Friday, 23 November 2018

Mastermind 2019 - Heat 8

My wife has many excellent qualities. She is not, however, a lover of Mastermind, and indeed, I’m not sure that I blame her. She virtually lost me to Mastermind for large chunks of 2007 when I was, as she would put it, ‘mumbling away to yourself in the dining room for hours at a stretch’. Well, the fact is that if you want to really learn your specialist subject you’ve got to put the effort in. As I said, though, she isn’t a lover of the show, and last night was the first time this series that she joined me in watching it. Her reaction to the portal of portent was, and again I quote,

“Oh, how bloody ridiculous! What on earth are they making them do that for?” I found that I was unable to give her a satisfactory answer.

So to the show. Sarah Turner offered us Cher for the first of last night’s specialist subjects. This was one of those subjects where I thought I might snaffle a couple of points, but I did a bit better than I expected, taking 5. Sarah’s was a good round, but not a great one, as she passed on a couple. As one does, I did wonder whether those passes might prove to be significant in the final reckoning.

The Cambridge Spy Ring offered me, I believed, the chance of a big fat zero, so again, I was pleased and surprised to be able to take another 4 out of this round. Alister Jones did a lot better than that, mind you His 12 wasn’t quite a perfect round, but as we’ve seen throughout the series, 12 is the kind of score that will invariably leave you in contention coming into the GK round.

If the Cambridge Spy Ring offered me the chance of nowt, then Tove Jansson, the subject offered by Fi Withers, actually delivered it. I mean, I do recall reading a couple of the Moomin books maybe 45 years ago, but apart from the fact that the illustrations made the Moomins look a little like tiny cute hippos, that’s about all I could remember. Of course, this round ranged a lot wider than just the Moomin books, and Fi Withers obviously knew her stuff. However a few questions went begging, and while 9 is a perfectly respectable score in this day and age, I fancied it would leave her too much to do in the GK.

Lastly Linda King. Maybe it was just me, but I felt that her walk to the chair had something of the air of ‘let’s stop all of this faffing around and just get on with it, shall we?!’ Well, she certainly meant business in the chair. She was answering on The Derby 1955 – 1990. I do wonder sometimes how people manage to negotiate these specific time parameters. Way back in the mists of time when I was making my first appearance, I wanted to do the Modern Summer Olympics from 1948 to the present and was told in no uncertain terms, no, sorry, you’ll do the lot of them, my boy, and like it! For my 2007 final I wanted to just do Old London Bridge 1179-1831, and again was told, no, you do ALL of the London Bridges that came before and the ones that have come after as well. Well, whatever the case, Linda too took a fine 12 to give herself every chance in the GK round.

Fi returned to the chair. Now, let’s be fair, it is only a game so it’s not a case of there ever being any real cause to feel shame or regret about a round, or an appearance on the show. But I do always feel that if you can get double figures in a round then you can feel perfectly at ease with how you’ve done. Fi managed that in her GK round, scoring 10, Ah, what might have been. One more point and she’d have made 20 overall, which is only one point more than 19, but psychologically sounds so much more.

That target was unlikely to last very long, and indeed was overhauled by Sarah Turner when she returned to the chair. Sarah herself did only manage the 9 points on GK, not quite getting into double figures, but having started two points ahead of Fi, this put her into the 20s. Again, though, it didn’t really look as if the target was going to last for very long.

About 2 and a half minutes, actually. Alister Jones achieved the feat of scoring the same in both his specialist and his GK rounds. 24 is not a bad score at all, and it is the kind of score which can sometimes win a heat though. It wasn’t going to win this one. Linda’s GK round enlivened what had been up to this point a relatively quiet show. Without wishing to be harsh, my socks had remained firmly on my feet throughout the whole show up to this point. Linda’s round, though, was quality. This, I thought, is a person with a pretty good general knowledge. It wasn’t just the number of correct answers that she had. In this season, I’ve thought that the average GK rounds have been mostly relatively gentle, although each has had a sprinkling of harder questions. I’ always more impressed when the contenders do pretty well with the few harder questions that they get, and this was the case with Linda. From early on in her round she was obviously going to win, and in the end she’d added a very good 16 to win with 28. Well done, and good luck in the semis.

The Details

Sarah Turner
Alister Jones
The Cambridge Spy Ring
Fi Withers
Tove Jansson
Linda King
The Derby 1955 - 1990

1 comment:

Mycool said...

Alister scored the same as five years ago, i.e. 24 with 13 on Sir Edmund Hillary and 11 on GK. So he once again did well on his specialist subject but struggled on the GK. Interestingly, his 24 five years ago gave him only fourth place, as the others scored 26, 25 and 25.