Saturday, 22 November 2014

Only Connect - Match 12

Coders v. Romantics

Richard Bradley, Zoe Cunningham and skipper David Simons of the Coders were rather up against it in their first match against the Gamesmasters, and were fairly comfortably beaten. Monday’s opponents were Owen Rees, Phil Nelson and skipper Daniel Tuite of the Romantics. They were unlucky to be blitzed out of their first round match against the Orienteers on the missing vowels, the rest of the show having been nip and tuck. The form guide favoured the Romantics slightly, but there really didn’t look to be that much in it.

Round One – What’s the connection?

The Roms kicked off with Horned Viper, disappointingly voiced without stress on the second vowel. So that was their chance gone. I didn’t know AG , but I did have a clue about SA. I see that written on the back of so many lorries from the continent that I had half a mind it might be words which mean limited company or some such. I didn’t know SpA, but plc confirmed it. The Roms had it off the last clue. Water gave the Cods Ageusia – Anaesthesia – Anosmia – and at this point I felt sure we were dealing with loss of senses -  Anosmia being loss of smell. The last clue confirmed it with Deafness.The Cods had it off the last clue. Honours even so far. Two Reeds gave the Roms Geraldine Estelle. I didn’t get it at all from that. Victoria Caroline though – suddenly I started thinking Spice Girls. If the next was an Emma something or a Melanie something – well, it was a Melanie Jayne. Spice Girls then. The Roms didn’t have it yet. The last – Melanie Janine wasn’t enough to give the Roms a chance, and so it passed across to the Cods. They took a bonus and then plumped for the Eye of Horus. The first clue was Pollyanna – the second Papparazzo. Now – Papparazzo, the singular of paparazzi is a character in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita – so I did wonder whether they were all fictional characters that leant their names to particular types of person. Svengali was the third, and seemed to confirm my hypothesis. I think Richard of the Cods had the idea that they can all describe occupations and personality traits, but he said that they were all loan words from foreign languages – which was not acceptable. Man Friday was the last. The Roms beat around the bush a bit, but never came up with the words ‘fictional characters’ which was one essential part of the answer. Twisted Flax brought the music set to the Roms.Now, for the first clue it was a pleasure to hear a little bit of the theme from The Littlest Hobo. Which suggested either tramps or dogs. Old Shep came next, and both I and the Roms went for it off the two clues. Dogs it was. The Cods were left with Lion, and a picture set. First was what looked like a diamond engagement ring. Next two guys sitting in a bar with two pints in the foreground. Huh? I liked Captain David’s thinking that they are all symbols on fruit machines. He went for it – but the answer was not accepted. We saw a fridge and a horseshoe, and I didn’t get it any more than the Roms did, but of course you can put the word magnet after ring – bar – fridge and horseshoe. This meant that the Roms, by good fortune of having picked out the music rather than the picture set, led by 4 – 2.

Round Two – What comes fourth?

