My Pointless addiction

I love the TV show Pointless (5:15pm weekdays on BBC1, and I didn’t have to look that up).  I am an unashamed addict.  For those that have never watched, they give 100 members of the public 100 seconds to answer questions, and the aim of the contestants is to name the most obscure answer provided in particular category, in other words the one the fewest people answered correctly.  As I write, the current topic is TV Armstrong 4elements of the periodic table.  They use the periodic table quite a bit – they must have a chemist in their team of research elves (it’s sort of implied that the lovely Richard Osman makes up all the questions, but I’ve always assumed he has at least some help).

Naturally I can name all the answers in this round.  They are: sulfur, copper, mercury, sodium, fluorine, nitrogen and barium.  Yes all right, I’m showing off now.  I reckon nitrogen might be the lowest, since its clue is about its boiling point.  We’ll see in a bit…

I’m actually rather comforted by some of the high scores.  34 people out of 100 recognised sodium and 39 barium.  54 got copper and 80 mercury.  There is hope for the nation after all.

Ah, it turns out that fewer people knew it was a compound of fluorine in toothpaste.  Heston Blumenthal and his habit of chucking liquid nitrogen around has a lot to answer for.  It was close though, the second lowest score.

Now for the next round.  Now I’m helped here by the fact that they’ve included atomic numbers, else I’m not sure I’d have got the one referring to album sales.  I’m vaguely aware that gold and platinum albums are possible (and silver?), but I’m clueless as to the sales numbers required.  Ok: oxygen, zinc, platinum, magnesium, bromine, radon and carbon.  I reckon the lowest is going to be… um… well probably platinum.

And while I wait, thank you Richard for stating the correct spelling of sulfur in two episodes now.  I’m always arguing with people about that.

Hmm, I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Platinum was in fact the second highest answer on the board after oxygen.  As Alexander Armstrong pointed out, I suppose that’s really about your knowledge of the music business (an area in which I am pitifully uninformed).  The lowest score was bromine.  I should have realised.

Oh dear the next round is on English Football.  I’d be straight out.

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2 thoughts on “My Pointless addiction

  1. Pingback: Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb | the chronicle flask

  2. Pingback: So how do you spell element 16? | the chronicle flask

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