Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Brain of Britain - Round One - Heat 7

Last week it was the turn of my friend Rob Merrill to make his bid for a place in the semi finals. On Monday it was regular LAM reader Colin Kidd. Colin is a good, experienced quizzer. All well and good, but would even this be enough to beat the curse of support from the Clark sofa?

First up was Lizzie Brighton. In Russell’s introduction he said that Lizzie is from the Vale of Glamorgan, which is not a million miles from where I live, and certainly well within the radius within which I’m prepared to travel for quizzes of an evening. So while I have no recollection of meeting her it’s quite possible that we might have played in some of the same events. Not that it naturally follows that she takes part in quizzes. I discussed this with Rob. He told me about having a conversation with one of his vanquished opponents. Trying to find some common ground as a topic of conversation, Rob picked on quizzes, only to be told by the other person that they never listen to or watch quizzes, and never play in quizzes. Apparently this person had been put up to applying by a family member. Explains a lot. Still, back to this show. Lizzie failed to identify Medusa and her sisters as Gorgons, which gave Colin a bonus. Peter Brown failed on his first as well. In fact he would only manage to take one of his own starter questions, and not until round 5. During all this time he didn’t manage a bonus either. Angus Douglas took the first as a bonus on Parkinson’s disease. He then took his first, but could only remember one of the warring racial groups in Rwanda. Colin had the pair. He went on to take his own first two, but nobody knew a succession of places which all shared the name Ramsay. So my boy had an early lead. Well and good.

Lizzie started round 2 like an express train. She took three on the bounce – well done for that. However the Icelandic prose and poetic eddas tripped her up – none of the brains could take that one. Angus knew Peter’s first, that the BBC announced earlier this year that it was bringing an end to the annual Blue Peter books. He didn’t know his own first, that Dead Cert was the title of the first novel by Dick Francis. Lizzie took that one to complete a good round for her. Colin didn’t get a definition of email, and when Angus took the bonus this meant that he, Lizzie and Colin all tied for first place. Interesting. Lizzie was not to get another of her own questions right, and nobody knew the psychiatric term fugue for her first. Peter’s first, asking which creatures on TV were designed by Raymond Cusick, gave Colin a bonus. He knew it was the daleks. Angus failed on his own first, not knowing that MIB stands for Men In Black. Lizzie had that one. Nobody knew Colin’s first, that Barnsley stands on the river Dearne. So Colin and Lizzie now led, and the fact that we went straight onto round 4 suggested that 8 rounds at least were on the cards. Colin took a bonus on Lizzie’s first, knowing that Jim Callaghan held all 4 main offices of government. Nobody knew Peter’s, that Gerstmann Syndrome affects the brain. Colin took another bonus, knowing the Scottish settlement of Fort Augustus for Angus’ question. His own first, a piece of music composed by Michael Nyman foxed everyone. Still, being the only person to score all round meant that he had carved out a 2 point lead going into the Beat the Brains interval.

The two questions were both about alternative titles to pieces of music. Nobody – including me – knew that the Maypole Dance was another name for Barwick Green – aka The Archers theme music. Everyone knew that the Marching Song of the Army of the Rhine is the Marseillaise. So book token earned anyway.

Round five brought Peter into the competition. He took a good three on the bounce, but failed on the chestnutty scaly anteater. Angus had a bonus for the pangolin there. He’d already taken one on Lizzie’s first, recognizing the last words that Tony Blair spoke to parliament. He took his own first, but nobody could complete a quote from Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are dead. Colin stalled, not knowing that – ness literally means headland. Angus did, making a full set of three bonuses, which enabled him to leapfrog one point ahead of Colin. Nip and tuck. Peter’s points total was completed when he took Lizzie’s first, knowing that the BRIC group of countries is Brazil, Russia, India, China. Nobody knew that cubism came after fauvism for Peter’s first. Angus surprisingly didn’t know that codeine is obtained from the poppy family. Lizzie did, and this bonus also completed her points total for the competition. Colin took his first, but then didn’t know that Malcolm Morley was the first winner of the Turner Prize. Angus accepted the bonus to maintain his one point lead.

Colin knew Lizzie’s first, that pedology is the study of soil. Angus knew Peter’s first, that Benjamin Briggs was the captain of the Mary (not Marie) Celeste. Colin knew Angus’ first, that the nine of diamonds is the curse of Scotland. He also knew his own first. He didn’t know that Saturninus is a fictional roman emperor in Titus Andronicus. Still, neither did the others, and it was enough to give him back the lead, with 11 to 10. Round 8 began, and Russell still hadn’t announced that this was the last round. Lizzie couldn’t recognize Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd, and Angus was the first to buzz in. All square. Surprisingly nobody knew the chestnutty word which means circle of animals – zodiac. Nobody knew Angus’ question, that Robert Watson – Watt was involved in the development of radar, and nobody knew Colin’s first either – that Christ crossed the Valley of Kidron going to the last supper. Now Russell announced the last round. Realistically it would be either Colin or Angus, but they could both qualify if they put a spurt on. Nobody knew either Lizzie or Peter’s questions. Angus took his first. Nobody knew Ixion’s punishment for his second. So Colin needed to answer his first to force a tie break, and his first two to win. HE so nearly did it. He was asked for the difference between rampant and salient animals in heraldry. He had the difference alright, but agonizingly had the two the wrong way round. A very, very rough way indeed to lose a show. Well done Angus, but very hard lines, Colin. At the moment there are 2 runners up with higher scores – but unfortunately also 2 others with the same. How they will work it out if no other runner up scores over 11, I do not know. I have to say, though, with several heats left I’m afraid it’s likely that someone will manage it. I hope I’m wrong.

The Details

Lizzie Brighton – 6
Peter Brown – 4
Angus Douglas – 12
Colin Kidd – 11

Repechage Board -

Austin McQuade – 14
Michael Frankel – 12
Christopher Anton - Alan Boden – Colin Kidd - 11


Misterig said...

I hate to carp, but Andrew Newton's 12 was enough to win him the first round of this year's competition.

drgaryegrant said...

You certainly get some toughies in BOB. I've been a qualified doctor for 9 years and have never, once, heard of Gerstmann Syndrome.

Londinius said...

Carp away Misterig - it's a mistake ! I'll fix it now !

Hi Gary - Happy New Year

DanielFullard said...

Yeah some real toughies this week. Close call though