Saturday, 28 September 2013

Only Connect - Round One Match One - Lasletts v. Pilots

Lasletts v. Pilots

Well I don’t really know how I let this series sneak up on me, but it was a very nice surprise that, on one of just a very few Mondays when I didn’t actually go out to a quiz the new series of Only Connect started. The same rules apply for qualification for the semi-finals, you have to win two matches out of a maximum of three in the first round. The first of the two teams then in this new series were the Lasletts, Jake Laslett, Emma Laslett and their dad, Chris Laslett. Their opponents, the Pilots, so called because they are all airline pilots were Simon Morgan, Neil Morgan and skipper Paul Judge. Let’s get on with it, then.

Round One – What’s The Connection?

The Lasletts sent the Pilots into bat first, and they chose water, which revealed Dogs: 1871 – Habeas Corpus: 1640 – and here I thought I had it – Trading With The Enemy 1914 – and here I knew I had it. The Pilots took the last clue – Human Rights: 1998 – before giving the answer – Acts that were passed in Parliament and the years they were passed. The Lasletts chose eye of Horus for their first set. Netherlands: Epsom Salts suggested things named after a place they didn’t actually come from, and where they really came from, or words to that effect. Italy – trifle came second, and that suggested something different. In Italy, trifle is zuppa inglese. So are Epsom Salts called English salst, or something like it in the Netherlands, I wondered. France: Custard Sauce confirmed it, since Crème Anglaise is the French for custard. The Lasletts had it at this stage too, for two points. The Pilots opted for Two Reeds, which brought us bucket – which gave me possibility overload – then two onions, and I knew it. Bucket is balti – two onions is dopiaza. What a lovely set – kudos to the setter. The pilots took Former name of Chennai, which of course they knew was Madras. Then they had it that these were the derivation of names of curries – clay oven , or tandoor, being the last. Ah, welcome back OC – I’ve missed you! Lion was the next choice of the Lasletts. Fairy slipper I didn’t know, but nymph who detained Odysseus was Calypso, as was Jacques Cousteau’s ship. The Lasletts had it at this stage as well, for 2 more points. Pictures and Music were left. The Pilots opted for Twisted Flax and found pictures of Amanda Donohoe, Pamela Anderson and John Barron from The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. Something clicked, as I remembered that Pamela Anderson’s character in Baywatch was called CJ as well. Would we have a picture of the great CJ de Mooi to finish the set? No, but then he is real, not fictional – it was a character from the West Wing. The pilots took 2 points on this, which left the music for the Lasletts. They had an idea that whistling was the connection after the first three, but took the last to be certain. This meant that both teams finished the round with 5 points.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth?

The Pilots started with water and received a picture set. We saw Patagonia, and the Gobi Desert, and so it had to be the Sahara to finish the set. The Pilots thought so, correctly, with the Arabian Desert the third. These were non polar deserts in ascending order of size. Now, not that I like to boast, but I might well have had a five pointer on the last one. The only famous MP for Bath I could think of was Lord Chris Patten, and working forwards his latest job is the Chairman of the BBC Trust. I said it at home, but I don’t know if I would have had the guts to go for it off one clue in the studio. Governor of Hong Kong for the second clue confirmed it. The Lasletts took all the clues, and they knew the connection, but just didn’t know his current position. The Pilots were close enough and earned themselves a bonus. The next set chosen by the pilots revealed one of those first clues which could be a number of things – Foreman. Heavyweight champions? The second though was enough to give me the answer – Longman. I have actually asked a question iin thye club about Thuma – Foreman – Longman etc. but it’s one of those things that if you haven’t heard it, then it’s hard to guess. Even with Ringman neither team knew these were old names for the fingers. Walker and Lynch for the Lasletts irresistibly suggested licensees of the Rovers Return in Corrie, but who would complete the sequence? Neither team, nor I , could remember that the Duckworths also ran the pub. The Pilots took their last set of the round with Eye of Horus. I’ll be honest, I should have known this set, but I didn’t. Season of Light – Season of Darkness – Spring of Hope. Neither team managed it. The answer was Winter of Despair. It’s part of the sequence from a Tale of Two Cities which begins “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. “ Not easy, but fair. The Lasletts ended the round with Two Reeds. This was, for serious quizzers, a 5 point set every day of the week. 3: Mike Todd was Liz Taylor’s 3rd husband, and so her 6th had to be Richard Burton, who was also her 5th. The Lasletts had it with 2 clues, and this was enough to leave them a point behind the Pilots, who led by 9 to 8.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Lasletts picked the water wall, and almost immediately isolated French words for extreme weather – glace – éclair- vent – neige (ice – lightning – wind and snow). Breast – Pocket – Lapel and Cuff followed very shortly afterwards – part of a jacket. Shaft – Rockford – Ironside and Cannon , all 1970s US TV detectives were next, and this left snooker terms – Baulk – Bridge – Plant and Kiss. Alright, so it was a relatively gentle round 1 wall, but even so the speed with which they solved it for a maximum was impressive.

If the Pilots weren’t quite as quick solving the Lion Wall, they were just as successful. They soon found the 80s New Romantic bands Talk Talk – Soft Cell – ABC and Visage. Terms or words which complete the simile – as easy as – followed, with winking – pie – falling off a log – and – riding a bike. The last two sets fell after a little bit of jiggery pokery, to show mobile service providers – giigaff – lebara – three and EE, and things you can peel – eyes – orange – old paint and sticker. 10 points, which preserved their one point lead, with 19 to the Lasletts’ 18.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

So it all came down to this. The first set, Sporting Knights and Dames went to the Lasletts 3 – 1. A 3 -1 set of US states also fell to the Lasletts who were now in the lead. I liked the next set – one word compositions and their composers. There was only time for a couple, and both fell to the Lasletts, to seal a 25 – 21 win. Well played both, that was a good contest. Good luck in both of your next contests.


Michael said...

I'll have to be careful what I say as I'm in this series, but I was a bit surprised by the impression one got from Twitter that this was a particularly 'easy' show. Admittedly the walls were solved in double quick time but I thought the earlier rounds were as normal for a first round match (I was in particular trouble at home with questions about Coronation Street and Elizabeth Taylor...). Will be interesting to see what the masses (and indeed, your good self) make of the difficultly or otherwise of our (first) appearance tonight.

davidbod said...

I agree, Michael, I wonder how easy people would have found these questions if they were in the studio. There were opportunities for early buzzes, but this was planned. Several times the teams could've got more points by gambling earlier - that's where the tactics come in. The heats aren't much fun if the teams only barely get the question right on the 1 point clue - it leads to a low-scoring affair.

In this new format, the first round are meant to be 'standard' difficulty. The questions will then go half a degree harder or easier depending on whether they lose or win their first match. The winner vs winner playoffs will be akin to the old quarter final level.

I know some people thought the walls were very easy - particularly the Laslett's one - but that was because they spotted the harder connections first and that short circuited some of the planned red herrings. Have another look on iPlayer and see if you can spot what the traps should have been.

I personally thought the foreman - longman - ringman one was workoutable if you haven't heard it before, but it wasn't to be.