Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

Only Connect returns

Monday, 1 August 2011

  Are you a regular visitor to this site? Do you look at the news page when it changes at the start of each month? Do you notice the “newsflashes” which appear on every page (on the right, under the photo) and change sporadically during the month? I never really know if people do.

  Well, just in case you miss this month’s: Only Connect is back in a fortnight’s time! Starts August 15th, every Monday at 8.30pm on BBC Four. All your favourite things are back: connections as fiendish, teams as brilliant, and my asides as hit-and-miss, as ever.

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Ginger Pogue at 9:37 am on August 1st, 2011

Great news!!!!

Jim with the crooked smile at 10:06 am on August 1st, 2011

Yay! Eye of Horus, please, Victoria!

psychofant at 10:23 am on August 1st, 2011

victoria, great to see OC is set to return. will there be a “special” show? perhaps with alex gutenplan as a guest? you could do a little low-level lusting, er….. sorry maternal affection.  cant wait!  xx

The Tim at 11:13 am on August 1st, 2011

Sorry, Vicky, I didn’t notice the newsflash until I read this, but then I’m not that observant. Can’t wait for series 6 - are they now going to replace the ancient symbols with cave drawings?

KlooRhee at 12:03 pm on August 1st, 2011

I do read the news every month! Want to know what you’re up to ;)

Stephen Elsden at 3:22 pm on August 1st, 2011

Can’t wait. I had hoped the arrival of University Challenge a few weeks ago would be matched by the now traditional hop to BBC4 at its end for a further half hour of brain ache.
My previous request for an Only Connect quiz book was rejected on the grounds of cost, I believe, but how about an Only Connect app with the Connecting Walls at least?

Anonymous at 5:18 pm on August 1st, 2011

Off topic I admit, but right wing bloggers are intent on using the e-petition system to restore hanging. Having lost the argument with most educated people, they seek to manipulate the ill-informed into pressurising parliament into restoring this barbarous obscentity. How the Liberal Democrats can want direct democracy is beyond me, when it would be synonymous with the Death Penalty. Scrap the e-petition system, recall of MPs, and primaries. They all tend ultimately to the gallows.

AndytheDealer at 5:54 pm on August 1st, 2011

There are constipated folk out there who’d like to be as regular visitors to the loo as I am to your site.

John at 9:07 pm on August 1st, 2011

Well ho-blooming-ra. It’s about time too. Looking forward to the mental waterboarding that is Only Connect.

Patrick at 9:55 pm on August 1st, 2011

Hoorah! Can’t wait, not that I’ll get any of it right. But it’ll be worth it for the one time in the series I get to yell at the screen with success.

Paul T at 10:34 pm on August 1st, 2011

Only Connect aside, I’m just watching Victoria on Dave Ja Vu and she looks spectacular!
By the way I was on Twitter at the time and clicked on the link, I am not a stalker, honest.

The Tim at 11:49 pm on August 1st, 2011

Stephen Elsden, have you not seen the Connecting Wall Game on the BBC website?

joeking at 10:31 am on August 2nd, 2011

Never seen this prog before, without an audience the prog seems ‘dead’. Your swooning at the University captian was funny but seems to be some sort of personal fantasy.  I didn’t know what those hieroglyphic symbols were, my eyes started to spin. I didn’t actually get 1 connection in the whole programme. Congratulations - I’m thick.

Graham Hill at 10:40 am on August 2nd, 2011

Hi Victoria,  I just read your book.  It was excellent.  It made me feel like I knew all the people at the Vic - a real family.  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to see inside the life of a Poker Star!  Good luck for future events.  Graham

palladian at 7:57 pm on August 2nd, 2011

Yes. No. No. Excellent. Hope that helps.

BenL at 3:31 pm on August 3rd, 2011

Glad to see this is back.

