Procol Harum

the Pale

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

Christmas Quizzes 2018–2019

Triumphant Victors!

For the BtP team it was another swift finale this year: the first three entries came in at 12:01, 12:05 and 12:06. All three of these competitors got their first-choice prizes (Marvin Chassman claiming his eerie twenty-second prize in twenty-three years). Entries kept coming, but pretty soon there was a batch of wrong-uns, which was interesting as almost all the answers were different. We concluded that these were the guessers, who just happened to have been unlucky. 

As usual we've subsequently heard of people solving the puzzle as early as Day 5, which meant that the remaining condundra served merely to confirm a suspicion. To guard against premature expostulation, we ensured that the wording of the Thirteenth Instruction specified a means of conveying the correct answer that has not been used before, and couldn't be deduced from the main twelve puzzles.

It was wonderful to hear of people who used the 'geolocation' clues for their semantic content, though occasionally they did seem to imply something Procolian if one read between the lines ... which was sadly not much help. Was there any information encoded in the 'geolocation' clues, in terms of the whereabouts of the winning string in the sequence? (No! Overall there were  three in each position, but nothing of value could be inferred from that).

There were the usual clues in the wording: The prize-letters were an anagram of PALINDROME; there was a pretty glib comment about Ray Royer's initials being the same on both sides of the Atlantic; the page background was a repetitive number, and (with no basis in logic, as many will have spotted) we asked for the dates to be sent in in words, so as to avoid the well-known difficult of interpreting '1/4' for example, which is April the first in the UK, but 4 January in America. In fact there was no possibility of confusion, given that only the twelve days of Christmas were eligible. This didn't stop some competitors sending dates in June etc.

Special thanks to Gary Brooker for this year's prizes, to our heroic Antipodean puzzle-validatrix, and to our exceptionally Glamorous Assistant (sadly not photographed) for deploying the BtP Homburg with great diligence. And lastly, thanks to everyone for playing, and commiserations to those whose names stayed in the BtP Homburg, or whose answers did not conform to the judges' expectation.

Congratulations to the winning persons, listed here with their origins and their prizes:

First in, against the clock, Marvin Chassman from the USA wins his first choice of prizes, the rare brass and enamel 'Gary Brooker' lapel badge and the Cropredy Festival tee-shirt from 2003. This was overall the most popular item on offer


Second in, against the clock, Peter Cohen from the UK wins his first choice of prizes, the unplayed 45 rpm Broken Barricades signed by the composer. This was overall the second most popular item on offer


Third in, against the clock, Gordon Chalmers from the Isle of Mull wins his first choice of prizes, the photo Gary Brooker (wearing his MBE) with Mikhail Gorbachev and others in a German bar. Overall this was the eighth most popular item on offer


First to be drawn from the BtP Homburg, Tormod Ringvold from Norway wins his first choice of prizes, the Holger Weber 'Echoes in the Night' greetings-card, and the black Palers' Band tee-shirt. Overall this was the least popular item on offer


Second out of the BtP Homburg, Heidi Widmer from Switzerland wins her first choice of prizes, the curious Procol Harum in Kristiansand poster, illustrated with a photograph of the wrong line-up, and the 'Still There'll be More' 2018 poster by Novum designer Julia Brown. Overall this was the fourth most popular item on offer


Third out of the BtP Homburg, Claire Margerison from the UK wins her third choice of prizes, the signed portrait of Gary Brooker by Nik Kalinowski, son of Kellogs. This was overall the sixth most popular item on offer


Fourth out of the BtP Homburg, Markku Huttunen from Finland wins his second choice of prizes, the photograph showing Gary Brooker, Chris Thompson, Jon Lord, Ian Anderson, Peter Frampton, Eric Burdon and others; this was overall the third most popular item on offer


Fifth out of the BtP Homburg, Jesper Mortensen from Denmark wins his first choice of prizes, the Procol posters from Wuppertal, Islington and Bonn. This was overall the fifth most popular item on offer


Sixth out of the BtP Homburg, Holger Neumeyer from Germany wins his second choice of prizes, the Warsaw, Amsterdam and Bonn Procol posters, the ninth most popular offering overall


Seventh and last to be drawn from the BtP Homburg, Lars Johannson from Sweden wins his fifth choice of prizes, the two pictures of Ray Royer, overall the seventh most popular item on offer

Here's the log of the 107 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, Holger Neumeyer, Jesper Mortensen, Lars Johansson.

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, Ian Hockley, John Cammalleri, John Commons, Jonas Söderström, Marcelo Pereira, Stefano Carbone, Tarvo Niine, Claire Margerison

Four times: Axel Leonhardt, Dave Pettit, Maurice Atkinson, Markku Huttunen, Peter Cohen, Gordon Chalmers.

Five times: Richard Beck, Heidi Widmer.

Six times: Mark Allister, Jeremy Gilien.

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

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

Nine times: Tormod Ringvold.

Ten times: Pat Keating.

Twenty-two times: Marvin Chassman.

Back to the How-to-Play page for the 2019 'Beyond the Pale' Christmas puzzles | The Fab Prizes | Link to a sequence of solutions | Competitors' feedback

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