Chessmen v. Gallifreyans
After a false start, losing to the Linguists, the Chessmen – Henry Pertinez, Nick Mills and skipper Stephen Pearson, had to endure a tiebreaker against the Felinophiles in their sudden death qualification match. Their opposition, the Gallifreyans, John Dorney, Stuart Wildig and captain Giles Sparrow defeated the conquerors of the Chessmen, the Linguists and also the Wandering Minstrels to come straight through to this match. Now the thing is, in a straight general knowledge quiz between these two teams I would be backing the Chessmen every day of the week – but OC is not a straight general knowledge quiz. So let’s see what actually happened.
Round One – What’s the Connection?
Put into bat by the Ches, the Gals opted for Eye of Horus, which meant that we started with a music set. I’m sure that all Spurs fans like myself were gratified to head Glen Hoddle and Chris Waddle’s Diamond Lights again – they don’t make ‘em like that any more. Obviously they were all recorded by footballers – an idea confirmed by the execrable Gazza version of Fog on the Tyne. They offered Celebrities singing songs, and were given quite a bit of latitude by Victoria to allow them to supply footballers. Maybe a little bit fortunate to get the point there. The Ches opted for an unstressed Horned Viper – playing with fire if you ask me – and received Memory Stick – nope – Jazzercise. Hmm – were we by any chance in the realm of OED words of the year? Jacuzzi came next which blew that one out of the water. The last was Portaloo and the Ches gave the answer that these are all proprietary tradenames – put it another way, you may call any memory stick a memory stick, but that’s a brand name . Hoover, I suppose would be another one. All Hoovers are hoovers, but not all hoovers are Hoovers. Lion gave the Gals Acland and Sydney, then Michael and Emeric. Now these two, I felt sure, were Powell and Pressburger. So were these pairs of film makers? The Gals thought so, but no. Jack and Peggy – Jeffrey and Mary were the other two clues. The connection is Archers, as the Ches knew. Archer was Powell and Pressburger’s film company. Ah. For their own set the Ches received Norfolk, West Sussex – and they what looked like a brilliant shout. The Duke of Norfolk’s family seat IS in Arundel, West Sussex. Great shout, and a well earned 5 points. Two Reeds gave the Ches some pictures. We saw an appendix. Is it as simple as parts of a book, I wondered. The spine appeared next which proved it was. Hmm. This is a quarter final – isn’t that a little bit too simple? 3 points anyway. This left the Ches with Speedway: Pedersen – nope – then Squash – Khan. Now I had a punt at this , that it was sports with more than one world champion with the same surname – Jahangir and Kansher being world champion Khans in squash. Squash: Higgins confirmed it for me with Alex and John. I bet myself that the last would be Formula 1: Hill – Phil, Graham and Damon – and I was right. The Ches hadn’t seen it, then with hardly any time left they did for a point. Which meant that they led by 8 – 4.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
The Gals kicked off with a picture set. We saw Amy Adams, and unchastened by their Powell and Pressburger experience they decided the last would be a double D name like David Dimbleby. They went for 5, and got nowt. The next pictures were Beth Ditto and Jo Brand. Hmm. Amy – Beth – Jo – obviously we’d need a Meg as in Ryan to complete the March girls from Little Women. An easy bonus for the Ches there. They opted for the viper again, and kicked off with paktika. That’s a province of Afghanistan – but it didn’t help me a great deal. Zabul then Kandahar followed – so Kabul looked like a pretty good shout to me. The Ches thought so too and we were both wrong. Helmand was the answer as the Gals knew. Good shout for a bonus that. Eye of Horus gave the Gals – Nobody. Possibility overload there. Guildford Dudley, the second clue – was the husband of Lady Jane Grey. So working from nobody being spouse of Edward VI. My guess was Nobody for Elizabeth I, with Phillip II of Spain in 3rd. The Gals only had it right at the last knockings, but had it they did. Water gave the Ches Has Anybody Seen My Gal? – not enough for me to go on, and then – East of Eden. John Steinbeck novel, and James Dean film. The next was Rebel without a cause. So, guessing that Has Aybody Seen My Gal was a film in which James Dean had a minor role, I went for Giant, so did the Ches, and we both had a point. Two Reeds gave the Gals Gonna Stay Up Late – Grab Your Crucifix – Better Lock Your Door. I remembered this from those interminable Nightmare on Elm Street films – and thought that the last would be Freddy’s Coming for You, or summat like that. Again it was right at the last that they snatched the point. Only Twisted Flax remained and it gave the Ches 4th: Polish, 1978 – no idea. The Ches had popes straightaway. That was wrong though since the next was 3rd: Czechoslovakian 1978. Nowm the third nationality in space was a Czech, so I went for 1st: Russian 1961. The Ches needed 2nd American 1961, and offered Soviet rather than Russian. Well, Gagarin was born in Russia, so hopefully I would have had the point. As for the match score, at this point the Ches led by 13 – 9.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Ches kicked off seeing 5 islands of the Hebrides. A good process of elimination isolated the correct four. I saw words like pease and wise, which are pronounced like letters of the alphabet. The Ches saw them too and added use and seize. Three goes didn’t enable them to untangle the last two lines. We had Harris – Bentley – Terry and Harrow. I went for Chopper Harris and John Terry – Chelsea captains. Correct – the Ches didn’t see it. Twee – Elf – Otto and Cent – well – they looked like numbers to me apart from twee. The Ches didn’t have a Scooby, but numbers were correct. Twee apparently is two in Dutch. 4 points and the door was wide open for the Gals.
Names mentioned in Bohemian Rhapsody was the first set that the Gals went for. Scaramouch also fit into a set of Commedia Dell’Arte characters which were there too. Come to think of it there was a set of rabbit breeds too. Come to think of it Edward Scissorhands, Audrey Roberts and Sweeney Todd all cut hair at one time or another, For me this was an easier board, but the Gals had solved nothing yet. They isolated Pierrot – Scaramuch – Pantalone and Columbine, but it didn’t sound to me like they had the connection. They then took out the rabbits – Dutch – English Lop – Flemish giant and Harlequin. Everything suddenly clicked. They took out Audrey Roberts – Zohan – Sweeney Todd and Edward Scissorhands - leaving Beelzebub – Figaro – Fandango And Galileo from Bo Rap. By this time they had figured out Commedia Dell Arte and that meant they had a full house of 10. Which meant also that they now led by 19 – 17.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
Well, which team were the vowels going to suit? The first set was people in the famous 2014 Oscars selfie. These fell 2 -1 to the Ches, but crucially the Gals lost the point they gained for an incorrect answer. The next category was different British and American pronunciations. 2 – 1 to the Gals, who now led by 1 point. Numbers with their equivalent roman numerals were actually harder than you might think, and these fell 3 – 1 to the Ches, who now led by one. Battles of the Napoleonic Wars should, I felt, seal the deal for the Ches and 2 – 0 did just that. The final score was 25 – 22. A very good match, with the Ches deserving a narrow win.