Thursday, 18 July 2013

Only Connect - Sudden Death Match - Cartophiles v. Fell Walkers

Cartophiles v. Fell Walkers

Right, settle down, then, since we’ve got a lot to get through. The Cartophiles, Colin Kidd, Mark Cooper and Josh Mandel,lost 28-22 to the much fancied Celts in their first match. In their last match they eliminated the Corpuscles on a tie break, with captain Josh steering the ship to safety. As for the Fell walkers, they had a convincing 28 – 22 win against the GPs to kick off their own campaign. They came up against the Francophiles in the qualification match, where they lost by 27 – 16. As for the form guide, well it was really difficult for me to pick a winner. Both teams had had mixed fortunes up to this point, but with the Carts having won their second match and thus having the momentum I plumped, albeit hesitantly, for them.

Round One – What’s the Connection?

The Carts were first receivers, and they nominated Two Reeds. Former President of Arms Tech meant nothing to me, but Former Tory MP, Baron of Dorking meant Kenneth Baker. Trumpeter in Ted Heath’s orchestra meant nothing more, but R2-D2 made the whole thing clear, since this part was played by Kenny Baker. A point for me. Nowt for the Carts, who opted for persons of restricted height. The Fells offered Baker for a bonus – which strictly speaking was correct, and good enough for a point. They were all Kenneth Baker’s though.Twisted Flax gave the Fells Mormo Maura moth – try saying that after you’ve had a few. No lightbulb moment for me. However on Juventus FC I think that I would have been tempted to gamble that these were all nicknamed ‘old lady’ – as in the old lady of Turin (which reminds me, Sophia Loren is in a new movie. Alright, bad joke, and she’s from Naples anyway.) Wife of a motorbike gang member confirmed it, and I predicted that the last would be the Bank of England. The Fells took it on three, and I was right with the last clue. This left the Carts trailing, and they selected Horned Viper (no comment on that this week).Now this brought up a set of picture clues. We saw firstly a picture of American patriots in the War of Independence, the spirit of 76. So either spirit or numbers, I thought. The second picture – hydrochloric acid confirmed that we were dealing with spirits, the alternative name for it being Spirits of Salt. The Carts took another picture, a Rolls Royce Spirit of Ecstasy to confirm the deal, and narrow the gap. Lion fell to the Fells, and the first clue – Duration:9m 18 sec – left me clueless. Maximum speed: 843.6mph didn’t help any of us. However Exit Altitude: 127,852 feet helped considerably. I think we got the connection at the same time, although it didn’t take me as long to come up with the name Felix Baumgartner as it did the Fells.They had it, I think, but took the last clue – Freefall Distance: 119:431 feet. They offered a long description of what Herr Baumgarnter had done, but Victoria had to ask for the name before they gave it. The Carts found the music set behind water – not their favourite category, judging by their reaction. They heard all four, and plumped for pieces of music saying goodbyes. I can’t say anything, because my mind was running on those lines. The Fells had a bit of a wild stab with rivers. No, it was in fact Rome – Arriverderci Roma having led the Carts and me down the garden path. The Fells were left to finish the round with Eye of Horus, and shame to admit it, I didn’t get the connection from the first clue , Orphans in Oliver Twist. The second clue, though, Tropical Storms I did see just about the same time as Craig of the Fells, that they are all named in alphabetical order. To be certain the Fells took the next clue, Sue Grafton detective novel series – which really wouldn’t have helped me very much at all, I’m afraid. It was enough for the Fells though. They took the points to give them 6 in total, and a useful lead over the Carts who had scored 2. Could it be that a relative upset was on the cards?

Round Two – What Comes Fourth?