By the way, in reference to your latest Guardian blog, it’s a bad check because Liv’s range is clearly mostly showdown value that isn’t shoving…

Also with stack sizes just c/r the flop and you have a much better chance of getting it in. Also, when you say if you’d have bet the river you ‘would have had to set her in’ - there’s no rules. This is tournament poker and it isn’t rocket science. The standard line once you lead is bet/bet/shove as you’re not going to want to go two streets for value with any hand on this board then just stop for no reason on the river, but feel free to bet any retarded amount on the river if you think it’s more likely to ‘get a call’.
Hope this helps…

Victoria Coren at 5:20 pm on August 3rd, 2011

Thanks Ben - but the reason I bet the flop (no room to fit in this short piece) is that there was a third player in the pot. I see why you believe her range is mostly showdown value that won’t shove, but I disagree because she flat called the flop. It seemed more likely she’d raise with a show-down value hand (ie. a pair), and very possible (because she’s a smart player with a lot of moves) that she was calling *in order* to shove later. Actually, it was a counter-intuitive flat call with her hand, and it proved good play because she disguised it well.

Playmobil, definitely not Lego at 7:17 pm on August 3rd, 2011

Only Connect and Big Brother back in the same week! Highbrow and lowbrow both together! It’s like a pincer movement of brows!...Or something….Ok, I’ll shut up now.

Chris at 8:05 pm on August 3rd, 2011

It’s so good to have you back on our screens.  Great show, even better host. 

I saw the Rosie Boycott interview and I thought you came across brilliantly and looked - as ever - wonderful.  Do you have any news on future TV projects (non poker / OC related)?  I for one would love to see you more regularly on screen…

Good luck in Edinburgh.

BenL at 8:34 am on August 4th, 2011

Vicky, thanks for replying to my post, very cool of you :)

Trust me, Liv isn’t raising that flop with a pair in this spot. The reason why is symptomatic of the difference between the live player old guard who ‘raise for information’ and the more game-theory orientated younger ‘new generation’ of players, many of whom cut their teeth online. (By the way I am NOT saying you are ‘old’!)

I’m dying to say more on this as it’s a really important discussion about the way poker has developed, but alas the wordcount restricts me!

Anyway, look forward to your next blog posts.

Stephen Elsden at 9:13 am on August 4th, 2011

@The Tim. Yes, seen and played the Wall game on BBC website but most mobile devices are not Flash enabled.

Victoria Coren at 5:57 pm on August 4th, 2011

Hi again Ben. Lol, you are welcome to smack my hands with a stick if you ever catch me “raising for information”. If I raised with tens on a 2-5-6 board, it would be in order to protect the overpair against those who love to open-steal on that kind of board when they assume AK, AQ etc for the pre-flop raiser - with TT or JJ, you’ve got lucky if no overcard comes on the flop and I wouldn’t want to give a lot more free cards with that. But, you know, never say never. And anyway, TT was behind so Liv could have been super-intuitive with the flat call; maybe I’m too much of an optimist, too stubborn to think I’ve gone behind when I have an overpair myself!

BenL at 9:17 am on August 5th, 2011

Hi Vicky :) It’s obviously player-dependant, but an important point is that raising TT there would be raising into a nutted range (sets) from Liv’s perspective, so she’ll be very likely be pot controlling even with a hand as strong as AA - she’s taking the perspective that you’re unlikely to be getting it in with 99 or worse here rather than worrying about protection. 
When you say you raise TT vs the type who like to ‘open steal’, you’re ahead of their range and probably have more to gain by calling and letting them bluff than just folding out worse anyway? They might hit their overcard, but u want to give them a chance to make a mistake by being in the hand OOP with whatever crap they hold. By raising and them folding, they can make a perfect decision.

E Kerr at 2:18 pm on August 7th, 2011

Yes, your updates are noticed, Victoria.  I check your site at least weekly.  it’s a favourite of mine - so calm and tasteful, with occasional delights.

However, what about a catch up section for repeats?
e.g. 8 August has treats/dilemma.  (At least there are late night repeats/iPlayer.)

