Friday, 20 November 2009

Are You An Egghead - Week 6 Summary

Quarter Final 2

Pat Gibson v. Mark Kerr

This was a replay of one of last year’s quarter finals, where Mark knocked out Pat in a match notable for its quality. In fact, lets be honest, these two could easily have contested the final, and its hard lines on both that they had to encounter each other at this stage of the competition.

Still, encounter each other they did, and so we have to report on it. The play throughout the subject rounds was as superior as you would expect with these two titans of the quizzing world. However Pat managed to shade the majority of the rounds. Mark drew first blood with Daphne, but then Pat mopped up Chris, CJ Judith and Barry.

As we’ve seen before, a good enough quizzer can make light of such a serious lack of Eggheads, and Mark is certainly good enough. Pat used Chris to tell him which river the R38 Airship crashed into. All square – 2 apiece. Barry confirmed that tefillim are cube shaped for Pat. Mark kept on answering correctly all this time. Judith told Pat that she believed that sweet rationing had ended in 1953, and she thought correctly. Mark had saved Daphne all this time. In return, she now informed him that the Friar in The Name of the Rose was called William of Baskerville. So 5 – 5 – a perfect general knowledge round, and through to sudden death. Pat correctly answered that Lammas falls on the first of August. Mark identified the grand challenge cup and the diamond sculls as being events in the Henley Regatta. Pat knew the leader of Myanmar up to 1988. Mark guessed a description of a sport referred to hang gliding. Pat identified Leonid Kravchuk as a former head of state of Ukraine. Mark, though was asked what LMF stood for in the RAF during world war II. He didn’t know – not surprised either. Apparently it was Lack of Moral Fibre. Not something that you could ever accuse either of these quiz warriors of. So Pat marched forward , having conquered the conqueror of last year. As for Mark – very hard lines on you meeting Pat at this stage. This game was worthy of a final.

Quarter Final 3

Anne Hegerty v. David Clark

See my earlier posting for comments on this match.

Quarter Final 4

David Edwards v. David Rainford

The battle of the Davids. This was a difficult match to watch, not , I hasten to add because the two Davids aren’t great quizzers. They are great quizzers. Both have a witty and self deprecating sense of humour. Both of them would make fine Eggheads. That’s the problem. Whoever won, you were going to be sorry that the other one wasn’t still in the competition.

On previous AYAE form, last year David Rainford made the semi finals, where he was beaten by eventual winner Barry Simmons, while David Edwards bowed out in the second round. However David is a formidable quizzer. You don’t win Mastermind, and you don’t win £1 million on WWTBAM unless you are a very fine competitor. So it was that David had the better of a fine contest , winning 4 Eggheads to David R’s 1. David E. took forward Kevin, Judith, Barry and CJ, while David R. had to content himself with Chris. True to his nature, David R. was the very first to offer his congratulations.

In the end it was a reasonably comfortable win for the man with the Egghead majority. So alas, the People’s Choice bowed out gracefully. Could we, perhaps, be on the brink of having our first Welsh Egghead – although CJ is I believe resident in Wales.

So the Pride of Wales moves on to meet my conqueror Anne in the semi finals, while the People’s Choice leaves the field , joining me , Mark and Shanker among the ranks of the walking wounded.

Semi Final 1

Gary Grant v. Pat Gibson

It just doesn’t get any easier for our Gary. He should worry ! He’s earned himself huge kudos by his indomitable, against the odds performances in the final rounds of all 3 of his matches to get this far. As for Pat, he’d shown tremendous nerve in keeping his head, and powering through the three rounds to get him to the brink of the final. I hope that Gary won’t take offence if I say that on paper, Pat looked favourite to progress to the final. But then AYAE is not played on paper .

Gary amazed himself by going to sudden death in the Film and TV round. Pat won in the end, but still Gary showed that he had no intention of going down without a fight. He himself managed to win Barry – and don’t forget, he only had Barry on his side when he won both his first and second round matches. Pat marched forward with Kevin , CJ, Judith and Daphne.

