The Withington Pub Quiz League


8th October 2008


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Napier Girls, Opsimaths and Snoopy's Friends keep their 100% records intact

The Results

History Men just lost a thrilling match at the Red to the soaraway Opsimaths. After Rio Ferdinand's searing attack on England's camp-followers at past World Cups it was cheering to see 'Opsimath Quag', Jitka McClintock, sitting quietly at the back offering moral support to her lads on the pitch.  No strutting up and down the streets of Withington in designer gear for her!! 

X-Pats lost a close and exciting game at the Sun in September to the Charabancs of Fire - Damian writes:

As the score suggests, another nail-bitingly close thriller with the Charas trailing behind the X-Patters for the first 5 rounds and then surging ahead in the final three to win a closely fought contest.

The evening's most disconcerting development: a toss up between Father M's tactful suggestion to John that he bears a startling resemblance to Tony Robinson, especially in his World War I version of Baldrick, or Roisin's remonstration with the good Father's description of her as 'Rosinho' on last week's website.  Actually this was not half as disconcerting as the revelation that Roisin has actually started reading the website.  Be afraid, be very afraid!!

Ethel Rodin eased home to their first victory of the new campaign against TMTCH

Napier Girls edged home against the Getaways.  Kieran writes (effusively as ever):

Fantastic quiz never more than two points in it either way and the best paper of the season so far.

Question of the week?  We're not sure but round of the season was the Drummers round.  Moon and Star delivered fine.  Then, if the misdirection of Collins (the one who didn't get to the moon on Apollo 11) or even Major Tom, was deliberate then it was a stroke of pure genius.  Roger Palmer perplexed us, a feeling I know well, but then the brains trust wavered between Barber and Copeland until a 40 watt bulb flickered on somewhere and all those tedious evenings thirty years ago listening to The Police finally bore fruit.  A hugely enjoyable evening as always with the Getaway/Parkers.

By the way a Girl's EGM decided on a name change to SPW.  No it's not a Guardian sub editor's version of Shauny but we cede our league title to any team that can come up with the correct explanation of what it stands for - and why it means something to us

(Ed - I will adjust the Girl's name on the website in time for next week's results)

Snoopy's Friends maintained their 100% record with a narrow victory over Albert

The Paper

Electric Pigs set this week.  Clearly a hugely popular paper.  Never mind Kieran's raptures above, Tony (never one to offer praise lightly) writes:

By common consent an excellently constructed quiz!!

At the Stadium of Murk Roddy commented that the paper went down well "even with the most curmudgeonly" - though he did pick up on the slip regarding FDR's date of accession (see Damian's 'Chief Boo-Boo' comments below).

At the Sun in September Damian summed up the collective reaction to the paper thus:

Another excellent paper from the Piggies with a good, eclectic mix of questions and full of surprising facts. For instance, who could have imagined that dear old Jeremy Paxman had been working for the BBC since 1977?  Honourable mention must be made of the subtly hidden 'Drummer' theme round, with Father M and 'Roisinho'  justifiably advising caution whereas Yours Truly fell for it hook, line and sinker, arguing for the obviousness of the astronomical connection!  I guess one's ageing brain isn't able to handle subtlety with anything like the aplomb of yesteryear.

Evening's Chief Boo-Boo: The 1932 year question.  Franklin Roosevelt was certainly elected president in that year but he did not start his term of office until January 1933.

At the Red both the History Men and the Opsimaths were complimentary.  The paper was finely balanced, did not witter on and had some clever twists and turns - none more so than the themed Round 4 that offered up about half a dozen potential themes before revealing the truth.  I hesitate to mention Gerry Hennessy in despatches since last time I praised a Pigs paper in his name it turned out that he was the only Pig NOT to have contributed.  So  well done to the whole styful.  A cracking evening.

There were plenty of suggestions for QotW.  At the Red the consensus vote went to  the whole themed round 4.  Tony and the Friends at the Didsbury (surprise, surprise) liked the Jack the Ripper question at the start of Round 8.  However my eventual QotW choice was  the wonderfully constructed 'same name/different initial letter' question which (I suspect) might just spawn a whole new wave of imitation questions in the weeks to come (see below).

The Question of the Week

This week the award goes to Round 3 Q7;

Which two surnames, identical apart from their initial letter, link a prominent TV presenter who has worked for the BBC since 1977, and an international cricketer who shot to fame in 2001 when he scored 281 against the might of the Australian attack?

For the answer to this and all the week's questions click here


For those of you who have been around the Quiz league for some time there's a pleasant memory jogger below (and permanently on display on the Team Archive page).

Pam Siddons has dug out a picture of the Midland/Railway team (c1985?) posing round one of those gingham-covered tables in the back room of the old Railway pub in West Didsbury.  Pictured (L to R) are Chris Webb, Pete McKie, Simon Townsend and the late Sid Siddons

Fr Megson

The Getaways - Mad, bad and unlikely to Know

Several of our listeners gleefully hurled buckets of night soil into the WithQuiz studios last Wednesday night in protest at the outsourcing of the first quizset of the season to a bunch of unknowns called the Getaways.  The Bishop of Bath without Wells points out, however, that many of the Getaways have in fact played several games in our Quiz league in various guises, albeit under cover of darkness.  Indeed he can recall one famous occasion when they actually came away with both points after four players from the opposition, Amboß, had been sent off for substance abuse in the first half.


