Saturday, 29 August 2015

Only Connect - Season 11 - Match 6 and Match 7

Match 6: String Section v. Headliners

And so to match 6, which I missed when I was away last weekend. The String section consisted of Tessa North, Peter Sorel-Cameron and captain Richard Aubrey. I don’t think I know any of them personally, and they all came up clean on LAM. Their opposition were the Headliners, Duncan Enright, Dave Robinson and Paddy Baker. Likewise all of them have clean records on LAM. So you pays yer money and you takes yer choc ice, as they say.

Round One – What’s The Connection?

The Headliners put the string section in to bat first, and they chose Two Reeds. I didn’t have it after Norfolk PE35 6EN, but I did after Aberdeenshire AB35 5TB. They had postcodes, but not royal residences. Berkshire SL4 1NJ saw them rather inscrutably barking up the postcodes that are not actually in the county they are supposed to be tree. London SW1A 1AA is of course Buckingham Palace, and so the Headliners were never going to turn their collective nose up at that windfall. Lion gave a picture set. We started with a cockerel. Hmm. Then two flying ducks. Hmm Hmm. Then JS Bach. Hmm hmm hmm. Then a jar of honey. All I could come up with, and I didn’t like it very much, were terms of endearment. Which turned up to be the correct answer. Fair enough, but I can’t say that this was my favourite set, and neither team had it. I was delighted to see Richard stress Hornèd in Viper, and hoped this would bring him a good set. Barley grains from the middle of the ear – nope. A London candle. Still nope. A days work from a team of oxen – ah – lightbulb. These were all definitions of old units of measurement – the oxen one being one acre, I thought. The Strings took a Thumb for the last clue, and this gave it to them. The Liners chose Eye of Horus and received God Bless America and The Cuckoo’s Calling – and I was fairly sure that the first of these was not written under a pseudonym. Ah, the Entire output of Dorothy Parker, though gave me an inkling that this might well be proceeds to charity. I made a mental bet that the last would be ‘Peter Pan’. Yes! Now, the Liners really ought to have had it from Peter Pan, but they didn’t, and neither did the Strings. Sorry everyone, but that’s the sort of thing you probably should be getting right. Twisted Flax gave the Strings the Flag of Vietnam. Yellow star on a red field. Let’s see the next. Google O’s. As the Strings knew, one is yellow and the other red, so I asked myself whether we’d also get the Pied Piper. No, after the Strings took the points after 2, we also had MCC tie and Rupert Bear’s clothes. Water inevitably brought music to the Liners. I didn’t get the first, and though I knew Kim Wilde and Sandie Shaw I needed Shakespeare’s Sister to push me to Playwrights. Ditto the Liners. So at the end of the round the Strings led by 4 - 2

Round Two – What Comes Fourth?

Right, the round that separates the men from the slightly younger men. The Strings again kicked off with Two Reeds. We saw One Direction – Chris Martin, then Kylie. No, I just didn’t have it. Neither team did in the time allotted. It was artists who have sung the opening line to a recording of Do They Know It’s Christmas, and of course the first was Paul Young. Duncan of the Liners also opted for Hornèd Viper, just the way we like it. Now, the first clue was Oath. I immediately wondered if we were dealing with the Coronation – in which case what would come 4th. Anointing? Procession? Anointing and Investiture followed, so I went for crowning. So did the Liners, who said coronation. Nobody had it – the next is enthronement. Fair enough, but a pretty tricky set, I dare say. Lion saw the Strings kick off with Saw III. Part of a popular film franchise I’m reliably informed. Cars IV followed. Hmm – the set had to be harder than it looked. Then I looked at the words. Saw has 3 letters – Cars has 4. So a 6 letter word followed by VI. George VI was the example that the Strings came up with after Alien V. The Liners needed a kinder set, and hoped that they would find one behind Eye of Horus. Mikhail Youzhny didn’t help me, and he was followed by Fernando Verdasco. Jerzy Janowicz didn’t help me – sorry but this set just passed me by. Novak Djokovic looked like a complete guess by the Liners, but it was right. These were Andy Murray’s successive opponents in Wimbledon 2013. Actually that’s a good set – kudos to the setter. The Strings finished with water, and started with 4th Foot=foot. Huh? 3rd: hand=hand. Huh? 2nd Tooth= Tooth. Ah, I mused – were we in eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth territory? Yes we were. This left Twisted Flax for the Liners. We began with Jefferson City Missouri. Now, I was switched on for this one. Jefferson City is the capital of Missouri. He was also the 3rd president. Working forward, the next should be Madison Wisconsin (4th president) and Jackson Mississippi (7th). Which would mean Lincoln Nebraska would be 4th (16th president) . A well earned 5 pointer for me. The Liners could see it was Presidents, but went for Washington DC – not a state capital – not part of a state at all – and he wouldn’t have been next in line anyway – he should have been first if he qualified. Richard knew that and took a timely bonus. That meant that the Strings led 9 -4 and at the moment looked like the only winners in this show.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

