TAC 45 Index
After 1998/99's record scores, an age of austerity was inevitable. This winter's quiz was the hardest yet, as shown by the low marks and the thin entry. Several old stagers declared themselves unavailable, so a mere 13 entrants battled it out. Last year's winner won again (and named his sidekick this time), while third moved up a place and an long-time worthy earned a well deserved third. CH's booby was shared with Steve Weatherill, one of three folk (Phil Harmston, Andy Mayhew) who each sent in just two answers. SW was the only one not to ask for the crap Diggers CD, so he gets it.
65 Wendy Mann / Jim Willsher, 51 Wolf Gruellich, 44 Barbara Jones, 37 Alan Cresswell, 36 Stuart Benn / Barbara Brodie, 35 Peter Shaw / Bruce Smith, 33 Graham Pearson, 22 Graham Benny, 20 Mike Jacobs, 15 Ian Johnston, 14 Bev Barratt, 12 David Hoyle, 111/2 Christopher Horton. Overall average: 30.42%. It might be a tad easier next year...
Easy for starters: most folk knew that Lord Snowdon took a life peerage and remained in the so-called House of Lords unlike most hereditaries, who toddled off to drive buses or drink Pimms or whatever the hell it is they now do.
Likewise easy: Kenny McCormick was lavafied in South Park. WM/JW (who knew it was episode 103 - my God!) argued that he was shot and killed having been merely singed by Evanston, but Kenny gets killed so often that it's hard to be sure.
We have traditions to upkeep: the quiz always includes a cricket question, while one of the answers is always Cameron McNeish. He was thus described by Wilderness Walks sidekick Richard Else on Radio Scotland, 1/8/99.
Kevin Keegan, post-match after two Scholes goals had beaten the Scots at Hampden on 13/11/99.
Martin Corrie, Wembley PR man, was in the media dock after confusion over the southern leg of the Scotland-England playoff. Half-marks to BB and PS/BS, whose suggestion of Coire Cas anticipates funicular furores.
Bizarrely, St Kilda and the Himalayas. The rest appeared in a National Geographic Society poll, with cyberspace in some kind of special category, outer space touted as "the next hot retreat", and St Kilda ousted by St Sunday Crag and associated Pond-like areas. And the Himalayas? They're just crap, not worth seeing. It's a wonder the Dome wasn't in there, too.
They were launched into space. Web access helped, but no-one found http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/microchip/ detailing the launch, 7/2/99, of two Stardust Microchips including capsules containing 136,000 + 1,000,000 names. "Two copies of each chip was [sic] installed on the spacecraft," the blurb says. "Two of the microchips are inside the Sample Return Capsule, and will return back to Earth with the capsule in the year 2006. The other two chips are on the spacecraft body and will remain in space forever." Counting up gave these totals of surnames rocketed into space. Among off-message attempts, a mass Moonie wedding was the most popular.
Alice Corbett, "Lawrence Dallaglio's bird", as GB put it. Dal Boy lost the Alb-rug captaincy amid allegations of dodgy druggy deals while leading choruses of "Zulu Warrior".
Gavin Corbett notched up 460 votes as the Green candidate at Ayr recently and is the research officer for Shelter Scotland. See Outdoor Life in The Scotsman, 15/1/00, for his thoughts. He's also in the Donaldist list, having completed on Cauldcleuch Head, 18/8/85, after cycling from Snoot hostel in the rain. There's a certain sad neatness in a Shelter worker having made significant use of a subsequently closed hostel. PS/BS discovered the Corbett Tiger Reserve in India, presumably twinned with the Coniston Tiger Reserve (see p20).
Gerald Corbett was the fast-track solution, he being the Railtrack chief executive who remains in post despite numerous rail "customers" having died in the Ladbroke Grove disaster.
As foretold, a cricket question. Chaddesley Corbett, playing in the curious cross-Offa Group 15 (Worcs, Herefordshire and Powys) made it to their group final before losing at home to Colwall in dramatic fashion. Colwall collapsed to five for nine before recovering to 128. Chaddesley Corbett reached 122 for 8, then lost two wickets in two balls. (The Cricketer, August 1999, p61.)
One of four questions solved only by the winners. 2e, 3e and 4e were anagrams and Barlinnie gives Beinn Lair. A few entrants suggested Ronnie Corbett should be in the Glasgow slammer. Rather uncharitable: he's just a crap comic, not a criminal.
Easy peasy. Heather Graham, object of Austin Powers' affections in The Spy Who Shagged Me.
Bill Graham, reckoned by some too old to judge the Holyfield/Lewis scrap last November. It wasn't clear whether PS/BS meant this fella when suggesting Billy Graham, but the setters came over all Christian and awarded 11/2 points out of the goodness of their hearts. WG discovered Graham Whitburn, who climbed Everest for his 50th birthday, while WM/JW argued for Graham Parkinson, chief stipendary magistrate in the Pinochet case.
Trust a trig to open up a whole new area of investigation. The answer was Meall Dearg, north of Amulree (where it is risky to park on the tempting track at 52/907412: the gate is almost always open except when wired shut late in the day by some bad local). Anyway, a plague of plaques has appeared, all seemingly dated July 1999. See Steve Weatherill (p18) for more on this, while PS/BS spotted a plaque on Scawd Law and Gordon Smith reported one on Cairn Table, where "the hole on top of the trig has been sealed with a strange dark perspexy material that looks as if it came from Hangar 18." What's going on? Has anyone met what Steve W calls "the OS's crack plaque-fixing outfit" (probably a man with a flat cap, a trowel and a bag of cement)? It's time TAC compiled a list of these new supertrigs, that's for sure. This also saw an outbreak of footwork: WM/JW climbed Meall Dearg on 9/1/00 ("cracking walk, fantastic conditions") as did WG 15 days later ("sunny wintry day"), noting the trig as no. S1589.
Graham's Number is, according to David Wells' Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Numbers, "The World Champion largest number ... If all the material in the universe were turned into pen and ink it would not be enough to write the number down." It cannot be written using ordinary notation, but looks like 3...3 with rather a lot of arrows where the dots are. It's an "upper bound" devised by Ronald L Graham, an American mathematician who features heavily in Paul Hoffman's book about Paul Erds, The Man Who Loved Only Numbers. Surprisingly, only one entrant got this right: GP, who wrote "Fame at last!" Good to see "Fat MP Slim" Tommy Graham making a reappearance in a couple of wrong guesses.
An anagraham: Glas Bheinn. Surprisingly, no one got this. Half marks awarded for WM/JW's suggestion of Graham Rix (the Chelsea coach did time for underage sex), while George Graham was another popular try. But this was three questions too late to guess Billy Graham, as the off-form SB/BB found to their cost.
Ben Folds Five, a beat combo whose most recent CD this was. The story goes that they used the name of the great mountaineer on their student ID cards for a wheeze.
A largely successful attempt to send quizzers on the wild goose chase of working out the youngest person to complete a round of Grahams (which appears to be Andrew Allum at present). We were looking for Ben Squibb, a 14-year-old from Cornwall who completed a Bob Graham Round in the Ponds. Only BJ knew this.
Ben Scotchbrook was an ITN reporter on News at Ten. Tony Benn was a good try from PS/BS while Ben Pimlott was even better from WG, as he covered the recent downgrading of hereditary peers (but not Snowdon).
This continued the tradition of our making a mess of one clue: the quote should have been "Cigarettes will kill you", as pointed out by BJ. Several folk worked it out anyway: a song by Ben Lee, former singer with Noise Addict and sometime Skye Marilyn.
The last of the anagrams was Ben More, solved only by the eventual winners. Half-marks for Ben-Hur, partly set in the Eternal City (and the first movie seen by your Ed, circa 1970, around the time he saw the Dad's Army stage show and Ken Dodd).
These all proved tough, Glentough, confounding pre-quiz thinking that 5e was likely to prove the hardest part of this question. 5a and 5b were linked: the legend for each Landranger gives an example of how to pinpoint a grid reference. These are invariably names from the SE corner of the sheet, and Caonich is the example on OS33. The others follow in order, with Stronetoper (Glen Feshie) being at NN848971 on OS35.
Ochiltree is the sample placename on OS76, Lochrennie on OS77, Muirhouse on OS78 and Dykecrofts on OS79. So the answer is Dyke, which not one of the acclaimed map-pickers found, shame on them. This was ready-made for old stager Charles Everett, but he didn't enter, being too busy fathering babies.
Only WM/JW solved this: the sequence of Explorer maps (124, 128, 140, 141, 142 and 146) with "hill" or "hills" in the title, eg Hastings and Bexhill etc. The missing word is Quantock (as in Quantock Hills and Bridgwater).
No one got this, despite the cricket/map connection being flagged up fairly obviously. These are England Test players from the past ten years who feature in the titles of Explorer maps (Ian Salisbury 130, John Crawley 134, Phil Newport 152, David Gower 164 and Alan Wells 188). Wells appears twice: he's on sheet 200 too. The absentee is Craig White, sheet 170.
For the full points we needed not only that the Martos were Portuguese children who saw visions at Fatima and were sub-sequently lined up for canonisation, but that they were the 283rd and 284th proposed saints of John Paul II's papacy. Tom and Spidean were part of the 1997 intake of Munros and, being in Section 13, could be seen as Munros 283 and 284.
A good example of how you learn things by setting a quiz. We thought the answer was simple, if obscure: the words were said by Joe in the diner in Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino being Tarantino however, the line was reheated, from his own screenplay to the 1995 vampire shlock From Dusk Till Dawn. WM/JW and AC were the film obsessives. Halliwell done to them.
Cue Jim Carrey musing on his mountaineering prowess as The Truman Show opens.
Students-at-heart WG and WM/JW recognised this as Withnail and I.
