Saturday, 6 April 2019

Mastermind 2019 - Heat 23

The first round is nearly done now, Dearly beloved, and we’re still all in one piece. Incidentally, if you missed your LAM fix this morning I can only apologise. I took my daughter to Cardiff airport at 3am for an early flight this morning, and I’ve been playing catch up with sleep and other Saturday things ever since.

Off we go then. Kicking us off we had Bekah Oliver, answering on the films of Heath Ledger. I’ve only seen a few of his films, so I wasn’t disappointed to get five. Bekah amassed a good 13, and indeed every question she answered, she answered correctly, incurring 2 passes in the process. The gauntlet had thus been lain down.

Our second subject – the Life and Times of Margaret Pole, Countess of Sussex, offered by Frances Atherton was something of a contrast. I knew a bit about this subject – well, her son, Reginald, was also a character in my as yet unfilmed novel “Ermine Stone and the Iron Spider” – I keep telling myself that it’s only a matter of time before Spielberg calls. So I wasn’t unhappy with 7. Frances did a lot better than that. In contrast to Bekah, Frances was going to have a go at every question, and as a result she didn’t incur any passes while building up a score of 12. Would that be significant in the final reckoning, I asked myself.

Erol Soyer, our third contender, was answering on Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe – he of the metal hooter (that’s Tycho Brahe, not Erol Soyer) This was another of those rounds where the contender clearly knows his subject, but just doesn’t know enough of the nit picking minutiae to make a very competitive score, and Erol finished with 8, and looked unlikely to be able to overhaul a 5 point lead.

Now, I’ve been quizzing long enough to know that quizzers, good quizzers, do actually come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Nonetheless, when I don’t actually know any of the contenders in a given show I do often indulge in a bout of spot the quizzer during the SS rounds, and I have to say that I picked Kit. Now, I have to admit that the work of the late Sarah Kane is an oeuvre I’m sadly ignorant of, so I couldn’t possibly say whether 11 was a great score for Kit on a difficult set, or just a quite good score on an average set. But that’s what he scored.

As we moved into the GK round I loved Erol’s reaction when John revealed that he had the lowest score in the first round and asked him to come to the chair. He did a small, quick double take as if to say ‘Who? Me?’.  Delightful. Erol needed nothing less than a corker of a round to put the others into the corridor of doubt and to put himself into contention. He didn’t get it. 8 points isn’t a huge score on GK, and his 17 was not going to be enough to hold onto the lead for long, so it seemed.

Well, I’m afraid that if I was correct that Kit was the GK quizzer of the bunch, then he must have been having the off night to top all off nights. Not impossible. However, the fact of the matter is that he became yet another first round contender in this series to fail to score more than 6 in a GK round. After knocking off the first three, Kit fell into a horrible pass spiral for the next 4 or 5 questions, and it seemed that when he could find an answer maybe his concentration and confidence was shot, because it was slow going picking up the next 3.

Frances, then, needed only 6 correct answers to go into the lead. To be honest, she made quite heavy weather of it. As with her specialist round, she adopted the tactic of coming up with an answer to every question she was asked. However this seemed to backfire at times, since she wasted valuable seconds on a number of questions , just thinking of plausible answers which still turned out wrong. In the end, though, she added 7 more points to her score to take her to 19.

Thus Bekah’s task couldn’t have been much clearer. She already had 2 passes, and so 19 wouldn’t be enough. She needed her own 7 correct answers to win. Thankfully she achieved this with about 40 seconds to spare, and went on to add another 4 to her total. For that I’m really grateful. I think if I’d seen another poor GK round on the same show I’d have been ready to throw something through the telly. Well done Bekah, and best of luck.

The Details

Bekah Oliver
The films of Heath Ledger
Frances Atherton
The Life and Times of Margaret Pole, Countess of Sussex
Erol Soyer
Tycho Brahe
Kit Garrett
The Life and Plays of Sarah Kane

1 comment:

Mycool said...

Frances appeared in heat 1 of Brain of Britain last year. She lost to Jack Bennett.