Of the few things to recommend the Daily Mail are the Coffee Break bits, three pages of cartoons, quizes and trivia. Okay, so Fred Bassett has seen better days and should have been put down years ago. Why the Mail saved him from the Express’s lethal injection is beyond me.
Dick Millington’s ‘I Don’t Believe It’ appeals to my inner conservative, though why a Google search should lead me to a Learn to Meet Chicks site is an equal mystery. And ‘Up and Running’ is oddly risque for the family values Mail. As for Peanuts, well it was good once.
‘Questions and Answers’ is excellent — all the questions you hadn’t even thought of asking, let alone wanting to know the answer to. I must admit to providing an A to a Q on occasion. (One that springs to mind is the number of parents who christened their children Cain and Abel. More than you’d think.)
Which gets us to the puzzle page. My favourite is the Scrabble Grams — seven letters or fewer words to hit the par score or better, or the smallest, hardest crossword, or the Name Game, I’m a sucker for it. (I steer clear of Codeword though: that is Mrs P territory and I risk preferred bits of my anatomy by filling it in, even in pencil.)
Later the ‘Quick Quiz’ and the ‘Master Quiz.’ The former isn’t exactly demanding: questions like, ‘Who wrote Beethoven’s Ninth?’ etc. ‘Master’ is more demanding. You either know the answer or you don’t.
Take today for example. ‘In which ocean are the Falkland Islands?’ No problem, South Atlantic, knew that. Next ‘what fraction of an inch is a barleycorn equal to? Not a bloody clue. One third apparently. Then ‘which British author wrote the 2000 novel White Teeth.’ What?
Finally, ‘What is the middle name of former U.S. President Bill Clinton?’ I knew it, I knew it, but memory failed. Bloody Jefferson.
Now I know that the will to live is slipping away, but bear with me, there is a point. Which is thus:
A few days ago, on of the Master Quiz questions was: ‘On which date do we celebrate St George’s Day?’
A Master Quiz question for goodness sake. And in the Mail of all places? I’d be interested to hear from anyone who doesn’t know the answer.