Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Only Connect - Round One - Match 1

The Social Networkers v. The Vegetarians

Once again our Mondays have developed into a very cornucopia of quizzing. At lunchtime we have the RBQ – and when this is over we’ll have Brain of Britain again, and then in the evening the now traditional powerhouse hour of UC followed by OC. Our cup runneth over.

Right then, tonight’s teams, given the honour of kicking off series five to find out who will succeed the brilliant Epicureans, were the Social Networkers – Roger Pratley, Sean Carey and Beth Webster the skipper – and the Vegetarians – John Larkin, Cathryn Lloyd and Dave Lloyd. My sources inform me that the Social Networkers particularly have quiz pedigree, but as we’ve seen more than once, this doesn’t necessarily count for everything in OC.

Round One – What’s the Connection ?

The Social Networkers – hereafter referred to as the Socials – kicked off with twisted Flax. This brought up the pictures. I didn’t recognize the symbol of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation , or ABC, nor did I recognize Mr. Mos Def. Crackerjack’s Stu Francis I knew, and also KLM, so about the same time that Sean worked out that we were dealing with consecutive letters, so did I. Good set, and a good shout to work it out. The Vegetarians – hereafter referred to as the Vegetarians – took Eye of Horus, for the music starter. Well, I couldn’t hardly hear the first piece, but they obviously did, and the second, which gave them fairground rides off 2 clues. A brilliant , confident shout, which proved that the Vegetarians certainly weren’t just there to make up the numbers. The Socials took Horned viper to reveal Barghest of Yorkshire, which I am honest enough to admit meant nothing to me. I am ashamed to admit that I do know that the Mail on Sunday’s Political Column is called black dog, which was confirmed as the connection when Winston Churchill’s depression followed. Beth said the answer then and there, but they took the last clue – Gnasher to be sure. Better safe than sorry. Again, the Vegetarians didn’t need all the clues for their next set. Behind Two reeds were Debits – Ant McPartlin – and a bride in a Christian wedding. This was enough to give them that these were all things which go on the left – a good shout again. The Socials took Lion for their next set, and were given Prost to start. Immediately they had two possibilities – the formula One driver, and words for cheers. Kia Ora seemed to confirm the latter, but they took skal on the next to be sure. Again, playing safe is no bad strategy to adopt at all. Finally the vegetarians struggled with their last set. Virtues including Prudence and Justice, the numbers 1 to 4, Cormac Murphy O’Connor and North , East South and West stumped them completely. The Socials knew we were dealing with cardinals. At the end of the round the scores were square at 5 points apiece.

Round Two – What comes fourth ?

Often this proves to be the hardest round of the four. Certainly it seemed that way, when the Socials uncovered Delirious – Incredible and Superficial behind the eye of Horus. They knew, as did the Vegetarians – even I knew it at home – that we were dealing with Ottawan’s timeless classic D.I.S.C.O. But what was she on C ? Not cutie, and not cool. It was complicated. I’m sorry to say I didn’t get it either. The vegetarians knew that Keating and Howard were successive Australian PMs – as was Rudd. Yet they couldn’t quite remember the next. They had a brave stab at it with Gilligan, but it fell to Beth to give the correct answer of Gillard. Poor Victoria was tickled by Gilligan, then had to apologise profusely for laughing. You don’t get that from Jeremy Paxman. We saw more than a touch of class from the Socials with the next set. Given 12th November 2010 they did not leap straight in and offer 9th August 2007, which I might have been tempted to do. The second date being 9th August 2007 a little clever calculation gave them the correct answer of 3rd Feb 2001. Good play, and a vindication of the safety first approach. That was the high water mark of the round really, as neither team managed any of the three remaining sets. The vegetarians uncovered Gathering – White Tiger – Wolf Hall. It was a set where they all knew the connection, I think, Booker Prize winning novels, but nobody knew the next winner – the Finkler Question. Given Sub – Trans – Super the Socials had the connection – progression of speeds combined with the word – sonic – but neither team knew that it was hyper, rather than ultra or supra which followed. Finally a terrific picture set. Old Trafford – New South Wales, and a still from the Borrowers gave something Old, Something New – well , you get it , I’m sure. Super set that. So this , then was a round in which the Socials edged ahead, and they now led by 9 points to 5.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Vegetarians chose the Lion wall. They identified a set of flies – Fire – May – Horse and Butter very quickly, but it was a while before they isolated the second – characters in Shrek – with dragon – Fiona – puss in boots and Harold. They knew that there was a set of jackets in there, but couldn’t find them all before the time ran out. The jackets were smoking – Norfolk – donkey and bomber. Left with flower – wind – bamboo – season they knew that these are mah jongg tiles. So this brought them 6 points and raised their score to 11.
The water wall yielded two of its lines to the Socials very quickly. They pulled out Sutton – Enfield – Merton – Brent very quickly, being boroughs of London. Then Beth impressed me with the next. I knew that Leech – Fluke and Tick were all parasites, but I don’t think I’ve heard of a chigger. Beth had. It took them a while, but they then untangled Random – Space – Lambeth and Nature, as a set of walks, but couldn’t say that Bow – Drogue – Plough and Hook were all anchors. I didn’t know that either. Still 7 points increased their lead, and took their score to 16.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

We all know by now what a difference the missing vowels round can make. So everything was still very much to play for. This was a high quality round too, with no incorrect answers, and no words unidentified by either team. The first set of Alkaline substances was shared, 2 points apiece, as was the second, things on which you can sleep and also the third, all words or terms that mean quickly. The Vegetarians took three of the styles of type, as opposed to types of style, which narrowed the gap to three points. However the Socials, maintaining admirable sang froid, took three of the wine producing areas, and that, as they say was that. In the end a good win for the Social Networkers, by 26 points to 22.

Good show. Two very good teams, and questions as great as ever. Well played !

No comments: