Saturday, 15 January 2011

Mastermind - First Round - Heat 18

Well, now that I’ve got that rant off my chest, and broken that resolution rather earlier in the year than usual, lets get back to something a lot more positive. Heat 18 of Mastermind to be precise. Looking down the list of specialist subjects I felt that I had a decent chance of achieving my weekly target of being able to answer at least 1 question in all of the specialist rounds, with only Iron Maiden looking rather tricky on that score.

Before that though we kicked off with the Life and Work of John Steinbeck, which was put before us by Harry Woodward. The very first question gave me a point, a gentle lob asking where Steinbeck was born. Thank you very much, and I picked up another 5 on what I felt was a tricky round. Certainly it seemed to concentrate rather too much on the life for Harry’s liking, or mine for that matter. He managed to take his own score to 9 by the end of the round.

It was Tom Scotney who offered the afore-mentioned Iron Maiden. Difficult as it is to believe, I was a bit of a headbanger back in my early 80’s youth, but for some reason Iron Maiden never really did it for me. Thankfully ‘Eddie’ and ‘Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter’ brought me 2 points. We’ve discussed popular culture subjects before , and I have been at pains to point out that whatever certain sections of the media might suggest, these are certainly nothing like soft options. So I thought that Tom’s 12 was actually a pretty good score on what seemed like a tough round.

I did think that I might do a little better on Ellen Salkeld’s subject, Mahatma Gandhi. He was the originator of one of my favourite quotations : -
To Gandhi – What do you think of Western Civilization ?
Gandhi – I think it would be a very good idea.
As it was I think that I only managed to answer the two easiest questions of the round, “Great soul” and “salt tax”. Ellen looked rather nervous compared to the other three contenders in last night’s show, but 11 points on the round was no poor return.

Finally my banker subject , Stephen Porter’s English First Division Football of the 1970s. Now, ok, my team , Spurs, were not in the first division for every year of the 70s, but nonetheless I managed a respectable 7. Which was next to nothing compared with Stephen’s 15,easily the performance of the night in the specialist rounds. All of which put him in the enviable position of having a three point lead at the halfway stage.

Neither Harry nor Ellen managed to impress greatly with their GK rounds, I’m afraid. It happens, and while a score of 9 is no cause for shame or embarrassment, it gave neither of them a realistic hope of progressing any further. A look at the repechage board revealed that to have any chance of making the semis via a runners up slot Tom Scotney would need to push his score up to 27 and 1 pass. Well, he did give it a fair go. Pretty soon , though, he had more than 1 pass, and he never quite established the head of steam he would have needed to get the 16 points to take him to 28. He didn’t do badly though, getting 13 and 3 passes to finish on a decent 25.

OK, so anything can happen when you’re in the chair. Still, Stephen Porter only needed 10 and less than 4 passes to bring him the win, and frankly that is not that much of a chore in a 2 and a half minute round. To be fair to Stephen he certainly didn’t make it look like a chore either. He had clearly been the best quizzer throughout the show, and he answered what he knew quickly and with an economy of reply. 15 is a good score, and 30 a good total, and he thoroughly deserves his place in the semis. Well played.

The Details

Harry Woodward Life and Works of John Steinbeck9 - 39 - 518 - 8
Tom ScotneyIron Maiden12 - 113 - 325 - 4
Ellen SalkeldMahatma Gandhi11 - 39 - 420 - 7
Stephen PorterEnglish Division 1 football of the 1970’s15 - 015 - 330 - 3

Current Highest Scoring Runners-Up

Nick Mills – 34 – 4
Hamish Cameron – 30 – 2
Anne Skillen - 30 -7
James Collenette - 29 – 2
Philip Evans – 28 - 1
Duncan Byrne – 27 – 2


Saint V said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint V said...

Hi David

Stephen Porter here. Third time lucky on Mastermind. I think I had about an hour of respite/happiness whilst having a pint in a local Manchester pub before the 'inquest' began in earnest!

I think I spent the best part of the summer wondering how I'd got a simple but crucial date wrong in my specialist round, and how hesitations stopped me from gaining more time for at least one other question.

The general knowledge inquest was even worse - correct answers I was going to say but didn't, stupid hesitations (again), and confusing Charlie Croker and Mr Bridger in 'The Italian Job'. Unforgivable!

I remember being on holiday a couple of weeks after the show had been recorded, and looking out across the most idyllic Greek island coastline you could ever hope to see - but instead of counting my blessings I was thinking "Bloody Tierra del Fuego - I knew that!"

I hope it's not just me who's experienced this terrible flashback angst after being on the programme, but I was getting the feeling that I was turning into Humphrey Bogart's neurotic captain in 'The Caine Mutiny'.

We had a party to celebrate on Friday and had a great time but there was no way I could tell people that I was disappointed with my score. I really hope this doesn't sound disrespectful to anyone (that's not my intention at all), but I'd set myself a target that I didn't achieve and that was my own personal disappointment.

I'd prepared for the 'big score' (at least 17) in my specialist round - and didn't get it because of my own mistakes.

The last thing we were told before we went into the studio was: "Remember it IS just a game; enjoy yourselves!"

The man had a point, but if the BBC ever opens a department offering de-briefing/counselling sessions for post-Mastermind trauma, I'll be the first in line!

Or maybe I just take things too seriously!

Thanks for the confessional.


Ben Dutton said...

If it's any consolation Stephen, I think you did incredibly well. 15 in your specialist subject is a brilliant score (admitedly not 17, but close).

It seemed very clear to me that those simple questions you got wrong (Tierra del Fuego) were simply the pressure of that intimidating black chair. I think I'd even forget my name in it!

A great performance and I look forward to seeing you in the next round.

Jennifer Turner said...

This might interest you:

Our starter for 10... student team puts itself to the test down at the pub quiz

HughTube said...

Jennifer. That's us.

I'd like to stress I said none of those things. Quiz shows we watched became ones we were applying to go on and my comment about classics wasn't a catty remark. Never mind.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the football round too - I would have scored 12. Depsite spending a season in the second division, I have happy memories of a 9-0 score on Match of the Day.

A fellow Spurs supporter

Londinius said...

Hi Guys

Sorry I've been so long getting back. I've had to commandeer my eldest daughter's laptop to post - my PC like my laptop is knackered.

I read the article Hugh - thanks for that Jennifer. I don't know if you were reading last year, but Rach Cherryade and the Manchester team were badly misrepresented in an article in a MAnchester paper, so I'm afraid that your experience is not an isolated one Hugh. As you say, oh well.


Londinius said...

Oh, Stephen, I'm so sorry ! I didn't realise I haven't replied to you yet. Please forgive me. Many congratulations on a fine performance. I'm glad that yopu like me are someone who didn't give it all up after one try . Give them hell in the semis !