“For Richer, For Poorer” Hay Session 8.00pm Sky Arts 1
Only Connect Gamblers v. Epicureans 8.30pm BBC4

Also, I notice some omissions.  Why no mention of your brilliantly entertaining GQ article?  ” ‘Cry after sex’ and 19 other sure-fire ways to make her leave you.”  I only found out from twitter.
What about laughing during sex? 
As a non-smoker, I might tolerate smoking at work, but I would find smoking after sex insulting as well as unpleasant (unless asleep, which is also a bit disrespectful).

mary hinge at 9:26 pm on August 7th, 2011

E. KERR, thank you for the information about victorias Hay interview tomorrow on sky Arts. i did ask on this blog when i might watch it, but i got no feedback.

Jason Twigg at 12:20 am on August 8th, 2011

A five clue connection:
First clue:  Touched by an Angel

Other clues to follow.  Perhaps, anyone with a possible answer could post it in the previous thread. (Advice to the Luxor) 

[MODERATOR: See Jason’s post under ‘Advice To The Luxor’, his idea is that any potential quizzers would post their answers to his question on that earlier thread rather than this one, so as not to give it away to new readers]

JohnA at 6:00 pm on August 8th, 2011

Great news that Only Connect is returning.  Now she’s back on TV has Victoria Coren ever thought about taking over as host of Countdown? - she’d be really good

mary hinge at 8:10 pm on August 8th, 2011

Finally got to watch your interview with rosie boycott at hay, victoria, very enjoyable, especially after the self-importance and weirdness of germaine greer,and melvin bragg!  When jeffrey bernard was “unwell”, it’s for sure it was the booze, but i’m afraid it was his heavy smoking that cost him his legs.

Fulk Nerra at 11:29 am on August 9th, 2011

Great the show is back, but why have they made the wall so difficult to read? A new design should be functional but this one was clearly made by someone who does not have to jump out of his chair and turn his head sideways to read the words on the wall.

Bill Mitchell at 3:21 pm on August 9th, 2011

Great to see OC and of course your good and attractive self back on TV.  Keep up the good work and the sarcasm!  Will there be new connecting walls going up on the web site?  Bill

Phoebe at 9:06 pm on August 9th, 2011

Im 11 and i love watching only connect but i cant always get the answers right. So i think that you should make a childrens version.

Alan at 2:26 am on August 10th, 2011

I saw the University Challenge episode for the first time just a few days ago. The Alex Guttenplan intro was hilarious. It was like The Graduate meets Bambi.

The Tim at 10:58 am on August 10th, 2011

Junior Only Connect sounds like a great idea - don’t worry, Phoebe, quite a few of the adult viewers can’t get any of the answers right.

Peter Armitage at 7:09 am on August 11th, 2011

Thank goodness Only Connect is back, it is a brilliant show.  I try to work it out - but sometimes fail miserably - but it is fun to try.  You present the show superbly.
I have watched you in ‘Have I Got News For You’ and you have a great way of just giving people a look to show you disapprove but boy are you fun. I think you would make an excellent presenter of the show.
Best wishes

JohnA at 1:49 pm on August 11th, 2011

Well said Peter!  Let’s have a campaighn to get Victoria to present both Countdown and Have I got News for You!

Colin at 12:25 am on August 12th, 2011

Excellent the best quiz programme on TV, with the best presenter

Farrah Whey at 12:15 pm on August 12th, 2011

This is a little off point, but channel 4 were showing the EPT champion of champs from Madrid and I was rooting for you to win it. When you doubled up to just under 1M I thought you had it. The Galen Hall miss-call with Ks-2s to your 88 with only 4 at the table was a shocker, and of course a bad beat. He played like a fish. As a woman myself I notice the total lack of fear men show when playing women. It doesnt matter online because women can play anonymously, but live! Your game is solid, and you have taught me a lot. Psychology is my strength, and poker my passion. You are an inspirartion to women poker players - I know bit too British for all this praise. Will watch OC next week. Good Luck

