Monday’s show’s contestants were : -
Jenny’s name I thought I recognized, and a quick check on my Mastermind contender database confirmed it. Jenny has been a contender on MM in both Shaun’s 2004 series , where she was beaten in round one, and Nancy’s 2009 series, where she reached the semi finals. Round one saw Jenny miss her first, which gave Rufus Stilgoe a bonus , since he knew that after the Lord Chief Justice you get the Master of the Rolls. David took his first first, but didn’t know a bullseye window. Thank you very much, said Rufus, and another bonus. Almost inevitably it was Rufus who came in when Drew didn’t know the meaning of da capo for his first. On his own questions it was again almost inevitable that having done so well on his own questions, he’d fall at the first. As it was nobody knew that the legend “Without fear or favour” appears on the leader page of the Financial Times. Rufus led with 4 to David’s 1.Second round and Jenny opened her account with a relatively benign full set of five – good answering that. David missed his first, and Richard was in there. Andrew didn’t know the german for snap crackle and pop, but Jenny did. Rufus took his first, but it took Drew to supply the answer that Buckminster Fullerene is a type of carbon. Jenny’s full set put her into the lead with 7 to Rufus’ 6. With the wind in her sails Jenny took two, but a nasty astronomy one missed her, and gave Rufus a bonus. The obliquity of the ecliptic. Yes, and the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true. David got a question about Africa, which gave Jenny a bonus. Drew Sharma couldn’t give two of the 4 personality types identified with the greek humours, and Rufus was in again for that. A question about marine polyps was the nasty little devil lurking in his own first question. I’ll be honest, I had a guess what the free swimming form was called, but I didn’t get the answer medusa any more than anyone else did. Jenny maintained a 1 point lead at this stage with 10 to Rufus 9. A two horse race. Well, anything can happen, but you have to say that at this stage it looked likely.
And so to the Beat the Brains interval. The first of these two questions asked – Which member of the Royal Family has the title Baron Greenwich ? They probably should have known that it was Prince Philip, but they didn’t – bit of an old chestnut really. The second asked which figure had his home at Bunkerton Castle – another chestnut. I was most upset that they didn’t get Lord Snooty. Onwards and upwards.
Back to the contest. Jenny fell at the first with myelitis. Nobody knew that it was inflammation of the spinal cord. David took his first, but missed out on Poinsettia – a point for Jenny there. Drew didn’t know that people stopped buying Haynes manuals because of Fifty Shades of Grey – well, that’s what they claimed . Rufus didn’t know about Paul Gallico’s The Poseidon Adventure. So Jenny now had 11, and a 2 point lead from Rufus. Jenny took another 3, but was undone by The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Rufus took it. David took his first, but didn’t know where Fray Bentos is – Drew had that one. For his own set a version of I’ll Never Fall In Love Again by Deacon Blue did for him. Rufus took the chance to make up lost ground on Jenny with a full set of five, which changed the complexion of the contest. Now Rufus led with 16 to Jenny’s 14.
Going into the crucial last couple of rounds Jenny missed her own first , on the formation of Comic Relief. Nobody had a bonus. The Statutory Duel – or – The Grand Duke stopped David on his first. Drew didn’t know that Campbell Bannerman died at 10 Downing Street, neither did anyone else. Rufus had the opportunity to be the first person to score in this round and he did just that, taking his first. The second, on the guppy, gave a point to Jenny, so the gap remained the same, 2 points, 17 to 15. On with the last round. Jenny took her first but didn’t know Israel Hands, which gave Rufus another precious point. Poor David got another nasty one for his first question, which gave Jenny a bonus. Game still not quite over. Drew didn’t know Panjandarum, but Rufus did. He saw out the match , even though he missed Strasbourg for his first question.The final scores were : -
Drew Sharma – 2
David Hankin – 3
Jenny Dunn – 17
Rufus Stilgoe – 19
Well played Mr. Stilgoe – a very good performance. However well done to Jenny too, and I dare say that she’ll be back with that score. Good show.