For the first time in a couple of weeks I didn’t know any of tonight’s contenders. So that meant that they could all share the burden of the curse of the sofa between them. The first of tonight’s subjects was Geoffrey Boycott, and that was offered to us by Charlie Tinsley. Right then, I personally managed 3 of these, and one of them by a curious twist of fate. When I started playing in the rugby club in 19 hundred and frozen to death I was invited to join a team called Boyc’s XI. Now, you may remember a couple of years after this Mr. Boycott was accused of violence towards a former partner – a charge which he always denied I might add. When this came out , for one week only we changed our team name to The Friends of Margaret Moore – and that’s how I remembered the name of the lady when this one came up. Charlie of course remembered quite a few more than just this one. Still, his 8 looked as if it was going to leave him a lot to do in the GK rounds.
This week’s popular culture subject , nominated by Mark Kirby, was Futurama. Although I don’t know that this series has ever had the almost universal appeal of its stablemate The Simpsons I must admit that I don’t mind it at all, and it gave me my top score of 6 on a specialist round tonight. Mark answered well and set a good score of 12. I dare say there may well be a bit of discussion amongst students of the show over the decision to allow a septuple head spin for a sextuple head spin, or vice versa. I must admit I tend to be of the mind that if the question is so complicated that you will allow a good near miss, then you probably shouldn’t be asking it in the first place. Well, leaving aside such concerns, it was a good round.
Aileen Lucas earned herself the full weight of the curse of the sofa by revealing that she is a teacher. Oh, alright, if you push me, I’ll admit that I’m quite proud of being the last schoolteacher to win – Ian is an educator, but he is a lecturer in Oxford Brookes University. Still, it would be nice to see another teacher do well – back in the early days we provided quite a few winners. I’m afraid that the curse, and seemingly nerves, seemed to take its toll on Aileen . She obviously knew the books, but a nasty case of ‘chair brain’ seemed to do for her chances, and she finished with 5. Considering that I’ve never read any of the books I was pleased that general knowledge enabled me to guess five of them for myself.
Last to go was Sean Howley. Sean had picked US Military Aircraft since 1945. Now, for the third week running I was struck by the feeling that here was a contender who wasn’t wasting time, and who wasn’t getting many wrong at all, yet wasn’t amassing a particularly big score. Long questions again ? It certainly seemed so to me. I managed 4 of these, which for the record to me to 18 for the show, which I’m certainly glad to accept with none of the subjects being even close to being an interest of mine.
Right, speak as you find, but I have to say that this was one of those shows when I found that the GK questions particularly suited me, and I posted high scores on all of the GK rounds, which if nothing else at least showed that they were written to a similar level. Aileen was the first to return to the chair, and her round gave me something which I have hardly ever had before , a perfect round on GK. Which of course was a lot easier for me than it was for Aileen since I was sitting on the sofa, and the only audience I had was Gus the cat. Nonetheless she can be very pleased with the 15 points she posted . It got her up into the 20s, and there’s no arguing once a score crosses that psychologically important threshold, and maybe it was enough to just put a couple of the others into the corridor of doubt.
Charlie certainly couldn’t quite match Aileen’s performance. I had one of his wrong by way of comparison. However he had at least started three points ahead of Aileen at the half way stage, and so he didn’t need to match her round to overhaul her score. He managed to do that, but only just, scoring 13 which gave him a total of 21.
Sean Howley marked himself out as a serious quizzer with his performance. Alright, I don’t say that this was the hardest general knowledge set that I’ve ever heard on Mastermind, but scoring 19 on any set of questions in 2 and a half minutes is never anything other than a very good performance. If you don’t believe me, then try it for yourself. A score which matched our own Rach Cherryade’s performance last week, and one of the finest I think that we’re going to see this series. I didn’t think that we were likely to see Mark post a score which would give him a decent run at a runner up slot, but to be fair to him he started pretty well, and confidently. Being realistic he needed a good 15 5o give himself a chance, and he didn’t quite manage that. In the end there were too many answers which got to the tip of his tongue but no further, and he leveled out at 12 for a total of 24. Well done to Sean, and well played all.
|Charlie Tinsley||Geoffrey Boycott||8 - 1||13 - 2||21 – 3|
|Mark Kirby||Futurama||12 - 0||12 - 4||24 – 4|
|Aileen Lucas||Graham Greene||5 - 4||15 - 2||20 – 6|
|Sean Howley||US Military Aircraft since 1945||10 - 0||19 - 0||29 – 0|