Q.I.Elves v. Coders
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. The Coders, Richard Bradley, Zoe Cunningham and skipper David Simons, also lost their own first match, to the Gamesmasters, but saw off the Romantics last time out. By this stage of the tournament the calculations are easy ones. Win, and you’re in the next round, lost and you’re out.
Round One – What’s the Connection?
The Coders took first pick, and that was Lion. We saw the word Barcelona below a semi circle with three vertical segments – black – yellow and black. I didn’t know that. Then we saw Buenos Aires, with another semi circle, this time with two horizontal segments, yellow on black. I wasn’t getting it yet. Next was London with a black semi circle. Huh? Then New York with a yellow semi circle. Actually it was pretty obvious once you knew. The Cods failed to see it, but the Elves knew it was the colours of the taxi cabs within each of those cities. For their own set they opted for Two Reeds. We began with WASHTUB. Captain James said it looked like a word one, and I could only concur. Yet the next was Mockingbird, which added only confusion to me. Now, I have actually read about this – its basically the CIA’s alleged ‘mind control’ program with drugs and all manner of nasty stuff. PRISM, the last clue was also a clandestine operation of some sort – so that was my answer. PRISM gave it to the Elves for a point. For their second set the Cods picked Twisted Flax. LBQ didn’t help. News from Elsewhere though is a BBC blog. Hey – I wondered – would Life After Mastermind be in the set? 10 things we didn’t know last week – though – is not a blog – it is a feature in the BBC News websites online magazine section, as is 7 Days 7 Questions. SO I reckon I’d have gone wrong after 2 clues, but if I’d waited I’d have had it off 3. The Cods didn’t know, the Elves did. They tempted fate by asking for Horned Viper , for which they received Jimmy White. Hmm – umpteen times in World Snooker final but never won it? Bob Welch – ahhhh – Great Train robbers! I was a little disappointed in the elves that they didn’t get it from Bruce Reynolds, and needed the last clue – Ronnie Biggs. They started looking for things that weren’t there, and ignored the obvious, thus passing it over for a bonus to the Cods. They looked for something complicated too. Oh well. Back to the Cods, who went for eye of Horus. The first clue was – Shot Al Capone. I didn’t know that. Crowned Napoleon I gave a good clue though. I was pretty sure that Napoleon placed the crown upon his own head when making himself the Emperor of France. The next clue confirmed it, since Irving Berlin did once have to present himself with an Oscar. Didn’t know Al Capone shot himself, though. Aron Ralston, the last one, was the guy trapped they made a film about who had to amputate his own arm during a climbing accident, I think. The Cods didn’t have a Scooby, presenting a gilt edged bonus to the Elves. I don’t wish to be horrible, but I’m afraid that the Cods’ shortcomings in terms of their general knowledge were being rather cruelly exposed in this round. The Elves finished off the round with Water, and knew that they would be getting what they didn’t want, in the sound set. I didn’t know the first , but then we had The Ballad of Davy Crockett – The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde – The Ballad of Tom Jones – so I went for ballads. The first was from the Ballad of Reading Jail. No points to anyone for that, which meant the Elves led 4 – 0.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
The Cods began with Two reeds. First was a large green 5 on a yellow backfround. Second was a large black 4 on a white background. This was a lovely set. The 5 for me represent 5 times world cup winners Brazil. The 4 – 4 times winners Germany. So working on that principle I guessed that the last would be a black two on a light blue background for twice winners Uruguay. Which was proven wrong when the last clue was a yellow 2 on a green background. So I switched Sport to Rugby. Australia – England – South Africa – but what was the significance of the numbers? Australia won the world cup 1999 – England 2003 – South Africa 2007. OK. The nubers? Captains’ numbers? If so , then 2011 was won by New Zealand – black background, white number – and captain Richie McCaw wore 7. That was right, but nobody had it. Lion gave the Elves this – the word Matthat and a horizontal arrow, above the word Matthan and the same horizontal arrow. The next set was Heli and Jacob. Something began to stir here – the word ‘begat’ sprang irresistibly to mind. Being as nothing was riding on it I went for ancestors of Jesus. The Elves had the begat thing sorted too, but took the last clue – two Josephs. I have no idea why they went for Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam. The Cods knew that the answer would be Jesus and Jesus – they are the genealogies in two different accounts. Hurrah for the Coders – points on the board now and all to play for. Eye of Horus gave them Big 4. Hmm – railway companies? Possibility overload I’m afraid. Next was Big 5, then Big 6. The Cods confidently gave the answer of Big 5, but were wrong. The Elves didn’t know it’s Big 8. This was the evolution of the Big auditing firms. Take your word for it. Twisted Flax gave the Elves 4th: English – then 3rd: Afrikaans. Hmm. The last clue was 2nd: Xhosa. I was tempted to hit and hope with 1st: Zulu as the most widely spoken language in South Africa. I was really rather surprised that neither team fancied a shy at that one. Water gave the Cods 9th: “run.” Right, well I’ve mentioned that I love Doctor Who before, and run was the first word spoken by Christopher Eccleston’s 9th doctor. So what was Peter Capadli’s first word as the 12th? Had to admit it – I didn’t know. The second clue - 10th: “Hello. OK. New teeth. That’s weird.” – seemed to confirm my hypothesis. The Cods had it though, and knew that his first spoken words were about new kidneys. Great shout which put them right back in the game. Left with the viper, the Elves were given pictures of Massachussetts – Manitoba, then MC Hammer. SO they needed anything MD – eg a doctor. That was enough to ensure that at the end of the round the scores were 6 – 4 to the Elves.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
Going first the Elves opted for Lion. Quickly and methodically they separated a set of wheels – prayer – colour – water and hamster. Now, I could see a set of novels by my 19th century fave, Thackeray. They ain’t all that well known though. Tintagel – Launceston – Trematon and Restormel – a set of Cornish castles fell next. There was also a set of actors from The Darling Buds of May which they hadn’t yet seen. They did then see them, and eventually split up Zeta-Jones – Ferris – Jason and Franks, leaving Vanity Fair (a strong candidate for my favourite novel of all time) – Pendennis – Catherine and The Newcomes (also a wonderful read). Unfortunately they went for Trollope rather than Thackeray. 7 points then.
The Cods took Water. Very quickly I noticed Treasure Island characters – parts of a clock – and parts of a church. After some faffing about and barking up trees they isolated the clock part s- hand – face – escapement and pendulum. Soon after they took out Rood – altar – apse and chancel. The Treasure Island characters were Pew – Silver – Trelawney and Hawkins. With Trelawney they were thinking of Sybil from Harry Potter, and were a while latching onto Treasure Island. Even then they didn’t get them. The last line which they didn’t see at all were Sweet – Berkeley – Service and Burton-Hill. I didn’t know they all present on Radio three. Also they went for professors rather than Treasure Island, and so only got 4. This meant a 13 – 8 lead to the Elves.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
The first set were all moons, and went 2 – 0 to the Elves, with the Cods losing 1. Conversely, Suns went 3 – 1 to the Cods. Bruce Forsyth Catchphrases went 2 – 1 to the Elves, and that was it. The final score was 18 -11, and I have to say that was a fair reflection of the relative strengths of the teams in this show. The Elves showed their own areas of weaknesses, and I dare say they will have to go up a gear or two if they can to win their next match. But they were clearly the better general knowledge team in this game, and so often that makes the difference.Well done.