Procol Harum

the Pale

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Christmas quizzes 2012: how to play

And how to win the twelve 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, whereas in 2011 the theme was The Truth. For 2012, however, we're focusing on the eventful happenings and announcements of the year.

How to play, in a nutshell: each day we provide you with three statements, two of them untrue, one true! All you will need to do is make a note, from day to day, of the number of the statement you consider to be true. Each day there will be only one true statement, so there will be twelve correct statements altogether. The puzzles start on 25 December and run for twelve nights, the last question being posted as close as we can to Midnight GMT on the night in question.

Here's an example of how easy it's all going to be ...

Example a

Insert the missing word from Keith Reid's lyric: 'The eye of the ________, the loss of the thread'






quantity surveyor

Example b

Where will Procol Harum play
in early April 2013?


on a submarine (and to an audience of lobsters)


in Nagasaki (and with a chorus of Trappist nuns)


in Wuppertal (and in symphonic style)

Example c

Excluding 'Beyond the Pale', of course, what's the top published source of Procol information?


Encyclopaedia Britannica


the 'Biog', by Henry Scott-Irvine


Smash Hits annual, 1967

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 | "loss of the thread" | or whatever).

As the days of Christmas unfold, keep a note of each daily answer, and in the last dose there will be a link to a simple, new instruction – or maybe a set of instructions, depending how we feel on the day – advising you how to 'process' your findings. In short you'll be using them to create a username and a password that will give access to a final page where you'll find one highly-specific and easy-to-understand instruction: as always, you will end up sending a very short answer to ‘Beyond the Pale’.

You can join in at any time
, if you have a pencil and an internet connection!

Useful resources: BtP search engineSearch 'Beyond the Pale' on Google | Wikipedia | Procol Harum 2012 dates

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, 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 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 twelve, thus: "The brief answer is [x] and my prize preferences are AGBHCIDJEKFL"

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.

2012 puzzle prizes | Winners | Solution | First question  



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