Mastermind - 14th November - Heat 11 out of 24
Well, you wait weeks for another female contender, and then three come along all at once. It was a little bit like the BBC putting all of their eggs in one basket. it gave them a very good chance of getting another woman into the semi finals. However it also meant that at least 2 of the women contenders weren't going to get there. As it happened tonight, the contender who came second could well have won some of the other heats , so possibly the BBC have missed a trick here.
Jean Taylor and Barry Ingram were competing for the first time, and may well have found the occasion a little daunting. Both posted almost identical scores, with 9 for the specialist round, and another 6 each for the general knowledge. Far more impressive was another newcomer, Nancy Dickmann. Her specialist round seemed somewhat better than the 13 she scored. However she rattled through her general knowledge round at a fair canter, and scored an excellent 14. When the final contender's name, Miriam Collard, was announced I thought that it rang a bell. A quick check indeed revealed that she reached the semi finals in the Magnus Magnusson era in 1996, and then the actual final in 1998, when Mastermind was presented on the radio by Peter Snow. Well , she may well have been hoping to go one better this time, and she certainly gave it her best shot, with a very good score of 15 in the Specialist round. However hesitancy got the better of her in the general knowledge round, and she bottomed out at 12, to give her also 27. She had passed twice in the competition, and Nancy Dickmann only once. So Nancy Dickmann progressed to the semi, and you have to say that she is the most impressive of the female contenders to get through to the semi finals, and could just make it to the final.
|Jean Taylor||The Coventry Blitz||9||Gk - 6||Total - 15|
|Barry Ingram||The Scottish Enlightenment||9||GK - 6||Total - 15|
|Nancy Dickmann||The novels of Elizabeth Peters||13||GK -14 - 1||Total - 27 - 1 pass|
|Miriam Collard||Dic Penderyn||15 - 0 passes||GK - 12 - 2 passes||Total - 27 - 2 passes|
Thank Heavens ! University Challenge came back this week. I didn't take details, but I believe it was the LSE v. Selwyn College . The LSE gave the opposition a good old British style thrashing, trousers down, a fact which Paxman gleefully rubbed in at the end of the show. Mind you, LSE were impressive. It will take a hell of a good team to beat them.
Are You An Egghead has reached the second round, so by my calculation that means that its half over. All the amateurs are gone, but this week had its share of shocks. Dr. Ian Bayley, so impressive in the first round, was beaten by a very nice guy I don't know called James who was I think had got as far as the semis in University Challenge.Other serious contenders to leave the competition were Jenny Ryan, Mastermind 1990 winner David Edwards, and Shanker Menon. Mind you, Shanker was always the underdog against Barry Simmons, who must surely fancy his chances in the next round.
Also reaching the second round this week was Only Connect. Its kept growing on me this series, and I will miss it terribly when its over. Victoria Coren promised the second round would be harder than the first round matches were, and she wasn't lying. We had the unedifying spectacle of one team failing to unravel any of the connections wall at all. Despite that it went to a tie break. Good stuff.
Daftest Answer of the week
For once Mastermind provides us with our daftest answer.
Question : - Pied, Grey and Yellow are all British examples of which species of bird ?
Answer : - Piper ?