TAC 49 Index
a marginal victory
Aside from the usual batch of tenuously topical hill events, football-related questions and references to people named Munro and Ben, the latest quiz (TAC48, pp8-9) was very much a question of maps - especially those odd cartographic corners where ill-disciplined chunks of land are corralled when they don't comply with the standard Landranger grid. But who would have guessed that the contest would ultimately come down to an intimate knowledge of offshore toilets?
There was to be no hat-trick of victories for Jim Willsher and Wendy Mann: a mere half-point saw them nudged off the summit by long-time Lothian quizzers Peter Shaw and Bruce Smith. The latter pairing capped a steady campaign over recent years, while Ian Baines came in a distant but still healthy third. The middle order contained some strong regulars (the once mighty Benn/Brodie pairing spent the crucial research period in Antarctica). The booby prize of hill-related religious junk went to Graham Benny - although he should take heart that 17% was the highest lowest mark yet recorded.
Many thanks to all who entered. As ever, the setters learned a lot from the solvers, which is as it should be, knowledge being a two-way street. 631/2 Peter Shaw / Bruce Smith, 63 Wendy Mann / Jim Willsher, 47 Ian Baines, 46 Wolf Gruellich, 40 Alan Cresswell, 38 Richard Hakes / Gary Westwood, 36 Andy Mayhew, 33 Stuart Benn / Barbara Brodie, 25 Fiona Porter, 22 Barbara Jones, 21 Bev Barratt, 17 Graham Benny. Entries: 12. Average mark: 37.6%.
1a In 2000 ... who planned to see in the new year by 'going to the top of a small mountain in Donegal with my wife'?
Easy enough: several entrants knew this to be Martin McGuinness. Paul McCartney was also (wrongly) popular.
1b ... what were Cyril and Martti taken to see in Macgillycuddy's Reeks and on Slieve Bloom?
Guns and ammunition. UN inspectors Cyril Ramaphosa and Martti Ahtisaari inspected IRA arms dumps.
1c ... what was the significance of 'Nevis rangers? OK, son'? No one got this anagram of Sven-Goran Eriksson. WM/JW and RH/GW scored half for Ben Nevis Holdings, a company which gave £20 million to Rangers FC. Fine coincidence.
1d ... which female alpinist just failed to reach an All-England summit? Paired with Ai Sugiyama, the Swiss-based climber Julie Halard-Decugis lost the Wimbledon 'ladies' doubles' final 6-3, 6-2 to the non-climbing Williams sisters.
1e ... which Munro put in a ceremonial appearance in North Queensferry?
The Reverend Sheila Munro married Gordon Brown and Sarah Macaulay at the chancellor's firth-shore home.
1f ... what linked Dunfermline, Ben Nevis and AER on 24 April?
The Ben Nevis Bond was launched by Dunfermlime Building Society, with a gross AER of 8.00% (whatever that means). Only AC and PS/BS knew this. IB noted that William Hague's second Ben Nevis ascent (with Ffion) took place on 22 April.
1g ... which Munro was discovered near the Falls of Shin? Cameron Munro, a three-year-old found after a mid-Oct night spent 'looking for dinosaurs'. AM claimed to know the his father Marcus, but couldn't recall the boy's name, so lost a half.
1h ... what word connected a west-of-Scotland mount and a US summit squabble? Surprisingly, no one got this. Mount Florida is an area on Glasgow's south side and also part of Chad. Or something like that.
1i ... where did the loss of a Donald cause a Munro to be rejected?
Anniesland. Following Donald Dewar's death, ex-Runrig singer Donnie Munro lost the Labour nomination to Bill Butler (39:96). Munro's career has been in a tailspin ever since he foolishly agreed to be a team captain on The Golden Cagoule.
1j ... where in the eastern fells could you raise a million? Judith Keppel was the first to hit the jackpot on Who wants to be a Millionaire?, and Keppel Cove is on Raise in the Ponds [Landranger 90/3416]. There's a Loadpot of gold nearby.
1k ... which disputed Graham had a flag lowered on to its sub-zero summit? Graham Island, aka Ferdinandea (Sicily), aka Giulia (France) lies under the Med. It's a 'bubbling underwater volcano' that threatens to resurface for the first time since sinking on 12/1/1832. It's currently minus 6m, so the Sicilians lowered a flag to stake a pre-emptive claim/bag. Very tempting - but wrong - was Graham Land in the Antarctic, visited by SB/BB during January.
1l ... which Ben was most likely to have been climbed by Ben Fogle? Easiest question? Ben Fogle was a Castaway, so could/should have climbed Ben Raah, Taransay's high point. No one seems to have been filmed on this during the series, although Uidhe bothy featured frequently.
