Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Round Up 2 - Only Connect - Heat 1

The Joinees v. The Draughtsmen

Ah, the ever popular Monday evening double whammy of UC and OC swings back into action ! First in the lists for series six were the Joinees, and the Draughtsmen. The Joinees were Se├ín Gleeson, Rachel Burns and their captain, Dave James.They were united by having all met through Join Me. Right, do you know about Join Me ? If not – well get hold of a copy of Danny Wallace’s book of the same name. It’s a terrific read anyway, and it will clue you right in.

The Draughtsmen had a few familiar faces , to say the least. LAM regular Andy Tucker was runner up in last year’s Mastermind. Andy – threatening to kill Victoria on the very first show – that’s going too far, sir ! Steve Dodding is a very well known and highly rated and respected quizzer. AS for their skipper, Iwan Thomas, well, he won a little competition called Brain of Britain in 2011. You had to feel sorry for the Joinees, coming up against such a supercharged team in their very first match. Still, the Joinees are all nice guys because they are part of Join Me. They could cope.

Round One – What’s the Connection ?

The Draughtsmen kicked off with the Horned Viper, and the first set of the new series was a little cracker, too. The team were given three phrases, one after another – which were something like – Voce esta demitido ( I can’t be bothered with all of those fiddly accents – sorry ) – Estas Despedido – Sie Haben Frei – Now at first the guys were thinking along the Esperanto line, and I have to say I was barking up that tree myself until the third , which looked like German to me. Andy threw in that they were all ways of saying ‘You’re Welcone’, but wrongly. When the Joinees were given’ You’re Dismissed’ as well, they got it that they are all different ways of saying ‘You’re fired’ in different languages. As a nice touch they even brought Lord Sugar into their answer. You’re dismissed is the South African version. Nice. The Joinees found the pictures behind Lion. Lord Snowdon – Hugh Laurie and Dan Snow gave it to me, and I suspect most of the regular quizzers watching, that we were dealing with the Boat Race. I didn’t recognize the Winkelvoss Twins, but the others did it for me, and for the Draughtsmen as well, who took back that bonus.

Andy showed his class with the next clue. Given periods of meditation, and Trading at the New York Stock Exchange, he knew that both of them start and end with a bell. Behind the eye of Horus the Joinees found these – The Treachery of Images – French Fries – Saxophone and Tintin. I had an inkling at French fries, which was confirmed by Tintin. I think it worked like this for the Joinees as well, who had a point for the fact that all of them were created by Belgians.

Of the last pair, the Draughtsmen picked Two Reeds, and were given the music for their pains. We began with Blueberry Hill, then heard some raspberry blowing , and, just as I said the answer, they buzzed in on berries. Quite right too. This left the Joinees with water, and I had an inkling on the second clue, confirmed by the third clue this time. Their four clues were Family Planning, the Nazi Symbol for Political Prisoners, The Oldest British Trademark, and Youth Hostel. The four were enough to give the Joinees a point. So I was glad that the Joinees were not being blown away, although the Draughtsmen led by 7 to 3

Round Two – What Comes Fourth ?

Iwan kicked off with Horned Viper again. First we were given Sext ( oo, Matron ), and it sounded like Andy had the connecting principle – hours of the church. Next were revealed None, then Vespers. The team all plumped for Prime, wrongly as it turned out. The principle was absolutely correct, but as Victoria explained to both teams, after Vespers it is Compline. No points for anyone. The Joinees took Twisted Flax, and began with Comte – ‘allo',- I thought,- 'ranks of French nobility' , as you do. Marquis looked good, and I know the Joinees were thinking along the same lines. A rush of blood to the head saw them offer up Dauphin, which passed the set over to the Draughtsmen. As expected they were given Duc, but tried their arm with Roi – king. Actually the Joinees were probably closer with Dauphin, but that was specifically the Crown Prince, the eldest son of the King. Simple Prince would do.

