Procol Harum

the Pale

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Christmas quizzes 2013/14

The very simple answer, and how the winners found it

First of all, it was not very hard to solve the daily questions – using the BtP search engine, searching 'Beyond the Pale' on Google, etc. Here are the questions and answers, and then the workings-out.

25 December

Which of these strange phrases is an anagram of a two-word expression used by Keith Reid in three of the songs he wrote from this list: A Whiter Shade of Pale, Age of Treason, Breaking All The Rules, She Wandered Through the Garden Fence, The King of Hearts?

Various links on this webpage will be handy


Alien poets

Gulped alarmingly

Hi! Catch a word

Wreath odd hunger 

‘Wreath odd hunger’ is an anagram of ‘wandered through’ which Keith uses in A Whiter Shade of Pale, She Wandered Through the Garden Fence, and The King of Hearts.

Age of Treason also contains those words, but it was written by Donovan.

Letter preceding first space in correct answer: H (‘wreath odd’)

26 December

Imagine there are two songs, one named Your Own Choice, and the other Your Gown Choice. The titles are different by just one letter.  

Your task in this question is to choose,  from the list, the pair of gigs at which Procol Harum played two actual songs – one at the earlier show, one at the later – whose titles have a similar relationship, in that they are identical except for the addition (or subtraction) of one letter

Index to setlists are to hand here; list of Procol Harum song titles here


Copenhagen (6 November 2003) and Cologne (6 March 1968)

Helsinki (8 October 2013) and Haarlem (18 November 2007)

Los Angeles (21 September 1973) and Los Angeles (15 August 2012)

Redhill (19 July 1997) and Copenhagen (6 November 2003)


At Helsinki (8 October 2013) Procol played Missing Person (Brooker / Sutherland), and at Haarlem (18 November 2007) they played Missing Persons (Brooker/Reid)


Letter preceding first space in correct answer: I (‘Helsinki’)


27 December

Have a look at this compilation of cover art from records every right-thinking person has in their collections. How many of the images excerpted here are not taken from proper Procol Harum albums?

Handy list of Procol Harum albums here

A 1
B 2
C 3
D 4
E 5
F 6
G 7
H 8

There are three images that don’t come from proper Procol Harum albums. The first one is from Tell My Sister by Kate and Anna McGarrigle; the fourth is from the single, Adagio di Albinoni; and the fifth is from The Symphonic Music of Procol Harum

Letter preceding first space in correct answer: C (‘c 3’)

28 December

Listen with care and pleasure to this unfamiliar excerpt from a piece of music played live by Procol Harum some time this century. Particularly note the words.

The question: which of these statements best describes the circumstances where it was recorded (professionally; used by kind permission).

Index to setlists here

A concert in Japan, 2012

An unrecorded gig in Guatemala, 1968

The Isle of Wight Festival, 2006


The clip starts with Gary Brooker singing the words ‘Lonely Room’, and Procol played the song of that title only in Japan, with its co-writer, Yuming Matsutoya

Letter preceding first space in correct answer: A (‘a concert’)

29 December

Here’s a drum solo: who’s playing?

No clues, but use your skill, judgment, ears etc.

If not sure, have a guess. Common sense might also be handy.

Early drummer, Tubs Drubs

Erstwhile drummer, Bobby Harrison

Present drummer, Geoff Dunn


It’s Geoff Dunn soloing in the middle of a recent performance of Whisky Train.

There are no known recordings of the others playing solos with Procol Harum

Letter preceding first space in correct answer: T (‘present’)

30 December

One of these names is absolutely, definitely, the odd-one out:

The Paramounts, The High Numbers, Procol Harum, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Drifters, The Runaways.

As with all these clues, reading the question carefully will be a great help

Former jailbait, The Runaways

Gothic bluesmongers, Procol Harum

R’n’B acolytes, The Paramounts


The clue invites you to look at the names, not to think about the bands or their music.

The odd-name out is the one that doesn’t start with ‘The’: Procol Harum


Letter preceding first space in correct answer: C (‘Gothic’)

31 December

Which member of Procol Harum – his voice not often heard on stage – went to the same school as the British pop star formerly known as Rita Crudgington?

Clue: having been born about 2,697 days apart, they were not being educated there at the same time.

Google could be useful



Gary Brooker

Geoff Dunn

Geoff Whitehorn

Keith Reid


Cheryl Baker (the former Rita Crudgington) went to the same school, in London’s Bethnal Green, as Keith Reid (whose voice has been very occasionally heard onstage in Procol concerts). 

Their birthdays are 2,697 days apart.

(Rita was born 2,574 days before Geoff Dunn, so that’s not the right answer).

Letter preceding first space in correct answer: H (‘Keith’)

1 January

If you think this song is A Rum Tale, the question is, what instrument is playing the bass? If you think it’s Albinoni’s Adagio, the question is, what can we do about it? If you think it’s Homburg, the question is, who do you think recorded it?

Google could be useful, though the information is also at BtP


Bass guitar
Hide in a bag
Mantovani and his Music of the Mountains
Pekinška Patka
Put on a different track
Run away to


It’s Homburg, interpreted by Pekinška Patka. Good, eh?


