The Press Gang v. The Bakers
The Press Gang were Emily Phillips, Richard Colfer, and Robin Seavill. Now, they might not be known as widely as quizzers as some teams, but they are all puzzle compilers for the press association, and that certainly gave them a chance. Actually, I say that, but Robin Seavill was a semi-finalist in Ian’s 2011 Mastermind series. So there’s quiz pedigree there as well. The Gang’s opponents were The Bakers, Tim Spain, Matt Rowbotham and Peter Steggle, who are all bakers in their spare time, I believe. Enough of such things.
Round One – What’s the Connection?
Water kicked off the show for the Gang, and their first clue was Lumiere. Brothers? Cinema Pioneers? Beauty and the Beast? Possibility overload meant that I didn’t hazard a guess straightaway. Dora the Explorer’s backpack did not help me. The Sorting Hat made me wonder whether these were all talking inanimate objects – 1 and 3 certainly were. The Gang agreed with me, and rightly so for 2. The first clue for the Bakers behind Lion was Jose Rizal – otherwise known as Jose who? in my house. Bernardo O’Higgins I did know, the liberator of Chile. Prince William I of Orange didn’t help, but Kemal Ataturk did. Mustafa Kemal was given the title Ataturk which means Father of Turkey – which suggested we could be looking at Father Of - . I don’t know if I’d have been given that – they were all founding fathers of their countries as the Bakers knew – so I hope I might have been. With twisted flax the Gang started with A pure tone – nope – Biorhythms – nope – Simple Harmonic Motion – like the Gang I was thinking in waves here – then Alternating Current. Sine waves was required, and after a little jiggery pokery the Gang had it. Two reed brought pictures to the Bakers. We began with a rhinoceros, what looked like a green card, then the red sea. A white rhino then? The Bakers offered colours, but were asked for more from Victoria. Unable to do so the set was completed with an airliner’s black box, which gave the Gang the answer that they are all not the colour after which they seem to be named. Eye of Horus gave the Gang opening St. Peter’s Jubilee door – Entering a Freemason’s Lodge – and the clincher – if you want Tony Orlando . How many people at home, I wonder, broke into a mangled rendition of “Knock Three times on the ceiling if you want me?” at this point? Just me? Embarrassing. Anyway, skipper Robin, who is probably of a similar vintage to myself knew it at this point as well. No music yet, so it had to lurk in the shadow of the Horned viper. Maybe the Bakers are too young to have had it from the third clue of Windmills of Your Mind, but they had it from Max Bygraves’ ditty about the mouse who lived in a windmill in old Amsterdam. 1 point took their score to 2, against the Gang’s 6.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
Lion gave the Gang the very cryptic 5 cuts: 16 pieces to start. 4 cuts 11 pieces came next. So would we be looking for the maximum number of piece one could make with 2 cuts? Which would have to be 2 cuts 4 pieces. I had it off two, the Gang had it off three. Behind water the Bakers found pictures, of a button, a bowling ball - and here I guessed a polo, as did the Bakers, to get what looked like a relatively soft set. The Eye of Horus set the Gang running with West Yorkshire – Greater Manchester –I thought that maybe we were looking at population here, and plumped for Greater London. The fact that West Midlands came next made me happy, because that seemed to confirm it. Once again, I had it off two, and the Gang off three. Now, alright, I had a 5 pointer for the next, but my profession helped a lot. 4: inadequate – led me to shout 1: Outstanding. Those two and 3: Requires improvement – 2: good are grades in Oftsed inspections. ( 1 in my last Estyn – which is the Welsh equivalent of Oftsed – in my last observed lesson thanks for asking ) . The Bakers had it off two. Back to the Gang, and they found 2 (1990) – Vengeance (1995). It looked like films to me, in fact it looked like Die Hard. Robin couldn’t quite get it. The last clue was 4.0 (2007) The answer was A good Day to Die Hard, but neither team quite got it. Almost, but not quite. Never seen any of them, so didn’t get it. Twisted Flax gave the Bakers 4th: Olivia Newton John – 3rd Prima Donna and I’m sure that along with me Eurovisionphiles were shouting Sandie Shaw/Lulu/Brotherhood of Man/Bucks Fizz/Katrina and the Waves. When offered Janis Joplin by the Bakers Victoria replied that it was spectacularly wrong. Well, quite. The Gang had it. Interestingly the compilers gave Bucks Fizz as the answer – maybe they wanted to see some more. Well, anyway, the Bakers had made good headway during the round, but the Gang still led by 11 – 8.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
With the bit between their teeth, then the Bakers got to grips with the water wall. They identified sets quickly, but the first one they isolated was Brown – Cornell – Columbis – Yale – Ivy league universities. They spent some time trying to isolate different types of rice, then the Disney Princesses – Snow White – Jasmine – Pocahontas and Merida fell into place. They seemed to be struggling, but before the time ran out the last two lines were resolved. Romeo and Juliet – Chout - Trapeze and Cinderella are Prokofiev ballets, which they didn’t have. Guessed it from Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella, but I haven’t heard of the others. Basmati – Bomba – Popcorn and Arborio – now these were the types of rice. So an honourable 7 points would keep the pressure on the Gang.
The lion wall confronted the Gang, and they set off in search of a set of films which all have the word story in their titles. Love – Bedtime – L.A. and West Side duly obliged. They eventually also separated a set of salad dressings – blue cheese – ranch – wafu and Caesar. Sadly they didn’t get the point for saying salads. They saw a set of classes of dogs used in Crufts but in the end used up their three lives and froze the wall. When it was resolved the last two lines were Utility – Pastoral – Toy and Hound – the dogs, which left Romantic – Italian – Heroes – Tragic – all of which are 4th symphonies. 5 points then, which made the scores 15 to the Bakers and 16 to the Gang. It all came down to whoever could do the vowels.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
Styles of cooking came first, and these fell 3 – 1 to the Bakers. Who now led. A great set of things removed in the game Operation came next. These too fell 3 – 1 to the Bakers, who now led by 3 points and were looking fair set for the win. Major Railway Stations fell 2 – 1 to the Gang. Gap down to two. Fictional rodents went 2 – 1 to the Bakers. How much time left ? TV Series in the 1950s gave a point to the Gang for Happy days. That was it. In the end, a win for the Bakers by 24 – 22. A fine match, and once again I’m glad that both of these sides will be back.