Tuesday, 5 October 2010

TV Watch - Only Connect

Round One – Match 5 – Fantasy Writers v. Bridge Players

Yes, tonight another team who scored highly on the Exotic-team–ometer, as Victoria introduced us to the Fantasy Writers. All of them , as the team name suggests, are Fantasy Writers. Geoff Rhyman and Liz Williams – whom I think Victoria described as a witch – flanked captain Paul Cornell, who has written for Doctor Who. We are not worthy ! Slightly less exotic were their opponents, the Bridge Players. Chris Cooper and Tim Dickinson made up the team with captain Nick Smith, who confidently asserted that bridge combines individual skills and teamwork . Can’t argue with that, but would it make a difference in an ongoing Only Connect situation ?

Round One – What’s the Connection ?

The Writers kicked off tonight. You can believe this or not, but I had an inkling that the connection was Brutus when the first clue Mythological first king of Britain came up. I’d never have had the guts to go for it until the second clue – Jean’s On came up. The team rightly said this was a one hit wonder for David Dundas, but it was the company being advertised, not the singer required. Popeye’s nemesis and Assassin of Julius Caesar completed it. 1 point, but its better to be cautious and get a point, than to be headstrong and get none. The Players began with twisted flax, and were given Miss Scarlet – not sure – then Blue Ball in Croquet – had a clue at this point – then Women and Children first , at which point I was certain, and so were the Players that these were all things that go first. 2 points thank you very much. The Writers liked the look of eye of Horus, and let Philip II of Spain and Simon Bolivar come up, and then had a rush of blood to the head, guessing that they were all kings of countries where they were not born. Incorrect , I’m afraid, which gave the Players Christopher Columbus and Juan de Bermudez. They were close, but didn’t quite get that they all had countries named after them. No bonus. Still, it was their own go next, and they opted for two reeds. The dreaded music connection. They guessed all were connected with Australia – again not a million miles away from the connection, but not close enough. The Writers knew that the last piece of music was Brazil, and correctly gave the answer they were all countries. Hmm – bit of a theme going on in this round ? Pure coincidence, I’m sure. The Writers took the Lion, and received pictures of a Pfennig, and Norman Bates in the film Psycho. I think they had the connection now, but took another ppicture pto pbe psure. A pterodactyl confirmed that these were all words beginning with a silent p – as in bath . I’m here all week, ladies and gents. The Players were left with water, and revealed monocaine – Helmet of Perseus – Siefried’s Cloak – and James Bond’s Aston Martin in Die Another Day. Yes, they all turn invisible, or turn the user invisible, which they knew, for a point. By the end of the round the Writers led by 4 to the Players’ 3

Round Two – What comes Fourth ?

Twisted flax had been kind to the Players in round one, so the Writers chanced their collective arm with it to start the second round. Chowsingha , then Triceratops, then bull convinced them we were looking at a 4 horned beast , a three horned beast, and a two horned one, so the last picture would be a unicorn, or any one horned beast. Irrefutable logic, which earned a point. The players took the Lion, and were given EHF and SHF to start. They were sensible to wait for the next one. Obviously the 4th would be VHF or UHF , but which ? Well, UHF came next, which meant they secured 1 point with the other. The Writers got a lovely set next, seemingly easy, yet a real potential pitfall. April – June and September appeared. They offered January, worked out by a mathematical formula of increasing gaps, but no. The Players had seen that we had three of the months from – 30 days hath September . So the last in the year would be November. 1 bonus. The Players took the horned viper, and were given 20 H in a T , 8 S in a H, and 14 P in a S. It was only at this point that I cottoned on, and so did the players, realising that 16 ounces in a pound would give you 16 o in a p. 1 point earned for patience there. The Writers, who’d been struggling to make an impact in this round, took two reeds , and were given pictures of a baby and a letter M, a christening and a letter T, a wedding and a letter W. They knew it was to do with Solomon Grundy, but not what came next. The Players did though, and snapped up another bonus. Which left them to mop up the last set under the eye of Horus. 4th Indonesia I think gave them a clue. 3rd USA strengthened it, and 2nd India confirmed it. This was countries with the largest populations, and 1st would be China. Another point, and by the end of the round now the Players led by 11 points to 6. Good round.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

With the wind in their sails the Players tackled the wall carefully. Quickly unravelled were a line of Dark – Fine – Beaux and Martial , all of which can be suffixed with the word Arts. Later on they untangled Jester – Morris Dancer – Sleigh and Swiss Cow, all of which have bells on. Pull the other one. Sorry. At the death they untangled the last two sets. Cutaway - Noddy – Wide and Talking Head gave them all names for camera shots or angles. However they failed to see the connection between Edmonds – Bickle – Housego and Fry. This was my d’oh moment of the show. I knew that Travis Bickle was from Taxi Driver , that Fred Housego was a taxi driver when he won Mastermind, and that Stephen Fry drives a taxi. Did I see the connection ? Did I heck . Still, 7 points was a good return for the Players, and meant that even if the Writers got a maximum, they would still lead into the vowels.

The Writers got the water wall. Very early on they saw a set of battles, but never unravelled the right combination of them before the end of the round. They did untangle Wall – 42nd – Lafayette and Canal as streets in New York City. Good shout. Time ran out before the other lines were solved. When the wall was resolved they saw that Ernst – Hastings – Clifford and Miller are or were all Max. The battles they had seen but not solved were Sedan – Gettysburg – Balaclava – Waterloo. However Dogs – Country – Wire and Top of the Class escaped them. You can go to each of them. Yes, easy when its explained to you. This left the Writers with a mountain to climb, as they trailed by 10 points to the Players’ 18.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

The game wasn’t over, since the gap could be bridged, but it would take a huge effort on the buzzer. The first category was Invertebrates. Both teams buzzed incorrectly once, but this was a lot more damaging to the Writers than the Players, who at least also got two correct answers. Things that can be capped followed, and the Players were happy to take three of these. Fiction set in Australia didn’t seem to please either team, and only the Writers managed a point. To no avail, since Victoria only had time to announce the next set – Weather Phenomena – as the round ended. The final score was a comfortable win to the Bridge Players by 23 to 11. Hard lines to the Writers, but beaten by a good team, I think its fair to say. Good show – especially welcome since University Challenge was cancelled yesterday due to some golf tournament in Newport.


Ben Dutton said...

Being writers, I thought they'd come into their own in the final round... but there were some real toughies in there. A shame for the writers, as I really like Paul Cornell's work, and was cheering their team on (being a writer myself). They were beaten by a good team: I'm really looking forward to the next stage matches. The talent is good this year.

Londinius said...

Hi Ben

Its a truism that when things don't run for you they don't, but that's the way it was for the Fantasy Writers. As you say, the Bridge Players were a good team. Obviously I'm biased being a third of the Radio Addicts, but I do also think that the quality of teams has been high this series, and its nice to see that coming across in the show itself.