I’ve been selected to be a contestant on Countdown. This is the culmination of everything that I’ve ever done in my life — I’ve been watching it since I was two years old, I cannot wait, I’m terrified.
So I thought I’d ease my suffering by sharing my training along the way.
Tip The First — Penmanship
Countdown is all about numbers and letters, you might say. It’s all up in the noggin, you might say. But you’d be wrong. DEAD WRONG.
Or as dead wrong as anything to do with Countdown can be.
The truth, and what I forgot until I actually auditioned to be a contestant on the show, is that penmanship counts for a hell of a lot in the Countdown universe. Think about it: every time you complete a round you have to have written down your answer on the little piece of paper they put in front of you.
Not only that, but the board is likely quite far away, so your written down version of the letters and numbers is the only one you’ll have to work with. Bad hand-writing could cost you the round.
There’s also the issue of time. Thirty seconds is not long, and it’s even less when you have to write down every answer that pops into your head as you go along. This is especially frustrating during the numbers round, where you have to not only get the answer but write down the complex mathematical doo-hickery you used to get there.
And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from the Countdown contestant information forms, it’s that they have a sniper trained on you should you use the phrase “…but I haven’t written it down” more than twice in a game.
So after months of preparing myself by watching Countdown everyday, I’ve now started to sit down and actually write along with the contestants as I go. It’s mixed results so far — but then again, it’s Champion Of Champions season right now so everything is hell — but I hope it will give me a leg-up.
And between now and my appearance on the show, I’ll be attending Lady Mimsy Stockenbrau’s School For Girls With Exceptional Hand-writing.