Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

Play Only Connect

Monday, 1 March 2010

Welcome to March! You’ll see the website has gone back into a lovely verdant green, to celebrate the onset of spring. Well… it seemed spring-like today, anyway. It’ll probably be snowing again by Friday. There are also a few new pictures on the blog - you might have to ‘reload’ pages to get them, if you’re a long-term visitor, but it’s not worth too much effort. It’s still just pictures of me, looking much the same as always. If I was really committed to the website refresh, I’d have had my nose done.

  Anyway, more exciting even than new pictures on the new green website: you can now play Only Connect online! Just the connecting walls for now, but it’s brilliant fun - I just tried Wall 1 and got ten points. I had the joy of me telling me that I’d scored the maximum. Hurrah! I always said it was an easy game.

  Have a go.

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LC at 8:09 pm on March 1st, 2010

New picture! Let’s play “What is distracting Victoria?”

Tim Clague at 8:59 pm on March 1st, 2010

Looks kind of grey-blue to me. Very American civil war!

Sentient at 9:06 pm on March 1st, 2010

Vicky Coren,
              Was gonna comment about something else, but then when i noticed the comment about it being a new picture above, i thought i’d ask . . are you vain?  And if so, if it’s not too woody allen, how?  Cos obv there are lots of different nuances to sumthing like that, and for sum1 who’s probably quite complicated . . anyway, feel free to ignore, but was curious, and seeing as im here thought id ask k dun xxxx

Andy at 10:49 pm on March 1st, 2010

I know what’s distracting me!

Hernking at 10:54 pm on March 1st, 2010

Just played all ten games - great to have a go at last after watching the programme regularly.  We want more!!

Pete Galey at 11:42 pm on March 1st, 2010

Well, I’ll never scream at the teams on the telly again - ten points for two of ‘em, the rest, not so much. More please! Or indeed the ability to upload our own for others to try!

adam at 11:46 pm on March 1st, 2010

feeling particularly stupid after tonight’s OC and could only manage 7 points on the first wall. was that us clamouring for it on here?
lovely dress tonight, and last week come to that. saw you were doing well in the 400k on sunday, did you get placed.

The Tim at 11:49 pm on March 1st, 2010

I just played all 10 at once - scored maximum just once -  though I would have got a second if I’d had time to fill in the reasons. it’s considerably harder on your own with no-one to bounce off. So didn’t Vicky set them herself?

The questions tonight were considerably harder - I used tro pride myself in getting the answers before the contestants but not this time. VC confirmed that ther’d be another series so I might just have to give it a go.

Greenman at 2:20 am on March 2nd, 2010

Fantastic, been waiting eagerly to play this- managed to score maximum points in 2 of 5, not easy. Victoria that show is great is there to be another series at all? I think you’re lovely and you have your late father’s sense of humour- more power to you. GM

PS Do the walls change week by week or stay the same each time?

steve at 9:26 am on March 2nd, 2010

I tried and managed a wall, was so proud I posted it on my wall on facebook. Do you have a facebook page or is it a scammer trying to be you…?

Victoria Coren at 11:00 am on March 2nd, 2010

GM - the new series of Only Connect has been running since January! It’s at 8.30 on Monday nights (BBC 4) and has just entered the quarter final stage. Steve - I do have a facebook page and there are a couple of fakes too (see the thread “Proud To Be All Natural”, under February) - but I never use mine, it’s not worth ‘befriending’ cos I never do anything on there. Adam - I didn’t cash in the Sunday Warmup, I got unlucky with a set of fours near the bubble.
  Sentient - I don’t think I am very vain really. I mean, I try not to leave the house in my pyjamas with jam in my hair. I try to look nice if I’m doing something on TV. But I’m too impatient to be properly vain; I find clothes shopping and putting on makeup quite boring, so I do it only occasionally and under duress.  Also, in poker tournaments these days there are a million people taking pictures; you can’t pose, you have to get on with playing, so there are usually awful pictures of me all over the internet during tournaments and I find I don’t mind very much, which I hope means I must be relatively un-vain. But maybe I’m just pragmatic.


Pete Galey at 11:58 am on March 2nd, 2010

... also! It is harder than on telly because you don’t get to go for the connections unless you resolve the wall, and you have to do it all within the time limit!

Ginger Pogue at 12:31 pm on March 2nd, 2010

Damn this connecting wall game!!  Way WAY too addictive!!  That’s my working day pretty much out of the window now I fear.

