Friday, 12 October 2018

University Challenge 2019 - Round One - UCL v. King's, London


UCL v. King’s London



Our second London University derby of the season pitted UCL against King’s. UCL were, George Mitkov, Sophia Walker, Feiyu Fang and captain Robert Johnstone. King’s in their turn were represented by Liam Tsang, Rhianne Jones, Katie Heath and their own skipper Anthony Chater.

The first starter was one of those where you have to wait and wait until it suddenly becomes obvious then slam the buzzer through the desk. Looking for a word linking several works, the most obvious was the last. If it’s by Jung Chang, then it’s wild swans, and so the answer must be wild. Sophia Walker knew that, and took the points, earning a set of bonuses on a set of quotations whose final words rhymed with each other. They took two , but I’m a little surprised that nobody knew the James Joyce quote. Now, if the question asks for an American memorial, you’re immediately thinking of Mount Rushmore, especially so when the question also uses the words carved – and – granite -. So George Mitkov was doing the right thing when he buzzed in early with the correct answer. Members of bands mentioned in the title of “All the Madmen: To the Dark Side of English Rock” brought UCL a single bonus. Now, me, I thought Allopatric was the correct greeting for the late famous TV stargazer Mr. Moore, but apparently it’s a term in biology as well, which Liam Tsang took on the buzzer. Philosophers according to their descriptions in the 1907 Nuttall Encyclopaedia brought King’s a full set. Anthony Chater made it 5 from 5 for King’s, knowing that Inigo Jones designed the Queen’s House in Greenwich. Very nice it is too. Lanthanide elements was the subject of the bonuses. I duly strapped on my trainers since a lap of honour opportunity seemed to be in the offing. I didn’t get Cerium, but Neodymium was good enough and off I trotted, bagging Praseodymium as I was making the circuit. The picture starter was a map showing the locations of three major industrial museums in the UK. When asked for the activity around which all three are themed, well, the South Wales one looked like Blaenavon to me, which meant that Big Pit colliery museum. I was right, and so was Rhianne Jones. Three more maps of themed industrial heritage museums brought a third consecutive full set to King’s, whose bonus conversion rate at this point was 100%. At the 10 minute mark they led by 75 – 35.

Now, for the next starter I was sure it was cricket from the George Orwell quote, but the moment it mentioned E.W. Hornung I knew it was. He created Raffles, and Raffles played cricket for England when he wasn’t robbing the rich and stupid. Neither team was quick to take a punt until Sophia Walker buzzed in to get UCL’s show back on the road. British History brought no points. I was very surprised that they didn’t get New Model Army, but there we are, they’re all easy if you know them. Sophia Walker, who was having a great evening on the buzzer so far, had a good guess that it was TS Eliot being referenced in the next question. Amino acids promised me nothing, which is exactly what they brought me. They brought one bonus to UCL. Liam Tsang struck like a coiled cobra to take the next starter, knowing the inscription on the gravestone of Boltzmann. I prefer Spike Milligan’s – he has “I told you I was ill” in Gaelic. Sisters in 20th century US fiction finally saw King’s drop bonuses, and they failed to add to their score. I only knew the last one because of the film of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. So to the music starter and it fell to George Mitkov to identify the work of Maurice Ravel. Three more French composers brought one correct answer. Now, you had to stick with the next one, but when it ended with the 1513 death of one of the two countries’ kings in battle while invading the other it was obvious this must have been Flodden, so the two countries were England and Scotland. We’d already seen that UCL are no great shakes on History, but neither it appeared were King’s, as both teams were somewhat wide of the mark. Asked for an ancient Lebanese seaport, I don’t blame George Mitkov for zigging early with Tyre, but the question alluded to it being the origin for the Greek word for book, and that meant it could only be Byblos. So to the next starter, and it was Sophia Walker who identified the town of Aix En Provence from a series of clues. China in the 1920s brought up two bonuses, and this gave UCL back the lead. The indefatigable Sophia Walker stretched this lead by buzzing early to identify Zadie Smith’s novel “Swing Time”. This took UCL to 100, and Robert Southey gave them ten more points. So, just after the 20 minute mark, superior buzzing had seen UCL forge a lead of 110 to King’s 85.

