Monday, 4 January 2010

TV Watch - Only Connect

OnlyConnect – Round One – The Archers v. The Music Lovers.

Ah, the return of the powerhouse University Challenge and Only Connect Monday Night Double Whammy ! Our cup runneth over ! I think I may have told you already that I did get as far as joining a team to apply for this series, but the filming date was, alas, a date which I absolutely could not manage due to Mum’s 70th birthday, and our team captain moving house on the same day. Such is life. Still, it means that I can watch this series with my usual neutral(ish) dispassionate eye, and enjoy it as much as ever.

Kicking off the series we had the Archers Admirers and The Music Lovers. The Archers admirers were a team I’m not familiar with , consisting of Paul Peters, Andrew Bull and captain Min Lacey. I have met two of the Music Lovers, however. Don Purdey I don’t know, but in this company he’ll be no mug, you can be sure of that. Steve Kidd has been on a large number of shows. He’s a dedicated quiz fanatic, who has appeared on many shows in his time, and is the man behind 2007’s prestigious Qu12 competition. Diane Hallagan is also a very well known quizzer. She was the Di of Di’s Diamonds, the first ever winners of the first series of Battle of the Brains. I believe she was also a member of the team that won the last running of Radio 4’s Masterteam competition.

Round One – what’s the connection ?

The Music Lovers surprisingly gave away a bonus on Blue Peter Pets in round one. They redeemed themselves with a very difficult connection on hybrids. Archers Admirers came close to getting their second clue – they could see they were postcodes in Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff etc. but picked out National Rugby stadia rather than parliaments. Still the Music Lovers failed to pick up the bonus, leaving the Archers in contention. Still, they failed to spot a music connection of all performed by married couples, which the Music Lovers were happy to snap up for a 5 – 2 lead. Pretty much as you might have expected.

Round Two – predict the 4th in the sequence

Music Lovers picked up their first connection as coming from the song – A, You’re Adorable, but both teams failed to remember that D would be – You’re a Darling. On two clues the Archers predicted that Member, and Officer would eventually lead to Knight, these being the successive ranks of the Order of the British Empire. However the music lovers then got their own on only two clues, predicting that D would be the third letter on the middle row of a typewriter. The Archers took their next for a single point. They also took a bonus by predicting that John Constable, Sergeant Wilson and The Hotel Inspector would be followed by a Chief Inspector when this stumped the Music Lovers. So at the end of the round it was all square on 8 points. The unfancied Archers were making a real fist of it.

Connections Wall

Last series we found that the connections wall were more fiendish than they had seemed to be in the first series. I personally found both walls gettable tonight, and before you start to think that this sounds arrogant I will freely admit that this is something of a personal record for me. Archers Admirers went first , and though there was a lot of faffing about they got all four sets before the time went out. They solved the connections as well, so whatever happened they were still going to be at least the joint leaders at the end of the round. To their credit the Music Lovers also managed this feat too.Full marks to the setters. I felt that both walls were of a very similar level of difficulty, and that’s not always easy to achieve. I will admit, I have never heard of the satirical magazine The Onion myself, but then that’s another good reason for tuning in – learning something you never knew before.

Missing Vowels

As so often, the last round was going to be decisive. The Archers Admirers took the first 8 points without reply. The first set were on French phrases commonly used in English. Déjà vu cropped up twice – geddit ! Actually I thought that was clever, and also pretty funny too, in a radio 4 sort of way. The Music Lovers fought a valiant rearguard action, but were clearly second best at this stage, and lost by 24 points to 35. So well done Archers ! You don’t get any mugs in Only Connect anyway, but the Music Lovers were a serious scalp to take.

Welcome back Only Connect. Its only been a few months, but I’ve missed you.


Unknown said...

Hi David,

Enjoyed your write-up. Just to note that Paul has been on 15-to-1 and Countdown, and I was on latter (though about 15 years ago, so I wouldn't expect to be a familiar face!)

Andrew (of the Archers Admirers).

Londinius said...

Hello Andrew,

Congratulations on your performance! The way you played was excellent, and I shall watch your next show(s) with great interest. I meant what I said, you beat a very good team in the shae of the Music Lovers, and so you could go a long way - I shall watch with interest !

Best regards

Dave C.

isambardcat said...

One of the joys of OC is that the puzzle-solving element is as strong as the quiz one. Not many other TV shows are like that, so there's more scope for an unfamiliar team or two (in normal TV quiz terms) to turn up and spring a surprise - the Mathematicians last series were a case in point. AA have a decent general knowledge base, but two of us are also keen puzzlers; it will be interesting to see how the balance works as the questions get harder.
We knew how strong the Music Lovers were after the rehearsal! Thanks for your excellent write-up.

PP of AA

Londinius said...

Hello Paul, and welcome to LAM.
Yes, I think you're absolutely right about the puzzle element, and really and truly it was the puzzle element that seperated your two teams on Monday night. You had matched the Music Lovers point for point on general knowledge, but they couldn't live with you in the missing vowels round. So very well done again, and as I said, I do look forward to your next appearence(s) .

Best regards