Saturday, 22 December 2012

Mastermind Round One - Heat 18

This week’s Mastermind didn’t necessarily bring us quite as much excitement as last week’s, but it was not without interest, nonetheless. First of the 4 Mastermind virgins in last night’s heat to take on the specialist round was Allan Nicholas. Allan offered the first of two popular culture subjects, in the shape of the BeeGees. I was pleased to be able to take 7 of these myself. Kevin seemed to be doing well, but became just a little becalmed in mid round. 11 and 2 passes is a perfectly respectable score, but I suspected that it wouldn’t be the highest one we’d see in this show.

Mark Cooper was answering on the second popular culture subject of the week, the Life and Films of Kevin Smith. I have to come clean, I’m not familiar with Kevin Smith or his work, so I couldn’t do much with this round. Well, I couldn’t do anything with it actually. Again, Mark, like Allan, looked as if he really did know his subject, but as such 10 points wasn’t quite the return he might have expected. Again, it’s perfectly respectable, but it can end up giving you a lot to do in the GK round.

Now, our third contender was Tony Ryan, and in John’s introduction I’m sure that he said that Tony comes from Neath. OK, I live in the neighbouring town of Port Talbot, but I’m proud to work in Neath, I played in the late lamented Neath Quiz League for a number of years, and I’ve played in many many pub quizzes in Neath. I don’t recall ever meeting Tony – which shouldn’t come as a surprise since it’s a fairly sizeable place – but the local connection was enough to guarantee him fairly vocal support from the Clark sofa. Which as we know can be the real kiss of death to a contender’s prospects. Tony was answering on the Falklands Conflict, and he managed to avoid the curse of the sofa enough to score his own 11 points and 2 passes. Whatever happened now he couldn’t be worse than joint second at half time.

Which brings us to the final contender of the night, Rob White. Rob was answering on what should have been my ‘banker’ subject of the night, the Life and Work of Thomas Hardy. To be fair I had 6 of these, but that pales into insignificance compare to what Rob did with his round. 15 questions came, and 15 were despatched over the boundary rope. However the last just prevented him from a perfect round. Nonetheless 15 was enough to give him a 4 point lead at the halfway stage, and that, as we know, is an advantage which is not to be sniffed at.

Mark returned to the chair to initiate the GK round. My first thought as he rattled off answers to his first few questions was – hmm , he’s not bad at all. Of course, one of the things we’ve noticed about the 2 and a half minute GK rounds in the last few years is that it’s important to maintain momentum throughout the round, and that’s not easy. Mark did maybe just lose a little, but his 14 was a good performance. In my heart of hearts I though his total was 2 points short of what would be a challenging target for Rob, but nonetheless it was a good Gk performance. Allan, sadly, couldn’t match Rob’s efforts. Bearing out my comments about maintaining momentum, Allan never really managed to get going. The questions didn’t really fall for him, and he looked as if he might be dwelling on some of the answers – although this might just have been my imagination. He was clearly off the pace with a fair amount of the round still to go, and in the end he finished with 18 points.

I think that the point I was getting at earlier with Tony was that I haven’t any evidence to suggest whether he is a regular quizzer or not. At first, when he set a pace which seemed to match Mark’s, I thought that yes, maybe he is. He fell just a little bit behind the clock mid round, though, and though he gritted his way through to the end of the round, his total of 23 was one short of Mark’s. All of this made Rob’s task quite clear. 9 and no more than 2 passes would bring him victory. Anything more would make it an outright win. Anything less , and his score would not get him through as a high scoring runner up. 9 isn’t a huge total, but it took Rob a little while to establish any momentum. However establish it he did, and by the buzzer he had added another 12 points to his total to take him to 27. Well played there. Alright, if I’m honest, purely on the evidence of this show then Rob wouldn’t seem to have the kind of GK which would threaten some of the contenders we’ve already seen, but then funny things can happen in the semis.

The Details

Allan Nicholas The BeeGees11 - 27 - 518 – 7
Mark CooperThe Life and Films of Kevin Smith10 - 014 - 324 – 3
Tony RyanThe Falklands Conflict11 - 212 - 323 – 5
Rob WhiteThe Life and Work of Thomas Hardy15 - 012 - 527 – 5

4 comments:

Mark said...

Hi David. Mark here. Long time reader, sometime commenter. Quiz League of London regular. Thank you for being kind about my performance. Kinder than I feel I deserve (although I find most quizzers to be quite self critical). I was rather disappointed to underperform on my SS. I was hoping for 12-14 and was annoyed with 2 of my 4 misses. I was pleased to do well in the GK but like you said, sat back down thinking I would be a couple short. I was pretty confident that the two guys on 11 would surpass my score but I could tell Rob White was good. What made things worst was that he had a little stumble in the middle that gave me renewed hope. But all in all, an enjoyable experience I hope to repeat.

Londinius said...

Hi Mark !
Sorry that I didn't recognise you ! I think you're right about quizzers being self critical. You were clearly the pick of the General Knowledge rounds last night.

Do you know, I had a very similar experience the first time that I was on. Kath, who won my 2006 heat, was really starting to struggle on GK, and although the total she had to beat was modest she only did it by a point, and I was just starting to hope. Well, if I hadn't lost in the first round in 2006, I don't think I'd have applied for 2007 - and then I'd really have missed out. So I'm glad to see you say that you'll have another go. I honestly believe that it does become easier with each time you do it as well. Good luck, and thanks for taking the time and trouble to leave a comment.

Dave

jim360 said...

My first time watching Mastermind for a very long time now. Not unsurprisingly, the Specialist Subjects left me and my mother pretty much clueless. I think we managed two between us - and one of those only because of "1912 event" which is pretty much guaranteed to be Titanic.

Didn't keep ours scores for GK but I think we were fairly competitive with the actual contestants, albeit from the sofa. I'm almost tempted to apply for this show in a few years' time just based on that, because of course the SS's are never going to give me much. I didn't even know of Kevin Smith before this episode - though I've seen a few of his films.

Londinius said...

Hi Jim

Give it a go when you're ready. It's a LOT of fun, and I would imagine a completely different challenge from UC.

Merry Christmas to you, and to all LAM readers