A Finn at 2:55 pm on March 2nd, 2010

Apparently not a good idea to try to play those connecting walls when you’ve never watched the program, have no idea how it works and English is not your native language, and an especially bad idea if you are competitive. I just spent an afternoon clicking random boxes and thinking “I’ll show you, stupid game!”, and I’ll probably spend rest of the week wondering how anyone can possibly play this.

Geoffo at 3:00 pm on March 2nd, 2010

I tried the 1st 3 walls last night and managed 2 points at best…tried #4 this lunchtime and got 10/10 !!

So proud, I tried to use the Facebook link but pop-ups were blocked, I temporarily allowed pop-ups but the web page had gone back to the play/how to play screen so I lost my result, aaargh!!!

..tried #5 never expecting to reach such dizzy heights again but I did (admittedly in 2:30 vs 1:40) and guess what? Pop-ups were blocked again ...

Could some clever BBC web developer put in some kind of pop-up blocker checker? Otherwise a very fun web page!

David Young at 3:08 pm on March 2nd, 2010

The Telegraph has used the Jan Moir tactic of connecting the deaths of BBC presenters to suggest a general trend:

No doubt this strikes a blow to the happy-ever-after myth of BBC television presenting. Should your fans be worried? Or should we tell the Telegraph ‘NO, THAT’S NOT A GROUP’?


AndytheDealer at 6:11 pm on March 2nd, 2010

I have to say I’m glad I wasn’t across the table from you when the pose to the left of me was struck.  Cards would have been on the floor, in your tea, down the tip box…

freestylercc at 6:30 pm on March 2nd, 2010

good luck, VIcky. i am following your play in Berlin via Twitter.

AndytheDealer at 10:29 pm on March 2nd, 2010

I finally got the complete grid and the connections for grid #10.

However, I was only given 4 points because that incredibly harsh woman, she makes Anne Robinson seem cuddly, wouldn’t give me the benefit of the odd typo!  You would have given me the benefit of the doubt, I’m sure.

What playing it did do though was make me create another game which anyone can play.  Even dimwits like me!

It is:  How Many Times Can you make Victoria say, “No, that’s not a group.” in three minutes.  I managed 237.

Steve I at 10:49 pm on March 2nd, 2010

Ok, had a go and got frustrated but got there in the end.

Word of warning tho’ ... Don’t say the words “No, that’s not a group” within earshot of anyone who may have tried it. Unless you wish to be beaten with a haddock or somesuch.

Adyblady at 10:53 am on March 3rd, 2010

Oh I don’t know Ms Coren (not on first name terms yet); I hear that the pyjama/jam combo is to be unveiled at this years Madrid fashion fair….
....mind you, if it isn’t raspberry, you will be shunned.

Phil at 6:45 pm on March 3rd, 2010

Hi Vicky
Only connect walls are great fun, but real hard. I have found even deeper levels of respect for the contestants now.
I finally started reading For Richer… last night after several months, lost copies, a fit on the phone to Amazon and eventually receiving it in duplicate the other day…. Stayed up until six am reading. It is beautiful, soulful and uplifting, with such a profound sadness in parts. Its been ages since I’ve read about a life put so honestly on the page by someone who is such a natural and brave writer that their emotions become palpable; more like being read to aloud than reading words from a page.
A great account and I hope you’re as proud as you should be.
In recognition of this I will be keeping both copies Amazon have billed me for and giving one to my brother! (who is also a big poker fan) He and I thank you!
Whilst I’m on the subject of gushing, your new picture is lovely
Take care

Greenman at 2:42 am on March 4th, 2010

Hello Victoria- yes I am well aware of when the series began having watched every one of them, what I meant was after this series is over will BBC4 be commissioning a new one- seeing as how the Beeb is being shaken up-enough to awaken Lord Reith this last week, I am hoping that it is not for the axe- or maybe a possible move to prime time BBC2?

As to the walls, I just meant were they going to change each week the programme is running? I have noticed some clues which cropped up in the last series but I won’t say what they are here in case people haven’t done one of the walls that mentions them. Sorry for the confusion. GM

David Bodycombe at 2:56 am on March 4th, 2010

Andy, what was the typo you entered? The computer program is designed to be as generous as possible - you only have to enter certain keywords, and it will even allow small typos (up to a limit - we are Only Connect after all!)

