Oenophiles v. Science Editors
Another week, another two teams making their first appearance in this year’s series. The Oenophiles, Didier Bruyere, Scott Dawson and Jamie Dodding are very much names to conjure with. In fact such is their reputation, individually, that I felt quite sorry for their opposition, the Science Editors, Andrew Cosgrove, Shreeya Nanda, and captain Kester Jarvis. Still, this is Only Connect, where reputations count for little, and it isn’t just what you know, but how you apply what you know. On with the show.
Round One – What’s the Connection?
The ‘Philes kicked off with Lion, and found The Banana Industry – Perfect Squares from 99 squared =9801 – and here the bells started ringing with me. Were we going to get Mainland routes from anywhere to Letchworth, or Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend ( as everybody knows?) I wondered? No. Instead we got The Natural History of a Goldfish, which led the Philes to suggest that these had all won prizes for the Oddest Book Title. No. The last wasn’t the Uses of Orthopaedic Bone cement in hip replacement, but The History of the World since Jesus Christ. They didn’t get it, but I had. These were all rejected Mastermind subjects, although not some of the most famous ones which I’ve quoted. The Eds kicked off with Horned Viper, and Pollock’s ‘Lavender Mist’, which didn’t give it to me, but William Riker, which did. Riker was number 1 on the Next Generation, and my hypothesis was confirmed by Apsley House,London , or Number One, London as it was known. Gin based Pimms was the last clue, which led the Eds to go fatally for number 2. So near but yet. . . The Philes made no mistake with that one. They chose water for their own next set, for which they received the music. I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t have done in the studio, but after the second clue, the Cars, I plumped for methods of transport, and after the third, Van Morrison, so did the Philes. The Eds plumped for Twisted Flax. They were given unglazed pottery – extra shot in croquet – light brown – and the clincher, which was shellfish soup. I didn’t know that bisque was an extra shot in croquet, or light brown, but the pottery and soup certainly went together for it. That relative rarity happened, with the time running out before the team buzzed in for a guess. The Philes took that bonus. Two Reeds brought the pictures, and started by showing us Sister Sledge. I guessed that the nice little old lady in the next photo would be Grandma Moses, since she was next to some paintings, which gave female relatives. Pretty much at the same time so did the Philes, although by slightly different reasoning. The Eye of Horus gave the Eds Thursday in Welsh – Dydd Iau for the uninitiated – Fireman Sam’s Engine in Fireman Sam, which is Jupiter – as is Mozart’s 41st Symphony which was the third clue – and the fifth planet, which was the last clue. The only one that the Eds were sure of was the last clue, but that was enough. Nonetheless they were left with a mountain to climb going into the second round as the Philes led by 7 - 1
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
The Philes kicked off with an unstressed Horned Viper. We saw symbols of Buddhism, in the wheel, then Hinduism, and it was clear that the last was going to be a crucifix, or fish, or other symbol of Christianity. The Philes worked out the sequence was all about the number of worldwide followers, and they took it for three points off two. With water, for the Eds, it became clear where the sequence of sclera – choroid – retina could be found, but not where it ended. I’ll be honest, I didn’t go for vitreous humour any more than either team did. Fair set, though. Twisted Flax for the Philes brought 2000: Kafelnikov – 2004: Massu – and I worked it out by looking at the dates. These were Olympic years and tennis players, so it had to be 2012 : Murray. The Philes I guess did exactly the same, and gladly took another 3 pointer. Eye of Horus for the Eds kicked off with Maggiore. Lakes, but what would the sequence be? Neuchatel didn’t look very Italian, and Constance was definitely Swiss. Going by that I reckoned my guess of Lake Geneva would be in with a shout. Funnily enough both teams went Italian with Garda and Como, and my boy Geneva romped home. Lion held a truly great little set for the Philes. I wasn’t certain with Microwave ovens, but Custom kitchens had me singing along – we gotta move these refrigerators, we gotta move these colour TVs. The Philes took refrigerators to be certain, then took the 2 points on offer – Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing. Kudos to the setter. Two Reeds gave the Eds a set of pictures showing a cow – Matthew Perry/Chandler Bing – A lady with a prominent cleavage. Even though I used to really enjoy Friends I didn’t get it – which is a cow has 4 nipples, the character Chandler had 3 ( although one was removed in one episode) – and I’m sure you can see where I am going with this one. Neither team had it, and it was a little unfortunate for the Eds that it fell to them rather than their opponents. This meant that they still had 1, but the Philes now had 15.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
Taking the Lion wall the Eds saw a set of parts of a theatre or stage, but didn’t isolate them when they first tried. So they switched to things with strings and found Marionette – Apron – Tennis Racquet – Harp. They’d seen the parts of the stage/theatre, but they were really struggling for other connections, and didn’t see a set of seals and ran out of time with just one line resolved. When the rest was resolved they saw that Crossover – Legs – Wings and Proscenium were the parts of a stage, and Ross – Monk – Elephant and Harbour were all seals. The last set – Sacks – Ive – Trott – Swift were all Jonathans, but they didn’t see it. So all in all that added 4 points to their total.
With the Water Wall the Philes quickly saw that there was a set of places in Hampshire, and a set of flag nicknames, although they didn’t instantly resolve either of them. The set of guns, or gun manufacturers in Weatherby – Smith and Wesson – Ruger and Winchester they isolated first. It sounded like Scott who realised that there was also a set of Mike Oldfield songs there – Portsmouth – Blue Peter – Moonlight Shadow – Sentinel. So the boys knew what they were looking for with the last two lines, and with one life gone they untangled them with a few seconds to spare. The Hampshire towns were Fleet – Alton – Ringwood and Aldershot, and the flags were Old Glory – Tiranga – Maple Leaf and Jolly Roger. 10 points for a full house meant that the game was as good as over, with the Philes leading by 25 – 5.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
Types of accommodation fell to the Eds 3 – 1, but sadly they lost one of those points for an incorrect answer. Lyrics from American Pie fell 2 – 0 to the Eds, with 2 defeating both teams. Eminent biologists fell 2 apiece, but the Eds again lost one for a slightly incorrect answer. Phrases seen on road signs allowed no time for an answer. All of which meant that the final score was a seemingly inevitable win for the Philes by 28 – 10. Very well played Oenophiles, who look good value for their win. As for the Science Editors, well, it’s difficult to say. They were heavily outgunned in the first three rounds, but who knows, maybe the topics just fell really badly for them. They showed, and in particular Andrew showed, that they are a force to be reckoned with in the vowels, if they are still in contention. Time will tell.