There was no phone to answer as the brief was known in advance.  This week was to be Lord Sugar’s favourite task – The Scavenger Hunt – where the teams would have to decipher and research a list of words to find out what they were and then against the clock locate them and negotiate for them.  Any items not found, would result in penalties and affect whether they would win or lose!

The make-up of the teams stayed the same as last week and once again pre task banter took place in each team.  Ryan Mark wasn’t convinced it would be his week to be PM and quickly reminded by Dean that there would be no task set in Harrods – ah great shame as a scavenger hunt in Harrods would be quite watchable!

Marianne put herself forward for PM on Unison confident the task was one where lateral thinking was required, an area according to her she excelled in.  Enter Lottie’s hat in the ring also wanting to be considered for PM.  But why Lottie?  What could possibly give you the clout to be in with a shout?

I’ve knowledge of Oxford; I’m a strategist; I’ve not had opportunity to show my leadership skills and I’m a strong negotiator.   Once again Lottie put her case forward succinctly and with relevance.  Once again Scarlett senses there may be trouble ahead encouraging the team to take the vote and once again Marianne wins.  Are we going to see a repeat of last week with the bitchiness continuing?

On the other team Jemelin who has never been PM also admits she has never been to Oxford or Cambridge and even though she doesn’t know a lot about the task, she is happy to be put forward.  The only other contender is Ryan Mark who does a half-hearted pitch by stating he visited Oxford once for a school trip (well considering that wasn’t long ago, it will all still be fresh in his mind surely?)  The vote decides upon Jemelin with Ryan Mark being one of the votes that makes it happen.

Each team is given maps with a list of items; No having to decipher the first being 12 Free Range Eggs freshly laid that day.  The next; a Bushel of Apples which Lottie enlightens everyone that a Bushel is a box.  A Rigger Jigger makes Thomas believe it is something to do with a boat with Dean seconding that given their locations both known for boat racing.  The next was a Snaffle with a specification Eggbutt and once again Lottie knew it was something you put over the snout of an animal.  Lottie was on a roll and with Mortar Board being the next so confident was she in her answer she did a picture this scenario to educate the members of her team.  It is the hat worn at graduation.  Then comes the moment that has since cause discussions, debates and the nation to wonder where Lord Sugar gets such a bunch of wallies from who all boast of their imaginary skills.  On paper they are just words and yet in reality if only they could meet the expectations they all set!

The next item required was a book from the Alice in Wonderland collection with its specification being it had to be pre-WW2.  During the war Thomas confirms it means they are looking for an old one which triggers Lottie to reiterate the detail to ensure they knew it had to be pre 1939.  Dean wants more clarity and Lottie in her schoolteacher way feeling very important to be wanted, needed and listened to states WW2 was between 1939 – 1945 and therefore pre-WW2 meant it needed to be before 1939.  Gold star for Lottie!

However not a gold star within a million miles for Team N/Empower just a bunch of dunce hats and not enough corners!  Pamela asks if anyone knew the dates WW2 started.  Come on Ryan Mark, who is someone who studied History whilst at school so surely would be the first to answer and correctly!  No instead he sat looking uncomfortable choosing not to say a peep!  Lewis was the one to step up questioning was 1945 when it started or ended? Oh, my giddy aunt – is he for real?  Riyonn without giving the answer has the balls to state well that’s a good start yet he didn’t know and Pamela seconds that with what a great start telling the team to think of their parents ages and ask were they alive and what year they were born to try and think of the dates of WW2.  Riyonn pipes in with perhaps think grandparents instead of parents- does that help?  Pamela asks how long WW2 went on for which Riyonn states 4 years and then without further ado they move on to the next item not having achieved what they needed to and just leaving everyone watching them feeling 1) embarrassed for their lack of important historical dates 2) worried for Lord Sugar to be parting with even £2.50 let alone 250k to any of these morons and 3) pleased that none of them will ever be on the same side in a pub quiz!  Surely their thickness cannot continue – oh yes it can!

What’s a Mortar board?  Think about it Riyonn you are going to Oxford and Cambridge for this task – think about it and your answer is?  A plasterers board!

What is a Toad, specification Rye.  Carina the baker ears prick up at the word Rye – it must be bread it must be bread!  We will target bakeries states Ryan Mark who is back in the room after clamming up where it came to the WW2 questions – for someone who likes to be heard, his actions make the viewer question his level of intelligence versus his level of bullshit likewise his dim-witted team mates!

