Saturday, 31 January 2015

Brain of Britain - Heat 5

Let’s have a look down the list of contenders in last Monday’s show: -
Roderick Cromar
Peter Haslam
Martin Riley
Kim Semmence
Now, last week we heard Mastermind 2014 Grand Finalist take his place in the semi finals. This week, well we had another Mastermind 2014 Grand Finalist, Roderick Cromar. Roderick has also played on University Challenge, so he’s not short on experience. Mind you, he was bearing the burden of support from the Clark sofa, so nothing was guaranteed.

Roderick took his first but didn’t know that Boko Haram actually means Western Education is Forbidden. I didn’t know that one, neither did anyone else. Peter took two relative chestnuts, but gave the answer Third Republic of France, when Second Empire was required. No bonus. Now, I do like a question about the Great Vowel Shift, and though Martin missed it, Roderick was very happy to take the bonus. I’m afraid the Kim let a bit of an easy one go for her first question, asked what queso is on a Spanish menu. Martin knew it was cheese. We’ll come to the scores in a round or two’s time.

Back to Roderick then. He took his first two, but the acronym WIMP did for all of us. Weakly Interacting Massive Particle apparently. Peter got off to a good start on his set again but his third question saw him Magna Carting when he should have been American Declaration of Independencing. Peter took that one. For his own questions he missed out on the fact that the last of the canonical hours is compline. Roderick took that windfall. Kim got off the mark taking her first two but didn’t know that Steaming is set in a steam room. That bonus fell to Martin. This meant Kim had 2, Martin had 3, Peter 4 and Roderick 5.

It was time for Roderick’s music question. I didn’t recognize the piece myself, but that wasn’t the question. I guessed that  the series it was the theme for  was Cabin Pressure, and so did Roderick. Neither of us knew that Lee Lawrie was a leading figure in architectural sculpture, but Peter did. He didn’t know the rather chestnutty nugget that Saturn has such a low density that it would float on water. Martin took that. Nobody guessed that a diary entry from D Day 1944 was written by Anne Frank. Would have been worth a punt, I would have thought. The Queen of Time is a clock face on Selfridges apparently. I didn’t know it neither did Kin for her first, or anyone else.

Roderick again took a point for his first question, but didn’t know the battle of Trocadero. Me neither. Peter had a music question about U2’s Pride (In the Name of Love) and took that. Kim took a bonus on his next question, knowing that Piney Copse was donated to the National Trust by E.M.Forster. Martin took his first, but didn’t know that William Willett was first to propose the idea of Daylight Saving time. Roderick took the bonus. Kim didn’t know that the Coupon Election took place in 1918, and Roderick again had that one. Going into the interval, then, the scores were Kim – 3 , Martin 5 , Peter 6 – Roderick – 9. Not over yet by any means, but my boy was going well.

For the Beat the Brains they were asked – what do the letters SPECTRE as in James Bond stand for? Special Executive for Counter Intelligence, Terrorism and Extortion. Spot on Brains. The second asked about the novel Thunderball, which states the country in which Blofeld was born. Poland was offered, and was right. No book token, sorry, but nice questions.

Back to the contest. Roderick once again took his first question, and his second, but didn’t know a quote from JB Priestley on his third (JB Priestley to the best of my knowledge never split his trousers on stage, although PJ Proby did). Peter had the bonus. Peter took his first, but didn’t get my favourite question of the show. I didn’t know that the term Nerd is supposed to derive from a name in a book by Dr. Seuss – If I Ran the Zoo. No bonus there, but as some of my quiz mentors would say to me when I was in my salad days, remember that one because it will come up again. Martin’s Music question came, asking for a male character in Tosca. All I knew were Scarpia and Cavaradossi. The latter was the right answer and gave a bonus to Kim. She didn’t know that the ciliary muscle is part of the eye. Peter took that. Roderick was up to 11, against Peter’s 8.

Roderick predictably took his first, but didn’t know his second about shipping. Martin had it. For his own questions he missed out on his first, a french phrase which equated to empty vessels make the most noise. Martin didn’t know that the alkali metals are the first set in the periodic table. Roderick gratefully accepted that one. Kim’s music provided us with Ethel Merman singing I Got Rhythm. Nobody knew it came from the musical Girl Crazy. Another round gone, and Roderick still led Peter by 13 – 8

And so to the last round. Roderick didn’t know that rupe affects the naval passages of poultry. Fair enough. Peter didn’t know 2 dots in morse code is I. Thank you very much, said Roderick, taking the bonus. Martin took his first but didn’t know a set of places associated with meteorite impact. Roderick again took a bonus, home and dry now. Kim didn’t know that Time and Chance was written by Jim Callaghan. So the final scores were: -
Kim – 4
Martin –8
Peter – 8
Roderick – 15
A very good performance, Roderick, which must give you confidence for the semis. Very best of luck.


Andrew B. said...

Martin Riley was a 15-to-1 champion back in 1996.

Mycool said...

With five heats (out of twelve) broadcast so far, and the highest-scoring runners-up on eight so far, this year's repechage (four highest-scoring runners-up) is looking fascinating.

Stephen Follows said...

Not only has Roderick Cromar appeared on University Challenge, he's on the cover of the 1995 UC Quiz Book. Fame indeed!

Dan said...

I remember Roderick's GK round in the Mastermind final. He went up first, and afterwards the rest of us just looked at each other as if to say, "What was that?" - I think I got about four. So it's good to see him do well here - best of luck for the next round, Roderick.