Nørdiphiles v. Bibliophiles
OK, then, let’s have a sneaky wee look at the form guide. The Nords, Will Day, James Keeling and captain Joanna Murray, secured a victory by 2 points over the Night Watchmen in the first round. They overturned a 5 point deficit in the last round, and so you fancied that if they were within striking distance after the walls then they would surely be in with a shout. Richard Clay, Vince Milner, and Mike Hart, the Bibliophiles, comfortably defeated the QI Elves in their own first round match. To put all of that into perspective, the Elves went on to defeat the Nightwatchmen in the elimination match. On paper, then, the Bibs looked favourites. These matches aren’t played on paper, though.
Round One – What’s the Connection?
Bibs skipper Mike pleased me by opting for horned viper, but earned a music set for his pains. Like the Bibs I struggled with the first but recognised Zambezi as the second. So rivers definitely. The Bibs had nothing at this stage but Orinoco Flow could only really mean two things – Rivers or Wombles. The Blue Danube confirmed it was rivers. 1 point taken. Eye of Horus gave the Nords Health (2008 – 2011) – Answers (2002 – 2006) – Reader (2005 – 2013). It was only at this stage that I started to have an inkling that we might be dealing with Google services. I’ll be honest, Wave (2009 – 10) didn’t really help, but I went with it since it was all I had. Neither team had it, but apparently I was right, these were all discontinued Google services. Fair enough. Lion gave the Bibs a set of pictures. The first looked like a bone. The second was Charles Atlas. Now, I knew that there is a bone called the Atlas as well, so this was the point at which I gave the answer. The third picture showed us a mountain – which fitted perfectly well but the Bibs wanted the last clue, which showed a statue of Atlas erroneously holding up the Earth. In Greek Mythology he held up the heavens. One point taken again. The Nords took twisted flax, and were shown My Ding A Ling (Corrupting Children). I think I would have had a five pointer here. On the surface it looks like banned things – but I rather fancied that the name Mary Whitehouse wouldn’t be far away from this answer. This for me was confirmed by “Till Death Us Do Part – (dirty)”. This was the sitcom for which Mary Whitehouse boasted she would have Lord Hill over the coals, if I remember correctly. Panorama on Belsen (filth) I didn’t know, but there was no reason why it couldn’t be. I wondered whether the last one would be Doctor Who, since it is believed that the start of the decline of the original series can be traced to Mary Whitehouse’s complaints about the level of horror in “The Deadly Assassin” – over which she was, being polite, completely misguided. Actually it was The Romasn in Britain (gross indecency). Which reminds me – is gross indecency 144 times worse than indecency? Answers on a postcard please. The Bibs took the bonus, and looked quite well in control at this point. Two reeds gave them Sapporo Dome – John Smith’s Stadium – Liberty Stadium – and KC Stadium. I would have had a point since I know the Liberty quite well, believe it or not I once piloted a light aircraft over it while they were still building it – and all I could think of is that it’s the home to both Swansea City and The Ospreys – football and Rugby union. That turned out to be the answer – stadia which are homes to teams in at least two different sports. Left with Water the Nords were given Pineapple (unlock Mr. Sparkle blade). Now, I’ll be honest, all Mr. Sparkle means to me is an episode of the Simpsons, and this set had nothing to do with that. Pears (Worcestershire CCC) though did suggest we were dealing with fruits in threes. Oranges (1919 Prokofiev Opera) confirmed it – the Love of 3 Oranges being the opera. Now apples (the height of a smurf) did give it to James Keeling. This was enough to narrow the gap so that the Bibs led by 3 – 1. Both teams could rue a couple of missed opportunities.
Round Two – What’s the Connection?
