Procol Harum

the Pale

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Christmas Quizzes 2015–2016

Guidance about how to play ... and win!

In characteristic Scandinavian fashion 'Beyond the Pale' – whose home is in Norway – will mark Christmas by running yet another twelve days'-worth of little Procol Harum quizzes. In 1997 it was anagrams, in 1998 it was clues about the songs, in 1999 the questions were based on the Procolesque obsession with The Truth; in 2000 it was a treasure-hunt in the pages of BtP; in 2001 the emphasis was on 'lucky thirteen'; in 2002 we looked at all the Procol albums so far; in 2003 the amazing Procol journeys of Hans Teutiger provided our theme; in 2004 guest Paler John Annable from Melbourne took us on a cryptic tour of the Keith Reid songbook, and he supplied 2005's anagrammatic conundrums as well; in 2006 it was an album-oriented puzzle; in 2007 it was all about cover-versions; in 2008 we toyed with the alphabetical ingredients of song-titles; in 2009 the theme was sound-clips from the excellent Salvo Reissue series and in 2010 we were back with Keith Reid's words; whereas in 2011 the theme was The Truth. In 2012 we focused on the happenings and announcements of the year, and for 2013 and for 2014 it was a miscellany; but this year we return to the time-honoured matter of the albums themselves. 

Each day, on our What's New page, there will be a link to a simple question with its own instructions. It will invite you to think about a different Procol album each day, and it will present three possible answers (reactions from the BtP 'focus group', some helpful, some quite shirty (the participants in this, having already seen the questions, won't be entitled to join in the prize competition); thanks to each and every one of them and apologies to those whose answers didn't get used).

As the days of Christmas unfold, keep a note of the best-fit answer, in your opinion, and we'll let you know what to do with it at the end of the final question. In the interests of a speedy outcome, some people cut'n'paste their answers into a Word document and have this ready to hand and printed at the end of the run, when they need to convert them – by a simple process that we'll explain – into a single word, which you send to BtP as you answer.

The puzzles start on 25 December and run for twelve nights, the last question being posted as close as we can to Midnight GMT on the night in question. At that point, follow the link to the simple, final instruction advising you how to 'process' your findings. To recap, you'll be using them to discover another very short answer – a single word, in fact – which you'll then send to ‘Beyond the Pale’.

Anyone can play, and join in at any time
, if you have a pencil and an internet connection!

Special note: we really do advise you to read the instructions pretty carefully and not jump to any conclusions. Keep a clear eye and a steady head, and your mind fixed on the fab prizes you most desire.

Each day's puzzle will contain a link to a Search Engine that will enable you to comb the 7,000+ pages of this Procol website for relevant information. We even include suggestful search terms in order to lead you speedily to the info you need. Or occasionally to take you on a thrilling wild goose chase :-)

What's more – the icing on the camel's back, as it were – each day's puzzle page this year again contains a useful clue about the following day's question (except the last one, of course).

As soon as you have figured out the final answer, send your single-word entry by e-mail to BtP as speedily as possible. The address will be given.

If you're in the quickest three correct entrants (on a beat-the-clock basis, following the midnight GMT posting of the final question) you stand a very good chance of getting your prime choice of the prizes. After that, all correct entries received in the next 48 hours will be placed in a Homburg, and the remaining winners will be drawn from that by a suitably Glamorous Assistant (subject to availability).

You'll also need to look at our fab prizes and decide which one you most favour ... you'll need to let us know the full order of all eight, thus: "The brief answer is [x] and my prize preferences are AGBHCDEF".

Over the past years we've had one or two non-winners who claimed, 'You guys tricked me …' so here's fair warning … just read the final instruction – indeed, all the wording of all the questions, and all the instructions – carefully.

In the unlikely event of there being fewer winners than prizes this year, early claimants will get more than their fair share!  Prizes will of course be awarded at the absolute discretion of Roland and Jens, who run 'Beyond the Pale', and whose decision will be final; their families are not eligible to enter. Many thanks to the admirable Jane Clare of Perth WA who has once again worked through all the clues and subsequent shenanigans, to verify and enhance their intelligibility.

Back to the What's New page, where the puzzles will be announced daily

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home