Procol Harum

the Pale

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Christmas quizzes 2010

The solution

First, the answers to all the lyric clues, whether they related to the true statements or not:

25 December

Relevant hint

The true statement is in red Procol Harum played a four-verse A Salty Dog in Italy in 2006 ... each verse with different words A Deram in Ev'ry Home is a track on The Prodigal Strangler Procol Harum always line up for a final bow, after concerts, in exactly the same order, left to right
Explanation True ... Zucchero sang with the band at Chiari 'Dream' and 'Stranger' are spelt incorrectly, so the statement is not true A quick glance at the hundreds of concert photographs at 'Beyond the Pale' will assure you that this is not the case
The clues answered Something to steal, while sacking the town and robbing the tower (8)

ALPHABET (Whaling Stories)

Missile that pierced a jewel inside an oyster (5)

ARROW (A Dream in Ev'ry Home)

The kind of thirst that a drunkard has (5)

CRAZY (Something Magic)

26 December

Relevant hint

The true statement is in red There are seventeen full-time Procol Harum tribute bands working in Denmark at present Procol Harum played their first gig of the present millennium with two lead guitarists Gary Brooker plays all the orchestral parts on Grand Hotel
Explanation We know of one, part-time Procol Harum tribute band, but the statement is otherwise somewhat exaggerated Yes they did, at Stoke Park, Guildford, with Mick Grabham and Geoff Whitehorn He arranged them, but he doesn't play them
The clues answered Gloomy destination, specified by cries from the Valkyrie (7)

FUNERAL (Wreck of the Hesperus)

A kind of fruit slice that you’re not to dream about while sniffing around shortcake (6)

BANANA (Mabel)

How did love taste, when you first remember experiencing it? (6)

BITTER (A Dream in Ev'ry Home)

27 December

Relevant hint

The true statement is in red Procol Harum have played three concerts with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Procol Harum have played four concerts with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Procol Harum have played five concerts with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
Explanation Three bouts of concerts, yes, but two of the bouts were two-nighters No Yes: one in 1971, two in 1992, and two in 2010
The clues answered There are diamonds in cellar, but what’s in the turret? (4)

GOLD (Memorial Drive)

A crabby tropic, associated with the meaning of soul (6)

CANCER (Man with e Mission)

What am I (as I call to mother) in addition to being deaf and blind? (4)

COLD (Crucifiction Lane)

28 December

Relevant hint

The true statement is in red Mark Brzezicki played a Yamaha kit at the orchestral gig at Dalhalla, Sweden Über-fan Allen 'One-Eye' Edelist is shown on stage, singing with Mssrs Brooker, Brzezicki, Phillips and Whitehorn, in the illustrations for the Ledreborg orchestral CD The words of An Old English Dream are adapted from an original poem by WH Smith
Explanation The drummer at Dalhalla was Geoff Dunn True: he's singing the 'Shalimars' in the Palers' Band's Whaling Stories with the rest of Procol onstage at Domus Felix WH Auden is the poet. WH Smith is a chain of shops
The clues answered What bird was slain after laying a golden egg (5)

GOOSE (Into the Flood)

The kind of scientists who display marble plaques (9)

CHRISTIAN (Cerdes (Outside the Gates of))

What shape of moon has rings around it? (8)

CRESCENT (Perpetual Motion)

29 December

Relevant hint

The true statement is in red Geoff Whitehorn occasionally plays a PSR guitar on stage with Procol Harum Procol Harum store their spare Hammond organs in a cod-drying shed at Minden, Germany Matt Pegg plays a five-string bass on stage with Procol Harum
Explanation He occasionally plays a PRS guitar. Minden, being far from the coast, would be an inconvenient locale for cod-drying. And the organs would reek unappetisingly of fish. He does indeed, as hundreds of photographs at 'Beyond the Pale' attest
The clues answered Human vice found in the king’s apartment (5)

GREED (All Our Dreams are Sold)

Who are slipping and sliding in perpetual motion? (7)

DANCERS (Perpetual Motion)

What do we do, while our friend the Arab guides us (5)

DREAM (Song for a Dreamer)

30 December

Relevant hint

The true statement is in red 'There’s a wealth of folk in Silver Town' is a line from a Booker/Reid song 'The stables ran with blood'  is a line from a Brooker/Reid song 'Fountains pay and words collide' is a line from a Brooker/Reid song
Explanation True. Silver Town by Steve Booker and Keith Reid, off KR's first solo album Not so: the lyricist was Pete Sinfield 'play' and 'worlds' are both missing the letter 'l', so this is not a correct line from Perpetua Motion
The clues answered Something that stormed its final scream (4)

ECHO (Whaling Stories)

What were the bombs an' the buildings doin’, far away? (8)

EXPLODIN' (The Truth Won't Fade Away)

A famous captain, who came grappling in through the letter box (4)

HOOK (Monsieur R Monde)

31 December

Relevant hint

The true statement is in red Keith Reid performed with Procol Harum when they played In Held 'Twas in I at Catford in 2005 In Held 'Twas in I was an encore when Procol Harum played Westbury NY in November 2010 In Held 'Twas in I concluded with fireworks when Procol Harum played at Stoke Park, Guildford, in 2000
Explanation Bloomsbury, not Catford It was, at the end of what must have been one of the best PH shows ever Grand Finale ended thus, but In Held 'Twas in I itself was not played
The clues answered A man with a mission has none of these (11)

INHIBITIONS (Man with a Mission)

Another thing that has turned to clay (4)

IDOL (The Idol)

Predatory guests at the voyeurs' ball (8)

HUNTSMAN (Playmate of the Mouth)

