Tuesday, 19 October 2010

TV Watch - Only Connect

Only Connect – Round One – Match 7 – Mountain Men v. The In-Laws

Another week, another two teams chasing the dream of winning a difficult quiz for no reward as Victoria put it– ah yes, and what a sweet dream it may seem to be. The Mountain Men – that’s a 7 on the exoticname-o-meter – Andy Cobley, Paul Vickers and Dave Dunford – all spend their weekends conquering Britain’s mountains. Not for me, but I’m sure there are worse things to do with your spare time. Their oppositions were the In-Laws – only a 5 for the name. Jon Heal, Penny Heal, and Captain Jason Stevens are , as the name suggests, husband, wife and brother in law.

Round One – What’s the Connection ?

Eye of Horus was first out of the blocks tonight as the In Laws were given E = And, K=What , L=He and used the novel approach of deciding the last clue wouldn’t give it to them, so guessing shortcuts in British Sign Language. Incorrect. The last clue revealed for the Mountain men was C=Yes. Neither got it, but when Victoria read them out in a Spanish accent it became clear. Letters pronounced the same way as common Spanish words. Nasty – but clever. The Mountains took water and began with Oscar the Grouch’s trash Can – possible answer overload there, I fancy – Mary Poppin’s carpet bag – a definite answer began to suggest itself to me . Captain Dave suggested at this point that the Tardis might be in the list somewhere. They didn’t gamble, and took the next, which was Snoopy’s kennel. Surely he was on the right lines here. Caution won, and they took the last, inevitably the Tardis. All are obviously bigger inside than they look from outside. Still its always better to secure the point than gamble incorrectly. The In-Laws took two reeds and the music question. I didn’t get the first, but the Proclaimers and the Jackson 5 suggested brothers. The first was actually the Bee Gees. A good 2 points scored. Back to the Mountains who plumped for Twisted Flax, and the pictures. A pork pie, and a camera dolly gave them a confident 3 point buzz, for the thing next to the pork pie was in fact a pork pie dolly ! Good shout. The IN Laws took horned viper, and revealed Turkey, then Trips, then Strike-Out and finally Hat-Trick. It looked hard, but the In Laws unravelled them as sporting terms for doing something three times in a row. Again, good shout. Finally the Mountains took lion, for The Oaks Stakes, The Sanctuary Spa, - by which time I guessed that these were just for females, the Oaks being for fillies only, the Sanctuary for ladies only - The Race for Life and the Orange Prize for fiction confirmed it. The Mountains had it right at the death. This gave them a lead of 5 to 3.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?

In- laws began with Lion. Intake offered possibilities for an early buzz. I was thinking 4 strokes of a 4 stroke engine, and I would have had exhaust. I probably wouldn’t have gambled. But the In-Laws did ! Fantastic 5 points earned. Two Reeds gave the Mountains the pictures. A fox was followed by a comet. They knew we were talking about Santa’s reindeer as a cupid followed. But who came next ? They plumped for Dancer, but it was incorrect, as was the In Law’s Rudolph. Donner it was. The In-Laws picked horned viper. A symbol for three sharps, one for 5 sharps, a blank – which funnily enough is a good description of my mental state with this one- saw the In –Laws offer 2 flats. Not right. The Mountains knew it was 2 sharps. They then picked water, which began with January 7th. February 8th followed, then March 5th. Nope, I had no idea either. Clever Andy Cobley spotted that it was names of consecutive months and the number of letters in their names. Brilliant answer – worth more than the one point it got. The In-Laws picked eye of Horus for Moderate – were we thinking Beaufort Scale here ? I mused. No , it seemed we weren’t since the next was substantial. The next was severe, which again looked like something weather-ish, but neither team got it. It was UK threat levels, the next being critical. Only Twisted flax remained, and so the Mountains were faced with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. No idea, so the next was Snowdonia. Andy liked National Parks but wasn’t sure which way we were going. Go on, they urged the skipper, gamble, and they did, with the first one, the Peak District. Fortune doesn’t always favour the brave, and it was not the desired answer. The In-Laws, given the Lake District, went with Dartmoor. No – it was a size question, which meant that the next was the Cairngorms, a fact which Victoria pointed out to the Mountain Men with some relish. The score at the end of the round was an exciting 8 points each.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Mountain Men selected the Lion wall. It looked as if they had several of the themes early, but were a while finding any groups. Their first set – Okay – Eighty – Teepee and Excess was a good set which are phonetic renditions of two letters each . Straightaway they solved a second set – mushroom – jellyfish – snake and algae, which all seemed possibly poisonous or venomous. It hardly took any longer to unravel the other two sets. Clematis – Wisteria – Grapes and Ivy all grown on vines, and Tomato , Mesquite, Kayak and Toboggan are all words of native American derivation. Great work, 10 points thoroughly deserved. So whatever happened they couldn’t be behind going into the last round.

The In-Laws were left with the Water Wall. Very quickly they took out Strudel, Knish, Bridie and Calzone. Ah – thought I – all holders of the European Light Heavyweight Boxing Title at one time or another. No. All were pastry turnovers.
The Disney villains Scar, Ursula, Stromboli and Hades were soon solved.A quick check to be sure, and then Ned, Harry , Nick and Scratch – who were not Disney characters as well, but names for the Devil were punched in, leaving Doll, Dame , Bird and Sheila, all slang terms for what a pompous bore of my acquaintance used to call ‘ladies of the female persuasion’. What good wall teams tonight !

Going into the last round it was 18 points apiece.

Round Four – Missing Vowels.

If what had come before was good, what followed was even better. Mountain men took a two point lead with the only two answers given on famous judges. In Laws evened things up, taking three phrases from lonely hearts ads, to one for the mountin men. Flag Carrying airlines fell 4 – 0 to the Mountain Men, who were entering the home straight now. A wonderful set of job credits from Only Connect saw the In-Laws come up to their shoulders, taking three but buzzing early for the other. The lost point could be crucial. Volcanoes fell to the In-Laws by 3 to 1. They were a point behind. Two historians followed. The first went to the In-Laws. . . and so did the second. Game over.

Oh, Mountain Men. So close. Still you played an equal part in a fabulous match, and showed yourselves to be a very fine team. Many congratulations to the In-Laws, a fine performance of great nerve. Brilliant show.


Andrew B. said...

Minds work differently - I'd have scored at least 3 points for either of "April 5" or ""E=And...", but probably still wouldn't have got "Exhaust" or "Dolly"!

Pity for the Mountain Men that they didn't go in on "Mary Poppins' carpet bag" for the two extra points... great finish, though.

Londinius said...

Hi Andrew

As you say, one man's meat is another man's poisson.

Always difficult knowing whether to gamble or not. Yes, it didn't work out for the Mountain Men, but then they had a couple of good shouts right at the death which might have slipped away too. Two good teams, I thought.


Ben Dutton said...

Again two very good teams on this show - the Only Connect production team sure know how to pick 'em!

I got Dolly for three points as well, but like Andrew B wouldn't have got the Exhaust one (but I don't drive and no nothing about cars!)

But I did get bigger on the inside from Groucho but wouldn't have gone for it until Snoopy confirmed it. Just goes to show how deviously clever this show can be and how it can cause you to doubt yourself - I was thinking, what if the connections green creatures - green creatures! - the thing this show does! Just love it.

Londinius said...

Hi Ben

It does go to show that there are no 'easy' matches on the show - not that I'm saying there ever were. I have to say thatnothing will probably ever equal the Mastermind 2007 experience for me, but for sheer fun you'd have to go a long way to beat appearing in Only Connect