Procol Harum

the Pale

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Christmas Quizzes 2014: how to participate

And how to acquire the ten handsome 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. In 2012 we focused on the happenings and announcements of the year, and for 2013 and 2014 it's been a miscellany ... so much easier for everyone. 

Each day, on our what's new page, there will be a link to a simple question with its own instructions. Each day's puzzle has just one answer, a letter of the alphabet. Make a note of it and we'll let you know what to do at the end of the final question. 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. As the days of Christmas unfold, keep a note of each daily letter, and use them all when you follow the link to the simple, final instruction advising you how to 'process' your findings. In short you'll be using them to discover another very short answer – a single letter of the alphabet, in fact – which you'll then send to ‘Beyond the Pale’.

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

Special note: the wording of the questions can look a bit daunting, but that's partly because we have to phrase things carefully to avoid any possibility of being misunderstood. But a bit of lateral thinking will get you a long way. If the question talks about a thirteen-letter Procol Harum title which is an anagram of the Inuit word for 'quesadilla' – and you don't know any Inuit words – just go to BtP's page of Procol song titles and find the thirteen-letter ones. If there are hyperlinks in the question, follow them. The answers are all there to be sought: we're not leaving you high and dry. And we're not teasing you either ... we make no apologies if the questions take you for a trip to bits of 'Beyond the Pale' you've forgotten about or never visited, after all you're a Procol fan so you're going to enjoy all that ... but we really do advise you to read the instructions pretty carefully and not jump to any conclusions. Keep a clear eye and a steady head, and your mind fixed on the prizes you most desire.

To get you in the mood for what's coming next, each day's puzzle page this year contains a useful clue about the following day's question (except the last one, of course)

Useful resources: BtP search engineSearch 'Beyond the Pale' on Google | Wikipedia | 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 deal of the information you'll need can be found) – start by typing “” into the search field, then the key words you want to search for.

As soon as you have figured out the final answer, send your single-letter entry by e-mail to BtP as speedily as possible. The address will be given.

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 ten, thus: "The brief answer is [x] and my prize preferences are AGBHCIDJEF". If you're keen on the Procol vinyl albums, put 'A' and 'J' at the top of your preference list and, if you're a prize-winner, we'll correspond with you about which one of the albums you want to be sent when they become available.

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. Many thanks to the admirable Jane Clare of Perth WA who has once again worked through all the clues and subsequent shenanigans, to verify and enhance their intelligibility.

2014 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