The Blair Witch Project, in which Heather and her friends really should have kept a better hold of their Landrangers. Your Ed once lost OS44 while sitting alone on top of Crow Craigies in winter - a sudden gust left him clutching just the pink bit, so to speak - but thankfully no dismal sub-student filmcrews were there to record the event.
Sheryl Crow Craigies' man, Eric Clapton, an anagram of "lop cairn, etc", so maybe he's a fave of God-fearing McNeish.
That other great JC, Julian Cope.
Only Half Man Half Biscuit write lyrics like this, and since they come from the Wirral the missing words were always likely to be The Wrekin rather than the various wrong guesses of Everest, Ben Nevis or Snowdon.
This was HMHB, too, from the wonderful Eno Collaboration ("I know Bono and he knows Ono and she knows Eno", etc). It just had to be undies, although CH picked up a half for "pyjamas": right idea even if it doesn't exactly scan.
A real oddity. We were looking for bathrooms, or toilets, as Bowater Hills make fittings for such places - eg the lavvies in the National Library of Scotland. Instead, a host of folk suggested Tellytubbieland - and the company does seem to handle the TV series and marketing. Seems they have a bit of a Po-thing. Eh-oh, points all round.
Symonds Knott, an outlier of Scafell Pike which/who once hit 20 sixes at Abergavenny while fidgeting annoyingly with a hanky dangling superstitiously from a back pocket despite supposedly being Christian and all that.
Harder than it looks, as we're talking seriously stylised logos here. Believe it or not, the pointy bit of this Slovenian badge is meant to show Triglav or something.
SR98A is a poster advertising a senior citizens' railcard (you mean you didn't know that?!), illustrated with a nice pic of the Matterhorn of Cleveland, Roseberry Topping.
Really really difficult, but solved by WG, who deserves a special prize. Ailsa Craig was the last canal boat to use through the Standedge tunnel between Diggle and Marsden. (Guardian, 28 Oct 1999.)
Gaddafi overthrew King Idris on 1/9/69. BB, however, who has climbed Cadair (or Cader) Idris 107 times, provided a fine extra answer: a Colonel Corbett used to own part of the hill and there is a Corbett Arms in nearby Tywyn. Great stuff.
Would you believe there's a cartographer named Brigadier Lewis Harris? Well there is - so no need for jokes about how he Uist to work for the OS. BJ also found the late Brig ERL Peake, appointed Deputy Director of the OS in 1943.
Quentin Crisp, who died last November and who once worked as a map tracer until he could draw his 15s 3d dole money.
Minimalist clue. Never mind all the people called Mac. BJ was the only one to answer the catechism correctly: Mac is Mathair. It's a 702m top on the north side of An Teallach, 19/NC068877.
An interesting example of what Mark'n'Lard fans will recognise as "vague news". Last August the media made great play of four new GM crop farm-scale evaluation sites being published complete with grid references. Open government! Visible democracy! Er, except that a search of the papers didn't seem to provide any actual grid refs. Sure, the farms were named - one in Notts, one in Herts and two in Lincs (including one near unpleasant-sounding Spital in the Street). But grid refs? No sign. Neither does the Dept of Environment site http://www.detr.gov.uk/environment/fse/location/index.htm make it easy, either. First there's the palaver of downloading Acrobat just to read it, then the file is a complete hash, with addresses alongside wrong refs. We think these are the sites, but the thing smacks of flimsy research and cartographic illiteracy from press and politicians alike.
Unexpectedly, no one got this. Should have been easy: big pic, front page. Are folk becoming too web-reliant rather than using ye olde technique of visiting a library? It was 13/9/99: a report on Scotland-England football draw, with mad Bravehearters jumping about with a trig in the background - possibly the one on Carlton Hill.
"I really believe in empty spaces ... Empty space is never wasted space" - Andy Warhol, quoted in The Penguin Book of Art Writing, ed. Martin Gayford and Karen Wright, 1998.
"Of all the charities I have ever studied, none has struck me as so completely odious as the Ramblers' Assn..." - Auberon Waugh, some magazine rant or other.
"Onwards and upwards" - Arabella Weir, the title of her latest novel.
"There will be other days, other meetings, other kisses. There must be. Yes, dear, we will go again to Badger Hill..." - Alfred Wainwright, amazingly, from a letter quoted by Hunter Davies in Wainwright - The biography, p211.
"Yes, that's about the right distance - but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I've got to?" - Alice in Wonderland
"You came out of nowhere like the sun up from the hills. Cold, cold was the wind, warm, warm were your lips, out there on that ski trail..." - Andy Williams, Canadian Sunset
Ann Widdecombe, as hoped, proved a popular wrong guess, perhaps due to people anticipating her upcoming novel The Clematis Tree, which will be a curious read, for sure. Another good AW quote is this, from Arthur Wellesley aka the Duke of Wellington, on seeing the first Reformed Parliament, in 1832: "I never saw so many shocking bad hats in my life." He could just as well have been passing comment on some gathering of walkers and climbers.
TAC 45 Index