Procol Harum

the Pale

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Christmas Quizzes 2017–2018

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, and in 2015 we returned to the time-honoured matter of the albums themselves. 2016 saw our first Procol Wordsearch, which focused on Keith Reid song-words.

So what have we in store for you in 2017? Needless to say, a simple batch of questions largely focusing on the memorable events of Procol Harum's Fiftieth Year, and beamed to you from a galaxy far, far away.

Each day, starting 25 December 2017 on our What's New page, there will be a link to a simple question with its own instructions. It will invite you to undertake a wide-ranging survey of Procol Harum's Fiftieth Year ... the places, the people, the photos, the products, the performances, the purlieux and much, much more.  The information you need will be at 'Beyond the Pale' or elsewhere online, and we'll help you find it with suggested links at the top of each question page (just below the headings).

You'll have to use your skill and/or judgment to match questions to answers, and keep a careful note of your findings ... there will be a simple method of turning your answers into one small tiny little miniature message which you send to 'Beyond the Pale' to enter yourself in the prize competition.

Note ... from time to time we'll be using Latin numbers (as Procol have done for years ... MMX is the name of one of their live albums, for instance) and these will be presented in bold red type like this. So when you see CD, you'll know we mean Compact Disc, but where you see CD, it will mean 400. There's a Roman Numeral Converter online if you need it.

We'll also be referring from time to time to this table, which gives each letter in the English alphabet its number ... familiar, commonsense stuff.





















































Seasoned contenders will know to watch for patterns and anomalies and so on, so as to be primed for the final evening’s entertainment. They’ll also be on the lookout for clues and misdirections in the daily wording, and also, from time to time, some utter nonsense which we think you're going to spot pretty quickly.

Here is a useful example of how your daily dose of Procol fun will be presented: as you'll see it's partly Procol detail, partly commonsense knowledge, and partly deliberate nonsense.

Useful resources
  Language translator | Google your way round BtP (start each query by typing a space) | Greek gods and their attributes | Tracks on Novum
Tonight's topic is  
Novum detail
The answer is  

Choose the question below that is most applicable to the answer above. Make a note of the Question Number (eg Q01a)


Where in the world did Novum come out with two extra tracks, but just one extra song?


Where was the guitar made that Groff Whithorn plays on Image of the Beast?


What is the name of the two-second hidden silent track on Novum which contains no music, just fifty German nuns and/or tax-divers whispering 'Yes' to the Greek god of nature, the wild, shepherds, flocks and goats?


In what country of the Southern Hemisphere did Gary Brooker and Josh Phillips go into a studio to write experimentally, to see if they were on the same wavelength, before work started on Novum?

Common sense says you'll read the questions/answers with great care, because there may well be twists in the wording. With the examples above ...

Q01a sounds a bit illogical on first reading, but it might make sense, so you'll probably need to come back to it.

Q01b mentions a guitarist who doesn't play on Image of the Beast at all ... the name stated is not 'Geoff Whitehorn' ... so you can exclude that question.

contains a number of clearly nonsensical elements that you might feel merit its exclusion, not least the contradiction between 'silent' and 'whisper',  or the meaningless 'tax-divers', etc

Q01d probably sounds feasible – if you've been keeping up with your Procol news/history – so you might like to use the 'Useful Resources' above (which will be different from day to day, and will relate closely to the questions) to check its authenticity ... type some of the key words from the question into Google (always starting with a space). Don't jump to conclusions! The page seems to confirm this is the right question ... but think for a moment which hemisphere Japan is in. If there's an error or inconsistency in the question you must, again, rule it out.

So a process of careful elimination will serve you very well. Somehow it must be Q01a, and if you look at the handy 'Useful Resources' links you'll quickly arrive at a page (you'll need to read it) explaining what the content is of the Japanese version of Novum. Since the answer 'Japan' matches this question, and only this question, you need to make a note of Q01a ... and so on from day to day. But remember, please, the stuff above is only an example. The real questions will start on 25 December and many of them are a lot more straightforward. 

The puzzles start on 25 December and run for twelve nights; the last question in the series will be dated 5 January 2018 and will be posted as close as we can to Midnight GMT on the night in question ... that is, it will appear to you in the first few moments of 5 January. At that point, once you've cracked the twelfth puzzle, follow the link to the simple, final instruction advising you how to 'process' your findings. You'll be using them to discover a very brief and tiny answer – 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 head and a steady eye, and your mind fixed on the prizes you most desire.

As soon as you have figured out the final answer, send your tiny little 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 within an Homburg hat, 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 send us the full order of all twelve, thus: "The small tiny little miniature answer is [x] and my prize preferences are MICEGOSQUAWK".

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.

Back to the What's New page | Winners | Competitors' comments | Ssolutions: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 12 part 2

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