Friday, 14 September 2012

Mastermind - Round 1 - Heat 5

Firstly a gentle slap on the wrists for the BBC. Last night’s show was actually the edition broadcast closest to the 40th anniversary of the first ever edition of Mastermind in 1972. There was no hint of this from the continuity announcer at all. Shame on you.

Regulars will know that this week I took on the double wiki challenge of answering on the specialist rounds on Arkansas, and on Terry Venables. It turned out that these were the last two of the specialist rounds in this heat, and so we’ll come to them in a little while. Philip Walters began the show with his specialist subject of Dr. Who – 1963 – 1989. Here’s a specialist question for you. What makes Dr. Who unique among specialist subjects ? Answer – there has been a one off Dr. Who Mastermind special , which was won by a lady called Karen Davies. I fancied my chance on this round, and I managed 8 with no study, but it was by no means easy. I have a decent knowledge of the series, and I’d say that over half of the questions were pretty tough, and required a real in depth knowledge of the show. Which thankfully Philip Walters had. His 13 and no passes was a competitive score, and meant that he could return from the black chair having acquitted himself well.

The Story of Moses in the King James Bible, the subject offered by Jackie Phillips, was one of those subjects where a certain number of points were there to be gained by serious GK quizzers without any study beforehand. Questions like the meaning of the name Moses, the first of the plagues of Egypt, Moses’ age when he died etc. are within the canon of old general knowledge stagers, so I racked up a score of 6 on the round. Jackie knew her stuff, but she was a little hesitant, and I may be wrong, but I thought that the nerves really started to take hold by the second half of the round. She made it to double figures with 10 and one pass, and that’s a respectable score in its own right. 3 points is a significant gap, but in a 2 and a half minute round it’s by no means insurmountable.

The first of my two wiki challenge subjects, Arkansas, was offered by Ian Copping. I found that I’d culled a lot more about the Geography of Arkansas than the History of it, and so I wouldn’t have minded more Geography questions than were asked in the round. Still, bearing in mind that I’d have had precisely 1 of this set right if I hadn’t taken the challenge, I did manage 6 of them after preparing my own set of questions. Ian did much better than this, scoring an impressive 10, even if he did miss the one that I would have got right even if I hadn’t prepared with wiki, namely, the town where Bill Clinton lived for the first four years of his life.

Last but not least was Shahab Mossavat, with my second wiki subject, Terry Venables. As a Spurs fan I’d like to think that I’d have had a few on this set of questions even without the wiki – I’d say 4 of them. With the help of the wiki page I managed 10 on this set last night. Of all of this show’s contenders Shahab looked the most steady under fire, and even though he couldn’t quite match Philip’s score, his 12 was certainly enough to put him right on the leader’s shoulder as they were moving towards the home straight. My aggregate score for the specialist rounds, then , was 30, a pleasing total, albeit 1 off what I managed for the previous heat.

We were in the position that all 4 contenders’ first round scores were close enough that any of them could win with a good GK round. Unfortunately for Jackie Phillips, first to come back to the chair, it didn’t work out that way for her. She started brightly enough, but soon her round was bogged down by long pauses, and three passes didn’t help her cause either. She kept going, though, to be fair to her, and eventually managed 9 points, to put her score up to a respectable 19. Not a winning score, no, but a respectable one. I managed 15 on the round, but it was difficult because the pauses meant that you couldn’t really build up any momentum. Ian Copping too looked rather beset by nerves, and didn’t go as quickly as I always like to see contenders go, but at least he was dragging out correct answers where he knew them. He managed to get 12 in his round, which pushed his total up to 22. Nothing to be ashamed of there. My total for Ian’s round was 17.

I did say earlier that I thought Shahab was outwardly the most composed of all four contenders, and you know, that can count for a lot in the GK rounds, where keeping your head can bring you points you might otherwise have thrown away. Shahab’s round of 14 might not have been the very best that we’ve seen so far this series, but it wasn’t bad. He maintained his momentum well, and the fact that he hadn’t incurred any passes during either of his rounds meant that Philip was going to have to match his round in order to win outright.

Despite his nerves, he gave it a lash, I’ll give him that. You did get the feeling that he was a little bit behind the clock, but the answers were coming. In the end, he was still a couple of points away from the win, and finished with 12.I managed 19 on this set. John Humphrys made a point of saying that his score of 25 could well see him back to the semi finals. Well, maybe, but it’s rather unlikely , given that the lowest qualifying score for a highest loser semi final place in the last two years has been 28. Still, well played, and well played Shahad – good performance.

The Details

Philip Walters Dr. Who - 1963 - 198913 - 012 - 125 – 1
Jackie PhillipsThe Story of Moses in the King James Bible10 - 19 - 319 – 4
Ian CoppingThe History and Geography of Arkansas10 - 112 - 222 – 3
Shahab MossavatTerry Venables12 - 014 - 026 – 0


DanielFullard said...

Hi Dave

I was surprised to learn that as of Friday they are still filming the heats. I thought it would all be done before going to air.

Mike Foden, think you might know him from CIU, was down there yesterday.

Londinius said...

Hi Dan
Ah, Mike's having another go, is he ? Well, he's done something I've never done - winning the CIU. Filming of the heats can be a funny old thing. In my year the whole series was filmed before the first of the heats was shown. In Nancy's year the first heat was shown just a couple of days after the filming of the Final. There's no hard and fast rules to it. By way of comparison they'd already begaun broadcasting the first heats of my series of Brain of Britain before I recorded my first round heat.

DanielFullard said...

Yeah and a few other ls on Facebook were filming this week. Barry Simmons is having a stab at BOB this year

Londinius said...

Hi Dan

I didn't know that about Barry. He'll be WAY up among the favourites, then. In fact, it'll take a hell of a performance to beat him, if anyone does. Another BoB finalist taking part again this year is my friend and teammate George Sheldrick.

Mark Cooper said...

I was filming on the same day as Mike Foden, and Mark Grant. Not in the same heat fortunately.