Friday, 18 January 2019

Mastermind 2019 - Heat 13


Hello, good morning and welcome. I’ve been struggling a bit this week, since you ask, Dearly Beloved. My annual cold/flu/virus/chest infection (delete where applicable) has well and truly struck, and I’ve been feeling particularly seedy all week. Such is life. At least there was Mastermind yesterday evening. Speaking of which. . .

Now, I know there was a dramatized version of Albert Einstein’s life on TV a couple of years ago, but I never watched it. I’ve never read a biography of Einstein either. I’m sure that I’ve mentioned in the past how I was away the day we did Science at school as well. So quite how I managed 9 correct answers on Amit De’s round on Albert Einstein I really couldn’t say. Amit himself did considerably better, and got into the teens with thirteen. As we’ve said before, for the last few years that’s been a mark of quality in a specialist round.

I didn’t do as well on Marion Whitehead’s round. Marion was answering on the Hamish Macbeth novels of M.C. Beaton. Now, not having ever read any, and only about once or twice having watched the Robert Carlyle TV series by the same name in years gone by I knew I was going to be on a bit of a sticky wicket with this round, and indeed only a bit of guesswork on a couple of questions brought me two points to take the aggregate to 10. Which coincidentally was the score that Marion ended her round with. Good score, nothing to be ashamed of, and only a couple of points behind the leader at the turn around.

Once upon a time I became rather interested in the Crystal Palace. I mention this because our next contender, Richard Pyne, was offering us the Life and Works of Joseph Paxton, and of course, Joseph Paxton’s most famous work by far was the Crystal Palace. The Palace itself was re-erected some time after the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in Sydenham Heights. It burned down in 1936, I think, and there’s nothing of the structure itself left, but the building’s footprint can still be seen, and it was a huge thing indeed. When I was young my parents took me and two brothers to Crystal Palace Park in Sydenham, using red bus rover tickets (ask your grandparents), and it seemed to me that the journey from Ealing in West London took us about 3 months. Enough of such nonsense. Richard, who came this way before in Clive’s series, took 11 points, and I took 4 to take my score to 15.

Finally Carole Stead, and the reign of possibly the most interesting and yet misunderstood Pharoah of Ancient Egypt, Akhenaten. He’s one of those figures that ‘alternative’ History theorists often like to involve in various theories, mainly, one suspects, because he acted in a way which was so different to those who had come before. Personally I think he might well have been, as my Nan might have said, ‘not quite the full shilling’, but it takes all sorts to make a world. I scraped the 5 points I needed to get me up to 20. Carole, on the other hand, gave us the best specialist round of the evening. Like all of the rounds last night it wasn’t quite perfect, but it was very good. 14 and no passes gave her a one point lead over Amit, and meant that she would be last to return to the chair in the GK round.

Speaking of which, first to return was Marion Whitehead. I spent some time last week discussing the fact that both last week and the week before a contender in both heats had an absolute nightmare on grneral knowledge. I won’t go into all of the ins and outs of this again. Still, it’s nice to be able to say that this didn’t happen for a third week in a row. Marion, to be fair, never looked like she was going to rip the guts out of this round, but that’s ok, there are relatively few people around who can do that. What she did do was keep her head, keep answering throughout the round, and amass a double figure total. Her 12 increased her score to set the bar at 22. Perfectly respectable, and well done.

Richard Pyne achieved a very similar round, in fact the number of correct answers was identical, as he too doubled his total. Indeed the only real difference was the number of passes. Richard passed 5 times, and seemed to have taken the decision to pass if the answer – or an answer – didn’t pop into his head quickly. That’s a valid tactic in its own right, especially if it maintains your momentum, which I believe is far more important than you might think in a Mastermind GK round.

Okay, so Marion more than doubled her score with her GK round, Richard doubled his score in his GK round. What about Amit? Well, yes, he doubled up too, and since he’d scored 13 in his specialist round, this meant that he took the target from 22 right up to 26. I enjoyed Amit’s round. I like to see contenders having the breadth of knowledge which means that the they know – or can guess – things from a wide range of subjects, and I thought that Amit did this. 26 can quite often be a good enough score to bring a victory in a heat. Would that be the case this time, though?

Well, it wouldn’t if Carole maintained the trend, and doubled her score. In fact, she did even better than that. It never looked like she was going particularly quickly, but she was going pretty accurately, and that’s often more important. By the end of the round she’d scored 16 – a very fine performance indeed – and took her total to 30. I don’t know Carole’s quiz background, although if she is a regular quizzer I really wouldn’t be very surprised at all. Still, if she can maintain this level of performance in the semi finals then she is certainly going to be a contender for one of the 6 places in the final. The very best of luck.

Congratulations to all involved, a good show.

The Details

Amit De
Albert Einstein
13
0
13
2
26
2
Marion Whitehead
The Hamish Macbeth books of M.C.Beaton
10
3
12
3
22
6
Richard Pyne
The Life and Works of Joseph Paxton
11
1
11
5
22
6
Carole Stead
The Reign of Akhenaten
14
0
16
1
30
1

4 comments:

Will G said...

Hi, Dave. Hope you had a good New Year. Slight correction - Marion scored 10 in her SS and 12 in her GK.

Londinius said...

Thanks Will, you too. I will change it now.

Mycool said...

Amit De is currently in the running for the repechage slots, although John did not mention this. He reached the semi-final of Brain of Britain last year.

Londinius said...

That doesn't surprise me, Mycool. Good player.