Three newcomers this week, and a contender we last saw in 2006. For the second week running two female contenders featured in the same heat, and it was one of these, Paula Keaveney who had a go in 2006. I should probably come clean too that I know Mike Foden since we post on the same internet forum, which is not to say that he dropped any hints before the show about how he got on.
Perhaps the spotlight was on the women following the media fuss over Gail Trimble since Monday night's University Challenge Grand Final. They certainly appeared good value in their Specialist subjects. Anne Fallow kicked off with a round on John Wesley. These questions were no picnic, and 11 looked like a good score, although not enough to put her in pole position going into General Knowledge.
Paula Keaveney offered us this week's popular culture round on "Seinfeld". Before anyone suggests that this was a soft option, perhaps they might like to reflect on the fact that there were in fact something like 180 episodes of the series. 14 looked like a very good score, and even more so when you consider that back in 2006 she answered on the Rebus novels of Ian Rankin and scored 11.
Mike Foden was answering questions on Russian artist Kazemir Malevich. It is to my shame that I admit that I have never heard of him. This makes it difficult for me to judge how fair the questions were. Some of them seemed rather long-winded, but maybe that was just my imagination. Scoring 9, Mike had a bit of a mountain to climb in the General Knowledge round.
Last up was retired teacher Colin Clayton, who was answering on this week's 'good old History subject' - the Wars of the Roses. That's a broad subject, and in this reviewer's opinion he did well to score 11.
John Humphrys decided not to risk displaying his ignorance about Kazimir Malevich, and concentrated on Mike's work as a charge nurse. Mike's a good quizzer, and it showed in the GK round, which he took steadily and confidently, posting a very useful 12 to set the bar at 21, ven though he had to put up with John Humphrys telling him off for passing on the definition of a dormer window. Ann Fallow talked engagingly about John Wesley, and that is surely no easy task. She didn't quite manage to get into double figures on GK. She did answer some very good questions, but wasn't up on popular culture enough to recognise the guest list of the very last Parkinson TV show. Colin Clayton informed us that the term "The Wars of the Roses" was first used in a book by Sir Walter Scott, which is a new one on me, so I was glad for once that there's no tie break, which means we get the full amount of chat. Shame thought it is, Mr. Clayton seems to lose all of his concentration as he falls into a pass spiral in the middle of his round, and only manages to pull out of it in the last half a minute. John Humphrys seems to be something of a Seinfeld fan , and he compares the show favourably to Friends, about which he said "They're all horrible, aren't they ? " Paula Keavney doesn't have a long way to go, needing 8 points to win ouright, but she takes quite a long time to get there, confusing Road Runner with Wile E. Coyote and Ben Gunn with Long John Silver. She makes it with about half a minute to spare, and breaks into double figures as she finishes on 24.
Off the point, one of the General Knowledge questions tonight asked what was the name of the character Pete Beale's sister in Eastenders. The answer was Pauline Fowler, who was played by the late Wendy Richard, who sadly passed away earlier this week.
So, Paula Keaveney becomes the fifth woman to qualify for the semi finals this season. How far can she go ? Who knows ? However, the name Keaveney is not unknown in Mastermind circles. The 1986 champion was Jennifer Keaveney. Is this an omen ? Time alone will tell.
|Ann Fallow||John Wesley||11 - 3||9 - 3||20 - 6|
|Paula Keaveney||Seinfeld||14 - 1||10 - 5||24 - 6|
|Mike Foden||Kazimir Malevich||9 - 4||12 - 1||21 - 5|
|Colin Clayton||The Wars of the Roses||11 - 2||8 - 4||19 - 6|
Answers to the Weekend Mini Quiz
Round One - The Arks
1) From which wood were - a) Noah's Ark and - b) The Ark of the Covenant made ?
a) Gopher Wood - b) Acacia
2) How old was Noah when he died ?
950 years old
3) In the film "Raiders of the Lost Ark" , in which Egyptian city was the Ark of the Covenant found ?
4) Controversial writer Graham Hancock wrote a book called "The Sign and the Seal" which put forward his view that the Ark of the Covenant is being kept in a church in which country ?
Ethiopia - in the church o St. Mary of Sion in Axum
5) Which Apollo astronaut made high profile expeditions to Mount Ararat to search for the remains of the Ark ?
Round Two - General Knowledge
1) Two British world Middleweight boxing champions fought Sugar Ray Robinson during their careers. Randolph Turpin was one. Who was the other ?
Answer - Terry Downes - towards the end of Robinson's long career
2) Who once famously voiced Maggie in "The Simpsons" ?
3) Which Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced VAT in the 1970s ?
4) Which disused London Underground station is maintained so that it can be used for filming etc. ?
5) Who or what is Restless D'Artaix ?
The horse that gave Tony McCoy his 3000th winner
Weekend Mini Quiz Five
Round One - Comics and Cartoons
1) What is widely reckoned to be the first ever comic cartoon strip in the UK ?
2) Which cartoon strip featured on the very first page of the very first ever Dandy ?
3) After the "Captain Marvel" comic strip was sued out of existence in the USA, he lived on in the UK in Britain in the 50s as 'Marvelman'. Instead of Shazam - what was Marvelman's word of power - and how was it derived ?
4) When The Perishers cartoon strip from the Daily Mirror was transferred to television, which very famous comic actor provided the voices ?
5) Who created the Flash Gordon cartoon strip, which led to the film serials, starring Buster Crabbe ?
Round Two - General Knowledge
1) If you went into a building in Wales which had the word "Dynion" upon it, what would you be entering ?
2) What does the 'C' in JCB stand for ?
3) Which is the only property on the Monopoly board which contains all the letters of the word Monopoly ?
4) Which was the new women's track event in Athletics that featured for the first time in the Beijing Olympics of 2008 ?
5) Leonard Nimoy's second autobiography was titled "I am Spock" - what was his first one called ?
Same as always - just for fun - answers will be posted next weekend - drop me a line if you can't wait till then.