In fact, there is sport to be had in finding the weirdest thing you can enter for a connection yet still be marked correct, but maybe I shouldn’t say that…

Victoria Coren at 10:18 am on March 4th, 2010

Sorry GM, don’t know what’s happening after this current series. I hope there will be more Only Connect, but I shall wait to hear from the BBC if they feel the same way!

Heinrich at 2:07 pm on March 4th, 2010

It IS fun, this game - but only because I’m now able to do a fairly good imitation of Vicky Coren saying “No, that’s not a group” ...

Ross Eldridge at 10:34 pm on March 4th, 2010

Hello there, Victoria,

I was just catching up on Only Connect and watched the game the Archers Fans won so handily. One thing, you mispronounced the name of (photographer) Diane Arbus. It should be pronounced Dee-ann.

I certainly enjoy the show, and try to play along.



Ewan at 12:05 am on March 5th, 2010

I got 10/10 easily on walls 4 and 5, the others were tricky!!!

cloy_boy at 11:40 pm on March 5th, 2010

Is it really sad that I totally love Only Connect even though I rarely know a single thing? I’ve just tried all the walls and managed to score zero points on all but about 2 of them… yeay! It was still fun though:-)

Keith at 5:36 am on March 9th, 2010

Just to say I am enjoying the current series of OC enormously.  Quite apart from the brain exercise, you really are very funny.  I loved your line about Nigel Kennedy’s Christmas pudding, and many others.  Do you have a script or do you extemporise your witticisms? Either way, it’s very amusing and top TV - if the BBC were serious about not dumbing-down they would shift you to BBC2 tout de suite. (BBC1 would obviously be a step too far for the proletariat).  All the best for continued success.  Keith

Victoria Coren at 9:57 am on March 9th, 2010

Thanks very much Keith, I’m very glad you’re enjoying the series. There isn’t a script; I’m given a list of suggested lines to use at the beginning and end of each show (some of which I use, some I don’t, and some I adapt) but no script for the actual programme - it would be impossible really, because I don’t know what the contestants are going to say! So the ‘script’ is just the questions themselves - and, because I’d be in pretty disastrous shape without, the answers.

Shack at 10:52 pm on March 9th, 2010

Have only just stumbled across Only Connect because I’ve been told to review it for our next TV review show on BBC Tees (yes - radio in the North). After lapsing in not knowing the letters of the Greek alphabet, I redeemed myself with a slight knowledge of rappers and the writers of Red Dwarf. It’s a knowledge of sorts. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

And MORE people should leave the house with jam in their hair.

AndytheDealer at 7:25 pm on March 10th, 2010

David, I’m sorry that it’s taken me so long to reply to your typo question.  As a consequence, I’m blowed if I can remember…I’ll go back and have another go and see what happens.

Oooh!  Five more walls.  I’ll do number ten again because there is a small chance I’ll get it all correct…No, I couldn’t even get the blinkin’ groups right!  Grrrrr!

It’s coming back to me though.  I managed to scream ‘Architects!!’ at my computer and for some reason that didn’t count.

It’s a great show though!  Well done to all concerned.

Greenman at 2:12 am on March 16th, 2010

Hello Victoria. Have just watched the latest edition of OC with the Strategists v Neuroscientists- it struck me as odd that the Neuros didn’t have at least one English member, at least it would have helped with the Mr’s in the Wall round. I am also pleased to say I got the connection with the mince pies as the last clue and the other one that ended with Bosworth. Did you know that Barnet battle was in 1471- my area you might say. :)

Dave M at 2:12 pm on March 17th, 2010

Hi Victoria. Love the programme and big fan of you and your dad. Brother? - I dunno. Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks has been my permanent bathroom reading (alternating with Stephen Fry’s Paperweight) since it was published. I wondered, any prospect for programmes in the series you did a while back re new words and the OED?
PS If the wife ever divorces me, I’ll be in touch.

TC at 7:25 pm on March 20th, 2010

warning ! spoiler for for wall #20 !

greetings victoria,
in wall #20 you seem to be under the illusion that a riddle is a tool. if you accept this assertion then by the same reasoning you could define a cup as a tool for drinking or a pair of shoes as a tool for walking.

i considered complaining to the bbc about this but right now they are too busy getting rid of the best music channel they have ever had to spare the tine to listen to listen to an old pedant like me.

6 music is dead !  long live 6 music !

David Bodycombe at 3:34 am on March 21st, 2010

Hi TC (or do only close friends get to call you that?),

VC has asked me to reply. I think you may have the beginnings of a good quibble there. Although a riddle is most definitely a garden tool, on reflection I’d concede it is a little odd for 3 of the 4 to be garden tools and the other to be a hardware tool.

