Procol Harum

the Pale

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Christmas quizzes 2009

The crowd called out for ... the solution

As the repetition in the rubric of  'the crowd called out for ...' might suggest, the solution to this year's puzzle was the word 'More', being the last word of All This and More, being the title of the Procol Harum Box Set anthology (which was the most sought-after prize from this year's roster).

The twelve different letters of All This and More occurred in key positions in the album-titles (the sources for the odd-tracks out) that competitors came up with each evening ... the twelfth letter of the first answer, the eleventh letter of the second answer, and so on in sequence right down to the second letter of the eleventh answer and the first letter of the last answer.

Coincidentally – as some pointed out – these twelve letters constitute the name of cryptographer Ronald E Smith, whose mp3 excerpts sometimes yielded a single solution, and sometimes a multiple one; only with the last clue, whose answer was unequivocally Secrets of the Hive, were competitors then able to 'cancel out' the multiples and find the unique solution to each day's question.

This process also acquainted competitors with the fine contents of this Procol Harum Reissue / Remaster series ... thanks to Salvo for contributing so many of the prizes.


The clip to
listen to ...
Two tracks from
the same album
Odd-one-out Album


25 December

First mp3 clip

Memorial Drive & Playmate of The Mouth from Broken Barricades

Typewriter Torment Procol's Ninth h

26 December

Second mp3 clip Blue Danube & Last Train To Niagara from All This and More
The Mark of the Claw Something Magic a

27 December

Third mp3 clip Fresh Fruit & Butterfly Boys from Exotic Birds and Fruit For Liquorice John Grand Hotel
All This and More


28 December

Fourth mp3 clip

Holding On and Weisselklenzenacht from Secrets of the Hive


Luskus Delph Live in Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
All This and More


29 December

Fifth mp3 clip

Toujours l'Amour & TV Ceasar from Grand Hotel

Drunk Again Exotic Birds and Fruit

30 December

Sixth mp3 clip Piggy Pig Pig &
Still There'll Be More (raw track) from
Skip Softly/Also Sprach Zarathustra A Salty Dog d

31 December

Seventh mp3 clip

Understandably Blue & Il Tuo Diamante from Procol Harum

Shine on Brightly

Secrets of the Hive
Shine on Brightly  or
All This and More


1 January

Eighth mp3 clip Simple Sister (rehearsal) & Shine on Brightly (rehearsal) from Live in Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
 Broken Barricades (long fade) Broken Barricades e

2 January

Ninth mp3 clip


This Old Dog & You’d Better Wait from Something Magic


A Whiter Shade of Pale Secrets of the Hive
Procol Harum

All This and More


3 January

Tenth mp3 clip McGreggor &
A Robe of Silk (backing track) from
Shine on Brightly 
Dead Man's Dream Home m

4 January

Eleventh mp3 clip

Too Much Between Us & Goin' Down Slow (live) from A Salty Dog


A Christmas Camel Secrets of the Hive
Procol Harum

5 January

Twelfth and final mp3 clip The Final Thrust & The Piper's Tune from Procol's Ninth This World is Rich (for Stephen Maboe) Has to be
Secrets of the Hive

Despite the opinion of one respected ex-member of Procol Harum that one question was 'sneaky enough to be compiled by a Guardian crossword setter', there were in fact no incorrect answers submitted this year, for the first time: though some competitors disqualified themselves by not specifying what prizes they wanted.

In ascending order of popularity the prizes were Home + Grand Hotel | Shine on Brightly + Procol's Ninth | A Salty Dog + Exotic Birds and Fruit | Procol tee-shirt signed on the front | Procol Harum + Something Magic | Broken Barricades + Live at Edmonton | Procol tee-shirt signed on the back | No Stiletto Boot signed | All This and More.

It was good to read some competitors' comments, like ' ... my weary and befuddled brain looks forward with masochistic fervour to this mind-torture every year ... ' or ' ... as every year it was great fun and I always learn a lot from the quizzes ...' or ' ... it was more challenging than first anticipated ... ' or '... it was a blast!' or ' ... rare tracks and nice merging of songs!'

Thanks, Ronald!

2009 puzzle prizes | Triumphant victors How to play

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