Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Only Connect - Round One - Match 6

The Listeners v. The Steel City Singers

If you’re a regular viewer of University Challenge – and if not, then why not ? – you may well have recognised the Steel City Singers. They were none other than Tom Thirkell, our own Hugh Bennett, and Andy Bolton, who represented Sheffield University so well in last year’s tournament. No Tristram Cole, unfortunately, being as OC is for teams of three. I noticed that whereas Tom had been captain on UC, it was Andy who took the helm here. The lads’ opposition was The Listeners , a formidable team in he shape of Andrew Lyman, Jane Teather and Dave Tilley. I have it in my head that Andrew is a Mastermind semi-finalist, and it may well have been in Shaun’s series in 2004. Dave is a good quizzer, and a Masterminder as well, from Geoff’s series in 2006. Although I don’t know Jane I have no reasons to cast any doubts over her ability. So the Singers certainly looked to have their work cut out for them.

Round One – What’s the Connection ?

The Listeners kicked off with the twisted flax. They found Ken Kesey – Juliet Capulet – John Stonehouse , at which they went for people who faked their own suicide. After a bit of manoeuvring Victoria accepted this, with the answer required being that they faked their own deaths. Close enough, and a good start. The Singers took Lion, and they found – right – well, fact is I didn’t get it all down. First clue was a Spanish title, anyway – then Paso doble – then Act 4 of Carmen ( I had it here ) – Death in the Afternoon. The Singers punted with Seville, but the Listeners supplied the correct answer with bullfighting. Eye of Horus brought up the music connection for the Listeners. They heard Mint Juleps, Orange Juice and Hot Chocolate and knew full well that we were dealing with drinks. Water brought the Singers the pictures, and they found a type of deer or antelope, a cuckoo, and they went for a long shot at goal with words that have repeated elements. I see what they meant – the first was a dik dik. But no, sadly. The Listeners were then shown Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and some crackling, and they couldn’t get it. A little surprised about that, since with all four you could see that they all took their names from the noise they make. Mind you, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was the first film I saw at the Odeon in Northfields Avenue, so I would remember it very clearly, I suppose. Anyway, the Listeners continued their points building with the set behind two reeds. Playing Kubbadi – Aiming a gun accurately – Trying to cure hiccups. Quite rightly they said they were all things you should hold your breath to do properly. So , left with Viper, my boys had yet to show us their full mettle. Pavement – Ousegate were enough to put the correct idea into their minds, but bearing in mind their previous set they correctly made sure by taking the next – the Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate. That confirmed that these were all streets in York. So the score was now 7 to the Listeners, and 2 to the singers.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?

I wasn’t panicking yet, since I knew that my boys had the nerve to be able to come back. An opportunity was presented in the Listeners’ first set behind Horned Viper. The Fourth – The Fifth – The Minor Fall – the Listeners had a go, but it took the Singers to explain that the next would be the Major Lift. The sequence coming from Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Rather appropriate really, since this round would see something of a resurrection of the Singers’ chances. Behind Water the Singers found 4th – Statue of Zeus – 3rd – Temple of Artemis – and worked out that we must be talking about the 7 wonders of the Ancient World. If we were also talking about them in order of age, then the answer would have to be 1st – The Pyramids. We were, and it was. Looking to take their first points in the round, the Listeners opted for Twisted Flax, and found Forelock – Poll and Crest. Both teams knew what we were talking about , but neither team quite managed to work their way round to the withers. Behind Lion the singers found a bit of a stinker. Pro – Meta – Ana are all phases of cell division. I think that the answer was telo , but since neither team got it we can move on to two reeds. This was much more to my liking. Frazier – Norton - and by this time I was shouting LARRY HOLMES !!!!!!!! at the screen – then Spinks. Both teams offered heavyweight boxers, but not the right ones. These were the first three men to defeat Ali. Holmes was the 4th, and the late Trevor Berbick the last. A small crumb of comfort fell to the Listeners. Eye of Horus brought the Singers a set they understood – with pictures of a mini – a shuffle of a deck of cards – a Bulgarian chappie whose name was Nano. Yes, ipods was right, but it was the Listeners who supplied us with touch for a bonus. So at the end of the round the Listeners still led with 8, but the Singers were hot on their heels with 6.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

Good performances from both teams followed in this round. The Singers opted for water, and untangled all four of their sets. Bath – Beard – Harem and Shrewd they knew were all words which had been created by adding a letter to the name of a mammal. Harrow – Roller – Plough and Tiller were all farm implements used in cultivating fields. Ice – Field – Street and Air they knew as forms of hockey. This only left Wells - Chard – Wellington and Frome , and as they knew , these are all Somerset towns and cities. A well earned 10 points, and a classy showing.

