Saturday, 26 September 2015

Only Connect: Series Eleven: Elimination Match

Headliners v. Bookworms

The Headliners, Duncan Enright, Dave Robinson and Paddy Baker, were beaten 25 – 16 by the String Section in the first round, and I made the comment that I didn’t think that either team was the best general knowledge team we’ve ever seen. Bit mean that, and I’m sorry. They were playing the Bookworms, Katy Bateman, Tristram Cole and Dave Knapp. The Bookworms were narrowly defeated by the Wayfarers in the first round. So the form guide says. . . hang on a minute. The form guide has been completely reliable in the other elimination matches – it’s always wrong. So hey, no predictions, and may the better team win.

Round One – What’s the Connection?

The Heads began with Two Reeds. They received a music set for their pains, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t recognize anything before Dave said Beverly Knight for the second. I knew Nat King Cole for the third, though, and that gave us chess pieces. The Heads had it too at this same point. Lion gave the Books – starting position in Shogi. Nope. The Times Crossword Grid was a lot more helpful. That is , how should one put it, diagonally reversible. Flag of Georgia followed – red cross on a white field (cross of St George) with smaller red crosses in each quadrant. The Books tried horizontal and vertical symmetry, but alas twas neither. The letter S finished. The key is rotational symmetry, as the Heads confirmed. Eye of Horus gave the Heads 1965: Opened by Harold Wilson. Hmm – I wanted more. 2011 Defunct Aerial removed. Actually it looked like Dave had it at this point – I didn’t. The next clue, though, 1971: Toppled by a kitten gave it to probably every 50 something viewing at home. The Telecom Tower. The Heads took it off 3. Dave K did his team’s chances no good at all by asking for the Horned rather than Hornèd Viper, and received – The Berlin Wall – nope, too many – Celebrity Imperfections in Heat – no, never read it – The Right Hand side of the Daily Mail website – I refer you to my previous answer – then – Losers Leaving the Weakest Link. Well, that obviously had to be –Of Shame, as in the walk of. Now, Twisted Flax gave the Heads the most obvious 5 pointer I’ve seen for some time. Apostle Matthias – well, he was Judas’ substitute/replacements, and so substitutes/replacements was my answer for 5. Ben Wishaw as a Peruvian, the next clue, was lovely. You see, Colin Firth was the original voice of Paddington, but I believe voluntarily stepped down when it just wasn’t working. Kensington Blue Whale – well, while Dippy the Dpilodocus is on his UK tour at the moment his part is being played in the entrance hall of the Natural History Museum by a model of a blue whale. Finally the Heads twigged and took it off three. This left water for the Books. First we saw the late Steve Jobs holding an apple ipod or some such device. Then we saw Marco Polo. I was very pleased with myself for noticing the copy of Il Milione he was holding or I wouldn’t have had a Scooby who he was. A VW Polo came next, so obviously all polos. Only – oh Steve Jobs was wearing a polo neck. Sneaky as hell. The Books took it off three as well. All of which meant that the Heads led by 7 – 3.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth?

Water gave the Books Tigris. Now, this was either going to be the river, or Thor Heyerdahl’s reed boat. If Ra II came next, then Kon Tiki was the answer. It did come next and that was enough for the Heads as well, who were impressing me a lot more than they did in their first match. The Books’ set was difficult compared to this. Basically it was a representation of the four sides of the monopoly board in terms of the streets. So the first had 40% brown and 60% blues, and second half pink and half orange and so on. Now, we’re certainly not in American Municipal Bankruptcies territory, but this was tough. The Heads spurned the opportunity to improve their chances and they too asked for a disappointing Horned Viper. Returns was followed by Forever. Hmm, these were Batman films, but, crucially Returns wasn’t the first. SO I worked out the next would be Batman and Robin, and the answer therefore Begins. A bonus for the Books, and that is what can happen when you spurn Hornèd. Reeds gave the Books ½ pint lager =3. Sorry, but I knew this one, to my shame. It was Weight Watchers points. In which case working down to 0 could only be water. 25 ml gin=2 I wouldn’t have known, but I wasn’t changing my answer. 100 ml apple juice =1, and frankly I thought that the 5 points were mine. At this point the Books saw it to gate the answer. I have to say that the Heads had another plum for their last set. I’m not saying I would have had it from 7 = 900, but I definitely did from 6 = 720. This is internal angles of regular polygons, so 4 = 360. Again, no real excuses if you don’t get that one. No mistake by the Heads who had it off two. This left the Books with Manchester United (Preston North End). Well, one which should come to mind is that D. Beckham Esq, started his pro career at Man Utd where he also had a spell on loan at Preston. Dave had the connection too, and went for it off one. He offered just Paris St. Germain, and oh, had he only had the second clue he’d have been there. That showed Real Madrid (none) . So he’d have known Paris St. Germain (none) was right. The third was LA Galaxy (Milan) which left an open goal for the Heads, and they managed to shoot over the bar with LA Galaxy (Paris St. Germain). Which lucky escape for the Books meant that they trailed the Heads by 13 - 6

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

Realistically the Books needed to pull back at least some of the lead on the Lion wall. They began trying to isolate record retailers, but then switched with success to Blackpool attractions – Winter Gardens – Illuminations – Tower and Golden Mile. Island Groups – South Sandwich – Solomon – Virgin and Windward fell almost immediately afterwards. Square dance moves were there as well as the retailers. Very quickly they resolved the last two lines – Allemande Left – Do si Do – Grand Square and Promenade being the dance moves, while Zavvi – Rough trade – Our Price and HMV were the retailers. Alas, they failed to link the word square with dance, and only received 7 points, when they could well have had 10.

The Heads had the chance to pretty much close the show on their wall. They began by trying to isolate a set of diacritics, then computer games. When these didn’t budge they tried a set of Beyonce songs. Isolating If I Were A Boy – Crazy in Love – Halo and Déjà vu. Time Crisis – Quake – Doom and Deus Ex, the games followed very swiftly. With Fringe, Grave and Call of Duty it looked fairly clear that the last set were all linked by being Beyond The . . . but the Heads couldn’t see it, and had grave as a diacritic – which it could have been. SO the wall froze. When revealed the diacritics were macron – cedilla – hacek and circumflex – while the sea completed the beyond set. This resulted in 5 points, and a lead of 18 – 13. It still looked a tall order for the Books, but at least possible.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

Issues around Scottish Independence fell 4 – 0 to captain Dave of the Books. Now we had a game. Things you can take – take a . . . saw the Heads take two and lose 1, and the Books take 2. All square. Tournament formats went to the Books 3 – 1 and they led for the first time in the competition. Painters of $100 million paintings fell one each, and that was it. Wait for it – the Books had won by 2. What? The form guide, the one time I ignored it, was right! Bad luck to the Heads, but they can be pleased with playing a good game. Congratulations Bookworms. 

1 comment:

untruth said...

The five point turnover in the last round equalled the record, set in Series 10 by the Nørdiphiles against the Nightwatchmen.