Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

More Connecting Fun

Friday, 17 July 2009

I enjoyed the comments on that other thread (“Only Connect tonight”), with people trying to solve my attempt at Connecting Wall questions. Here’s the other grid I submitted for this series - this one didn’t make the cut either, but I’m quite fond of it, so I’ll put it up here for your connecting pleasure. NOTE THE WALL HAS NOW BEEN SOLVED, SO NO NEED TO POST ANY SOLUTIONS, BUT IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A GO, DON’T READ THE COMMENTS YET!
  (PS. For those who haven’t watched the TV show, the idea is that you get 16 clues and you have to sort them into four CONNECTED groups of four. There are usually various red-herring groups that you could make, but they don’t leave you with three other perfect groups: there is only one complete four-part solution.)

EGG / CHIPS   / TEA   /      COMB




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AndytheDealer at 9:10 pm on July 17th, 2009


Wahoo! I’ll quit while I’m ahead.

AndytheDealer at 9:34 pm on July 17th, 2009

...or is it EGGS/ARNOLD/ISLAND/BEES, the connection being Benedict, Eggs Benedict, Benedict Arnold, Benedict Island NY and St Benedict, the patron saint of beekeepers….GRRR!

P.S. I have ordered, in advance, a copy of For Richer For Poorer, from my local bookshop.  I hope that keeps your publisher happy!

Dan at 9:57 pm on July 17th, 2009


Surnames two of which happen to be poets?

I don’t think i’m very good at this.

Rainbow at 9:58 pm on July 17th, 2009

These are quite compulsive in a horribly frustrating sort of way. You should publish a book, ‘Victoria Coren drives you up the Connecting Wall’. Done this one almost, can’t figure the Winnie-the-Pooh-Apple Blossom-Nectar-Comb bit though, and I’m going to bed now to lie down.

Martin at 10:57 pm on July 17th, 2009

well, all I can say is ” I’m lost “............I do what with the words?


spanther22 at 11:14 pm on July 17th, 2009

Ok ive got 4 groups and 4 categories but one of the categories is very very iffy.

I’ll post the category which i think is most obvious (could be wrong though)
Island, Rising, Bonnet, Egg - EASTER

These grids are really good fun - you should throw a few in a book,  (If you don’t have time to make up some grids, get your legion of webmongs to make some and call it crowdsourcing (ie they dont get paid).  This could be the new sudoko!

MarkP at 11:17 pm on July 17th, 2009

Egg, Bonnet, Island, Rising -( Easter)

Victoria Coren at 11:21 pm on July 17th, 2009

INTERESTING. The easter category is certainly and categorically solved. Two more of you have got the basic 2 points for identifying a group, but not the bonus points for naming the right connection.
  I wonder if this means you’ve both solved the whole grid but just don’t know what connects your last four clues? Or maybe you’re just teasing and know perfectly well what connects the four you name…

MarkP at 11:29 pm on July 17th, 2009

Tea, Bee, Queue, Sea - (letters of the Alphabet)

Smylers at 11:50 pm on July 17th, 2009

Professor McGonagall, Mr Chips, and Mr Quelch are all fictional teachers.  Given that Vicky implies that Dan’s group is correct I’m guessing that Arnold is too.

I had bee, comb, nectar, and Winnie the Pooh as a category, but if Rainbow’s group is right then apple blossom must somehow also fit with that theme — and a quick Google shows it does.

Of the 4 that leaves I couldn’t see any connection at all, till I said them out loud.

adam at 12:48 am on July 18th, 2009

you are truly fiendish ms Coren.
now its half done lets try
egg, bonnet, island, rising- easter
comb, nectar, apple blossom, winnie the pooh- honey
chips arnold, mcgonagall, quelch- fictional teachers
bee, sea, queue, tea- B C Q T
loved andy’s benedict connection though

Victoria Coren at 12:49 am on July 18th, 2009

Yes, solved! Well done all. Mr Arnold is the teacher from Tom Brown’s Schooldays…

Rainbow at 12:52 am on July 18th, 2009

Honey - Teachers - Easter - Words that sound like letters. Honey came to me in my fevered sleep. Oh, and then I thought of the connection, too.

spanther22 at 11:48 am on July 18th, 2009

i had all 4 groups correct and had 3 out of the 4 categories - for queue sea tea and bee i couldnt spot any link other than that they were words which had more vowels than consonants which i had a feeling wasn’t right.  Oh and I’ve never watched or read Harry Potter so I thought mcgonagall could only refer to the poet so that kept me off track for a while (ie till i googled quelch).  Is google cheating?