Victoria's Biggest Fan at 12:06 am on August 15th, 2011

I am very excited to see this return, I love this show, definitely my favourite on tv :)

Brian Robins at 9:37 am on August 15th, 2011

Hurrah! Best news I’ve heard in a long while. Not least as it means I’ll no longer have to watch that ghastly Antiques Master thinggy

Ian at 8:10 pm on August 15th, 2011

Hi, Im glad this mind invigorating programme has returned, one can never beat Brains & Beauty, Keep it up Victoria . Regards Ian

Jeanie B at 10:54 pm on August 15th, 2011

Hello Victoria!
Glad to see you back tonight! I have a personal question if I might ask tho’?! I’m looking at Radio Times, page 67, at you in a gorgeous dress! Excuse me being cheeky, but where did you get it please?!! I have a wedding to go to and I love it!!! Ha ha!Thank you! Best regards, Jean x

Victoria's Biggest Fan at 12:52 am on August 16th, 2011

It was amazing. Oh and btw every woman needs a gay best friend, Victoria, can I please be yours? Aha :D x

Greenman at 2:16 am on August 16th, 2011

Hi Victoria-great to see you back and you did look rather gorgeous tonight-I was watching using Sky+HD which can pause live tv so I didn’t miss anything when the alarm went for the drying cycle to finish-my god it was hot!! left it in for 90 not 60mins. Looking forward to next prog. Will there be any specials again? Regards GM.

Adrian Fry at 10:14 am on August 16th, 2011

Some friends and I were talking at the weekend about the sad news of the death of Robert Robinson, whose quizmastering of Call My Bluff and Ask The Family got us into quizzing in the first place.  We all agreed - after bemoaning the state of telly in general - that you, Vicky, are the quizmaster / mistress (whatever) whose wit and asperity with contestants are in the Robinson tradition.  But don’t let it go to your head; you won’t look good in tweed.

Victoria Coren at 11:40 am on August 16th, 2011

Hi all, thanks for the lovely comments about last night’s show. It got great viewing figures, so hurray for everyone noticing we’re back.

  Jean: I’m afraid you wouldn’t be able to buy that dress now, it’s five years old. (I wish I was).

  Greenman: Oh yes, there will be specials, some rather excellent specials later in the series… the first one will be the Children In Need show, not sure the broadcast date but it will be in its usual Monday slot in the week of the Children In Need appeal on BBC One.

The Tim at 1:34 pm on August 16th, 2011

Are the new connecting walls on the BBC website really difficult or am I just out of practice? - managed just one on each.

The Tim at 9:46 pm on August 16th, 2011

.You’ll just have to auction that dress for Children in Need. I’d mortgage my house for it.

The Tim at 10:05 pm on August 16th, 2011

Completely off topic…Vicky, have you (or anyone else here) been trying to crack Marcus du Sautoy’s code from the BBC website? It strikes me that the required skills are quite similar to those needed for OC. (It’s been cracked now but at least I did had a minuscule role in solving two of the codes.)

Millicent at 9:33 am on August 17th, 2011

Loved OC on Monday. I’m sorry that you were a bit disparaging about Wolf Hall - it is worth reading. Did you know that the first person to spot Hilary Mantel’s potential was Alan Coren who published her first ever short story in Punch? 

Adam at 11:26 pm on August 17th, 2011

Happy Birthday. Great to see OC back even though it makes it feel like autumn. And yes you make that dress look gorgeous.

Victoria Coren at 12:05 am on August 18th, 2011

Millicent: I didn’t know that! What excellent triv - good work. I shall make a note to definitely read it, one of these days.

