Saturday, 17 November 2012

Only Connect - Children in Need Special

The Goldfingers v. The Fowls

There’s a hell of a difference between a sleb opting for the relative cosiness of charity editions of , for the sake of argument, Pointless, and putting themselves through the mental tetrathlon( or should that be quadrathlon ? ) that is Only Connect. Full marks to all the slebs who put themselves forward for this charity special. The first team, the Goldfingers, were Daisy Goodman, whom you might remember from her successful displays in last year’s sleb University Challenge, Matthew Parris, and captain Charlie Higson, who co-created the fondly remembered Fast Show. Their opposition was provided in the shape of Clarke Carlisle, Richard ‘pointless friend’ Osman, and captain Rosie Boycott, who were collectively, the Fowls. My initial feelings were that Daisy Goodwin showed good knowledge on UC last year, but then Richard Osman has to cover a fair bit of ground for Pointless, even if he does have his laptop in front of him on that show.

Round One – What’s the Connection ?

The Goldfingers kicked off with water, and the picture set. I had it off two – the first showed a bust of what looked like a roman emperor, and the second, Ronnie Barker playing Arkwright from the much missed Open All Hours. He stuttered, and if the emperor was Claudius, then so did he. Actually the first picture was Demosthenes. The fingers took another picture of King George VI, who they misidentified as Monty ,and failed to get the connection. When the Fowls were shown Porky Pig as well they took a bonus. Behind Lion they found Mark Antony, and then the giveaway , Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond. That was enough to give both them and me the answer – all Sid James roles in Carry On films. Twisted Flax concealed the music set for the fingers, and the Washington Post , and then the Yellow Rose of Texas were enough to give them the connection of American States. It ooked like the theme of tonight was giving sets which become pretty gettable on the second clue, rather than the third or even fourth. “Eye of Horus please Vicky.” , asked our Richard, and Ghastly – What do you gargle with . . . pebbles “ again proved gettable on the second for me. The Fowls took another to be sure, with ‘It looks like a tart’s bedroom’ and then we saw that OC rarity, time running out with no guess being offered. The fingers were given the last clue – “you ARE a woman, aren’t you ?’ and then answered correctly with words to the effect that these are all prime examples of the wit and wisdom of the Duke of Edinburgh. The fingers got what would have been a five pointer for many people at home I think, including me. Mogwai multiply – 2K becomes 2KOH and hydrogen gas – which frankly is a lot more confusing to me than the first clue, and finally Pernod turns milky white. All of them are the effect of adding water. Fowls finished with two reeds – the Glass Key – The Scarlet Stiletto – The Macavity and The Golden dagger. Victoria said that she wrote this one herself, and I will admit that I guessed at the second clue, but didn’t know for certain until the last. Neither team knew that these are literary prizes for crime fiction, even Daisy who admitted rather sheepishly that her brother has won the Golden dagger. Ah. At this stage of the contest fingers led fowls by 6 – 4.

Round Two – What Comes Third ?

The fingers chose to start with twisted flax, and these were the picture clues. This was a lovely set. Sir Chris Brasher was first, followed by a rasher of bacon. Working backwards I predicted that the fourth would be a picture of Anthony Sher, and I was right ! Not so the fingers, who needed the picture of Jane Asher as well, and still came up with Gnasher. The fowls made no mistake and took the bonus. Horned Viper gave the fowls Ontario- Huron – and that gave me Superior – since we had Great Lakes increasing in size. Given Michigan they opted wrongly for Erie, which gave the fingers an easy bonus. They chose Lion for their own question, and had Tybalt. I wouldn’t have gambled in the studio, but I went with the death sequence, and ended with Juliet. To be sure the fingers took the second , Paris, then gave the same answer, which was right. Eye of Horus had a great set for the Fowls. 4th: Go out at any time immediately made me think of Sir Tom Jones’ timeless classic, It’s Not Unusual . I worked out that the first, working backwards was 1st: Be loved by anyone. The fowls took the other three clues -The second clue was 3rd: See me cry, and the third , 2nd: Have fun with anyone , but they got it right which was what mattered. The fingers’ last set began with The watershed, and then General election polling stops. So we had 9 pm then 10pm, so all that was required was something symbolic of midnight. Gentle set, but then this was a sleb show. Water gave 127 in brown, 134 in blue, and 140 in pink. Lovely set, to be completed by black 147 , which as Richard explained are the last 4 pots in a 147 maximum snooker break. Good shout, but the fingers still led 13 – 9.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The fowls took the lion wall, and very quickly Richard worked out that Bramall – Gigg – Meadow and White Hart are all football ground Lanes. Bath – Chelsea – Cinnamon and Sticky buns finished almost immediately afterwards. Before the end of the round they had also untangled Castle of Castile – Tudor Rose – Fleur de lis and White boar badges of English Monarchs.Finally they knew that Thistle – Garter – Merit and British Empire are all orders of chivalry. So a full house of 10 – good play.

The fingers firstly took blue – medium – rare – well done which are ways of cooking beef. Then green – fledgling – raw and jejune were untangled as a set of terms relating to inexperience. However they used up the three lives for the last , and were frozen out. They knew that Browning – Rossetti – Swinburne – Hopkins were all Victorian poets. Arnold – Cass – Donaldson and Corfield they knew as Radio 4 newsreaders and announcers. Only 6 popints gathered though, which gave us a tie on 19.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

I wondered which team was going to have the buzzer demon and go on to win. If the first set, Inflammations , was anything to go by, it could be close, as Richard, Daisy and Clarke each took one, while Housemaid’s Knee went untreated. The next category of celebs who were cartoonists saw the Fowls take two to one, but lose a point for an incorrect buzz as well. Still anyone’s game. The next category was 50 ways to leave your lover. I’m guessing that Richard is a Paul Simon fan, because he had all 4 in a row. Quotations from Hamlet saw neither team score, and that was that. The Goldfingers finished with 21, but the Fowls won clearly with 26. Well done to all involved.


tuckeraj said...

Ah, the magic of television. From where I sat in the audience, I reckon that Richard's computer is either a dummy or a monitor

Desiree said...

I think you are write about the "second clue giveaway" - I originally wrote the Sid James question as "Mark Antony", "Henry VIII", "Dick Turpin", "Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond" - then downgraded the third clue and added "The Black Fingernail". Obviously it was downgraded futher when it was chose for the CiN special. I also wrote the missing vowels "Quotes from Hamlet", then they only had time for 1! I think they would have included "GTT HTN NN NRY" and "MDRM STFL" for example. As one Hamlet goer once said, "I don't know what all the fuss is about - it's just a bunch of famous quotes strung together."

jim360 said...

On a side-note, how disappointing it was to see Charlie Higson not once say "please" when asking for the next question. Shocking manners, when week in, week out we see most team captains use such manners. Sigh...

davidbod said...

I consider a fan of the Carry On series, if a casual one, and I'd have struggled with that one in its original form. In its final version, the idea was to string people along from a famous name to names that sounded plausible but unfamiliar, to giveaway clues. But they know it out right, as they did here, then that trap is always going to be circumvented.

Personally, we prefer it if captains call out the symbols and say "Next" nice and clearly because it makes the job of pressing the buttons behind the scenes much easier. They only get 40 seconds of thinking time, so it's not like we're expecting them to spend those precious few seconds standing on ceremony.