A quick rundown of last Monday’s contenders: -
reveals nothing less than a Mastermind runner up – Brian. It’s not a given that someone who did so well on mastermind would also do well on BoB and vice bersa, but it’s true more often than it’s not. Brian kicked off knowing Pliny the Elder , Lippizaner horses, and E.H.Shepherd as a relatively gentle opening to his campaign, but he probably could have known that Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country. Sam took that windfall. Andy took his first but didn’t know that the further down coal is buried, the better it is, basically. Brian had the bonus. Sam didn’t know that Rutherford split an atom of lithium. Nobody had a bonus. Valerie didn’t know the mnemonic for the Royal Dynasties – Sam took that windfall as well. So Brian had made a great opening with 4.
His second round saw him take 5 on the bounce – and they weren’t all easy either. Class. Andy didn’t know a river in Namibia. Sam did. For his own set he took his first but didn’t know the elite print setting. Valerie didn’t know that a woodlouse has 14 legs. Brian had it. Now he had a remarkable score of 11 after 2 rounds. Game over? Looked like it even at this stage.
Brian now received his music question. We heard Tammy Wynette from the KLF’s song Justified and Ancient. That song was based on the Illuminatus trilogy – couldn’t get on with it, myself. Nobody knew it apart from me. Andy took his first on Bobby Robson, but didn’t know Astrakhan. Valerie had it. Sam didn’t know that George Blake escaped from Wormwood Scrubs. Valerie had her first on the drink perry, but gave away a windfall through not knowing that Comet Shoemaker Levy IX crashed into Jupiter. Sam won the buzzer race on that one.
Brian didn’t know a series of titles from “Alice in Wonderland”. Valerie took the bonus. Andy’s music question was on Tchaikovsky, a piece of music representing the month of June. Valerie again took the bonus, and she was doing well now. Sam didn’t know that there are 12 in a Canadian football team – a bonus for Brian there. Valerie didn’t know the ending of Frankenstein, nor did anyone else. Having made such a blitz start Brian had just added two points since round two, but he had such a lead he was already looking certain for the win.
For the Beat the Brains interval the first asked us for a prominent collection between Citizen Kane and Vertigo, other than being voted among the most influential films ever. They both have scores by Bernard Hermann, mind you I’m sure the Brains’ answer – that both had screen appearances from their directors was also correct. Alright – they said the director acted, and you couldn’t necessarily call most Hitchcock cameos ‘acting’. The second question was the old chestnut about the derivation of Soweto – South West Township, and they made short work of it.
Back to the contest. Brian didn’t know that the Roost is a current between Orkney and Shetland. Sam had that bonus. Andy didn’t know another name of ground elder. Fair enough – never heard of it. Sam’s music question gave us a piece of Bach but he didn’t know it was the concerto for two violins. Fair enough again. Valerie didn’t know that James Bedford in the USA was the first person to be cryonically suspended. Not much headway made by anyone there.
I was surprised that nobody knew Blondin’s real name. He lived just off Northfields Avenue in Ealing for a while. Andy didn’t know Marilyn Robinson. Nor did anyone else, and Andy was looking like the winner of the worst luck in the questions he got asked stakes for this show. Sam was asked about classification of perfumes and nobody had that either. This show was getting harder as it went along, it seemed to me. Valerie was played the voice of a politician for her sound question but didn’t recognize Gough Whitlam. Andy had that one on a bonus. Which put him into second place.
Brian didn’t know about the Great Dismal Swamp. Nobody knew its in N. Carolina and Virginia. Andy got a nice bingo maths question as his first of the round, then got wrong a Russian tsars question. Sam had it, then one on EM Forster, but didn’t know that Richter of the Scale was American. Valerie was asked which seabird lent its name to the first North Sea oilfield opened by Shell. It was auk. Fair enough.
OK, then. The last round asked Brian about Dame Sally Davies – who is the Chief Medical Officer. Nobody had it. I knew that Andy’s was Howard Webb, as did Sam. His own first question saw him fail to answer that Shanghai to Shepperton was written by JG Ballard. Didn’t know it myself. Valerie finished off with not knowing that Mr. Rusty operated the Magic Roundabout. Andy took that. So with the scores not moving very much from rounds 3 – 8, the final scores were: -
Valerie Teague – 4
Sam Keays – 6
Andy Crompton – 7
Brian Chesney – 14