Friday, 12 November 2010

Mastermind - First Round Heat 13/24

I may be wrong, but I do have a feeling that tonight’s show was filmed on the same day as the Champ of Champs final, since I’m sure Nick Mills was leaving just as I was coming in. I may be mistaken. Still, I suppose that’s as good a way as any of telling you that although I don’t know Nick personally, I am aware of his fine reputation, and so he was tipped to do well from the Clark sofa tonight.

Mind you, it would be a little while before we’d see just how well, since Nick was due to go last in the first round. Kicking us off tonight was Keith Nickless. Keith’s specialist subject tonight was Mott The Hoople. I was hoping that the – who wrote ‘All the Young Dudes’ ? – question would come up, since I knew that was one of the Thin White Duke’s. So did Keith. He also knew all 17 of the other questions asked during the round. For the second week running we witnessed a stupendous full house of 18 correct answers from 8 questions. Superb work.

Gillian Clissold had to follow this grandstand opening, and she offered the Life of Robert Baden Powell. She started well, rattling off five correct answers with scarcely a pause. However a couple of passes followed, before she rallied. For the rest of the round , if she wasn’t certain, she passed, and so the rest of the round was something of a staccato performance, two passes, two correct answers, two passes – etc. She finished in double figures, though, with 10.

Teacher Thomas Zugic was very brave, in my opinion, offering a potentially extremely wide subject in the shape of the Geography of South America. It was a curious fact about tonight’s show that it wasn’t until the 6th question of this, the third of the specialist rounds, that we witnessed the first wrong answer tonight. Tricky questions robbed Thomas of momentum after this, and he too went on to kind of bunny hop his way throughout the rest of the round, just passing Gillian’s score with 11.

Nick is a fine quizzer, and so I had confidently predicted that if he was in contention after the first round, as I was sure that he would be, then he would be hard to beat in the GK round. Mind you, Keith had set a massive target. Rameses never looked like an easy subject to me. Fears were raised before Nick paused for a long time on the third answer before getting it wrong, but after that the round was just incredible. Nick reeled off seemingly interminable Egyptian names with no hesitation at all, and he had built up such a head of steam that he stormed to his own 18. Fantastic quizzing.

So all was set for a couple of very high scores. First , Gillian and then Thomas returned for their GK rounds. Both acquitted themselves quite well, I’m delighted to say, even if they both seemed to suffer from a little bit of a 2 minute dip. Gillian scored 12, and as in the specialist rounds Thomas went one better with 13. He was maybe a little fortunate that John didn’t disallow ‘nitrogen’ when ‘nitrous oxide’ was required, and prompted him for more, but then it was a given that it wasn’t going to materially affect the fight for the major medals.

Thence to the main event. Keith returned to the chair, rather the underdog as I saw it. Well, I have to say that he didn’t answer like an underdog at all. In fact if he’s not a regular quizzer I’ll be very much surprised. He cracked through his answer showing a very good all round knowledge. Not only that but , not knowing the name of Frigga, the mother of Baldr in Norse Mythology, he grinned and answered “Betty”. Liked that one very much. By the end of the round he had scored a fine 16. And 1 pass.

Nick had no passes so far. He needed 16 and no passes to go through as the winner. Mind you, the chances that he wouldn’t at least make the highest runners’-up board seemed small to say the least. He didn’t start the round as well as Keith had, and it took a little while to build up a bit of momentum. He sacrificed passes to build speed, and it did seem to do the trick, as he picked up speed , and powered through the line. The line, though, came just one question too early. Nick too scored 16 correct answers, but he had also passed 4 times.

So Keith won by virtue of only having one pass. Very well done sir, a fantastic score, and a very fine all round performance. But congratulations to Nick Mills as well. 34 is a monster of a score, and there is no doubt in my mind that we’ll be seeing Nick again in the semi finals. Great show , and well played to all.

The Details

Keith Nickless Mott the Hoople 18 – 0 16 – 1 34 - 1
Gillian Clissold Life of Robert Baden Powell 10 –7 12 – 3 22 – 10
Thomas Zugic Geography of South America 11 – 4 13 – 2 24 - 6
Nick Mills Rameses II 18- 0 16 – 4 34 – 4

Current Highest Scoring Runners Up

Nick Mills – 34 – 4
Hamish Cameron – 30 – 2
Anne Skillen - 30 -7
James Collenette - 29 – 2
Duncan Byrne – 27 - 2
Ian Packham - 27 – 7


paulphi said...

I have to admit,when I saw Nick Mills in the line up , I would have staked a hefty chunk on him to go through as winner, but his score will be fine for him to qualify. However tremendous effort from Keith and I will be interested in seeing him in the next round. The semis are looking quite tasty already

Londinius said...

Hi Paul

Yes, I thought last year's line up was impressive, but you have to say that this is starting to look extermely serious.

The first round isn't over yet, either. Who knows what is still to come ?