The Globetrotters v. The Pilots
Already in the second tranch of first round matches? Well, yes. Monday’s returning teams were the Globetrotters and the Pilots. The Globetrotters, Michael Reeve, Suda Perera and their captain Chris Clough, looked a distinctly useful outfit when losing a close match 21 – 26 to the Board Gamers. The Pilots, Simon Morgan, Neil Morgan and skipper Paul Judge, lost a similarly close one to the Lasletts. So whatever happened, someone was going home after the show. I had just a sneaking feeling for the Trotters, but I wouldn’t have been risking the Clark 50p on the outcome.
Round one – What’s the Connection?
The Trotters, put in to bat by the Pilots opted for the eye of Horus. Colonial Goose didn’t help a great deal. Canada Goose, I wondered. Scotch Woodcock changed the game, being a dish. Biloxi Bacon made me hazard a guess that these are all dishes which did not originate in the places suggested by the names. Rocky Mountain oysters was the last clue and that gave the Trotters the correct answer, namely that these were all other than their name suggest – Rocky Mountain oysters not being oysters etc. The pilots chose water, and found Nimrod. Too many possibilities with that one, I thought. The next was the giveaway. Bites yer legs was the nickname of Norman Hunter, and Nimrod of course was a mighty hunter before the Lord. The pilots thought so too and came in after the two for a correct answer. Lion gave the Trotters Towel: May 25th. Hmm – thought I – something in that which I’m not seeing. WiFi: August 2nd 2011 – ditto – Pi - : March 14th did it. March 14th is 3/14 if you write it the US way round, and that’s the first three digits of pi.Star Wars : May the 4th confirmed my thoughts – but like the Trotters I had difficulty framing the answer in words. The definition given on screen was unofficial geek celebration days. Well, I'm all for celebrating unofficial geeks, but why leave out the official ones, who are surely as worthy of recognition as their unofficial brethren. Two Reeds introduced the music set for the Pilots. The pilots looking to be of a similar vintage to myself they didn’t seem to recognize the first two any more than I did. The third, Glad All Over by my namesake and his group hinted the answer, and Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera confirmed it was 5s. Going back to the Dave Clark 5, the fact that they were at their height in 1964, the year I was born, is a pure coincidence. According to my mother she got my christian name from the rather more down to earth source of a character in Mrs. Dale’s Diary. Enough of such drivel. The Pilots took a point, and then the Trotters chose Twisted Flax for sour tasting – no – tray planted – no – divine wind – now, that I know is kamikaze. But what were the others? Didn’t matter. All that was required was English translations of Japanese terms used in English. Two points to the Trotters. I won my bet with myself that the last would be empty orchestra. The first is sushi and the second bonsai. Ah, that makes sense. Horned viper remained to give the Pilots pictures of someone on American Idol – Wallace and Gromit made of clay – Roland Garros played on clay and a set of clay pigeon shooting paraphernalia. The American Idol chappie was Clay Aiken apparently. The Trotters knew him. No bonus points for that, but what looked a close match on paper had started out as a close one in the studio, for the Pilots led by a single point with 5.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
Lion gave the Trotters Cater – no idea- Trey , at which I shouted Ace. Trey is a term for a three in some card and dice games. The Trotters took the next clue with Deuce, which confirmed it and gave it to the Trotters. The Pilots had water, and Halt Who goes there? Now, I took a bit of a flier and went for a five pointer with Queen Elizabeth’s Keys. The second was The Keys, which looked good. Whose keys for the third looked even better. Basically it’s the ceremony of the keys every evening at the Tower of London. The Pilots were close enough with The Queen’s keys. Eye of Horus kicked off the next Trotters set with the smallest hardest crossword. I felt I should know it but I didn’t. The Celebrity Squares board came next. Now, I know that this was divided up into 9 Squares. The Trotters were thinking along the same lines. A slice of battenburg being the third clue supplied the answer - we had gone down from a 4 x4 to a 3x 3 to a 2x2 square – basically the answer then would be anything with one square. Twisted Flax showed the pilots – Report Stage – Third Reading – and here I guessed Royal Assent, as stages by which an Act of Parliament becomes law. The Pilots were thinking along tye same lines, but went for it being passed into law, thus giving the Trotters the first bonus chance of the show. They had Royal Assent, for a timely bonus point. Two Reeds showed the Trotters a picture of a lady in black and white holding a very large pair of bloomers – a pair of dirty knees – two little ducks followed, and so legs for 11 was obviously the last. 44 – droopy drawers etc. I really don’t know what captain Chris was doing when he gave the answer ‘it’s bingo slang for 33 – when I think Suda had already said that it was legs 11. Thus the Pilots took back their bonus, and to finish off they opened the horned viper, and saw Turkana – nope – Malawi – hmm, lakes? – Tanganyika, yes lakes, and so I guessed that these might be the largest lakes in Africa in ascending order, which would leave Victoria. I’m afraid that this was just a gap in knowledge for the Pilots when they couldn’t answer, and it gave the bonus back to the Trotters. This made a difference. Going into the walls the Trotters led with 10 – 8.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Pilots kicked off with the water wall and immediately saw a set of grange Hill characters. It didn’t take a long time to separate Mrs. McClusky – Roly ( wasn’t it Row – land?) Gripper and Zammo. They were very quickly in with members of the Velvet Underground as well- Tucker – Morrison – Cale and Reed. With bags of time left the pilots worked out what the two lines were – place names suffixed with field, and types of grassy things ( stop me if I get too technical) then they got them on their first go. Now that was an impressive piece of walling. The fields were Chester – Hat – Man and Wake. The grassy things were Sedge – Cattail – Bulrush and Arrowhead.
This left the Trotters needing a full house to keep their lead. They certainly started well. They spotted German writers almost at once and separated Grimm – Schiller – Hesse and Mann. Broomstick – Quaffle – Beater’s Bat and Broomstick are all needed for Quidditch. Thus the Trotters too had oodles of time left to isolate the last two lines. They too worked out the last two lines – words prefixed with – photo , and words for telling on someone. In a mirror image of the Pilot’s tactics they made absolutely certain, then got them on their first go. The photos were graph – synthesis – journalism – and taxis, which left Grass – shop – snitch and sneak. Lovely walls, and great play from both teams. The Trotters presertved their narrow lead with 20 to 18.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
Both teams had lost their first rounds through being beaten to the buzzer in the vowels. The first set – actors who have played Dracula – fell 2 apiece. The second – ports of the world – fell 3 – 1 to the Trotters. They now had a 4 point advantage – which could still be wiped out with one set. UK Christmas Number 1s wiped out three points of that advantage, falling 3 – 0 to the pilots. Places of Entertainment were going to be crucial. The first two fell to the Trotters. As did the third. The fourth went to the pilots, and there just wasn’t time for plant diseases. This gave the Trotters a win by 28 to 25. Very bad luck to the Pilots. They played two good games and were never easily beaten in either. Well done Trotters, good luck in your next game.