Procol Harum

the Pale

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Christmas quizzes 2011: how to play

And how to win the Procol prizes 

In characteristic Scandinavian fashion 'Beyond the Pale' 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. In 2011, however, we've simplified the whole business gloriously as we revert to that theme of The Truth.

How to play, in a nutshell: each day we provide you with three statements ... not all of them are true! All you will need to do is make a note, from day to day, of the number of any statement that you consider to be true. Some days there will be one true statement, some days there will be more than one. There will never be zero, and there will be fifteen correct statements altogether.

Here's an example:

1 A white Triumph sports car sold by Gary Brooker in 1967 was subsequently bought by BJ Wilson and has since been owned, in turn, by everybody who has ever played in Procol Harum or guested on their albums
2 Good Captain Clark was the B-side of Procol's second UK single, Homburg
3 Robin Trower played a Fender six-string electric bass on the album version of Power Failure.

You will notice that you are faced with three different kinds of statements: the first one requires you to use common sense to determine whether it is true or not, because no amount of Internet searching will give you any relevant information; the second question looks true, until you notice that 'Clack' is spelt incorrectly, thereby falsifying the statement; and the third one looks unlikely until you Google for it and find that it is in fact true. So your answer in this case would be '3' since that is the number of the statement that is true – and remember that some days there may be more than one true statement, although there will never be none.

As well as using common sense, and the search engine of your choice, you can use Google to search specifically at ‘Beyond the Pale’ (and that’s where a great number of the answers will be found) – start by typing “” into the search field, then the key words you want to search for (eg | Trower + “six-string electric bass" | or whatever).

A moment’s advice: don’t make any hasty decisions. Small inaccuracies in an otherwise-faultless statement mean that the statement as a whole is untrue. Remain aware that we may well have taken something that looks true, and mischievously distorted it by changing some tiny detail. And we may have selected something that looks deeply improbable, but is in fact correct in every particular.

As the days of Christmas unfold, keep a note of each daily answer, and in the last dose there will be a simple, new, simple instruction – or two – telling you how to ‘decode’ your findings, to ‘set your foot upon the nearest road’ and ‘find some pirate’s gold’: as always, you will end up sending a very short answer to ‘Beyond the Pale’ (for example, the answer to our most recent Prize Competition, in the summer, was simply the number ‘42’). You can join in at any time, if you have a pencil and an internet connection!

Useful resources: List of Procol Harum songs (from a previous puzzle) | BtP search engine Search 'Beyond the Pale' on Google.

As soon as you have figured out the final answer, send your entry by e-mail to BtP as fast as possible. If you're in the quickest three correct entrants (on a beat-the-clock basis) you stand a very good chance of getting your prime choice of the prizes. After that, all correct entries received in the next 24 hours will be placed in a Homburg, 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 need to let us know the full order of all eight.

Jane Clare in Australia, who tests and verifies the annual puzzles at BtP, has commented this year that one or two of the questions look 'a tad misleading' unless you take care ... so do! 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.

2011 puzzle prizes | Winners | Solution How to play



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