The Draughtsmen picked water and began with 4: Adenine, and immediately they knew this was a chemistry thingy, then 3:Niacin ‘B1 – Thiamine ‘ I shouted, and when Iwan buzzed in and said the same thing, I went on a lap of honour around the living room, my guess that these were B vitamins paying off. Come on – a science connection ? Me ? Off two clues ? I am making the most of it, because it’s an only child. The Joinees took Eye of Horus, and got one of those ‘could be anything’ clues with 2000. Mind you, the second clue XP did give the game away. Except , which would it be ? Vista – Explorer ? – Seven ? I plumped for Seven, and guessed rightly. It wasn’t a guess on the Joinees’ part, and they took it off just the two clues. Good game.

The Draightsmen made their last choice of the round with Lion. Bad came up first. Feeling a little headstrong I shouted ‘Michael Jackson Albums', and threw in ‘HIStory’. Well, I wouldn’t have chanced my arm in the studio, but it was worth a guess. Dangerous told me I was on the right lines. Unfortunately the Draughtsmen must have heard me, and they too plumped for HIStory. Which was actually the third in the sequence. Given a chance for a bonus the Joinees couldn’t remember Invincible. Still, they still had a shot at the pictures behind Two Reeds. A single bed, a copper saucepan, and Jonathan Edwards in the Triple Jump were revealed, leading the Joinees, and me , to suspect we were looking at single, double, triple. We were all right to do so, and the last picture represented quadruple time. A timely answer, which meant that the scores at the end of the round the Draughtsmen had a much more slender lead, with 10 points to the Joinees 8.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Joinees picked the Lion Wall . Immediately they saw a set of Ben Elton Novels . Trouble was there were too many of them, and they couldn’t get the right four. Rachel though noticed a set of four chicken dishes, Tatsuta, Maryland, Coronation and Popcorn, also eliminating a Ben Elton title. I was shouting that Parker – Stark – Kent and Banner – superhero alter-egos would eliminate Stark for them as well. They didn’t notice it then, but managed to separate Chart Throb, Meltdown, High Society and Gridlock for the Ben Eltons. They got it then, which left Floating, Keyword, Pop up and interstitial – all forms of online advertising. A very good full house on the wall.

The Draughtsmen were given water. Incidentally, when we played the Alesmen in our semi in series 4, Gary gave them the water wall on the principle that ale and water shouldn’t mix. Would it upset the Draughtsmen ? Probably not, so it seemed. They’d hardly started and they’d already separated a set of Old Testament books – Esther, Job, Micah and Judges. They were looking for a set of Pan's People from early doors ( many of us gentlemen of a certain age have done that in our time too ) Flick, Dee Dee, Ruth and Babs were the particular People in question. I could see a cluster of bombs as one of the two remaining sets – in fact cluster was one of the options. Soon they teamed it with cherry, atom and stink. They had already worked out that the remaining clues – temper, bearings, marbles and grip were all things a person could lose. So another full house. 18 played 20 – what a cracking game to begin the series.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

Either team could win this show, depending on how quickly they could buzz in. The first set were cleaning products. The Draughtsmen stumbled on scouring powder, lost a point , and handed it over. All square. Did this make the D’s dwell on the buzzer a bit ? Who knows, but the Joinees took the next three. Second category was Hans Christian Anderson Fables, and it went 2 apiece. The Joinees still led, and time was coming close. The third category was Crustaceans ( Kings Crustacean and Charing Crustacean were not asked for ) Andy took a velvet crab, but oh, the team took too long on woodlouse and handed the whip hand back to the Joinees. They took the next two, and it looked all up for the Draughtsmen. They were six points behind as we went into colours. So what did they do ? A complete shut out. We went into a fifth category, with only 2 points between the teams, and possibly only seconds to go. Ironically the next set was Biblical Miracles. The Joinees failed on Parting of the Red Sea, which the Draughtsmen had. I made it all square. I bet the next correct answer is the end – I thought. Neither knew Gideon’s Fleece, but the Draughtsmen buzzed for it and lost a point. Andy took Raising of Tabitha – and that was that. A tie ! Tie breakers , then, are captain’s only . 1 clue , no connection. It took a while, but it was Iwan who was in first with The Hand Is Quicker Than The Eye. Oh, Joinees ! My heart goes out to you. You played so well, and not only that, you did it against such a good team. Many , many congratulations. Many congratulations as well to the Draughtsmen, and their nerves of steel.