Back to Unison where the next item on the generic list is a University Plate with 31 Crests.  Time for the lateral thinking to kick in Marianne – what are you thinking laterally?  To get a regular plate (don’t you love these quaint like U.S. of A sayings) and put 1 crest on it 31 times?  OMG – does lateral thinking in English mean dumbass in American?  But Marianne is in her lateral thinking world and excitedly states that the name of the game is not doing the obvious (Ok so when they say to get a plate that has 31 crests on it – it doesn’t actually mean to get a plate with 31 crests on it!)  By not doing what it specifically says Marianne thinks in her lateral way that it’s a clever way of getting what they were required to get (Ok Marianne – just smile & wave people!).

Lottie who is becoming more like an extra out of Downtown Abbey is concerned and urges everyone very nicely to consider if they get it wrong, they would be penalised.

Cue Claude who feels that Marianne thinking too much out of the box thinking everything has got some scavenger hunt or aspect to it and by doing this she is looking to cutting corners.

Back to Team Idiots – sorry N/Empower where Ryan Mark has no idea what a Quant is?  Mirror anyone?

The next job for PM Jemelin is to decide who goes where and she wants Pea Brain Pamela, Lame Brain Lewis, and nincompoop Riyonn to go to Oxford and the rest of the dum dums to head to Cambridge with her.

Time to decide who gets what, cue Karen who states there is a real lack of strategy in this team as they don’t know where they are going other than the cities of Oxford or Cambridge, they don’t know what their items are and they have no plan to find out  - well summed up but did we expect anything less?

Riyonn is finding the map reading confusing having only been used to popping details into a sat nav or an app on his mobile- don’t worry Riyonn map reading has been going on for years but you wouldn’t understand that with your limited knowledge of historical events!

Lottie is made Sub Team Leader – don’t let that title go to your bun Lottie why not use this opportunity to show what a team player you really can be!  With a more organised approach she reels off the list of items her team will get in Cambridge and what and why they will target first.

Half of each team set off for Cambridge and the rest head for Oxford

Toad being is a gin produced in Oxford but would Team N/Empower find out this important detail even when they were told it?  Pamela being spokesperson for phoning around to try and find out what certain items were and where they would find them starts with the mortar board only to find out its nothing to do with plastering and is a graduation hat.  Feeling she may be speaking to someone who is more intelligent than she is (that wouldn’t be difficult – she should have rung 123) she asks what a toad is much to the laughter of her travelling companions stating not the animal – Pamela, Pamela, Pamela a toad is not an animal it is tailless amphibian with a short stout body and short legs, typically having dry warty skin that can exude poison, alternatively which may be more relevant for this process it can also be a contemptible or detestable person.  The person on the other end of the phone ignores the bread version and tells her there is a Toad Gin distillery in Oxford.  Instead of listening and putting 2 and 2 together Pamela ends the call by saying OK, maybe a different thing!  Viewers despair and go and pop the kettle on!

On the Cambridge team of Team N/Empower Riyonn has discovered what a Snapple is and locates on which is half an hour from city centre so decides to get it later.  What’s a quant he asks.  Mirror anyone?

Over to Team Lottie who is telling Dean she wants to see what he can do at the farm advising him to be friendly, nice and warm needing to get as low as he could price wise.  After collecting 12 freshly laid eggs in which Thomas delivers an all time classic in egg observation “How comes their white but in the supermarket their brown” - lost for words Thomas – absolutely stumped!

Salesman of the year Dean enquires “How much for 12?” and the farm lady confirms its £2 a dozen.  Dean says Ok obviously we have come from London – what?  Why is it so obvious – Thomas didn’t pop on his pearly king outfit in between takes did he?  You didn’t all break out into a rendition of maybe its because I’m a Londoner did you?  Obvious – nothing in life is obvious Dean apart from your lack of communication skills and ability to not be able to articulate without saying OK, really, really or something stupid!

Lottie is quick to get the eggs at a budget price of a pound reminding the farm lady they did pick them saving her the labour which was done minus the heels.  The farm lady is won over so onto the next item which was the apples having discovered there was a farm shop nearby.  Cue Lottie in summing up Deans contribution “relatively weak”.  But was she happy to get the eggs for £1 - so happy!

