Sunday, 11 March 2012

Mastermind - Round One - Heat 21

Yes thanks, I had a lovely trip away with the school, thanks for asking. How nice, then to be able to watch this week’s Mastermind on demand as soon as I got home. In the show I recognised that the first of our contenders, Nick Duffy, has been this way before. It’s probably fair to say that Nick cut quite a dash as one of the more colourful contenders of the 2006 series, where he did better than I did by reaching the semi-finals. Soberly attired in this show, Nick got the show off to a good start with Peter Cook. No better place to start. He put on a good show, scoring 13 , and only missing out on a couple.

Second up was Chris Shepherd. His specialist subject might have given pause for thought. French Impressionists is certainly a narrower subject than European Paintings, which was the subject that caused Arfor Wyn Hughes to famously come a cropper a few years ago, but nonetheless it may well have been tempting fate. As it happened Chris didn’t do badly at the start, but then, call it a sudden attack of nerves, call it what you like, but the round ground to a halt. You could almost feel poor Chris’ frustration through the screen. He finished with 6.

You sensed that Michael Rogers subject had seen some hard bargaining, since Haydn in England only covered a few years of the composer’s life. Mind you, getting what looked to be a narrower subject can be a double edged sword . You can often find yourself having to deal with really intricate questions if you have such a relatively narrow subject. Whatever the case 10 was enough to put into contention for the win, if not for a runner up slot on the repechage board.

Bringing the round to a conclusion was Duncan Stephenson. I know some people who still misguidedly believe that you automatically receive an easier ride if you opt for a sporting subject, but this is simply not the case. Duncan struggled manfully with his round, but despite a lot of honest endeavor he just failed to get into double figures. 9 didn’t mean that he had no chance of winning, but it certainly made him a long shot.

Before he’d get the chance to show us what he could to, though, Chris Shepherd returned to the chair. I don’t know if it was a case of what had happened in the first round forcing him to go hell for leather, but it seemed to me that there were a number of questions he knew the answer to , where he blurted out the quick wrong answer just a fraction of a second before the correct right answer occured to him. Still, his 8 points was enough to give him a one point lead. Duncan Stephenson did rather better at picking off the ones that he knew. He might not have managed double figures in his SS round, but he managed it now. OK, 11 was not the highest score we’ve seen all season, but it wasn’t bad going, and put him into the 20s, albeit that it didn’t look as if the lead was going to last until the end of the show. Michael Rogers’ first answer did suggest that it was unlikely to be him who beat it, though. You have to get stuff like King Midas right if you’re going to give yourself a chance of winning. Michael steadied himself a little, but really there were just too many wrong answers to gettable questions, and in the end he leveled out at 8 correct answers for 18 points in total.

Now, as for Nick Duffy, well, in his 2 2006 performances Nick had scored a brace of 11s on GK. These were both 2 minute rounds. With 8 required for the win without recourse to countback, there seemed to be little or no chance that he wouldn’t win. It was reasonable to expect about 16 on this form in a 2 and a half minute round. Well, I think Nick has been working on his GK, because this was a highly impressive round indeed. Alright, he wasn’t necessarily under huge pressure, with such a modest total to beat, but nonetheless a score of 18 is a terrific performance, and this wasn’t a very easy GK set either. In the end Nick finished with 31, and has marked himself out as very much one to watch in the semis.

The Details

Nick Duffy Peter Cook 13 - 018 - 031 – 0
Chris ShepherdFrench Impressionist Painters6 - 58 - 414 – 9
Michael RogersHaydn in England10 - 48 - 818 – 12
Duncan StephensonFC Barcelona 9 - 211 - 320 – 5

3 comments:

jeffgrimshaw said...

I’ve got to agree that Nick’s GK round was impressive, but funnily enough, I actually found his GK questions the most accessible of the 4 in this heat. I scored 15 on his round , compared to 10 on Chris’s, 12 on Duncan’s and 14 on Michael’s. Further proof that one mans meat is another mans poison and all that.

Stuart said...

Funny that, I also found his GK the most accessible of the four - though I was aware even as the questions were being read out that it was pretty much an ideal set from my point of view too. Forget what I scored, though it was similar to Nick, I think!

Great blog, David - keep up the good work. Have been reading for a few months and hugely enjoyed the books as well.

Londinius said...

Hi guys

Stuart , thanks so much for your kind comments . My head will now not be able to get out of the door !

Thanks for taking the time to comment guys.