The second picture starter saw George Mitkov identify the work of Frank Gehry. Other examples of Blobism or Blob Architecture brought UCL a full house. Their bonus conversion rate seemed to be improving as the contest continued, and it really meant that King’s were going to have to start slinging some buzzer seriously if they were going to come back into contention. Skipper Robert Johnstone took the next one on the volley for UCL, though, knowing the septum as defined in the question. A set of relative gimmes on pregnancy gave them another full house, and things were looking bleak for King’s now. Skipper Anthony Chater went for his buzzer on the next starter, but was beaten to the draw by George Mitkov, who knew that the two Prime Ministers mentioned in the question both succeeded the Pitts. Another two bonuses on ferns followed, and UCL now had a lead of 95.A really nice UC special gave us a series of actors, all of whose first names began with A and their surnames began with B – but only some of their prominent roles. First to work it out correctly was Liam Tsang. History bonuses didn’t promise much bearing in mind previous form, but they managed one. This took them to 100 points, which shortly became 110 when Liam Tsang had another lightning buzz to identify the SI unit asked for as the second. Geological periods named after Geographical areas brought just one bonus. Sadly their bonus for, so impressive earlier in the contest, seemed to have deserted them when they needed it most. For the next starter I zigged with infra red while Liam Tsang correctly zagged with ultraviolet for his treble. Professional cycling brought 2 bonuses. They’ve put on 50 points in short time, but there just wasn’t enough time for King’s to get much closer. Mind you, Anthony Chater still buzzed early for the next starter on baseball, and added another ten points. That was it though, as the contest was gonged halfway through a second bonus on Edward Albee.

UCL won with 185 – 145. This was a game won on the buzzer, with Sophia Walker particularly impressive for UCL. Well done, and best of luck in round two. As for King’s, it just begs the question why they only found their buzzer fingers in the last few minutes – it’s not as if UCL were that fast on all of their bonuses – just on some of them. As the old maxim goes, it’s bonuses for show, but buzzers for dough.  Good game though, and well played to both teams.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

UCL are on - I announced to no one in particular. - I bet JP calls them the Godless Institution of Gower Street. - He ALWAYS says this. Well, he didn’t when he introduced UCL. This was just to lull me into a false sense of security, though, for he brought it into his introduction of King’s.

Halfway through the third starter he stopped and asked Sophia Walker “Are you alright?” – I think she may have been choking for a moment. Time was when he’d have followed her announcement that she was fine with the words ‘Well sit up straight and pay attention then!’ He’s definitely mellowed.

Interesting Fact That I Didn’t Already Know Of The Week

David Bowie covered ‘See Emily Play’ on one of his albums.

Monosodium glutamate was first derived in 1908 from seaweed.

Mastermind 2019 - Round One Heat Two


Another Friday evening, and another heat of new-look Mastermind. I have to be honest, I don’t think it makes any difference to the show itself, but I think I rather like the way the contenders enter now. The first of these then was Tara Martel. Her subject was Alan Turing. I felt that she had a little bit of a shaky start, but we quite often see rounds speed up as the blue line of doom starts to appear, and she took her total to a very healthy 11. Incidentally, if I did an ‘interesting fact that I didn’t already know’ for Mastermind each week, then this week’s would definitely be that Turing had to agree to chemical castration. Absolutely shocking.  

Second through the portal of portent (yes, I have spent all week thinking that one up) was Mark Hopes. Now, speaking of portents, the last time someone took a bridge as a specialist subject was, I believe, me, in the final of the 2008 Season of Blessed Memory. So I was willing him on, and it seemed to work. Boy, did Mark know his stuff. In fact it was a perfect round right up to the very last question, a fact which John bemoaned as he announced Mark’s score of 13.  

Coming next was Susan Murray, the first teacher to feature in this year’s series. Now, I am still the last schoolteacher to win a series. I’ve always said, and I mean it as well, that I will be very happy when someone else takes the mantle from me. Still, I did realise that this season I join my friend David Edwards as being the joint longest reigning holder of the unofficial title of last schoolteacher to win. David won in 1990, and I’m fairly sure that the next schoolteacher to win was Michael Penrice in Discovery Mastermind in 2001. I only say fairly sure because it’s been a little harder to find out the professions of a couple of the Radio 4 Mastermind champs. Still, even if a teacher wins this year, that will still make it 11 years for me as well. Apologies for that pointless digression. Susan was answering on the films of the brilliant Frank Capra. Films can be a really tricky subject, and the whole oeuvre of one individual can offer question setters plenty of opportunity to catch you out. No doubt at all that Susan knew her stuff, but by the end of the round she hadn’t quite managed double figure and a deficit of 4 points looked quite a large one to have to overcome.  

