Friday, 3 February 2012

Mastermind - Round One - Heat 12

First up was Denise Smith from Aberaeron. That’s a little bit out of my local range – well , quite a long way actually, as it’s in Ceredigion, in West Wales. Her subject was Fleetwood Mac. I say Fleetwood Mac, but actually it was only about the early years up until 1977, I think. Denise seemed to be attacked by nerves, as there were a few questions where she seemed to obviously know the answers, but just couldn’t dredge them up past the tip of her tongue. It can happen to anyone. She scored 7. I managed 3.

James Mackenzie made a bid for the obscure subject of the show prize, with the lost railways of West Yorkshire. I like an old railway as much as the next man, but I didn’t think it was very likely that I’d get any of these. Indeed I didn’t. James, on the other hand, managed a good thirteen. Scores in the specialist rounds in both of tonight’s shows were not as high as some we’ve seen recently, so that seemed like a very competitive total.

Third to go was Rob Green, who offered us quite a wide, portmanteau subject in the shape of Astronomy. I thought that there was a chance of a couple of points here, and actually did a little better than I thought , scoring 6. Only one of them was a guess, as well. Rob managed 11, but with the target still standing at 13 that didn’t rule him out by any stretch of the imagination.

Martin O’Gorman brought the first half of the contest to a close with the Novels of John Updike. Once again, I did a quick mental inventory – which really didn’t take very long considering I’ve never read any of them. Rabbit Run – Harry Angstrom – Witches of Eastwick – sequel The Widows of Eastwick – er – that’s about it. It was enough for 2 points, though. Martin was becalmed at several stages of the round – desperate not to pass – a resolve in which he was successful – but unable to dredge up the answer. In the end he managed 8, and to all intents and purposes was out of the contest.

I will admit that I found the set of GK rounds we were offered in this show rather more difficult than I’ve seen for a while. It’s all relative and subjective, I know, but for the record my scores were 14, 15, 14 and 14. Denise managed to outscore her SS round, putting on 9 to take her total to 16. Martin followed in short order. I picked off 13 of his first 14 questions, but from then onwards I struggled to add another couple. Again, Martin probably hampered himself a little by trying very hard not to pass – to be fair he did only succumb to the temptation once. His 9 points were enough to set the lead at 17.

Rob really struggled with his GK round, I’m sorry to say. He actually got through fewer questions than any of the other contenders in this show – I made it about 16. In the end, his 7 points were actually enough to just bring him the lead. However the chances that he would still be there by the end of the show looked slim indeed. 6 correct answers would see James win the show outright, without resort to pass countback. He managed this , of course, adding 9 points which took his winning total to 22. It’s interesting that none of the contenders in this show managed double figures on the GK rounds, which suggests certainly that maybe these were a little bit harder than we’ve seen recently. Well done James Mackenzie, then.

The Details

Denise SmithFleetwood Mac7 - 29 - 516 – 7
James MackenzieLost Railways of West Yorkshire23 - 39 - 222 – 5
Rob GreenAstronomy11 - 27 - 318 – 5
Martin O’GormanThe Novels of John Updike8 - 09 - 117 – 1


drgaryegrant said...

A very generous and kind-hearted review, there. I suspect there will be a lot of contenders who were first round runners-up (or who even finished in third place) who would have been more than happy being drawn in this heat. I thought all 4 contenders really toiled, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if 22 is the lowest winning total all series.

Interesting that you only got 6 on Astronomy - I thought it was a very easy round, and for the first time I can ever remember I actually *outscored* a contender on their own SS by getting 12. However, I did do the Planets when I was on last time so maybe I was starting out with more knowledge than the average; I won't add it to my evidence-base of 'SS dumbing down' just yet! But isn't it odd that the show can accept 'astronomy' (the whole, enormous topic) and 10 years of one pop band (not even their whole history!) as subjects? Either totally unfair, or all part of the programme's varied appeal, depending on your point of view I suppose.

Well, all I can say is that I hope you are just as generous in next week's reviews! Oh, and please don't pass comment on the T-shirt....

Londinius said...

Agreed, it's not an impressive total, and even less so considering this was done off 4 and a half minutes of questions. But there you go - it's all in the luck of the draw.

Yeah, I kind of agree about Fleetwood Mac. I don't agree with people who reckon that entertainment subjects are softer or easier than any others , but come on, only 10 years ? Albeit that the contender - to put it politely - did not do much with the round.

Well, I'm looking forward to your show next week. I don't normally comment on the sartorial excesses - or otherwise - of contenders, but in your case I might make an exception. This wouldn't be the lucky T Shirt, would it ?

drgaryegrant said...

Sadly not. The lucky T-shirt is quite conservative in comparison...
My idea was, as I made the semis in 2008 that I'd reserve the lucky T-shirt for the semi-final in an attempt to go 'one better'. You'll find out on Friday if that was a sensible plan or if it backfired badly!

Horsey_Heroes11 said...

It's not just the runners-up and 3rd placers who would have looked at this heat with envy - 3 of the previous 11 last place finishers would have won this one!

kenzie1975 said...

Cheers guys, I indeed was in the chair with the obscure lost railways of west Yorkshire subject. Agree that I got lucky and 22 not the greatest score ever. If I tell you it was three days after my stag do that might explain a little!!

The reason for the subject was definitely to go narrow although at 150 years and 168 lost stations not that narrow. The industrial west yorks was decimated by manufacturing decline and beeching. Local subject but interesting non the less.

I'll warn you now the next round was 4 days after my wedding too, not ideal prep!!

bj said...

Astronomy was a huge subject and so I guess the questions possibly end up wider, but maybe a little easier. I got 7, but then I had come across Local Group and gibbous moon in other quizzes recently - and 3 months ago I certainly didn't know the latter term. On the other hand I got only 1 on the Apollo programme a few weeks back. I think the fact you were going in there with some sort of prior semi-specialist knowledge was a factor in your score Gary.