Chessmen v. Felinophiles
OK, the mathematics of this contest were simple. Win and you’re through to the next round, lose and you’re out. Henry Pertinez, Nick Mills and captain Stephen Pearson, the Chessmen, are one of this year’s returning teams. Highly fancied to do well among the cognoscenti, they were rather surprisingly beaten in their first match by the Linguists. They came back to knock out the Wandering Minstrels in their sudden death elimination match. Their opponents, Simon Turmaine, Helen Lippell and Simon Koppel of the Felinophiles did the opposite. They comfortably won their first match, but then lost to against the History Boys, another of our returning teams, in their qualification match. Enough chit chat then, let’s see what happened.
Round One – What’s the Connection?
Right – the Ches put the Fels int0o bat first. They picked Lion. Given 1923 Railway Companies I had an inkling. Not long after the end of the first world war, the many railway companies of Great Briatin were reorganised into 4 companies – the Great Western, the Southern Railway – The London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) and the London North Eastern Railway (LNER). Collectively they were known as the Big Four. That was my at home 5 pointer guess. 1919 Allied Leaders I hadn’t heard of as the big 4, but it could certainly fit them, I thought. Simon looked like he was thinking along the same lines as me at this point. They took another clue to be certain – Dominating Audit Firms. That was it, and we were all right. I considered a lap of honour around the living room, but decided it was probably too early. Captain Stephen of the Ches showed an admirable contempt for my superstition, and offered us Horned Viper pronounced just so. They received pictures. I didn’t recognise the first. The second was Victoria herself, then the third Sofia Coppola. Children who followed in their parents’ famous footsteps, perhaps? Capital cities perhaps? Paris Hilton suggested the capital cities which is what the Ches went for. The first was Washington Irving. The Fels opted next for Twisted Flax and the Music set. The second which was the first I recognised was a version of Colonel Bogey. Military ranks? Parts of a train? No – the next was Albatross by Fleetwood Mac. Had to be terms used in golf. Captain Simon K suddenly clicked with it, and the points were taken. Two Reeds gave the Ches Oliver Perks (Monstrous Monstrous Regiment) Monstrous Regiment suggested something to do with John Knox’ first blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regiment of women rulers, but Oliver Perks I didn’t know. Dernhelm ( Lord of the Rings) I did know. That was the name taken by Eowyn of Rohan when she posed as a man to join the army fighting against the hordes of Mordor in the defence of Gondor. So was this something to do with women posing as men? Henry and Nick both knew this, and coming in after two clues they took the points. Eye of Horus gave the Fels no realistic chance of a five pointer with Romeo – too mahy possibilities. Next was Wayne ( Wayne, Wayne, wherefore art thou Wayne?) then came Kim. Nope, sorry , I had no handle on this one. Bow wow completed the set, but I just didn’t see it. None of us had it. They are all rappers whose names are preceded by L’il. Ah, I see. Left with water the Ches had Bokmål. I didn’t know that this is the primary language of Norway, but the Ches did. Would that work out as something like Book Speak? This was followed by Hochdeutsch, which I presume is High German. An Caighdeán Oifigiúl I guessed must be the correct standard dialect of Irish, and the Queen’s English finished it off. So the standard accepted form of a language. The Ches took a well earned point, and led by 5 - 4
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
The Fels began with Water. We saw a turquoise capital C. Nope. Then a pinky purply M. Now – Cyan – Magenta perhaps? Which meant next would be yellow Y and then black K. Well worked out answer by the Fels. The Ches took the Viper again, and earned a music sequence. They did well with it too. The second one we both recognised as John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom (better than Basil Brush’s) and so they went for the Venga Boys Boom Boom Boom Boom. Good shout!. Lion gave the Fels the flag of Mexico, which was not enough to go on for a guess yet, then the flag of Indonesia (or possibly Monaco, although Indonesia looked more likely). Finally Nigeria. The Fels didn’t have a Scooby, and the Ches did. They knew that the flag of Turkey would complete the MINT countries – you can work it out, I’m sure. The Ches next set gave them 29th: ö – I worked on the same rationale as Nick, and with nothing to lose went with 26th – Z. The Ches did have potential points to lose and took a second with 28th: Ä. They took the third clue – 27th = Å, then went for 26th: Z. Two five pointers for me in one show – I did do the lap of honour at this point. The Ches though had been sensible to make sure of the point, and to not give away a potential bonus. Two Reeds gave the Fels R.S. and O.S £300. DIdn’t see it. The Fels saw this looked like Regent Street and Oxford Street, and I was ready to run that one up the flagpole and salute it. Having nothing to lose I went for M - £400. The second being B.S. £320 meant my Mayfair answer was looking good. Mind you, that wasn’t counting Liverpool Street Station in the mix. The Fels went for my answer and were right to do so. I can’t claim another five pointer, because I didn’t see what the first clue meant until the Fels pointed it out. Finally the Ches were left with Twisted flax. First we saw a symbol of what looked like an envelope, with a horizontal arrow pointing to the words – the rich. Then we had the same with the poor. Got it! I shouted. WH Auden – the nightmail – letters for the rich, letters for the poor, the somethingy something and the boy next door. Almost immediately the Ches had the same idea. We were both wrong! It was the girl next door! Bonus for the Fels. The somethingy something was the shop at the corner. This was interesting since it meant we had a tide game – 11 apiece.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Ches got to go first and they picked the Water wall. They got rather hung up an looking for a set of areas of New York, which just refused to resolve. Finally, with less than a minute left they isolated Midtown – Hell’s Kitchen – NoHo and Chelsea. That was all though. When the wall was resolved they could see that Tax – Animal – Morrison and Bus were all shelters. Anderson – Ono – Bowery and Beuys I didn’t get, but they knew were all performance artists. Harlem – Large – Handy and Butchers was a horrible line. They are all anagrams of composers. I didn’t see it, neither did the Ches. 4 points scored and the gate was left wide open for the Fels.
Lion gave them a clear set of guns but they didn’t go for the straight away. I could see the surnames of the Rutles – O’Hara – Nasty – McQuigly and Wom (Barrington Wombat). They went back to the guns, but they wouldn’t resolve. There looked to be some sporting nicknames there as well. Time was getting on, and those lines just wouldn’t resolve at all. In the end they couldn’t untangle them. When the wall was resolved, they didn't know the Rutles. The sporting nicknames were tennis players – muscles being Ken Rosewall – along with Boom Boom – A Rod and Pistol. The firearms were rifle, revolver, carbine and blunderbuss – Over – Musket – Profit and Peppet they knew could all go before – eer. So rather surprisingly the Ches took a lead of 2, with the Fels scoring 2. All to play for.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
With the first set, things said by magicians, the lead of the Ches was wiped out, as the scores progressed to 16 apiece. Crime shows and their locations saw the Fels take a 3 point lead. The Ches buzzed in too early on one, and lost the point they had just earned, while the Ches took three of their own points. Works of Salvador Dali was going to be the last set. The Ches needed at least three of them – and they got them! So it was a captains only tie break. There was an agonizing wait before Stephen of the CHes finally buzzed in with Hasta La Vista Baby – the correct answer. What a close match! Bad luck, Fels, but well done to the Chessmen – feel free to breathe again!