The Carts began with flax, and found A: Upper Middle. Now, I knew that the connection was – the socio economic class classifications used by advertisers, but crucially I didn’t from this far out know what would have been fourth. B:Middle came next . The Carts contemplated a gamble, but discretion won out, and they took the last clue C1:Lower Middle. They answered with C2 Upper Working, which would have been my answer by this stage. It was close enough to C2: Skilled Working, which was the answer on the card. Well played- discretion secured the point. Now, the Fells had one of those questions which may look like an easy 5 points – and indeed I took them, but V:Tommy Gunn is only easy if you’ve seen the first 5 Rocky films. And the Fells, I believe, had not. Craig knew it was Rocky films, but not the opponent in Rocky II. The Carts of course had it, and you sensed at this stage that maybe the tide was turning. Horned Viper brought the Carts what I thought was a really tricky set. First we saw a gentleman with drumsticks whom I didn’t recognize as Pete Best, then we saw some fruit. Finally a set of marigold gloves. OK, marigold gives you a clue, but I was nowhere near seeing that this was referencing the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel . Neither team had a clue, nor did I. Tricky, tricky set. The Fell Walkers, thrown a chance to reassert their dominance, first found Lexington. I thought that this was either battles of the American War of Independence, or streets in New York. Park suggested the latter. The only problem of which was that I didn’t have a clue which street would be the fourth in the sequence. The Fells had worked out the New York connection, but couldn’t give the right answer. The Carts did, though, with 5th Avenue coming after Madison. Good shout. Lion then gave them 1759. Nope – I had no idea yet. 1835 didn’t help. I should have worked out the interval, for 76 years means one thing. The Carts didn’t do it either, plumping for 1974, as years with 2 elections. The Fells had it though. They knew that the next time Halley’s Comet appeared after 1910 was 1986. Very well worked out. D’oh!Mind you, I made up for it a little when the Fells opted for Eye of Horus. Simples was the first, and when the second – Big Society was revealed I yelled out ‘Omnishambles’, this being the 2012 Oxford Dictionary Word or Phrase of the Year. The teams were led a little down the garden path by the political connotations of Big Society, I think. The Fells then were still in the lead, but they had only added 1 point to take their score to 7, while the Carts had now increased their own score to 6.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Fells had first stab. Now, being as I would have answered on Queen Victoria’s Daughters had I made the Champ of Champs final in 2010 I was delighted to see 4 of these as a set – Alice – Helena – Beatrice and Victoria. This was the first line unraveled by the Fells. I noticed a set of Oval cricket grounds before the Fells, and also a set of UK number 1 singles. The Fells, having only managed to find one line, did manage to see the connection between the ovals – Kennington –Queen’s Park – Kensington – Adelaide. They couldn’t see that that Wuthering Heights – Lucille – Mississippi – Waterloo were number 1s from the 70s. As for Colorado – Missouri – Green – Arkansas – maybe I might have said that they were all American rivers, which was the correct answer given by the Fells, but more likely I wouldn’t. So the 4 points they scored gave a huge window of opportunity for the Carts to propel themselves into the lead.

They had two connections very quickly, but not the correct lines to go with them. It was almost the end of the three minutes when they finally unraveled vegetable members of the squash family, with courgette – kabocha – pumpkin and gourd. But a pesky set of rappers just wouldn’t unravel, leaving them two with just one line solved. Aubergine – Autumn – Trousers and Lorry I could see were all words which Americans have their own words for, but this escaped the Carts. The rappers were Combs – Marrow – Broadus and Wallace. I had no idea about Love – Mathers – Moues and Art. Yet it was a simple connection. They are all anagrams of rodents. The Carts didn’t take that. So rather than taking the lead, with 3 points score the Carts fell a little further behind, with 9 to the Fells’ 11.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

A two point gap is nothing at the start of the vowels round, but everything at the end of it. The first category was Parlour Games, and this fell to the Carts 2 – 1. The Fells still led by a point. They Usually happen on Thursdays saw the first two fall to the Carts, who now led by a point. The Fells took the next – all square. Neither team knew the fourth. A great set followed – locations of James Bond’s romantic liaisons. Carts took first – swimming pool - and the lead, Fells took second – ferris wheel - and it was all square again. Then came the moment that separated the teams. The Fells buzzed too quickly and couldn’t identify iceberg submarine. They lost a point, and to rub salt into the wound, the Carts had it as well. There wasn’t time for either team to decipher Under a parachute, and that was it. A very good game ended with the Cartophiles, who had only taken a lead for the first time in the last couple of minutes of the show, winning by 15 to 13, with captain Josh once again playing a captain's innings on the vowels. Hard lines to the Fell Walkers, eliminated, but notably cheerful about the whole experience. That really is the spirit. Well done to the Cartophiles – good luck in the semis.

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