The Bibs this time started with twisted flax. African Antelope seemed to offer too many possibilities. Slow underhand cricket ball didn’t help me either. However disorderly crowd suggested mob. If the cricket ball was a lob, then presumably the antelope would have been a kob – never heard of one myself, but that means nothing. Which gives the answer as nob – as in one for his in cribbage. The Bibs didn’t see it, and so the Nords gratefully accepted the bonus. Two Reeds gave the Nords 594 x 841. I’ll be honest , this was one of those where its staring you in the face, but sometimes you just don’t see it, and I didn’t. Next we had 420x594. The third was 297 x 420. That was enough for the Nords. It looked like Will who worked out we were dealing with paper sizes, and they took 210 x 297 for the point. Thus in the space of the first two sets they had wiped out the Bibs’ lead, and we had a game on our hands. The Bibs decided that it was time to bring out the big guns, and went for the viper again. We began with Nottingham = 5 – huh? – Leicester = 6 – Bristol = 7. I had a feeling that this might well be something to do with telephone dialling codes, but it didn’t help because I didn’t have a Scooby which city or town would be – 8. Apparently it was Reading. Not the most satisfying of sets that, if I’m totally honest, and neither team had it. Eye of Horus for the Nords opened with Noah’s Ark. Too many possibilities there for me. Jack and Jill Bathroom, though was interesting. The thing about a Jack and Jill Bathroom is that it has 2 doors. Noah’s Ark had one. So the answer would be something like a 4 door salon car, or something of that ilk. Monty Hall problem was the third clue, and that seemed to give it to the Nords. If you’re not aware of this, basically the Monty Hall problem is a probability puzzle which involves three doors, one of which has the star prize. You pick a door. The host (Monty Hall is a famous US TV game show host) then opens one of the other two to reveal the prize is not there. Then the host offers you the chance to switch your original choice. According to the theory behind it, you should take the switch, because it is right 2/3 of the time. Don’t ask me how or why. It gave the Nords the point anyway. The Bibs picked Lion and received a picture set. I didn’t recognise the first, but might have been tempted to take a flier after the second. It showed Mia Farrow. Now, bearing in mind that the BBC is making a big fuss over the centenary of the birth of Frank Sinatra, and Mia Farrow was his third and penultimate wife, I threw Nancy Barbato into the mix. It was confirmed when Ava Gardner came next. The Bibs really weren’t on top of this one, and neither were the Nords. However the Nords still had a set left to play for with Water, and received Face. Seemed like a case of too many possibilities for my liking. Arms came next , and again I really couldn’t see it. Speech came third, though, and this gave it to both me and the Bibs after the Nords failed to give an answer – being part of the acronym FAST – to do with suspected stroke victims. T would then be Time. Nonetheless, the Nords had made significant progress during the round, and now led 6 – 4.
Round Three – The Connecting Walls
The Nords chose Lion and could see that there was a set of dog food brands in there. These they isolated as Cesar – Winalot – Pal and Bakers. Salmon types and winds they could also see, but these were quite stubbornly refusing to resolve for quite some time. They didn’t at this point see a set of Noel Coward plays. However it was the Coward plays they took out first – Blithe Spirit – Sirocco – The Vortex – and Hay Fever. With very little time and only three attempts left they just couldn’t untangle the two line. Chinook – Chum – Sockeye and Pink were the salmon, leaving Mistral – Squamish – Cape Doctor and Loo as the winds. Not heard of Loo before, I will admit. 6 points.
Water remained for the Bibs. They could see a set of ducks straightaway, and worried away well at the five possibilities to isolate teal – merganser – wigeon and eider. A set of famous locomotives followed in fairly short order – Mallard – Flying Scotsman – Rocket and Puffing Billy. I could see a set of parts of titles of Poirot books, which would leave the surnames of members of One Direction. When they did untangle the lines they knew the Poirot connection with Styles – Orient Express – Mesopotamia and the Nile, but Tomlinson – Malik – Payne and Horan meant nothing to them, which rather amused Victoria. 7 points, which put them one behind at 12 – 11.
Round Four – Missing Vowels
Going back to what I said at the top of the show, the Nords overturned a significant lead to win their first match. The Nords were leading going into this round – therefore they were favourites. The first category – third novels in trilogies – fell 2 apiece. Apple products was the next set. I’ll be honest, I was thinking more of cider than ipad, if you know what I mean. Both teams lost a point on this set, but the Nords offset it by taking two answers. Things a self service checkout might say added one point to the Nords before the round ended. This meant that it was a win for the Nords by 16 – 12. Safely through to the quarters, and well played. Hard lines to the Bibliophiles, but they still have another chance.