Adam: thank you very much. Happy birthday me…

Peter at 8:41 pm on August 18th, 2011

It’s great to see the brilliant OC back for another series, but I missed the show on Monday, so have just caught up on iPlayer.  Looking awesome in HD ma’am, oh and happy birthday too!

palladian at 7:15 pm on August 19th, 2011

Lovely to see you back. Good, bright start to the series. V decent of you to let veggies on to the show, and thank goodness they were beaten. You came over as more relaxed and confident, as well you should.

A propos the tourney chip count thing in Guardian - made me realise how much easier life is during online play. You get an instant, updated chip count of every player at your table, plus any amount of data about the whole tourney at your fingertips.  All that instead of trying to peer at someone’s chips, hoping not to fail to spot a stash of monsters hidden behind tiddlers etc., etc.

Downside is how lazy I have become being spoon-fed. Played a little light live tourney the other night and could hardly hear myself scream for trying to figure out who was where, with what etc., etc.

David Craig at 8:13 pm on August 22nd, 2011

“caret” the punctuation is pronounced with the t - it comes from Latin, not French

Caroline at 8:39 am on August 23rd, 2011

Quite right, David Craig. I adore Victoria and Only Connect but Homer nodded in this case. Also, a caret is a proofing mark, not a punctuation mark. There’s a far from pedantic difference.

Dial-N-for-Nerder at 11:44 am on August 24th, 2011

A question on the 22 August 2011 episode of “Only Connect” could lead one to believe that the dialling code for central London is “020 7”.  Although the solution was presented so that one could correctly interpret the “7” as being part of the phone number rather than the dialling code – thus not confusing the issue as blatantly as many people do – the programme should have played it safe and not included this question in the first place.  The bottom line is that “0207” – or even “020 (7)” or similar – has never existed as something which could be called a “dialling code” for central London.  The dialling code for London is currently “020”, and the concept of a dialling code for “Central London” does not currently even exist!

E Kerr at 11:47 am on September 1st, 2011

Enjoying the new series of Only Connect.  Victoria, your humour seems more intelligible now that I have read some of your writings.  Otherwise things seem to get harder. 

I watched the last episode of Only Connect in HD.  It doesn’t make the connections any easier, but rest assured, the increased clarity reveals that you (and some of the contestants too), are more stunningly attractive than I ever dared hope.  I am so excited that it has taken nearly a week to calm down enough to write this.

Your tight dresses may yet be the salvation of BBC4.  That special diet of yours certainly puts weight on in all the right places, and none of the wrong ones.  (The “Coren Diet” beckons… then Giles & Sue could trial it for Supersizers).

David B at 6:48 pm on September 2nd, 2011

Caret can be pronounced -AY or -ET but -AY is indeed a back-formation, a little like how Americans pronounce turbot as tur-bow. ^ is used in maths as a way of expressing exponentials, but if the teams had said “typographical marks” then of course we’d have accepted that.

We’d also have accepted 020 for the telephone question. Both 020 and 020 (7…) were permissible because the old 0171 numbers mapped to 020 (7…) on the changeover but thereafter 020 covers all of London, as Dial-N says.

doctakeschair at 1:11 pm on September 4th, 2011

Almost missed Analysts v Editors as Monday saw us at Epsom Races gambling and losing money (sound familiar Victoria? )  So it was the good old i-Player today over coffee and croissants . Are we setting a precedent; alternatively perhaps everyone watches that way. 
Yikes, those Analysts! I turned to get the sugar bowl and they’d finished the wall !! As Roddick said when being demolished by Murray, “Keep it social “.  Anyway thanks for plenty of smiles on a Sunday a.m. and thanks to Adrian Fry for his apposite Rob. Robinson comment.
be well everyone .

BenButton at 5:32 am on September 6th, 2011

The connecting walls haven’t been updated on the bbc page. Bah. And how does one play walls written by members of the public? You mention that you can make your own, so why can’t we see them? Bit pointless if I’m just making walls for my mum to solve. (My sad life.)

