Sunday, 4 October 2015

Only Connect: Series Eleven: Elimination Match

Road Trippers v. Builders

The Road Trippers - Chris Pendleton, Nick Patterson and skipper Ned Pendleton, were fairly comfortably defeated by the Athenians last time out. As for the Builders, Robin Whelan, Max Esperson, and captain Ian Orris, well, they had a bit of a ‘mare against the Scientists, and must have at least drawn comfort from the thought that things surely wouldn’t work out so badly for them second time out, lightning never striking the same place twice.

Round One – What’s the Connection?

The Builds kicked off with Two Reeds, and had some horrible mathsy thing. It began with approximately 10m X π – ((365X3)+366)X21,600) . That helped a little, since sxs65 and 366 suggested 3 years and a leap year – but what about them? 365.25 x 82,400 saw Ian somewhat inexplicably deduce it was the time it takes Halleys Comet to come round the sun again. Well, that’s 76 years, so obviously wrong. I had already plumped for various formulae for the number of seconds in a year – which the last clue – 365.25X24X60X60 seemed to confirm. Given an open goal the Trips contrived to send the ball into row Z, just giving a year as the answer. Come on chaps, you can do better than this. Lion gave the Trips seven consonants. Two vowels made it click – there are seven consonants in the word consonants, and two vowels in the word vowels. This was confirmed by three syllables, and seven letters. The Trips had no idea, and neither did the Builds. They picked Twisted flax, which was the music set. I didn’t have the first two, but recognized ‘I’m gonna wash that man right outta my hair’ from South Pacific. Long haired lover from Liverpool – they don’t make em like that any more thank goodness – proved hair was the link. At last one of the teams got a point, as the Builds saw it too. The Trips took Water, and a picture set. The first was the great Gordon Banks. The second I didn’t know. The third – Britney Spears. Hmm – present tense indicative singular verbs, I suggested. The last clue Jeremy Irons fit the pattern. Mind you it also fitted plural nouns, which was the answer given by the Trips – I’m glad they accepted that answer for frankly rather a weakfish set in my opinion. The Builds asked for an unstressed Horned Viper which gave them club sandwich – iPod – and I was floundering at this point – Billy Bookcase – and I was actually sinking at this point – Big Mac. Nope – I just didn’t have it at all. Neither did the teams. Apparently these are all things used as financial indices – to compare the buying power of different currencies. Alright, I will admit that the words – American Municipal Bankruptcies – did flash briefly through my mind – but I’m not a financier and for all I know these things are well known as such. My initial thought, though, was that this was unnecessarily obscure. Eye of Horus gave the Trips – Rut – Loam – and there was something nagging at the back of my mind – and Barset which made it crystal – fictional counties. It was clear for the Trips too, but they took Borset to be sure. All of which meant that at the end of the round the score was 2 – 1 to the Trips.

Round Two – What Comes Fourth?

Two reeds gave the builds the word endangered on a yellow background. I fancied a shy at a five pointer and gave the word extinct in white on a black background. They took a second clue – critically endangered on a red background. Robin, I think, had the right answer at this point, but they opted to take Extinct in the Wild on a blue background before giving the right answer. Well, that was a better set. Twisted flax gave the Trips Act of Settlement. Hmm – no idea. First GB Census though was in 1801, so if we were going 1701 onwards, then attack on the world trade centre would do for 2001. Ned had it worked out at this point too, but took Death of Queen Victoria to prove it. He gave the example of Goran Ivanesevic which was perfectly acceptable. The Builds took eye of Horus and received pictures. What we had were feet in ballet shoes in various positions starting with 4th and working backwards. So if you knew that 1st position was a pair of feet with the heels touching, you could have a 5 pointer. If you didn’t, then you weren’t even going to get a one pointer. Which makes it a less than great set, as I would argue that for most people clues 2 and 3 do not make it any easier than clue 1. Neither team had it. Water gave the Trips Death Valley. Now that had possibilities – being possibly the driest place in North America, and certainly the lowest below sea level in North America. Laguna del Carbon sounded appropriately South American, and so if we were going for lowest points of continents, then the Dead Sea for Asia seemed to fit the bill. The Trips thought about depressions and Dead Sea, but actually suffered a depression after going for driest places with the Atacama Desert. The Builds took a bonus. Lion gave the Builds Conforms to EU safety standards. Then Compare. Well that was CE followed by CF, so the answer would be eg international car registration for Switzerland. Which was exactly the answer that the Builds also came up with. Now THAT’S a nice set. Horned Viper – conventionally voiced by Victoria as always – gave the Trips 2002: Cafu. So – world cup winning captains. 2014: Lahm, 5 points thank you very much. Well, not for the Trips, though. They didn’t know it was Philip Lahm. As for the Builds, well, they either couldn’t believe their luck that they were given such an easy steal, or couldn’t believe their bad luck that they didn’t pick such a plum for themselves. This gave the Builds a lead of 8 – 4.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

Lion kicked off the round for the Trips. It took a while, but they eventually resolved a set of black and white creatures – orca – skunk – zebra and giant panda. Words which can follow honey did just that, that is, they followed – badger – trap – monster – bun. A little bit of thought, and a conference, and they solved the last two lines. Brother – Remington Mandvi and Adler are typewriter manufacturers, which left Bee – Mandvi – Colbert and Oliver, which I didn’t know, all correspondents on The Daily Show. 10 out of 10, and much needed.

Water gave the Builds a bit to think of. They tried a set of heels first, then gave it up and went for orchestral conductors, then gave it up and isolated a set of Danger Mouse characters – Stiletto – Baron Greenback – Agent 57 – Penfold. Then immediately after that the conductors – Solti – Toscanini – Rattle and Beecham followed. Kitten – Cuban – wedge and cone were the heels, which left golf clubs – hybrid – wood – iron and putter. Again, 10 from 10. So going into the final round the Builds had a useful but not decisive lead of 18 – 14.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

Charity singles, the first category, went two apiece, which helped the Builds more than it helped the Trips. A 4-0 shut out on musicians and their instruments for the Builds meant pretty much game over. 3 – 1 on things you might see on a pay slip increased the lead, and there was just time for one apiece on the buildings on the heritage at risk register before the time was up. The final score was 28 – 18. A comfortable win for the Builders in the end. 

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