Procol Harum

the Pale

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Christmas quizzes 2008: how to play

And how to win the Procol prizes

In true Scandinavian fashion 'Beyond the Pale' 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; but this year, the focus is primarily on song-titles.

For 200809 we're not looking at exact anagrams of Procol song-titles, but we are looking at all the different letters that occur in various titles: the 'alphabetical ingredients'.

For instance, if the question contains a pretend title like '
Nobly fake hit', the answer will be a real song whose title contains all those letters, though some of the letters will be used more than once ... in this case, In The Blink of an Eye.

So ... how could you go about solving that? Best bet, look for unusual letters ... the answer is going to have K in it, for instance.

A second example: 'Swamp fondler' contains all the alphabetical ingredients for New Lamps for Old ... each letter is in there (but note that L and O are both used twice).

So each day of Christmas we'll be setting you a simple question involving such near-anagrams, or something similar that requires careful scrutiny of the titles that appear on Procol's regular albums and singles ... no rarities, no obscure items, no non-originals, no trick questions (no Worm/Tree sub-sections). And if you're asked for the longest title, or the shortest title, count just the letters in the title, not the spaces, brackets, apostrophes, hyphens etc; title-words inside brackets are included so Cerdes (Outside the Gates of) counts as 23 letters long (not 6, and not 25).

The question might be something like 'Write down the forename of the producer of the record on which Swamp Fondler occurs?'  ... and so you'd write down 'Chris' [Thomas] of course.

In case you need any reassurance, there will also be twelve clues, one revealed each day.

But the clues will not necessarily be revealed in the right order ... so you may have to be patient. By the twelfth night, of course, you'll have all the clues, so the answers will be easy to find: but we hope you have plenty of fun working them out as you go along.

Some handy resources to help you solve the puzzles: Useful  list of Procol Harum songs | BtP search engine | Google | Wikipedia | Words of all Procol Harum songs | Procol Harum musicians

As the days of Christmas unfold, keep a note of each daily answer, and in the last dose there will be a simple, thirteenth instruction, to tell you what to do to win then you send your entry by e-mail to BtP as fast as possible. If you're in the quickest three correct entrants (on a beat-the-clock basis) you stand a very good chance of getting your prime choice of the prizes. After that, all correct entries received in the next 24 hours will be placed in a Homburg, and the remaining winners will be drawn from that by a suitably Glamorous Assistant (subject to availability).

As always, all you will need to send to 'Beyond the Pale' will be a single word. 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 ten.

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 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.

2008 puzzle prizes | Solution First puzzle in the series
The Triumphant Victors  

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