Sunday, 30 September 2012

Deal or No Deal - 24th-30th September

What is it with September and Deal or No Deal? The two just don’t mix. Even when it’s been torrid in past years, it’s never been this bad.

Monday 24th: Haley
Winnings: £3,750
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £4,000 (2-box)
Box value: £10,000

Tuesday 25th: Veronica
Winnings: £250
Opened the box
Highest offer: £8,000 (11-box)
Box value: £250

Wednesday 26th: Mo
Winnings: £4,000
Dealt at: 5-box
Highest offer: £8,000 (14-box)
Box value: £50

Thursday 27th: Kat
Winnings: £20,009
Dealt at: 11-box
Highest offer: £30,003 (5-box)
Box value: £100

Friday 28th: Nick
Winnings: £10
Opened the box
Highest offer: £2,500 (11-box)
Box value: £10

Sunday 30th: Bob
Winnings: £6,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £24,000 (2-box)
Box value: £15,000

As you can see, nothing major of note this week: two trainwrecks (one of which is one of the most unavoidable of all time), and four rather non-descript deals. September has been a pretty poor month for the show this year, with only one Power 5 sum on the table (£100,000, in Stan’s game), and, beyond that, the big sums have not been in play long enough to allow the players to get decent offers to deal.

We can only hope for better things in October, in the run-up to Halloween week at the end of the month.

Monday, 24 September 2012

University Challenge: Round 1: Match 9: St Andrews vs Bangor

The first big laugh of tonight came before tonight’s show, when the poor continuity announcer said ‘cheesecuck’ instead of ‘cheesecake’, when previewing ‘Nigellissima’, which was on after tonight’s show. Never mind, could’ve been worse!

Anyway, on with the show. St Andrews is the oldest university in Scotland, and the third oldest in Scotland. Alumni include my first minister and MSP, Mr Alex Salmond, and, of course, Will and Kate. Playing for the university tonight were:
Ben Adams, from Banchory in Aberdeenshire, studying English Literature
Jim Parsons, from Leicester, studying History
Captain: James Gray, from Edinburgh, studying Classics
Andrew Newton, from Inverness, studying Maths

You may have been expecting me to be fully rooting for the Scottish side, especially seeing as they had a student from my home county. You’d be wrong. You see, one of the Bangor side has been leaving comments on here and on LAM, under the name ‘Welshguy’. So, therefore, my impartiality was strong tonight. Playing for the Welsh uni were:
Adam Pearce, from Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan, studying Translation Studies
Mark Stevens, from Widnes in Cheshire, studying Environmental Science
Captain: Nina Grant, from Enfield in London, studying French and Linguistics
Simon Tomlinson, from Manchester, studying Neuropsychology

The Welsh dominated the first part, with Mr Tomlinson getting the first two correct answers of the night. We then had a run of quite a few dropped starters, including one where Mr Gray of St Andrews buzzed, then said his answer was obviously wrong, so he wouldn’t bother saying it! Paxo said he’d take his word for it!

Throughout much of the first half, the sides swapped the lead, though the scoring stayed low, with not many bonuses being converted. At the music round, the scores were 60-50 in Bangor’s favour. Both sides knew the music starter was by Coldplay, but neither got the song name right. Mr Tomlinson of Bangor then had an unfortunate moment when, following an incorrect interruption from the opposition, he buzzed with another answer straight away, only to be told he was also wrong! St Andrews picked up the music bonuses, but converted none of them, though they did have a couple of close misses.

Bangor were still ahead at this point, and remained so for most of the rest of the match. One good starter asked, if the colours of the rainbow were arranged alphabetically, which ones would be first and last respectively. St Andrews made the same mistake I did, and forgot about yellow, which Bangor didn’t. After the second picture round, Bangor began to pull out a handy lead, and, though St Andrews fought back in the closing minutes, they didn’t quite catch them. In the end, Bangor won the match 125-105.

