Midlands v. Wales
An interesting match up this one, pitting the reigning champions, Wales, against the team unbeaten in the first round of matches, the Midlands.
The Midlands kicked off with
Why do the following seem all confused? The one whom Roy’s drowning girl refuses to call for help; an Elizabethan woman of easy virtue; and a suit of armour for a horse.
Right, well following on from University Challenge, it seemed as if Monday was Roy Lichtenstein Day, since Drowning Girl was one of his. Unless my memory was wrong, she refused to call for Brad. Immediately the Rocky Horror show came to mind, and just as quickly left via the back door. I guessed that maybe we were in the land of the anagram, as I was sure that in Elizabethan times you could apply the insult ‘drab’ to that kind of lady. Which meant that either darb or bard looked most likely for the horse armour. On reflection I plumped for bard. Correctly, as it turned out. Rosalind entertained us with a list of Elizabethan terms for these women, without hitting on drab. They did leap onto the fact that we were dealing with anagrams, but needed Tom to tell them it was just 4 letters. Given the Macbeth clue they had drab, then Brad and Lichtenstein, and bard for the armour. I awarded myself 6, but Midlands were given a rather miserly 2.harsh but fair.
David and Myfanwy’s first for Wales was
“You say you can play the Chicago Piano, Mr Atkins? What complete nonsense!” What might Pete Townshend make of these words?
I had rather more of an idea with this one. Pete Townsend of the Who made me think irresistibly of Tommy, mainly because that went nicely with Atkins, Tommy Atkins being a nickname for the ordinary British soldier after it was the example name printed in the Army paybook. This led to Tommyrot as the nonsense, and Chicgo being the home of gangsters such as Al Capone I had more than half a mind that the Chicago piano would be the Tommy Gun, supposedly beloved of them. Myfanwy was onto Tommy very quickly, through Atkins. In fact they dealt with this set like champions, and were well worth the 6 we both earned.
The Midlands’ music question was this: -
Why might both of these performers share the same small patch of SW1 with the Golden Hind (and her captain), the star of Drive, and a recently retired off-spinner?
Well needless to say I didn’t recognise the operatic song or singer. The Golden Hind was originally called The Pelican. The captain of the Golden Hind suggested Francis Drake, and Ryan Gosling starred in Drive. Graeme Swann then surely was the off spinner being referenced. SW1 made me think of Buckingham Palace, but since St. James’ Park is very close by and has lots of water birds and fowl that seemed likely. Midlands needed a little help to arrive at the Pelican, having had all the rest. They seemed to be struggling as much with the performers as I was. Apparently it was Alice Coote and Julius Drake. Fair enough. I couldn’t give myself more than 3 for that since the Midlands only had 4.
For their own music question, Wales were served with
Tell me why this combination would require you to keep a very straight face.
I recognised Nat King Cole’s ‘Unforgettable’, and Queen’s “The Game” followed by the Rolling Stones’ Jumping Jack Flash, then Ravel’s Bolero. The first I didn’t get. Playing cards seemed an obvious link, having King, Queen and Jack . It was looking like a Flush, which would mean you keeping a straight, or indeed, poker face. But Ravel’s Bolero? David, smart cookie that he is, knew we wanted an ace and a ten. Lightbulb moment. Ravel’s Bolero was linked with the film that made Bo Derek a star (very briefly) – 10. Which meant that the first had to be something to do with an ace. Apparently the first was used as theme to Reilly Ace of Spies. I think that Wales were worth a point more than me, so I awarded myself 4 to their 5.
I liked the Midlands’ next question a great deal.
One owned by an English sleuth, which started out as straight, became curved when it crossed the pond, and has remained so ever since. In 2009, one belonging to a French actor was infamously replaced by a windmill, but was reinstated two years later. That of a Belgian artist, meanwhile, has always denied its own existence. How so?
I thought that the last part was the clue. I’m not saying that Rene Magritte would be the only Belgian artist you’d think of when you hear those words, but he’s certainly one you’d consider. This was obviously a reference to his- this is not a pipe. The sleuth then would be Sherlock Holmes, whose straight pipe was replaced by the curving one in Hollywood movies. As for the Actor, well no, I had to google that to find out it was Jacques Tati. His pipe was replaced on a poster for a retrospective by a yellow toy windmill, due to stringent French rules about being seen to promote smoking. Midlands themselves were straight onto Sherlock Holmes and his pipe, and Magritte and his non-pipe, and they without googling knew about the Jacques Tati poster, but not that it was Tati. Given a big clue they had it. There are no points for googling round here, I’m afraid, so I awarded myself 4 one less than Midlands,
Actually, I said that I really liked the previous set, but I did even better with this little cracker: -
If you add information technology to check the books; an explanation to create an exemplary war hero and cowboy; and Jupiter's first moon to create sound – which Commonwealth currency did you start with?
Now, the name Audie Murphy sprang to mind for the war hero and cowboy, being the most decorated GI of World war II. Which gave us Aud and i.e. for the explanation. Aud and IT gives you check the books. Aud and Io – one of Jupiter’s moons gives you sound. And of course, AUD is short for Australian Dollar. As Alexander Orlov would say – simples. Wales were onto IT and Audit at the start, and the Australian Dollar. David quickly polished off the other bits and we both took a full 6.
I shan’t lie to you, I really struggled with the last question for the Midlands. It was :-
One went on a pilgrimage, two brought about the downfall of a Shakespearean rogue, and three could have been four, but for an outbreak of scarlet fever. Who are they and how are they connected to a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell?
I needed Rosalind to point me in the direction of The Merry Wives of Windsor. when she did I paused the playback to see if it would help me sort them for myself. Page and Ford would be the two Mistresses who brought about Falstaff’s downfall. Well and good. Bearing in mind this seemed to be a very literary set, the pilgrim who came to mind now was the Wife of Bath from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Didn’t Beth March die from Scarlet Fever in “Little Women”, I mused. The only Mrs. Gaskell work remotely connected with this all that I could come up with was “Wives and Daughters” – “Good Wives being the sequel. I wouldn’t have had anything if I hadn’t been given Merry Wives of Windsor, so when Midlands were awarded 6 I couldn’t in all conscience take more than 3.
And so to Wales’ last question.
One preached, revolted and was executed; another gave birth to America’s first; and a third entertained with her Cuban husband. Why would they add up to a fit of weeping at the Antiques Roadshow?
Right – I’ll tell you the way my mind was working on this one. Entertain and Cuban husband really suggested Lucille BALL. which made me think that the revolting preacher might be John BALL. George Washington was USA’s first president, and George Washington’s mother whom I knew had the first name Mary, was presumably born Mary BALL. But Antiques Roadshow? All I could come up with was the three balls of the pawnbrokers sign, so you might be weeping if you pawned something worth a fortune. But it seemed all a little tenuous. Wales only needed a point, I think, for a win. Well, they did quite a bit better than that. They were right onto it from the start, but didn’t know Washington’s mum was a Mary. They went down the pawnbroker’s route too, which was the wrong direction. Apparently it was Ed Balls, who recently confessed to occasionally weeping at the Antiques Roadshow. Good enough – didn’t know that. Still, Wales had 4, and I awarded myself 5.
And so the Midlands, so good in the first set of matches, finished with 2 wins and 2 defeats, which Tom noted left them unlikely to win the series. 3 matches still to go.