Wednesday, 15 September 2010

TV Watch - Only Connect

Round One – Match Two – Wrights v. Urban Walkers

Well, Monday’s teams, the Wrights and the Urban Walkers were going to have to serve up something special to match up to last week’s extravaganza. The Wrights were, well, the Wright family. As far as I know, they are the first purely family team to feature on the show, although I stand ready to be corrected. They are dad Pete, daughter Rosa, and captain Liz. Their opponents, the Urban Walkers , were Alastair Dawney, Edmund Kirby, and captain Edward Page. The name of the team is taken from their shared love of taking long walks through European cities. Actually, that sounds pretty damn enjoyable to me, and I have to say captain Ed endeared himself to me by saying that a 2 day walk from Upminster to Heathrow was his favourite. Maybe its because I’m a Londoner. Well, I was.

Round One – What’s the Connection ?

Victoria confidently asserted that nobody was going to get a 5 pointer from just one clue. Well, perhaps not. The Wrights started with horned viper, and were offered Block and Quayle. Of all tonight’s clues , perhaps this one was the best chance of a 5 pointer. No ? Well the second was Clemens and August. Funnily enough I might have known it from Block and Quayle,but not from Clemens and August. Hennes and Mauritz gave it to the Wrights, who offered names abbreviated to make names of stores, which was close enough considering that companies instead of stores was the answer. Confident start. Urban Walkers liked the look of twisted flax, and were offered photon, white corners, and pH7. I wouldn’t have got it before pH7, but the Walkers wanted to be sure, and took the last clue Switzerland before offering neutral things, the correct answer. Why didn’t I know that the white corner is the neutral corner in a boxing match ? I love boxing. Just thick, I suppose.

Liz Wright opted for eye of Horus. George Wallace, Millard Fillmore certainly spoke of US presidential elections, and the third, Ralph Nader gave them a good inkling. Ross Perot gave them the answer – third party candidates in US elections. The pictures awaited the Walkers under the lion. Buffalo, moose, and a samurai led them to think of secret societies. Sadly not. Given the last clue, a sheep, the Wrights took a wild stab at cities. Actually all of them were words that don’t gain a letter s in the plural. Yeah, obvious when you know it, but you try thinking of it in a studio when you’re under pressure ! The Wrights asked for Lou Reed – sorry, two reeds, and were given the music connection. Alright, I’m bragging here, but this one might well have brought me a five pointer if I’d had the guts. I recognised Pictures at An Exhibition, which would give you either paintings, or exhibition, and lets be honest, it had to be paintings. Brian and Michael’s Matchstick Men etc. followed to confirm this. The Wrights, playing safety first, took Mona Lisa and then Don Maclean’s Vincent to be sure. Lovely connection that. To finish the round the Walkers took water, and were given kiss=lips, barmaid=carnage, rejection=selection and finally book=cool. Just about the same time it dawned on Edmund Kirby, I figured out we were dealing with mobile phone texting. Good shout that. Both words in each set would be spelled out with the same number sequences. At this stage the Wrights, playing a little safe but making sure of their points, which is always a good tactic, led by 4 to 2.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?

The Wrights began with Grosvenor, then Chelsea. – Looks like London – I thought – but what ? Albert came third, and Chelsea followed by Albert normally means bridges of the Thames. The Wrights figured this out, but went the wrong way, giving Vauxhall. Walkers tried Kew, but the answer wanted was Battersea. Full marks to the question setter there – you really need to know your bridges to have heard of the Grosvenor Bridge, and I’m ashamed to say I obviously don’t know my bridges as well as I thought I did. I had Battersea, though. The Eye of Horus gave the Walkers Cover 174 feet, and roll over the boundary. This was one of those clues where you can figure out the ballpark quickly, but if you’re not careful you can go the wrong way. The poor old Walkers figured it was ways of scoring runs in cricket, but went down instead of up, and so offered a single. When the Wrights were shown Hit a Helmet on the field, then they knew we had three, 4, 5 runs, and so gave Hit a 6, which was enough for the point. They then went for the lion. When the first clue was Holy, Rosa quite correctly answered that it could be absolutely anything, and so they took the next – Spy. For all I know there might well have been many people shouting the answer at the telly by this point, but I wasn’t one of them. Like the Wrights, though, Maundy was enough to make me plump for Good, that being the last day of Holy Week.

