This week’s contestants were : -
Clive Dunning kicked off the first round. His first four were all gettable, and he duly got them. However he fell on Pevsner, just missing out on a full set, and this one fell to Rod Riesco. Amanda Lindsay took her first two, but didn’t get Fanny Blankers-Koen. Clive Dunning was happy to add that one to his score. Gareth Parkin took his first, but he fell on the poem in which Byron describes the English winter as a season that ends in July, to recommence in August. It was “Don Juan”, and Clive Dunning had it. Rod Riesco took his first couple, but the administrative capital of Bolivia – Sucre – did for him. Clive took that , and amongst what seemed to be a good crop of contenders he was really sticking out as the man to beat. He kicked off the next round, but didn’t know that Lake Wenham in Massachussetts supplied a hell of a lot of ice to the UK. Me neither. Gareth had that bonus. Amanda didn’t know that Podsnap is in “Our Mutual Fried”, and this one went begging. Gareth took his first two, but didn’t know about the fictitious ancient gaelic bard Ossian. Rod had that. For his own set He took a couple, but a sneaky little one about a verse set to a Chinese tune caught all of the brains out. I guessed its writer would probably be Mao, and I was right. Never mind, the round had done Rod a power of good , as he was now only a point behind Clive. To start round three Clive had a nasty one asking which state had “Hang On Sloopy” as its state song. do you know, I get rather irritated when I hear contestants getting ‘pure guess’ questions like this as the 1st of their set. It happens too often for my liking, and it’s not evenly spread between the contestants either. 3rd 4th or 5th of the set, yeah, no problem, but come on. We had that situation a couple of weeks ago where one of the contestants got a string of these as first questions, and ended up with 0 . Sort it out guys, please – it doesn’t do the show any favours. Amanda missed her second on the Old Testament, which gave Rod a bonus. Gareth fell at his first, on a diagram of stars. Rod probably should have known that Kanchenjunga is the world’s 3rd highest peak, but he didn’t, and Gareth nipped in for a bonus. Clive still led by a point, but both Rod and Gareth were close behind.
The first Beat the Brains question was a good old stager, which required the Brains to know that it was Victor Hugo who enquired about the sales of “Les Miserables” by sending a question mark to his publisher. The second asked which Arthur Ransome novel had a question mark in the title. Again, the brains had it with “Great Northern ?”Great work by the brains.
Clive Dunning took up the cudgels again, with one answer, but didn’t know that the month named after the roman festival of purification was February. Amanda didn’t know that the Treaty of Aix La Chapelle ended the War of Austrian Succession. Gareth had that .He didn’t know that ants and nettles have formic acid, which was a bonus for Clive. Rod didn’t know that Antisthenes founded the Cynic School of Philosophy. Yes, I think that I’ve met a few of its former pupils in my time. Clive had stretched his lead to 3 points now. He didn’t know the two new sports sanctioned for Rio in 2014, these being golf and rugby sevens. Amanda didn’t know that Mammoth Cave is in Kentucky . Gareth had a music question about the Tokyo Olympics of all things. He didn’t get it, but Clive did. Rod took his first, but it was Clive who took a bonus with Robert Bolt. With 13 to Rod’s 8, he looked good value for his lead, and it would take a remarkable round to deny him the win.
Clive didn’t know that the country with the international dialing code 55 is Brazil. Another stopper. Amanda had a gettable one to start, but didn’t know bishop John Fisher. Gareth fell at the first with Zermat, which Rod had. For his own set he really should have known that Carly Simon sang “Nobody Does it Better”. He’d narrowed the gap to 4, but we were running out of rounds. Clive didn’t know that the word Rhadmanthine comes from the son of Zeus and Europa. Amanda missed her first, that “Death of a Salesman” was written in the 40s. Bonus for Rod. Gareth missed his first. Rod took one but didn’t know King Louis XII of France. The gap was now down to 3, with Clive leading Rod 14 – 11. One round left, and Clive took his first , he took his second but not his third, on Poland which was partitioned off the map in the 19th century. Amanda didn’t know that Harold Wilson was Lord Wilson of Rievaulx. Gareth had that. He took his own first couple, but Amanda took a bonus on Bill Shankly. Rod took his first, but Kenneth Mac Alpin did for him.
The final scores were : -
Amanda – 4
Gareth – 10
Rod – 12
Clive – 17
A good show. Three contestants in double figures is not to be sniffed at. Well played all.