There were 19 entries for the festive quiz (TAC63 pp8-9), and the average score, 54, was the highest ever. This suggests it was easier than usual, or that readers are getting smarter, or both. Certainly it was the first time that every question was correctly answered by at least one entrant, although no one quite got what we wanted with 3a. Kevin McGovern retained his title with the second-highest score ever (behind just Willsher/Mann's 96 from 1998/99). Second and third places also topped 80 - tremendous stuff - with Martin Likeman improving from sixth last year and the Benn/Brodie pairing taking a non-winning place on the podium for the first time. Bev Barratt escaped the booby after having been in its clutches for a while, and Andrew Archer took his place - for which he receives the Tom Weir CD (see p8), as do the main prizewinners in addition to their other swag. Thanks as ever to everyone who entered. 89½ Kevin McGovern, 83 Martin Likeman, 82 Stuart Benn / Barbara Brodie, 79½ Jon Metcalf, 75 Peter Shaw / Bruce Smith, 67½ Graham Benny, 67½ Jon Foote, 66 Barbara Jones / Richard Paul, 59½ Keith Graham Craig (with Andrew Graham and Graham Stevens), 59½ Bill Fairmaner, 49 Wolf Gruellich, 40 Frances and Peter Wilson, 38½ Gordon Ingall, 35½ Kevin Blyth, 31 Ann Bowker, 28 Ken Winch, 26 Bev Barratt, 26 Ian Jones, 23 Andrew Archer.
1a In 2004 ... where could you find Ben Macbothyburgle?
Only GB knew this. Ben Macbothyburgle is found on TMS - not Test Match Special, but the Tom Morton Show every weekday afternoon on Radio Scotland (810MW, 92.5-94.7FM, plus satellite, digital and online options). In a quiz called Climb Every Mountain, two listeners answer alternate questions. Each correct answer whisks them 1000ft uphill, but a wrong answer plunges them into the abyss. The person on the highest ledge when the fat lady yodels wins. According to Morton, the Ben rises above the River Springsteen. It's the highest hill in Britain, as a few contestants have reached 5000ft. Fourteen questions are lined up each day, so it must be at least 7000ft high.
1b ... which professional Bagger first went on tour in March?
Mianne Bagger, the first "transgendered female" to play in a professional-tour golf tournament. She was born male in Denmark and underwent a sex-change in 1995. In the 2004 Women's Australian Open she carded 84 followed by 74 and missed the ... er ... cut.
1c ... which former England cricket captain completed the Munros?
Not Sir H D G "Shrimp" Leveson Gower, nor even David Gower, but a Mike Atherton, who completed on Sgurr nan Eag, 5/6/04, and is Munroist 3169. http://www.smc.org.uk/munros/munros.htm
1d ... which TV presenter described Ben Nevis as having "emotional majesty"?
The unparalleled Alan Titchmarsh, in The British Isles: A Natural History, on BBC1, 29/9/04. David Attenborough must be quaking in his boots at this new rival.
1e ... what was deposited on Ben Nevis: (a) lion, (b) Trabant car, (c) sofa, (d) secretary of Giggleswick Women's Institute?
(c) - a tartan sofa, no less, taken there in the interests of art by Trevor and Faye Yerbury.
1f ... what was built at over 3000 metres on Mont Blanc: (a) Buddhist shrine (b) wind farm, (c) war memorial, (d) toilet?
(d), installed at 3167m by the Toilettes du Monde organisation. Pictured in the Guardian, 17/6/04.
1g ... a storage depot was built under the Swiss Alps for: (a) nuclear waste, (b) CO2, (c) asylum seekers (d) cheese?
Each option was chosen, with (a) very popular, but it was (c), in a bunker in Berne canton. See http://www.unrefugees.org/
2 Gaps in Wainwright-related sequences
2a 35, 36, 27, 30, 24, 29, 33
The number of fell-chapters in each of AW's main guidebooks, in order of publication (Eastern, Far Eastern, Central, Southern, Northern, North Western, Western).
