Friday, 7 December 2012

Only Connect - Semi Final 2

Scribes v. Wordsmiths

The Scribes, Holly Pattenden , Gareth Price and Dom Tait, had a fairly resounding victory over the Ciphers, winning 31 – 13. In the quarter final they saw off the TEFL Teachers 27 – 9. Two fairly easy victories, and I felt fairly confident that they were going to find their semi final opposition a considerably tougher nut to crack. That opposition was of course the team of Wordsmiths. Brian Pendreigh, Chris Brewis, and skipper Dave Taylor certainly didn’t have it all their own way in their first round heat, winning a tricky game in heat 4, where they beat the Educators 19 – 16.Another close one came in the quarters, where they defeated the Wintonians 19 – 17. What, then were the chances of a 19 – 18 win for the ‘Smiths in this show ?

Round One – What’s The Connection ?

Scribes kicked off with Lion. Lift Hill >300ft meant little to me. An Inkling formed with Blood Pressure > 140/90 mmHg, and I had it on Annual Inflation > 26 %. So did captain Dom. Each of these are the point where the term hyper can be applied. The Smiths took Eye of Horus, revealing Dick Cheney Hunging Incident – Bobby Thomsom Home Run ( and I knew it at this one ) – Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. At this stage the Smiths knew that these were Shots Heard Around The World. Good shout, and all square. Horned Viper brought music to the ears of the Scribes . I wouldn’t have had it, and neither did the Scribes. A good bonus for the Smiths saw them answer that they are all based on works by other composers. At home I had a five pointer on the Smiths next. Stinsford : Thomas Hardy gave me where people’s hearts are buried. I predicted Robert the Bruce in Melrose, but that didn’t come up until we’d already had Jane Seymour in Hamton Court. Those three were enough for the Smiths, who were building a score very nicely thank you. For the Scribes, they found ‘Yesterday’ – ‘Lockstitch Sewing Machine ‘ – Benzene Ring – and at this point I wondered if we were in dreamland, for I knew that Kelule discovered the benzene ring in a dream – even before it came up in the last but one University Challenge. Kubla Khan pretty much confirmed it, even if that was conceived in a laudanum induced haze, rather than the land of nod. A picture set brought the round to the end for the Smiths. A really difficult set showed them a set of things that are all known as a Jacob’s Ladder – a plant, a ray of sunshine breaking through a cloud, and so on. Neither team had it. Me neither. Still, the Smiths had earned themselves a good lead going into round 2, and they had 6 to the Scribes’ 2.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth?

The Scribes were given a lovely set to start. World Space Patrol – World Aquanauth Security Patrol – so we were dealing with Gerry Anderson series. Fireball XL5 , then Stingray. Presuming that International Rescue was next ( and it was ) I plumped for Spectrum from Captain Scarlet. I think the Scribes were just too young. Not an excuse that the Smiths could use, but they didn’t have it either. The Smiths picked the Viper - #4 Payment for Members - #3 No requirement to own property - #2 Secret Ballot . I’ll be honest I went for Universal sufferage like the Smiths, but it was Votes for every Man. Scribes took two reeds, and the pictures. These were a catamaran – a banana – ( 4 As – 3 As I wondered ) – a macaw – which suggested I was right. The Scribes had it too, and went for cat – quite right too. Flax brought the Smiths 9: Prince Rupert’s Tower . Hmm, no good to me, that. 13 – Cannon – still not helping.18. Liver Bird – and I was still none the wiser. Chris had it, though. These were all badges of football teams with the number of times they have won the league. 19 : Red Devil did the trick. Terrific shout that, and a timely one since the Scribes were just starting to get a toehold back in the match. Lion gave the Scribes Adams : Son ( US Presidents ? ) Harrison : Grandson – which confirmed we were indeed going with Presidents. In which case, the next two related would be – well, I wondered if Roosevelt – cousin ( albeit a distant one ) would be next, leaving Bush : son to finish. It looked like it, and that’s what the Scribes went for. So the Smiths needed their own set to maintain the gap, and they were given a water set of 24/06/1987 – 25/06/1987 – 17/06/2345 – I had the idea that they were all dates with no digit the same in them, but like the teams I didn’t manage the date of 18/06/2345. The Smiths still led, but only by 8 to 6.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Smiths kicked off and identified towns on the Isle of Man – Douglas – Castletown – Ramsey – Peel. A set of Carry On actors followed – Connor – Jacques – Dale and James. They knew there was a set of horse drawn carriages there, but three goes weren’t enough to separate them. Stanhope – Gig – Hansom and Surrey were the carriages. Pratt – Windsor – Oriental and Four in Hand were all knots for neckties – the Smiths didn’t get it, and neither did I. 5 points earned.

The Scribes were given the Lion, and they found Nikita – Subway – The Fifth element and Leon very quickly, as a set of Luc Besson films. A relatively benign set of Spanish cities – Pamplona – Burgos – Toledo – Salamanca was the next set to fall. A brief conflab, and voila, the last two lines were resolved. Suffolk – Belgian – Clydesdale and Percheron they named as draught horses. Egg – Northern – Santander and Yorkshire were accepted as banks, to be precise British banks owned by companies abroad. With a full 10 points gained it had an interesting effect on the scores. The Scribes now led with 16 to 13. And the vowels were yet to come .

Round Four – Missing Vowels

Charities founded in the UK fell 3 – 1 to the Scribes. Medical Conditions and their common names saw the Smiths fail to score. The Scribes took 3, but also lost one for an incorrect buzz. They were winning the buzzer race, though, and they were in front. Unusual names of celebrities’ children saw the Scribes seal the deal with a 3 – 0 gain. Songs from musicals remained, but there was just the time for the Scribes to add one more point. The Smiths ended with 14, but the Scribes had reached the final with 25.

Dave had said at the start that the Smiths were hoping to have a useful lead going into the last round, and hope they could hang on in there. How accurate a forecast of their needs that was. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that the Smiths are a better ‘straight ‘ general knowledge team, but that’s not always enough in OC. Very hard lines, but well played. And well played to the Scribes. The Draughtsmen will not relish facing you in the final round without a very healthy lead. I can’t wait. Although there is the matter of the play off first – looking forward to that one very much.

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