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Author Topic: Not a match, board goes back...  (Read 4713 times)

TLEberle

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« on: October 24, 2003, 03:39:44 AM »
Having not seen the original Concentration, and only having the most recent "Classic" version as a reference point, I have a few questions concerning the show, which apparently was superior to the NBC revival.

* How many puzzles did they typically play during a show?  Since they had no bonus game to deal with, or later, a very quick one, could they play three or four games in a half hour?

* What happened when time ran out?  Would they throw out that puzzle and start fresh, do a buzz-in type of thing, pick up from that exact point next time?  Did they edit the show so time ran out just as a puzzle was solved?

* What were some of the 'fun' squares on the board, besides the "Gimme" and "Lose" pairs.  Two I know of are the Cash Wheel and The Envelope.

* What was that deal with the picking two squares, then a third if the first two didn't match?  Only for the Syndicated Narz run?

Any information to let me know just how deprived I am that I never got to see the original shows would be much appreciated.

Travis
Travis L. Eberle

whewfan

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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2003, 05:37:48 AM »
[quote name=\'TLEberle\' date=\'Oct 24 2003, 02:39 AM\']




* [/quote]
 * How many puzzles did they typically play during a show?  

I've seen them fit it 2 at least.

* What happened when time ran out?  

They would scrap the puzzle.
*
 What happened when time ran out?  

They would scrap the puzzle.

And the picking 3 squares was for the Narz version only, which made some changes to speed up the game, including "free look" squares, which you didn't have to match, they just revealed the puzzle area behind that square, and a sneak peek at 4 prizes on the board.

Ian Wallis

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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2003, 08:50:53 AM »
Quote
* How many puzzles did they typically play during a show? Since they had no bonus game to deal with, or later, a very quick one, could they play three or four games in a half hour?


On the Narz version they occasionally played more than two games - the third game was always the "Money Game".  Contestants would have to match foreign money amounts.  It was kind of neat!
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Ian Wallis

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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2003, 08:53:00 AM »
Quote
And the picking 3 squares was for the Narz version only, which made some changes to speed up the game, including "free look" squares, which you didn't have to match, they just revealed the puzzle area behind that square, and a sneak peek at 4 prizes on the board.


The picking of three squares happened only on the last couple of seasons of the Narz version.  During the first two seasons, they picked only two squares each turn.  During the third season, they had a "prize" on the board called "Bonus Number".  Contestants who hit that could pick up to three numbers on their next turn.  The fourth and fifth years they made three picks per turn the rule.
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chris319

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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2003, 10:10:00 AM »
On the NBC version the Cash Wheel and Envelope were only occasional features.

On the Narz version, one function of the four head starts was to guarantee that those four fee plugs were read regardless of whether the prize was won.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2003, 10:10:37 AM by chris319 »

Matt Ottinger

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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2003, 10:12:18 AM »
Keeping in mind I'm talking exclusively of the *original* version, not the Narz.

Quote
* How many puzzles did they typically play during a show? Since they had no bonus game to deal with, or later, a very quick one, could they play three or four games in a half hour?
No.  The original game was played very slowly and deliberately.  There were more squares and the rebusses were typically trickier than the ones on "Classic".  Between my memories and the handful of shows we still have, I'd say that they probably averaged slightly under two games per show.  But it's hard to measure that because...
Quote
* What happened when time ran out? Would they throw out that puzzle and start fresh, do a buzz-in type of thing, pick up from that exact point next time? Did they edit the show so time ran out just as a puzzle was solved?
Well, they didn't edit.  For most of the run, the show was done live.  They also didn't have a speed-up round, so shows frequently ended mid-game.

I have two memories that may have been from different eras of the show.  I'm remembering they would replace the old rebus with a new one, so the next episode would start with the same squares revealed, but a new rebus underneath.  But I'm also remembering an explanation from Downs (or maybe Clayton) after the show had gone to tape that they would be finishing the game immediately and we viewers would see the conclusion at the beginning of the next show.  Some of our even older members (or those my age with better memories) might be able to confirm or deny any of this.

Quote
* What were some of the 'fun' squares on the board, besides the "Gimme" and "Lose" pairs. Two I know of are the Cash Wheel and The Envelope.
More precicely "Take 1 Gift" and "Forfeit 1 Gift".  There would also be "gag" prizes (usually three pairs per board).  Not only were they good for a laugh, but they contributed to the strategy of the game, as did the Takes and especially the Forfeits.

I don't remember any special prizes except for the Cash Wheel and The Envelope.  There were probably others over the years, but those two were the most popular.  As Chris says above, the Cash Wheel and The Envelope weren't regular features, so it was always a big deal to see them come up.