Finally solicitor Andrew Brewer offered us the third ‘traditional’ subject of the evening in the shape of the Emperor Vespasian. This gave me my best SS round of the evening , but I still only scored 4. So far on both shows I haven’t managed an aggregate of double figures on specialist yet. I know enough about Vespasian to know that this was a really testing set of questions, and so Andrew’s score of 11 was a pretty good one. So well done to all of the contenders. I love it when everyone has obviously done their preparation properly. I can’t help it – I’m a teacher, so what else would you expect? 

“They don’t know what the other contenders have scored.” John announced again as we began the GK round. Yes, fine John, but it really doesn’t make any difference. Trust me, it doesn’t. First back was Susan Murray, and I fancy she may have left the show wondering what might have happened had she picked a different specialist subject. I say this, because she treated us to a fine GK round of 15 to take her total to 24. Another couple of points on Specialist, and she may well have put herself into contention for a repechage slot. As it was, though, it looked likely that at least one of the other contenders would improve upon this score. It wouldn’t be Tara Martel, though. She battled her way through the round, but never quite established the kind of momentum that you need if you’re going to steer your way through the round into a score in the teens. She did manage to get into double figures, and finished with a very respectable 22.  

Now, if Susan had provided us with a very good round of 15 – and she had – then Andrew, in his turn, provided an excellent one. He rattled his way through the first minute or so that well that I did at one point think he might go through the whole round hardly dropping any points and amassing a cricket score. Well, he didn’t quite do that in the end, but it must be said that his score of 17 is a formidable one, and a significant achievement. This meant that half time leader Mark Hopes would need at least 15 and no more than 3 passes just to take it to a tie break. To be fair to Mark it never looked as if he was likely to come close to the required total. He missed some fairly innocuous questions, and as behind the clock even before it reached the one minute mark. Them’s the breaks. I was glad for him that he did make double figures before the end of the round, finishing with a creditable 23. This meant that all 4 of our contenders reached double figures, and all 4 of our contenders ended with a score in the 20s. So even though Andrew was a clear winner – and very well done, sir, for that – all 4 of our contenders had acquitted themselves well, and could walk back through the portal of portent ( see, I did it again) with their heads held high. I like that.  

The Details 

Tara Martel
Alan Turing
11
0
11
2
22
2
Mark Hopes
The Golden Gate Bridge
13
0
10
4
23
4
Susan Murray
The Films of Frank Capra
9
0
15
0
24
0
Andrew Brewer
The Emperor Vespasian
11
2
17
1
28
3

Friday, 5 October 2018

University Challenge 2019 - Round One - St. Peter's, Oxford v. Pembroke, Cambridge


St. Peter’s, Oxford v. Pembroke, Cambridge

Heat 11 already, dearly beloved, and that perennial UC favourite, an Oxbridge derby. St. Peter’s were represented by James Hodgson, Seb Braddock, Laura Cooper and captain Nick Williford.  Pembroke for their part consisted of Dan James, Joe Kiernan, Jamie Bamber and skipper Anki Deo.

The first starter was one of those typical UC starters where you just had to wait, wait, wait. . . and then buzz like hell as it became obvious. Nick Williford took first blood, recognising recipients of the Pulitzer Prize. Literary works concerning deaths brought one bonus. Now, for the next one we were given a series of items all beginning with the same three letters. After the first – the second largest island in the Phillippines, I went for min – after Mindanao, while Joe Kiernan waited for the American state known as the land of Ten Thousand Lakes – Minnesota, before supplying the correct answer. Now, Astronomy often gives me an early opportunity for a lap of honour for getting a Science question right, and in fact both I and Pembroke took two with Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud. My nerve broke after the second, and I set off on my lap while the going was good. The next starter was a bit of an old chestnut so it was pleasing to see Nick Williford come in early to answer that the artist Whistler had sued John Ruskin for damages. A really tricky set on insults in Shakespeare saw St. Peter’s fail to add to their score. I only managed one myself, with Ajax being the giveaway. Magic numbers did none of us any good for the next starter. Laura Cooper was given a little bit of leeway with the next starter, answering Maggie Farrell for Maggie O’Farrell. This is the sort of thing which can cause controversy. Once you start giving leeway, how can you apply it even handedly? Of course Laura Cooper meant Maggie O’Farrell, but she didn’t say it. Well, there we are. I don’t really have such a huge problem with this, as long as it’s done fairly for all teams in the series. Time will tell. St. Peter’s took two good bonuses on Life Sciences, and recognised that the last was concerning the discovery of the structure of DNA, but went with Watson – of Crick and Watson – while the answer was Rosalind Franklin. So to the first picture starter. Here we saw the first part of a well known nursery rhyme written in musical notation. I was out with the washing on this one. James Hodgson obviously knew it. . . but not the title. And he knew that he didn’t know it as he shook his head and offered ‘my fair lady’, This led Anki Deo to buzz straight in with London Bridge is fallen down. Which is probably the only well known nursery rhyme to draw on the work of Viking poet Ottar Svarte, but that’s another story for another day. Pembroke took two of the bonuses on other macabre nursery rhymes. So, at the ten minute mark we had a good, closely fought match on our hands, with St. Peter’s slightly ahead with 45  to Pembroke’s 40.

