Saturday, 22 December 2012

Brain of Britain - Heat 4

For the first time this series a name I recognized. Firstly, though, let’s go through the full list of contenders in this week’s show : -

Scott Dawson
Bel Freedman
Darren Martin
Steve O’Gorman

If you’re wondering which of the four has previous, well, it’s Darren Martin. Darren has twice been a contender in Mastermind, having taken part in Discovery Mastermind, and reached the Grand Final in Andy’s 2003 series. A contender to be reckoned with , certainly.

Scott Dawson kicked off. Last week the first contender had a relatively benign first set and scored a full set of five. In this week’s show it looked like the same thing was going to happen. However Scott couldn’t answer who had christened the Pacific Ocean as Pacific, and so a bonus with Magellan went to Darren. Bel took her first couple, but couldn’t identify that Sarawak is part of Indonesia, which brought Scott a bonus. Darren failed to dredge up the word ‘bionic’ for his own first question, which gave Steve O’Gorman a bonus. He took his own first two , but failed on the ski resort of St. Moritz, which brought Scott a bonus.

Moving on to round two, Scott only took his first, but missed out on Cape Carbonara, which is part of Sardinia. Bel took that, and also her own first , but didn’t know that the ‘shaking palsy’ was named after Mr. Parkinson. Darren had that one. He went on to take his own first three, but didn’t know the knife that is the emblem of the Royal Marine Commandos. Bel took that bonus. Steve didn’t know that the last prosecution for witchcraft in the UK took place in the 1940s. Darren knew that, and this point was enough to put him 1 behind Scott. Scott took his first but he didn’t know about the coronaria dexter and coronaria sinistra, and neither did the others, although they all gave it a lash. Bel didn’t know about the Carmargue, but Darren did. Darren took his first, but didn’t know that Only Connect takes its name from a well known quote from EM Forster’s Howards End. Scott took that one. Finally Steve took a couple, but didn’t know that the former Portuguese colony with a name which means shrimps is Cameroon. Scott took that which gave him a lead of 10 to Darren’s 8 at the Beat the Brains interval.

A great and tricky question, which I was delighted to get right, was asked as the first of the Beat the Brains questions. There are 10 elements of the Periodic Table which have names which start with a different letter from the first letter of their symbol. Sodium is one – name the others. I reeled off mercury – lead – potassium – gold – silver – tin – antimony – tungsten and iron. So did the Brains. None of us had the answer to the second – which is the odd one out and why of these – seaborgium – bohrium – meitnerium – roentgenium ? Apparently Meitnerium is the only one named after a woman. Fair enough.

Scott knew his first of the next round, but didn’t know that The Rose Tattoo was created specifically for Anna Magnani. None of the others knew it and neither did I . Bel missed her first, but picked up a bonu on Darren’s first , when he didn’t know that the german equivalent to a French Hotel de Ville – or a British Town Hall – is a Rathaus. No comment. Steve didn’t know that the Tate Britain was built on the site of the old Millbank Penitentiary, but Darren had it. This maintained a two point gap between himself and Scott, who led by 11 – 9.

Scott again took his first question, but didn’t know that the American Groundhog Day is held at the same time as Candlemas, and again Darren took this tricky bonus. Bel didn’t know that barium and various other elements give off a green flame when burned. Darren took another bonus. His first answer took him level with Scott, but he failed on his second, giving Scott the lead again when he identified the golden bough as mistletoe. When Steve failed to identify the country whose capital is Ashgabat, Scott was in there with the answer of Turkmenistan, to give him back the two point lead. He had 14 going into the last round, and Darren had 12.

Just to make it even more interesting, Scott failed on his first question. Darren correctly answered that a group of specific officials within the catholic church would have the title Monsignor. Bel couldn’t identify Virgil’s Aeneid, and Darren found the second bonus he needed to go level. If he could answer 3 of his own correctly then he had definitely won. Sadly his first did for him . It fell to Steve to identify Peter Sellar’s brilliant spoof travelogue sketch as Bal-ham , Gateway to the South. It was all square. Steve toolk three to guarantee himself 3rd place, but then he failed to answer which US president was the first born in the USA. Darren failed, and so did Bel, but Scott supplied the correct answer – Martin van Buren. That was enough to give him the win. Very well played – but well played Darren as well. His 14 could well be enough to see him through to the semis as well.

The Results

Bel Freedman – 7
Steve O’Gorman – 9
Darren Martin – 14
Scott Dawson- 15


HughTube said...

An excellent episode and I think we've heard the first real contender in Scott Dawson.

Did anyone else think that Beat the Brains question was terrible? The odd one out they gave was just as right and just as relevant as the one the question asked for. I went with Seaborgium being the only one which wasn't discovered at Darmstadt, which is also true, and no doubt there are chemical reasons why each could be the odd one out.

Londinius said...

Hi Hugh

Yes, I agree 100%. I HATE questions where the QM seems to think there is only one correct answer when there could be several. Bad question.

Good show , though.