It was egg citing times on the other Cambridge Team where Ryan Mark on their tight budget paid £2.75 for the eggs which was twice the price of Team Unison.  They also got their bushel of apples for £45.00.  Ryan Mark was delighted on getting the apples and eggs in the same place ready to move on for rest of the items. 

In Oxford Pamela and co are wanting the mortar board and Pamela’s opening line is “So we need to purchase this from you today, so can you tell me what the best price is?”  The shopkeeper replies £4.99.  Pamela responds, “So today we were willing to spend £2.50”.  Her listening skills are complete rubbish and the shopkeeper not impressed with this pathetic attempt to reduce the price advises they are the only remaining party shop in Oxford for miles and miles putting it to Pam & Co that they could either pay up or trawl the streets in their quest!

Pamela goes in with a counteroffer of £4.00.  99p under the original price.  Shopkeeper comes back with her offer of £4.75 – 24p under the original asking price.  Pamela not liking the pressure states you’re really killing us here - did she have a gun to your head Pam? Was there a concealed weapon under the mortar board – no!  The shopkeeper was just good at what she did best negotiate knowing she had something they needed and again advising it would be best if they went with her price.  £4.70 was agreed – 29p under the original asking price – what wonderful skills of negotiation you really have Pam!

In Oxford the search is on for the pre-war classic and enter Scarlett, Marianne and Iasha – the latter has returned to her selective mute state for this task!  Scarlett asks the seller what the best price would be after he states the book in question sells for £200.  She adds that she feels that she and he calling him Christopher could work really well together suggesting £30.00 – a figure based on what?  How did she know his name?  Did he have a name badge on or was she taking a shot in the dark assuming that this bookseller had the late Greek name meaning to bear, to carry – Yes indeed he was bearing and carrying a book they wanted and he wasn’t prepared to let it go no matter how many compliments came his way.  £175 and not a penny lower, which caused indecision resulting in Scarlett asking him to reserve the item maybe for a couple of hours.   The cost was higher than they had anticipated so they decided to check out other options leaving empty handed but finding a miniature bottle of Toad gin to purchase instead.

Team Lottie acquire the apples at £35.00 minus the bushel whilst in the vicinity of Cambridge Ryan Mark is looking for inspiration not having a scooby where he is regardless of map in hand. “What street are we on? Do you know where we are?” In the company of two other gormless souls, Carina suggests a visit to the Library – this is no time for a sit down and a read Carina!

In the library they approach someone wearing a lanyard whose name was Ms you can ask but I won’t have the answer to any of your questions – perhaps Lottie paid her off in advance?  The Librarian code cannot be broken!  Do you know what a rigger jigger is? No. Do you know what a quant is. No.  Do you know what Toad is? We think it’s a local bread. No, not heard of it.  Having taken the librarian oath, there was no cracking this normally informative individual.  We really appreciate your time said Ryan Mark.  Really? Did you?  Even though you wanted to say we really appreciated you wasting our time!  Impeccable manners Ryan Mark but they won’t win you the task!

Jemelin is feeling a bit nervous now she realises there is a lot of information to gather and it is more difficult than anticipated to know what the items are -clearly, she has never seen The Apprentice before and did no research before applying!   In Oxford her sub team arrive at the same book seller and the same price of £200 was still on offer.  Riyonn decides they too need to have a little chat doing an Arnie ‘Well be back” and out of earshot confirms they are not spending that amount. They wander off to see what else they could find.

Lateral thinking Marianne can be found in another bookstore where reprints of the original book were in abundance and even though Scarlett nervous, Marianne reassures her not to take everything literally.  Scarlett is still not convinced just worried about this risk-taking rationale as the bookseller confirms it is the original book just newly printed copy and selling for a cheap as chips price of £7.99.  Marianne offers £4.99 and the deal is done.

In team Lottie the Rigger Jigger was about to be crossed from their list with her laying down the rules of negotiation.  Thomas launches in explaining that they needed to buy the Rigger Jigger and offers £10.  The seller wanted more as this is no ordinary Rigger Jigger, this is the one that was used on one of the Cambridge Boat Races.  Thomas unimpressed points out that its now second hand whereas Lottie who spots an opportunity to turn on her plummy charm warns him she is going to be awfully cheeky and asks if he would accept £12.00 - not sure how she worked that one out!  Nor did Thomas who thought he was going to lead until Lottie stepped in and was convinced if he had done the wheeling and dealing, he would have got it for a Lady Godiva!