Derek Berwick at 1:12 pm on September 6th, 2011

Interesting to hear on yesterday’s OC that Erotica is your favourite book genre. I suggest you go into production with a new quiz on sexy topics - you could call it Victoria Coren’s Sexy Quiz Show (you can have the title for free). I can imagine the missing vowels round working particularly well.

Victoria Coren at 3:57 pm on September 6th, 2011

Hi Ben. I don’t know much about the connecting walls submitted by viewers - once we’re out of production, I’m not in the office! - but I believe they are being sifted and will start to be published on the website in a few weeks’ time.

The Tim at 6:46 pm on September 6th, 2011

Derek Berwick - that’s a ‘fc kn gg dd’ – part of BBC4’s attempt to appeal to a wider audience. I can see it now - ‘Who’s going to come next’, ‘Have one more throw’, ‘Yes, that’s a grope’, and the ‘Missing Gowns’ round - but I’d much rather they made another series of OC. VC was (hopefully) referring to the time when she reviewed (and made) erotic films. (Interesting to see how much of this gets through the moderator.)

Ben Button, there were definitely two new walls which appeared yesterday - hope one of yours appears on the site.

BenButton at 5:18 pm on September 7th, 2011

Thanks for the reply Victoria. Still enjoying the CD I won from you.

Riley at 11:22 pm on September 8th, 2011

Will give this a watch, not seen it before, but Ms. Coren was very impressive on HIGNFY and has piqued my interest in the show.

Jason Twigg at 3:24 am on September 13th, 2011

The second clue to my puzzle of 8th August above, can be found in the 20.08.2011(Celebrity Big Brother) thread.

Dial-N-for-Nerder at 1:43 pm on September 13th, 2011

In case you decide not to call your hypothetical new erotic quiz programme “Victoria Coren’s Sexy Quiz Show” (see Derek Berwick’s September 6th suggestion above), may I suggest the title “Bonely Connect”? (again, for free)

BenButton at 5:13 pm on September 13th, 2011

Dear The Tim,

The walls are indeed there now and have been played. Didn’t get the Bow Tie connection. Harumph.

I will get crafting some stinkers.


Kevin Moore at 8:40 pm on September 13th, 2011

love the only connect show, really gets the brain working, love doing the quiz too on-line.. have completed a few walls. love Victoria, big fan, i think she is gorgeous.

The Tim at 4:41 pm on September 14th, 2011

How about Lonely Connect (or is that what we are).

BenButton, I’m also kicking myself for not getting the bow-tie connection.

Sara Hunt at 2:48 pm on September 18th, 2011

I am a big fan of Only Connect.  It is a really hard quiz show and I rarely get any answers correct but I am hooked on the show.

KonradO at 6:48 pm on September 18th, 2011

Finished my part-time MSc this week, and have spent my first weekend in 2 years study-free. Apart catching a film in the West End, having lunch with friends and doing some much needed house cleaning, I discovered OC on BBC iPlayer this Sunday. How did I miss this? Just watched the first five episodes of the new series back-to-back. What a fantastic show - that’s my Sunday wind down viewing sorted. With all this free time on my hands now, I might just purchase Victoria’s two books.

Jason Twigg at 11:58 pm on September 20th, 2011

As promised in the previous thread, here is the third clue to my puzzle of 8th August above.
Perhaps, anyone with a possible answer could post it in the previous thread. (Advice to the Luxor)
So there are three clues so far:
1) Touched by an Angel
2) Joan of Arcadia
3)  Doctors

R Stokes at 7:49 pm on September 21st, 2011

Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon was not a novel!
It was non-fiction.

The Tim at 4:56 pm on September 22nd, 2011

Could R. Stokes please elaborate.

