Saturday, 18 January 2014

Brain of Britain - heat 6

Well we’re coming towards the end of our weekly round up now. Only Brain of Britain to go. Monday’s contestants were : -
Diane Clements
Brian Daugherty
Robert Hart
Andrew Maywood
Only Brian’s name meant anything to me at first – he’s been a Mastermind semifinalist, and only missed the Grand Final by one point and a couple of passes. So he was the favourite on paper. Let’s get on with the show.

Diane fell into the trap of answering Big Bang Theory when asked about a theory of the origins of the Universe. Brian knew that if it’s Fred Hoyle, its steady state. He somewhat blotted his copybook not remembering that Hilary Clinton’s maiden name was Rodham. Diane took that one. Robert didn’t know that Hessian is named after a German state, which Brian was happy to take. Andrew took one, but missed a relatively easy one on stick insects, which nobody had. Brian led with 2.In the second round Diane took her first two, but missed the chestnutty mazurka dance from Poland. Robert Hart took that. Brian took two but didn’t know sterling silver, neither did anyone else. Robert Hart took two, but the term Brewster sessions escaped all of us. Andrew answered his first two, but didn’t know D.H.Lawrence’s native village of Eastwood. Brian took it and now led with 5.

Diane didn’t know that Song Sung Blue was inspired by a Mozart Piano Concerto. Neither did I nor the other contenders. Brian was stumped by his first about Reiner Werner Fassbender. Me too. Robert stopped the rot in the round, and answered his first two, but missed out on the Sicilian Vespers. Andrew took that, but didn’t know the Siemens SI Unit. Brian snapped up the chestnut again, to maintain a one point lead. Diane didn’t know about the elastic rebound theory and neither did any of the rest of us. Brian didn’t know Edouardo Paolozzi sculpted the figure of Isaac Newton outside the British Library – so Diane gladly snapped that one up. Robert Hart didn’t know that Napoleon III is buried in a mausoleum in Farnborough – you either know it or you don’t. Andrew didn’t know that Joan of Arc is in Shakespeare’s Henry VI part One. Brian had it – he chanced his arm without giving the part first, but got it right when he did, which extended his lead to two. He wasn’t guaranteed anything yet, though, and this was proving to be a well fought contest.

For the Beat the Brains interval the brains were asked which composer wrote operas on Elizabeth I’s mother, cousin and last favourite. Donizetti was correctly answered. The second question was from which English place did Donizetti’s Emilia hail? They had it with Liverpool. Great answers from the brains.

Diane was away with one correct answer, but didn’t know the term ormolu means ‘ground gold’. Robert had that one. Brian took his first two, but didn’t know the writer Peter Morgan. Robert Hart didn’t know that Billy Paul had the original 1972 hit with Me and Mrs. Jones, and neither did any of the other Brains. Andrew scored with his first answer, but didn’t know that the Mayor of High Wycombe is weighed outside the Town Hall each year. Diane kicked off the next round but didn’t know that the Cape of Good Hope is the supposed haunt of the Flying Dutchman. Brian Daugherty didn’t know that the very last Mary Poppins story was published in the 1980s. I guessed it, but nobody else had it. Robert didn’t know that Epimetheus is a satellite of Saturn. Brian had it. Andrew didn’t know that the song “The Lady is a Tramp” most famously featured in Pal Joey, originally came from a show called babes in Arms. Not surprised nobody had that. This gave us the situation whereby Brian had a commanding lead of 4 with 10.

Diane missed the chestnut that the Pentland Firth separates the Orkneys from the mainland of Scotland. Brian had it, and then for his own questions he didn’t know that Hu Yaobang was the general secretary of the Chinese communist party whose death sparked the Tiananmen Square demonstrations. No bonus for anyone there. Robert didn’t know Encke’s comet, but Brian did. Andrew, asked how many acres in a square mile, missed it, and gave Robert a free run with 640. One round to go, and Brian had a five point lead, and was home, if not exactly dry yet. Diane didn’t know that Eric the Eel was from Equatorial Guinea. Neither, surprisingly, did anyone else. Brian took his first, but didn’t know that the 1841 census was the first with names and pack drill, as it were. Robert Hart didn’t know his first about the term pipe down. Andrew had a bonus on that. For his first though he didn’t know that the first mammals appeared at the end of the Triassic period. A comfortable win for the form horse, in the end. Well played Brian – good luck in the semis.

The Details

Diane Clement – 5
Brian Daugherty - 13
Robert Hart – 7
Andrew Maywood – 8

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