No better than the Listeners themselves, though. They first untangled Rock – Hoe – Gin and Brethren , as all being linked to Plymouth. Jane said that they were lucky they got Plymouth first. Maybe, but you still had to get it, Jane, and that’s good play. Canasta – Nixon – Zenon and Blaine gave them magicians. Well done to Dave for remembering Chan Canasta – that one could have messed the whole board up for you. Spade – Brush – Tongs and Poker all belong to a fireside companion set. Finally Hearts – Euchre – Skat and Bridge are all card games with tricks. Incidentally I think my university friend KD Johnson learned the meaning of futility when he tried to teach me the rules of skat , however I digress. With a well earned maximum as well, there was hardly anything in it going into the last round, with the Listener’s leading by 18 to 16.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

We kicked off with party games. The Listeners managed three of them, but dropped a point when mistaking London Bridge for London’s Burning. Its easily done. Still, this was the only one that the Singers managed. Non human literary characters proved tricky. The Listeners managed a couple, but Great Uncle Bulgaria and Moominmamma ( try saying that pair of names when you’ve had a couple ) were just too quick and escaped without injury. Historical time periods saw the Listeners take two, but drop one , identifying the mauve decade as the movie decade. I’ve never heard of either. Finally horticultural spaces gave the Singers a chance for just one last hurrah, and then it was over. The result ? A win for the Listeners by 23 to 19. A good match, and as Victoria rightly pointed out, a good score by both teams. Well done the Listeners – I’ll look forward to seeing you in the next round. But well done Tom, Andy, and of course Hugh. You played well , and have nothing to be ashamed of. LAM salutes you !


HughTube said...

Thanks for a kind review Dave. I had been dreading this being shown but it wasn't quite as embarrassing as I'd remembered. I was particularly irritated not to get the bullfighting question as I have actually read 'Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejias' because I'm a big fan of Lorca but I didn't remember it in time, we should have got it from 'Death in the Afternoon' though. We have no excuses for not getting the cell division one however, and the ipods. Irritatingly Tom had said bullfighting and I had been suggesting touch but Andy didn't hear (that's not accusative if you're reading Andy).

I feel we were a little unlucky onomatopoeia question as the first three clues also seem to suggest something else. It did cross my mind but I didn't know that was the origin of the name Dik-dik.

The last round was a disappointment, I know everyone watching at home would have been much quicker than us. We were normally very good at this round and I was just going to press the button and rely on the fact we normally get it but I wasn't confident enough with those categories. We comfortably won that round in the warm up so hoped to do well again so it was a bit deflating to see them just move away from us.

Anyway the whole experience was very enjoyable and it's good to have appeared on the two best quiz shows for teams. Well done to the Listeners and I wish you the best.

Anonymous said...

I too was shouting out the answer for the Ali question - and Berbick. IIRC he lost his title to Tyson where Tyson was fined for wearing black shorts.
I would have gone for the Quinn on the holding your breathe - it's just the type of fact OC set questions on - another one of those frustrating 'if only's. You can bet that if we had got on, a question like that would not come up!
I hope Andy L gets the chance to tell his getting caught in the rain story - made me laugh when I first read it.
Another strong team - next round should be very good.

joe said...

Bath – Beard – Harem and Shrew they knew were all words which had been created by adding a letter to the name of a mammal.

How does 'shrew' work?

joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joe said...

I was puzzled on that companion set question. The implement is surely a shovel, not a spade? I've never heard it referred to as the latter.

Londinius said...

Hi Everyone
Alright Joe , its a fair cop. You should expect typos from me by now - its not deliberate. I've corrected it now.

Hugh - kind ? No. I call it as I see it. Well done - and you're right - appearing on both of the best team quiz shows IS quite something.

Chris - I'm not sure , since I thought Berbick also had black shorts on when they fought. Tyson had black socks on I think too.

Joe, sorry , I can't say that I know the answer to the spade / shovel conundrum.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Tyson always chose to wear black at that time. However, Berbick, as champion had the right to choose to wear black and force the challenger to change. Tyson refused to change, wore black and was fined for doing so.

It was one of the most destructive pieces of boxing I've ever seen though!


davidbod said...

@joe: The word was 'shrewd' from which you remove the D.

The fire iron to shovel coal can be called either a shovel or a spade - I guess depending on whether it's a square or triangular end.

joe said...


Whoever swept ashes into a triangle? I tell you, on planet Earth companion sets have shovels not spades! I blame young UC question setters who have never handled one.

Londinius said...

Joe, I play my pedant card here. The question was on OC, not UC !

I have to say that in my opinion and experience OC goes even further than UC in checking the accuracy of the questions and answers given.

That's not meant to be a slur on UC.Considering the volume of questions used in a series of UC its a miracle that mistakes are so very rare on UC that when there is one it tends to stick out like a sore thumb. But , to give you an example, remember in the last series there was a wrong'un about - I think - Edward IV - given ? It can happen. Have you ever seen anything like that on OC ? No. I rest my case, m'lud.

Right, I'm putting the card on the bottom of the deck now.