The Walkers plumped for Twisted Flax. Generations and first Contact got them to arrive quickly at the connection – Star Trek films. Ah, but we were in the middle of the whole sequence here. Which would come 4th of this group ? The Walkers took the third clue – Insurrection, and then offered Star Trek – the most recent film. Again, right connection, but wrong answer. The Wrights are probably not great fans of the Trek, and took a speculative punt at The Wrath of Khan. Nemesis was the correct answer. The Wrights plumped for Water, and figured out the Lawrence Olivier, Peter Hall, and Richard Eyre were consecutive directors of the National Theatre. So far so good. But they offered Kevin Spacey, who Victoria rightly said was director of the Old Vic. The Walkers offered , well, they were honest enough to admit that they didn’t know. The last was Trevor Nunn. Last sequence was two reeds, a set of pictures. The Walkers were shown pictures of Madagascar, Borneo, at which point they were thinking largest islands, then Papua New Guinea. Right connection again. Their answer, Australia, fell into a familiar quiz mineshaft – for Australia is counted as a continental landmass, rather than an island. The Wrights lived up to their name again, correctly giving Greenland as the next largest, in fact the largest of all. So at the end of the round the Wrights were looking comfortable on 8 to the Walkers’ 2 points.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Walkers now went first, and they picked the Lion Wall. Daisy, Donald, Louie and Dewey gave them a set of Disney ducks. At the death they unravelled the last sets. Westwood, McCartney, Guinness and Hemingway gave them British fashion designers. Magic, Vicious, Dress and Crop they could see could all be followed by the word Circle. Pique, rose, expose and lame eluded them, and I’m not surprised. They are all words which change meaning if you put an accent on the last letter e. Yes, I could see it too once it was pointed out, and no, I wouldn’t have got it , I’m afraid. Still, 7 points meant the Wrights needed to do well on the water wall to maintain anything like a comfortable lead. They found a collection of words meaning credit, and areas of New York city, but their three attempts at the others came and went before the grid froze. With the wall resolved the last two sets were cheese, mint , bread and buffalo, which they failed to see were sauces. Tricky that. The last set was Fairy, Gold , Angel and Chalk, and Liz quickly spotted these could all be followed by the word dust. So the Walkers took the honours for the wall round, but the Wrights still led by 13 to 9.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

We saw last week that there can be absolutely oodles of points – or should that be dlsf pnts ? – on offer in the final round, so to that extent it was anybody’s game at this stage. The first set was Hairstyles. Early indications were that the Wrights were going to do very well, as they took this set 4 – 0. Phil Spector songs fell to the Walkers though. They then took Ivy League Universities 3 –1. Fightback underway ? Looked like it. Parts of an insect saw the Wrights reassert their authority with a 4 – 0 shut out. Ball games followed , and in this see saw round the Walkers took it 3 –1. But that was it. In the end the Wrights maintained and even stretched their lead a little, and ran out winners by 23 – 18. Well played Urban Walkers, but congratulations to The Wrights, who take the second place in the second round.

Next week’s post won’t be a late review again, I promise. In fact, it won’t be a review at all. My team, the Radio Addicts, are playing, and so I’m afraid the best that I can offer you is my account of the show.


Unknown said...

"I recognised Pictures at An Exhibition, which would give you either paintings, or exhibition, and lets be honest, it had to be paintings."

Or given that they used the opening Promenade theme, possibly walking. In fact, I was slightly surprised they used this bit of the piece, as it's the only bit not inspired directly by a painting as such; it's represents the composer wandering round said exhibition. If it were up to me (which, thankfully for the quality of the show, it isn't) I might have gone for the equally famous Great Gate of Kiev to avoid any such over-pedantic quibbles.

I too plumped for this after the first clue for two reasons: (i) my knowledge of music is shockingly limited to classical (in the broad sense) and (ii) I was planning on submitting a question on this idea if asked to contribute again (although in fairness, it wouldn't have been as good).

davidbod said...

Clue 1 was also famously the theme tune for the long-running Rik Mayall sitcom "The New Statesman", so there were other paths you could take. For this reason, I think many more people would recognise this section than any other.

Londinius said...

Hi Jonathan - Hi David

Fair comments both. I'll be honest, I had forgotten about it being used for The New Statesman, but you're right, it could certainly have placed enough doubt in your mind to make you wait and see if it was followed by, for the sake of argument, the theme to Yes Minister/Prime Minister.If you were smart enough to have remembered it - I wasn't !

I suppose a fairer thing to have said would have been that I jumped on paintings when I heard the first piece, and was proved right. I'm pretty certain that I'd never have had the guts to gamble on just one clue in the show itself.

Thanks for dropping by


HughTube said...

For some reason I feared that the standards of Only Connect would start to fall this series, but the 4 teams that have been on so far have all been very good and perhaps the losing sides would have progressed in the last series. Though I may be proved wrong frequently (especially about an unfounded gut-feeling) I am rarely so pleased to be.

My family and I were slightly thrown by the use of the promenade for the same reason as Jonathan. However, thinking about it it is Mona Lisa that doesn't fit as that is inspired by a painting rather than an artist. But I guess the connection was art or artists.

The Radio Addicts' team photo is now on Facebook. I'm slightly irritated to have to be cheering against a team of taxonomists as taxonomy is my obsession and very nearly formed the basis of my dissertation!

Really look forward to seeing you on the show on Monday and best of retrospective luck.