Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Round Britain Quiz

Scotland v. South of England

Only a couple of shows of this highly enjoyable series left now. Scotland’s first question was this : -
Which is the odd one out among the works of Korszak Ziolkowski in South Dakota, of D. Erdenebileg on the Tuul River in Mongolia, and of Andy Scott at Falkirk?
My feeling was that this one was going to be hard work. Now, from a news question some time ago I knew that Andy Scott made two massive sculptures called The Kelpies in Falkirk last year. They are based on the kelpie – a Scottish water spirit often in the shape of a horse, and take the form of two giant horses’ heads – not totally unlike a knight from a traditional Staunton chess set. Which led me to consider that although I didn’t know the name of the sculptor, South Dakota really suggested that we were dealing with the Crazy Horse Memorial. Which meant that the thing on the Tuul river would either BE a horse – or someone on a horse. It turned out that this was actually an equestrian statue of Genghis Khan. So Kelpies, only being part of a horse or two was the odd one out. Roddy began by barking up the Mount Rushmore tree before getting to Crazy Horse. Val knew that it couldn’t be to deal with the Falkirk wheel, but she left it, and she knew about the sculpture of Genghis Khan, or guessed. Eventually Val had a lightbulb moment getting the Kelpies, and then the odd one out. I needed no help for two of the statues, while Scotland had to scrabble around a bit, so I gave myself 4 to their 2.

Onto the South of England’s first, which was -
What connects Reacher’s creator, an architect who designed a capital city a long way from home, and the warm ocean conditions in the Eastern Pacific?
Well, first thoughts were that if Reacher meant Jack of that ilk, then the creator was Lee Child. My guess on the ocean currents was El Nino – which literally means the child. Working on child, then, Washington DC, designed by Pierre L’Enfant sprang irresistibly to mind. Marcel sniffed around at the Humboldt, before Fred moved on to speculation about the architect, and they had a few goes at this one. I’m not being funny, but why didn’t they know that El Nino means the child? That’s not that hard, and they needed to be led by the nose to get there. Then Tom had to give them Washington DC. Then he had to tell them the architect was French. That didn’t even give it to them. A not brilliant performance on a gettable question to be honest. South were given 1 point for what they answered, and one point for sympathy I guess. I claimed 6.

Scotland’s next question was of course their music question. We heard Saint Saens’ Danse Macabre – which he wrote for the TV series Jonathan Creek – Jeff Beck’s Hi Ho Silver Lining – which meant we were dealing with bodies of water – Greg Lake’s I Believe in Father Christmas then Billy Ocean’s Red Light Spells Danger. We were asked to
Please put them in order of size.
Ocean was obviously biggest, Lake next, then Crek then Beck or vice versa. Scotland only struggled on the Saint Saens, and never got as far as Jonathan Creek. They were given 5 and I claimed what for me was a rare 6 on music.

The South of England’s music question asked
Which of the other teams might most easily see the connection?

Barry White’s My First, My Last , My Everything kicked us off. Then we had Only Make Believe. Now working on Barry for the first, which is a town in Wales, then the likelihood was that Conway Twitty did the next. The third song I didn’t recognize I’m afraid. The fourth neither. It turned out that third was Mr. Flint from McGuinness Flint. Fourth was Marion Montgomery. Tom erroneously said that she shared her name with a Western movie star. Oh no. John Wayne was Marion MORRISON – close but no cigar there Tom. Conway Twitty was got by Fred, but it helped him not. Neither did Montgomery at first. Eventually they reached Wales. This led them to Barry White. South were given 2, I was better so claimed 3.

