Spaghetti Westerners v. Mixologists
How delighted was I to see Andrew Fraser, as skipper, and Paul ‘Just Quiz’ Philpot, making up the Spaghetti Westerners, together with Neil Macaskill. “These boys’ll be good.” I told Mary. I said the same, mind you, when I saw the Mixologists. Chris Beer and Ewan MacAulay both proved themselves to be good quizzers in the 2014 series of UC. Sam Swift I didn’t recognize, but that means absolutely nothing. My reading of it, prior to the match, was that the Spags might well have an advantage on rounds one and two, but they claimed not to look forward to the vowels, and so if the Gists were still in contention by this stage, then look out.
Round One – What’s The Connection?
Eye of Horus kicked off the Spags’ bid for the win. Coca-cola 2009 didn’t suggest a lot to me. The Spags were looking down the sponsorship route. St. James’ Park 2012 saw them barking in the right street, with the fact that they were all renamed, but when Victoria asked them which particular tree they barked up the wrong one with sponsorship. The Gists happily took the bonus, with the fact that they were all renamed, but then in those years they reverted to the original name. Harsh luck for the boys, but a correct adjudication, I think. Sam compounded his team’s excellent start by opting for Hornèd Viper. They received High- to start – which offered, to my mind, no chance whatsoever of a five pointer. Predictably this was followed by Low-. Science – saw me throw the possibility of the word Fi following each when shortened, and the last clue – Wireless- seemed to confirm it. The Gists just didn’t see it, and the Spags tried Tech – but no cigar. For their own next clue they took Twisted Flax. This showed us first and foremost a self portait of JMW Turner. Artists’ self portraits? I mused. Next we saw a portrait of Samuel Johnson. Prizes in the world of the Arts, I exclaimed. An orange confirmed it. The Spags misidentified Turner, which meant they also needed Hg – the symbol for Mercury. It looked like Paul who had it then. We moved back to the Gists for Two Reeds. This was the Music set – and I didn’t know the first. The Second was the Maple Leaf Rag, didn’t know the third, and the last was Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree. So trees then. That’s what the Gists went for. For their last set the Spags plumped for Water. This was a lovely set which began with Jennifer Green. I didn’t quite have it until we also got David Geller. To be fair to the Spags they had worked this one out on the first, but understandably took the second to be certain. What you had was the actor’s christian name and the character’s surname from the principals in Friends. Lion gave the Gists Daddy Warbucks – obviously from Little Orphan Annie. Famous fictional bald characters? Could be anything. Ellen Ripley was the Sigourney Weaver character from Alien. Wasn’t she shaved bald in one of the films? Not sure. Sherlock Holmes gave it to me. In a way, both he and Ripley were killed off, then brought back in sequels – alright, it was a cloned Ripley, but the principle held true. Bobby Ewing confirmed it, and the Gists were right not to guess early, and take all 4 clues. This meant that at the end of the round the Spags had carved out a 4 – 3 lead.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
Eye of Horus began with Extra – then Roadchef. The connection looked like groups with most motorway service stations, so I guessed Welcome Break at this point. They were the next answer. Given this the Spags correctly identified Moto. The Gists took Twisted Flax. This gave me one of those ‘at home, but never in the studio five pointers’. Commune, as part of a sequence suggested French regional divisions, and I went for Département. The Gists had the connection, but not the end of the sequence at first, so took Canton, then Arrondissement before giving the right answer. Two Reeds gave a funny little set, with King George VI and Prince George of Cambridge. Great great grandson and great great grandfather. So really the question was were we going up or down. Down probably, which was confirmed by Lord Randolph Churchill and Nicholas Soames – great grandfather and grandfather. So the last would be any prominent father and son. This was the point that the Spags also offered Princes Philip and Charles. Lion gave the Gists 4: Free for All. Nope. 3. A,B & C didn’t help however The Chimes of Big Ben very much did. That’s the second episode of The Prisoner – the first is Arrival. The Gists just didn’t know the connection while the Spags did, but not the title of the first episode. Andrew proved himself the equal of Sam by also asking for Hornèd Viper – nice one. Kentish Resort could have been anything. Heraldic gold, though is Or. Now, my answer of the night was to immediately spot that we had Deal – Or – so that the last one would be Kentish resort again. What a set! Magnificent. The Spags needed Japanese theatre but they just didn’t see it. This provided a timely bonus for the Gists. For their own last set they had pictures. Freida Pinto kicked us off. Next was a pint. So at this point I could see that Pi would be the answer. A pin came next, but the Gists were struggling, not knowing Ms Pinto. Right at the death Ewan had it. Good round, and the Gists led 9 – 8.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Gists kicked off with the Water wall.They saw pork products, but didn’t resolve them at first. Then words for a small amount of, but again these were unresolved. Words with silent endings – Crumb – Autumn – Debris and Coup fell first. Lechon – Prosciutto – Bacon and Speck were the pork products. They could see the small amounts – Smidgen – Trace – Iota – Morsel – which left Anchor – bear off – pip and Gammon, and these they didn’t know as terms from backgammon. Me neither. 7 points.
With Lion, the Spags had a good old look at it before they began having a go – which is a valid tactic. When they started they got the first set in one go – Liverpool – Lime – Cannon and Queen are all stations with the word Street in their names. Next they separated Pear – Kumquat – Tomato and Greengage – all fruits. Neil could see we had numbers in another language – Spanish in this case. The last set were all words following blind – spot – alley –faith – date. Quince – Dos – Once and Mil are all Spanish – 5 – 2 – 11 – 1000. 10 points. All of which meant that they led 19 – 15 going into the vowels. Could be enough to see them home, I thought.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
The first set – movies with Blue in the title went 3 – 1 to the Gists. Lead cut to two. Famous Belgians fell 2 apiece. Things that make you sleepy – also 2 apiece. Time was running out as we went to brass instruments. Sam took the first two and it was all square. Then Neil nipped in with the next, just before the end of the round. The Gists finished with 24, and the Spags with 25.
Great game gents – looking forwards to your next appearances.