Only Connect - Semi Final 1 – The Epicureans v. The Wrights
I must apologise. I haven’t previewed the semis at all, and its not just because my team, the Radio Addicts, are playing in the second. In all honesty I’ve been pushed for blogging time this week, and just not managed to find the time to do it. Sorry everyone.
Still, lets get on with this intriguing semi. Yes, of course I knew who won and who lost before I saw it, but I didn’t know the ins and outs of it. And there was much to enjoy in this show as well.
Round One – What’s the Connection?
The Eps won the toss, but decided to give first bite of the cherry to the Wrights. The family team of Dad Pete, daughter Rosa and Mum Liz, the skipper, had already accounted for the Urban Walkers, and the Bloggers in the first and second round. They kicked off with Water. Dubrovnik – Kaliningrad – Cabinda and Alaska followed. This was a pretty straightforward set in OC terms, but the Wrights just didn’t know it. The Epicureans though did know that they are all Exclaves. I’ll be honest; it was Kaliningrad which made me think along those lines. I didn’t know Cabinda, but Alaska confirmed it.
The Epicureans – David Brewis, LAM reader Aaron Bell and Captain Katie Bramall-Stainer – knocked out the excellent Courtiers in the first round, and the distinctly useful Bridge Players in the second round. On paper their scores had been higher than the Wrights in both rounds so far. They had more difficulty with their first pick, Eye of Horus. Larousse’s Dictionary – Madame Bovary – Justine and Casanova’s Memoirs lacked any other link so it seemed other than the obvious, they were all books. Neither Eps nor Wrights knew that they were all banned by the Catholic Church at one time or another.
The Wrights had a punt at Horned Viper. Zeus – Tutankhamen – Cronus – Cain and Seth lured behind. I just about got this one, but its nasty really. In more ways than one, come to think of it. Neither knew that they all married their sisters. Eps looked behind the flax, and got a terrific connection with Aguila o sol – cara o cruz – kopf oder zahl and pile ou face . The last gave it to me, but I should have had it from kopf – german for head. The Eps knew that these were all foreign equivalents to heads or tails. Good shout that. Behind Lion the Wrights found some pictures. Works by Donatello – Raphael – Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo – oh dear. They didn’t know , but the Eps did that these were our old friends the Ninja/Hero turtles. Eps could only have the music left, and indeed they did. –That’s Princess Leia’s Theme ! – I shouted at the first. This was followed by Dr. Zhivago. Huh ? D’Oh – of course it’s called Lara’s theme. Yes, I remember it now. The Eps had it from the third – Lola’s theme. So at the end they had a commanding lead of 5 – 0.
Round Two – What Comes Third ?
Wrights took the viper by the horns and began with Angelotti – Scarpia – Cavaradossi. Neither team knew these were deaths in Tosca. You either like your opera or you don’t. The Eps took on Water. 89 was followed by 55, and Aaron knew it . This was a fibonacci sequence, and so it stood to reason that the answer working backwards would be 21. Quite right, and a damn good shout. The Wrights took Horus, and received 1950:soap – 1952 : tea – 1953 : cream eggs , sweets and sugar . They were close with meat, but the Eps knew that this was 1954 – everything – for this was when things ceased to be rationed. Eps took two reeds, and got 1 stone=Tom Snout – 2 stones=Simpkins Owner , 3 – stones = Richard Sharpe. Only on Only do you get a set like this ! Snout is a tinker – Simpkins Owner a tailor – Sharpe a soldier – so the last would be 4 stones and a sailor ! It’s to do with counting cherry stones ! Neither team got it, and neither did I. Great set, though. Wrights took Lion , finding– Marathi – Telegu – Bengali, and knowing these were languages of the sub continent, plumped for Hindi as being most widely spoken. Yes ! They were off the mark. The Eps finished with Flax – and a great set with 2401 kittens – 343 cats – 49 sacks. It was a great shout to work out that this was the old – As I was going to St. Ives riddle ! So at the end of the round the lead had stretched further, and the Eps were well ahead with 11 to 2.
Round Three – The Connecting Wall.
Who would have thought that the Eps would have had such difficulties with their wall tonight ? They found Gardens – Oval – Gore and (Olympia) which can all be preceded by Kensington, then Pear – Emerald – Brilliant and Baguette which are all cuts of gemstones. The others escaped them . They couldn’t untangle a set of Swan Lake characters from a set of Defensive Lines. When the grid was resolved they confused Swan Lake with Wagner, and didn’t say the word Defensive for the Lines. 4 points scored.
The Wrights didn’t know at this point that the Eps had given them an opportunity to get back in the game. They untangled a set of Raws – Deal – Meat – Data and Sewage, then some course – Induction – Sandwich – Foundation and Refresher. They resolved the wall just in time, but didn’t see Watson – Bunter – Lewis and Burden as detective sidekicks. They did know that Hastings – Dover – New Romney and Hythe are all cinque ports. The Eps still had a useful lead, but somehow from the Wrights’ position 15 – 9 must have sounded a hell of a lot more healthy.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
Both teams had used a lot of time on the walls, so there wouldn’t be that long a last round, it seemed. The Eps had shown themselves to be superb at this game, yet the Wrights themselves were no slouches in their first two matches either. The first set were all Buildings destroyed in the Blitz. The Eps, replying in triplicate more than once, took this 3 – 1. Pairs of homophones followed, falling to the Wrights 3 – 1. Astronomers saw a pair of mistake by the Eps. The remainder fell one apiece. Songs that refer to Marilyn Monroe went 2 – 1 to the Eps, and that was that. In the end the score was 15 to the Wrights, 20 to the Epicureans.
Great match. Well done to the Epicureans. They had always looked a very good bet for the final since their record breaking first round match. But many congratulations to the Wrights. This team have really been this season’s surprise package, and their knowledge, resilience and good humour have made a real impression, I think.
As for next week – well I’m afraid it’s us Radio Addicts again, versus the brilliant Alesmen. Don’t miss it !