Well, here we are in the middle of another week, and there’s a lot to catch up on , and its hard to know just where to start. BoB is as good a place as any. Monday brought us many good things, among them the last of the first round heats in the finest quiz on the radio. A cursory glance at the list of contestants revealed the name of Iwan Thomas. Regular readers, and regular Mastermind viewers probably recall Iwan’s stunning first round performance in the current series, where he whacked in a magnificent 37. Look out, I thought, the other three are going to have to go some here.
Well, they managed to hold their own for the first round. Phil Harvey didn’t get off the mark, and both Margaret Burke and Ian Fennell managed 2, the same number as Iwan, who had forgotten Howard Jacobsen, the writer of the 2010 Mann Booker winner, The Finkler Question. After that though it was pretty much a one horse race. Iwan’s total climbed round by round to 8, 10 then 14, and all before the Beat the Brains interval, by which time the closest challenger, Margaret Burke, was 9 points behind.
The listener’s questions were set by an American listener. The first was a gettable “America has an element – Americium – named after it. There are two other elements that are specifically named after places in the United States – which are they ? “ it took the brains all of about 2 seconds to polish off that one – California ( Californium ) and Berkely ( Berkelium) .The second was a bit of an old chestnut, asking which is the only element named after a place in the UK, with Strontium being the answer. No book token, but thanks for playing anyway.
Iwan continued where he’d left off by adding 5 points in each of the next two rounds to take his score to 24. Which seemed to satisfy him, as he didn’t take another before the end of the contest. There was still much to be decided though, since a score of 13 would gain a repechage slot. None of the other contestants could put together a realistic bid though, and in the end Ian Fennell took runner up slot with 9. So well done Iwan ! Even more impressive when you consider that the score was achieved without a full set of five either. Best of luck in the semis. We’ll have a look at the qualifiers for the semis in a later post.
Margaret Burke – 5
Ian Fennell – 9
Phil Harvey – 7
Iwan Thomas – 24
Highest scoring runners up
John Beynon – 18
Angela Wilson - 15
Ian Cassidy – 13
Elizabeth Manning – 12/ Mark Walton – 12