2b 7, 6, 3, 8, 4, 5, 8
Trickier: the number of Wainwright Marilyns per book. BF scored a half for suggesting seven for the Southern book, as the Wansfell/Baystones situation is woolly due to variable naming and mobile summitry.
2c Clough Head, Harter Fell, Raven Crag, Scafell, Binsey, Grasmoor, Yewbarrow.
AW drew one self-portrait in the main body of each book (Southern also has one in the "Notes in conclusion"), and these are the fells. Harter Fell and Binsey would make a great name for a band.
2d Which fell? 4:7 above Kent
This required knowledge of the ancient discussion (see TAC23 p15) re the frequency with which letters are repeated in names, eg Tom Weir (for whom, three cheers) is 7:7 because he has seven letters, all different, whereas Hamish Brown is 10:11 because of the two Hs. Ill Bell fits the bill - and it's above the River Kent.
2e Buy cakes here
2f Does Jack climb this?
Steeple, although BF and GI tried Pavey Ark, home of Jack's Rake.
2g Keeps an eye on pussies and pigs
2h Wear this beside the 'umber
2i Chuck things at Scargill
2j Here's to you, missus
Robinson, easiest of the lot.
2k Broken tram wheel
Wetherlam. JM blundered a half-point with Whetherlam, neither a fell nor an accurate anagram.
3a What connects ... 159m Bruach na Sean-pheighinne with Xanadu and Strangeways?
The album Loss, by Mull Historical Society - which includes tracks called Watching Xanadu and Strangeways Inside, and the artwork for which features a map of the aforementioned boggy lump, NM361524 on Landranger 47. See http://www.mullhistoricalsociety.com/ Two points for mentioning Loss, one for just MHS, and a mere half for Mull. JF and WG thought it was to do with Sean Penn.
3b ... Gazza with Creag Dhubh at Newtonmore?
The chubby chappie renamed himself G8 ("It sounds a bit like great"), and so risked confusion with the upcoming Gleneagles summit. And Creag Dhubh, 756m, is the eighth highest Graham.
3c ... Jamie Cox in Nottingham with TAC's editor on Stob Coire Sgreamhach on 5/9/04?
Cox is an Australian batsman (aren't they all?) who scored 250 for Somerset vs Notts that day - just as the editor (who was once threatened by bad boys during a Notts vs Derbys match at Trent Bridge) climbed his 250th Munro. BJ/RP pointed out that 5 Sept was the 249th day of 2004. The Ed hadn't been up Sgreamhach despite four ascents of Bidean nam Bian, and the swirly-mist tramp via Beinn Fhada ensured that 2004 became the first year since 1992 to see two new Munros (the In Pinn having been added two weeks earlier). This giddy progress predictably led to a period of consolidation, and the editorial Munro total remains 250 (with 523 repeats).
4 Music, Marsco, please! Eight hill-related lyrics awaiting identification.
I have shat upon the hillside / Neck deep in cushion clover (Lambchop: Caterpillar) and it gets higher / Day by day (Ike and Tina Turner: River deep, mountain high) I've stumbled on the side / Of twelve misty mountains (Bob Dylan: A hard rain's a-gonna fall) To build a mountain of envy (The Thrills: Whatever happened to Corey Haim?) Going down a bumpy hillside, in your hippy hat (Jeff Beck: Hi Ho Silver Lining) He said let's make love on a mountain top / Under the stars on a big hard rock (Either Bette Midler or the late great Kirsty MacColl: In these shoes?) A week in the Lakes, reasonable rates (Half Man Half Biscuit: Dead men don't need season tickets) Or go to Skye on my holiday (Altered Images: I could be happy).
Lots of people got seven of these, but only ML knew the decidedly unGoogleable HMHB track.
5a A character in which 2004 novel lectured at "the University of the Pennine Way"? Henry Nagel, in The Making of Henry, by Howard Jacobson.
