Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Catching Up: Mastermind Heat 7


Episode 7

Jack Bennett, you sly old thing! I had no idea that Jack  - who appeared in last year's UC  ( is this the same Jack Bennett who is proprietor of Jacks Online Writings, THE blog to go for detailed and above all else up to to date reviews of every UC show - I'm really not sure. Jack - over to you) was a contender in this year’s Mastermind. He was answering on The James Bond films, and we both had the first 6 questions on the bounce right, falling at the 7th hurdle. Thence our paths diverged. I took another 4, and frankly I’m always pleased to get to double figures on a specialist, and Jack went on to 13. Well played Jack.

I have read several of Alexander McCall Smith’s enjoyable Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels, but never any of the 44 Scotland Street ones, so I didn’t trouble the scorer on John Millar’s round. 12 was a pretty useful return though, and meant that he was only a point behind Jack at the halfway stage.

With Kester Ford’s round on US Presidents of the 20th century I went one better than I had with Jack’s round, and took the first 7 questions on the bounce without a wrong answer. Kester, though, went on as far as question 9 before getting anything wrong. Funnily enough I had that one – Rolling Thunder – same name as a shortlived skate park in Brentford IIRC. What happened next underlined the importance of momentum. Kester was never the same again in his round, and limped across the line with 10 after some near misses. For me, the 13 I scored was probably my best specialist round of the series so far. I’ll be honest, a decent knowledge of US history in the 20th century and it wasn’t difficult to get a good score.

So, I was on 23 after 3 rounds. 2 more would put me to a quarter century on specialists for this show, and Frances Slack’s specialist, the musicals of the pair my grandmother used to call Rodgers and Hammersmith, gave me a chance of getting them. Actually seven of them put me onto 30, which is a record which is unlikely to be broken in this series. As for Frances, well 12 put her just a point off the lead. She had an interesting tactic to avoid passing – naming Harry Potter relatives – both Vernon and Petunia Dursley got honourable mentions.

Kester Ford’s GK round just underlined what a shame his stumbles at the end of his specialist round were. I dare say that we’ll see better GK rounds – well, we did, before the end of the same show – but even so it was a fighting performance, and underlined what he could do if he got his specialist round right. John Millar’s round wasn’t quite of the same standard. 13 on GK is fine and perfectly respectable, but if you’re starting from 12 it isn’t enough to put everyone else following you into the corridor of doubt.

Frances Slack hadn’t been particularly fast answering in her first round, and she wasn’t especially fast in this one. But crikey, she was accurate. 10 questions on the bounce she answered correctly, and in the end only a couple of questions went begging, as she compiled a massive score of 17. Now, OK, you might say that none of the questions she was asked were all that difficult, including the couple she had wrong, and you’d be right to say so, if a little harsh. But to have the coverage to answer even straightforward questions in such a range of questions correctly is actually very impressive.

John did that unhelpful thing of reminding Jack what a large score he needed to overhaul Frances. Yeah, thanks for that, John. He took the first 7 and was on schedule, but hesitated on ACAS before failing to dredge it up. Sadly two more wrong answers followed, and from that moment Jack was playing for a repechage slot. Such are the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune on Mastermind. Some rather long questions followed, and in the end Jack finished with 25. Sorry, Jack, but if I’m honest I can’t see that making a repechage slot. Very bad luck. As for Frances, well done indeed! A good performance which certainly did not betray an ounce of nerves, if she felt any. Good luck in the semis.

The Details

Jack Bennett
The James Bond Films
13
0
12
0
25
0
John Millar
Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street novels
12
0
13
1
25
1
Kester Ford
20th Century US Presidents
10
0
15
0
25
0
Frances Slack
The Musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein
12
0
17
0
29
0

4 comments:

Unknown said...

Hi, Dave. I always thought the Jack who wrote JOW was a different Jack (not Bennett). I could be wrong though.

Londinius said...

So could I Will! I'll make a note to that effect - thanks.

Jack said...

No Dave, I can assure you I'm not Jack Bennett.

I am still planning to try for Mastermind at some point, though, once I'm confident enough that I can hold my own on general knowledge.

Londinius said...

Hi Jack,
Believe it or not, when I was maybe 12, my grandmother once said to me after I had managed to answer a couple of Mastermind questions correctly - "One day you'll go on that show and you'll win it." To which, precocious little toad that I was, I replied, "I won't go on it till I'm about 40 - I'll still be very quick, but I'll know a lot more." My grand final was actually on my 43rd birthday.

There's plenty of time.