In the first show we had an interestingly mixed bag of specialists. The first of these, the Life and Work of Mori Ogai was offered by Jonathan Perry. I have to say that I am not the least bit familiar with Mori Ogai – (Ogai ogai ogai – oy oy oy . Apologies. ) He was a Japanese novelist, poet and physician, who lived from the 1860s until the 1920s. I achieved the grand total of zilch, which is what I expected. Jonathan though set the bar at 12, in what looked like a pretty good round to me.
Second into the chair was Craig Rice, who was answering questions on The Zulu War. A quick mental inventory before the start of the round dredged up a meager store of half remembered facts – Isandlwana – Rourke’s Drift – 11 VCs – Cetewayo – Ivor Emmanuel – Michael Caine ( Oy ! Don’t chuck those bloody spears at me ! ) . Thankfully this was enough to bring me two points. Craig knew his stuff a lot better than I did – no surprise there, and he posted 11.
Elizabeth Hashmi’s subject – the life of Mary Eleanor Bowes was the cue for a wrinkling of brows on the Clark sofa. However , I think it was the first question that revealed that this lady was an ancestor of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and so I knew that Mary Eleanor Bowes must have married one of the earls of Strathmore. One point earned by knowledge, and I earned another two more with pure guesses. 10 scored, and it was looking like an interestingly tight contest.
Bringing the round to an end was John O’Hagan. He gave us tonight’s entertainment/popular culture subject, in the Films of Clint Eastwood. Not by any means a gimme subject, bearing in mind that he has made quite a few of them. I thought that in all honesty this subject ought to see my best performance tonight – well it didn’t have a lot to beat – and to be fair it didn’t let me down. I managed 6 from the sofa, and John managed 11. He may have been a point behind, but importantly , he hadn’t passed a single question. With only 2 points separating all 4 contenders, this could be crucial at the end of the show.
Elizabeth returned, and although she didn’t exactly grab her round by the scruff of the neck, she did manage to keep going, picking off the answers that she knew. She took 8 more , to give her a total of 18 – nothing to be ashamed of, but not a winning score by any stretch of the imagination. Poor Craig Rice suffered during his own round. A run of questions he didn’t know at the start of the round seemed to drain the confidence from him, and the rest of the round proved to be a real struggle. He took his own total to 16. For the record I found his round to be the easiest of the show, scoring 18, while the others provided me with a 15 and 2 16s.
The door was well and truly open for John or Jonathan. John certainly laid down the gauntlet. He went off at full speed, and maintained momentum throughout the full 2 and a half minutes. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, but I found his round one of the harder GK rounds we’ve had in recent weeks – I thought that his 13 and no passes was a pretty good score , and had to give him a chance. Especially when you consider that equaling his 24 points overall would not be enough for Jonathan, who already had 2 passes. Anything less than 13 correct answers , and John would take the place in the semis.
Jonathan knocked off the first few answers very well, quickly and confidently, but suffered, as so many of us do, the mid round hiatus. The finishing line was getting closer, and so was the buzzer. Remember – a draw and tie break was impossible, and so Jonathan just had to get that 13th correct answer. Get it he did, although as with last week’s show it was, in the words of the Duke of Wellington, ‘a damn close run thing’. Congratulations to Jonathan, and commiserations to John. A good show.
|Jonathan Perry||The Life and Works of Mori Ogai||12 - 2||13 - 2||25 – 4|
|Craig Rice||The Anglo Zulu War||11 - 1||5 - 4||16 – 5|
|Elizabeth Hashmi||Life of Mary Eleanor Bowes||10 - 1||8 - 2||18 – 3|
|John O’Hagan||Films of Clint Eastwood||11 - 0||13 - 0||24 – 0|