Friday, 16 November 2018

Mastermind 2019, Heat 7

Well, I think we’re getting into the swing of it with this series now, aren’t we, dearly beloved. For the first time this series, BBC Wales actually consented to show this one at the same time as the rest of the UK. Won’t last.

Enough of such grumping. First through the portentous portal was Corinne Male. Speaking of the portal, it suddenly occurred to me the other day to ask myself bigheadedly whether the idea of the portal was inspired the metaphorical corridor of doubt, so often mentioned in this very blog. Answers on a postcard, please. Corinne was offering us the Life and Works of Rudyard Kipling. Well and good, but was it an exceedingly good round? Well, not quite. She had a bit of a hesitant start, which meant that when she did get into her stride the finish line came a little too quickly. She still managed double figures with 10.

I had 4 on the Kipling round, and added another 5 on Mik Levin’s round on Clement Atlee. A consistently underestimated figure in his own career and lifetime, Clement Atlee remains, to my mind, by far one of the most important Prime Ministers of the 20th century. Mik’s round was if anything the opposite of Corinne’s. He began with great confidence, and seemed destined for something around the 12 mark. However hesitancies and wrong answers began to creep in, which left him on 9. That’s a perfectly respectable SS score in this day and age, but it isn’t the platform you need to launch a bid for a win in GK.

Glamorgan County Cricket Club are my local county, as it were, so maybe I ought to have done better than the 4 points I managed on David Cowan’s round. Not really, though, when ou consider that it’s cricket, and I just can’t really get into cricket. I haven’t got the attention span. David has. He produced the best round of the night, and I particularly liked his crisp and quick answering style. This meant that although it was never a perfect round, he still managed to amass 12 points by the time the BLOD (Blue Line Of Doom) had completed its circuit.

It fell to Matilda Southwood to complete the round. Matilda was offering a traditional type Mastermind subject in the stiff and starched form of Florence Nightingale. Another 4 points took my aggregate to 15, one of my better Specialist aggregates of this series. Matilda knew her stuff, no doubt about that, but never looked quite as convincing as David. She seemed rather nervous, although still managed to push him close, scoring 11.

It fell to Mik, then, to begin the GK round. His round was actually something of a reprise of what had happened in the Specialist. Mik started extremely well, and although there was a quite a bit of bread and butter amongst the questions that he was asked, he was getting all of the harder stuff as well. The last 45 seconds or so of his round see him lose momentum in sight of the line, and incur a string of passes. He still managed a score of 13, though, and that’s not a bad score at all by anyone’s standards. Setting the target at 22 I fancied that he wouldn’t still be in last place come the end of the show.

Indeed he wouldn’t. Corinne never really managed to build up a head of steam with her GK round, and it was pretty obvious that she wasn’t going to make the target quite a while before her round actually ended. Hard lines. Corinne finished with 8 for a total of 18.

With Matilda, it was all rather closer. Still sounding rather nervous and unsure of a number of answers, she managed to keep pushing her total onwards, closer to the target. However she ran out of road, to coin a phrase, having only scored 10 for 21 by the time the buzzer trilled to bring an end to the round.

So Mik would be second at least. But could he pull off the rare feat of moving from last to first in the space of the GK round? Well, no. David’s crisp, calm answering style brought him past the winning post with quite a bit of time to spare. In the end he added an impressive 15 to take his total to 27. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, but I did think that last night’s GK rounds were a little easier than the average rounds we’ve seen this series, but nonetheless you can only answer what you’re asked, and David did that extremely well. Good luck in the semi finals, sir.

Corinne Male
The Life and Works of Rudyard Kipling
Mik Levin
Clement Atlee
David Cowan
Glamorgan CCC
Matilda Southwood
Florence Nightingale


Mycool said...

David reached the semi of Brain of Britain last year.

Londinius said...

Ah - I thought that we had a pretty good GK quizzer there. Thanks.