1m ... 'One hill is losing seven metres and the second two metres, and Norris Hill was also 'being scalped'.' Why, and name the first pair of hills. The MoD is selling Farnborough airfield for use by private jets. This requires the flattening of Norris, Eelmoor and Miles hills. They're rumoured to be offloading Lossie next, so the Gorms are due to be bulldozed.
2a Who completed a Ramsay Round: (i) Malcolm Allison, (ii) Brian Clough, (iii) Don Revie, (iv) Terry Venables?
Brian Clough, unlikely though this seems. He got round his big bag of Munros in 23 hrs 33 mins on 22-23/7/95.
2b Who was once in the Ladies Scottish Climbing Club: Polly Stack, Molly Cobbler, Suilven Graham, Mona Gowan?
The wonderfully named Suilven Graham - who, so WG reports, was a sister of the late Fiona Torbet, of Grahams fame.
2c What caused Hamish Brown to interrupt his lecture to the Ladies Scottish Climbing Club in Glasgow on 17/1/76? Bomb scare - as reported on p45 of the 68th annual record of the LSCC. One of the curiosities of the quiz was that both the first- and second-place pairings gave identical wrong answers for 2a, 2b and 2c: Allison, Gowan and power failure.
2d Which Ben suffers from 'an obsessive compulsive personality disorder in the form of a collection mania'?
Benjamin Pell, Benji the Binman, was much in the news in 2000, raking through the bins outside the corridors of power.
2e Who is Ben Sheets? A US baseball pitcher at the Sydney Olympics. He normally turns out for the Milwaukee Brewers.
2f What links Amy Davis and Richard Gilbert? Both have been pictured atop trig points: Gilbert (clad) on Ben Alder, in Memorable Munros; Davis (unclad) on an unspecified Dorset hill (although IB thinks it might be Brent Knoll in Somerset). See www.rushes.co.uk/flash/rcp/MarksSpencerNormal02_large.jpg.
3a Which duff distillery map fails to measure up? The Easter Elchies sheet produced by Macallan. Looks like a Land-ranger apart from the brown cover and claims it's 1:50k. It's a blow-up, though, really 1:20k. OK, so who was on the bottle?
3b What whisky is found on top of Arenig Fawr? The fine Welsh hill has a summit plaque detailing the crash of a Flying Fortress on 4/8/43 and listing eight airmen who died including Sgt Phillip Simonte of Highland Park, Michigan.
4a Whose ten-month walking tour led to a citation in 2000? Gao Xingjian, the Chinese writer who won the Nobel prize for literature in 2000. In 1986 he went for a long walk in Sichuan: www.nobel.se/literature/laureates/2000/gao-bibl.html
4b Which four-letter CD shows some unlikely summits? Radiohead, Kid A - although, as IB said, 'weird mountains'
4c Which place and which novel: 'Bikes it has to be and mountain bikes - in the flattest region of Britain, where a dog-turd excites the attentions of the Mountaineering Soc'? Cambridge, in Making History, by Stephen Fry, p16 - a prime example of Fry's tendency to produce fantastically good half-novels, only to make a hash of things toward the end.
4d Which poem ends: 'Our Welshman composed it - still deaf / To the white noise of the elegy / That would fill his mouth and ear / Worlds later, on Cader Idris, In the wind and snow of your final climb'? A gratifyingly large proportion knew this came from Caryatids (2), in Birthday Letters, by Ted Hughes. BB simply had to get it right, having climbed Cader 100+ times.
4e In which Scottish novel does a character mistake a trig point for 'a woman in a white dress waving and beckoning'?
Lots of guesses of Irvine Welsh (who he?), but only WM/JW (who scored 100% in this section) knew that this mighty mis-apprehension occurs in Alasdair Gray's Lanark, where Thaw is thus confused in the 'Ben Rua' chapter.
5a In which list does Ben Nevis come bottom, with 55/100? See Michael Jackson's Whisky Companion - although the new edition sees the 'very oily' Ben rise to 62, with Jackson's Row now bottom. Macallan 1948 has the highest rating, 96.
5b Odd one out: Charles, Harry, Hazel, Joe, Stuart, Vernon, William? Mount Charles is at 200/0468, Mount Harry 198/3812, Mount Hazel 115/4656, Mount Joe 78/0008, Mount Stuart 58/0002, Mount Vernon 64/6563 ... but Cairn William 38/6516.
