Francophiles v. Festival Fans
The policy of first round matches being contested by teams whose names both start with the same initial continued tonight. The Francophiles were Ian Clark , Sam Goodyear, and captain Mark Walton. Would that be the same Ian Clark who reached the grand final of Brain of Britain 2012, I wonder? Good quizzer if so. Their opposition, the Festival Fans, were Ed Dovey, Stewart McCartney and captain Marianne Fairthorne. Let's get on with the show.
Round One – What’s The Connection?
The Francs kicked off with Lion. Behind this one they found Hirst’s ‘Cupric Nitrate’ - Mr. Tumble’s Bag – Pudsey’s bandage – Twister Mat. I’ll be honest, I didn’t get it until the last clue, as did the Francs, who now saw that these were all spotted. The Fans chose eye of Horus, which gave an early airing to the music set. From the first three clues the Fans could see that the artists are all titled Mr. something. I don’t know whether to be pleased or disappointed that the eponymous Mr. Blobby was not part of the set. The Francs picked Horned Viper, and again I was pleased to see Mark voicing the second vowel of Horned. Just adds a little class to the show, I think. Aglaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia came first. The 3 Graces? I wondered. Peep-Bo , Pitti Sing and Yum-Yumnext. 3 little maids from school, I considered, ransacking my feeble stock of Gilbert and Sullivan knowledge. Olga, Masha and Irina were, I knew, Chekhov’s Three Sisters, so I guessed that groups of three sisters was exactly what we had. The Francs didn’t use the word sisters, or the idea, despite being given another bite at the cherry, allowing the Fans to see the last set – Regan, Goneril and Cordelia. That brought them a bonus. For their second set they picked Two Reeds. This brought up Wiccan Initiation – hmmm – Assets become Long Term – Hmm hmm – Legal limit for murder pre 1996 hmm hmm hmm and The length of the Owl and the Pussycat’s journey. Well, I knew that they sailed away for a year and a day. Which turned out to be the right answer, since they all take ( at least ) a year and a day. Twisted Flax gave the Francs pictures. Now, they were in very quickly after seeing a still from the Man Who Shot Liberty Vallence, and a picture of the longer lasting Pop Stars group Liberty X, to give the connection as Liberty. Good shout that. Left with Water the Fans had a small one horse carriage – Anglo-Indian very good – Former Finnish currency and that was enough to give them words ending with kka. Chukka from polo would have completed it. A good round for the Fans that, then, and they led by 6 to the Francs’ 4.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
The Francs again went first, and this time elected to open the Eye of Horus. Given New and Crescent they knew that they were dealing with Moon Phases. They elected to take the third, which was first quarter, but their answer of half was wrong. The Fans couldn’t take it, but I had heard the Francs earlier mention then throw away the correct answer – gibbous. Hard lines there. The Fans courted disaster when Marianne chose not to voice the second vowel of Horned Viper – but then each to their own. This revealed Donaghy, Buena, Buchanan – and here Stewart recognized these as members of the Sugababes. He’s a better man than I am. Buena, Buchanan, Range followed, which seemed to confirm the hypothesis. Buchanan, Range, Berrabah was the third, then Stewart came to the conclusion that the original line up had reformed, so offered Donaghy, Buena and Buchanan. Good thinking, but not the answer. The Francs couldn’t get it either. The correct answer was Range, Berrabah and Ewen. The point being that none of the original members remained by the time of this line up. You pays yer money . . . The Francs took the Twisted Flax and kicked off with 3125. Now this was followed by 256.The third was 27, which made the Francs think in terms of cube numbers , and go for 8. Incorrect. The Fans came in with 4, and scooped the bonus. We were dealing with numbers to the power of themselves – 5 to the power of 5, 4 to the power of 4, and so on down. Fiendish but gettable. Not having chosen Lion up to this point that’s exactly what the Fans did next. Lanzarote suggested Canary Islands in increasing or decreasing order of size.Gran Canaria followed, then Fuerteventura. I bet the Francs were sorry that they hadn’t picked up this relatively gentle set, since the Fans could easily see that Tenerife completed the set. They picked two reeds for their own last set, and this opened up with 2200: Candidate Master. They had chess right from the start, but took the next – 2300: FIDE Grand Master, which led them to go for the logical 2500: Grand Master. Quite right. Left with only Water the Fans had pictures, and we saw someone with big ears, and then someone looking through a magnifying glass, giving her big eyes and a big nose. Little Red Riding Hood? - I wondered – which would end with big teeth. The third picture showed someone with ridiculously distorted big hands. The Fans missed it, but the Francs had it, same as I did. That rather helped the Francs, since now the Fans led by just 1 point, with 9 to the Francs’ 8.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Fans had to go into bat first and they plumped for water. They isolated a set of magic words quite logically, these being Shazam – Expelliarmus – Sim Sala Bim and Abracadabra. I could see a set of Bette Midler films there, but the Fans isolated Eve – Izanami – Embla and Pandora next. These were all women in creation myths. Good shout that one. They froze the wall with three incorrect attempts. When it was resolved at first they couldn’t see that Beaches – Hocus Pocus – Stella and The Rose were all Bette Midler films. Not fans of the Divine Miss M, I guess, but they squeezed the answer out right at the death. They did know that Angry Birds – Vine – Instagram and Fruit Ninja are all mobile popular apps. 6 points altogether.
The Francs had the Water Wall, and quickly isolated a set of mythical birds – not as easy as it looks since there were too many of them. They took out Garuda – Roc – Harpy and Thunderbird. I saw a set of acting families there. The Francs could see actors, but it took them a moment or two to get the family connection – with Wilson – Phoenix – Arquette and Baldwin. From Mark’s reaction the resolution of the wall they managed soon after came as something of a surprise. Who cares – they all count. The third set – Phantom – Interceptor – Dignity and Equus they didn’t get. All of them are luxury cars. The final set I’d worked out as things you can burn – calories – bridges – CDs and Rubber. They just couldn’t see it, I’m afraid. This meant that they earned 6 points too. So we were all set for a grandstand finish in the final round.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
The first category of seats fell to the Fans by 2 – 1, with neither team recognising pillion. The second category was female tennis players, and with the Francs winning this set 3 – 1 we were all square in the match. Top 20 Great British Designs was a terrific category to follow, and this fell to the Francs by 2 – 1. For the first time since the very first set, the Francs were actually in the lead. The last category – films about nuns – gave them another 3 points to the Fans’ 1, and that was enough to see them win by 23 – 20. It's fair to say that this one was another show that vindicates the decision to give each of the teams more than one match this year. Well played both.