Elves v. Nightwatchmen
In their first round match the Q.I.Elves were quite comfortably beaten by the Bibliophiles, and I felt moved to comment on the collective performance of Anne Miller, Andrew Hunter-Murray and James Harkin that they had seemed just a little cautious, and could have posted a higher score with tactics a little less conspicuously safety first. The Nightwatchmen, by comparison, were only very narrowly defeated in a high scoring match by the Nørdiphiles. Jonathan Wilson, Robert Winder and skipper Daniel Norcross maybe started as slight favourites, but we’ve seen favourites fall too many times before to pay any attention to that sort of thing.
Round One – What’s the Connection?
The Nights kicked off with eye of Horus, and a music set. The first two I didn’t recognise, but the third being – Where do Broken Hearts go – and the last being – Too many Broken Hearts made it fairly clear – but not, sadly to the Nights. Captain Daniel splendidly waffled his way around the subject, but didn’t get close. The Elves offered hearts – and that was accepted. Two reeds gave them Joan Fontaine and what looked like an easy five pointer, but actually wasn’t. The thing about Joan Fontaine is even though she was great actress who won an Oscar, she was still probably not as famous as her sister, Olivia De Havilland, who was in the same line of work, and with whom she had a famous long running feud. OK, but which part of that was the connection? Jack Charlton as the second clue certainly confirmed both same job and feud. Lucien Freud, though, made it clear we were talking about the feud. Neither team quite saw it, I’m afraid. Daniel chanced his luck by going for a conventionally voiced Horned Viper. The first clue – Am I Not A Man And a Brother was a slogan for opponents to the slave trade – however, and I am going to claim a five pointer here – I also knew that the inscription appeared on a special £2 coin a few years ago. The other clues were Isambard Kingdom Brunel – Engineer - 1806 – 1859, - In victory Magnanimity, in peace, goodwill – and the real clincher – Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. That last one is a very old quiz chestnut, and there really isn’t an excuse for not getting it if you have designs on doing well on a show like this. Mind you, the Elves didn’t impress me much by not getting it either. Behind Lion the Elves found pictures of a rat – Ben the Bear from Gentle Ben – and that was enough for me. Ben, the Michael Jackson song is about a rat, so these were Bens. The mountain which followed suggested Ben Nevis, but they needed the Uncle Ben logo from the US food company. Speaking of food companies, the Nights picked Twisted Flax and their first clue was Australian Gold. My cousin once worked for a food company called Australian Gold – well, strictly speaking it was Australian Canned Gold. Too many possibilities for a five pointer on that clue. Antiguan and Barbudan silver followed, as did Portuguese Platinum. Suddenly it clicked. Au – from the domain name of Australia – is the symbol for gold – Ag from Antigua for Silver and so on. It looked like Jonathan who had that one for the Nights as well, but they took Cuban copper to be sure and they took a point on it. Water gave the Elves You. No chance of a five pointer there. A beatle intrigued me. Presumably that would be John Paul George or Ringo. I didn’t have it, and the next clue – A Dukla Prague Away kit didn’t help. James worked it out as being all things which had competed the title “All I want for Christmas is – “ I wagered with myself that the last clue would be two front teeth, in which case I would have had a one pointer. But fair play, that was well done, Elves. They led by 4 – 1.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
Two Reeds gave the Nights Trousers to begin with. I dare say that there’s little chance of a five pointer from that, but amazingly Jonathan was on it from the start, thinking in terms of Wallace and Grommit. The second clue – Shave – certainly seemed to suggest that. In which case – were rabbit should be third – and Loaf and death – or maybe just - death – to finish. The only trouble for the Nights was – they didn’t know the last Wallace and Gromit adventure! How cruel is that? Given a gilt edged bonus chance the Elves squandered it by going with out – as in A Grand Day – which all fans know was the first , not the last. I cannot explain how skipper James worked out the next one, which was different shapes with mirror images below, but he did. Can’t really show you them – you’ll just have to watch the show for yourselves. Great answer off 2 clues, anyway. Water gave the Nights clergyman (7) – then Former Marriage Guidance Council (6). I bet most regular quizzers were screaming at the screen by this point. The seonc answer is Relate – so the first is prelate. My answer for number for would be recently deceased or tardy (4) Just keep taking those letters off, boys. The Nights were lucky to have Jonathan in their team again, as it suddenly clicked with him after the third clue – Fill with joy (5) Twisted Flax started with Spanish for the Elves.This was followed by Asian. Now, I had a feeling that we could be dealing with flu epidemics – which would maybe end with swine. The Elves were working on the same lines here and again gave the correct answer. Of course the third would have been Hong Kong – not bird which I idly considered as that has not – touchwood – been a human epidemic as yet. Daniel picked the Viper again, and again ignored the opportunity to confer blessings upon his house by voicing the second vowel. Broken Hearts was the first clue. Hmm – move on please. Sibling feuds – oh my goodness, it was the first sets of the contest! Could they remember that Bens had come 4th? Yes! Only eye of Horus remained. Now, eye of Horus did actually give the Elves a chance of a five pointer. We saw Love’s Labour’s Lost with the apostrophes highlighted in red. Now, working forward, the last Shakespeare play with an apostrophe is The Winter’s Tale. Thank you very much – 5 points to Dave. Inspiration failed the Elves and the Nights took the bonus. Which meant that the score was now 10 – 6 to the Elves, and the gap remained the same.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
Taking the Lion wall, Barker, King, Court and Wade were all tennis players who won Grand Slam singles titles ( at least 1) during the 70s, and these they isolated fairly sharpish. A set of gloves – Oven – Boxing – Rubber and Kid followed hot on their heels. Given plenty of time to solve the last two lines I could see a set of terms from the game of Bridge , and a set of words for cooking equipment – Stove etc. For some reason the Elves now decided to make it harder than it was. All of the words left could only fit in one of the two sets, I think, but they hadn’t got the Bridge connection. I’m sorry, but again, a regular quizzer would have that just from Yarborough. Of course, the moment they decided to try with the kitchen appliances, bingo – it was solved . Stove – Range – Deep Fryer and Toaster did the trick. Speaking of which, this left Overtrick – Slam – Finesse and Yarborough. They didn’t have a Scooby about that set, thus ending with 7 for the round.
The Nights saw a set of musicals were there right from the start. I could also see shrubs, homophones for countries, and Eggheads. Louse – Grease – Cypress and Chilli fell first. Chicago, Evita, Godspell and Follies fell as the musicals almost a second or two later. CJ, Barry, Kevin and Judith were the Eggheds, which left Jasmine , Daphne, Laurel and Buddleia as the shrubs. The trouble was that the Nights just didn’t know the Eggheads. Never mind – they knew the shrubs, and untangled them, which automatically untangled the Eggheads as well. They just didn’t know the Eggheads, and so ended with 7 points. So going into the final round the Elves led 17 – 13.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
Well, 4 isn’t a huge lead, but it’s better to have than not. Things seen at children’s parties fell 2 apiece. A 4 – 0 shutout on words which suggest slickness gave the Elves what looked like a winning lead of 8. Former countries of Europe went 2 -1 to the Nights, but it looked as if it could well be too little too late. There was just time for the Nights to pick up one more point on first names of detective duos, and that was it. The final score 24 – 18 to the Elves. Bad luck Nights – a case of not your night really. Well played Elves. It wasn’t, if I’m honest, the highest quality match we’ve seen all series, but it was enjoyable in its own right.