Bevis Hillier is one of those names which usually requires but one answer, in this case, Art Deco. Both teams allowed the question to unfold before Anki Deo won the buzzer race for her team. They missed out on the first, but did well to take the other two, I thought. Now, if Astronomy sometimes brings a lap of honour opportunity, then so does the periodic table. Dan James took a flier when asked which element is the only one beginning with the letter a – and wrongly answered aluminium. The whole question wanted the only one whose name starts with a, but whose symbol does not. ‘Antimony – antimony – anti – mon -ee!” I sang to the tune of chim – chiminee from Mary Poppins. The cat looked at me as if I’d gone mad. After being gee’ed up by JP, James Hodgson gave the same answer, although not, sadly, in the same fashion. Literary works that have inspired operas by more than one composer saw St. Peter’s fail to score, although a couple of their answers were pretty decent shots in the dark, which just saw them zig when they should have zagged. Laura Cooper, whose buzzing from this point of the show onwards was going to be one of the things which proved the difference between these two teams, knew that works by Bertrand Russell and Norman Mailer, amongst others, were linked by the interrogative – why? -. Medieval princesses saw St. Peter’s again fail to add to their score. Tricky set. The next starter was one of those which suddenly becomes obvious, and when it did become obvious that the name wanted was Wagner, Laura Cooper won the buzzer race. Organic chemistry brought 2 bonuses, which were timely to say the least since their conversion rate had taken a real dip on their last couple of starters. So to the music starter, where we heard Leonard Bernstein discussing a piece of classical music. James Hodgson allowed just a few words before he buzzed in with the right answer. The bonuses were recordings of Bernstein conducting the work of another composer. Another two bonuses served to stretch the gap between the two teams, which was now 50 points, and also to take St. Peter’s into triple figures. I don’t blame Dan James for trying to buzz his team back into the contest by coming in early for a family of venomous snakes with a five letter name, and offering viper, but it was another of those which became obvious only after he’d answered. When Jamieson’s, East African green, black and Number Five varieties were mentioned it became obvious we were looking for mamba. (Alright, I made Number Five up) Laura Cooper completed a treble by giving the correct answer. Cities and towns whose names begin with Lu- brought one bonus. Laura Cooper then converted her treble into a quadruple, buzzing in very early to identify photosynthesis as the process being referred to in the question. At which point the camera cut to a shot of Jamie Bamber indulging in the international sign language gesture for – for heaven’s sake, let’s press these flipping buzzers a bit quicker!- St. Peter’s were given bonuses on cranial nerves, and added a further 5 points to their burgeoning total, which stood at 135 t Pembroke’s 50 at the 20 minute mark. As Jamie Bamber had noted, Pembroke were going to have to find their buzzing range pretty sharpish if they were to have any chance of pulling this one back.