It may have been a low scoring match, but it was an entertaining one, and it’s a shame we won’t be seeing St Andrews again. Andrew Newton answered four starters correctly, but just 6 bonuses out of 24 with three penalties was what let them down. Simon Tomlinson also got four starters for Bangor, who managed an only slightly better 11 bonuses out of 24 with two penalties. Well done to ‘Welshguy’ and the team, and best of (hypothetical) luck in the next round.

Next week’s match: Lancaster vs Pembroke College Cambridge (runners-up in the last series)

Tonight’s Only Connect was a close one until the final round, when one of the teams ran away. The winning team included Dorian Lidell and James Wilson, who are no strangers to TV, having appeared on Pointless together a couple of years ago, and won the jackpot! They also represented Bath on University Challenge in two separate years (Wilson in 2008-09 and Lidell in 2011-12), both going out in the first round.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Deal or No Deal - 17th-23rd September

Another pretty non-eventful week for DOND, so a really short summary this week.

Monday 17th: Carl
Winnings: £5
Opened the box
Highest offer: £9,000 (14-box)
Box value: £5

Tuesday 18th: Chloe
Winnings: £12,000
Dealt at: 11-box
Highest offer: £25,000 (8-box)
Box value: £10

Wednesday 19th: Theo
Winnings: £21,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £26,000 (2-box)
Box value: £1,000

Thursday 20th: Flo
Winnings: £5,000
Dealt at: 5-box
Highest offer: £5,000 (11-box, 8-box and 5-box)
Box value: £5,000

Friday 21st: Ben
Winnings: £11,500
Dealt at: 11-box
Highest offer: £22,000 (14-box)
Box value: £1

Sunday 23rd: Simon
Winnings: £10,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £16,000 (5-box)
Box value: £100

So, not much of note this week: an unavoidable trainwreck, two 11-box deals, a draw, and two fairly nondescript deals. Theo’s game was the best game of a sorry week, in my opinion.

To be honest, September is usually a pretty torrid month for the show, apart from last year, where, thanks to rescheduling, we had three huge wins late on in the month. We can only sit and wait and hope for better things next week.

Monday, 17 September 2012

University Challenge: Round 1: Match 8: Imperial vs Jesus

Well, after the extraordinary drama of last week’s show, it was always going to be hard for tonight’s teams to follow on from it. Naturally, it would be almost impossible to match the tension of Manchester’s last quarter-second win last week (which divided opinion on Twitter). But, could we still have a respectable match to follow it up?

Imperial College London was formerly part of the University of London, but became independent in 2007, and it only teaches science based subjects. It won the series title in 1995-96, and again in 2000-01. They last sent a team two years ago, where they lost in the first round to the University of the Arts London. Playing for them tonight were:
Pietro Aronica, from Brescia in Italy, studying Biochemistry
Dominic Cottrell, from London, studying Medicine
Captain: Martin Evans, from Oxfordshire, studying Pharmacology
Henry Guille, from Cranbrook in Kent, studying Material Science

Jesus College Cambridge was founded in 1496, well before the opposition, and alumni include Thomas Cramner, Laurence Sterne (the Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy), and the poet Coleridge. The college last entered in 2007-08, where they lost to Exeter in the first round, and were unlucky to miss out on a repechage place by just five points. Playing for them tonight were:
Alistair Bolger, from Newcastle, studying Medicine
Thomas Wood, from Northamptonshire, studying Russian and French
Captain: Alex Kite, from Cambridge, studying Maths
Nina Fetherston, from Chester, studying Spanish and Russian

Imperial got off the to the quicker start, getting the first four starters (one of which on the back of a penalty for the opposition). Jesus College got off the mark with the first picture round, and enjoyed a brief spell of momentum, getting a couple of starters in the next quarter. They had bought along some rather noisy supporters; I’m not a big fan of teams, particularly Oxbridge ones, whose supporters make a lot of noise; as Lord Sugar of Clapton once said: “this is not a football match”.