Jeanie B at 10:49 pm on September 24th, 2011

Hey, and thanks for replying about the dress!I’m guessing there was much heaving of sighs when others read it but hey ho. The search is still on then but if you get fed up of it please do wing it my way! You look fabulous in it mind (and thinking about it ,probably a size 8!)
Best regards,
Jeanie B

Phoebe at 8:51 pm on September 26th, 2011

After watching the latest episode i was very happy to have finally found 1 connection on the wall the the contenstants didnt get. It was the mario games connection. However i still think that they should make a junior version of the show

The Tim at 10:55 pm on September 26th, 2011

I’d just like to thank Alex Massie for such a fiendish (meaning I couldn’t do it) wall.

VC you were only half right when you described yourself as a ‘Fat Lady’.

(The second half obviously)

sbedvek at 1:46 pm on October 3rd, 2011

Love OC and have been playing on line (a lot).  However, isn’t the scoring of the walls a little skewed?  Getting everything right except 1 connection and scoring 7/10 deflates me a little.

BenButton at 12:53 pm on October 5th, 2011

The fan walls go from sheer rock to a countryside amble. This week’s was instantly solvable, even for a dullard like me. Happy medium next week?

David B at 10:36 pm on October 7th, 2011

@sbedvek - In the same way that there’s a premium in Rounds 1 and 2 for a perfect answer, likewise a perfect wall is worth more than an incomplete one. Also, one connection tends to be a bit harder or more lateral than the others, so it is worth the 3 extra points.

@Ben - we’re reviewing the fan walls as they come in chronologically, and continue to do so for the next month. Therefore, it’s impossible for us to release them in difficulty order because we don’t know what we’re going to receive next week. We’re trying not to “edit” the grids too much so that the fans can feel like it’s their own work. Also, remember that these are made by fans who have the choice of whatever difficulty level they wish to set it for - it’s really up to them. If you want easier walls, why not submit some?!

BenButton at 1:17 pm on October 10th, 2011

@David B Many thanks for the feedback, fella. I am happy with them really. :-) Would love to see many many more!

The Tim at 10:13 pm on October 10th, 2011

Many thanks Martin Stannon for the latest wall. You made it so that you could feel really clever by solving it.

David Bodycombe at 10:48 pm on October 11th, 2011

To everyone who has been saying “Yes, it’s all very well having new walls on the TV each week, and two brand new official walls on the website, and an extra fan-created wall, but we NEED MORE”, then… rejoice! We have listened and it is now available for iPad and iPhone from iTunes:

Also, if you didn’t notice already, the walls featured in the TV shows from this week (10th Oct) onwards are playable at the official website  Load up the web page before the show starts, then play the grid number announced in the corner of the TV just before Round 3 begins.

And if that still isn’t enough, then frankly you’ll be the death of me.

Michael Clarke at 8:02 pm on October 17th, 2011

Oh Victoria!  Arlington National Cemetery is not in Washington as you said on today’s (October 17) quarter-final.  It’s in Virginia.

The Tim at 8:43 pm on October 17th, 2011

Liked the joke about weapons under the desk - did you mean the two bazookas?

David B at 1:25 pm on October 19th, 2011

Ok, Ok, Arlington is technically in Virginia but it’s a river’s width away from being in DC. But, if you can forgive us a little elision, I think it’s easier to get a fix in the viewer’s head where it is geographically if you say it’s in DC rather than a county of Virginia.

Ken Singtone at 2:59 pm on October 31st, 2011

I thought that you were treading on slightly dangerous ground with your opening remarks about freaks and weirdos in the OC episode last Monday.  Did you open a can of worms with your implied question about the contestants?  [Gosh - at least two metaphors already.]  What then about the lovely hostess?  The words “freak” and “weirdo” might fit quite well alongside the usual, more obvious, list of words describing your beauty and talent, which is too complimentary for the moderator to allow to appear here in full.  They just need that qualifier, much used by your friend Claudia Winkleman - “but in a good way”.  Inspiringly freakish, you’re definitely my kind of weirdo, but then again, I may be just another freakish weirdo myself.

