The Angry Corrie 22: Mar-Apr 1995

TAC Xmas Quiz - The answers!

A RECORD NUMBER of readers entered this year's quiz - 14 - in spite of it being described as "particularly savage" by one. Before sitting in judgement, your editor and his co-setter Alan Blanco had to allocate marks per question. This was of course vital to ensure fairness, but also proved quite tricky. We decided that, in general, a correct answer would be worth 2 points - except for Q1, Q3 and Q8, which warranted 1 per part. Further, to get both points for Q6, it was necessary to give gridref letters and name the location. Similarly, both Q7 and Q10b required a correct answer and the reason why in order to score fully. Q7 and Q8 also presented another tricky problem: what if the proffered answer was correct in itself, but wasn't the one we were looking for? In such cases, the entrant scored .5 point for each wrong-but-right answer in Q8, and 2 x .5 if the wrong odd one out was correctly justified in Q7. You'll see what we mean below.

In general, no bonuses were to be on offer, although this ran aground when two people located an Ark Law (Q1b) previously unknown to us. RW didn't find the "original", whereas CE cleverly found both, thus earning himself two points for a one point question. Excluding this rogue bonus, the maximum possible score amounted to 39 points - and whilst no-one scored 39/39, every single question was answered correctly by at least one entrant. (Having said all that, a possible mega-bonus was available for anyone who got what we were really after in Q8b - but no-one did, so tough!) As anticipated, the two trickiest dickies were Q2 and Q3f. The fact that correct answers were found for these left our flabbers well and truly gasted. You're a clever bunch, so youse are.

This cleverness was also borne out by an average score of 20.82 out of 39 - a superb 53.38%! Remarkably, for the second year running, the top prize was shared. Last year's winners - BL and RW - didn't quite make it this time. Also remarkably, the medals hinged on the fact that two of the top three made a canine's lunch of Q9c - correctly answered by half the other entrants. On such small matters do mighty somethings rest.

But time for business. Here's the complete list of entrants, prizes and scores, followed by those long-awaited answers:

32 - Stuart Benn / Graham Pearson (joint 1st prize),
30.5 - Brenda Lowndes (3rd prize),
30 - Iain Johnston,
28 - Charles Everett,
26.5 - Craig Weldon,
26 - Richard Webb,
24 - Roger Holme,
20 - Helen McLaren,
12 - Graeme Nicol (junior prize),
9.5 - Wolf Gruellich,
8 - Charlie Clerke / John Morris (despite going for mainly comedy answers!),
5 - Harry Ingram (booby - or 3:5 - prize).

1 Where? (a) Arrarat Hill, (b) Ark Law.

Relatively easy for starters. Most folk got these - although no points for suggesting Middle Eastern locations. Arrarat Hill is on OS71 at 778298, Ark Law on OS79 at 267101. The other Ark Law is on the 1992 revision of OS73, at 346205.

2 Which vaguely nautical-sounding Hebridean Marilyn carries a sign reading: "Turn on lights before ascent"?

Difficult to the point of impossibility, we thought. The answer: Forsnaval on Lewis. The summit radio station has a mast with the sign tacked onto it. A whole variety of educated guesses here, with many catching the naval angle (although Seaforth Island was most popular). Only BL scored a bull's-eye: through checking for Hebridean Marilyns with roads up them, then cannily accessing Liverpool Uni's hill- database - where she would have seen Blanco's Marilyn tally for 1994 . (Kearnaval, Roineabhal and Suainaval - also bagged on the same Harris/Lewis holiday - are roadless.) Crafty bunch these TAC readers.

3 Where?

(a) The Pilot - OS76 325003,
(b) Big Hill of the Baing - OS77 412021,
(c) The High Tree - OS44 255686,
(d) Top of the Battery - OS43 059859,
(e) Pendicles of Collymoon - OS57 @589964,
(f) Glittering Skellies - NO27/37 247794,
(g) Kneedeep - OS37 309243,
(h) Straight Step - OS78 @020136,
(i) Duffdefiance - OS37 303167

By all accounts, these questions saw quizzers encamped in various map libraries across the country. Apart perhaps from the fact that Kneedeep only appears on recent editions of OS37, this was really little more than collar work (to quote a favourite Poucherism)... until you arrived at Glittering Skellies. Here all bar SB screeched to a halt - although not before some valiant tries concerning offshore rocks near Fraserburgh (The Skellies), and Ian Skelly car sales. The eventual winner, however, correctly turned, not to 1:50000 sheets, but to the green 1:25000 series. And there, on NO27/37 (or, as it now likes to be known, Sheet 283), high above the wood at Bachnagairn, is a set of Skellies Glittering brightly...

4 If you walked from Ca Whims to Bawhelps, in which youth hostel would you most likely spend the night?

Easiest question: all bar two knew this was Glen Doll youth hostel.

5 What famous Scottish landmark, beloved of many a TAC reader, slopes at an angle of 1 in 86?

We thought this would be equally easy, but were proved wrong. Only RW and SB knew it was the Electric Brae. Embra featured heavily in wrong answers: Easter Road twice, Royal Mile twice, Princes Street - plus the In Pinn twice, Hampden Park, Glenfinnan Viaduct, the Tay Bridge - and Tom Weir's nose (shurely shome mishtake?)

6 Fill in the missing letters, and name the location, of a road sign bearing its own grid reference, ??352906.

An odd question in that basic map-perusal would lead to the letters NX - most folk got a mark for this - but the actual name was much harder. So full marks only to RW (who had an excellent mid-section!) for Rowantree Toll. 1.5/2 to anyone who mentioned the Bell Memorial - although this isn't what it actually says on the road sign. (It's down in Galloway by the way, near the Nick of the Balloch.)

