Friday, 3 February 2012

Mastermind - Round One - Heat 11

We were treated to a double header tonight. Or rather, we were treated to a double header so long as we weren’t at the mercy of BBC Wales. I expect they will get around to showing them in their own sweet time.

In the first show we had an interestingly mixed bag of specialists. The first of these, the Life and Work of Mori Ogai was offered by Jonathan Perry. I have to say that I am not the least bit familiar with Mori Ogai – (Ogai ogai ogai – oy oy oy . Apologies. ) He was a Japanese novelist, poet and physician, who lived from the 1860s until the 1920s. I achieved the grand total of zilch, which is what I expected. Jonathan though set the bar at 12, in what looked like a pretty good round to me.

Second into the chair was Craig Rice, who was answering questions on The Zulu War. A quick mental inventory before the start of the round dredged up a meager store of half remembered facts – Isandlwana – Rourke’s Drift – 11 VCs – Cetewayo – Ivor Emmanuel – Michael Caine ( Oy ! Don’t chuck those bloody spears at me ! ) . Thankfully this was enough to bring me two points. Craig knew his stuff a lot better than I did – no surprise there, and he posted 11.

Elizabeth Hashmi’s subject – the life of Mary Eleanor Bowes was the cue for a wrinkling of brows on the Clark sofa. However , I think it was the first question that revealed that this lady was an ancestor of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and so I knew that Mary Eleanor Bowes must have married one of the earls of Strathmore. One point earned by knowledge, and I earned another two more with pure guesses. 10 scored, and it was looking like an interestingly tight contest.

Bringing the round to an end was John O’Hagan. He gave us tonight’s entertainment/popular culture subject, in the Films of Clint Eastwood. Not by any means a gimme subject, bearing in mind that he has made quite a few of them. I thought that in all honesty this subject ought to see my best performance tonight – well it didn’t have a lot to beat – and to be fair it didn’t let me down. I managed 6 from the sofa, and John managed 11. He may have been a point behind, but importantly , he hadn’t passed a single question. With only 2 points separating all 4 contenders, this could be crucial at the end of the show.

Elizabeth returned, and although she didn’t exactly grab her round by the scruff of the neck, she did manage to keep going, picking off the answers that she knew. She took 8 more , to give her a total of 18 – nothing to be ashamed of, but not a winning score by any stretch of the imagination. Poor Craig Rice suffered during his own round. A run of questions he didn’t know at the start of the round seemed to drain the confidence from him, and the rest of the round proved to be a real struggle. He took his own total to 16. For the record I found his round to be the easiest of the show, scoring 18, while the others provided me with a 15 and 2 16s.

The door was well and truly open for John or Jonathan. John certainly laid down the gauntlet. He went off at full speed, and maintained momentum throughout the full 2 and a half minutes. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, but I found his round one of the harder GK rounds we’ve had in recent weeks – I thought that his 13 and no passes was a pretty good score , and had to give him a chance. Especially when you consider that equaling his 24 points overall would not be enough for Jonathan, who already had 2 passes. Anything less than 13 correct answers , and John would take the place in the semis.

Jonathan knocked off the first few answers very well, quickly and confidently, but suffered, as so many of us do, the mid round hiatus. The finishing line was getting closer, and so was the buzzer. Remember – a draw and tie break was impossible, and so Jonathan just had to get that 13th correct answer. Get it he did, although as with last week’s show it was, in the words of the Duke of Wellington, ‘a damn close run thing’. Congratulations to Jonathan, and commiserations to John. A good show.

The Details

Jonathan Perry The Life and Works of Mori Ogai12 - 213 - 225 – 4
Craig RiceThe Anglo Zulu War11 - 15 - 416 – 5
Elizabeth HashmiLife of Mary Eleanor Bowes10 - 18 - 218 – 3
John O’HaganFilms of Clint Eastwood11 - 013 - 024 – 0


DanielFullard said...

