Friday, 20 December 2013

Only Connect - Semi Final 2

You might recall that last week I predicted that the Lasletts would win this semi. This is only my opinion, and as always feel free to disagree, but I felt that Jake Laslett, Emma Laslett and their dad, Chris Laslett were good value for their wins against the Pikots, and especially the Board Gamers in their first two matches. The Board Gamers are in the final, yet the Lasletts beat them by 28 – 18 in their match. Now, in my comments last week I hailed the Bakers as good battlers. Tim Spain, Matt Rowbotham and Peter Steggle beat the Press Gang in a close match, before losing to fellow semi-finalists the Oenophiles, who beat them 27 – 15. In their sudden death match they beat the Globetrotters 20 – 19.It’s fair to say that many people were surprised by the outcome of last week’s first semi. Was I going to be surprised by the outcome of this one?

Round One – What’s the Connection?

The Lasletts chose first, and they went for Twisted Flax. This showed us a set of pictures. Celtic Park suggested little, and then what looked like a painting of Paradisio from Dante’s Divine Comedy. A still, which turned out to be from the BBC’s costume drama The Paradise followed, but I didn’t recognize it, and neither did the Lasletts at first. Still, the last photo showed a bird of paradise, so at least both I and the Lasletts were in for a point. Now, not that I like to brag, but I did have a five pointer for the water set which gave the Bakers their first go. 1960: King Constantine II made me suggest Olympic Gold Medal winners. Yes, well, I did use the Summer Olympics as a Mastermind subject once, and I have written an Olympic Quiz book. As usual, whether I’d have had the guts to go for it in the studio is a moot point. The second clue – 1924: Dr. Benjamin Spock – confirmed my answer. Also it would have been enough, I fancy, to give serious quizzers the answer, since Dr. Spock is one of those names which usually features in one of those – what do all of these famous people have in common – questions. It wasn’t enough for the Bakers, who also took 1908: City of London Police and 1932: Buster Crabbe. They didn’t know it, and neither did the Lasletts. As with any question, it’s only easy if you know it. The Lasletts chose Lion, and here I am bragging, but I got another five pointer. The first clue was Spider Man. Immediately I announced to nobody in particular – there’s a hyphen missing! Which is the answer, as it turns out. Funnily enough, I wouldn’t have had it from the second clue, Moby Dick, which is where Emma came in. Good shout. Now, Two Reeds revealed its first clue for the Bakers, and, yes, it was another five pointer. (Don’t worry, I played dreadfully for a lot of the rest of the show.) The first clue, Abu Simbel Temples Egypt, really begged the answer – it was relocated. The Bakers obviously thought so, since that was the correct answer that they gave. That’s the luck of the draw, but I bet the Lasletts wouldn’t have minded having that little gimme themselves. Eye of Horus gave the Lasletts Leopold I takes oath as King. – nope. Then there was Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi – here a vague idea was forming, but no concrete answer. Arrival of Columbus in the Americas didn’t shed huge light, but the Storming of the Bastille did. I plumped for national days, as in Bastille Day. The Lasletts offered events in years ending 92, and the Bakers for events all happening on July 14th. National days was the correct answer, and both teams could maybe reflect on a gettable chance gone begging. The Horned one concealed music for the Bakers. Both the Bakers and I were out with the washing on this one. The Lasletts were closing, knowing it had something to do with letters, but not close enough to see that they were all connected with greek letters – Catherine Zeta Jones – Alpha Beat etc. So, having benefitted from the Abu Simbel windfall, the Bakers led by 5 – 4, and neither team yet had really caught fire.

Round Two – What Comes Third?

