Saturday, 2 March 2013

Brain of Britain - Semi Final 2

In this, the second of the semi finals, the contestants were

David Buckle
Scott Dawson
Rod Riesco
Barry Simmons

Now, on my unofficial table Barry was joint 4th highest scorer in the first round, Scott was 9th, David joint 10th, and Rod 12th. However on first round scores only 3 points separated Barry , Scott and David, so nothing was a foregone conclusion by any stretch of the imagination.

In the first round David got a tricky starter, with the latin name of the plant that supplies us with Hemlock. Scott had that one. He didn’t know his own first , asking in which city is the University of Abertay. Rod and I both knew it was Dundee. Rod didn’t know the Spanish for Summer – verano. Barry got 4 of what I would say were mostly tricky-but-gettables, but then got a snorter for his fifth. Neither of us knew that a ‘thickhead’ is a songbird. Scott had that. Still, bearing in mind that Barry was very much ‘the one to beat’ in this heat, he had got off to a fine start , leading with 4 to Scott’s 2. David took his first, but didn’t know Art of the Floating World. Barry had that. Scott didn’t know that two planes meet at an edge. Rod had that. For his own question he didn’t know that the exuviae of a mollusc is its cast off skin. Scott knew that. Barry made a slip of the tongue on his first, giving us Sheffield Steel rather than Sheffield Plate – and he knew he’d sone it too. A bonus for Rod there. His lead of three remained, though. In round three David was given the Trumpet Voluntary, but it fell to Scott to tell us that it was composed by Jeremiah Clarke. For his own question he didn’t know that the Cartwright Rules govern baseball. David took the bonus there. Rod didn’t know three regiments of the 5 foot guards regiments. Barry didn’t know various messrs Sturridge. David had that. In round four David took his first but didn’t know that the Poise measures the viscosity of liquids. This one fell to Scott, who then followed with his own set. He took his first, but didn’t know that the First Restoration in France was in 1814. Louis XVIII originally came to the throne in the year before Waterloo. Nobody had this one. Rod took one, but didn’t know William Ramsay who received a Nobel Prize and discovered several elements. Barry took 2 but didn’t know that the Wesley’s chapel is in Bristol. interestingly by this point, Scott, through good buzzing, had narrowed Barry’s lead to 2. Barry had 9, to Scott’s 7. All to play for.

Not before the Beat the Brains interval, though. The first asked what Matthew Webb, Charles Stuart Rolls and Pluto all have in common. The Brains didn’t know that each of them were the first to cross the Channel from England to France in various means. Then question 2 asked who or what crossed the Channel from St. Margaret’s Bay. They didn’t know, and neither did I , that it was the first international telegraph cable. Don’t want to be horrible, but if you’re going to ask a bit of a yawn yawn no chance question like that then you might just as well send him the book token before you start, and get on with the show. So let’s get on with the show.

David didn’t know that Tabasco sauce is actually manufactured in Louisiana. Scott had that, once again picking up the bonuses. Scott didn’t know that Francis Kilvert – of the diary fame - was a clergyman in Radnorshire. Rod had the bonus. He didn’t recognize the music from ‘Genevieve’, which gave David another point. Barry didn’t know that Metz was returned from Germany to France in 1918. So thye lead was down to one. David was asked who in 2012 became the second female jockey to ride the Derby. Nobody knew it was Hayley Turner. Scott was asked what the name given to the water memorial in the space where the twin Towers stood. Nobody knew it was ‘Reflecting Absence’. The gap remained at one point. Rod Riesco was asked about Typhus, which gave Barry a bonus. 2 points the gap now. Barry himself took his first, but didn’t know about the chemical in onions that induces tears. Still a very close match.

David didn’t know that Hollywood or bust was the last film of Martin and Lewis as a partnership. Point for Scott. He didn’t get his first on the mint family of plants. Nasty starter , that. Rod didn’t get his starter on ‘the Queen of All Colours” – black. Barry now made his move. A very fine five answers came at exactly the right time for him, which virtually sealed the contest. Now he led by 7 , and only one round remained. David didn’t know a quote from Henry David Thoreau – Rod took that. Scott took his first, but nobody knew that Swift says that Satire is a glass in which people see everybody’s face but their own Rod missed his, which left Barry to fail in his first question, about the Green Knight.

Well, if you just look at the scores it looks like a very comfortable win for Barry. Yet the result was always in doubt right up until the end of the penultimate round, and Scott can take great credit for pushing him so hard for almost the whole of the contest. Well played gentlemen all – that was a high quality contest with each player throwing in some great answers to questions which were not in the least bit easy. Good luck to Barry in the grand final.

David Buckle- 4
Rod Riesco - 7
Scott Dawson – 11
Barry Simmons - 18

1 comment:

Andrew B. said...

Note that Barry answered "typhoid" to the "road fever" question, which is wrong: "typhoid" and "typhus" are *not* the same illness. Is it too much to expect the BBC to get these things right?