Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Brain of Britain - Round One - Heat Twelve

Here we are then. Last Friday we had the last first round heat of mastermind, and then on Monday, the last first round heat of BoB. Our final four entrants to the lists were
Dr. Alan Farnsworth
Rob Hemming
David Hesp
Charles Houghton

I’m fairly sure that I played in the same team as David Hesp last time there was a Grand Prix in Cardiff – well, Rhiwbina. That was a long time ago, hint hint.

Alan kicked off our final heat, then, by failing to get the phrase – It Takes Two to Tango. Rob took that bonus. For his own set Rob answered his first, but didn’t know Europe’s largest Dark Sky Park. That went as a tit for tat bonus to Alan. David answered all five of his first set. No gimmes, neither, but at least tough but fair. Charles couldn’t dredge up – when the hurly burly’s done from the Scottish play, and neither could any of the others. Fair enough. On with round two, and Alan got a nasty starter again, with a list of people who have all been Master of the King’s/Queen’s music. Nobody had it. Rob didn’t know that Aquila chrysatos is the golden eagle, and that was a nice bonus for David. On his own set he took three, but didn’t know that a half is the reciprocal of 2. Charles could have known that Ecce Homo was the first piece of art displayed on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square.It’s the sort of half chance you have to bury if you’re going to get anywhere on BoB. David had it. At the end of the round he led with 11 to 2. You could name your own odds on anyone else. Alan began round three by failing to ascribe the song “Take that look off your face” to the musical work “Tell me on a Sunday”. Inevitably David had the bonus. Rob got one of those infuriating Ambrose Bierce Devil’s Dictionary definitions. Nobody had it. David for the first time was tripped up on a starter, not knowing that Mafia Island is off the coast of Tanzania. Charles was asked about the Ile de Beaute, but didn’t know that it refers to Corsica. Maybe guessable, but he didn’t guess it, and neither did anyone else. Another round before the interval, then. Alan was asked about the fictional character whose nose was crushed during his delivery by Dr. Slop. Tristram Shandy? I mused. David confirmed that I was right. Rob didn’t know that Denny Laine went from the Moody Blues to Wings. Guess who had that bonus? Yes, David. For his own set he took his first, but not the second. Nobody else knew, nor did I, that it was the Montgolfier Bros’ first flight that took place on 1783. Charles now managed to get going, taking his first, but nobody knew that the Karakorum Highway is the highest paved road in the world. That gave him 1, Alan and Rob had 2, and David . . . well, he had 15. I don’t want to be horrible, but had this been a boxing match the referee would probably have stopped the fight a round earlier.

The first of the Beat the Brains Questions asked – what was the contribution of Adriana Jellinek to the German Motor industry. SHE WAS MERCEDES! I yelled. The Brains weren’t close enough saying she designed the 3 pointed star. Her nickname was Mercedes, you see, which was given to the car. The second asked about how a very long named woman came to be besieged twice. I didn’t have a handle on it, neither did the Brains. She was trapped in Badajoz in Spain, but saved by a British officer. Later on she married a Brit, and became Lady Smith, after whom Ladysmith in South Africa was named. Actually, that’s interesting – good question.

Well, we had to continue with the contest. David was clearly going to win, and unless something totally unexpected happened, none of the others was going to get close to a high enough score to make the semis. Still, the game’s the thing. Alan didn’t know two plays with Philadelphia in the title. Nasty old question that. Rob didn’t know that Jacques Santer had been the PM of Luxembourg. David accepted that bonus. David had quite a gentle music starter on Acker Bilk, then went on to take his next. Ernst Ruska did for all of them – apparently he invented the electron microscope. Charles didn’t know that the Biographer’s Moustache was the last novel of Kingsley Amis. David had that. This gave him a lead of 19 to 2. Alan didn’t know that Bellomancy uses arrows for divination. Nasty starter again. Rob took one, but didn’t know that Orlando (the marmalade cat?) was the leader of Italy at the Versailles Peace Conference. David inevitably knew it. He didn’t know that Charles Ist’s daughter Mary was the first ever Princess Royal. Good answer that from Charles as a bonus. He got a song from Flower Drum Song as a starter, didn’t know it, and so David picked it up after allowing one of the others to have a go first. The final round came long, then, and Alan picked up one. He didn’t know that Titus was emperor of Rome when Vesuvius erupted. The cuboid bone is in the foot – and Alan had a bonus when Rob couldn’t answer it. David didn’t know that Marina Ogilvy is the only royal to date to win Rear of the Year. Charles had that bonus. To bring the contest to an end Charles didn’t know his first, that Marc is the residue of pressed grapes.

That was that. Then. There’s no shame for the other three in losing to David, for David is an excellent quizzer, as anyone who listened to this show could hear for themselves. He has to be one of the favourites to get to the final, although, like the Mastermind team, the BoB team do have a habit of sometimes putting several top contenders into the same semi. We’ll look at this again in the preview in a future post.

The Details

Dr. Alan Farnsworth - 3
Rob Hemming - 4
David Hesp - 23
Charles Houghton - 3


Baboonery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Baboonery said...

The key place in Lady Smith's life is spelled Badajoz, to be a pedant. (Used to live there).

Londinius said...

Hi Baboonery

If you want to be a pedant you're probably in the right place!Never occured to me that was the place they were talking about!!!