Friday, 6 June 2014

Only Connect - Qualification Match

Welsh Learners v. Record Collectors

Yes, you’re quite right. Back to work this week, hence no posting before the weekend, thanks for asking. My, but we have a lot to catch up on. Firstly, this match between two of our first round winners to gain automatic passage through to the semi finals. What a quandary. How could I not support Margaret from the Welsh Learners? Margaret is a regular player in Trevor’s Monday night quiz in the Pill Harriers – and very good it is too. On the other hand, how could I not support Rach Cherryade Neiman of the Record Collectors? Rach has been a friend and a pen, er, laptop/email pal since her appearences on University Challenge. Well, that was my problem, The Welsh Learners, are Margaret Gabica, Chris Hern, and captain Stuart Hern. They comfortably beat the Software engineers in the first round, before those same engineers knocked out the Erstwhile Athletes, containing our own Daniel Fullard. Phew – confusingly small world, isn’t it? As for the Record Collectors, well, Rachael Neiman, Adam Barr and Richard Gilbert beat . . . well they beat the Erstwhile Athletes in a close match in their first round. All in all it looked a very good match up on paper.

Round One – What’s the Connection?

The Learners kicked off with Two Reeds. New Objectivity did not mean a great deal to me. The Blue Rider, though, very much did, as Der Blaue Reiter, and I threw artistic movements on the table.When The Bridge came next I believe the Learners began barking up the wrong tree with Scandinavian TV programmes, a suggestion which actually was highly plausible. House of Construction – or Bauhaus – completed the set. The Learners stuck with the Scandinavian dramas, which gave the RCs the bonus. For their part they chose Horned Viper – conventionally voiced – and Adam seemed to have a pretty good idea from the first clue – The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. I didn’t, but the second clue – The Dancing Cavalier – I did know. That’s the (second) title of the film within a film in “Singin’ In The Rain”. Now, bearing in mind that Adam had already said that the first was a novel within a novel, then these were clearly fictional works within fictional works. Oh, the RCs were definitely barking up the right tree with fictional novels, but it was the wrong branch. Given a second bite they didn’t change their answer to encompass other media, and so a grateful Learners’ team happily accepted the bonus. The other clues were The Mousetrap and The Itchy and Scratchy Show. Right, now given the Music set, neither Learners nor RCs could make headway with The Resurrection Symphony by Mahler – (didn’t know it) – I Am the Resurrection by the Stone Roses – (didn’t know it) – Christ the Lord is Risen Again by Charles Wesley (did know it, but it didn’t help me) and – Thriller by Michael Jackson. Resurrections/rising from the dead being the connection. Hokay, moving swiftly on, Eye of Horus gave the RCs Wee – Unhyphenated - Penultimate – Pentasyllabic. Huh? Actually it was a very, in fact, conspicuously clever set. Each word is what it describes. Wee is a small word, unhyphenated really isn’t hyphenated – and so on. The only thing I would say, though, is to note that I don’t think that Pentasyllabic makes it any more obvious than any of the others, and that’s a little unsatisfying. The last clue should, in my opinion, give you half a chance of making out the connection. Yes, just my opinion, and as always . . . Now, with the next Learners set I felt sure that Margaret would have a five pointer. As soon as hyet came up I, along with a huge number of other viewers, I’m sure, shouted out –ISO! Margaret knew it as well, but they took Hel to be on the safe side. Well, I can’t argue against making sure of the points. The others were – therm and –bar. Now, I think I would also have had a five pointer on the picture set which finished the round off for the RCs. We saw a map, on which Panama was highlighted, and in particular Panama City’s location was indicated. I don’t say I would have gambled in the studio, but my guess – Capitals with the name of the country and the word City was right. The RCs took Mexico City for the second clue to be sure, then gave the correct answer. So both teams had 4 points at the end of the round. Told you it looked like it was going to be a good game.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth?

