Another grand final for this week's Game of the Week, this time from Series 8. I've chosen this
game for a number of reasons - it was the first Countdown Grand Final to be won by a number one
seed, it was the first game with a three-figure final score, and it featured a rather curious, but
legal, nine-letter word. The game started off evenly with Clive and number three seed Anthony
both scoring 8 in the first round, although they could have had 18 points if they had spotted
ALONGSIDE. However, by the time they had reached the end of round 4, Clive had had EARHOLES
disallowed by Dictionary Corner, Anthony had a lead of 18 points, and it looked like the curse
of the number one seed was set to strike again. The gap was not to last for long though, as
Anthony failed to score on the second numbers game, while Clive took the full 10 points available.
Clive took a slender lead into the second half by getting the conundrum - The conundrum was GERIATRIC,
so Richard said "Good OLD Clive", and everyone laughed. And so to round 9 - Anthony was happy to
go with DOMINATE, while Clive went for the somewhat riskier DOMINATER. I recall thinking at the
time "surely it's spelled DOMINATOR", but that wasn't listed in the Concise Oxford of the day, and
as lexicographer Julia Swannell was quick to point out, the rules stated that any agent nouns in
common usage were acceptable and spelled with an -ER suffix if not explicitly listed, and so it
was that the rather strange DOMINATER was accepted (I'm sure everyone is happy that agent nouns
now have to be listed to be acceptable). From that point on, Anthony only scored in two
more rounds, and the gap slowly increased, and by the end of the match, Clive had more than double
Anthony's score. At least Anthony had the consolation of a £100 book token and Countdown pen, and
later returned for both Countdown Masters and the Supreme Championship.
This review was originally published as Game of the Week - 14 Oct 2000.