Politicos v. Oxonians
What, is it time for the first elimination match already? Well, yes, I’m rather afraid that it is. The Politicos, Ross Goodwin, Joe Kerrigan and Thomas Williams, were fairly comfortably beaten by the Felinophiles in their previous match, while the Oxonians, John Jenkins, Ian Hughson, and captain Justin Floyd, lost 28 -19 to our own History Boys. As a rough guide, the Pols didn’t score n the vowels round, while the Oxos scored 5, so if it was close going into the last round then you’d fancy the Oxos.
Round One – What is the Connection?
The Oxos won the toss, but they decided to put the Pols in to bat first. They picked Two Reeds, and received – The Murder of Gonzago – Inferior Cheese – which meant little – then Thing a ma jig and bowling ball, and that certainly did. This was mousetrap. Now the Pols probably knew too much for their own good here. I heard them after the first clue make the connection with the play within a play in Hamlet, and thus they went with Hamlet as the connection. When the Oxos were given the last clue – World’s Longest Running Play – they knew that the connection was indeed Mousetraps. Captain Justin of the Oxos capitalised on the advantage by stressing the second vowel of Hornèd Viper, and received the music set for his pains. I recognised the second, The Sunny Side of the Street, and the third, Misty by Johnny Mathis. Weather conditions seemed a good bet, especially when Windy was the last. The charm of the Hornèd Viper seemed to work its magic when Victoria allowed the Oxos to change their answer from precipitation to weather in general – specifically those types ending in – y -. The Pols took Eye of Horus, behind which the first clue was – from its coastal capital city. I guessed that we were possibly talking about where countries derived their names from. From its highest mountain could well be Kenya, I reckoned, and from being established by freed slaves was clearly Liberia. So the derivation of names of African countries seemed to me to be the precise shout. From being a republic in the centre of Africa confirmed it. The Pols, clearly not on song yet, went for Liberia. Another bonus to the Oxos. For their own second set they chose Twisted Flax. This kicked off with Diamond Sutra. That I didn’t get. However Benin Bronzes was enough to tell me that these are all artifacts that other countries would like to be returned by the British Museum. Rosetta Stone confirmed it, and I predicted that the Parthenon Frieze/Elgin marbles would come 4th. The Oxos took it off three clues, and the Elgin marbles were indeed revealed as the last. Water then was the Pols last choice of the round, and they kicked off with Jaws 19. Nope, me neither. Mr. Fusion, though was a definite giveaway. In the original Back to the Future, when Doc Brown at the end of the film returns from the future to tell Marty that he needs help with Marty’s kids, the DeLorean is powered by a kitchen gadget called Mr. Fusion. Self Tying Shoes are also in the second film,as is Jaws 19. That was enough for them to get it, and the official title of the category was Back to the Future’s 2015. This left just the Lion set for the Oxos. This was a picture set which began with a Technicolor film poster for one of the versions of The Mummy. Next showed a group of West Ham footballers. Now with Hammer films, and West Ham being nicknamed The Hammers, the connection was clear. The Oxos felt so too, and they buzzed in off two. This gave them a significant advantage as they led by 8 – 2 going into the second round.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
Now, there was a definite chance of a five pointer on the Pols’ first set in this round. Robin Leigh-Pemberton was a former Governor of the Bank of England. The obvious answer to go for would be current governor Mark Carney. That’s what I said, anyway. The second clue – Eddie George – gave it to the Pols. Oxo captain Justin played his trump card by opting for the viper again. The first clue was 1:7, and the second 2:41. I didn’t have a clue. 3:12 didn’t make it any clearer for me. It looked like Ian who worked this one out. If you read the second number backwards, then you get multiples of 7. So he saw 4: 82 as the last. Brilliantly worked out. Again, the Pols were given a shot at a 5 pointer. Tommy Docherty made me think Man Utd. Managers, which would give us Dave Sexton – Ron Atkinson – Sir Alex Ferguson. The Pols took Dave Sexton as the second, and Ron Atkinson as the third before coming in with the answer. Twisted Flax gave the Oxos – RD, which didn’t mean much to me, then RNG. Now it looked like Justin who worked this out about the same time that I did. What we had was a missing vowels set of colours of the rainbow. Working on that we should finish with GRN for green. That’s what the Oxos thought, and they duly earned the points for it. For the third set in a row the Pols were offered a shout at a 5 pointer. Flt Lt was obviously the rank of Flight Lieutenant in the RAF. Working upwards, the 4th should be Gp Capt – or Group Captain. To be fair to the Pols they knew the connection but just weren’t sure of the ranks. So they took Sqn Ldr and Wg Cdr before supplying the correct answer. Once again, the Oxos were left with something which didn’t really invite a guess at a five pointer. We saw a hand with the thumb up, a men’s shoe, and a pair of knees. Huh? Well, the Oxos were looking at something rhyming with four, like door. As it transpired, this was correct, even though none of us could see that this was from this old man, he played one etc. Well, when you voice Hornèd correctly, good things happen sometimes. This was enough to ensure that the score at the end of the round was 15 – 9.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The first thing that the Oxos noticed on their wall was a set of Spice Girls songs. When these wouldn’t resolve after a few goes they switched their attention to synoyms for shout. When these didn’t resolve, islands of the Shetlands finally worked the trick for them with Unst – Mainland – Bigga – Papa Stour. The shouts – Scream – Bellow – Yell and Caterwaul – resolved next. They could see the Spice Girls songs – Goodbye – Holler – Viva Forever and Wannabe – but held off for a moment until they figured out that the remaining words – House _ Strength – Stop and English can all be preceded by – Full. They stumbled rather on the first set for the link. There is a Mainland in the Orkneys as well, and they went first for Orkneys, then Shetland and finally settled on Scottish lighthouses. That’s why they ended up with only 7.
The Pols kicked off going for female animal names, and Jenny – Hind – Sow and Hen obliged early doors. Text – scrap – ration and coffee table were all books. Wee – eye – ewe and hymn were all sound-alikes of personal pronouns, which left ratio – compass – boot and fleece, which can all be golden. They made no mistake with their explanations, and so pulled back three points of the Oxos’ lead . The score was 22 – 19.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
I’ve already pointed out the disparity in the teams’ first round vowels performances, but then these were against different opposition with different sets. The first set – Big Things – fell 2 apiece, althought he Oxos were perhaps slightly fortunate to be allowed Ass instead of Issue. 3 points to 1 on Fax Machine error messages gave the Oxos the comfort of a five point lead, and another 3 – 1 haul in Plays which Premiered in the 1890s put them home and dry. Almost inevitably the items in Mary Poppins’ handbag fell 3 -1 to the Oxonians as well, putting a gloss on the final scores at 33 – 24. Hard lines Politicos, and well done to the Oxos – this was a very convincing all round performance.