Jamie Bamber did try to practise what he had preached for the next starter, but just couldn’t dredge up the answer having buzzed in early. Don’t blame him. On UC you might just as well throw caution to the winds and be hung for a sheep as for a lamb when you’re a significant distance behind. This allowed Laura Cooper her 5th in succession and her 6th overall, as she recognised a definition of the term cracking, as in ‘- cheese, Grommit.” Waterways named after explorers was a set that had full house written all over it, and so I was a bit surprised that St. Peter’s only took two. Slight controversy followed for the picture starter. We were shown a photograph of Katherine Hepburn. Nick Williford buzzed in, then Larua Cooper offered us Lauren Bacall – and then held her head in her hands, realising what she’d done in the heat of the moment, and apologised. This might have been worthy of being penalised, but it wasn’t, and the skipper ignored this and gave the correct answer. They took two of the bonuses on winners of acting Oscars who didn’t turn up to receive the award. Another – how many double letters in the sentence – starter bamboozled (1 double letter in that one) both teams. Nick Williford worked out that the Navajo nation, as well as being partly in Utah is also in Arizona and New Mexico. The novels of Kazuo Ishiguro brought a full house, courtesy of Laura Cooper, so it seemed. Joe Kiernan came in too early, understandably, for his team for the next starter. Left with an open goal, nobody on St. Peter’s knew about Barnard’s Star. I did, and you bet I took a second lap of honour for it. Poor old Joe Kiernan got his buzzer timing perfect for the next starter, on Norse mythology, but zigged with Fafnir when he should have zagged with Fenrir. James Hodgson took that one. England cricket captain Heather Knight did nowt for St. Peter’s. Jamie Bamber finally bagged a starter, as both teams rather dwelt on their buzzers before he recognised a list of characters from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Biology brought just the one bonus. When you put all the countries hat border South Africa alphabetically, Zimbabwe comes last. Nick Williford took that to apply another coat of gloss to St. Peter’s score. Poetry anthologies added nothing to their score before the gong ended the competition with St. Peter’s winning by 225 to 50.

So, Pembroke’s score was actually 5 points lower than ULIP’s last week. Yet one felt that they were a better team than the score suggested (while ULIP, bless them, were not.) They were slinging buzzer for the last few minutes, and it didn’t come off and lost them points, so they would have scored more highly. Their conversion rate – when they were given any bonuses – was very respectable actually. No doubt, though, that St. Peter’s were the better team by some distance, certainly on the buzzer. I really wasn’t convinced at all by their bonus conversion rate, though, which was below 50%, and below Pembroke’s. They’ll have to do better than that to go much further in the competition. Best of luck in round two.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Our hero dismissed the work of the Kinks as ‘ancient history, anyway’. Hmm. I bet he’d have words to say if someone said the same about Shakespeare.

When Nick Williford offered Triginial for the last of the cranial nerve questions, JP in his best “Oh do please pay attention, Bond” voice, replied “Trigeminal is, I think, what you were TOLD. But that isn’t what you said. Unfortunately.”  For that matter, Maggie O’Farrell isn’t what Laura Cooper said earlier, but she still had the points. You see what I mean when I say that allowing leeway does cause problems? No? Well, please yourselves.

Our hero seemed to much enjoy St. Peter’s mistaking Joan Crawford for Joan Collins. It’s interesting to speculate whether Jan Collins would be more angry about being thought to be of the same vintage as Joan Crawford than she’d be happy about the thought that she’d ever even been in line for an acting Oscar.

Jamie Bamber got a real old fashioned Paxman wigging for buzzing in too early on the Navajo starter, to be told “I haven’t even finished reading out the question!” Yes, but that’s the point, Jez. Don’t wait until you know it because you’ll be too late. Buzz in when you think you MIGHT know it with another word.

Interesting Fact That I Didn’t Already Know Of The Week

Katherine Hepburn never attended an Oscar ceremony to receive any of her four academy awards.

Mastermind 2019 - Heat One


At last. Somewhat later than in recent years, the new series has begun, and the last before we’re likely to see some changes. Mind you, there was something different about this first of the new series, and I’ll come to that very shortly.

In fact, I’ll come to cosmetic change part one now. In recent years we’ve seen John introduce all of the contenders at the top of the show. Now, though, they were conspicuous by their absence from the stage. Instead, once he called for the first contender, she had to walk onto the set via a sort of tunnel of doorways which lighted up as she walked past. Well, look, this sort of thing does nothing to heighten my enjoyment of the show, but it doesn’t detract from it either. I’m not entirely sure what it brings to the party but hey, let’s work with what we have. First up in this series then was Jo Skinner, answering on American TV favourite, The West Wing. Now, as with the other specialists on offer in tonight’s show, my knowledge of this series was minimal at best. So I have no real idea whether these questions were gentle, fair or hard. However, I reckoned Jo’s score of 11 was by no means bad going.

