Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Not as clever as you think..

Whenever I'm feeling a little bit clever or have answered a few questions in the Sun crossword I watch Mastermind to bring myself back down to earth. To remind me that however clever I think I am, that there are always people far, far cleverer than me. I go to bed much more comfortable with my general standing in society after that. It's good for the soul. You should try it whenever you're having a good day.

There's a fair assortment of geeks, intellectuals and general weirdos on Mastermind, the kind that have trouble when around normal people. You can imagine the fun they might have in the Green Room. But over the past few weeks it has become apparent to me that the clever geeks on Mastermind aren't as clever as they think they are. There are some fundamental flaws in their strategies.

Error No.1 - Passes: If there is a tie-break then the person with the least number of passes, so the idea you would think is to get as few passes as possible. Now if it were me and I didn't know the answer I would just shout at a random word to avoid a pass. Not these people, they pass all the time. Have a think.

John Humphries: "Tutenkamen's favourite childhood toy was what?"
Watski (with no idea): "Err...ummm must..not...pass* ...err...Terry Nutkin!"
John Humphries: "Wrong, it was a cuddly pyramid."

Error No.2 - Subject: The History of the British Empire isn't a great choice, it's too broad. Give yourself a chance. Why not narrow it down to: 'The History of the British Empire 1999-2000'? It makes it easier to revise. I know why you chose such a big subject area - to show off wasn't it? Just make it easier for yourself and you may win.

Why do you never see specialised subjects on things that you might have a chance at? Like England penalty misses - the last 20 years or something, Loaded cover girls 1999-present day would have me shouting a few answers at the TV (as long as CJ wasn't about).

CJ: How did you know that?
Watksi: Err..a guess?

I had a think about my subject, if ever I was on there. They wouldn't catch me showing off, although I must admit to being limited in my sphere of knowledge. It would probably be a choice between: 'the contents of my fridge', 'things I have eaten today', 'my favourite internet sites this week or subjects I studied at school. I might have a fair chance with that little lot.