Saturday, 15 March 2014

Brain of Britain - Semi Final Two

Semi Final 2

No time to draw breath, my friends, for we have the second semi-final to discuss. This first semi pitted

Brian Daugherty
Gary Grant
Dag Griffiths
Alison Hardie

So this pretty much answered the question – which poor devils are going to have to face Dag in their semi? That’s unfair. For one thing it seems to be putting the crown on Dag’s head before the show began, which is a dangerous thing to do. Gary is a Mastermind champion and OC runner up, and Brian is a very experienced quizzer. Dag’s first round performance, though, was of the nature to suggest that if he hit that kind of form again in this show it could be a very long match for the others.

On with the show then. Brian benefitted from a nice couple of openers, but New York City’s Birdland did for him and everybody else. Gary got a nasty starter with Faraday’s constant, which nobody could take a bonus on. Dag took three on the bounce, but it was Brian who came in for a bonus with Plynlimon, the source of the Wye and the Severn. Alison took one, but didn’t know the Tunguska event. Gary was in for that to get himself off the mark. So far, Brian and Dag jointly led with 3 apiece. For his second set Brian got a nasty medical one on Albinism. Fair enough. Gary got another nasty little bugger to start with the term flummery. Dag missed his own first with Tarte Yvonne, the wife of De Gaulle. It pays to advertise. Gary had that. Alison got a, well, sorry, but it was a gimme to start, and she didn’t get it. Brian Daugherty won the buzzer race to tell her that Valentina Tereschkova was the first woman in space. That was enough to give him a one point lead. In the third round Brian probably should have dredged up the name of Ron Howard, originally from Happy Days. Dag snapped up that gift. Gary, having taken his first took a second as well, but couldn’t force the witangemot past the tip of his tongue. Alison had that. Dag took five in a row to establish his credentials and take the lead. Alison finished the round getting a really nasty one to start and had it with the Emperor Heliogabalus, and followed this up with another point. She missed a book about the US Civil War. That round had changed things. Dag now led with 10, while the others all trailed on 6.

For the beat the brains interval the first question asked them what Lily Maxwell became the first to do in November 1867. I didn’t have a Scooby , and the brains were guessing. They didn’t know she was the first woman to vote in a parliamentary election – it was a mistake and her vote was ruled void. For the second we had the chestnut about the first woman elected to the British parliament. A couple of the brains nearly jumped with Nancy Astor, first to actually take her seat in parliament, but Dag put them right with Baroness Markiewicz, who never took her seat.

Back to the contest. Brian didn’t know about coronation chicken, and that was one for Dag. Gary got a starter about the former name of Ljubljana. That was for Dag. For his own set he took a couple but didn’t know that Sicily was Rome’s first province. Alison had that. She didn’t know that Victor Fleming directed the Wizard of Oz, and won the Oscar for Gone With the Wind. Dag seemed home and dry by now, and even Russell said that the others needed full sets at this stage. Brian didn’t know the acronym PET. Gary did. He followed this up with one of his own, but didn’t know that Cromwell died of malaria. Dag accepted that bonus, and for his own set he rattled off three, but just couldn’t dredge up Mourning Becomes Electra. Brain took a good bonus with that one. Alison took one but didn’t know that Dead Man’s fingers is a species of coral. Dag had a lead of 14 by now.

Brian began the last round taking two, but didn’t know the Iguvine tablets. Alison had that. Gary didn’t know that three threes is the highest possible prial in three card brag. Dag had it. He missed his first, with rindopest. Alison had that. To finish the contest, Alison took one, but didn’t know Violette Szabo of Carve Her Name With pride fame. Inevitably Dag too that.

So Dag maintained with his magnificent form to march into the finals. Make no mistake, these were good quizzers he beat in this semi. No shame to any of them being beaten by a quizzer of this standing, on this kind of form. For the record the final scores were: -

Brian Daugherty - 8
Gary Grant - 6
Dag Griffiths - 22
Alison Hardie - 9


Andrew B. said...

So he didn't quite match his performance in the heat of outscoring all his opponents put together; but overall Dag so far has 50 points to his opponents' 43! (It'd be some feat to maintain this through the whole competition...)

Dan said...

On a slightly off-topic note, with only a few weeks left of BoB, has anyone seem any sign that Counterpoint is happening this year, what with the problems Paul G is having? I'd normally expect to get a note about tickets by now.

DanielFullard said...


Counterpoint isnt happening this year. The BBC sent an email to the contenders to inform them it has been suspended and a new series of Round Britain Quiz will air instead

Dan said...

Thanks Daniel. I do hope it's not axed entirely. I still feel a bit hard done by over my 2012 campaign, and hoped for another try in 2015. We shall see.