Q.I. Elves v. Nørdophiles
Anne Miller, Andrew Hunter-Murray and James Harkin, the Q.I. Elves, lost out in their first match against the Bibliophiles, but saw off the Nightwatchmen in their second, and the Coders last time out. So they were certainly a team with the wind behind them. The Nords, Will Day, James Keeling and captain Joanna Murray, secured a victory by 2 points over the Night Watchmen in the first round, and then beat the Bibliophiles to secure their place in this quarter final. On paper it was anybody’s game, but then games aren’t played on paper, so what does that matter?
Round One - What’s the Connection?
The Q.I Elves kicked off. Captain James picked Two Reeds, and possibly wished he hadn’t since this brought up the music set. We heard several pieces, and I realized they were all about flowers when we heard a song from Carmen, and the British Airways music from years gone by. The Elves had it from Flower of Scotland. The Nords went for Twisted Flax, and received what looked at first like a funny old set – Usain Bolt – William Wordsworth – Mark De Man – at which point I had it – and Lord Judge. They are all, as the Nords explained, examples of nominative determinism. That is, they all do what is dictated by their names – Mark De Man is a footballer. Personally I don’t like Wordsworth as an example – all of the other surnames could be verbs. There we are, call me a pedant if you like. Lion gave the Elves – Nothing at all. Hokay – no chance of a five pointer there. Psychedelic Welsh Rock band followed – then superseded by ESA. I knew that ESA replaced Incapacity Benefit – just not how it fitted together with the other two clues. Captain James explained it. Nothing at all can be sweet Fanny Adams (supply your own alternatives) – SFA – and Super Furry Animals are also SFA. Apparently the third clue was the Securities and Futures thingy so I was barking up the wrong tree . Good shout. Now, with eye of Horus the Nords kicked off with ‘Three Musketeers Sequel’ – that’s the lesser known Twenty Years After. Odysseus returns home – well, that was twenty years after he set out. Three points to me. Rip van Winkle Awakens - and – China Wedding anniversary completed the set. Serious quizzers would have probably had it from either of the last two, and it has to rank as an opportunity missed for the Nords when they went for 10 years. The Elves weren’t going to turn their collective nose up at that windfall. Thus emboldened James disdained the curse of the Viper, settling for the pronunciation Horned. Grundon (Waste Management) did nowt for me. The Goring (Hopitality Services) also left me scratching my head. Berry Brothers and Rudd Ltd. (wines and spirits) didn’t help, but Andrew gave the correct, and frankly, rather prosaic answer that they all supply services by Royal Appointment. Water left the pictures for the Nords, who were shown photos of various things – all very well known photos. I knew it was going to be the name of the photographer, but I just couldn’t remember. It was a fair question too, since the Kiss, the last, is very well known, but none of us could dredge up Robert Doisneau. Which meant that the Elves led by 6 – 1, and I wasn’t expecting that,
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
The Elves sought to press home their advantage by taking Two Reeds first again. This brought up O6 – the six should be a lot smaller. Next was B5. It looked like chemistry – but what the sequence was I didn’t yet know. When FE4 came up it was obvious. Oxygen has 6 letters etc. So SN3 could be the only answer – tin being 3 letters long. The Elves had it. Lovely, lovely set. Lion gave the Nords – Washington’s Birthday. That’s celebrated on a Monday. Next was Mardi Gras – well that’s a Tuesday – the clue is in the name. We both went for Thanksgiving – which is on a Thursday , and we were both right. Twisted flax showed the elves a - → Gulf of Mexico – Then we had →East China Sea. Third was →Atlantic Ocean. None of us knew that the answer was →Mediterranean Sea. Actually the Nords has worked out that it might be outflows of the world’s longest rivers, which was the sequence. Never saw it myself. The Nords needed points, and so captain Joanna asked for Hornèd Viper. My fingers were crossed for them. PHP – then – MySQL. Now, I knew that this is an IT/Internet sort of thingy, but no more than that. Apparently these are all LAMP platforms, and the correct answer, as given at this point, was LINUX. Nope, not a Scooby. Water gave the Elves Yesugei. Actually, I knew him. He was father of Genghis Khan. Working on that principle my shout for a five pointer was Kublai Khan. The Elves didn’t see it. The second was, as I hoped, Genghis Khan. Now, Ogodai would have really mucked up my plans here, because although he was Genghis Khan’s first son and successor, he wasn’t Kublai’s Dad. Thankfully Tolui came next. After what the late Bill Maclaren might have called a wee bit of argy bargy captain James stuck to his guns with Kublai Khan for the point. This left the last set for the Nords. We saw a picture of a boar, then a hind, then a 9 headed hydra. That was the second of Heracles’ labours, which meant that all we needed was a lion, the first. Not for the first time this show a lack of detailed general knowledge denied the Nords the points. They knew he cleaned out the Augean stables, but that wasn’t the first task – neither was fetching Cerberus from the Underworld, which was the Elves’ answer. SO at least the Nords had narrowed the gap, but they still trailed by 7 – 10.
Round Three – Missing Vowels
Immediately after choosing the Lion wall the Nords could see a group of novels by Irvine Welsh – Filth – Glue – Crime and Porno. Which were not alternative names for four of the 7 Dwarves, apparently. Film genres – horror – romance – noir and musical fell almost immediately after, rather to the Nords’ surprise. A couple of seconds thought saw them identify Robbie Williams songs – Candy – Millennium – Rudebox and Strong, which left waves in the shape of Mexican – Radio – Heat and Shock. – Well, I have to say it, that was a flawless wall performance worth every one of the 10 points it earned them.
The Elves also started quickly, with Oswald – Goneril – Regan and the Duke of Cornwall from King Lear. Airports followed quickly with Robin Hood – John Lennon – Stansted and Prestwick. Now, what they didn’t see at first was a list of words whose first part is also the name of a Prime Minister. I could see HEATHrow – PITTsburgh – MAJORity – BROWNing – which left Victorian poets Tennyson – Arnold – Lear and Hopkins. So they isolated three of them, saw the connection, and then solved the last two lines. Not as quick as the Nords, but in its own way just as impressive. 10 points apiece, and they led 20 – 17.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
We kicked off with words containing four N’s. The round fell 2 – 1 to the Elves – however an incorrect buzz lost them one of those points. I found those really difficult myself and didn’t get any of them. Collectors and what they collect was a good old quizzer’s set, but neither side could take the upper hand, both getting two. A good old OC special set followed with sports people merged with music acts. There was just time for the Nords to take the first and that was that. A 23 – 21 win for the Elves saw them through, after a good game between two well matched teams.