Last week Northern Ireland defeated England. In today’s show the Midlands, in the shape of Roslaind Miles and Stephen Maddock, took on the North of England’s Adele Geras and Diana Collecot. If I was being really harsh I’d say that both teams missed some of what I thought were gettable clues last week, so I was interested to see how this week’s teams would perform.
Question one went to the Midlands
How could Bill and Kevin’s characters combine to find a satisfactory solution to a wet or murky afternoon’s sport?
Hmm – I’ll be honest there was no instantaneous lightbulb moment for me in the way that there was with last week’s first question. Tom Sutcliffe confirmed that the Kevin was an actor, and after a long diversion into soap opera they arrived at Kevin Whately. OK – so far so good, but I was still none the wiser. Stephen was, though. BILL Tarmey played Jack DUCKWORTH, and KEVIN Whately played LEWIS – the Duckworth Lewis method being used to adjust totals and what have you for rain affected one day cricket matches. Now that was an impressive shout – wish that I could claim some points for it, but I was miles away from it myself. The Midlands received 4 points, since they had been very clearly pointed towards soap operas for one of the actors.
The North of England had to follow that with this first question
In which conflict might the creator of a substantial female be on the opposing side to an early Radio One DJ, one half of Bartholomew and Wiseman, and a perpetually youthful schoolboy?
Now, I knew from the start that Eric Bartholomew and Ernest Wiseman were the great Morecambe and Wise. Bearing in mind the radio 1 DJ suggested old ‘Smashy’ himself, Tony Blackburn, and maybe, just maybe the conflict was the Wars of the Roses, since we already had two Lancashire towns. Throw in the idea that a substantial female might be A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor BRADFORD, and it was looking better and better. The team had old Tone straightaway, but then moved onto the schoolboy with whom I was also struggling. Tom dropped some very heavy handed hints about the writer, and they had Bradford, although they erroneously placed it within Lancashire at first. They denied any knowledge of Bartholemew and Wiseman until Tom practically drew them a diagram. I make no apology for not being able to get Jimmy Clitheroe for the perpetually youthful schoolboy , since the Clitheroe Kid was quite a bit before my time. Still, I think I was worth at least a couple of more points than the North’s 3.
The Midlands’ second question was a music set.
I didn’t recognize the piece of music we heard, which really isn’t much of a surprise, and so I struggled with this question: -
To the composer of this, you could add an ‘e’ to get a Bonfire; an ‘o’ for a Lighthouse; or an ‘f’ for a Boy’s Life. And you could translate it into Latin for a disease. Can you explain?
Stephen very helpfully explained that the composer was called Hugo Wolf. E gives us then Tom Wolfe of Bonfire of the Vanities fame, Virginia Woolf of To the Lighthouse (had to read it for my degree – not my cuppa at all) . I knew that the latin for wolf – lupus – is also a disease. I didn’t know Tobias Wolff – the author of This Boy’s Life – and the Midlands couldn’t remember it. Even so, knowing the piece of music made that one gettable, and they scored a well deserved 5. I reckon I was worth perhaps 2. Can’t have done the Midlands any harm having the Chief Executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on the team.
The North of England’s music question contained more than one piece, and we were asked to suggest what linked all three of them to Mr. Jones’ breakfast.
We had two speaking voices, and then a piece of popular music.
The first quotation was from Alexander Pope – I didn’t know it, John Bishop I did recognize, and this enabled me to take a leap of faith and suggest that the breakfast may in fact be the proverbial curate’s egg. Judas Priest and Breaking the Law seemed to confirm it. As for the team, they argued for a second or two before settling on Pope, then tried out quite a few Liverpudlians for size before arriving at John Bishop. This gave them the impetus to suggest the curate’s egg and Judas Priest. In the end this salvaged 4 points for them – I’d have given myself maybe 5.
Moving back to the Midlands, their next question asked
What was famously lacking in Tycho, Major Kovalyov and the music hall dog, but was a source of inspiration to Dmitri and is personified by Monsieur Polge?
Now, I knew from the start that Tycho Brahe lost his nose in a duel. (Well, if you will play with swords, boys . . . ) Didn’t know about the Major, but the music hall dog is the dog that has no nose – No nose? How does he smell? etc. Stephen informed us that Kovalyov is the hero of Gogol’s short story ‘The Nose’, and his nose went walkabout in Moscow. In the words of the immortal Boney M – Oh, those Russians! As for Dmitri, no idea. Stephen did – he knew the story was an inspiration to Dmitri Shostakovitch. I didn’t have a guess about Monsieur Polge, but Rosalind guessed that he was the chief ‘nose’ of Chanel. Good shout. 6 points for them – maybe 3 to me.
The North of England followed with this one
Would Hitchcock's debatable thief, Stevenson's tale of contained chicanery, and the machinations of Feathers McGraw, lead you in the right direction or its opposite?
OK, well, I’m sure that most listeners, as I did, picked up on Feathers McGraw as the chicken-impersonating penguin villain in Nick Park’s The Wrong Trousers, which made superstars of Wallace and Gromit. So it looked like the wrong direction. The Hitchcock then would be The Wrong Man, and the Stevenson story, The Wrong Box. I think I earned a six here, but poor old North didn’t know the Wallace and Gromit connection here. 5 for the North.
By this time the Midlands must have had a clear lead, and they had the chance to capitalize on it with this, their last one
Why might you expect to find the following together in Swindon?
A Lady with a Lamp,
The father of the Sons of Thunder,
The alter ego of Robert Allen Zimmerman,
Father Ted’s sidekick, and
A Very Naughty Boy?
Could it have been easier to a child of the 70s? Lady of the Lamp – FLORENCE Nightingale. The father of the Sons of Thunder - ZEBEDEE , The Alter ego of Robert Zimmerman – Bob DYLAN, Father Ted’s sidekick – Father DOUGAL, A very naughty boy – BRIAN of Nazareth. All characters from the Magic Roundabout, and the famous Magic Traffic Roundabout is in Swindon. I’ll have my 6 points now please Tom. I knew that the team were on to it when they gave Zebedee. They polished those off easily for their own 6 points. By my calculations they had already won, so it was just a matter of how close the North could get to them with their last question.
Tom confirmed that North of England couldn’t win, but could narrow the gap with this
A Camel, an Otter, A Mole, an Ant, and a Lark all have mouths but cannot speak, they run but never walk, and never sleep in their own beds. Where are they?
I’ll be honest, everything about it was shouting Rivers to me. Camel is in Cornwall, knew that, and the Otter is in Northumberland I said for the same reason that the team did, knowing of Otterburn. Now for the Mole I think either West Sussex or Surrey would have been acceptable. Neither of us knew the Lark in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, nor did we know the Ant in Norfolk. So we both had 3 each.
SO the Midlands won with a terrific 21 points, to the North of England’s 15, and gotta be honest, they looked good value for it too.