. That’s all there was time for, and the Celts took a deserved place in the final by winning 20 – 16. Good show.