Michael Clarke at 9:07 pm on October 31st, 2011

Thanks, David B, for your reply to my comment about Arlington National Cemetery.  I thought pedantic distinctions ought to be relevant on ‘Only Connect’! And the width of a river can be of crucial importance in history - think of Julius Caesar and ‘I have crossed the Rubicon - the die is cast’.

Victoria Coren at 1:21 am on November 2nd, 2011

Ken: I figured it was a joke that the teams would find funny. I’m sure they know that I not only love them all, I consider myself a lot more like them than the spray-tanned, plastically-enhanced, WAG-wannabe types that you see presented as ‘normal’ all over the rest of television…

The Tim at 6:17 pm on November 2nd, 2011

Some of us here take pride in being different….I’m glad to know you’re not fake tanned or plastically-enhanced - just as nature intended.

I did think you were trying not to corpse at one point - I don’t know if there was some private joke.

The Tim at 12:20 am on November 3rd, 2011

1st semi final a nail-biter? - even more than last week? - can’t wait.

Ken Singtone at 3:55 am on November 3rd, 2011

I worry that I may have touched a raw nerve at a bad time with my previous comment.  I hope that you’re not having any sort of ‘FRFP p.104 - type’  experiences at present.  (That one was probably for the best, otherwise you might have ended up as an observer rather than a player, but I find that a very painful story, not least, as there are few people I would rather see on TV than you.)

I have my own bad experiences of feeling like an outsider, but I have never wanted to be ‘normal’.  I fear that if there is someone else just like me, one of us is not really needed. 
What is your take on being normal, Victoria?  Crave, disdain, or…? 

On a lighter note:
....just wait for the ‘lemon drops’.

Victoria Coren at 5:31 pm on November 3rd, 2011

Hi Ken - oh no, I’m fine! That was meant to have a very light-hearted tone. Just wanted to make clear, I love our contestants and feel furious if anyone says they’re “weird” because they’re interested in old tapestries or obscure canals, rather than liposuction and pop careers.

The Tim at 11:01 pm on November 7th, 2011

My nails are bitten right through after that cliff-hanger. Mr Lyman must be kicking himself for not waiting for a nanosecond longer…actually thinking about it he’d have done that six months ago.

I hate to challenge Mr. B. (no that’s a lie, actually I like a good debate, even when I turn out to be wrong) but I was taught at school that there were six vowels - with ‘y’ also counting when it wasn’t at the beginning of a syllable, so the Syzygy, Sphynx… (which are not in my spellchecker) connection could be said to be not 100% correct. Surely ‘Not containing a,e,i,o or u,’ would have been better. This can also apply to the missing vowels round. ‘E’ and ‘u’, can also be said to be consonants when they mean a female sheep and animal with one horn respectively.

BenButton at 8:25 am on November 8th, 2011

I was very pleased to get the Amber Room clue for 5 points this week, then I pretty much shut down until the walls. Pretty standard for me once it gets to the semi final stages. The final is essentially just one giant smash about the head for me with the hammer of ignorance reigning blow upon blow on my narrow little brain. Oof. :-(

David B at 10:11 pm on November 9th, 2011

@The Tim: obviously, we were using the definition of vowel as per our own missing vowels round - it would have been odd for us to claim in round 1 it’s a vowel and in round 4 it’s a consonant. Clearly, in syzygy et al it is being used as a vowel *sound* in those words.

I believe W and Y are often called half-vowels in English. But I think it’s a stretch to call them fully-fledged vowels - otherwise Rachel Riley’s been lying to me and that would make me sad.

The Tim at 5:15 pm on November 10th, 2011

OK, Mr. Bodycombe,  I was taught that every word had at least one vowel, but I’m sure I went to school long before you and Rachel Riley. ‘Y’ may well have been relegated to a half-vowel and ‘w’ if you happen to be Welsh.

Anonymous at 9:34 pm on December 6th, 2011

@Whoever wrote wall 137

Thanks, I now know where I went wrong with my application for series 5…

Victoria Coren

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