5c Fill in the gaps: Carter Fell 579m [80/682052], --, Lamb Hill 511m [80/810133], --, King's Seat 531m [80/878174]
Trigs on Scotland-England border. Missing are Hungry Law 501m (80/748061) and Windy Gyle 619m (80/879173). WM/JW said these were Pennine Way trigs (only Lamb Hill and King's Seat are), and were savagely docked a crucial half-point.
5d Fill in the gaps: Lady Isle 6m, Ceann Iar 19m, --, Eilean Garave 22m, Orsay 24m, --, Eilean nan Coinein 27m, Muckle Green Holm 28m, Pabay 28m, Glims Holm 32m. The single-trig islands, in height order. The gaps are North Ron-aldsay 20m (5/754533) and Groay 26m (18/002792). It was in this section that WM/JW lost the quiz, eg giving North Ronaldsay (correct) but Brother Isle 25m (wrong - they presumably mistook the navigation beacon at 2/421815 for a trig).
5e What is the significance of Scalpay in relation to 5d? Most people got this: Scalpay (the Skye one) is the highest non-trig island, 396m high. The other Scalpay, off Harris, doesn't have a trig either.
5f Odd one out: Big Scare [82/258333], Blaster Hole [6/621027], Frank Lockwood's Island [49/628196], Humla [39/198004], Ingale Skerry [5/675200], Sgeir Charrach [39-47/582732]? All these bar Big Scare appear in map margins. WM/JW almost got there but only spotted OS39's non-marginalised Sgeir Charrach. Who has been to Humla? Looks fantastic.
6a Fill in the gaps: 101m, -, 217m, -, 376m, 418m Scottish trigs in inset boxes: Cairnbowie Hill [82/988701], 111m Ben Volovaig [23/434760], Fair Isle [4/208734], 273m Mingulay [31/553827], Conachair [18/099000], The Sneug [4/947395].
6b According to Landrangers, what is the largest Scottish island without public toilets? Don't get caught short on South Uist, basically. Other suggestions included Mull (but you can dash to 47/374509) and Islay (pee at Port Askaig, 60/431693).
6c And the smallest Scottish island to have some? When setting the question we thought it was Tanera Mor (310ha, toilets at 15/993082), and several folk gave this including the runners-up. Only SB/BB found the much smaller Bruray [2/690715].
6d What goes with Dubh Sgeir [46/897484] and Skerryvore [46/840263]? Neither rocks are shown on Landrangers, merely mentioned in the margins - which seems a tad unfair. Same applies to Dubh Artach [48/122030] and Inchcape aka Bell Rock [54/762270]. The latter was found by PS/BS (we had only noticed Dubh Artach) but they didn't get a bonus, oh no.
6e What is mis-spelt in Relative Hills of Britain, North to the Cape and on versions of Landranger 14? Stornaway (sic).
6f Of what is Binnein Mor the highest Scottish example? Difficult. It's the highest named point in a margin, 302m at 63/995759. The hillside rises to c320m, while the north edge of OS52 has a nameless marginal chunk rising to c350m.
6g Fill in the gaps: 42m, 42m, 43m, -, 63m, 70m, 74m, 76m, -, 111m Trigs in margins: Staffa 46/324351, Red Point 19/724676, Butt of Lewis 8/520661, 59m Wiay 23/293355, Duncansby Head 12/405733, Druim an Eilein 19/739779, Dum-barton Rock 64/399744, Noup Head 5/392497, 77m Eileach an Naoimh 55/638098, Ben Volovaig 23/435760.
6h What is true of Landrangers 45, 47, 62, 64, 74 and 83 and no other Scottish maps? All have a trig the same height (in metres) as the sheet number: 45/641684, 47/264641, 62/985645, 64/560699, 74/898534 (and 74/851482), 83/401594.
6i What links Dull Wood and Collin Hags? Both trigs are part on, part off their re-spective maps: 475m Dull Wood, 51/799500, 255m Collin Hags, 79/297800
7a Which team's recent European performances involved a Wainwright, a Stac, a Felle and numerous Hewitts? Leeds United: Paul Robinson, Stac Lee Bowyer, Ian Harte Felle and Michael Bridges.
7b Which Scottish Marilyn comprises three Englishmen: a current international, a current under-21 international and a recent managerial casualty? (Wes) Brown, (Michael) Carrick and (Ricky) Hill - the latter sacked by Luton Town.
7c-g If Ben Nevis is Pat Nevin's hill, who have these spiritual homes? Ben Venue Mark Venus (Ipswich), Ben Tee Robert Lee (N'castle), An Stac Jaap Stam (ManU), Beinn Lagan Richard Logan (Ipswich), Ben Lui Lomano Lua-Lua (N'castle).