The Lasletts chose water and were given NOC list – Chimera – Rabbit’s Foot. Sorry, but I didn’t have a Scooby for this one. Neither team had it. Apparently they were targets in the Mission Impossible films. Fair enough, never seen ‘em. The Lasletts had worked out the connection but didn’t know that the last would be cobalt. No points all round. Lion gave the Bakers Observing Norman English – The Wondrous Oratorios – and I didn’t see this one, but they did. If you look at the first letter of each word, you’ll get it. Feeling of Utter Regret gave the Bakers a very useful three points, and that was a good shout. Now, the Lasletts chose horned viper, and as a coincidence I used this exact same connection in a recent quiz for the rugby club. As soon as National Dairy Council came up I said that it would be sponsors of the League Cup. However I wasn’t confident as to which came 4th, so I waited for Littlewoods and Rumbelows before offering Coca Cola. We already saw with the Olympics set that neither of these teams is necessarily great on Sport, and neither had it. Interesting that Victoria outed herself as a QPR fan. I know that her dad, the late, great Alan Coren was the Sage of Cricklewood, which is certainly within the Super Hoops’ catchment area. I digress, and back to the show. Now, again the Bakers benefitted from a good choice, as Twisted Flax gave them the softest set of the round, in my opinion. ChargĂ© d’affaires – I would have said was a quite well known term for a diplomat in an embassy, so Ambassador, or full Ambassador seemed like a pretty good shout to me. The Bakers looked pretty happy with that, but they took Minister Resident to be certain before scooping another 3 points. Two Reeds gave the Lasletts some pictures. Celery was the first. That meant nothing. However I had a lightbulb moment when apples appeared next. Waldorf Salad! I yelled, then remembering it was a sequence chanted – Celery - Apples – Walnuts – Grapes! before adding – sorry, we’re all out of waldorfs. Not part of the sequence, but my favourite line from that show. It’s from a famous episode of Fawlty Towers. Well, I say that, but all 12 episodes are famous really. Now, as with the lines from the Parrot sketch in last week’s show, neither team quite managed it. Eye of Horus remained to give the Bakers Grand-Terre, New Caledonia – Corsica – Martinique. Now, I think both teams, me included, knew the connection, French islands ( ordered by population) but none of us worked out that RĂ©union would be next. Still, what a good round for the Bakers, who now led by 11 – 4.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Bakers went first with the water wall, and they isolated a set of oil companies – Shell – Sinopec- Total and Petronas. Then Dexter – Chevron – Fess and Lozenge gave them oil companies. This was done in fairly short order, allowing them a lot of time. They worked logically and methodically to untangle the last two lines, which were List – Handle – Bird and Britain. These they knew were all homophones of the names of composers. The last line – Buzzer – Bed – Axis and Cars I admit that I wouldn’t have had either. None of us saw that they can each be preceded by the letter Z. Still, 7 points gained, which meant that they would lead into the vowels round however well the Lasletts did with their wall.

As it was, the Lasletts did very well with their wall. A set of characters from The Wizard of Oz fell very quickly, in the shape of Toto – Glinda- Dorothy and Scarecrow. Then a nice set of words – Extremis – Excelsis – Utero and Camera – each of which follows –in – to make a latin phrase. I could see a set of terms used when addressing different ranks of Catholic priests, and so could the Lasletts with Ecellency – Beatitude – Grace and Holiness. Now, the other line was a little beauty. Each of these words – Ingress – Monetary – Eminence and Muchkin begins with the name of a famous artist. The Lasletts thus had the 10 points they really needed to make a game of it in the last round – 18 played 14.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

4 points was not an impossibly large lead to overturn, but it would need a great performance. We began with shades of grey – 4, not 50 – and it fell two apiece. However Jake came in with a wrong answer for the last, and so the Lasletts lost one of those points. Solar activity or its results went 3 – 1 to the Lasletts to reduce the gap to 3 points. I enjoyed the next set of Ironic Idioms – eg Hobson’s Choice. 1 apiece, but again a wrong answer from the Lasletts stripped them of a point, and the gap stretched to 4 with time running out. Terms used in a newspaper office gave another point to the Bakers, who duly won by 23 – 18. Lasletts, I can only apologise for tipping you last week, but well played in this series. As for the Bakers, many congratulations! You took your chances extremely well in this show, and good luck in the final.


George Millman said...

Are you going to have a post about the second episode of Brain Of Britain?

Londinius said...

Hello George
Yes, in the fullness. During a normal working week it is extremely difficult for me to find the time to post - last week was exceptional because I knew I was going to be away. So I have to post on Saturday, and to write a (hopefully) decent, detailed, readable review takes a bit of time.

Unknown said...

The Olympic Q was mine, and I was surprised that none of the 6 quizzers picked up on the Dr. Spock chestnut, especially with the years included.
The hyphen one was mine also. Originally I wrote it "Spiderman" as clue #1 which would have made it a lot more difficult to spot. The editor decided (not unreasonably) to have all the hyphens replaced by spaces (not just removed). However, having done this the Spider-man clue should have gone to #3 at least. Mind you, it wouldn't have been good if all 3 of my Qs were missed (I did the national holiday one too) - was it that hard? I can't help thinking that the Oenophiles would have been all over these two missed Qs. I've no idea who wins the final btw, should be close.