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Sam Cappleman-Lynes

From Countdown
Sam Cappleman-Lynes
Octochamp Statistics
Final positionRunner-up
Points total939
Conundrums solved6
Sam Cappleman-Lynes in Series 82.

Sam Cappleman-Lynes was an octochamp in and the runner-up of Series 82. He is a software developer from Rochdale. He is also an Apterite, a member of c4countdown. His wife Florence Cappleman-Lynes, also an Apterite, became an octochamp in Series 84, the first under new host Anne Robinson.

Sam made his debut on 26 August 2020 against two-time winner Pete Reynolds, where a spot of the nine-letter word LONICERAS helped Sam win with an impressive 114 points to Reynolds' 33. The following day, Sam reduced multiple gameshow contestant Bernie Kingston to the lowest ever score in a 15-round game with just 5 points. Sam won an additional six games on the trot, including a personal best of 124 points, and accumulated 939 points en route to becoming the sixth octochamp of the series and the first octochamp since the COVID-19 hiatus. He came up with some very obscure words along the way, such as MOWDIES, TAIHOAED and WINDIGO. Clips of his eighth win were shown on Gogglebox on 11 September.

Sam returned to the show on 11 December 2020 to play the second quarter-final match against number 7 seed Damien Doughty. Sam took an early in the first two letters rounds, before Doughty beat him in the first number round. Sam eventually broke away by finding MASTIGURE for nine and solving a difficult conundrum – CRAZYLILO to ZIRCALLOY – to prevail with 121 points and qualify for the semi-finals, where he took on number 3 seed Leo Smith in the second semi-final. Both players found REFASHION for nine in the first letters round, before Sam established a convincing lead. However, Smith fought back by beating Sam in three letter rounds, but Sam later spotted one of the newest additions to ODO, SEMITONAL for nine, to take the game with 124 points and qualify for the Grand Final against number one seed Luke Johnson-Davies, setting up only the second episode in more than 7,000 to feature two contestants bearing double-barrelled surnames, the first being Episode 882 between Derek Stuart-Clark and John Gough-Cooper.

In the final, Sam played a close game to Luke, with both players scoring in the early rounds. But Luke soon picked up speed and Sam was unable to keep up with his strong word power, although both players found EUTOPIANS for nine. Sam notably gave a complex solution to the second numbers before bowing out with his first defeat and garnering an overall total of 1,279 points in his run.

On Apterous, as well as having already achieved a Top 10 position in the Pro Ranks[1], Sam has also won a game of 'Apto Fifteen to One', hosted and written by Philip Aston.[2]

Outside of Countdown, Sam is an active member of the world of competitive puzzles. In 2018, he won the UK Sudoku Championships on his first attempt, followed by a runner-up finish in the same event the following year. He also came 40th in the 2019 World Sudoku Championships in Germany.

Preceded by
Jamie Wing
Series runner-up
Series 82
Followed by
Luke Boynton


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
7331 26/08/2020 P Pete Reynolds 33 - 114 Sam Cappleman-Lynes Nina Hossain Susie Dent 132
7332 27/08/2020 P Sam Cappleman-Lynes 117 - 5 Bernie Kingston Dr Linda Papadopoulos Susie Dent 131
7333 28/08/2020 P Sam Cappleman-Lynes 124 - 12 Phil Savage Dr Linda Papadopoulos Susie Dent 133
7334 31/08/2020 P Sam Cappleman-Lynes 121 - 17 Matt Duffy Dr Linda Papadopoulos Susie Dent 128
7335 1/09/2020 P Sam Cappleman-Lynes 123 - 17 Malcolm Slee Dr Linda Papadopoulos Susie Dent 134
7336 2/09/2020 P Sam Cappleman-Lynes 110 - 42 Mike Spencer Dr Linda Papadopoulos Susie Dent 122
7337 3/09/2020 P Sam Cappleman-Lynes 111 - 40 Jay Brown Paul Zenon Susie Dent 125
7338 4/09/2020 P Sam Cappleman-Lynes 119 - 37 Anthony Podmore Paul Zenon Susie Dent 140
7408 11/12/2020 QF Sam Cappleman-Lynes 121 - 71 Damien Doughty John Inverdale Susie Dent 133
7412 17/12/2020 SF Sam Cappleman-Lynes 124 - 83 Leo Smith Levi Roots Susie Dent 157
7413 18/12/2020 GF Luke Johnson-Davies 112 - 95 Sam Cappleman-Lynes Levi Roots Susie Dent 135