Friday, 2 April 2010

Mastermind - First round - Heat 24/24

Sorry this is a little late, but the bloody blog is playing up again.

Enough of such things. Well, here we are at the end of the first round. After last week’s bravura performance from Kathryn it always looked like we were going to come down to earth a little tonight, still, there was much to enjoy in this contest.

The first of 4 newcomers to Mastermind tonight was Peter Benison. His specialist subject was actually one quite close to my heart, the films of Billy Wilder. I think that the word genius is greatly overused, but in terms of cinema, Billy Wilder comes pretty close. He made some pretty good quips in his time too – David Niven in one of his autobiographies said that it was Billy Wilder, who, when filming in Europe, sent his wife a telegram “Am unable to find that bidet you asked for – suggest handstand in shower “. Funnily enough that didn’t feature in the questions tonight. Still , Peter Benison knew many of the ones which did, and he set the bar at 12 points.

Michael McPartland posts on the IQAGB forum, so I was particularly looking out for his performance tonight. He was answering on a notably heavyweight subject tonight, the Nuremberg Trials. Quite rightly , in his filmed intro he pointed out that this was the first ever set of war crimes trials, and has set the pattern for all of those that have sadly followed. This was a good round, and Michael looked like an old Mastermind hand, making sure that every question was answered so as not to take any passes. 14 was a fine score.

Kim Howison is a teacher, which endeared her to me, and her subject was Charles II, which endeared her even further. Certainly one of the most colourful of British monarchs, Kim Howison in her filmed insert suggested that Charles II was probably quite a nice chap to meet, and I’m sure that she’s right. The man must have had charm, albeit a somewhat deceitful side, and a wicked sense of humour as well. Once again, this was a contender who had prepared well for her subject, although I would suggest she was probably not expecting quite so many questions on his life before his accession. She scored 11.

The fictional works of C.S. Lewis, explained John Greer, held a fascination for him since they were so good, despite being the work of an academic. This was quite an undertaking as a specialist subject, since it comprised not only of all of the Narnia novels, but the Perelandra series as well. Small fact – one of Lewis’ academic colleagues and friends, JRR Tolkien, really rather disliked the Narnia series, remarking that “this sort of thing just won’t do. “ Well, it did fine for John Greer. He scored a good thirteen.

So onto the GK rounds. Kim Howison went rather tentatively at her round, and always sounded surprised when she had a right answer. To be fair she had 8 of these, and scored 19 overall, which is perfectly respectable. Peter Benison didn’t quite manage to take the lead from her with his own GK round. He scored 7 , which also gave him 19, but also had 3 passes. John Greer needed 12 and no more than 1 pass, and if he got it, then he would automatically go through to the semis , regardless of whatever Michael scored. He never really got to terms with his round, and by the minute mark he clearly wasn’t going to get there. He did score 8, which gave him 21, and the lead.
So Michael only needed 21 and few passes to go through . He did that relatively easily, and with some room to spare. A good round saw him become the only one of tonight’s contenders to reach double figures in GK. Well done Michael ! A score of 25 is a good performance, and would mark him out as one of the darker horses in the semis. Congratulations are also due to William de’Ath, who claims the last semi final place as a high scoring runner up. Speaking of the semis, they begin in the next show. Watch this space for a review of the first round.

The Details

Peter Benison The Films of Billy Wilder 12 – 2 7 – 1 19 – 3
Michael McPartland The Nuremburg Trials 14 – 0 11 – 2 25 – 2
Kim Howison Charles II 11 – 0 8 – 0 19 – 0
John Greer The Fictional works of CS Lewis 13 – 2 8 – 5 21 – 7

Highest Scoring Runners Up

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

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