ROGER at 11:51 am on July 18th, 2009

Sadly, I missed the first show. Had good intentions to watch this, but fell asleep only to be woken up to see some alien behind glass doors, known only as the 456! Soon realised this was not ‘Only Connect’ and was in fact Torchwood!  What a relief as I couldn’t really see you playing an alien! I think however you would make an interesting Dr. Who.

Malc at 1:29 pm on July 18th, 2009

All way above my intellect!
Also above my intellect, was you dressing in like a grandmother!!!
Hope you improve as the series goes on!

Dan at 7:44 pm on July 18th, 2009

Coy about having completed the grid?  I wish it were me teasing but I’m afraid I had Easter and the “surnames” but nothing else.  The bee and the apple blossom got the better of me…

I’d be fine on the show with an hour for each question plus full internet access.

AndytheDealer at 3:54 pm on July 19th, 2009

Your Mum is right.  You are swearing far too much.
My Dad always said it was laziness that made people utter profanities.  The thing is, I know you’re not lazy, so, I must come to the conclusion that this is a side bet struck over a poker table.

Player A.  Anyone know what the record is for the number of profanities and rude words in an Observer article?

Malcolm (Statistician)  It was 4 on Sunday 13th November 1933.

Player A.  I bet you can’t beat it Vicky.  £500 says you’ll never get it past your editor.

VC.  That’s a bet! Read my column on Sunday 19th July 2009 to find out.

Psychology a science.  Pull the other one.

Victoria Coren at 8:20 pm on July 19th, 2009

BUT HERE IS THE INTERESTING THING. There was a one-line joke in my column today that required a swear word. When I filed the column, I didn’t put the word in full - I used asterisks, but I discovered this morning when I opened the paper that the Observer took them out!  I didn’t think the whole word was necessary because people could still get the joke with the asterisks… but it must just be house style never to asterisk a swear word so it ended up there in full. Obviously it is my fault for including a joke with a profanity in it, but I didn’t actually mean for it to appear quite so starkly…

bob guscott at 9:45 pm on July 19th, 2009

l love the show Victoria, you are a joy to watch….and a quiz show without flashing lights and annoying loud noise, bliss….by the by, when are we getting a new series of the wonderful “Balderdash and Piffle” ?
Many thanks.

AndytheDealer at 2:13 pm on July 20th, 2009

Back on topic.  I think Rainbow is right, there’s a book for dentist waitng rooms in all this fiendishness.

Here’s my stab at a wall for you all to solve…




adam at 6:43 pm on July 20th, 2009

they’re getting harder, I hope it’s not as convoluted as your benedict connection Andy - and if London bus routes are involved i’m giving up now. but let’s try

jenkinstown, donavon, bloomsbury, montreal:  parks
jerry, martin,  leonard, matthew: actors called lewis

Am i close?

AndytheDealer at 8:15 am on July 21st, 2009

Sorry Adam, no.  You’re kind of on the right track with your first answer. A vague clue here, think real estate. The second answer is wrong…although it could well be right, but I couldn’t find any Leonard Lewis, actor, on imdb, so I think I’m off the hook there.

Clyde at 12:17 pm on July 21st, 2009

I watched Only Connect for the first time last night and absolutely loved it! It’s so different. And i was so proud that i managed to get the question about the poker hands.

Victoria Coren at 12:59 pm on July 21st, 2009

I think there’s a monopoly category - Mayfair is the most expensive property so I’m guessing you’ve included its equivalents in other versions of the game so… Shrewsbury Road… Kings Avenue… and… can’t find a fourth one.
  Other than that, I can’t find any groups at all! Now THIS one may be too hard…

Rainbow at 2:23 pm on July 21st, 2009

Lucius,  Jenkinstown, Mathew and Jerry are all winners of the Grand National.  Or at least, so a prolonged haul through a record of the more distant years of the event claims.

- Oh, and apparently Montreal is the top place on a new international Monopoly board. From which you can only conclude that nobody from Hasbro has ever been to Montreal.

MarkP at 10:33 pm on July 21st, 2009

Price, Norman. Leonard, Martin are they Golfers?

Rain at 10:43 pm on July 21st, 2009

Well, Shrewsbury/Kings Ave/Montreal/Mayfair are all the most expensive properties on assorted Monopoly Boards

Grand National winners Jenkinstown/Jerry/Mathew/Lucius

There are Open golf winners called Leonard/Price/Norman/Martin

...but I can’t see the link between Hannibal/Bloomsbury/Donavon(sp?)/Sam

And as of this moment I am going to have a cup of refreshing lemon tea. And I’m never coming back.