Now, the first set presented to the Learners was one of those which wasn’t as hard as it looked at first. 4th: Yekaterinburg gave some pause for thought – I’m sure that it was the city in which Tsar Nicholas II and his family were assassinated. 3rd Novosibirsk put paid to any connection with that. In fact, the best I could suggest was that these were Russia’s largest cities in order of population, which would give 1st – Moscow. The Learners took 2nd – St. Petersburg, which confirmed my hypothesis. The set behind two reeds, picked next by the RCs was a very interesting and clever set. Highway from Daytona Beach to Tampa didn’t help. However Triatomic Hydrogen suggested H3, and Weekly Guardian Supplement could only be G2. That’s exactly what the RCs thought as well, and both of us went for the same example of Grand Prix motor racing for F1. Nice, nice set. Eye of Horus gave the Learners – jik – not a Scooby – then Sung – huh? – then il. Ah, enlightenment happened. Obviously successive members of the ruling North Korean clan, and so – un would finish it. That’s what the Learners thought too, and rightly so. I wouldn’t have had the RCs next set from the first clue – Zoo. I would have had it from Legs and Co, though. Obviously we were going back through Top of the Pops dance groups to Pans People. Rach could have had it from Zoo, but needed Legs and Co to be certain. Remember Ruby Flipper, the second group? No? Well, blink and you’d have missed them. The horned viper set of pictures, selected next by the Learners was one of those sets where both teams had a pretty good idea what it was all about, without getting the vital part of it. Shown a set of Stripes – then a plate of tripe – then the Learners offered rip. Ah, they fell into the trap. They removed one letter a time, when the clues removed two. Shown a rip for the third clue, the RCs still didn’t quite get it. It would be I. Lion offered possibilities, kicking off with Elinor. This was followed by Elizabeth, and I couldn’t help thinking we were in the realm of Jane Austen here. I’ll be honest, I was glad that Rach opted to take the third clue – Fanny confirmed our suspicions, and also ruled out Mansfield Park. Persuasion was the last, so Emma from Emma, or Catherine from Northanger Abbey. Emma, I said, Anne from Persuasion, Rach said, and Emma from Emma the Learners said for the bonus. Which once again levelled the scores at 9 apiece.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

Were we heading for tie break city, or would the walls seperate these teams? The RCs went first, and they lived dangerously. They could see a set of Italian car companies, but couldn’t isolate them for quite a while. They also saw jewelers, but again, they weren’t separating. With less than 20 seconds to go the cars fell at last with Maserati – Ferrari – Lancia and Bertone. Suddenly the lines were falling into line – as Bulgari – Cartier – Tiffany and Graff were revealed. With no more than a couple of seconds left the last two lines were resolved. Burmese – Sanction – Winston and Peggy – well, the only thing I could think of was Burmese was the Queen’s horse. Working on Burmese days and Winston Smith they ingeniously tried Orwell, but Queen’s horses was the answer. This left Fiat – Leave – Nod – Okay. This was one of those lines which is obvious once it has been explained to you, They are all terms for permission. 6 points, and I bet if you’d offered them that 30 seconds before the time ran out they’d have been delighted.

Fairly early doors the Learners could see that Cheerybles and Squeers were one half of a set of Dickens characters. They could also see a set of Australian Prime Ministers, and of horse drawn vehicles. But none of them were being isolated. Finally Menzies – Abbot – Gillard and Howard obliged. That was it until the time was up, though. When it was resolved they saw that Hawk – Gride – Cheeryble and Squeers were the Dickens characters, from Nicholas Nickleby. Drambuie – M&Co – Stagecoach and Tunnock’s, well, none of us pegged them as Scottish companies. This left Gig – Chariot – Tumbrel and Tonga as the horse drawn vehicles. 4 points, and at last one of the teams had a lead, albeit narrow. The RCs were ahead with 15 to 13.

Round Three – Missing Vowels

Well, we know that 2 points is a narrow lead that can easily be reeled in, as indeed it was in the first set, they share their names with card games. I predicted Nelson Piquet and wasn’t disappointed. These fell 3 – 1 to the Learners, and once again the teams were level. Punchlines fell evenly on both sides, and the score was 18 all. There was just enough time for the Learners to pick up two definitions of last, and that was it. It wasn’t a huge gap, just two points, but it would suffice.

So well done, Welsh Learners, Straight through to the semis with a 100% record. As for the RCs, well, you don’t need me to say that it could have gone either way, and that it’s just the luck of the draw. Best of luck in your next match. Well played all – good game.

1 comment:

Martin said...

I apologise that this comment is very late.

Wee – Unhyphenated - Penultimate – Pentasyllabic

is only nearly a conspicuously clever set.

Penultimate does not really belong, as it only describes itself due to its position in the sequence, whereas the other three words fundamentally describe themselves.