1 January

Relevant hint

The true statement is in red Chris Copping has worked with three ex-Andrews Sisters Matt Pegg has worked with twenty-nine ex-Rolling Stones Gary Brooker has worked with three ex-Beatles
Explanation No;  the troubled trio was American and, though they did perform in London, one passed away just days before AWSoP was released. You may need to borrow a calculator to figure this one out True; all but John Lennon
The clues answered A lunar phenomenon that needs to avoid being seen (9)

MOONBEAMS (Skip Softly (My Moonbeams))

How frequently did I stand upon Olympus? (4)

ONCE (Barnyard Story)

What type of camera would you stand on when the heavens opened wide? (7)

OLYMPUS (Barnyard Story)

2 January

Relevant hint

The true statement is in red Understandably Blue and I Realise are two titles for the same song Monsieur R Monde and Butterfly Boys are two titles for the same song Monsieur Armand and Butterfly Boys are the same title for two different songs
Explanation True; Understandably Blue seems to be the official title They occur on the same side of same album; but that doesn't make the songs identical A statement that doesn't make sense can't really be deemed to be true
The clues answered What Beatles album would you purchase before blowing out your brains? (8)

REVOLVER (Toujours l'Amour)

What do you lose when the wind blows cold? (10)

RESISTANCE (The Hand that Rocks the Cradle)

Fruit, noted for snuggling close in clotted cream (7)

PEACHES (Salad Days Are Here Again))

3 January

Relevant hint

The true statement is in red Procol Harum played exactly the same number of gigs in 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2008 Gary Brooker's other band, No Stiletto Shoes, got their name from the anagram 'Snootiest Hotels' ... that's where they stay on tour The Spirit of Nøkken download-only album contains nine live tracks recorded in Russia
Explanation True: towit, zero Implausible They're not all recorded in Russia
Answers to the Relevant clues What great British band comes to mind when 'there's no need to scrape ...'? (7)

SQUEEZE (The Devil Came from Kansas)

A tightrope walker has nothing for this purpose (5)

SHARE (Man with a Mission)

What sort of timeless songs get trodden in the dust alongside bugles? (9)

STANDARDS (Fires (Which Burnt Brightly))

4 January

Relevant hint

The clues answered Two men who have sung the word 'fandango' on different UK No 1 hit singles also sing on the album recording of Fellow Travellers When Procol Harum play Good Captain Clack live the lighting is only ever black-and-white During their orchestral concerts in America and Canada in 2010, Procol Harum played two different songs whose words were not written by Keith Reid
Explanation It's Roger Taylor of Queen who sings on The Well's on Fire: but not on Fellow Travellers Black lighting is not without its technical difficulties True: Mr Blue Day (the lyricist is Sutherland) and Symphathy for the Hard of Hearing (the lyricist is Brooker)
The clues answered What literary reference-book gets dumped while pulling out the plug? (9)

THESAURUS (Typewriter Torment)

What did I try to do to her as I wandered through my playing-cards? (10)

UNDERSTAND (The King of Hearts)

What did I tear, when I luckily broke no bones? (12)


5 January

Relevant hint

The true statement is in red Seven Procol Harum song titles begin with words (in brackets); just one ends with words (in brackets) Procol Harum didn't let a bone-breaking injury prevent them playing a German Spa town during a recent European foray The first chord of A Salty Dog imitates the sound made by the siren of a Swedish submarine
Explanation It's the other way around True: Bad Krozingen, no less Close ... but it's a Swiss train
The clues answered How do a whole lot of people treat me, when I have the blues? (6)

UNKIND (Seem to Have the Blues Most all of the Time)

What kind of entertainment is no longer a joke? (6)

UNIQUE (New Lamps for Old)

What would I keep, constantly, when you laid you down to sleep? (5)

VIGIL (A Robe of Silk)

So ... the twelve words you collected were 'alphabet', 'banana', 'cold', 'Christian', 'dream', 'echo', 'idol', 'Olympus', 'revolver', 'squeeze', 'underclothes', 'unique'.

Take the first letters from each word (all of which are shared by one of the wrong answers, incidentally) and combine them with the final letters. You end up with ATBACDCNDMEOILOSRRSEUSUE ... or AABCCDDEEEILMNOORRSSSTUU.

These fit into the grid (between the red crosses) as follows ...

r e d + c r o s s + a m b u l a n c e + o u t s i d e

The line comes from A Christmas Camel, and we wanted to be sent the second word of the title ... so the overall one-word answer was 'Christmas'.

We did offer some useful help (thanks, Jane) ... half the words have a consonant midway ('ambulance' and 'outside'); half are monosyllables ('red' and 'cross'); none are verbs (in this context); only one is a colour ('red'); and half use 40% of the available tally of vowels each ('ambulance' and 'outside'. If you counted the vowels in your list of 24 letters, and found that there were ten, you'd have concluded that two words each contained four vowels; and that means that two each contain one vowel, and these are probably the monosyllables, ie the short words. You might guess that these are the ones with vowels in the middle. So try out well-known colours in each gap, two of which have vowels at the centre, two consonants. ('It's so easy when you already know the answers').

Less explicit clues included 'In case of emergency, this may get you to a place of succour and support ...' ... it's the red cross ambulance that gets you to a place of succour and support: you scarcely needed to consult an anagram generator; 'the following grid, where + (a red cross) marks each space'.

Lines in How to Play like 'sick and weary brain' and the explicit reference to 'Vehicle with a red cross on it, outside' reminded the vigilant competitor of A Christmas Camel.

There was also a lot of help in 'half the words have a consonant midway; half are monosyllables; none are verbs', likewise in 'only one is a colour'.

Another strong clue was the red cross motif in the pink background to this suite of pages.

And the last instruction, concluding 'we hope this was an amusing way to end your Christmas', meant that the final word you read was the answer you were seeking.

2010 puzzle prizes How to play

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