What a fantastic show ! Keep it up !


Jack said...

When I saw Messrs Thomas and Tucker there, I was expecting them and Mr Dodding to completely trounce the opposition. But, no, the Joinees gave them a great fight, and it's a shame we won't be seeing them again. One wonders whether it's time OC introduced a repechage round, like UC does.

Incidentally, I watched this with my Dad, and he wasn't impressed with how Victoria Coren allowed the teams to alter their answers a bit, and not just accept their first answer. He also remarked about her 'headmistress' like way of dealing with the teams. I say she does a good job of it.

Londinius said...

Hi Jack,

Victoria has her earpiece which tells her whether she can accept an answer or not. I believe the nature of the show is that unlike many shows you can essentially the right answer without it necessarily being word for word what is on the card. It's just my opinion, but I think that the leeway occasionally given is just one of many things that endears the show to true quizzers. I think she's pretty much perfect, and can't imagine anyone doing a better job on the show. She's certainly like no headmistress I ever had, and although you only really meet her inside the studio she has genuine warmth towards the teams , and you get the idea that she'd really like all the teams to do very well.

I couldn't agree more about the Joinees. What a fantastic game they played.

Unknown said...

Tough draw for the Joinees - they look like semi-final material at least. The Draughtsmen look like they could go all the way. Danny Wallace's book is a good read; coincdently I'm currently reading his "Yes Man"

I don't understand why OC (and UC) use tie-breaks. Why not, if the scores are tied when time is up, just carry on until one team is ahead THEN blow for time? Saves all that messing around (or perhaps they like the tension of a penalty shoot-out?).

Three of my questions tonight (that will be the average for the series): Belgians, red triangles and canonical hours. I have no idea which ones they are using, or when, so it's a nice surprise in each episode.

davidbod said...

@Jon, the final round is back-timed (based on the estimated duration of the programme up to the end of Round 3). So everyone involved is told the length of the final round and a timed countdown plays through the talkback. Everyone works to that cue. Without it, the sound, lighting, the show computer and Victoria would all have to improvise when the 'end' actually is.

Andrew B. said...

Since it's been so long since they've had a tie on OC, I did wonder if they'd quietly let the last round run on a bit if one happened... when I suggested this to a friend at work, he pointed out what a fuss there'd be if they did and the papers found out (which is no doubt true).

I've never really understood why the tie-break is "captains only".

Londinius said...

Hi Everyone,
Jon , I echo what David said about the timing. Both teams are told very clearly just how much time there will be for the missing vowels. Congrats on the questions though - I liked all of them, and my favourite of your three was the red triangles.

Hi Andrew - well, captains only increases the tension - it all comes down on one person's shoulders. Thankfully it never happened to us, but I would have had every confidence in Gary !

davidbod said...

The captains only thing is not just to ramp up the tension. It means that there's only two faces for the director to concentrate on, and there's never going to be any problems caused by two people from the same team buzzing in at once and giving different answers. It's just a lot cleaner.

I don't think there'd be a fuss if the rule was that we stop the game once time's up and the scores are disparate, but it's just not the rule we use.

Andrew B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew B. said...

David B - thanks for the explanation.

Is the bit about being told how much time there is for the missing vowels new? I don't remember it in our series (but it's possible I was too stressed to listen!)

davidbod said...

@Andrew, we've done it since series 1.

tuckeraj said...

Second attempt to leave this:

The Draughtsmen can only endorse what has been said above about the Joinees. Intelligent, quick and, more importantly, nice people.

We had a small technical issue with our buzzer, but a larger one with Sean's reflexes.

Victoria warned us not to give our captain any inkling, so Steve and I did not look at the screen in the tie break; I did not even know that Iwan had buzzed!