On the other sub team including Ryan Mark, he still has no idea where anything is.  The item to find is a college plate with 31 crests on it which they find going for the smallest size to keep the cost down only getting 25p discount.

Riyonn calls asking Jemelin what she wants him to do re Alice in Wonderland book and Jemelin turns into the White Rabbit in her indecisiveness saying it’s easy for him to ask her what he wants her to do, before putting the question out to the team what should they do?  Cue Ryan Mark who is critical about Jemelin’s leadership style and having to look to others stating that’s bad.  Glass houses and throwing stones come to mind as Ryan Mark handles the next situation none too well!  He makes a phone call in his quest to discover what a quant is – Mirror anyone? He is advised it is a punting pole – What is a punting Pole – OMG Ryan Mark for someone who is so experienced in life were you sharing the cupboard under the stairs with Harry Potter?  Another phone call is made to establish what a punting pole is, and the penny finally drops.  We must away to the river instructs Ryan Mark in his theatrical manner and off they go only to be seen to be doing a u turn back having no sense of direction.  Now whose Mr U Turn Mr Parsons? 

Scarlett is still worried by the book situation whereas Marianne is worried about the spend but they decide to go back and get the book for the lowest price possible.  Whereas Riyonn was on a mission to find another bookshop only to discover the cheapest one at £450 for a 1914 edition.  Lewis comments they are not looking for rare just Pre WW2 whatever that actually means.  Riyonn gets jumpy realising this one item is taking a lot of time to acquire.

Back to the river and Ryan Mark has a ‘Oh Matron’ moment as his opening gambit to a nearby punter is “I love your pole”.  Dramatically he says they have been looking everywhere which is a complete lie as they have only just arrived at the river.  The punter explains that for a new Quant it would cost £200 but because he has been using it for a couple of years, he could let them have it for £140.  The barter goes back and forth, up and down until it stops at £125.00 with Ryan Mark stating they would take the pole away straight away – well he was hardly going to post it to you Ryan Mark!  Still on their Forest Gump approach they continue to run having done nothing for about 5 hours out of the day.  This time they are running through Cambridge with a massive pole – Stop messing about!

On Lottie’s team she has given out strict instructions it will be her to have the final say in getting the quant having spied a potential seller approaching them bidding them a good afternoon.  The price is £200 which seems to be the going rate for a quant which Thomas is quick to say is way out of budget.  Being the cheeky chappie, he is he offers £40.00 (couple of apple cores love a duck and all that jazz!)  £60.00 says the guy but Thomas not to be put off says “Give you £40, shake your hand and we will flip a coin heads or tails.  If I lose, I will give you £50.00.  He loses can you Adam and eve it!  But Lottie’s pantaloons were in a considerable twist giving Thomas a good old telling off in the car not believing that he should negotiate by using the flip of a coin, a gamble in her opinion that should never be taken in business. Thomas looks out of the window unperturbed by Lottie’s rabbit.

In Oxford both teams are running back to the original book shop to get Alice and first through the door is Riyonn, Lewis and Pamela.  Riyonn gets it for £165.00 and is made up stating this book has been the bain of his life.  After they leave 7 hours after they had originally walked through the bookseller’s doors, Scarlett, Marianne and Iasha returned disappointed to learn that the book has been sold.  Scarlett expresses she thought it had been reserved until the end of the day even though she only requested for it to be reserved for a few hours.

Luckily there is another book for sale retailing at £235.00 which they manage to get for £170 and Scarlett thinks it’s the right thing to purchase.  Iasha who has said hardly anything says she is hugely worried about purchasing the book as it could be a game changer.

The task is coming to an end as the clock is near to striking 5pm and everyone must now get to the agreed meeting points on time.  If they are late, they will incur a penalty.  Come on Ryan Mark take that coat off and run like a little piggy.  When he arrives, he is sweating profusely – sweating like a pig and needs to be fanned down – think it’s time to lay off the Ferrero Rocher and curb the glasses of cab sav love!  

There are items missing but it’s too late to do anything about it – tomorrow is judgement day – tomorrow the boardroom beckons!