The Liners opted for lion, and began trying to isolate a set of cigars. Now, I think that the best way to go is once you see a set, keep trying all combinations until you get the right one. They didn’t, and abandoned the set to go chasing pianos. Then they switched again, and this time isolated Hamlet – Eugene Onegin – Swan Lake and Capriccio Italien – all works by Tchaikovsky. In short order a set of canals – Erie – Herengeracht – Grand and Suez followed. A moment’s thought, and the cigars – Panama – Henri Wintermans – King Six and Castella, and the pianos – Upright – Player – Spinet and Console were resolved. Sadly they went for ballets rather than Tchaikovsky, and so ended up with 7 points, when a full house had been there for the taking.

The Strings sized up their water wall before taking out a set of things which can be preceded by the word Turkish – Coffee- slippers – carpet and delight. There was a set of Liverpool FC players that they seemed to be going for without much success, before switching to things you can run – risk – bath – race and errand. It looked like Tessa who worked out that Busby – Cabbage – Tankard and Vandal all begin with words for vehicles. This left Callaghan – Rush – Venison and Fowler as the Liverpool footballers. 10 points, and with the lead standing at 19 – 11 they really looked as if they should win with daylight between themselves and the Liners.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

The first set, Scottish authors, saw a complete 4 – 0 shut out by the Strings. Game over. Items on an Indian takeaway menu fell 2 all, but the Strings also dropped a point for a premature buzz. Consecutive Shipping Forecast areas went 3 – 1 to the Liners. French novels saw just enough time for the Strings to take a point and then lose it again. In the end the final score was 25 – 16.

Well played Strings – you came on stronger and stronger as the quiz went on. If I’m honest I don’t see either of these teams as the series winners, since I think that there are teams with a wider general knowledge in the competition, but with the Strings I kind of feel that you underestimate them at your peril.

Match 7: Road Trippers v. Athenians.

Quick – dash to the kitchen and make yourself a cup of tea – or maybe something a bit stronger (coffee). The next contest is about to start, and there’s no time to draw breath. So in this 7th match we see the first run out for the Trips and the Aths. The Aths were Jon Stilcher, Ben Holmes and Amber Marshall. Jon and Amber came up clean on Lam, but Ben was a semi finalist in the 2014 series of Mastermind. Nice to see Masterminds having a go at the OC, I always think. The Trips were Chris Pendleton, Nick Patterson and skipper Ned Pendleton. All three of these guys came up clean.

Round One – What’s The Connection? 

The Trips started with water and a character from my favourite film, The Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne. Characters imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit? The Trips considered it. Ross Geller though really muddied the issue for a moment. At about the same time the Trips were looking at Palaeontologists, I was going with rock collectors. Next came Obelix the Gaul. Now, I wish to be pedantic here. Did Obelix REALLY collect Menhirs? I ask because he is always described as a Menhir Delivery Man – which suggests not. I’ve never watched In The Night Garden, so had no idea whether Makka Pakka collects rocks or not, but guessed that he did.  Victoria showed quite an amount of leeway allowing another go after palaeontoligsts, then allowing fossils. Fossils – rock collectors? Well, she allowed it and that’s that. Twisted Flax gave the Aths a photo of Ellen DeGeneres, then a chap I don’t know. The third picture showed Lee Mack and Tim Vine. Now, that had to refer to Not Going Out, in which I knew they played characters called Lee and Tim. Ellen Degeneres played Ellen in Ellen, so I guessed that they played characters with their own first name. Terry and June confirmed this in the last picture. Two Reeds gave the Trips the music set and it was the third one, a Natalie Cole/Nat King Cole duet on Unforgettable that gave it to me – duets recorded after one of the artists had passed away. The Trips didn’t have a Scooby and the Aths went barking up the parent and child duet tree. Lion gave the Aths Elizabeth and James – which looked on the surface like monarchs and successors. Menace II Society blew that out of the water, and left a void because I didn’t have a clue. Harvard Connection rang a bell as something to do with the origin of Facebook, then I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) – well, we all know about that, but what was the connection? The Facebook thing helped, since I recalled something to do with twin friends of Mark Zuckerberg being supposedly involved in the early days of Facebook, so made by twins was my guess. The Aths had no idea, the Trips were close but no cigar with brothers. Eye of Horus gave the Trips Fliffus. That’s a manoeuvre in trampolining – but I wasn’t fancying a 5 pointer on that. Next came Oliver! And I was out with the washing. The Sixth Sense did nothing to bring me back in again. Mobius Strip finished it off. None of us got it. Now, when its explained – that they all have a twist in them, it makes sense, but oh, I don’t know, it’s just not satisfying as a set. Clever, but not satisfying. We know that Victoria never gives the preferred pronunciation of Horned Viper, and this is what was left for the Aths. 35 Out of Money was followd by 33 Illogical interchange. This was clearly an IT , error message sort of thing – but what exactly? 16 Outside zone – ah – this looked like Oyster card underground turnstile error messages. 09 ticket damaged seemed to confirm it. The Aths thought so and earned a point for their trouble, to double their score and give them a 2 – 1 lead.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth?

