Procol Harum

the Pale

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Christmas Quizzes 2018–2019

Triumphant Victors!

For the BtP team it was an exciting finale this year: the first two entries were a photo-finish, their e-mails showing the same date-stamp. The third entry came in twelve minutes after that, then the main body of contenders began to appear after another eighteen minutes or so. Luckily the photo-finishers both got their first-choice prizes (Marvin Chassman claiming his eerie twenty-first prize in twenty-two years). Entries thinned out after two or three hours, but did continue – the last of the prize-winning entries was sent some 45 hours after the final puzzle was published.

There were as usual several ways to solve this year's conundrum. Most obvious, undoubtedly, was to work out each day’s solutions, and then follow the comically-tortuous manipulations specified in the various drip-fed final instructions, cutting out pieces of paper, drawing a clockface, and referring to the song from which the ensuing line – 'save the world and be the king' – derived.

Luckily people spotted that the daily feature of  'a word hint' didn't serve its ostensible purpose, but did present an anagram of 'hard to win'. This three-word phrase, which blatantly described the puzzle itself, was surely going to be the correct answer, and one didn't need many of the letter-pairs to confirm this. A later clue, about finding the 'pirates' gold', allowed lateral thinkers to ponder the sound-alike 'pyrites gold' ... which sent them to the song, Fools' Gold, in which our target phrase occurs. And the ever-changing clockface, behind the daily puzzle text, indicated the sequence in which each day's letter-pair needed to be placed in a circle in order for 'save the world and be the king' to become apparent. So a combination of spade-work and intuition served most competitors well, and all answers submitted were correct.

Soon we'll publish solutions to the thirty-six questions, and some nice competitors' comments. Two of the most enlightening came from players who thanked us for introducing them to the idea that their computers had a 'Find' facility: nice to know that BtP has an educational function :-) .

Special thanks to Procol Harum, Gary Brooker, Keith Reid, Geoff Whitehorn, Esoteric Records and Procol author George Lovell for the excellent prizes, to our heroic Australian puzzle-validator, and to our Angelic Estonian assistant, who deployed the BtP Homburg with great care. And lastly, thanks to everyone for playing, and for many kind remarks; and commiserations to those whose names stayed in the BtP Homburg.

Congratulations to the winning persons, listed here with their origins [where known] and their prizes:

First in, against the clock, Mark Allister from the UK wins his first choice – overall the second-most-coveted prize on offer – the Brooker/keytarist photograph signed by The Commander


Second in, against the clock, Marvin Chassman from the USA wins his first choice – the ninth-most-favoured prize on offer – the Large Procol 2018 tour tee-shirt


Third in, against the clock, Pat Keating from the USA wins his first choice – the most-desired prize on offer – the signed Keith Reid album In My Head


First to be drawn from the BtP Homburg, Robert Sangpeth from Thailand wins his first choice – overall the tenth-most-coveted prize on offer – the Rotosound strings donated and signed by Geoff Whitehorn


Second out of the BtP Homburg, Peter Cohen from the UK wins his third choice – overall the seventh-most-favoured prize on offer – the two George Lovell volumes


Third out of the BtP Homburg, Markku Huttunen from Finland wins his first choice – overall the third-most-coveted prize on offer – the Grand Hotel expanded edition from Esoteric Records


Fourth out of the BtP Homburg, Charlie Allison from Bonnie Scotland wins his third choice – overall the eighth-most-desired prize on offer – the XL Procol 2018 tour tee-shirt


Fifth out of the BtP Homburg, Fred Schröter from the Netherlands wins his first choice – overall the fifth-most-favoured prize on offer – the Procol's Ninth expanded edition from Esoteric Records


Sixth out of the BtP Homburg, Evan Wagshul from the USA wins his third choice – overall the eleventh-most-coveted prize on offer – the 2XL Procol 2018 tour tee-shirt


Seventh out of the BtP Homburg, Robert Ruehs from the USA wins his fifth choice – overall the fourth-most-sought-after prize on offer – the Exotic Birds and Fruit expanded edition from Esoteric Records


Eighth out of the BtP Homburg, Tormod Ringvold from Norway wins his second choice – overall the sixth-most-favoured prize on offer – the Live at Edmonton expanded edition from Esoteric Records


Ninth and last to be drawn from the BtP Homburg, Yan Epstein from we know not where wins his eighth choice – overall the least-desired prize on offer – the medium Procol 2018 tour tee-shirt

Here's the log of the 97 winners since the first BtP Christmas puzzle in 1997:

: Alan Semok, Alick Leslie, Andrea Grasso, Aongus Collins, Arne Grue Jensen, Avihay Abudy, Barrie Deatcher, Basil Steven-Fountain, Bent Aronsen, Bernard O Connor, Bruce Donley, Christina Hermansson, Claes-Peter Haväng, Dietmar Schloetel, Dominik Halas, Erik Mouridsen, Ernst Schuiki, George Parker, Giancarlo Buletti, Giorgio Marcanato, Graham Wallis, Gary Madely, Heidi Moen, Ian Berry, Ian Elby, James Kline, James Waters, Jim Krapf, Jim Stratico, John Crouch, John Weir, Karsten Overgaard, Kurt Harding, Marc Laveaux, Mark Mott, Michael Haag, Mick Norman, Mike McGill, Mike Norman, Nancy Zohner, Peter Bourne, Peter Christian, Peter Gardner, Pierre Godbout, Richard Mosely, Robert Ruehs, Robert Sangpeth, Robert Young, Russell Maddox, Sam Behrend, Søren Borello, Stefano Ciccioriccio, Stuart Grant, Toshiya Hyakuma, Yan Epstein.

Twice: Carlo Ponissi, Claire Margerison, Dave Knight, Fred Schröter, Greg Panfile, Jan Pederson, Jutta Kaufmann, Kerry Canfield, Lourens Visser, Mogens Vinther, Pamela Miller Chwedyk, Phil George.

Thrice: Barbara Black, Beverly Peyton, Bob Young, Charlie Allison, Evan Wagshul, Gabriella Vinci, Gordon Chalmers, Ian Hockley, John Cammalleri, John Commons, Jonas Söderström, Marcelo Pereira, Markku Huttunen, Peter Cohen, Stefano Carbone, Tarvo Niine.

Four times: Axel Leonhardt, Dave Pettit, Heidi Widmer, Maurice Atkinson.

Five times: Richard Beck.

Six times: Mark Allister, Jeremy Gilien.

Seven times: Kerry Holloway (and Jen, sometimes), Piotr Wlaz.

Eight times: Bert Saraco (and Carina, sometimes), Bob Jaccino, Tormod Ringvold.

Ten times: Pat Keating.

Twenty-one times: Marvin Chassman.

Back to the how-to-play page for the 2018 'Beyond the Pale' Christmas puzzles | The fab prizes | Resources and links | Solutions | Competitors' feedback

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