There were groans in the audience, as Mr Wood of Jesus College guessed ‘Henry VI: Part 3’ for a Shakespeare question, when the answer was ‘Henry VI: Part 2’. Unlucky miss.

With the music round, as soon as Paxo announced ‘we will hear part of the overture to an opera’, I immediately thought of Wagner’s Tannhauser. And, amazingly, that’s what we heard! These music rounds must be getting easier and more predictable! I also got one of the bonuses, on classical pieces most often played at the Proms (very topical).

It appeared to me that there were a lot of science based starters tonight. I thought this was a bit unfair, given Imperial is a science based institution. Jesus College did try to buzz their way back into the match, but a lot of their buzzes didn’t work out, allowing Imperial to run up the lead. The Cambridge side did manage a couple of starters in the closing minutes, bringing their score up to respectability. At the gong, Imperial won by 225-80.

A good performance from Imperial, who could go far this year with a favourable draw. Pietro Aronica was lead buzzer, with six starters; the side answered an impressive 21 bonuses out of 39, with two penalties. Alistair Bolger got a respectable five starters for Jesus College, who managed 7 bonuses out of 18, with three penalties. As Paxo rightly stated to them at the end, they were unlucky on some of their buzzes. Still, good to see a team not fold completely; that is never nice to see.

Next week’s match: St Andrews vs Bangor (look out for LAM and Online Writings reader ‘Welshguy’ on one of the teams!)

As for tonight’s Only Connect, it was another instance of a team of seasoned quiz show competitors, including former Mastermind semi-finalist Brian Pendreigh, being given a closer-than-might-have-been-expected contest. Still, it was another good close one. We’re getting some good matches this series. Hopefully, there are more to come.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Deal or No Deal - 10th-16th September

It is often said on the forum that September is the worst month to play DOND, as there are usually a lot of blue wins and red squanders. So far, things seem to be better than it has been in September in the past, but still pretty non-eventful.

Monday 10th: Aleks
Winnings: £10,000
Dealt at: 11-box
Highest offer: £9,500 (14-box and 11-box)
Box value: £10,000

A draw. Aleks dealt at £10,000, and had it in her box. To do such a thing is very rare, and certainly as good an achievement as making a profit on your box. The other thing notable about this one was the last minute shift from Channel 4 to More4 after the Olympic Celebratory Parade overran.

Tuesday 11th: Mark
Winnings: £10,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £15,000 (2-box)
Box value: £5

Wednesday 12th: Carole
Winnings: £7,800
Dealt at: 11-box
Highest offer: £15,000 (8-box)
Box value: £1,000

Thursday 13th: Lecia
Winnings: £7,531
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £13,579 (17-box)
Box value: £750

Friday 14th: Stan
Winnings: £5,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £26,000 (2-box)
Box value: £100,000

You could say that poor Stan was influenced by having witnessed numerous ‘cautious’ deals pay off in the past weeks. You could also say he was unlucky to take out all the other big numbers, leaving the one he had in his box isolated. Whatever you say, you can’t argue that this time, the cautious deal did not prevail. Poor chap. Why is always the players I like this ends up happening too?

Sunday 16th: Margaret
Winnings: £100
Opened the box
Highest offer: £10,000 (11-box)
Box value: £100

An unfortunate crash. Unlucky for Margaret that she lost the £250,000 and the £50,000 in the fourth round, and then had the worst possible final round, wiping out all the reds. Some will say it’s typical that, after so much caution, a player decides to gamble for a change, and crashes to a blue. I say Margaret was just unfortunate, and she’d likely have had that crash even if the preceding games hadn’t all been pre-5-box deals (and I include Tom from last Sunday in there).

So, overall, another week that likely won’t be remembered for very long. We can only hope things pick up next week, as we approach the first anniversary of Tegen Roberts’ £250,000 win.