Friday, 5 March 2010

Mastermind - First Round Heat 20/34

Mastermind – First Round – Heat 20 / 24

Quizwise its been a good week. Wins on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday brought me a bottle of wine ( given away to the last placed team ) , a share in a £40 prize, and a meal for 4. OK, so it hasn’t been quite the perfect week since we were beaten last night in the Rugby Club. No excuses – it was a good quiz and Rob’s team played better than we did. . Still, as I say, a pretty good week, and what better way to bring it to a conclusion than another first round Mastermind match ?

Who did we have tonight then ? Four more newcomers, the first of whom, Brian Southgate, took The Life and Career of Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex’s autobiography, Managing My Life is one of the most interesting sporting biographies I’ve read , so this subject certainly made me sit up and take notice. Brian Southgate correctly spoke of Sir Alex as the most successful British manager of the modern football era. He let a couple of sitters go, but most of his answers found the back of the net, and he set the bar at 14, a good score on a fascinating subject.

Mark Francis followed Mr. Southgate into the chair. His subject , 17th century English history, was something of a throwback to the early years of Mastermind, when such seemingly catch-all specialist subjects were far more common. After all, under such a heading you can reasonably ask about so many things that revising it must be a nightmare. So under these circumstances Mr. Francis’ 10 looked like a decent performance. However 4 points is a hell of a lead to try to claw back in the GK round.

Journalist Laura Morris, who revealed to us that her grandmother once made her a replica Star Trek Voyager uniform for a fan convention offered us, well, Star Trek Voyager. I’ll be honest , while I enjoyed Star Trek , The Next Generation and even Deep Space Nine, I never really ‘got’ Voyager. I don’t know about you , but when I play along at home I like to get at least one answer right in each of the specialist subjects, and this one looked like it might be my Achilles tonight. So I was grateful when we were served up the gentle lob that was “Who played Captain Janeway ? “ for the first question. Laura Morris fell into something of a pass spiral in the middle of the round, but still managed a score of 9.

Finally Philip Evison took his place in the chair, to make his bid with the subject of the Life and Work of Sir Edward Elgar. For a fair bit of the round it seemed as if Mr. Evison knew the answers to the questions he was being asked, but they just wouldn’t oblige by popping out of his mouth. I thought he looked nervous coming to the chair, and I’m afraid this scuppered his chances. By the end of the round he’d scored 7.

All of which meant a quick return to the chair. Now, its all subjective, I know, but I thought that Philip Evison had a relatively tough set of GK questions, and he never managed to get any momentum going at all. He gritted out a further seven points, which gave his score a nice symmetrical feel if nothing else. Laura Morris almost managed to double her score as well, although she levelled out at 8. Was it me, or did John Humphrys seem to be rather taken with Laura Morris ? He positively oozed charm as he took her through her three passes.

At this stage it looked as if it was going to be something of a formality for Brian Southgate. Then Mark Francis strode to the chair for his GK round. I’ll be honest, the second half of this week’s show had been crying out for someone to grab it by the neck , and really give it a good old go. Thankfully Mark Francis proceeded to do just that. It wasn’t perfect, no, and I thought that his set of questions was a little kinder than Philip Evison’s had been, but all the same he delivered a barnstorming performance to put another thirteen on the board, and raise his score to 23. This at least meant that Brian Southgate was going to have to get into double figures to win without a pass countback. To be fair, he managed it, but it was only the last question which saw him edge his nose across the finishing line. So well done Mr. Southgate, and good luck next round. Commiserations to Mark Francis. It won’t come as much of a consolation, but it does prove the old adage – you can win the show on your general knowledge if you haven’t lost it on your specialist.

The Details

Brian Southgate The Life and Career of Sir Alex Ferguson 14 – 1 10 – 4 24 – 5
Mark Francis 17th Century English History 10 – 0 13 – 1 23 – 1
Laura Morris Star Trek – Voyager 9-6 8 – 3 17 – 9
Philip Evison The Life and Career of Sir Edward Elgar 7 – 3 7 – 2 14 – 5

Current Highest Scoring Runners Up

John Cooper29 – 3
Ian Scott Massie26 – 2
Les Morrell26 - 3
Colin Wilson25 - 0
Peter Cowans25 - 2
William de'Ath25 - 4


Will Jones said...

Hi David

Just a quick correction: Phil's last name is Evison - he plays in the QLL (

Londinius said...

Thanks Will - I will correct the post now!