Saturday, 18 January 2014

Mastermind - Heat Nineteen

As Ronnie Barker’s Arkwright used to say, it’s been a funny old week. I haven’t shuffled off this mortal coil, but then on the other hand I haven’t shuffled off a chest infection that came riding in on the back of my winter cold, which I mentioned last week. I stress that this played no part in us losing our 100% record in the Bridgend Quiz League on Monday night. We lost, and what is more we were well beaten by former champions the Nomads. No excuses, on the night they were better than we were. Still, at the moment there’s always Mastermind on a Friday night to look forward to.

Katie Johnston‘s subject Blur promised me maybe a couple of points. Back in the heady days of Britpop I was always more of an Oasis man myself, but I liked Pulp, and Jarvis Cocker became something of a hero of mine when he got himself banged up for a night for interrupting Michael Jackson’s performance at the Brits. thought that 4 was probably more than I really deserved. Katie set the bar for the first round at 12 and no passes.

More of a happy hunting ground for me was Allan Macpherson’s round on FC Barcelona. Now, I stress that I am not a fan, nor of Spanish football in general, but I knew 4 of them for certain and was able to guess another 2. Allan took 8, but never looked quite at ease with his round. It’s not impossible that his understanding of the parameters of the subject was a little more limited than the setters’.

Now, as it happens I have fairly recently read Robert K. Massie’s biography of Catherine the Great, so Brian Chesney’s round looked as if it might yield a few points. It duly did, another 7. Brian was looking fair set for a great score, but a couple of later passes limited him to what was still a good score, with 11, only 1 point behind the lead with one contender still to play on specialist.

Tony Richardson was answering on The Novels of David Peace. I have only ever read “The Damned United”, which I read to find out what all the fuss was about. Having read both of Brian Clough’s autobiographies I had mixed feelings about it. This meant I only had a couple of points – I didn’t manage even every question about the one book I’d read. Tony looked to me to have the best answering technique, virtually snapping the answers out the instant that John had finished asking them, but he too dropped a couple to finish on 11. So at the halfway stage it was a nicely poised contest, with three contenders all separated by a single point. The aim was the win, for it would take a hell of a good round for anyone to earn an outright place on the repechage board.

First though was Allan Macpherson’s GK round. You have to say it wasn’t bad, and in fact it started very well. However the correct answers dried up after about a minute, and once you’ve lost momentum in a GK round it’s very difficult to get it back. By the end Allan was rather treading water, but he’d reached double figures for the round and finished with 19.

Now, Brian Chesney’s round was a completely different kettle of fish. This never lost momentum at all, and you have to say that Brian did look as if he was enjoying himself. If you can maintain that attitude in the chair it can only do you good. I may be wrong, but I would say that Brian isn’t necessarily a very serious quizzer, judging by a couple of the chestnuts he missed, but he is someone with a very good general knowledge. This propelled him to a round of 16. Now, his 27 and 4 passes would not quite get him a place on the repechage board. Still, it would take a hell of a good round from either Tony or Katie to dislodge him from the winner’s enclosure.

Tony came next. Once again he looked and he answered as if he meant business. Sadly, he just didn’t quite know enough of the answers to overhaul Brian. His round of 14 was a good one, but it wasn’t enough, and he knew it too the moment that the buzzer went, judging by the expression on his face. This left only Katie to try to dislodge Brian. It was clear from fairly early on that she wasn’t going to make it. Sadly for Katie her round was the weakest of the show, and she finished with 7 for 19. That’s the way it goes. Sometimes it just really isn’t your night.

So well played Brian – good luck in the semi finals.

The Details

Katie Johnston Pulp12 – 0 7 - 519 - 5
Allan MacphersonFC Barcelona8 - 111 – 0 19 – 0
Brian ChesneyCatherine the Great11 - 216 - 227 - 4
Tony RichardsonNovels of David Peace11 - 214 – 0 25 - 2

Steven Broomfield 30 – 1
Beth Webster 28 – 2
Ron Wood 28 – 3
=Carol O’Byrne 27 – 2
=Peter Russell 27 – 2
=Chloe Stone 27 – 2

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