North of England v. Midlands
In this show the North of England played the undefeated Midlands team. Yes, this time I did cast a glance over the questions before listening to the show. Let’s get underway then.
The first question went to North of England’s Diane Collecott and Adele Geras.
The famous person has a piece of furniture missing, and is incapable. How could you re-word this sentence to make it look very repetitive?
Not a great deal occurred to me with this one. After a bit of fishing, Tom revealed that we were looking for a generic term like ‘celeb’ for the famous person. He pushed them to looking for furniture. Table and unable occurred, but really they wanted notable, and not able. North had it, and I just didn’t. I took one sympathy point, while the team earned 4.
Carrying all before them this year are the Midlands’ Rosalind Miles and Stephen Maddocks.They were asked
An emergency unit, or a source of cultural enlightenment? The final reckoning, or a banknote? A garment worn over the shoulders, or below the waist? Across which cultural divide do these confusions occur?
Again, I was struggling at first. The Midlands had it pretty much from the off. They decided that the divide was the Atlantic, and the difference between English English, and American English. Once they supplied us with this I still didn’t know that A and E means a TV channel in the USA. They did. I did see that the bill would be the English reckoning, and the American banknote. I didn’t get the suspenders being braces in the USA – that’s gettable, but I didn’t see it. Again, a sympathy point for me – 5 for the Midlands, who didn’t quite see the suspender themselves.
Back to the North of England for their music question: -
Why might these three be regarded as possible parents of Hiawatha?
The wayward Wind started us off, then some old luvvie (who turned out to be Sir John Geilgud) reciting part of Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind”. Jimi Hendrix’ “The Wind Cries Mary” was the third. I once had to recite Longfellow’s Hiawatha, and so knew that his mother Wenonah was seduced by the West Wind. At last – a decent score for me. Diane and Adele were right onto it themselves, but they didn’t know the Hendrix. They scored 4, and I claimed 6.
Now, Stephen being, as it were, a professional in this field, I was sure that the Midlands would be close to a maximum at the very least on their music question.
These pieces represent the numbers 400, 380 and 375. Please explain why.
The first sounded like a version of Lara’s theme – somewhere my love – from Dr. Zhivago. In fact it definitely was. The second I didn’t know, nor the third. As for the numbers –huh? Rosalind talked of the hollow laugh of desperation, and I know how she felt. When Tom said that Lara was the operative word for the first, both Stephen and I latched onto cricket scores. Matthew Hayden was the 380 I knew, and Brian Lara’s was the third highest. My cricket knowledge, limited at best, I felt would give me 4 points altogether, while the Midlands were just about worth the 2 they were given.
Back to the North of England with this one: -
Where might you find Petrarch's Signora de Noves, a woman who flew 17,000 miles and Irma La Douce all together in a little house?
Petrarch’s lady really suggested Laura, and my first thought with Laura – and – Little House was Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. That was the North’s first thought as well. We could both see that the Wilder related to Billy Wilder who made Irma La Douce, and like the North I guessed that Mrs or Miss Ingalls flew the plane – she was another Laura Ingalls. An almost identical performance earned us both a full house of 6.
The next question for the Midlands was
An English preacher and writer who was kept over the Great Ouse; an American who was strung up beside the Thames; and a staple foodstuff that split a party. Why might these make it uncomfortable to get around?
English preacher and writer immediately suggested John Bunyan – and if you spell his name as bunion you could see why it would make it difficult for you to get around. The strung up American we both could see was David Blaine (chilblain). This left the foodstuff, and being a distant relative of Richard Cobden I would never have forgiven myself had I not seen the Corn Law connection – Peel’s decision to repeal splitting the old Tory party. Everything I saw, so did the Midlands to give us both 6.
North of England were asked, for their last question
Why would Her Majesty need to wrap up warm in order to seek her own great-great-grandmother, her great-great-great-great-grandfather, and his son who became her great-great-great-great-uncle - and how do two of them prove John Donne wrong?
John Donne wrote that no man is an island. So basically I was looking for two people who had islands named after them. Her Majesty the Queen is the great great granddaughter of Queen Victoria – and Victoria Island in Canada sprang immediately to mind. George III was the Queen’s great,great,great,great grandfather. Prince Edward Island was named after a son of George III, but this Prince Edward was the queen’s great, great, great grandfather, not uncle. I doubted that this was where we were going, so opted for a King William Island, hoping that there was indeed such a place named after Victoria’s uncle and predecessor. As for George III, well I guessed he must have had an island there named after him too, giving us two men who actually were islands – and one woman who also was to boot. Actually King George Island is in Antarctica, so it turned out.
North had the Donne quote and Victoria Island quickly. However they did bark up the Prince Edward Island tree briefly. They eventually had King George III, and William IV. They earned 5, and I gave myself 6 because I worked out as much as they did before Tom started giving us clues. 6 for me.
And so to the final Midlands question
Put the following in descending order: Private Eye's manager, the Mock Turtle, a seller's pack and a trochee.
Well, I knew Ron Knee, Private Eye’s Manager of Neasden FC ( fans – Sid and Doris Bonkers) and I knew that a trochee is a metrical foot in poetry. So knee and foot. A mock turtle suggested a calf or a head, a calf’s head being the main ingredient. That left me with seller’s pack, which I guessed was the other name for a HIP – Home information Pack. So Hip –Calf - Knee and Foot. That was my guess before the question was posed to the Midlands. They barked up the wrong tree at first thinking dinner dishes in order. They had trochee, which gave them parts of the body. Then Stephen dredged up HIP. They really rather struggled for Ron Knee and needed help from North to get there. Tom actually gave away the head with a slip of the tongue, but Midlands didn’t notice, and didn’t get it. 3 points to Midlands – 6 for me. Which meant that North won by 19 – 16, and proved that they were not invincible. As for me, after a poor start I rallied to manage 19 on the North’s, and 17 on the Midlands’.