Wandering Minstrels v. Gallifreyans
I can’t say that I recognized any of the contestants in this week’s heat, but that doesn’t necessarily mean owt. First up were the Wandering Minstrels. Which, tangentially reminds me that the best definition of futility I think I’ve heard is attempting to explain the Black and White Minstrel Show to anyone born after 1970. Vyvyan Almond, Fergus Butler-Gallie and skipper Edward Green were all linked by their love of Gilbert and Sullivan. Ah, “Claire”, “Matrimony”, “What’s in a Kiss?”. They don’t make them like that any more. John Dorney, Stuart Wildig and skipper Giles Sparrow were the Gallifreyans. If you need me to explain that this refers to the home planet of Doctor Who, you may be reading the wrong blog. You’re very welcome, whatever the case. The lads had found each other on an online Doctor Who forum, and only met face to face in the auditions. Fair enough.
Round One – What’s the Connection?
The Gals picked Eye of Horus to start with. I was impressed with the way that they knew that Rachel Carson Ecology bible referred to The Silent Spring – didn’t know that myself. I was surprised that they had the confidence to consider going for a five pointer. Wiser counsels prevailed, and they took the next clue – Franz Gruber carol. They had Silent Spring – but they never considered Silent Night for this one. They had a real rush of blood to the head, going for seasons when they didn’t have much of an idea what the carol might be, and the chance to get points on the board went begging. Bit of a tactical error that one. Given forensic pathology series, and then the big give away – ansWer, the Wands couldn’t do anything with it, which was a little surprising. Twisted Flax gave them Blender – too many possibilities – Tumbler – Grinder and I’ll be honest I didn’t have a Scooby. I think it was Vyvyan at this point who said that Grindr was a mobile app, and the last – Flicker confirmed that this was definitely the right kind of tree to be barking up. It might only have been one point, but it was well earned. My fears for the Gals were allayed when Giles next asked for Hornéd Viper the way we like to hear it pronounced. Ah, they were back on track. Peggy Mitchell was never going to be a five pointer, but Darin Stephens was going to be a three. The lads knew that these were all played by more than one actor. The Wands opted for Two Reeds, and kicked off with Steve Jobs. Marcus Garvey followed, then Dave Swarbrick. Mark Twain finished it off, and that was the only one which gave it to me, and I guess to the Gals – all had early obituaries. Tricky one that. Music lurked behind Lion, and that was the next one the Gals picked. Busy Doing nothing was the first, followed by The Importance of being Idle by Oasis. Lazy Sunday Afternoons by the Small faces confirmed that, if such confirmation were necessary, and “The Lazy Song “ finished it off, and just about gave the Gals the answer, even though they seemed reluctant to offer it. I thought that the Wands had had the hardest two sets so far, and this time they were given the pictures. I didn’t identify the first, but the second was clearly my favourite-boxer-of-all-time-after-Muhammad-Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard. I guessed that the first small creature would be a sugar glider. So I went for sugar at this point. A ballet dancer was conceivably the sugar plum fairy, and Sugar Loaf mountain (the one above Rio, not the one by Abergavenny) finished the set off. That gave the Wands the point. So at the end of the round the Gals led by 5 – 2.
Round Two – What comes Fourth?
The Gals picked eye of Horus, and were handed a five point chance. 4th: Portugal led me to speculate that this could well be Lusophone countries, in order of size. In which case 1st: Brazil would be the obvious answer. 3rd: Angola confirmed it for me. The Gals needed the last clue – 2nd: Mozambique and then they were there. The Wands opted for Lion, and amazingly, I had a second consecutive 5 pointer. a1:R looked immediately like chess notation, since that’s what it was. Which meant that d1:Q would bring home the bacon. b1:N didn’t do it for the Wands, neither did c1:B.They just didn’t see it. The Gals did, but didn’t know whether it would be Q for Queen or K for King. They went for K, missing out on the bonus. Twisted Flax kicked off with Jack Lemmon and Whoopi Goldberg. Nope, did nothing for me. Johnny Carson didn’t help me, but John was in there with Oscar hosts with the most appearances. That meant it would be Billy Crystal next, and Bob Hope as the answer. Fair play, once Billy Crystal came up I might have had it, but I wouldn’t have done from the first two. Having learned their lesson earlier, they took the third to make sure, and then took the point. Two Reeds gave the Wands more pictures. We saw the Duomo of Florence Cathedral, a rose, and then the giveaway, St. Endellion, Cornwall. Cameron was obviously the answer. A lovely set, but try getting a five pointer from it. The Gals then opted for water. With 5:Eggheads, John was onto it immediately, knowing that there are 5 per team in Eggheads. Thus all you needed to do for 5 points was supply 2: Pointless, or another show with teams of two people. They took the next – 4: University Challenge to be sure, and then scooped the points. Only horned viper remained, and we already know that Victoria prefers the conventional way of voicing it. The Wands worked out the link between subdominant – median – that being that they are chords, or notes, or summat like that. I couldn’t answer it, the Wands took supertonic but still couldn’t get it, allowing the Gals in with tonic for a bonus. When chided for their inability to answer, and asked who is the main singer on the team, skipper Edward came up with the best quip of the evening, saying “We’re not really singers. Musical ability has nothing to do with Gilbert and Sullivan.” Harsh. The Gals led by 13 – 4.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Wands kicked off with the Lion wall. A set of dictionaires looked obvious, and old coins, and pigs. Edward impressed with the way he methodically tried out all the different old coin combinations before the right one was found. At this point Edward did actually say three – Clancy – Judd – Gough , not knowing that these would give him most of a list of Strictly Come Dancing winners. After a bit of discussion they decided to take out the pigs, and duly separated Percy – Stuck – Guinea and Male Chauvinist. This left the dictionaries and the Strictly winners. Websters – Collins – Oxford and Macquarie were the dictionaires. However when asked for Judd – Clancy – Chambers and Gough they opted for cricketers. Still, 7 points are not to be sniffed at.
The Gals were left with the Water. They didn’t manage to quite match the performance of the Wands. Childrens TV series looked obvious with Number 73 not really being able to be anything else. Nor Button Moon for that matter. I could see some Formula 1 world champs too, although these escaped the Gals for the moment. Number 73 – Button Moon – Pipkins and Magpie made the set of ITV kids shows. Now they saw the racing drivers, and started to try to work out what the other lines might be before taking the drivers out of the equation. They could see some Canadian cities – which I could see were all in Ontario. Thunder Bay – Toronto – Kitchener and Ottawa made the set. Left with a bit of time having taken out two lines they just didn’t see a set fo things you can be over – moon, rainbow, odds and hill. Had they seen it, then they could have taken out Hill to isolate the 4 champs they wanted – Hamilton, Hawthorn , Hunt and Button. Thus having found 2 groups, and giving all 4 connections they earned 6 points. So they had only lost one point of the lead and were ahead by 19 – 11.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
It wasn’t impossible for the Wands to win, but it looked highly unlikely. The first set was places to store things. They say it never rains but it pours, and poor Edward of the Wands did brilliantly to see external hard drive, but he popped the word ‘an’ before it, lost a point and handed another one to the Gals. 22:10. Olivier Awards for the best new musical saw the Gals pay back that point, when John said Chorus Line rather than A Chorus Line. 23:12. Noted sports commentators and their sports took the score to 26 – 12, and we had no time for characters in Cheers.
Well played both. Once they settled down the Gals gave a good account of themselves, and will be tough opposition for whoever faces them next. I think that the Wands were a little unlucky in their choice of sets in the first two rounds, so they’re not out of it yet either.