Collectors v. Railwaymen
The collectors were, collectively, Daniel Nazarian, Anna Kirby-Hall, and captain Elliot Costi. Their opponents, the Railwaymen, were Sree Kanthamneni and captain Bob Thompson. Not knowing who to root for I settled on the Rails, since I was quite partial to railways in my younger days.
Round One – What’s the Connection?
Two reeds gave the Rails a picture set to start. We saw Elvis Presley – too many possibilities – then Chaser Paul Sinha. Hmm – Paul is the Sinner Man on the Chase – could it be that? No, the Rails had it with White Suit. Elvis wore a spangly one in his Las Vegas period. Very good shout that. The Colls began with com – internet domains being an obvious possibility. However I’d think that com would come last for that set, being the most obvious. Next was gem which seemed to blow that hypothesis out of the water. I needed the next – qual, to give me Of – regulators. The Colls also took sted. Fair set, but not easy. The Rails took water, and began with – pointing at your eye. Hmm – would I have taken a flyer on charades in the studio? The Rails knew it but went for the second clue – unfolding your palms to be sure. Now, when given the music set, as the second and third clues the Colls recognized both The Reynolds Girls and Tina Turner. Having done the hard part, they couldn’t put Reynolds and Turner together for painters. Almost predictably the Rails were given a blast of The Rembrandts for the last one – and they didn’t get it, which was a little surprising. For their own last set they kicked off with Llanelli RFC. The first thing to occur to me was Scarlets. Which would have been the right answer since A for Adultery, the second, is The Scarlet Letter. The Rails had it with Sir Percy Blakeney, the Scarlet Pimpernel. What a lovely set the last was. We began with Obama (1965) and then Washington My Dear (1968) Well, George Washington’s first lady was Martha , and Martha My Dear was a song on the White AlbumMicehelle Obama gives you Michelle – so first ladies names making up Beatles songs. Kudos to the setter for that. Roosevelt Rigby (1966) didn’t help the Colls, and so Hayes in the Sky with Diamonds (1967) gave them a point in the end. Which took the score to 8 -2 to the Rails.
Round Two – What comes Fourth?
The Rails were fortunate to opt for Two Reeds, since the first clue gave them a real chance of a 5 pointer – 31,102 verses begged for the answer – 2 testaments, being divisions of the Bible in increasing order. They needed 1,189 chapters and 66 books before they got it. Twisted Flax gave the Colls Garth Morrison – nope – George Purdy – nope . Anna clutched at the gun straw, and fatally went for a guess which was wrong. Given Peter Duncan the whole set became very clear, and the Rails – well, I’m afraid that they didn’t know that Peter Duncan was the last but one chief scout, and that Bear Grylls is the current incumbent. Eye of Horus gave the Rails ANOTHER five pointer chance! We saw an African lady in traditional costume, and I guessed it was Zulu, - phonetic alphabet – and working backwards we’d see a bottle of whisky. Next was a player for the New York Yankees, so I was right. They didn’t see it, nor did they see it when an X ray came up for the third picture. The Colls had a bonus on this one, and slightly narrowed the gap. With a rush of blood to the head, captain Elliot chose to use our unfavoured pronunciation of horned viper, and received AZ Alkmaar – hmm, Dutch football team – Bayern Munich – hmm, German football team – and chastened by their experience on the previous set had the sense to take the third clue – Netherlands. Something clicked, as these were the last 3 teams managed by Louis Van Gaal – so Man Utd would be the answer. Daniel had it. The Rails took Lion, and for the first time this round I would say that there was little chance of a 5 pointer, as they kicked off with riots. Next was Death of Lady Thatcher, and to be fair to them they had the connection at this point with Parliament being recalled. They took the last clue – Chemical weapons in Syria but neither team knew that the last one was Iraq air strikes. The Colls were left with water and Ditto – Rhenium. Now, I knew that Ditto can be abbreviated to Do - Rhenium is Re, so my guess was that the last would be Fa, so being a polite sort I went for Football Association. The Colls had not a clue, while the Rails got it. That meant that they led by 11- 5.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Colls desperately needed a good performance on the water wall. They could see there was a set of words connected with the outset or beginning of things, but couldn’t isolate them at first. Daniel got them working methodically and they resolved Genesis – Seed – Dawn – Fount. They labored for a while under the misapprehension that a set of words all preceded – er – or – or. I could see a set of words for areas of land, but they lighted upon a set of marks. Again they sniffed up a blind alley with tract, and eventually time ran out with just one line resolved. When resolved they could see that Question – Birth – Trade and Water were the marks – Stretch – Plot – Parcel and Belt were the areas of land. This left Barb – Fruit – Sect – Tract – and I’ll admit that I didn’t see that they can all be –arians. Very tough one that in my opinion. 4 points wasn’t great, and left them in danger of being well out of it before we even got to round 4.
The Rails began with a set of lawmakers – eventually leaving them to go for a set of comedians, then coming back, then leaving them, then coming back, then leaving them and finally untangling the set of stand up comedians – Whitehall – O’Briain – Solon and Djalili – which made it easier to get the lawmakers – Justinian – Hammurabi – Draco – Moses - . I could see mulled alcoholic drinks, and mild curses, but the Rails ran out of time. The mulled drinks were Glogg – Gluhwein – Bishop and Negus, leaving Rats – Brother – Bother and Damn as the curses. 6 points meant that they had a commanding lead of 17 – 9.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
The first set – ways to descend a mountain – fell 3 – 0 to the Rails, extinguishing any slight hopes that the Colls might have held. Famous people who lived together saw me beat both teams to get Michael Caine and Terence Stamp. Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore went begging, and the others fell one apiece. We had time for two of They might contain insects, which both fell to the Rails. In the end the score was a crushing 23 – 10.
Being harsh, both teams missed a fair bit of gettable stuff, but the Rails were clearly the better team and deserved to win comfortably. As for the Colls, well, it looked like one of those nights, but they will have to play much better to win their next match and stay in the competition.