These grids were from our Genesis of series 1, when we were still finding our feet and it was a nigh-on miracle that (a) the show worked at all and (b) the conestants didn’t run out into the street screaming at the sight of Epsilon. Brand new, minty-fresh online walls will be coming soon.

Thanks for the query and hope you enjoy the rest of the series.

David, ‘OC’ Qu. Editor

TC at 2:10 am on March 23rd, 2010

Dear David,

Thanks very much for taking the trouble to reply.
I am enjoying this series of Only Connect.
It is the best thing on telly other than The Sky At Night.

I am not convinced that a riddle qualifies as a tool.
You couldn’t make a table and a set of chairs with it.

I have just finished the new walls (21-25).
I think some of the connections are too obscure.
When you fail you need to be thinking “I should have got that!” and not “I’d never have gotten that in a million years” .

Vicki’s photo is very enigmatic.
She looks like the captain of a hockey team that has just been beaten by a less intelligent side.
Perhaps you might consider asking for captions.
My suggestion would be -
“How the hell did they do that?”

Jerry Stone at 10:24 pm on March 30th, 2010


I’ve just had a great time going through all the walls.  I had a bit of surprise when I went to the second page and accidentally hit “Return” before clicking on the “Play” button.  I was rewarded with “Congratulations - you have solved the wall” and I had scored 10 points! :)

However I was let down by #30.  Having solved it, the system would not accept my connection for the temperatures - even though my wording was exactly the same as the official answer ...
I think someone needs to look at this.

Aside from this, it’s great, and so of course is the programme.  I won’t pretend that I score more than average, but I was screaming the answers to the wall for the last episode, and I usually do pretty well at the missing vowels.

More, please!

Stephen Kirby at 9:20 pm on April 5th, 2010

It’s a subtly unusual move to post up episode 14/15 and 15/15 in the coming up section for those watching on iPlayer. It’s nice not to be surprised for a change.

Mark Aleksander at 10:40 pm on April 7th, 2010

Okay, so I’ve played all the walls. I’m trying to apply to go on the show. How do I do this? The BBC website just goes round in circles. Anyone know how to apply? Please email me!

Victoria Coren at 1:17 am on April 8th, 2010

Mark - email

Good luck!

Antony Lyons at 5:52 pm on April 12th, 2010

The walls are great fun to do but it is a pity that we cannot win points for naming the groups unless we have completed the groups, as the contestants in the real thing can. Is there any way you can incorporate this into the game for us? It would also be nice if the naming did not have to be done within the 3 minutes.

Martin at 3:17 pm on April 13th, 2010

does anyone know why i am just seeing up to wall 25? I see from the correspondance above that some of you have completed up to wall 30.

Mally at 10:12 pm on August 13th, 2010

What a brilliant game. I’m getting old (as are my braincells) but love to play along with the contestants and have just tried a couple of walls online. Great fun but my brain hurts!

Bob Watt at 2:07 pm on December 8th, 2010

Our house loves watching the game. It’s been great fun to introduce it to people who don’t know about it, then seeing them really take to it. When you explain the really dumbfounding connections, the natural reaction seems to be to laugh at just how splendidly perverse, but nevertheless undeniable, they can be. Where did such a brilliant idea come from? By the way, we can hardly imagine any presentational style other then your own! Best wishes from snowy Glasgow!

shirley Bork at 2:11 pm on December 29th, 2010

Congratulations on a great game…..even better now I can play it at home. I do agree however that the connections should be in the “That was clever / obscure ” but not the “I wouldn’t have got that in a thousand years ” category. ..for example, anyone not living near London would never have got the London restaurants names and that is an unfair bias. 
It should be open to someone with a wide scattering of info wherever they live.
Love the programme. Now I’ve nearly done all the walls what shall I do when I wake at 3.00? Please put some more up. Happy new year to you all.

Rebecca at 8:40 pm on August 15th, 2011

Please bring back the little clip of the first team and Victoria walking towards the connecting wall - it’s my favourite bit!

JUNE at 7:03 pm on September 11th, 2012

have tried to play only connect on line but nothing comes up, would like to play, can you help?

Carol Andrew at 8:43 pm on March 23rd, 2015

The three toed sloth is not the same animal as the Aye Aye , unless I am mistaken , the Aye Aye is a Lemur

Victoria Coren

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