The Trips kicked off with Lion. I thought that they were barking up the right tree when Marty came up, looking generally at Oscan winning films. Next The Apartment. Now, when I started quizzing in the 80s, this was the last Black and White best picture winner. Then along came Schindler’s list which is mostly B and W, and then the Artist. So that’s what I went for. The Trips took Schindler’s List and then gave the right answer. For water the Aths got a picture showing a dog on the left, and cat on the right, with a red arrow from cat to dog. Huh? Then bird to the cat – and that was my lightbulb moment. I went for fly to spider – as in there was an old lady who swallowed a fly etc etc. The Aths had it at this point as well. Top marks to Ned for both having the guts to sing a verse of the song, and then for asking for Hornèd Viper. France. . . offered little in the way of enlightenment. Arme followed – ah some French inscription of dedication – maybe Napoleon. What would come last? Peuple ? (people) . Tête d‘armée added weight ot this conclusion, but no help in deciding what was next. Apparently these were the last concerns of Napoleon on his deathbed, and the last was Josephine. What a surprise! Nobody had it! What were the chances of that happening? Alright, we’re not exactly in American Municipal Bankruptcies territory here, but come on, that’s a bit obscure I would have thought. The next set for the Aths began with Kelly. Too many possibilities there. Kelly came next, and didn’t help. However Kennnedy was the lightbulb moment. Now, the problem for the Aths was that they were far too old to remember Game for A Laugh, and so I would guess were most of the Trips. Now, there are TV shows which haven’t been on for 30 years which are still well remembered enough to give younger people who weren’t even born when it was on a reasonable chance. . . but Game for a Laugh? Oh well. Beadle was missing. Eye of Horus gave the Trips 20: Brodick. Nope, me neither. 10: Glamis though sounded more like it. Scottish castles would give Edinburgh as the top, but what number? 5: Cluzean came third, so I bit the bullet with 1: Edinburgh. These it turned out are the castles on Scottish banknotes. Having worked out pretty much everything the Trips still missed out and passed a bonus to the Aths. This left them with twisted flax and ageing – aluminium. That gave me an inkling – in the US the second I is missed out. So if the next one had an o which is dropped in US spelling, then the last could be colour/color or some such example. Foetus proved it. The Aths saw it was spelling, but not why, and so there was a bonus for the Trips. The score after round two was 6 – 4 to the Aths.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

Dolls and Ron Howard movies sprang out at the Aths from the start of their wall. After having several goes at the films they took out the dolls – Cabbage Patch – Dutch – Voodoo – Matryoshka. Then they switched to Aussie clang words – pash – Barbie – drongo and shonky. In one go they separated the last two lines – hi-hat, crash, splash and sizzle, all types of cymbals, and then this left the films – Coccoon, Backdraft, Apollo 13 and Rush. 10 points.

The Trips went for cakes from the start, then suddenly stopped and took out a set of Oceans’ films actors – Pitt – Clooney – Mac and Cheadle. Back to the cakes – no dice, and so they took out Royal Parks – Bushy – Regent’s – Green and Richmond. Sudddenly they realized there were areas of Greater Manchester – and took out Sale – Hyde – Eccles and Salford. This left the cakes which turned out to be Marble – Dundee – Madeira and Angel. Again – 10/10. 16 played 14 and it was anybody’s game.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

We began with phrases said by Del Boy. 2 apiece – which helped the Aths more than it helped the Trips. I enjoyed Book titles with the colour changed. The Aths took a very tricky full house, and that for me was the game over. Fictional TV chat show hosts was always going to have Mrs. Merton, Alan Partridge, Ali G, and the Kumars – well, I couldn’t think of any others – maybe Larry Sanders – was he a chat show host? 2 each. Onto British wrestlers but we only had time for the Aths to pick up Giant Haystacks. At the end the Aths won by 25 – 18. Good show. 

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