Gary and Pat swapped answers to go to 2 – all. Then Gary was asked which fish is used in a scotch woodcock. He knew it was gambling not to ask Barry, but he did it all the same, on a who dares wins basis. Alas, he selected sardines rather than anchovies. He never got another question wrong, but that was enough. Pat completed his set of 5, and Gary’s amazing run came to an end. However for me Gary has been the real ‘find’ of the series, in the same way that David Rainford was in the first series. Gary, you’ve had an amazing run, and deserve all credit. As for Pat, he marches confidently into the final. All I can do is ask a familiar question – Can Anyone Beat You ? !

Semi Final 2

Anne Hegerty v. David Edwards

When I lose in a competition like this, I always want my conqueror to do well. Yes, that’s probably just a selfish thing, inasmuch as losing to the eventual winner of a competition somehow feels better than losing to someone who didn’t win. But nonetheless, Anne greatly impressed me in our match, and so I was keeping my fingers crossed for her, albeit that David is a great guy and a terrific quizzer.

Anne maintained her splendid quarter final form in the first round, winning on Geography to take Kevin. A good start. Second round was sport. With one wrong each the round went into sudden death. David correctly guessed that Guardiola manages Barcelona. Anne didn’t know who knocked Ronnie O’Sullivan out of the world snooker championship. So All square, and David recruited Daphne to his team, saying he’d rather have her on his team than Anne’s. We’d all do the same in the same position I’m sure. In Film and TV David failed to answer that it was Shelley Winters who received and Oscar for her part in the Diary of Anne Frank. So CJ joined Anne. David hardly covered himself with glory in the Music round, and faced with a straight choice between Chris and Judith, Anne plumped for Judith. A great History round went to sudden death. David knew that Lloyd George promised to make Britain a land fit for heroes. Anne knew that HMS Bounty left Tahiti with a cargo of breadfruit. David knew that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for espionage. Anne knew that Commodore Perry persuaded Japan to open its borders to trade with the outside world. David knew that the Cathars were all but stamped out by the Albigensian crusade . Anne knew that the Thugs were a strange Kali worshipping cult. Apparently, Dermot did run out of questions on this amazing tiebreak. David failed to get that the Olduvai Gorge is in Tanzania. Anne didn’t know that Bock’s Car was the name of the plane that dropped Fat Man on Nagasaki. So on we went. David knew that the german airraids on historic british cities were called Baedecker Raids. Anne knew that jingoism was a word that entered our language in the 1870s. David incorrectly suggested that Inigo Jones designed Blenheim Palace, and at last Anne clinched the round, knowing that Chaka Zulu was assassinated by his half brothers.

At last to the final round. Anne certainly seemed to be in the driving seat with 4 Eggheads to David’s one. However sometimes it all rests on whether you choose to go first or second. Anne chose to go second. David correctly identified Cary Grant as a film star who originally ran away from home to join a troupe of acrobats. Anne was asked on which island of the Phillipines Magellan died. She asked Judith for her help- and she immediately responded “No idea !” Well, at least she didn’t steer Anne the wrong way. So Anne turned to Kevin. He didn’t know. Anne in the end went for Luzon. The answer was actually Mactan Island. Two Eggheads gone, and one behind. David knew that Mah Jongg takes its name from the Chinese for sparrows. So David two fair questions, and Anne one snorter. Anne knew that AA Milne wrote “When we Were very Young. “ David was given another gentle lob – what was Thomas Minton famous for ? “ and he duly smashed it over the pavilion. Anne was given a nasty tricky question – how many test matches did Bradman play in. Chris is not renowned for his sporting knowledge, and so he fell into the trap of thinking that a long career in terms of years means a huge number of tests played. So he went long with 92, while the answer was 52. David needed one more answer and got it when he knew that Sherlock Holmes said “when you eliminate the impossible etc. etc. “ He knew it, but he double checked with Daphne. Game over.

Congratulations, David. You’re a great player, and a smashing bloke, and you deserve to be in the Final. Anne – you also deserve to be in the Final too , though. Had you chosen the first set in this unmatched pair of sets, you might well have been there. Very hard lines on you.

Roll on Monday !

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