5b What ongoing hill-related series started in 1890 with "Let thy words be few..."?
The Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal, the first preface of which began thus. It's still going, but come on lads, get the awol accident list back - it's arguably the best and most important part of the journal, and you owe it to the memory of Messrs Humble and Hinde to keep it going.
5c The final sentence of which book (which reached a significant anniversary in 2004) includes "...he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower..."?
The decidedly unSMCJesque Ulysses, by James Joyce (as opposed to Warbeck's favourite book, HMS Ulysses, by Alistair MacLean). Ulysses, for all its length, deals with just one day: 16 June 1904, ever since known as Bloomsday, after the leading character Leopold Bloom and his wife Molly, whose orgastic thoughts close the book.
5d Which author: "Using the one-inch map, a walker may spend all day frigging about in an area represented by two square inches"?
Lots of guesses: Hamish Brown, Muriel Gray, Harry Griffin, Mike Harding, Cameron McNeish, Tom Patey, Joe Simpson, Ralph Storer, Ronald Turnbull, Tom Weir. But it was Alfred Wainwright, in the autobiographical Fellwanderer.
5e Name the only book published by the Scottish Mountaineering Trust (or Club) written by a woman.
What we were after was the rather good Black Cuillin Ridge Scramblers' Guide (1980), by S P Bull, otherwise known as Shirley. (Apologies if it's actually Shirley of the Crabtree, ie betesticled, variety.) Several quizzers duly got this, while ML scored a half for suggesting Maureen Prior, credited with "Compilation" in the original 1988 SMT edition of Heading for the Scottish hills.
5f Which novel, first published in paperback in 2004, includes "Marilyn" and "Hall of Fame" in the same sentence?
Look no further than TAC63 p12: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon. From p78: "There used to be a column called Ask Marilyn in a magazine called Parade in America. And this column was written by Marilyn vos Savant and in the magazine it said that she had the highest IQ in the world in the Guinness Book of World Records Hall of Fame."
5g Which fat boy's autobiography, published 2004, includes "So I got to the end and I went tac, inside..."?
El Diego: The Autobiography of the World's Greatest Footballer, by Diego Maradona. It's his description of his second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup, the mesmeric-run goal rather than the hand-of-God one. The fat-boy clue misled a few people down the Gazza (sorry, G8) path, and JM read a whole Gascoigne biog before finding the answer online in the original Spanish.
5h According to the second edition of the SMC's Corbetts guidebook, which hill has a "crowningtrig pint"?
The profusion of typos in this book continues to cause amusement. A trig pint is an interesting idea, and is to be found on p203, in the Fuar Tholl description. The same phrase was spelt correctly in the original (and much better proof-read) 1990 version.
6a-h Each little square represents a 1km grid square, and shaded squares contain a Murdo (M), Corbett (C), Graham (G), Corbett Top (CT) or Graham Top (GT). Identify the highest point.
Some found these easy, others found them impossibly hard. This extended to the quiz setters, with Blanco arguing that this was much easier than 1a, whereas the Ed felt the opposite. A wager was duly laid, the loser of which had to buy bottled beer, but it was never a close contest. A lot more people understood these grids than knew the whereabouts of Ben Macbothyburgle, so an alcoholic transfer was made from Cambuskenneth to Crieff. Here are the eight hills, along with the location of the upper left grid square in each instance.
6a MCT Sgurr an Fhuaran NG9619 Landranger 33
6b M Aonach Beag NN1874 Landranger 41
6c MCCTGT Beinn Teallach NN3290 Landranger 34
6d CGT Meallach Mhor NN7694 Landrangers 34/42
6e CCT Streap NM9186 Landranger 40
6f MCTGTG Beinn Eunaich NN1337 Landranger 50
6g CCTGTG Askival NM3697 Landranger 39
6h GGT Gathersnow Hill NT0227 Landranger 72
6d was the trickiest, as although the 640m trig on the GT Croidh-la is at NN776951, the actual 643m summit is in the next square south, at NN775949.
