Procol Harum

the Pale

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Christmas Conundrums 2011

 Rare / unique promo items ... lapel-wear ... musical instrument ... CDs ... shirts ... eight fine prizes

Each year at Christmas, following the Scandinavian custom, BtP sets twelve days of Procol puzzles which great numbers of the band's adherents follow with much interest and merriment ... at the end of the trail is typically a tiny answer, which you send in by e-mail to the webmasters, to win one (or more?) of the prizes below. The puzzles start on Christmas Day – some would say that they grow more and more straightforward year by year, while the prizes get more and more desirable.

This year's fine freebies are, we trust you'll agree, every bit as desirable as 1997's, 1998's, 1999's, 2000's, 2001's, 2002's, 2003's, 2004's, 2005's, 2006's, 2007, 2008's, 2009's or 2010's: thanks to the generosity of our various generous friends as indicated below. Click here, in due time, to view the schedule of winners!


A decorative banner, originating at the merchandise booth that travelled around the Danish orchestral concerts that Procol Harum played in January 2011. Measuring about 2 x 1 metres, and made from a kind of strong, woven vinyl, it has been specially signed by the band for ‘Beyond the Pale’ – Gary Brooker, Josh Phillips, Geoff Whitehorn, Matt Pegg, Geoff Dunn – and the image, which derives like all the graphics for the Danish tour from Spencer Zahn’s Grand Hotel  artwork, has been adapted by the musicians so that the face is grinning and there is a ‘2/6’ price-tag – reminiscent of that worn by the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland – protruding from the top-hat.


A delightful small chunky metal Procol Harum lapel badge, of the very popular ‘lifebelt’ A Salty Dog design originally commissioned by Kellogs. All supplies were thought to have been exhausted long ago, but this spanking new specimen – recently found in a drawer in his own studio – was kindly donated by Gary Brooker.


A Gary Brooker solo CD re-release, Lead Me to the Water, kindly donated by Esoteric Records.


An oval, self-adhesive vinyl promotional sticker from 1974 (about 14 x 7 cm), advertising the Exotic Birds and Fruit album and Procol Harum, ‘The best that Britain produces’. Designed in imitation of a fruiterer’s affidavit, it depicts a brightly-coloured parrot, squawking ‘Be sure of the label’; other wording assures us that ‘The guarantee is in the flavour and sweetness’. This ultra-rare item was kindly donated by Gary Brooker, and will look über-stylish stuck on your guitar-case / laptop / forehead.


CD Mick Grabham's Guitar Orchestra kindly donated by Angel Air records.


A Procol Harum ‘vuvuzela’, the recreational instrument issued to each member of the audience to promote participation in Procol’s orchestral concerts in Denmark, January 2011. Fashioned from cardboard and plastic, it is decorated with images of the band, and uses a single reed to produce one comically-strident note when blown.


An Italian CD entitled Songs from the Procol Harum Song Book, by Antonio Zambrini, Andrea di Biase, and Jon Scott – total timing 48.40 – kindly donated by Stefano Ciccioriccio


A Procol Harum tee-shirt, featuring the ‘Weird Fish’ cartoon image of the band, kindly donated by Chris Cooke

Competitors should rank the above prizes in the order they favour them, and send in their preference – all eight letters, please! – with the solution to the puzzles. Your message will look something like: "The brief answer is [x] and my prize preferences are DCGEAHBF"

We shall allot the first three prizes on a beat-the-clock basis, where the earliest correct response earns its first choice of prize and so on; after that all subsequent correct entries received in the next 24 hours will be placed in the BtP Homburg and the remaining prize-winners will be drawn by a suitably Glamorous Assistant, all being well.

In the somewhat unlikely event of there being fewer than eight winners, the first people to submit correct answers will get more than their fair share of the prizes!

The quiz starts on Christmas Day and runs through to Twelfth Night. You can join in at any time, if you have a pencil and an internet connection!

How to play | The solution | Winners

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