Alcuin Edwards was answering on the first of tonight’s two popular culture specialist subjects, namely Alice Cooper. Now, John didn’t ask him Alice Cooper’s real name, which I thought would have been my best shot at a point for this round. I shouldn’t have worried too much though. I was happy to pick up three –for example I didn’t know that Donovan sang backing vocals on one of his records, but if you’re asked a question “Which British folk singer of the 1960s . . . “ Donovan is always going to be a decent punt. Alcuin scored 11, which looked a decent score on this set. Still, he did seem to be taking his time a little with his answers, and you fancied that if he was trailing at half time he might need to pick up the pace of his answers a little.
My specialist pick of the night was taken by Charlotte Mason. If you read my previous post you’ll know that I’ve just been reading NASA flight director Eugene Krantz’ memoirs, and there were quite a few answers to this round that I was able to get just from this. In fact, my score of 8 matched Charlotte’s , albeit that I didn’t have all the same ones that she had. They weren’t gimmes by any stretch of the imagination, and a couple of long questions seemed to rob her of momentum at crucial moments. Being 3 behind at half time isn’t necessarily a terrible thing, but it does leave you with a lot of work to do in the GK.
Paul Sharp started very well on his round on West Ham since 1970. Inexplicably he seemed to fall into a mid round pass spiral. In particular a question about the time Bobby Moore replaced Bobby Ferguson in goal got an interesting reaction from Paul. I don’t know if it was a case of – damn, I thought they wouldn’t ask that - , but it certainly looked like it. In the end Paul too scored 8. As I say, when the lead score is 11 it’s certainly not a disaster, but Paul looked as if he knew more than that, but just couldn’t get the answers beyond the tip of his tongue.
If it wasn’t for our last specialist subject, then perhaps we wouldn’t have been watching Mastermind, or anything, in the first place. Alright, the churlish pedant could point out that the modern television owes rather more to the work of Philo T. Farnsworth than John Logie Baird, but let’s not dwell on that, and instead, let’s concentrate on David Gow’s round.David had the benefit of having seen all three of his fellow contenders go, and none of them had set a score which was absolutely out of sight. If he could put in a very good round, then he’d certainly be in the box seat going into the GK. Well, he couldn’t quite do that, but his 11 guaranteed him the last slot in the next round, so whatever happened he would know exactly what the target was.
Paul was the first to return to the chair. Well, if he had seemed a little hesitant and uncertain in the first round, his second was a revelation. I would dare to say that Paul is a quizzer, because 16 is a good showing on a 2 and a half minute round, and there were quite a few of what I would call quizzer’s questions in his round – the sort of thing that wouldn’t slow a serious quizzer down, but would be guaranteed to stop the average civilians in their tracks. I do like to bang on about the corridor of uncertainty, I know, but this certainly put the other three contenders into that particular area of the building.
Charlotte Mason started her GK round brightly enough, and was up with the clock for the first half dozen questions. After that , though, the sort of questions which I mentioned in the previous paragraph started impeding her progress. It became clear before the 90 second mark that she wasn’t going to get there, but nonetheless her 9, for a total of 17 is nothing to be ashamed of.
Knowing that 13 would probably be enough bearing in mind Paul’s relatively high number of passes, Alcuin returned for his GK round. Mind you, knowing the target and achieving it can be two different things. Again, Alcuin didn’t seem to answering particularly quickly, but, and this is a crucial but, he had a three point cushion. what he did particularly well was not get too flustered over wrong answers, and he kept on giving correct ones when he knew them. Alright, 14 is not the highest score on GK that we’ve seen, but it was exactly what was required. Provided that David couldn’t match him, of course, and that was by no means a given.
There really wasn’t a huge amount in it. I thought that David was anwering more quickly than Alcuin, but on the other hand Alcuin had answered more accurately than David was . As the seconds ticked away you couldn’t help feeling that it was going to be close, but David wouldn’t quite get there, and that, truth to say, is pretty much the way that it turned out. 24 is a perfectly good score, but it wasn’t enough to win this show, and it won’t be enough to earn a repechage slot either. Well played, though, and especially congratulations to Alcuin.
|Alcuin Edwards||Alice Cooper||11 - 1||14 - 0||25 – 0|
|Charlotte Mason||The Gemini Space Programme||8 - 2||9 - 7||17 – 9|
|Paul Sharp||West Ham United – 1970 to the Present Day||8 - 4||16 - 3||24 – 7|
|David Gow||The Life and works of John Logie Baird||11 - 2||13 - 1||24 – 3|