Collectors v. Mixologists
The collectors were, collectively, Daniel Nazarian, Anna Kirby-Hall, and captain Elliot Costi. In all honesty they weren’t great in their first round match, where they were quite comfortably beaten by the Railwaymen. On the other hand the Mixologists, Chris Beer, Ewan MacAulay and Sam Swift sowed good form in losing by a point to the distinctly useful Spaghetti Westerners. The form guide said the Gists looked by far the best bet for the win, but in a two horse race either team can win on their day.
Round One – What’s the Connection?
The Gists went first, and as a statement of intent asked for Hornèd Viper . Way to go, Sam. The Commitments’ Dean Fay. I might well have had a shy at a 5 pointer here – since I know that Dean was the saxophone player in the film/book. Maybe that was too simple and obvious. Spider Murphy didn’t mean owt to me. Zoot, though, the third, was the Muppet band’s sax player. If Bill Clinton came 4th . . . Well, he didn’t, but Lisa Simpson worked just as well. It worked to salvage a point for the GIsts, and we moved to the Lects. They went for Eye of Horus, and their first clue was Palau. All I can tell you about Palau is that it has a simple national flag of a yellow sun on a blue field. Laos’ flag has a white disc/sun on a band of horizontal blue between two horizontal red stripes. So discs/suns on national flags was my guess. Bangladesh (red disc on green field) came third – and I guessed that Japan would be the most obvious for the 4th. It was Daniel who clicked on the third clue, and when revealed the last actually was Japan. Both teams off and running then. Twisted Flax started with Darkness Visible. Right – it’s the title of a work by William Styron, which is a quotation from Paradise Lost. It’s also an oxymoron. I plaumped for titles of works which are quotations from other writers. So we might get ‘Tender is the Night’ for example. That looked to be blown out of the water by the second clue “The Dementors”. Sounded like Harry Potter to me, but then that’s my problem. A Bell Jar just as much screamed Sylvia Plath. Were these all, I wondered, autobiographical or semi autobiographical works about mental illness? The first and third were. A rush of blood to the head saw captain Sam offer things which contained vacuums. The last was a black dog. Now, I did know that this was the phrase that Sir Winston Churchill used to describe his periods of depression. And indeed, metaphors for depression was the answer as correctly given by the Lects. For their own clue they opted for Two Reeds, and received a picture set for their pains. In a weird echo of the UC picture set half an hour earlier we saw artists’ self-portraits, including Frida Kahlo (looking nothing like Kate Winslet, Jez was right). Lion gave the Gists the music, and a set of pirates gradually revealed itself for a point. What a lovely little set the water set was. I didn’t know the Department of Camembert cheese. I did know that Reno is the Biggest Little City in the World, and Nero – and anagram of Reno, was emperor from 54 AD to 68. I had it by this time, but Mr. Rubik – Erno – confirmed it. The Lects didn’t get it, and neither did the Gists. Sorry guys – you missed a trick there. After round one the Lects led by 5 – 2, making a mockery of the afore mentioned form guide.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
Mo 20:00 suggested Monday at 8pm for the Gists. Tu 19:30 added nothing for me that I hadn’t got from the first clue. Captain Sam thought it was times that Eastenders is on. He said a wee prayer, then offered Fr. 20:00. The Lord helps those who watch Eastenders, apparently, since it was right. Good shout. Skipper Elliot fought back immediately by asking in his turn for Hornèd Viper too. Top man. Preston End suggested the word North to me. Stirlingshire suggested East. Working on that, Ham United or Bromwich Albion should do the trick. Not trying to be horrible, but sorry, the Lects picked a juicy wee plum with that giveaway. I’d still rather see an easy set like this than American Municipal Bankruptcies, mind you. Water showed us Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks. Then we had a spark plug. Then boxers sparring. So just something which showed a spa. Sam offered Leamington Spa, which did the trick. Twisted Flax gave the Lects 18 degrees; Astronomical dawn. Huh? Then 12 degrees nautical dawn. Huh huh? Six degrees civil dawn next. 0 degrees, Tony Orlandoan Dawn the answer then? (ask your parents). No, it was zero degrees sunrise, which was exactly the straw that Elliot grabbed at for the point. Lion then gave the Gists RN. Suggested Royal Navy, but then what? BQ didn’t help. KB was the last clue. Got it! Chess notation, so Rook – Knight – Bishop – Queen – King – Bishop – so NR – Knight – Rook. The Lects had that. So once again the form book was being given a good old British style 6 of the best, trousers down. To finish the round we had start of the 1929 Wall Street Crash. That would be Black Tuesday. So for a five pointer I suggested Start of Christmas shopping season – Black Friday. The Lects, again plucking something of a plum, took Sterling withdraws from ERM then Irish Deficit reaches 32% of GDP. Anna had already given the correct answer, but captain Elliot seemed a little fixated on Black Thursday for the Wall Street Crash. So they gave a wrong ‘un, enabling the Gists to take an unexpected bonus. Which meant that the Lects led by 11 – 8.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Lects opted for Water. I could see Jeremies and Football club nicknames to start with. The Lects were wonderfully methodical with the Jeremies, and soon isolated Vine – Paxman – Kyle and Guscott. They saw the teams, but not that Irons were one of them, and Cubs weren’t. Anna saw a set of yards – court – grave – scrap and dock. That was as far as they got. When the wall was resolved – wolves – cubs – lies and cards looked like things you get a pack of – but they couldn’t see it. This left the football teams – black cats – saints – irons and bluebirds. They’d played well up to this point, but 5 points showed the first chink in their armour.
Lion gave the Gists Arabian ports with Dubai, Jeddah, Muscat and Aden. Merlot – Syrah – Pinot Noir and Semillon – all wine grapes - followed very quickly. I could see a set of words like Kuwait, which could be denoted by a single letter and a single figure – Q8. There were also K9 – E10 and B4. Pooch, hound, cur and mutt are all alternative words for dogs. 10 from 10, and maybe if the Lects had picked the plums in the second round, the Gists had the slightly easier wall in this. Didn’t matter. This gave them the lead – 18 – 16 – going into the last round. Anyone’s game.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
Oh, and Jenny (producer) - I hope that your cold is on the mend. x