BoB returned to Salford Quays for yesterday’s show. Not that it makes any difference at all, but I like old Broadcasting House, and was glad to play all of my matches in 2009/10 in there.
First to go was Nada Vekri . He missed out on novels by Arthur Ransome, which second to go Rob Milnes was happy to supply. Mr. Milnes continued a highly impressive start when he took his own first three on the bounce. They weren’t gimmes either. He didn’t know that fustian was made from cotton, but Nada did for a bonus. Stephen Porter took his own first, but missed out on Andre Gide. Another bonus for Nada. Cindy Stevens got a nasty bouncer for her own first question – nobody knew that a conestoga, invented in the USA , is a covered wagon. So the evidence of the first round was that Rob Milnes was certainly a quizzer to be taken very seriously, and that Nada Vekri seemed a bit handy as well.
Nada took his first, but didn’t know the native American Ghost Dance religion of the late 19th century. Rob did. He went on to go one better than his first round run, taking 4 on the bounce this time. He didn’t recognise a bicthy comment made by Lord Byron about John Keats – Stephen took the bonus on that one. He missed his own first , on the Britches Bible, allowing Rob to ramp up his own lead even higher. Cindy had a distinctly gettable starter, but didn’t know that Lloyds started life in a London coffee house. Rob knew that.With a score of 11 at the end of round two, one more would certainly put him onto the semi finals board. Sitting pretty is a phrase which comes to mind. Nada missed his first again – mind you, who actually does know the latin name of the koala ? Well if Cindy didn’t , she guessed correctly anyway. Rob didn’t know the term musique concrete – Cindy took her second bonus in a row from this one. Stephen didn’t know that Lammas Day is August 1st – a bonus for Nada there. Cindy got another tricky starter, being given George Borrow’s romany name for Scotland. Rob guessed correctly on that one.
So to the Beat the Brains interval. Yesterday’s questions were sent in by listener Jane Anne Liston. Well, Jane Anne Liston is a BoB semi finalist herself. How do I know ? Because she was sitting next to me at the time – it was my own semi final in late 2009, which represented the high water mark of my time in BoB . Jane Anne’s first question foxed all of the Brains. She asked what the University towns of Buckingham, Lampeter and her own home , St. Andres lack. It’s a railway station. Her second asked what distinguishes the three kings, the stable , the ox and the ass in the story of the Nativity . I had this one, as did the brains, that they are none of them actually mentioned in the gospels.
Back to the contest. Nada took his first, but got no further, not knowing John Keble. Nobody had it. Rob missed his own first . I was a little surprised that none of the Brains knew Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven. How soon we forget. I was also surprised that nobody knew Steven’s question, that the mother of Aeneas was Aphrodite ( or Venus in the Aeneid ) . To complete the round, nobody fancied Cindy’s first question either. Apparently Guyana is the South American country whose name means Land of Many Waters. New one on me. In round 6, everybody took their own first question. Nobody knew Nada’s second, referring to the noun atavism. Nada took a bonus on Rob’s second, naming whorls and loops as two terms from forensic fingerprinting. Nobody knew Gotland is the largest of Sweden’s islands. Rob knew that Worcester Country Club, home of the very first Ryder Cup match in the USA, is in Massachussetts. Rob was now on 14, 7 points ahead of Nada in second, and if his rate of scoring had slowed down, he looked as comfortable for the win as possible. Nada missed the chestnutty Dewar jar at the start of the 6th, and Rob was happy to snap that one up. He knew his first, but nobody knew that Prince Harry is the Commodore of small ships for the second. Stephen got a nasty one where he was asked to identify the recording of part of an opera. Nobody recognised Siegfried. Cindy didn’t know that it was Oliver Cromwell who was the first ruler of England to allow Jews to settle again after Edward Ist had expelled them. Nada did, and at this stage it just looked possible that he could force his way onto the repechage board.
The penultimate round saw Nada fail to score. Rob took a bonus on Sgt. Bilko’s serial number , but nobody knew that the beating of the bounds every three years at the Tower of London happens on Ascension Day. If you say so. Nobody knew that a Dzo is a cross between a yak and a cow, though Nada was rather unfortunate not to be given the bonus for a yak and an ox. Cindy didn’t know Dalton’s Law, but Rob did. All that remained was the last round. Nada needed a really good round to get onto the repechage board, and he had his best round of the show. He took his first two, then missed out on the moon Nereid. Rob knew that it belonged to Neptune. Rob didn’t know The Swale, and neither did anyone else. Stephen made a spirited late burst, taking three on the bounce before Calamine did for him. Nada knew that it is an old name for Zinc. This gave him 11, and puts him together with our own Colin Kidd and two others on the lowest rung of the repechage ladder. Finally Cindy’s first, and it was a little surprising that none of the brains knew that the world’s largest species of eagle is the Harpy eagle.
Well done to Rob Milnes. His run rate slowed considerably after the Beat the Brains interval, but even so his knowledge was comfortably wider than the other contestants, and he has to have a pretty decent chance in the semis I would say.