Saturday, 10 December 2011

Only Connect - Grand Final

The Analysts v. The Antiquarians

Is it only a year since my friends the Epicureans were crowned champs of the 4th series ? They were the deserving winners of the grand final over my brothers in arms, Gary and Neil and me, collectively the Radio Addicts. Well, yes it is a year. More than a year actually , since our final was filmed in August. I hope that both the Analysts and the Antiquarians had as much fun this year as we did last. I’m sure they did. The Analysts were marked out as a team to watch from their very first match. William de’Ath, our own Paul Steeples, and captain David Lea are all very fine quizzers. They paid tribute to all the teams they’ve played on the way to the final, in particular their quarter final opponents, the Technologists, who took them all the way. Mind you, if this made the ‘Lysts a battle hardened team, you could apply the same term to their fellow finalists, the Antiquarians. They were not one of the teams I marked out as potential champions from their first round match, I can only apologise to Simon Belcher, Debbie Challis and Will Howells. They too were taken right to the wire in a close semi, when they beat the Listeners by a single point.

Round One – What’s the Connection ?

The Ants opened the eye of Horus. Capsule on the London Eye – Avenue in San Francisco and Seat Row on Lufthansa Planes were very much to their liking, and they correctly answered that there is no number 13 of any of these. In the introductory comments to Victoria, David of the Analysts expressed the hope that they could avoid the pictures. No dice. Two reeds gave them pictures of a tarot card ( Justice ) - a Union Flag – a Horseshoe – a raised thumb. Surprisingly the Lysts ran out of time, and the Ants gave the correct answer – they mean bad luck when turned upside down. Neither team could answer the Ants’ next behind Twisted Flax – June 4th – Reform Through Labour – Falun Gong – Tibet Independence Movement. I felt that both teams were on the right lines , but neither could say that these were search terms for the internet banned in China. No, of course I didn’t get it either. The Lysts moved smoothly into gear with Lion. Andrew Bonar Law, and Eamon de Valera were all they needed to see to identify political leaders who were born in a country other than the one they led. Which led to the Ants playing anything you can do – I can do as well. Given Dye becomes Fur – Rust becomes Tidy , it looked like skipper Will who saw the connection. The first word becomes the second if you move each letter one key to the right on a qwerty keyboard. Victoria was impressed, and so was I. The Lysts were left with the music set behind horned viper. They needed all 4 clues, but when they heard songs called Spellbound – Suspicion – Vertigo and Notorious they knew it was Hitchcock films. Full marks to the setters for coming up with that lot – a lovely set. So with the opening skirmishes over the Ants led the Lysts by 6 to 4.

Round Two – What Comes Third ?

Well, let’s remember that I was sitting at home, not in the studio. But I had a good round. I had this one on a full set, which just eluded both teams. Einer jux will sich machen – The Merchant of Yonkers – The Matchmaker. It was the last one that told me that these were all versions of the same story, and the next was the musical Hello Dolly. As did the Lysts , I got Clough after pictures of a stein, and a busby. Victoria was actually absolutely right to say that they would have accepted something paisley as well, since Bob won 2 before Clough won his two. Bob Paisley then went on to win a third as well after Clough’s 2. Still, I digress. The Ants dropped points not seeing Main Sequence Star – Red Supergiant – Supernova would be followed by Neutron Star . Great answer from William – for a supernova can also become a black hole – his answer which was accepted for a bonus. The Lysts had a tricky set which neither team managed. It’s a real – oh , I see it - when you know it. DLS = 24 – DWS – 17 ( and that put me on the right lines ) TLS – 12. A couple of weeks ago we were asked in the Dyffryn Arms how many Double Word Score squares there are on a scrabble board – the answer being 17 , and so DWS = 17 gave it to me. So the right answer was TWS ( Triple word score ) = 8. The Ants took the next set , but frankly had a chance of a five pointer. Feudalism appeared, and I said words to the effect of Marx – stages of history – Communism . The Ants said the same thing, I think, but took the clues to be sure. Well, the final is a place for cool heads, so you can’t blame them. Finally a good shout from the Lysts on the pictures – and a good shout from me, thanks to the identify the world flag games on Sporcle. Shown flags of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica they knew that the flag of Panama would follow. So a good round for me – but much more importantly a good round for the Analysts, who now led the grand final by 10 to 8.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