Quote
* What was that deal with the picking two squares, then a third if the first two didn't match? Only for the Syndicated Narz run?
Probably.  I never got to see the Narz version, and that doesn't ring any bells.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2003, 10:14:10 AM by Matt Ottinger »
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Michael Brandenburg

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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2003, 10:33:57 AM »
In response to the following from Matt Ottinger in this thread:

Quote
I have two memories that may have been from different eras [Concentration]. I'm remembering they would replace the old rebus with a new one, so the next episode would start with the same squares revealed, but a new rebus underneath. But I'm also remembering an explanation from Downs (or maybe Clayton) after the show had gone to tape that they would be finishing the game immediately and we viewers would see the conclusion at the beginning of the next show. Some of our even older members (or those my age with better memories) might be able to confirm or deny any of this.

   I do recall during the 1960s when I watched the show when I was home from school that when a program ended in the middle of a game, they would reveal the game's entire puzzle for the home and studio audiences, then bring the contestants back on the next day's show with the following conditions present for their "resumed" game.

   1. A new rebus puzzle would replace they were playing before.

   2. All prizes (if any) on their respective prize boards would be retained for their "resumed" game.

   3. The "resumed" game would start with the same puzzle squares revealed as had been revealed on the previous show.  (For example, if the puzzle pieces in squares 8, 17, 22, and 27 were showing at the end of the previous show, the "resumed" game would start with the pieces of the new puzzle revealed in those squares.)

   4. The prize/"Forfeit"/"Take"/"Wild" cards that were still on the board at the end of the previous show would be retained for the new game, but would be reshuffled so that they would generally end up in new locations.

   If they ever went to completing an interrupted game with the same puzzle in the manner described, it must have happened after I entered the workforce and didn't see the show as much any more.  However, I do recall that on Double Exposure (a "reveal the puzzle" game that aired on CBS in 1962), the host acknowledged that when this otherwise "live" show ended in the middle of a game, they would first close the program, then record the completion of the game in progress on videotape and play back the tape at the beginning of the next show after announcing to the viewing audience that what they would be seeing would be on tape, and not live.

   Nowdays, of course, the entire show gets taped (and acknowledged as such with a "This program was pre-recorded" disclaimer in its closing credits).  Still, I recall during the daytime run of Break the Bank on ABC in 1976 that when of their programs ended in the middle of a game, they would take the contestants offstage for a change of their clothes for "tomorrow's" program, and while they were offstage, the show's stage crew would re-arrange "portions of the undisclosed area of the game board" (according to host Tom Kennedy) so that previously unexposed "cash amount"/"money bags"/"wild"/"blank" boxes would be in different places than they were before.


   Michael Brandenburg
   (Of course, that would be difficult to do, since the "cash amount" boxes of the same amount -- $100, $200, or $300 -- had to be grouped together so they would touch along their sides, and the "blank" boxes had to be located so that no two of them would touch along their sides.)

Neumms

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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2003, 10:33:36 PM »
[quote name=\'Michael Brandenburg\' date=\'Oct 25 2003, 09:33 AM\'] Still, I recall during the daytime run of Break the Bank on ABC in 1976 that when of their programs ended in the middle of a game, they would take the contestants offstage for a change of their clothes for "tomorrow's" program, and while they were offstage, the show's stage crew would re-arrange "portions of the undisclosed area of the game board" (according to host Tom Kennedy) so that previously unexposed "cash amount"/"money bags"/"wild"/"blank" boxes would be in different places than they were before.

 [/quote]
 Why would they have to do that? Memory wasn't involved on "Break the Bank," was it?

clemon79

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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2003, 11:02:09 PM »
[quote name=\'Neumms\' date=\'Oct 25 2003, 07:33 PM\'] Why would they have to do that? Memory wasn't involved on "Break the Bank," was it? [/quote]
 Absolutely it was, in fact, it was critical. If you found a money bag, you could either bank it for yourself and pass your turn, or you could turn it back over and pick again. Most players would elect to turn it back over, the idea being that if they could find the locations of three money bags, they could pluck them all off in a row and Break The Bank that way.
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Neumms

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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2003, 06:29:38 PM »
[quote name=\'clemon79\' date=\'Oct 25 2003, 10:02 PM\'] [quote name=\'Neumms\' date=\'Oct 25 2003, 07:33 PM\'] Why would they have to do that? Memory wasn't involved on "Break the Bank," was it? [/quote]
Absolutely it was, in fact, it was critical. If you found a money bag, you could either bank it for yourself and pass your turn, or you could turn it back over and pick again. Most players would elect to turn it back over, the idea being that if they could find the locations of three money bags, they could pluck them all off in a row and Break The Bank that way. [/quote]
I didn't realize that. If you have to pass your turn to claim a money bag, though, how could you turn over three in a turn?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2003, 06:31:17 PM by Neumms »

Matt Ottinger

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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2003, 06:56:33 PM »
Quote
If you have to pass your turn to claim a money bag, though, how could you turn over three in a turn?
You couldn't.  You had to pick them up over at least three different turns.  Chris' explanation is a little misleading.  Yes, there would be times when someone would turn down a money bag.  When that happened, the board reverted back to its original position and yes, you'd have to remember where the money bag was if you wanted to go back later and pick it up.  But that would cost you your turn too, just the same as if you had picked it blindly.  