Getaway Richard (back row, centre) cheerfully gives bitter rivals, the Napier Girls, some useful advice on how to identify landlocked countries


Anyway, for the benefit of any of you too young or too inebriated to remember meeting them, here are some brief pen pictures of four of them - not the brainiest four, I admit, but perhaps the four that would be best avoided on a dark night in Parrswood.



in 1946 Woman’s Realm predicted that young Clive would be  "bigger than Mrs Miniver" - but then his mum splashed out the best part of a tanner to have his golden tresses lopped off and he disappeared forever from the women's problem page.  Later he announced that he wished to become a thespian.  This turned out to be nothing more than an unfortunate typographical error, though he did receive rave reviews for his performance in the 1962 Gorton library production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  In the Observer Kenneth Tynan noted that he had been greatly touched by Clive's Bottom, and that he looked forward to seeing it run and run in London's West End.  It is perhaps this incident that Tynan had in mind when he went on to utter the first four-letter word ever broadcast on the BBC.  In his heyday Clive was very much the Lord Byron of the quiz world - mad, bad and unlikely to know.  Today he lives quietly in a two bedroom chateau on the banks of the Mersey where he cultivates award-winning marrows, his memories and a growing sense of worldly ennui.



The only member of the team to have been given the name Stibium at birth, he renounced this title after his first day at primary school when he came home still friendless.  In retaliation his parents barred him from using the name Bassett and from spending any of the sizeable family fortune accrued from their liquorice mines in Uruguay.  In retaliation against their retaliation he announced that he was going to his room.  Furthermore, he would henceforth be known as Mark and would never grow up.  True to his word he still plays quizzes with the boyish enthusiasm of a 12 year old.  Mark adds:

“I love quizzes. Quizzes are brill.  I could spend all night playing quizzes.  Sometimes I do spend all night playing quizzes.  It's brill!  I hate people wot hate quizzes. Especially people wot hate quizzes just ‘cos they don't know nothing.  I don't never give up even when I don't know nothing.  I remember one night they asked me a stinker.  Name the capital of Belgium?  Obviously I hadn't a clue ‘cos I wasn't even born in bleedin' Belgium but I gave it a go anyway.  Using my skill and judgment I went for Tintinville.  It was wrong…..but only just.  I wasn't put off.  I guessed and guessed. and then on guess number 54 - bingo!  I'll never forget that moment of epiphany.  It came just as the opposition were on their final question of the evening which was ‘Which city is renowned for its flavoursome sprouts’ and I said ‘is it perhaps Brussels?’.  We lost narrowly by one point that evening and nobody spoke to me for the rest of the season. but I still love quizzes.  I think quizzes are brill.  PS I think Curb Your Enthusiasm is a very silly name for a TV programme.”


Today Dave is an icon of the quiz world and is freely available on desktops all over Ladybarn - but in the early days he was largely unknown.  Then, in a last ditch effort to revive his career, he turned to TV and became the first seven year old to win a million guineas (a sizeable sum in those days) and a Meccano set on Junior Criss Cross Quiz.  Shortly after that he was persuaded to turn professional and the rest is history.

Despite his stardom Dave remains as unassuming as ever.  Indeed, if it wasn't for his distinctive vocal chords (which helped him pick up an Olympic bronze in the Men's Boom in Helsinki in 1952) and his  tactile habit of bear hugging everyone within a forty yard radius (he was once mistakenly yellow-carded for heavy petting with the opposition) you would hardly know that he was in the room.  In 2005 he broke Pope John Paul's world record for shaking hands with the most people on their way back from the toilet.

Today Dave eschews the razzamatazz of TV quiz shows and divides his time between leafy Ladybarn and the taproom of the Red Lion where he does regular Harry Belafonte tribute evenings.  In his spare time he likes listening to music ("anything by Rambling Sid Rumpole really") and watching ladyboys play football.  He hopes one day to be rich enough to buy Man City FC and to steer them to their rightful place in the Beswick and District B Division League.



(extracts from a recent interview first published in the Guardian Weekend Magazine)

Q: Full name?
A: Richard Brinsley Sheridan Schwarz.

Q: Really?
A: No.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?

A: Mike Bath.

Q: Really?
A: No.

Q: Who would you like to share your desert island with, Paris Hilton

or Simone de Beauvoir?

A: Angelika Merkel.

Q: Really?

A: No.  Let's cut the crap ok?  Why isn't Bjork on this menu?  I saw

her once, you know, in Iceland.  She was buying fish fingers and so was I.  It's nice to have things in common.

Q: Who is your favourite playwright?
A: ..........(long pause).................................Pinto.

Q: Don't you mean Pinter?

A: ................(long menacing  pause)............maybe................why

must you always contradict me?...........(very menacing pause.)............Merde!.................

Q: If you could only have one wish, what would you wish for?
A: A monkey's paw.

Q: Really?  Why a monkey's paw?

A: Don't know.  I suppose I had to say something and a monkey's

paw just sort of floated through the ether...you can have it back if it's that important.  But really, you shouldn't promise things and then take them back.  It's very hurtful. How can I trust you in future.  Bjork would never do that.

Q: This interview isn't really going very well, is it?

A: Don't know.  Anyway you're the one that keeps asking the

questions about sex.  Why can't you just let me walk my dog in peace?

Q: Don't you start asking me questions, buster.  I'm the bleedin'

journalist around here.  If you want to start asking questions why don't you just pi**  off back to your little boys' quiz league?

A: You're very feisty aren't you?  I like that.  It's how I imagine Bjork

would be.  How's about if we lose the dog and then maybe I can walk you back to your  place?  You can call me Brinsley if you want.

Q: ....(pulse racing but trying to sound calm).....really?
A: No.