Erstwhile Athletes v. Record Collectors
Your friendly neighbourhood reviewer was faced with a heart rending choice to make for this match. On the one hand we had the Erstwhile Athletes with our own Daniel Fullard, proprietor of the Quiz Addict blog, and 3rd place in the CIU National Finals last year, and in the other corner our own Rach ‘Cherryade’ Neiman, of University Challenge, Mastermind, and the Fifteen to One Grand Final. To whom, then, should I give support – or put it another way – whom should I curse with my support? You may recall I had a similar dilemma during the last series of Brain of Britain, where Rachael came out on top out of the two on that particular occasion. Well, since I couldn’t reasonably be impartial, then the only other thing I could reasonably do was to be totally partial to both teams.
Of course, it wasn’t just about Dan and Rach. The Erstwhile Athletes also consisted of Brendan Curtis, and captain Chris Curtis. I don’t know Brendan and Chris so well, but as I always say, you don’t get mugs on Only Connect. As for the Record Collectors, well, you may well be familiar with the names Adam Barr, and Richard Gilbert. Yes, they are the same Adam and Richard who won the 2013 series of University Challenge. Now wouldn’t that make a story if they went on to win OC as well? Well, there’s a long way to go before we start worrying about that. So let’s look at how this show went.
Round One – What’s the Connection?
Having won the right to choose first, the RCs opted to go first. Behind the Eye of Horus they found E – which could have been a huge number of things – Increase note by half. This meant nowt to me, but already the RCs were sniffing around the connection, and Rachael even suggested the right answer. They took another – Scoreless ball – which at last gave me a clue, thinking about scoring in cricket, and then the last clue – sentence terminator – confirmed it, as in a single dot. Yes, OK, they had maybe passed up on the chance to get a 3 pointer, but then it is vital in the early stages to make sure that you get points on the board, and they’d done that. Two Reeds brought the Athletes into play. Now, again the first two clues – Saint Didacus of Alcalá – and – Holy Sacrament – meant little to me. However when you put – The Angels – and – St. Francis , well, then the penny dropped. Look at the Spanish Originals of each, and you have cities in California. Neither team managed that one. Oh, I was disappointed when Rachael chose not to voice the second vowel of horned viper, but she doubtless knew what she was doing. Given – I’ve finished my vault – I’m not saying I would have gambled in the studio, but I couldn’t help wondering if this was about having both arms raised. – You have six runs seemed to confirm it, and – I surrender – removed any trace of doubt. Once again playing safe, the RCs took – I’m Dancing to YMCA before giving the right answer. The Athletes took Lion, and I took a definite 5 pointer. You see, I loved the Roadrunner cartoons when I was a nipper. So when – acceleratti incredibilis – came up I am afraid that I had it straightaway. The Aths took – velocitus tremenjus – speedipus rex (genius!) and birdibus zippibus, and then gave the right answer. I recall Wile E. Coyote as ‘Eatius birdius’ – put Victoria said he was eatius sloppius, so I must be mistaken. The RCs took their last of the round with water and the pictures. Now, I thought they dealt with these impressively. Joe Root was followed by Jarvis Cocker with Pulp, and they plumped correctly for parts of a tooth. Good shout. The Aths finished the round with twisted flax which gave them the music set. I didn’t recognize the opera bit to start, nor the second, but when that Artic Monkeys song about that scummy man was followed by Roxanne I guessed we were dealing with what me grannie used to refer to euphemistically as ‘ladies of the evening’. Why my grandmother was ever talking about that subject in the first place escapes me for now. The Aths just couldn’t quite see it, but the RCs were happy to take the bonus. This gave them a lead of 6 – 1.
Round Two – What Comes Fourth?
Yes, the round two of doom. Well, maybe not quite, but it’s still tougher by far than the first. Two Reeds , starting with 401: Weather forecaset maps, they quickly worked out was going to lead to a sequence of pages from Ceefax (for our younger readers, that’s what they used to call the internet back in the Dark Ages) but they couldn’t quite work out what 101 would be. The Aths had it with 101: News Headlines, and the fightback was underway. For their own next set they chose Lion. Now, I was very pleased with myself for working this out after 2 clues – Al and Joe, then John and John. I said then – if the next is John and Sarah, then the next after that is Mitt and Paul. Unsuccessful presidential/vice presidential tickets in successive US elections. It was, and they were. Neither team could see that one. The RCs again chose horned viper with unvoiced 2nd vowel. I think I might just have had a five pointer here. With a lower case red e I speculated on ebay, and ended with green y. When blue b and yellow a followed that was proved to be right. This left the Aths to choose twisted flax. This was a decidedly tricky set. Henry V, was followed by Edward Vi. Any chance of it being a historical connection went out of the window when Harriet VII followed. The key for me was counting the number of letters in Harriet. This led me to suggest Michelle VIII, which would have been fine, although the example given was Victoria VIII. The roman numerals simply refere to ascending numbers of letter in the name. Simple once you’ve been told, but very tricky otherwise. Neither team saw it. With only two sets left in the round the RCS plumped for Eye of Horus. Rim was followed by Felloe – no good for me, but when spoke came I plumped for hub. The RCs had the connection, but went for axle, allowing the Aths in for the bonus. They were left with water. Bridge offered too many possibilities, but the next clue – Skat – brought me back a bad flashback. My best mate at Uni, KD Johnson, was a German graduate who’d picked up that game during his time studying in Germany. One afternoon he tried to teach it to me, along with a German girl who was staying in the hall. They were both experienced players, and I’d never heard of it, and just couldn’t grasp it. Thankfully it was not strip Skat. I plumped for Patience as the answer, and Cribbage for the last clue confirmed these were 4, then 3, then 2 player games. The Aths took the point with Solitaire. Which meant that the score at the end of the round was 8 -5 to the RCs.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Athletes picked Lion, and they saw a set of dolls early doors, but never quite isolated them. Fried dough products they did untangle with yum-yums – churro – Berliner and Beignet. A set of tips – PG – Q – Felt and Wing – followed. However they just couldn’t untangled the last two. When faced with Jemima – Macavity – Asparagus and Victoria they did get that they were cats from Cats, and this left Hamble – Looby Loo – Raggedy Ann and Madeleine for the dolls. 6 points.
The RCs did untangle all four lines. They saw areas of east London with Whitechapel – Beckton – Mile End and Bow, though they were a while working it out. Words which can follow Eton – Mess – Crop – Boating Song and Wall Game came a little later. They knew that there was a set of England goalkeepers there, but waited to try to work out what the last line would be. In the end they isolated Seamen – Banks – Flowers and Stepney, which left Five – Keys – Balloons – Bananas, which all come in bunches. So this gave the RCs a very useful lead of 18 – 11 going into the last round.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
It was a tough ask for the Aths, but they set about it with some style. The first set were all 18th century inventions. They fell 3 – 1 to the Aths. 14 – 19. Perfumes and the houses that make them went 3 – 0 to the Aths. 17 – 19. Songs from Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor watsitsname fell 3 – 1 to the Aths. All square at 20 points apiece, and right at this moment your money would be riding on the Aths. Well, the next category was things a naughty child might say. Richard of the RCS took the first. The Aths knew what the 2nd was, but a cruelly misplaced consonant lost them a point, and when it was correctly answered by the RCs, they were 3 points behind with hardly any time to go. With the wind back in their sails the RCs went on to get A bigger boy made me do it – and my personal favourite – the dog ate my homework.
Very bad luck Athletes. A splendid fightback, and I wish you the very best of luck in your next round. Congratulations to the Record collectors, and again, best of luck in your next show. Well played all.