List of Countdown terminology

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This is a list of Countdown terminology.

Alphabetical list of terminology

  • 480 club - informal name for the players that scored 480 points as an Octochamp during their runs under the 9 round format.
  • 800 club - informal name for that players that have scored 800 points as an Octochamp during their runs under the 15 round format.
  • Board game - the Countdown board game is part of the Countdown goody bag. It uses over 100 lettered cards and also numbered cards for the numbers, and a plastic spinner to generate numbers games.
  • C4countdown - An online forum dedicated to Countdown, with over 1000 members and over 63,000 messages. See the website.
  • Carol beater - a number solution that beats the solution found by Carol on the show. Usually only applies to solutions not found on the show but rather on an online forum. (This term is now obselete)
  • CECIL - Countdown Electronic Calculator in Leeds, the computer that generates the random numbers between 100 and 999 for the numbers games. (As the show is now filmed in Manchester, presumably this term is no longer used)
  • Century - a score of 100 or more. This is quite common under the 15 round system, but also happened in the 14 round finals, first achieved by Clive Spate in Series 6.
  • Contestant - a Countdown player, someone who appears on Countdown as a player.
  • Conundrum - the nine-letter anagram at the end of the show. Players buzz in with the right answer, only the player that buzzes in first with the right answer gets the 10 points. If the player gets it wrong, the other player has the rest of the 30 seconds to buzz in.
  • Darren - a word which is the longest in that given round, and the only word of that length. For instance, from the selection ALEPOCQTS, POLECATS would be the only eight-letter word.
  • Dictionary Corner - a special celebrity guest and a lexicographer together working to find the best words in selections where the contestants don't get the longest possible word. They're often helped by the show's producers, led by Damian Eadie, by way of an earpiece. The guest also gives a short anecdote before the first commercial break.
  • Duel - on the French and Spanish versions of Countdown, the equivalent of a conundrum. Contestants are given a word-based puzzle to solve, such as two words from nine letters with the same meaning.
  • Electronic game - an eletronic game of Countdown, where players play individually selecting vowels and consonants for the letters games and numbers for the numbers game.
  • Final, see Grand final
  • Grand final - the final game of each series, with the two players who have won their quarter-final and semi-final facing off to be a series champion. Until Series 46 this was a 14 round game, now it's always a 15 round game. See Category:Grand finals
  • Guest - a celebrity guest invited on to Countdown for one day's filming (five shows). They help find the longest words in the letters round, and give a short anecdote before the first ad break.
  • Inverted T - a numbers selection consisting of one large number and five small numbers, chosen in such a way that the selection makes a T-shape.
  • Lexicographer - a resident expert who helps to find the longest words from the letters games, with the help of a celebrity guest.
  • Motown Selection - a numbers game consisting of four large and two small numbers. This expression was invented by contestant Tony Warren, and references the Motown singing group The Four Tops. David O'Donnell also enjoyed the expression.
  • Numbers game - a game using six randomly chose numbers between 1 and 100 and a target between 100 and 999. The aim is to use the six numbers to make the target number using the four basic mathematical operations (addition, division, subtraction and multiplication). The numbered cards available are 1 to 10 twice each, 25, 50, 75 and 100.
  • Octochamp - a player who wins 8 games without being defeated. 8 games is the maximum, and after that the player retires unbeaten. The word is derived from champion and Octo- meaning 8.
  • Pencam - a small camera shaped like a pen, useful for displaying words found in the dictionary.
  • Raw score - a scoring system whereby one's opponent's scores are ignored, as if they were playing on their own.
  • Safe - a "safe" declaration is one declared by a contestant when they think they may have a more valuable answer, but decide not to risk it. For example "a safe seven" when the player thinks they may also have an eight- or nine-letter word.
  • Santagram - an old name for the Teatime Teaser when it was shown around Christmas.
  • Series - A sequence of over 100 episodes with just one eventual winner at the end. A series winner is a player that wins the grand final of a series.
  • Teapot - the individual prize for a player that wins a game.
  • Teatime Teaser - an eight-letter anagram shown during the commercial breaks. It used to be seven letters. Unlike conundrums, they can have more than one solution.
  • Viscount - in Series 46 players were only permitted to win six games maximum instead of eight, the name Octochamp was not suitable for these players as the octo- is a reference to eight. So the players were called Viscounts, with reference to VI meaning six in Roman numerals, and -count referring to Countdown.
  • Whitehall - the term for a numbers game with one large number, when the numbers are chosen 1, 2, 1, 2 from the top row to the bottom row respectively. It comes from the old number for the Metropolitan Police (Whitehall 1212).
  • Xicount - an unofficial term for players who become Octochamps and then go on to win their series, giving them a total of 11 wins, the maximum possible in a single series. Xicount is from XI meaning eleven in Roman numerals, and -count referring to Countdown.
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