It’s all a matter of personal taste, I know, but personally I felt that the Analysts’ Lion wall tasted a tiny bit harder than the Ants’ Water wall. That’s the luck of the draw. Pius VI – King Farouk – Idi Amin and James II gave them a set of people who all died in exile. Good shout. Napoleon – Sequin – Double Eagle and Aureus – gold coins. So far so good. Zodiac – Buster – Blow and Serpico were movies based on true crime. Full house so far. Finally Melody – Precious – Moses and Omar. Nope. I didn’t get it either. They are all characters in Matt Lucas’ and David Walliams’ rather disappointing Come Fly With Me. 7 looked like a pretty good score on that wall to me.

The Antiquarians solved their own water wall. Their relative youth counted against them with the first set – Super Fly – Foxy Brown – Car Wash – Shaft. Anyone of my age or older would probably have got it from the last two – they were all Blaxploitation movies. Foxing – Sunned – Marginalia and Dog ears they knew straightaway as terms for damage to books. Piloti – Pilaster – Stanchion and Caryatid they had to work their way around to get spot on , but they had the point for architectural supports. This left them with Slicker – Bookworm – Dr. B. Ching – Remote Controller. I only had it from Slicker and Bookwrom – and if I’d had the wall I would have put Piloti with them as well – for they are all columnists’ names in Private Eye. You either know it or . . . 6 was a good return, but just made the job a tiny bit more difficult in the last round.
With the scores at 17 to the Analysts, and 14 to the Antiquarians one good round from either team would see them take the trophy.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

Well, it’s not often we see a total shut out in a missing vowels. Let’s take absolutely nothing away from the Antiquarians. You have played brilliantly all series, and have nothing to be ashamed of. But this round belonged to the Analysts. They took 3 points on oxymorons, 3 points on Strategies, and 2 on 15 letter words. The Ants just couldn’t buzz their way into the round. The final score was 25 to the Analysts, and 14 to the Antiquarians.

As I say, well played Antiquarians. You have had a fantastic series, and can proudly hold your heads up high after taking a very fine team all the way right up until the last round. As for the Analysts – many congratulations – William, David and Paul – Only Connect Champions ! A fine performance, and a well deserved championship. A special word for Paul as well, who has also been 3rd in Mastermind, and 2nd in Brain of Britain in recent years. Well deserved , gents. Well played.

A special word for the lovely Jenny Heap as well. Jenny looked after us extremely well during series 4, and I was delighted to see her take over the reins as producer this series. Many congratulations Jenny – you made a great series. Congratulations to David Bodycombe as well, and all the team who put the show together. Great job guys – roll on series 6 !


Paul Steeples said...

Dave - thanks for your kind words. We very much enjoyed our OC experience, meeting Victoria and the other teams and (especially) the ever-friendly and helpful production team. The only drawback was that we had to play our first three rounds on the same day and the final on the morning of the next, which left our brains feeling like mince. Mind you, it could have been worse - if we'd lost the semi, we would have played the third place play-off on the same day too.

William currently has custody of the trophy (aka The Precious), but I'll no doubt get a turn to gloat over it sooner or later. And I think we'll be called back to take on the winners of the next series sometime.

Thanks again - Paul

DanielFullard said...

I have only just started watching this....I had the total wrong idea what this show was all about till I actually watched it. Brilliant! A Special tonight isnt there?

And Ive caught up with a few episodes online....including a certain final with a familiar face

Londinius said...

Hi Paul

COngratulations again ! You have my admiration - and yes, my envy ! Very well done !

Hi Daniel

Ah - well all I can say is that we had a lot of fun, and if we had to lose ( and we did ! ) then you wouldn't find much better people to lose to than the Epicureans.


redarsedbaboon said...

Thanks Dave. As Paul says, we had great fun recording it. Thanks for your write-ups throughout the series.