7 Odd one out - (a) Sgurr Eilde Beag (b) Carn an t-Sagairt Beag (c) Sgurr Choinich Beag

Few failed to score here, although not all got the right hill for the right reason. We were looking for Sgurr Choinich Beag, which is a top of its parent Munro, Sgurr Choinich Mor. Sgurr Eilde Beag is a top of Binnein Mor, whilst Carn an t-Sagairt Beag is a top of the White Mounth. Geddit? So two full points for that, but only two half points for the following: Carn an t-Sagairt Beag because it's the only one not on OS41 (and hence the only one not in Highland Region); Carn an t-Sagairt Beag again for being the only one over 1000m; and Sgurr Eilde Beag because it's the only one lacking a name on 1:50000 maps. The latter was only strictly true on pre-1991 sheets - although the "new" name has interestingly emerged as Sgor Eilde Beag (but it's still Sgurr Eilde Mor across the glen).

8 What is, or was...

Fun and games here. We anticipated this being a venue for TAC readers' renowned inventiveness, and weren't disappointed. When writing the questions back in the autumn, we had decided on the "correct" answers for 8a - 8f (in a couple of cases two correct answers), and full points were duly doled out for these and these only. However, anyone who came up with an alternative correct answer was due the statutory half mark.

(a) 1011 - Height of Beinn Ime, in metres

(b) 1112 - Height of Tom a'Choinich in metres, also dig 'n' delve. (One Two, buckle my shoe / Three Four, knock on the door / Five Six, pick up sticks / Seven Eight, lay them straight / Nine Ten, big fat hen / Eleven Twelve, dig 'n' delve!)

(c) 1213 - Number of Scottish Marilyns

(d) 1314 - Date of the Battle of Bannockburn

(e) 1415 - Leighton Buzzard (15 letters with only Z appearing more than once).

(f) 1516 - Height of Drumochter Summit, on the A9, in feet (there's a sign saying so); also height of Breac-Bheinn, near Bonar Bridge, in feet.

Half-marks duly awarded for (among others): 1112 - time the first Glasgow bus reaches Cluanie, also A'Chralaig (12th hill in Section 11 of Munro's Tables), also Stronmilchan (11:12); 1213 - Stob Coire an t-Saighdeir (m); 1415 - Battle of Agincourt; 1516 - number of Munro tops, with a "1" in front of it!

9 (a) If Edinburgh is 9:9, Coldstream 10:10 and Campbeltown 11:11, which Highland village is 12:12?

Not long after the quiz was first published, we had sudden fears of being gazumped. The Notes and Queries page in The Grauniad featured the following: Is Buckfastleigh the longest place name with no repeated letters? Which, as most entrants deduced, is in the same ballpark as our Q9. The only Scottish place to top Campbeltown is Coylumbridge - although Albion's Bricklehampton achieves 14:14. Right idea, wrong answer and sadly no points for RW's Inverblogaty. And if anyone can beat 10:10 for a pop band - the trendy Portishead - we'd very much like to hear from them.

(b) By the same reckoning, which Dumfries and Galloway village is 2:5?

The Yang to Coylumbridge's Big Yin, and a place which would score a full house in name poker: Annan. Prize for Good Guess Without Quite Getting The Hang Of It goes to GN for his Ae!

(c) And which much-loved Munro starts 2:5?

Something of a trick question, the answer being Cac Carn Beag - as the top of Lochnagar is known. Extraordinary scenes here, as BL missed an open goal by casually plumping for Cac Carn Mor - which, as every self-respecting bagger knows, is merely the subsidiary top five minutes before the true summit. SB didn't even get that close, although deserves a mention for Ben Nevis and Eididh nan Clach Geala, which both start 3:5.

10 (a) Which OS sheet contains a Region with only one building, a Region with no buildings, and no other Regions?

The question which effectively deprived the otherwise excellent CE of four points and joint first place. He failed to deduce it was OS86, and was consequently one sheet short in his answer to 10(b) below. ("Worse than not winning the lottery!") In all, 8 entrants cottoned onto the quirky, endearing fact that Scotland intrudes approximately half-a-gridsquare into the top left corner of OS86 - and yet, remarkably, still manages to include fragments of both Borders and Dumfries and Galloway Regions! The remaining 1599.5 squares merely portray Albion's unrelenting - and Regionless - flatness.

(b) If England = 108, Wales = 25 and the Isle of Man = 1, what does Scotland equal, and why?

85 - the number of OS 1:50000 sheets to include Scottish land. 80 sheets contain Scotland only (1-73, 76-79, 82-84), whilst 74-75, 80, 85 and the fateful 86 overlap with Albion. 93 sheets cover The Plain only (81, 87-94, 96-113, 118-122, 127-134, 138-144, 150-156, 163-169, 173-204), with Wales overlapping on ten: 117, 126, 136-7, 148-9, 161-2, and 171-2. The fifteen Welsh-only sheets are: 114-116, 123-125, 135, 145-147, 157-160, 170. The Isle of Person of course occupies sheet 95. As a point of interest, the otherwise totally Anglified 108 includes a bit of Welsh sand - but is neatly cancelled out by English sand on 116.

(c) Fill in the missing numbers: 16 20 79 80 - 99 104 109 118 - 129 154 184.

98 and 126 complete the set of OS 1:50000 sheets containing no sea and not overlapping with any other sheets. Arguably, these are the best value of any OS sheets.

Many thanks to all who entered. We've already started writing the next one...

TAC 22 Index