Next up, Roy Smith answering on Bob Marley. Now, I like Bob Marley’s music very much, but . . . well it took just a couple of minutes for this round to show me that I really don’t know very much about it, or him, at all. Not so Roy Smith. No, he didn’t deliver a perfect round, but it was a pretty good one, I’d say. I’ve made this point before, and doubtless I’ll make it again in the future, but I do like to see contenders who’ve prepared themselves well for their specialists. 12 points for Roy put him ahead at this stage of the competition.

I’ve never read the Sanmdan Graphic Novels by Neil Gaiman, but I know that they are extremely popular. This was the specialist being offered us by Eibhlin McMenamin, who I dare say is one of the younger contenders that we’re going to see during the series. Eibhlin’s round was a good illustration of the old adage that a Mastermind round is a marathon and not a sprint. After a rather heistant and uncertain start, Eibhlin found her rhythm in the mid part of the round, and managed to pull herself up to a respectable double figure score of 10. 

Finally, then Derek Caudwell answered questions on the only really traditional , old-stylee specialist subject, in the shape of medieval mercenary John Hawkwood. Derek was another contender who knew his stuff, and he ended up in the lead on pass countback with 12 and 0. So, with the first round complete we were safely headed in the direction of the GK rounds, with no disasters, and none of the contenders failing to reach double figures. Good stuff.

Right, let’s get to cosmetic change part 2. It turned out that each contender had been walked off the set after her or his round. So they were then marched back on, en masse, while John informed us that – they didn’t know each other’s scores. Hmm – okay. This enabled him to tell us that only the viewers at home – who already knew the scores if they had been paying attention – could see the scores, and he didn’t read them out. So none of the contenders knew how the others had done. As I said – Hmmm – interesting. But then, as Eibhlin returned to the chair, he went and ordered her to tell everyone she had scored 10 in the first round. Huh?

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure that I really understand what this is all about. Does it, potentially, make any difference whether you know the other contenders’ scores or not? Well, maybe. I can only go by my own experience, but I think that knowing where I was at half time did help me get my head together and visualise the task ahead of me. But only to a small extent. And once the GK questions start, all that goes out of the window anyway. As I said about format change part one, it doesn’t offend me in the slightest, and it doesn’t take away from my enjoyment of the show. But I don’t really see what it brings to the show, that’s all. 

Speaking of which, let’s discuss the GK rounds. You, know, I really felt for Eibhlin when she was asked about the name linking a detective in Kojak, and Harry Enfield’s kebab shop owner character. I doubt whether she was born when the Enfield character was in his heyday, and I’m dead certain she wasn’t when Kojak was around. Sometimes there are things which give you the idea that it just isn’t your night, and I wouldn’t have blamed Eibhlin for thinking that at this point. In the end she added 7 to take her total to 17. 

Jo’s round, on the other hand, might have led her to believe that this was going to be her night. She answered a lot of questions correctly because she knew them. However there were a number of questions where you could see by her facial expression and the tone of her voice that she didn’t know the answer, but had said the only thing which came into her head which might possibly be true. And don’t knock that, for we’ve all done it in quizzes. Let’s be fair too that this was the kind of round where the obvious answer was nearly always the right one. 16 points for 27 has been a good total in the last few years, and it looked likely to give her at the very least a chance of a win.

Roy gave it a bit of a lash, but in all honesty it never quite looked as if he was going to be able to overtake Jo. A late rally pushed him close, but he was still 3 correct answers away as the blue line of death began its circumnavigation of the score, and had only found two of them by the time it had caught itself. 26 is a perfectly good score for a Mastermind heat, and I dare say some people will win heats with lower scores during this series. Not good enough for a win today, though.  

Only Derek remained. His round was very similar to Jo’s, as was his approach of answer what you know, and try to get as close as you can with the one you don’t know. To put his task into perspective, 15 and 5 passes, or better, would see him through. As it happened, he managed 16, and won by a point. Very well done, sir, and good luck in the semi final. 
Welcome back Mastermind, cosmetic changes and all. I’ve missed you.  

The Details

Jo Skinner
The West Wing
11
3
16
3
27
3
Roy Smith
Bob Marley
12
1
14
2
26
3
Eibhlin McMenamin
The Sandman Series by Neil Gaiman
10
1
7
2
17
3
Derek Caudwell
John Hawkwood
12
0
16
2
28
2