I have mentioned a similar thing on TQA but the Clint Eastwood round was way too easy to be a SS round. Most of those questions would not be out of place on the opening rounds of Weakest Link!

Londinius said...

Hi Daniel
I 'm not arguing that it wasn't easy for a real Clint Eastwood fan , but I used to like his films a lot, and have seen many of them, and did think that some of them were asking quite intricate details which only a really detailed knowledge of the films could provide. I think the probalem was that the easy ones - Play Misty for Me and Philo Beddow come to mind - were ridiculously easy gimmes. I don't know that even those two were easy enough for TWL though !

drgaryegrant said...

Now, it has pointed out elsewhere that Jonathan's 'winning' answer was the chestnutty "who said Byron was mad, bad and dangerous to know?" and to my ear he seemed to answer with "Lady Caroline", no surname - and got the point.
As Jacques Derrida used to say, WTF????
To be fair, can't say there were many SS gimmes on this show - disagree with Daniel and agree with yourself - I thought that the Clint Eastwood set was entirely reasonable in its difficulty level - not questions the average fan would know IMO. The following show, on the other hand....oh dear, oh dear.

Gruff said...

Yes accepting "Lady Caroline" was a shocking error on the part of the MM production team. If I was the other chap I would be gutted to lose on that basis

Horsey_Heroes11 said...

The “Lady Caroline” point is an interesting one. I personally think that the answer was specific enough to be allowable – if he’d have said “Caroline”, then probably not, but the word “Lady” added enough context for me.

I compare this to one of the questions I received in my GK round, namely “who rowed Bonnie Prince Charlie across the sea to Skye” (or words to that effect.) Now, I was 95% certain that it was Flora MacDonald, but didn’t want to risk the 5% chance of being wrong so simply said “MacDonald – and was awarded the point.

I don’t see a lot of difference, other than the standard mastermind convention of allowing surname-only answers.

And on that point, is it actually an official mastermind rule that surname-only answers are ok, but first names aren’t? I don’t remember reading anything in the rules I received and it definitely wasn’t brought up in the briefing we had before filming.

Londinius said...

Hi Jeff

Interesting question. Now that you mention it I don't recall whether the surnames only rule was ever mentioned in the briefings. I think it's kind of a general rule in quizzing - or as it was put to me a good twenty years or so ago - it's christian names for show , but surnames for dough.

In the 2007 Grand Final I was asked for the name of the new England cricket coach. I was fairly sure it was Peter Moores, but to be on the safe side I just said "Moores". John gave me the point, but made a point of saying "Yes. PETER Moores " as he often does when you give him just the surname.

I did actually notice the Lady Caroline answer while I watched the show, but never made a note of it in my notes for the review. Hmmm. I think the contender was a little lucky not for John to ask for a little more for that answer.

Horsey_Heroes11 said...

Interestingly, while Humphrys did indeed make a point of saying "Yes, FLORA MacDonald" when responding to my answer there, when I answered "Johnson" to another question (who did Boswell tour the Hebrides with?)he simply said, "Yes, Johnson" with no further clarification. However, it was my last question, and i answered after the buzzer, so maybe that was the reason?

And as for it being a general quizzing rule, that's probably true for the most part, but i've played in a quite a few pub quizzes where a full name was needed for the point and a surname would only get you half a point.

bj said...

Re.names, I did clarify this on the show itself. The rule on Eggheads is full names, on MM it is surname, with occasional odd exception like Madonna. Lady Caroline Lamb was not however Madonna and was not known simply as Lady Caroline, any more than her husband was known as Lord William or her lover as Lord George. I think it was possibly just a mistake that it was accepted. You sort of assume when you hear Lady Caroline that the Lamb is about to follow.
I thought the Eastwood set were entirely reasonable. Not only am I a full-time film journalist, but I am a fan of Eastwood too - anecdotes about my lunch with him available on request. I scored 7, compared with 13 I got on the Cold War a few weeks back. I didn't remember Philo Beddow. I remembered Clyde, and would have got Beddow if I had prepped, but no way is that a Weakest Link question.