7h-j Which hills? Costa Rican gave up Switzerland in favour of Germany Wandope (Paola Wanchope); Seventh leader went down in the box and down with Rovers Blake Fell (Nathan Blake); Israeli and Spanish supporter Tal y Fan (Idan Tal).
8a Maps of which British overseas territory include Where Freddie Fall and Where Tom Off? Pitcairn Island.
8b Which Ordnance Survey International map shows Down Where The Minister Land His Things and has a key indicating 'Economically important potato patches'? Tristan da Cunha, which also has Hill of Difficulty and Little George Cock Nuts.
8c Which island in a French overseas territory has topographical features that translate as 'The Big Cooking Pot', 'The Big Balcony' and 'Ravine of the Late-Night Revellers'? Amsterdam Island - see IGN Blue Series sheet 4460A.
8d Which island in an Australian overseas territory features Dar Tomato Bay and Valley on Top Niggers Hoof? Phillip Island, part of the flat-sounding Norfolk Island Territory. As with section 4, WM/JW scored 100% here, yet still contrived to lose to the more consistent PS/BS. (Thanks to Grant Hutchison for his worldwide knowledge.)
8e Where and how high are Iztok Cop and Luka Spik? They might sound like hills, but they're Slovenian rowers who won gold for double sculls at Sydney. Cop is 189cm, Spik 195cm, give or take a centimetre. A half-mark for Australia.
9a What mountain range connects Prestwick golf course, a farm in Furness and Bob Geldof? The 17th hole at Prestwick is called the Alps, as is the farm at 96-97/295805, while Geldof runs the Ten Alps Media Company.
9b Who believes in 19 'Holy Mountains Charged by The Master Jesus'? The Aetherius Society, who seem so completely bonkers that TAC must return to them anon. See: www.aetherius.org/NewFiles/Pilgrimages_holy_mountains.html#british_isles
9c Which of the society's holy mountains are in Scotland?
Ben Hope, 'Charged: December 10, 1958', and Creag-An-Leth-Chain (sic), 'charged on December 14, 1958'. Curiously, Alan Blanco has climbed all nine British hills, plus Kili.
9d Which sporting list is this: Hungry Law, Broom Hill, Auchtertyre Hill, Bellybought Hill, Meall nan Con, Kilmein Hill, Ord Ban, East Lomond, Cromlet? These all carry trigs, of 501m, 499m, 452m, 443m, 437m, 429m, 428m, 424m and 405m respectively. As everyone knows, the numbers are also the highest first-class cricket innings, by Lara, Hanif, the late great Bradman, Nimbalkar, Ponsford (twice), Aftab Baloch, MacLaren and Hick. As IB said, 'there had to be a cricket question'.
9e Which comes next: Doughnot Hill, Tairlaw Ring, Glas Bheinn? The biggest booby trap in the quiz. For almost 50 years the highest sub-400 score was Bert Sutcliffe's 385 for Otago at Christchurch in Dec 1952. This equates to Tairlaw Ring [77/407988]. But in Nov 2000 Naved Latif made 394 for Sargodha vs Gujranwala in Pakistan's Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, so the answer is Glas Bheinn [33/819224]. Lots of folk gave Sutcliffe, but only AC knew of Latif (even though he chose Doughnot).
9f Where were the first and last observations for the retriangulation of Britain made, on 18/4/36 and 4/6/62? First: Cold Ashby, 140/644766; last: Thorny Gale, 91-92/824139. RH/GW even supplied a digital pic of Thorny Gale.
9g Why did Ranulph Fiennes unveil BT's 100,000th payphone in Dunsop Bridge on 29/6/92? To mark the official OS calculation of the exact centre of Britain. If this seems a tad too far west (a site near Hexham also stakes a claim), it's because the weighting includes 'all 401 principal offshore islands' (but presumably not Dubh Artach etc). The centre is SD63770 56550, 600 metres west of Whitendale Hanging Stones. Dunsop Bridge is the nearest village. (Thanks to Jeff Parr.)
9h Which high mountaineering record was achieved in 1016? Oops, we blundered on the last question (although SB/BB latched on to the right idea anyway by suggesting 'a mountain run of 16 hours 56 minutes'). It was actually 15 hrs 56 mins, ie 956 not 1016, the even more astonishing feat of 36-year-old Nepali Babu Chheri, who took that long to climb Everest. His tenth ascent started when he left base camp at 5pm local time on 20/5/00, reaching the summit at 8:56 next morning.
TAC 49 Index