Friday, 30 October 2009

Mastermind - First round heat 9/24

3 newcomers braved the chair this week, together with Frances Gregory, who last braved the chair in the 2007 SOBM . A little more on that later on.

Our popular culture round of this week was taken by our first contender of the night, Ian Speed. Mr. Speed offered us “British Indie Music 1979 – 1989”. My initial thoughts were – 10 years ? That’s really not a huge amount of time. Still its easy to say that when its not me who had to learn the subject. From my halfway decent knowledge of the subject this seemed like a pretty testing round. Still it was one that Mr. Speed was more than equal to, and he manage a very fine 16.

John Grasham followed Mr. Speed into the chair. His specialist round was “The Life and work of Leonhard Euler”. I knew that Euler was a mathematician, but I am indebted to Mr. Grasham for informing me during his filmed insert that Euler was possibly the most important mathematician of the 18th century, most famous, apparently, for Euler’s Identity. Thanks for that. This looked like a hard round, for the little that I would know about it. Under the circumstances 9 was a good performance, but it left Mr. Grasham out of contention for a semi final place.

Frances Gregory offered us “The Life and Work of Peter Cook “ in her 2007 appearance, where she lost in the first round by one point to the contender who eventually took third place in the final – David Down. Tonight she took “The Short Stories of Graham Greene”. Big subject, in my opinion, but Frances Gregory made pretty short work of it, matching Ian Speed’s top score of 16 and 1 pass.

Mike Court brought the first round to a conclusion, with “Transatlantic ocean liners 1907 – present day “. Mr. Court, a writer by profession, has taken no less than 162 cruises, and describes himself as an anorak. Aren’t we all, my dear fellow. With that amount of experience of his subject you’d think he ought to do well, and to be fair he does, with 14 and 1 pass.

John Grasham answered his first two GK questions correctly, but it was rather uphill work after that, with a particularly nasty mid round pass spiral to contend with. He finished what to my mind was a difficult set of questions with 14. Mike Court came next. You may remember that last week I made the point that you don’t have to win the specialist round, only to be in contention. Mike Court was only two points behind going into the round, and he scored a fine 14 to finish on 28. I personally though that as a whole his round was easier than Mr. Grasham’s , but that’s just my opinion, and all the luck of the draw. With this score he had surely guaranteed himself a place in the semis. Still, Ian Speed had his own bid for a place in the semis still to make. To be honest he never quite looked like getting there, and ended a little way behind with 24. In her previous appearance Frances Gregory had scored 8 on General Knowledge, and this is what she scored again tonight. 24 and 2 passes gave her the last place in the highest scoring runners up table, but I have to say that I think that with 15 shows still to go that her occupation of that spot will only be temporary.

Well done to Mike Court. I always like the look of a contender who can score equally well on specialist and GK. If he gets another good subject for the semis, then he’ll be worth an each way bet to reach the finals. Good show again.

The Details

Ian Speed British Indie Music 1979 - 8916 - 18 - 3 24 - 4
John GrashamThe Life and Work of Leonhard Euler9 - 25 - 514 - 7
Frances GregoryThe Short Stories Of Graham Greene16 - 18 - 124 - 2
Mike CourtTransatlantic Ocean Liners 1907 – present day14 - 114 - 028 - 1

Current Highest Scoring Runners Up

John Cooper29 – 3
Ian Scott Massie26 – 2
Les Morrell26 - 3
Colin Wilson25 - 0
William de'Ath25 - 4
Frances Gregory24 - 2

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