Sorry about the lack of action round here, but quite obviously our excuse is we were in the pub. And what pubs. Over the next week you will be regaled with tales about men with hats, another pub deadly sin and some South London boozers. But first a cautionary tale about quiz machines.

Beat The Clock is a Maygay machine (note that – it is quite important) which is simplicity in itself. You answer questions and earn seconds. At a certain point you will earn enough seconds to enter the endgame. However the more seconds you earn, the more time you will have in the endgame – where you have to answer between one and eight questions per cash prize stage. Since you can enter the endgame any time after you qualify, this gives you an effective pass – so you always have a good stab at the money. Add to this a fickle if generous nature on giving out try agains and passes – not to mention a complete lack of correlation between number of seconds earned and difficulty of question – you have a solid quizzer. We won a fair bit from in on Sunday.

However, be warned. The endgame is structured in classic Top Of The Pops machine style – a beat the clock choice of free. You have a choice of two sets of questions which are cryptically introduced to you. For instance : “Red Is The Colour” is questions on who plays football in green or red or neither. Borders asks which of the named countries shares a border with Mali or Afghanistan. Pretty easy stuff.

Just stay clear of the Meta-Question. The topic “A Question Of Quizzes”. Thinking this might be about which game-show was on BBC or ITV we went straight for it. And the following legend came up:
“Which of these quiz machines is made by Maygay, Barcrest or neither?” Twenty five seconds gone to nought. Be warned, is all I say, there may be more of these lurking out there somewhere.