Letter preceding first space in correct answer: A (‘Pekinška’)

2 January

Surely the easiest of all this year’s questions: listen to these three excerpted versions of Bringing Home the Bacon (an intrusive cowbell plays briefly to signal each time the band changes, and those are the only edit points in the clip).

Your task, identify the performers of the middle clip … the one that starts about 0.42 and ends about 1.36.

Plenty of good Grand Hotel links here


Art-terrorist, The Lone Anti-Hermit

Highbrow blues-rock legends, Procol Harum

Multinational scratch-ensemble, the Palers’ Band

NYC’s finest, Von Gundy’s Time Funnel

The first song is The Palers’ Band (Wuppertal, 2013); the last one is Von Gundy’s Time Funnel (from Trace of a Feeling, 2006).

The middle one is Procol Harum, from the Dave Ball-era studio-recordings for the abandoned pre-Grabham Grand Hotel


Letter preceding first space in correct answer: W (‘Highbrow’)

3 January

Which of these strange expressions is an anagram of a four-word phrase used by Keith Reid in three of the songs he wrote from this list: Harlequin, In God's Shadow, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, The Pursuit of Happiness, Too Close to Call?

Various helpful links on this webpage

Doll shank dance

Halo women tonight

Relinquished lama

Terrific custody belch

‘Halo women tonight’ is an anagram of ‘howling at the moon’, which Keith uses in Harlequin, The Pursuit of Happiness, and Too Close to Call.

Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues also contains those words, but it was written by Dylan

Letter preceding first space in correct answer: O (‘Halo’)

4 January

Which is the most appropriate Procol Harum line-up to drive on a (hypothetical) road-trip through Botswana, Denmark, Turkey, Palestine and The UK?

Wikipedia would be useful

If driven mad, or stuck on this, think back: initial thoughts are best.

Gary Brooker (voice and piano), Chris Copping (organ), Dave Ball (guitar), Matt Pegg (bass), Ian Wallace (drums)

Gary Brooker (voice and piano), Josh Phillips (organ), Geoff Whitehorn (guitar), Chris Copping (bass), Bobby Harrison (drums)

Or Gary Brooker (voice and piano), Pete Solley (organ), Tim Renwick (guitar), Dave Knights (bass), Barrie Wilson (drums)

The countries specified stick the following international plates on the backs of their cars overseas: (GB) United Kingdom; (PS) Palestine; (TR) Turkey; (DK) Denmark; and (BW) Botswana.

Those are the initials of the musicians specified in the third line-up, and as the clue says, ‘initial thoughts are best’.

Note also 'driven', 'stuck', and 'back'

Letter preceding first space in correct answer: R (‘Or Gary’)


5 January

The last time Procol Harum played A Whiter Shade of Pale in 2013 (clip here, 18 October; edited for length … but the whole song was played on the night) they were one man down, and a member of the Palers’ Band was co-opted to lend a hand to the best of his or her abilities. Who was this interloper? Listen carefully, and a good clue … for search-engine purposes ... comes at the very end of the clip.

If you read stuff posted at BtP's What's New page, this question will not puzzle you for long.

Antonio Costa Barbé (Italy), piano and vocal

Elizabeth Bryson (USA), guitar

Jens Anders Ravnaas (Norway), drums

Roland Clare (UK), bass guitar

Thelonious Monk (d. 1982), Hammond

Thomas Raa Olsen (Denmark), words 

As we hear at the end of the clip, the recording was made after the wedding of Procol’s manager Chris Cooke, to Eliza; this was on a day when bassist Matt Pegg had a previous commitment.

Procol jammed at the party, and bass-playing duties were shared between Josh Phillips and Roland Clare (who lives in the right country).

The same two also shared organ duties, Josh of course starring on A Whiter Shade of Pale.

Letter preceding first space in correct answer: D (‘Roland’)

Your task was to find the letter that precedes the first space, in each answer. These were H I C A T C H A W O R D

For reassurance, you’ll see that (a) they spell ‘Hi, Catch a Word’ (which is what the puzzle is all about) and (b) ‘Hi Catch a Word’ was written out for you in the possible answers, which were published on 22 December.  

Your task was to find the last word of the Procol Harum song whose first twelve words start with the twelve letters H I C A T C H A W O R D

Obviously there’s a very LONG way of working this out, but we recommend the SHORT way.

The clue said that ‘the song in question has, just occasionally, not been included in live Procol Harum concerts’.

So, which songs are occasionally not played? They must be items that almost always feature.

AWSoP? ASD? Conquistador?

Don’t bother about the actual words and the letters in the puzzle, and all that flim-flam. Just quickly figure out which of those most-played songs has twelve words in its first two lines?

Child’s-play: ‘All hands on deck we've run afloat I heard the captain cry’: A Salty Dog. (‘Doll shank dance’, amidst 3 January’s anagrams, makes ‘All Hands on deck’, incidentally.)

Then check that those words start with H I C A T C H A W O R D

And the last word of the song is 'hand' – which might help explain why the words ‘handy’, ‘to hand’, ‘handing’ and ‘handsome’ have appeared with such unnatural frequency in the instructions and comments.

And if you could ‘catch a word’, what would you use? Perhaps your … hand?

It was as easy as that!

Many thanks to the splendid Jane Clare from Perth, WA, who worked through all the clues and subsequent shenanigans, to verify their intelligibility.

2013 puzzle prizes | Winners



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