The first of tonight’s specialist subjects, Catherine Howard, was one of the two which I chose for the wiki challenge, and it was offered to us by Lauren White. When I wrote about taking the wiki challenge earlier today I did say that on a History subject such as Catherine Howard I’d hope to get anything up to 8 points with no study. I would actually, I think, have had 4 of these without wiki. Having used wiki, though, I found that I answered 10 of these, based on the questions I gleaned from wiki, and other things I remembered from the article which I didn’t write down among the questions. Lauren did better, scoring 11 and no passes. That’s not at all bad, and there were some quite long questions.
I fought shy of taking the wiki challenge on Alan Forsyth’s subject , Green Lantern Comics. I won’t lie, I just didn’t think that it would lend itself to a good wiki challenge. I haven’t checked, but I bet this would be ne where you’d have to look at quite a few different pages. I’ll be honest, as this round progressed it started to look to me like one of those rounds where the contender and the setter seem to have had a different idea of the parameters of the subject. Maybe I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if Alan was expecting more questions about the Hal Jordan Green Lantern. I scored 2, and Alan scored 5 and 2 passes.
We last saw Brian Daughtery in the semi finals of Ian’s series. Back then he scored an impressive 31, including 15 on GK in his heat, so he was certainly the most experienced contender in the show. Brian was offering us the Robert Hooke round. In my earlier post I said that without any study I’d be lucky to get 2 points on a subject like Robert Hooke. Using the questions I posted earlier, and some other things I remembered from the Wikipedia article I again managed to score 10. That’s possibly my best ‘wiki’ score ever. Brian outscored me by 1 point, with 11 and 1 pass – albeit that I was doing it from the comfort of the Clark sofa, and he was doing it under the pressure in the black chair.
Wiki challenge notwithstanding, I had marked down Colin Foster’s subject, British Olympic Medalists 1960 – 2008 as my banker subject. Now, here’s a funny thing. Both Colin and I only got one wrong, and for both of us it was the same question – Pippa Funnell’s bronze and silver winning horse in 2004. So that provided us both with a score of 14 and no passes. I salute Colin for picking a great subject, but I must admit just a couple of the questions seemed a little easy for a specialist round. Let me give you an example. It would have made more sense to ask “Who partnered Tim Henman to silver in 1996 in the tennis men’s doubles?” rather than "Who partnered Neil Broad . . ." After all, if you asked the average person – name a British male tennis player of the mid 90s, the majority would probably answer Tim Henman. You’re not likely to pick Neil Broad out of thin air – it’s something you’d need to know. I don’t blame Colin for that. A very good performance on the round.
By my reckoning that gave me a total specialist aggregate of 36. I don’t say that it’s a personal record, well, I don’t have a personal record, - but it’s not bad.
With Colin leading by three it remained for either Lauren or Brian to set a GK score which would at least place him within the corridor of uncertainty. First, though, Alan returned to the chair. It can’t be easy that, having a very difficult specialist round, where you don’t do as well as you would have liked, then having to come back for the general round. Under these circumstances he started very well, picking off the first 4 questions on the bounce. It was harder going for him after that, though, but 10 points and two passes brought him to a respectable score of 15 and 4 passes.
Lauren didn’t go particularly quickly in her round, but then we have seen in the past that the 2 and a half minute GK round is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s usually better to maintain a steady pace, than to start off like an express, but ground to a halt at the 90 second mark. Lauren kept picking off the answers she knew or could guess, and had added 12 to her score with time left for three questions. Sadly she didn’t get any of these, but if that wasn’t maybe quite enough to put Colin into the corridor of uncertainty, it still mean that he had to produce at least 9 correct answers to win.
Before that it was Brian’s turn. We saw in his last first round appearance that Brian is capable of amassing a good GK score, and if he could get close to a 15 this time out, then he could certainly make things tricky for Colin. He took 4 correct answers in fairly short order, but then the wheels came off a bit. Believe me, all it takes is two or three questions you don’t know in a row and it can destroy your concentration, and send you headlong into a pass spiral. Even a partial recovery towards the end of the round meant that Brian only managed to take his score to 18.
9 points in 2 and a half minutes is not a huge ask, but the black chair can be a cruel mistress, and it is possible to be completely undone by nerves. So Colin was not guaranteed a win. He had the sense to take his round steadily, though, and pick off what he knew, and make a guess at what he didn’t. His score had reached the required 24 within two minutes, and in the remaining 30 seconds he added another 2 points, and no passes. So well played Colin, and good luck in the semis. Hard lines to Lauren – I’ll be honest, 23 is unlikely to stay on the repechage board for long, but well played.
|Lauren White||Catherine Howard||11 - 0||12- 4||23 - 4|
|Alan Forsyth||Green Lantern Comics||5 - 2||10 - 2||15 – 4|
|Brian Daugherty||The Life and Career of Robert Hooke||11 - 1||7 - 5||18 – 6|
|Colin Foster||British Olympic Medalists 1960 - 2008||14 - 0||12 – 0||26 – 0|