Linguists v. Oxonians
Virginia Fassnidge, Gail La Carbonara and skipper Tom Fassnidge of the Linguists defeated the Chessmen in their first round contest. Well, the Shessmen have prospered since then, while the Linguists lost to the Gallifreyans in their first qualification match. Second time lucky, then. Blocking the route to the semi were John Jenkins, Ian Hughson, and captain Justin Floyd of the Oxonians. They had lost first time out to our own History Boys, but knocked out the Politicos while both were imbibing in the last chance saloon. So who to win, then? I didn’t know – you pays yer money and takes yer choice. Let’s get on with it then.
Round One – What’s The Connection?
Having won the toss the Oxos elected to put the Lings in first. Eye of Horus brought us a picture set. After three photos, the only one of which I was sure being the second, of Marilyn Monroe, they went for American presidents, which was not correct. The last picture showed Clint Eastwood . They ahd it from this that all of them were people with no name – Marilyn Monroe from the Seven Year Itch – Marwood – who is never actually called that in the (brilliant) Withnail and I. Sorry folks – just didn’t see it myself. The Oxos looked to build on their lead with by voicing Hornèd Viper – well done. This brought the music set. We heard Bohemian Rhapsody – then what turned out to be from Tosca – then Delilah. I had it at this stage – they are all confessions of murder. The last was I shot the Sheriff. The Oxos saw it not, and so the bonus went to the Lings. All square. The Lings took on water, and began with £100m banknote. Hmm – a couple of ideas there, but nothing confirmed. Mahler’s symphony number 1 followed, then a child of Uranus and Gaia. Well their children were the Titans, which is what I decided to plump for. The last one – the Solar System’s second largest moon provided confirmation that this was indeed the correct tree under which to bark. The Lings had suspected it after 3 clues and took it off four. Twisted Flax gave the Oxos Livonia (Latvia and Estonia) – Transistor (radio) – and I was struggling here – Bums on seats (audience) – and still struggling – Finally Wheels – car. I didn’t see it, neither did the Oxos, but the lIngs informed us this is synecdoche. For example – wheels are actually part of a car – but they can also be used as a word for the whole car. Again, no excuses – just didn’t see it. Lion gave the Lings – The Toothache – huh? – The Unco Guid – which as a good part Scot I know is a Burns poem – so that was my answer. The Deil proved it – and I predicted Tam O Shanter might be the last. Actually it was a haggis – so these were actually all things that Burns addressed poems to. Right at the death Virginia put it on the table and secured a point. So the Oxos finished the round with Two reeds, and kicked off with Muscoidea. Well – Musca suggested some kind of flies, but I wanted more to go on. Uncomplimentary didn’t help. Unproprietary followed – and Ian came up with the brilliant shout that each of these words have all 5 vowels in reverse order. Brilliant. That really helped, since it meant that the Oxos only trailed by 1 – 3 to the Lings’ 4.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
Tom of the Lings courted disaster by asking for Horned Viper. IV:1830 immediately suggested King William IV who acceded to the throne in 1830. So I threw caution to the wind and went for I: 1066. III: 1689 said five points to me. It was enough for the Lings to take 3 points as well. The Oxos picked twisted flax, and we saw a picture of a spade. Next we saw 2 hearts. So 4 diamonds? No, not if it’s Bridge, so 4 clubs then . That was my 3 point guess. 3 images of Neil Diamond suggested I was looking good, and brought the Oxos two points. Two Reeds was the next Lings pick. We began with arMs. Hmm – not a Scooby. Then the Lings helped me out by pointing out that the capital M could suggest it is an anagram of Mars. They were dead right since the next was hEart. So some anagram of Mercury with a capital M in the middle. I take no points for that, since I had no idea until they pointed it out. Great shout, easily worth three points. Lion gave the Oxos 4: Move cursor to address bar. Would this be the function keys on a computer keyboard? In which case what would either F1 or F7 be? The second clue said we were going down to 1, since it was 3: Search for files or folders. So dredging my memory I went for F1 – Help, which is exactly what the boys went for, being as it was the right answer. Yay. Lings went for water. We started with John Hannett: USDAW. OK, so John Hannett is the Union’s general secretary. Now, it was a guess to suggest that USDAW might be the UKs 4th largest TU, but if it was, then Unite is the biggest, and Len McCluskey is the Gen Sec. 5 points for me? Paul Kenny GMB came next. Dave Prentis Unison third, and I was already counting the points. Now, up to this point the Lings had shown some good knowledge, but there really isn’t an excuse for not at least knowing that Unite is the UK’s biggest union. The Oxos made no mistake with it. They were left with Eye of Horus and the dreaded musical sequences. Actually this was a terrifically well thought out sequence. We had Franks Sinatra singing about Spring, then Summer, then Autumn. The Oxos didn’t get it, but the Lings took a bonus. Which meant that the score at the end of the round was 11 – 9 to the Lings.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Oxos had the choice and they opted for Water. I could see a set of Countdown presenters. So could the Oxos as Dent, Stelling – Vorderman and Lynam fell into place quickly. I could also see a group of women played by men – Edna Everage and Old Mother Riley for example. Again, the Oxos took them out quickly, adding Fritton and Savage to complete the line. With plenty of time left to untangle the last two lines and indeed they did. Cowl – Hewer – Kitchen and Nightmare they knew all contined the names of female animals, which left Beer – Rose – Market and Zen. They can all precede Garden said captain Justin, and it was maximum points thank you very much, Victoria.
The Lion then remained for the Lings, who needed a full house to preserve their lead. Now, I fancied there was a set of BBC Newsround presenters there. Never mind that – the Lings took out Goulash - Slumgullion – Daube – and Tagine – a group of stews. They then took out the Newsrounders – Guru-Murthy – Hedayat – Mzimba and Morris. They worked out that there was a set of words with birds in them, which meant they just needed to work out what was left before untangling them. They took them out – with wrench – probing – craven and crowded being the birds. This left Bowler – Doctor – Vector and Cycle which all follow spin. Once again a full house. So this meant that going into the lst round it was an exciting 21 – 19 to the Lings.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
The first set was Phrases heard on Only Connect. 2:1 to the Oxos – and the score stood at 22 – 21. Flavours of crisps. 2:2 – and 24 – 23 to the Lings. Former names of African Countries went 2 apiece, but crucially the Oxos lost a point for an incorrect buzz as well. 26 – 24.Starring David Jason gave just enough time for 1, and it fell to the Lings. So the final score was 27 – 24. What a good game. Very well played both, and congratulations to the Linguists.