Back to the ‘straight’ questions, and Scotland were asked: -
Why might a cartoon tower block be a suitable home for at least one President of Ireland, the Scots explorer of the Niger, and the lead singer of Ultravox?
As usual, I started with the easiest bit. Midge Ure was the lead singer, and this really unlocked the question. I remembered from my childhood that Mary, Mungo and Midge – respectively girl, big sad voiced dog, and annoyingly chirpy mouse, all lived in a tower blog in a children’s animated TV series, and in every episode Midge would have to stand on Mungo’s nose to push the button to call the lift. Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese have both been President of Ireland. Mungo Park explored the Niger. Scotland were on firm ground here, and Roddy and Val, working in tag formation, explained it just as I did. 6 points to them, and 6 to me.

South of England desperately needed a full house here. They were asked
You might expect the largest to have a specific gravity of 1; another may have been produced by aphids; still another sounds as though it might almost have written songs in the South of France. What are they?

This didn’t come all that quickly, but after a minute or so’s thought I came up with honeydew for the substance produced by Aphids, which meant, should you pardon the expression, we were looking for melons. Water has a specific gravity of 1. I didn’t get the Provencal songwriter – I’ll be honest that Galia was the only other type of melon that occurred. Fred went at it from a different angle, tackling the songs first. That didn’t actually lead that far. Tom pushed them to work on aphids, and again had to do a lot of the driving and still couldn’t get them to honeydew. Then Tom gave the name of the composer – Cantaloupe – ah!. I didn’t think of that. They finally got water for themselves, and guessed honeydew. Tom awarded them 2, and I awarded myself 4.

And so to the last question of the show for Scotland: -
What’s so tragic about the creator of the Jumblies, the first book in Faulkner’s Snopes trilogy, the bobby of Lochdubh and the game of Reversi?
Not many of the answers to this show sprang to me right off the page, but this one did. Tragic is an adjective applied to Tragedy, and Shakespeare wrote several great Tragedies. Edward Lear (King Lear) created the Jumblies. The Game of Reversi is also called Othello. Lochdubh was the location for the TV series – and original books of – Hamish Macbeth. Right – that was the three easiest ones done as far as I was concerned. I decided that of the remaining possibilities William Faulkner’s Snopes Trilogy was most likely to have something with Hamlet in the title, rather than Antony or Cleopatra. Thus it proved. Scotland were onto it at once, knowing Othello – Lear and Hamish Macbeth very quickly. Like me they didn’t know Faulkner for certain, and like me they guessed Hamlet. Our performance being pretty much identical, I thought we were both worth 5.

As Scotland’s last question had sprung out at me off the page, so did South of England’s. See what you think.
Why might James Gandolfini, an Army Game actor, the relationship between participants in a discourse and half a Californian city, all be welcome in a choir?
Right then – James Gandolfini was a star of the Sopranos – so a soprano is a singing voice – hence it being welcomed in the choir. Another, rather deeper singing voice is a Bass – and Alfie Bass was one of the stars of The Army Game. Palo Alto is a city in California, which gives us an alto. As for the relationship between participants in a discourse , tenor seemed to fit the bill. As indeed it did. It was a bit of a relief to hear Marcel and Fred onto this one quickly, and had Bass and Soprano very quickly. They didn’t get at the city very quickly, mind, but did get there. With a little pushing from Tom they had tenor. Which earned them their highest score of the show with 4, and 6 for me. Final score 18 – 10 to South. Scotland finish with 3 wins from 4, then, which unless I’m mistaken means that they are in with a chance of being overall series winners.


delilahcat said...

Hi David,

I'm sure you were being facetious, but just in case there are some people reading your blog who don't know, Saint-Saens of course didn't wite Danse Macabre for the TV series Jonathan Creek!
I am one of the familiar faces who will be cropping up on the new series of Mastermind - fool that i am!

Andrew B. said...

Final score was 18-10 to Scotland, not to South of England!

Londinius said...


Diane,next thing you`'ll be trying to tell me that Mr. Katchaturian didn't` compose Spartacus for The Onedin Line!

Facetiousness to one side, I honestly wish you every success and hope you beat the curse of the sofa.

Lambert said...

We heard Saint Saens' Danse Macabre – which he wrote for the TV series ... curvedtvstand.blogspot.com