This time the Roms kicked off with water, and the first picture we saw was HM The Queen (Gawd Bless ‘Er) Second was Florence Nightingale. I idly wondered about £10 notes, which would mean Charles Darwin 4th. But no. In fact, the next was Elizabeth Fry. So I reckoned it worked like this. First woman on a British banknote was the Queen. Next Flo. Lizzie Fry after that, and so the latest is Jane Austen. Thank you very much, and a point for Dave. I don’t think the Roms had a Scooby. The Cods knew it. Captain David pressed home his advantage by asking specifically for the Hornèd Viper, and really pushing that second vowel. Bravo sir. First clue showed an upper case C above an upper case U. Then CC above US. 3rd was CCC above USS. I just didn’t know, but the Cods were talking about copyright. Then suddenly one of them suggested that it was only one step to get CCCP above USSR. Brilliant shout. OK – slight quibble time. The chances of getting a five pointer on that are way slim – which is fine if they’re all like that, but not so good if let’s say the very next clue gives the opposition a good shout at a 5 pointer. Twisted Flax gave the Roms Slieve Donard, which is the highest peak of Northern Ireland. Did this perhaps mean that we’d have Scafell Pike, then Snowdon, then Ben Nevis – highest peaks of England, Wales and Scotland in order of height? The Roms had it, but took Scafell Pike to be sure. Of course they had the right answer on Ben Nevis. A good set – but in order of early getability a good couple of levels easier than the previous. Two Reeds then gave the Cods 1p – 3p – Captain David worked it out. If you add the 2p caoin to the 1p you get 3p. If you add the next coin, the 5p, you get 8p. Trouble is that you need to take all three clues to work out and confirm that hypothesis. You cannot work out that hypothesis just from 1p, in the way that you can work out a hypothesis just from Slieve Donard. The answer as he said, was 18p. Lion gave the Roms 1:one. 2:three. 3: eleven.All I could come up with was the number of letter e’s in the word, and went for 4: seventeen. The Roms didn’t get there, but the Cods agreed with me and got the bonus. The last sequence for the Cods began with at rest. I idly wondered whether these were heraldic terms – dormant or couchant perhaps. Which would mean something like rearing up would be last, for rampant. Not even close. The second, though – is rich really suggest John Updike’s ‘Rabbit Angstrom’ novels. In which case the first was Rabbit Run. The third clue – Redux confirmed it. The Cods knew it was books, but not which ones. They didn’t get it. Neither did the Roms. This meant that the score at the end of the round was 8 – 7 to the Cods, who had certainly had the better of the round.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Cods got to choose and opted for Lion. A set of Mary’s – Bloody – Virgin – Hail and Typhoid were unravelled in double quick time. Almost as quickly a set of ways to do steak followed – blue – rare – well done – medium. However they didn’t have much of a handle on the last two lines now. I could see a group of things made of ice – and eventually the Cods did as well – Granita – Cresta Run – Graupel and Saturn’s rings. Which meant that they had touched the keypad just three times, and each time cleared a line. Remarkable performance. The last set were – Chocks Away – Ascend – Hitchhike and Jump Ball. He only thing I could do with these was thumbs up – that’s what the Cods suggested, and that was good enough. Thumb gestures rather than necessarily thumbs up. A maximum of 10 which guaranteed them a lead going into the vowels.

The Cods kicked off trying to sort out a set of things used for preserving life in the sea. A group of words which can preceded the word press they could also see, but not resolve. Finally a line fell when they realised that cross – sunlight – garlic and holy water are all supposedly effective against a vampire. This enabled them to find the presses – tabloid – linen – bench and trouser. They could now see that the other lines were the equipment, and soap. So Lifebuoy was obviously the one which could be part of both lines. Putting it in the soap line with Ivory – Pears and Dove did the trick. For some reason they decided to change their connection for the Mae West set of Mae West – Noodle – Armband and kickboard to skateboarding manoeuvres. 3 points dropped in a close game could be crucial, as the Cods now led 18 – 14.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

O, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. The first set were all fictional sailing ships. Poor David, skipper of the Cods gave us THE Jolly Roger instead of Jolly Roger, and lost a point. Then the Roms took that and the other three clues, and the lead. Old name and new name fell 2 – 1 to the Rooms, whose 20 – 18 lead was looking ominous for the Cods. Islands named after the day of discovery came next, and the Cods fought back with the first two. They followed up with Ascension Island and Easter Island for a 4 – 0 shut out and a two point lead. Flat Horse races went 3 – 1 to the Roms and all was square again. Days before English bank holidays went 1 apiece. We had a tie break situation! One clue – only skippers can answer. A wrong answer and it’s all over – a right answer and you’re through. David saw it first – Winner Stays On. Indeed he does, and so does his team – for another game at least. As for the Roms we have to say farewell, but thanks for such a good game. 


Adam Lewis said...

That tiebreaker strikes me as one the producers have been waiting to use for a very long time. Something I experienced not so long ago with a tiebreaker question "A boy's name that can be found from the first letters of 5 consecutive months" - which I saw first as JASON.

Great show again, proves that every point matters as that change of mind about the flotation aids made all the difference between narrow defeat and fairly comfortable victory in the end.

This series has shown though that you have to be on point start to finish, particularly in rounds 3 and 4 (since, as you said, pure luck often determines whether a 5 pointer is possible in the first two rounds).

That exit has got to hurt the Roms though, they were a good side and it was very unlucky. Best of luck to the Coders though, who claim the spoils of the day!

Londinius said...

Hi Adam,

The Roms had their slice of luck, and had chances to take points which they just couldn't see and which, I dare say, some of the other teams still int he competition definitely would have seen. To that extent they can't really complain. Heartbreaking to keep nip and tuck all through the show and lose in that way, yes, but it's all part of the game.

George Millman said...

I remember Zoe Cunningham, she was the runner-up on the one and only series of Britain's Brightest with Clare Balding at the start of last year.

I think it's a shame that show hasn't come back actually, I enjoyed that. I can't say I'm especially surprised though; I don't think it did very well.