Saturday, 9 November 2013

Only Connect - Qualification Match One

Lasletts v. Board Gamers

The Lasletts, Jake Laslett, Emma Laslett and their dad, Chris Laslett, dropped the Pilots to win by 25 – 21 in their first match. The Pilots sadly lost their second and have gone home. Well, neither of this week’s teams was going home whatever happened in this match, since their opponents, the Board Gamers, had also won their first round match. Michael Wallace, Hywel Carver and Jamie Karren had won their match against the Globetrotters 26 – 21, although they needed to come back from a 3 point deficit in the last round. The prize for the winner of this show was an automatic place in the semi final.

Round One – What’s the Connection?

The Lasletts put themselves into bat first with twisted flax. This gave them 461375808, and all four of us a five pointer. You might not get it from the way it’s written here, but if it was written in calculator figures, you’d see it. It’s one of those numbers which makes an upside down word if you type it into a calculator, bobsleigh in this case. Good shout, but that was always a potential 5 pointer. Come to think of it, so was the Gamers’ first. Lion revealed Khartoum’s Street Layout. Things inspired by, or taking the shape of flags, I said. I’m sure that Hywel had it at this point as well. Pizza Margherita confirmed it and they were happy to take 3 points. The music starter soon put an end to the setters’ generousity, as nobody recognised a set of second piano concertos. Eye of Horus gave the Gamers the chance to narrow, or even eradicate the gap with Test of Dissolved oxygen – climate of wine growing regions – Giles Coren’s first novel and Arthur Fonzarelli. I didn’t really have it, and neither did the Gamers nor the Lasletts. Winkler was the connection. Fair question, but I’d guess you’d need to know two of them rather than just the one. Horned Viper gave the Lasletts The George and Dragon=6 , and something rang a bell here. It certainly did for the Lasletts, who recognised the Legs game, but took another just to be on the safe side. The Red Lion=4 confirmed it. Two Reeds remained to give the Gamers a picture set. I didn’t recognise the first picture, but the second was Jack Vettriano’s The Singing Butler, so I plumped for ‘the singing – ‘ as the connection. The Singing Nun was next, and the last picture was Sir Michael Gambon in “The Singing Detective”. The Gamers just didn’t get it, offering songs from The Sound of Music. The Lasletts accepted the windfall of the bonus. The first picture was a sculpture called The Singing Ringing Tree, apparently. I remember the East German children’s serial of the same name from the early 70s. One word – weird. This ensured that the Lasletts had an impressive lead of 9 – 3.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth?

Eye of Horus gave the Lasletts a picture set, showing a certificate for a Doctor of Divinity. DD? The second picture showed Bette Midler in Beaches – and her character was CC. So I shouted AA Milne at this stage. Almost immediately after that, Chris offered Alcoholics Anonymous – which was just as acceptable. Double letters working backwards, you see. Now Twisted Flax for the Gamers brought another of those potential 5 pointers. The first clue said 4th: In the Footsteps of Hemingway, and you can believe it or not, but I immediately said “1st: Around the World in 80 Days”. Well, you see I’m a big fan of Palin’s travelogues. The Gamers are probably a shade too young to have found this easy, and benefitted from a little leniency from Victoria, who offered them another go after ‘all five continents’, which they changed to ‘around the world’ which was accepted. They were quite honest that they didn’t know the Palin connection. Now, the Laslett’s next set was one of those where you know the connection, but not what the last in the sequence is. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” was the first. This was a line from the first Dirty Harry movie, but neither team nor me really worked out that the second came from the next , and the third from the next, and so we wanted a line from Sudden Impact. Make my day – would have done. Oh well. Lion gave the Gamers Ron Francis – Gordie Howe – Mark Messier. They didn’t have any more of a Scooby Doo than I did, and offered, one suspects in hope rather than expectation, Ringo Starr. The Lasletts had it with Wayne Gretzky. They were the highest points scorers in NHL history. You had to feel for the Gamers a little. Sometimes you find you’re up against a team who are absolutely on fire, and there’s nothing you can do except applaud. The Lasletts found cap height – median – baseline and they tried origin. That wasn’t it. The Gamers explained that what was missing was the term for under the line in typography typeface. That was good enough for Victoria, although she would have preferred to hear descender height or descender. I was delighted to hear Jamie give full value to both vowel sounds in Horned as the Gamers were left to try their luck with Horned Viper. Nuclear missile launch – UBS logo. Now, I knew that the UBS logo has 3 keys, so working down I guessed that one key would be the answer. The sign of Saint Peter – two crossed keys – confirmed this. Unfortunately the Gamers took this a step too far and offered something with no keys. The Lasletts missed a bonus by going the other way and ending up with something with 5 keys. Still, they’d had the better of the round, and now led by 13 to 6.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Gamers tried to change their fortunes with the lion wall. They almost immediately isolated a set of beers – corona – asahi – brahma and skol. Totality – Baily’s beads – Diamond ring – First contact – fell quickly afterwards, all features of a solar eclipse. They could see a set of things in the nursery rhyme – hush little baby don’t say a word etc. They isolated three, then waited to try and figure out the remaining line. That’s textbook technique for the wall. Looking Glass – Billy Goat – Mockingbird and Cart and Bull were the song items. There was an interesting digression about cheese at this stage while they were going through the answers with Victoria, but this left – Planet – Frigid – Sol – Honor. I’ll be honest, I didn’t see that you could put – arium after each of them, and neither did the Gamers. 7 points.

Water saw the Lasletts almost immediately sort out four characters from Blake’s Seven – Servalan – Cally – Tarrant and Avon. A lovely set of car key – read – rows and Wight followed – read them all out loud and you’ll see it. They could see a set of Radio 1 DJs past and present – a little controversial in this day and age potentially – with Grimshaw, Cox, Blackburn and Mayo. This left a set of Isles – Bute – Dogs – Grain and Man. 10 points, and Victoria hailed their performance as a wall masterclass.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

Trailing by 13 to 23, the Gamers needed to stage the best comeback since Lazarus to win. The first set, Rhodes scholars, fell to the Gamers 2 – 1. Nobody knew Edward De Bono. Monty Python quotes saw the Lasletts drop a point with an incautious buzz. The clues then fell two apiece. Two names for the same chemical element went to the Lasletts 3 – 1. Worked or work for Private Eye lost the Lasletts a point, but it made no difference. The Lasletts had won comfortably with 28 to 18. It's not all up for the Gamers, as they have one more chance to qualify, but you have to say, that was a very impressive performance from the Lasletts, who are now favourites for the final, and potential champions.


Michael said...

Nice recap - glad you appreciate Jamie's vowel voicing in horned viper!

In case it's of interest, I've done a rather detailed summary over on my blog, in case you'd like to see what was going through our heads at various points on the show.

Londinius said...

Hi Michael

Bad luck. You were up against a team who -
a) were on cracking good form
b) had the benefit of the rub of the green with some of the questions that fell to them.
Thanks for not giving away spoilers here, or in your highly detailed and very enjoyable account on your own blog, as to what happens in your last match. I shall look forward to it with baited breath.

Andrew B. said...

The walls were both pretty good (challenging but solvable), but there were some desperately easy questions in the early rounds (especially "upside-down words" and "pub cricket").

And I expect the programme-makers will say "Most viewers like it", but I get bored very quickly by the banter between host and contestants, which is rarely entertaining... it was actually better on this show than on most (though I'm not sure how the Board Gamers think you can get milk from a billy-goat...)