Classic Game - Series 6 Prelim 20

Broadcast 1st February 1985

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I've chosen this week's game after being reminded of the Gilinsky brothers by Richard in the programme featuring brothers Bruno and Leo Murray. Unfortunately, unlike the Murrays, they never got to play against each other on the Countdown set. Originally from San Francisco, Adam Gilinsky initially came over to the U.K. to study for a Ph.D. in international law at Edinburgh University. His brother Armand then came over to visit him, fell in love with the place, and decided to stay. In fact it was Armand who appeared on Countdown first, but he lost 69-47 to Darryl Francis, who was in the middle of an impressive 'octochamp' run. Adam was a little more fortunate, appearing on the very first game after Darryl had had to retire, and he beat Ann Francis (no relation) 42-40 before going on to play David Hudson in this week's featured game.

The first round saw both contestants declare HAPPEN for six, while Adam sneaked into the lead in Round 2 with BLUNTS. Yvonne Warburton offered the rather obscure ABLAUT (a vowel change) as an alternative. Round 3 saw both contestants fail to score, despite them both offering what may seem reasonable words. David offered GOFERS, while Adam offered GRUNGE. Both words are now rather familiar to your average Englishman (indeed both are listed in the New Oxford Dictionary of English), but in the distant days of the mid-eighties and with the Concise Oxford Dictionary (7th Edition) as arbiter, neither were allowed. So, time for the numbers game. With the score 12-6 in his favour, Adam decided to choose 2 from the top and 4 from anywhere else. Cathy duly obliged and CECIL proferred a target of 483. After 30 seconds of feverish effort, neither contestant could get it spot-on, and the scores were 13-19 as we went over to Richard Stilgoe for some entertainment. Despite the fact that David Hudson was a postman, Richard proceeded to turn his name into "Dan Dudhovis", which impressed Richard (Whiteley) so much that he asked the audience to applaud and then made some awful puns - "let's hope, David, you rise to the occasion in Part Two - I think it's the yeast you can do."

Round Five allowed Adam to consolidate his lead over David when he spotted TWEEDY for six, whereas David only had TOWED, but Mr 'Dudhovis' recovered slightly in the next letters game when Adam had ASHAME disallowed by Dictionary Corner. The next round saw David getting even closer to Adam's score - he got VALUED for six, while Adam only had JUDGE or GAVEL (appropriately enough) for five. VAULTED would have given them 7 points. With the score at 24-25 with "twenty points still available" (as Richard is so keen on saying), it was time for Round 8 and the final numbers game of the afternoon. David chose the 'Carol-friendly' "one from the top", but the selection was skewed towards the lower numbers (apart from the '100'), so it looked like it could be tricky. Indeed it proved, with both contestants declaring nothing, and it was left to Ms Vorderman to impress us with her mathematical prowess - and she did, with a solution of ((100-2-3)x7)+2. With just one point still in it, only the conundrum remained, and after 3 and a bit seconds Adam's buzzer went. "I think I may have gotten it wrong though - PRIORITY", he said. He was right to think he was wrong (if you see what I mean), and now David had just over 25 seconds to beat the champion. After the clock reached 19 and a half seconds, it looked like David might, but he was wrong too! - he offered PROPERTY, and Adam had managed to hold on to the champion's seat by the skin of his teeth, with a total of just 25 points.

Adam went on to beat Paolo Fabrizi the following Monday before losing to Robert Healan. He returned in the quarter-finals as number six seed, where he beat Laurie Silver 34-30 before losing 72-34 to none other than eventual series winner Darryl Francis in the semi-finals. David went away with the consolation of being the first losing contestant to win the new Revell Countdown box game, which replaced the ones previously supplied by Waddingtons.

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This review was originally published as Game of the Week - 16 June 2001.

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