Friday, 21 February 2014

Mastermind - Round One - Heat 24

Well, here we are at last. We have now seen this year’s winner. Maybe not tonight, but since this was the last of the 24 heats, all of this year’s contenders have now had their first go. We’ll have a look at the semi final line up in a later post.

For the meanwhile, let’s content ourselves with tonight’s show. I was interested to see Peter Gaskell back for another go. Peter accomplished the relatively rare feat of appearing in two consecutive series, in 2006 and the 2007 SOBM. Only one other person was a contender in both of those two series. Me. Peter reached the semis last time out in 2007 when he was beaten by Anna Torpey. Peter hails from Caerphilly, but to the best of my knowledge we have never met at a quiz, or anywhere else for that matter. If I recall correctly his first round subject in 2007 was Bob Marley. This time out he offered us The Grateful Dead, and managed a very useful 12.

Terence Saunders gave us a really traditional Mastermind subject in the shape of the Novels of Wilkie Collins. I read the Mooonstone a few years ago, when it looked like we were going to have to use it at school. Hmm – s’alright, I s’pose. I couldn’t get on with the Woman in White, if I’m honest, which is unusual for me since I rather like nineteenth century novels, however, I digress. Terence didn’t manage to achieve enough of a score to give him a realistic chance of success, although his score of 8 was certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

Now, our third contender tonight, Lindsay Ashford is a novelist. So was 1997 champion Anne Ashurst. Lindsay Ashford is an award nominated author of crime fiction, popular enough to have her own wikipedia page. Her subject was the interesting History of Bedlam, and she scored a perfect 14 correct answers to 14 questions. Terrific performance, and one which puts into perspective that at least the setters have been consistent in their setting of unnecessarily long questions in this series.

James Maple answered on the second very traditional specialist subject of the evening, when he gave us The English Civil Wars. He too produced a very good round, although not quite as good as Lindsay’s, since he levelled out at 12. So at the halfway mark it seemed as if the only person from this heat who would qualify for the semi finals would be the winner. Lindsay was in the driving seat, but then a two point lead isn’t massive, especially if one of the chasers is a quizzer. But were they?

Well, I have to say that Terence Saunders, first to return to the chair, seemed to shape up as one. 15 in two and a half minutes might not be the highest we’ve ever seen, but it’s pretty good, and pushed him up to 23. It would have won a show or two in this series, and he would be forgiven for thinking of what might have been, had he managed to squeeze into double figures in his specialist round. Especially after he saw Peter Gaskell fail to beat his score, despite having a four point advantage. It’s probably fair to say that Specialist, rather than General Knowledge has been Peter’s strength in all of his previous appearences on mastermind, and so it was tonight. Sadly he fell into a pass spiral very early in the round, and by the time he had managed to extricate himself after 8 passes, any hope of taking the lead had gone. He finished with 19.

James Maple, on 12 going into the round, then had every chance to take the lead, and set a big enough target to put Lindsay into the corridor of uncertainty. Well, he didn’t quite manage to do that. He did manage double figure respectability, adding 11 which meant that he too was on 23. However his chance of a win had been scuppered by the passes he uncurred during the round. So Lindsay returned to the chair needing 9 points and no more than 3 passes to win, or 9 points and 4 passes to force a tie break. It was something of a struggle, since the answers were not coming quickly. However Lindsay kept her head, and did what you must do when the answers don’t flow – consider each question on its own merit , answer if you can, guess if you can’t, and pass if you can’t guess. The last question gave her the 10th point she needed to make the number of passes irrelevant, and she posted the final score of 24 which gave her the win. Well played.

The Details

Peter Gaskell The Grateful Dead12 - 17 - 819 - 8
Terence SaundersThe Novels of Wilkie Collins8 - 115 - 323 - 4
Lindsay AshfordThe History of Bedlam14 – 0 10 - 524 - 5
James MapleEnglish Civil Wars 1642 - 165112 - 111 – 5 23 – 6

Repechage Places

Steven Broomfield 30 – 1
Emma Laslett 29 – 0
Andries Van Tonder 29 – 3
Beth Webster 28 – 2
Ron Wood 28 – 3
=Carol O’Byrne 27 – 2 =Peter Russell 27 – 2=Chloe Stone 27 – 2


Peter Gaskell said...

Your blog really is a labour of love!
One show your website doesn't mention is Pointless. Fancy joining forces and giving it a go?

Dan said...

I have some bad news for you, Peter. I started filling in the forms for Pointless the other day, and you're blocked if you've appeared on another TV quiz after January 2013. Since, like you, I'm in this series of Mastermind, it means you'll have to wait two years before applying. Bummer.

Londinius said...

Hi Peter

Lovely to hear from you. Hard lines on Mastermind. As regards Pointless - I didn't know about the rule Dan mentions, but I have not appeared on TV since 2010, and I've applied twice with my son and then my daughter in the last couple of years, and never heard back from them, so I doubt very much they want me on there. C'est la vie.

Hello Dan,

Thanks for the information - I didn't know that. I think Pointless is a great show, and one day I'd love to go on it, but if they don't want me, there's not a lot I can do about it.

Peter Gaskell said...

Dissappointing not to get a response from Pointless, Dave. Do you live near Caerphilly? There's a quiz night each Sunday which is fun, though the same team keeps winning all too regularly. If you're game for a local challenge, let me know :-)