It was also just as likely that you'd simply keep the money bag you'd uncovered.  Either way you passed your turn, but memorization wasn't always required in order to "Break the Bank".
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uncamark

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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2003, 08:01:13 PM »
[quote name=\'Matt Ottinger\' date=\'Oct 24 2003, 09:12 AM\']I have two memories that may have been from different eras of the show.  I'm remembering they would replace the old rebus with a new one, so the next episode would start with the same squares revealed, but a new rebus underneath.  But I'm also remembering an explanation from Downs (or maybe Clayton) after the show had gone to tape that they would be finishing the game immediately and we viewers would see the conclusion at the beginning of the next show.  Some of our even older members (or those my age with better memories) might be able to confirm or deny any of this.[/quote]
I remember Bob Clayton saying frequently "We'll finish the game here in the studio and show you what happened tomorrow [next time]."  This is, of course, after they'd switched to five-a-day taping, so it was a carryover from the old days.  You'd see the game straddle to the next day and pick up where it left off.

Usually, the next day, after the animation, instead of hyping the top prize or theme in the first game, Wayne Howell, would say over the tymp roll "We're in the middle of an exciting game and you'll see who wins today--now, here's your host, Bob Clayton!"

Quote
I don't remember any special prizes except for the Cash Wheel and The Envelope. There were probably others over the years, but those two were the most popular. As Chris says above, the Cash Wheel and The Envelope weren't regular features, so it was always a big deal to see them come up.


Near the end, they brought out the "Double Wheel," which was basically the Cash Wheel with prizes on it, ranging from a Hebrew National salami to A NEW CAR!  I forget whether the contestant got two spins and kept both prizes or spun once and had the option of spinning again for a better prize.  Like the Cash Wheel and Envelope, it popped up maybe every few weeks or so.  I believe all three prizes remained available until a contestant won them, the Envelope for sure (and they even played up The Envelope spaces by ringing a 70s "Pyramid" correct answer bell several times and having the camera zoom in on the space every time it turned over).

Other specials on "Concentration" were theme games, where all of the prizes had something in common, the most noteworthy being the various international games.  These would usually have a name like "Scandinavian Spectacular" and begin with a brief travelogue with film clips narrated by the announcer.  Then, model Paola Diva, decked in a native costume, would bring out the appropriate funny hats for the contestants--and the host--to wear.  (When they did once an Italian game, the contestant desks had red-and-white-checked tablecloths and chianti bottles on them like an Italian restaurant and Bob Clayton went through make-up and wardrobe to look like a stereotypical Italian restaurant owner, complete with moustache and bald head wig on top with sideburns.)  The top prize in the game was always a trip to the country featured and the other prizes were either imported from that country or something associated with that country.

They also did other theme games like a Gay 90s (that's 1890s, kids, and we mean "gay" as in "happy") game, with Milt Kaye on camera banging out ragtime on a ricky-tick piano (the better to keep him away from that tacky organ of "Concentration"'s last years).

And there was the home viewer game, which was played at least once a week for the last several years of the run (often after an unsolved rebus, with Norm Blumenthal saying over the PA "Bob, why don't we give our friends at home a chance to win?").  Postcards were in a bin, Clayton would spin the bin around a few times and pull out a card.  The first letter of your last name was keyed into the game board (A=1, B=2, etc.) and whatever was behind that number was what you won.  If it was a gag prize or a Forfeit, you won $100.  If it was a Take, you won $250.  If it was a Wild Card, you won $500.  Anything else, you won it.

ChuckNet

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« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2003, 12:12:39 AM »
I recall on Double Dare, they would occasionally end the show in the middle of a bonus round, and then pick it up w/the same subject on the next show...when this was the case, Trebek would mention on that next show that the Spoilers "have had no access to material that might aid them, nor have they had contact w/each other since our last program" (and we all know what a task it was keeping those 3 Spoilers sequestered for all of 15 min...LOL).

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clemon79

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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2003, 12:47:45 AM »
[quote name=\'Matt Ottinger\' date=\'Oct 26 2003, 04:56 PM\'] It was also just as likely that you'd simply keep the money bag you'd uncovered.  Either way you passed your turn, but memorization wasn't always required in order to "Break the Bank". [/quote]
 Wow. I'll defer, because I'm sure you've seen more episodes of it more recently than I have, but I could have sworn there was some mechanism in place such that it was in the players interest NOT to claim a bag, because they wouldn't lose their turn. I'll freely admit I'm wrong, tho, if that's the case.
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chris319

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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2003, 07:11:17 AM »
Who knew there was such musical talent connected with little ol' Concentration?

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« Last Edit: October 27, 2003, 07:11:44 AM by chris319 »