Right then – a confrontation between two sides, both looking for a win. As with last week, I spent a wee bit of time looking at the questions before I started listening to the iplayer, so view my comments in this light. This week pitted the South of England – Fred Housego and Marcel Berlins , against Scotland, Val McDermid and Roddy Lumsden.Away we go.
Question 1 went to the South of England
Marlene’s one was blue. Cagney’s, of which there were several, sounded as though they needed a wash. A famous lifesaver declared that she wasn’t one; and a Hardy hero, despite his name, proved to be anything but. Can you explain?
Well, as it happened I thought I could. Marlene Dietrich starred in Der Blaue Engel – or – The Blue Angel. Jimmy Cagney starred in Angels with Dirty Faces. Mae West (life jacket) starred in I’m No Angel, while Angel Clare in Tess of the Durbervilles was, in my opinion, a bit of a plonker, and certainly didn’t act the part of an angel towards poor old Tess. 6 points to me. London needed quite a nudge with the life saver, so they ended up with 5.
Scotland’s first question asked
Where might you find collected: a late trade union leader, a carol popularised by Steeleye Span, and a sheaf of annual correspondence?
Well, any thought of me doing as well this week as last soon evaporated here. I thought that Gaudete was the carol sung by Steeleye Span, that didn’t help a great deal. I just didn’t have it, but Scotland saw a set of books by Ted Hughes straightaway. Bob Crowe was the Trade Union leader – Crows – I was right about the Crol – apparently this was the title of another book, which meant that the sheaf of annual correspondence would be Birthday Letters. 6 points and no problem to Scotland. I worked out birthday letters when they mentioned Hughes, so with a little help I reckon I’d have had 2 or 3.
The South of England’s Music Question asked
Which is the odd one out?
Well, first we heard Sweet Talking Guy by the Chiffons. Then Billy Cotton shouting Wakey Wakey. So seemingly textiles/fabrics. The third I wasn’t sure about, but the connection suggested Velvet Underground. Paper Lace with Billy Don’t Be A Hero looked the odd one out, paper lace not being a fabric. London had the first two, but didn’t have the third, nor the fourth, until prodding from Tom elicited the Velvet Underground, but not Paper Lace. 6 points to me, 3 to the South of England.
Scotland’s music question asked them
Why might all of the following be considered lucky in China – and why might one of them not really be so lucky?
I struggled here. I didn’t recognize the first piece of classical music at all. The second sounded like 8 Miles High by the Byrds. Well, 8 is a lucky number in China. This led me to Beethoven’s 8th for the first. Schubert’s Unfinished leapt to mind for the last one, which of course was his 8th Symphony. Scotland also worked their way this far after dabbling with lucky birds. They fancied the Schubert for not really being so lucky, and thought they didn’t get why they were right, since he really started it as his seventh. They were given 5 for their pains, and I don’t think I would have had less than 4.
Lagging behind at this stage South of England needed to get a wiggle on with this one
Why do a serenade to Rita, the largest private university in India, and a Cockney catch-phrase, collectively suggest ladybirds?
Well, the obvious thing was to go for Lovely Rita from the Sergeant Pepper album for the serenade. Lovely Jubbly therefore might be the catchphrase. Alright, so I have actually heard of the collective noun a loveliness ( or even a lovely, I’ve heard said) of ladybirds, which certainly helped. So I guessed that we must have the Lovely University in India, even though I’d never heard of it before. South struggled and needed nudging to get towards lovely. The university is apparently the Lovely Professional University. Again, the south needed a lot of pushing to get towards a loveliness, and never quite made it. They were given 2 points only, while I think I was worth 4, or maybe even 5.
So Scotland were given the opportunity to extend their lead with this
Can you trace a route from a novel in Scotland to a Welsh cathedral in the West country, via a fortress, and the location of the Ritz and the Royal Academy?. And if you took a short detour, where might you come into contact with a contagious disease?
Now, there aren’t that many cathedrals in Wales, and the only one which I could conceivably connect with the West Country was St. David’s, since this is also the name of Exeter’s main railway station. So if we were looking for stations, then Waverley would be the novel – Edinburgh’s main station being called just that. The fortress was slightly more difficult, bu t hey, I know my stations, and plumped for Carlisle Citadel.. The Ritz and the Royal Academy are both located along Piccadilly – which is also a station in Manchester. Stations obviously give us a railway route between all of those cities. A surprisingly gettable one thus far, I thought. I did help having been a trainspotter mind, which meant that I was also familiar with Mumps station in Oldham. Now, I have no idea whether Roddy and Val were either of them ever trainspotters, but they confidently dealt with the lot of them with the understandable exception of Carlisle Citadel5 points, and they were nearly home and dry.
The last question for the South of England, then, was
Why might you expect to find the following in Twickenham? A hotel with operatic beginnings, the jester to the Duke of Mantua, and a dog which no mean person may keep (according to a law passed during the reign of King Canute)?
The only one which sprang out at me was the Duke of Mantua’s jester, being Rigoletto. South also had this, and then started nosing around the dogs, without much success. Like Marcel I had guessed that Twickenham suggested something rugby. After prodding from Tom we both started edging towards the Savoy for the hotel, due to the connections with the Savoy Theatre and Gilbert and Sullivan. Savoy also made me think of cabbage, although the South still didn’t get it until Val helped them out. Twickenham was once upon a time known as The Cabbage Patch because where the rugby ground now stands, once grew cabbages. I still didn’t know about the dog, and apparently it was a greyhound.That’s also a name for a cabbage variety. Well, South were given 1 sympathy point – I reckon I’d maybe have had 2.
It fell to Scotland to finish with this-
Where would it get us, if we adopted an early interpretation of quantum mechanics, made promises about sovereignty and human rights, and started sympathising with those holding us captive?
Only the last part made instant sense with Stockholm Syndrome. I was hopeful that other Scandinavian capitals maybe would fall into place, but which was which I didn’t know. My best guess was with Nils Bohr being Danish, this would be called Copenhagen somehow, and maybe just maybe the Helsinki Declaration would fit the bill for the second part. Amazingly this was pretty much what Scotland said, and we were both given 6.
Scotland were clearly the better team, and won by 22 to 11.