7a In Sept 2004, the Ramblers Association advertised for members using five numbers: 14, 77%, 2,500, 130,000, 4 million. What is the fourth number and what does it represent?
There are 130,000 miles of footpaths in the UK. Various people scored half-marks for 140,000 (or thereabouts), the number of RA members.
7b Which Rambler was killed off by the Ramblers Association late in 2003?
The members' magazine, rebranded Walk.
7c Which summit has a plaque offering this load of pap: "In Loving Memory of Our Precious Son Christopher Albert McLaughlan Aged 2 yrs in 9th Sept 1996 was killed in a tragic road accident who now walks this mountain"?
The Pap of Glencoe. The quote continues "Forever in our Thoughts & Hearts Mum and Dad, Baby Sister Toni Love You Always XXXXXXX" Now, tragic though the accident was, this is maudlin doggerel of a rather creepy kind - a dead toddler walking the hill, indeed. It's also intrusive litter. In days gone by, before the death of a certain princess made such things fashionable, inappropriate memorials on hills used to be quietly removed, and a revival of such traditions would be in order here. Any volunteers?
7d-g ach, cameron has rigged mountain scoring is an anagram of a Munro, a Corbett and a Graham. Name the hills. What makes each unique in its class? Which Munro Top shares this feature? Construct an alternative anagram of the hills including the words "mcneish" and "mountain".
This was fun.
The hills were Sgurr na Sgine, Conachcraig and Tom Meadhoin, and each has its metric height as either its easting or northing (946m / NG946113, 865m / NO279865, 621m / NN087621 respectively).
Stob Coire Dubh, 916m / NN496916, is the similar Munro Top (note that with Carn Bhinnein, 917m / NO091762, the height straddles the two halves of the grid ref).
Now for those anagrams, which included some entertaining images: McNeish, a mountain grading crag chooser (KW), See McNeish dragging a mountain roach (BF), Mountain goon McNeish rigs crag charade (KM), Hear McNeish's "Go cairn go" rag mountain CD (BB), McNeish shagged a roaring mountain croc (JM), O! Gringo McNeish's mountain crag charade (AA), God! McNeish searching a mountain or crag (ML), Ach, mountain dragon McNeish gags Corrie (GB), McNeish record gain, cash mountain aggro, A good mountain crag angers rich McNeish, Archaic dogger McNeish's mountain groan (all JF) and McNeish hogs mountain crag record again and Haggard mountain goon carries C McNeish (both KC).
8 Complete these sequences. Each ends on top of Ben Nevis (apart from the one where it's in the middle).
8a 872, 529, 812, 1040, 1344 Map tops, Landrangers 37-41 (Morven, Bennachie, Askival, Sgurr na Ciche, Nevis). BF scored half for trying 518m re trig tops, but this doesn't quite work: the 518m Mither Tap trig is the highest on LR38, but the Morven trig is 871m, not 872m.
8b 1183, 1214, 1309, 1309, 1344 Landranger map tops in height order (Carn Eige LR25, Ben Lawers LR51, Ben Macdui LR36 and 43, Nevis LR41.
8c 1244, 143, 383, 1040, 1344 Big square tops, NJ, NK, NL, NM, NN (Cairn Gorm, Smallburn Hill, Heaval, Sgurr na Ciche, Nevis)
8d 998, c1280, 1344, 779, 843 Big square tops, north-south (Ben More Assynt NC, just north of Braeriach summit NH, Nevis NN, Beinn Bheula NS, Merrick NX)
8e 966, 986, 992, 1147, 1344 Drops from Munros (Ben More Mull, Ben More Crianlarich, Sgurr Alasdair, Carn Eige, Nevis)
8f 812, 874, 966, 992, 1344 Drops from islands (Rum, Arran, Mull, Skye, mainland Britain).
TAC 64 Index