AndytheDealer at 11:14 pm on July 21st, 2009

Bingo! Well done Vicky and Rainbow, you’re half way there.

Surely they have to be harder on here?  Blog visitors have unlimited time, unlike the poor blighters on the show who have to solve the frightful things in no time at all.

Victoria Coren at 9:29 am on July 22nd, 2009

Um.. serial killers?! There’s Hannibal Lecter and ‘son of Sam’ but that’s a bit tenuous.. not least because one’s fictional and the other isn’t.
  And I couldn’t fit the other two in anyway.

AndytheDealer at 10:09 am on July 22nd, 2009

3/4 of the way there!  Well done Mark P. and Rain. It was more specifically that they had all won The Open.

Serial killers! :0)  No, no, no, Vicky!  Although that does spark an idea for another grid, another time.

The spelling of Donavon is quite possibly wrong.  Wikipedia has it spelled Donavan, my source Donavon.  A misspelling doesn’t really affect the category.  As an example do you say pohtatoh or potarto?  They are both still potatoes!

David Bodycombe at 12:57 pm on July 22nd, 2009

Well, I’ve sussed the answer - it’s rather similar to one of the other connections.

Clyde at 2:57 pm on July 22nd, 2009

I believe that Hannibal/Bloomsbury/Donavon/Sam were all Epsom Derby winners in the 19th century.

adam at 5:51 pm on July 22nd, 2009

bloomsbury, hannibal, sam, donovan = winners of the kentucky derby.

tricky show on monday Vicky; you must have started gently last week. I felt the wordsmiths were a bit unlucky with the questions they got, although they wouldn’t have won anyway.

now may i offer a slightly easier wall, try this;



Dan at 10:14 am on July 23rd, 2009

How about this? (I thought I’d forgo the line-at-a-time rule for now.)

powder, cobalt, prussian, sapphire
(shades of blue)

shampoo, bungalow, cot, gymkhana
(words of Indian origin)

garage, house, baroque, bhangra
(musical styles)

victorian, gothic, norman, bauhaus
(architectural styles)

But the music and the architecture are so wide ranging I’m not sure.

David Bodycombe at 12:58 pm on July 23rd, 2009

We’ve had a couple of these connections on the show before, so it’s not to difficult to solve. However, I liked the Garage/House observation a lot.

There’s a good topic mix, and In look-and-feel this is probably the closest to the programme’s style out of the reader-generated grids submitted, so well done!

Victoria Coren at 2:27 pm on July 23rd, 2009

Excellent grid work, setters and solvers! Hurray for all of you. Assuming Dan’s is the correct solution, hold off on adding any more grids to this thread for now - I’m about to post a new one in a new thread and don’t want any of your brilliant submissions to get lost in old comments! Watch this space…

David H at 2:31 pm on July 23rd, 2009

Gothic/House/Garage/Bhangra Music
Prussian/Powder/Cobalt/Sapphire Blue
Bauhaus/Victorian/Baroque/Norman Styles of architecture/art
Going well so far but my confidence drops when I’m left with:
So first 3 could be wrong!

Victoria Coren at 2:39 pm on July 23rd, 2009

Ooh, David H, you must have posted just after the solution went up! But it looks like you’re basically there - would have got 4 points for correctly solving the grid, and 3 bonus points for connections but missed “words of Indian origin” for your last connection point and bonus for getting everything right.

David H at 2:46 pm on July 23rd, 2009

Slightly horrified to see that a solution had appeared after I hit add comment. I did wonder why nobody else had had a crack so far. Presumably awaiting moderation?
Feel free to wield your digital scalpel to remove all traces of my apparent idiocy while I wrestle with the new grid you’ve posted.

Victoria Coren at 3:04 pm on July 23rd, 2009

Not at all, it shall stay there as testament to your excellent calculations. That is the problem with having a moderator - delay when posting vital grid solutions like this - but there are other days when it’s a very good thing. Like the week I wrote about the National Front for example…......

AndytheDealer at 8:24 pm on July 23rd, 2009

Well done David, Clyde and Adam, almost, for solving the last line of my rather nasty grid.

It was all a bit like a large slice of orange pie in Trivial Pursuit!

AfriKing at 3:56 pm on July 26th, 2009

Hello all and hello Victoria
Didn’t think I would go from looking for University Challenge to watching Only Connect to being able to contact the host of the show.

Hope all is well and will be visiting this blog regularly as long as people keep posting the Grids. The solutions are interesting..

charlieboy at 7:17 pm on July 28th, 2009

Victoria puts herself down in her Observer column about her looks. I think she looked very foxy in last night’s show. Oh the programme was good too!

Victoria Coren

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