The Withington Pub Quiz League


8th December 2010


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

SPW sail on (just) with the Pigs in hot pursuit - The Opsimaths climb at the expense of the Bards

Results & Match Reports

SPW just - only just - held Ethel Rodin at bay.  Kieran writes in:

"You know what I said about last week's match being the closest we've been run for a year and a half?  Well, wow, that was uncomfortably tight!  We scored half of our points by the second question of round 3 and then laboured through the rest of the quiz as Ethel got closer, took the lead, held on to it, but eventually couldn't quite get to the finishing line first."

whilst from Ethel's point of view James remarks:

"Team tactics at the start: 'We've not blurted for weeks but instead cautiously discussed each answer.  Nothing to lose - let's go for it.'  The best laid plans.....I decided to chat to my teammates instead of going for lithium solo, not to mention the whole Rodin team talking themselves out of Tajikistan.  Oh well.........."

Charabancs wrapped up a convincing home win against the Calluna Pussycats taking advantage of the stunned state of the Pussycats as they came to terms with their very first visit to the fabled Stadium of Murk.  Pussycat Graham sums things up:

"We can only treasure our first visit to the Stadium of Murk.  Good company, fun, banter and possibly a round where the Pussycats might actually have led but for the fact we'd had to shuffle our pack.  One of our number was indisposed and another stuck somewhere in Paris.  What's more our eventual defeat would have been greater had Roisin not stepped in to act as QM.  Many thanks to her - she did a grand job - though we were disappointed she didn't lead us in singing the questions to Round 1.  She'd have made a good fist of Last Christmas or even pretending to be Mariah Carey.  Next time we have a musical round at the Swan we'll get the jazz band upstairs to help us out!  Great fun!!"

Historymen beat the Albert down at the Red.  Ivor comments:

"Back to winning ways at last - just in time for our forthcoming Champions’ League game against Travellers’ Rest.  The Xmas hits round saw us take an early lead.  Song lyrics can be very tricky even if you know the song - especially if the cadence of the line is cunningly fragmented by the QM (tonight it was Peter who merely replied “I just read it as it is printed”).  Peter did a sterling job especially as the light was dim and the font size small - though it did call for the occasional re-read of the question as in: "Are you sure the film was Rachel Without a Cause"?

Opsimaths went first and seemed to get everything falling their way as they almost topped the 50 mark against The Bards.

Electric Pigs beat Compulsory Meat Raffle who, for the second week running, just failed to topple one of the league's leading two teams.  Andrew observes:

"A thriller at the Moss (as Anne-Marie might say).  The Pigs recovered from an 18-25 deficit at half time to win by a whisker.   The youthful exuberance of the Raffle was eventually undone by the The Pigs in the second half as they steamrollered their way to the narrowest of victories. We were all indebted (??) to QM Gary who sang the many song references.."

Quiz Paper Verdict

This week's paper was set by The Prodigals.  At the Club we were a bit overwhelmed by the popular music-related stuff (and that's nothing compared to the Bards' reaction).  Tony did feel a bit cheated when he answered Harry Belafonte to Round 1 Question 8 and didn't get the points.  I'm sure he's right.  Didn't Harry B record this Christmas song well before the group given as the answer?

Ivor sums up the Albert/Historymen feelings:

"Quiz Paper hit all the right notes and we especially appreciated the interesting additional info given in some of the answers (e.g. the 'ugly tax' allegedly levied on the Blue-turned-Red Rooney and the delightfully constructed question about 'the unsuccessful businessman who invented Monopoly and thus became a successful businessman').

From the Griffin Kieran sums up:

"A bit of a curate's egg of a paper but it made for a terrific contest so well done to the Prodigals."

....and Damian's point of view from the Swan:

"A sort of OK paper tonight.  We were certain the Keats question ("A thing of beauty is a joy forever") was from Ode on a Grecian Urn - so much so that we persuaded the Pussycats and QM Roisin to offer us a spare.  Oh the perils of misplaced certainty!  A swift google later on established that it was indeed from Endymion as the the Prodigals' paper had said.  We can only offer our heartfelt apologies to Graham and co. for bamboozling them into allowing us that spare.  Father M has sentenced us all to read through and memorise the entire Keats canon in penance for our unjustified arrogance.  He will be testing us each morning at 5.30am for the next three months as we take our enforced route march through the frozen wastes of Fog Lane Park.  Any other poetically challenged offenders out there are welcome to join us!"

The Question of the Week

This week Ethel's James  goes for Round 4 Question 7:

Which Beatles song vocal starts with 10 syllables all on the note B in three bars?

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


Next week is Champions League week with our top 4 from last season contending with Stockport's top 4 in the battle to find the best of South Manchester/Stockport.  A reminder of what was said in this space last week.........each WithQuiz team taking part in the WIST Champion's League matches (i.e. The Charabancs, The Historymen, The Opsimaths and SPW is responsible for picking up their question paper from the Red - whether they are playing at home or away.

Best of luck to all 4 teams.

For our other 8 teams it's Christmas!!  Next League matches take place on January 5th.  And to start the New Year we have two consecutive week's worth of papers from our new teams.  Now that'll be interesting.

Father Megson

 The Joy of Sects

Sometimes quizzing can rival hurling and naked mud wrestling as a spectator sport.  This was the case last Wednesday night when the Charabancs went to see SPW play the Compulsory Meat Raffle.  In football parlance it was not so much a game of two halves as a game of seven eighths. The night when Blackpool went to Stamford Bridge (before the implosion), went 8 - 0 down in the opening minutes of the game and came rampaging back to parity and beyond only to get pipped at the post by the champions on the second last kick of the evening.

Apart from seeing two very good quiz teams do battle to the death the most enjoyable part for us was the enthusiasm, the gusto of the CMR performance.  They did not play this quiz, they lived it.  Not for them the cupped hand and the timorous whispered conferral.  They hollered and wildly gesticulated the options; on several occasions they actually got to their feet to lend power to the debate.  Accidental orgasms were narrowly avoided.  The wonderful moment when they pontificated with passion on whether the emperor Julian was more worthy of being decreed 'The Apostate' than Justin, only for a third candidate, confusingly called Justinian, to suddenly appear at the hustings was reminiscent of bolshy Reg at his truculent best in The Life of Brian.  And we equally enjoyed the classic rejoinder which came from Tom (I think) when QM Roisin praised him for identifying the Cathars before she had finished reading the question:  "Well, they're  my favourite sect", he said modestly.  Wow!  Wouldn't life be wonderful if everybody stopped watching the fcekin X- Factor and adopted a favourite sect instead.

Well done to Mike B. for putting so much effort into recruiting new teams for Withquiz.  We need them, they are our lifeblood.  Mick from the Pussycats, this season's other newcomers, told me recently that they are finding the going very tough at the moment and they sometimes despair of ever grabbing their first win this season.  I can understand their feelings  and I hope that they find their elusive victory but whilst not wishing to sound patronising (that means talking down to people, by the way) I don't think it is all that important that they pull off a win this season as long as they enjoy playing.  There will be other seasons.  It is easy to forget just how high the standard of knowledge is in quiz leagues such as ours, or Stockport's, and it takes all new teams quite a while to find their feet.  There are a lot of experienced teams out there.  The Charabancs joined in 1988 and are still perceived in some quarters as relative blow-ins - or 'on probation' as it says in Mike B's official file.

In quizzing, as in life, nothing stays the same forever.  Just ask Justin The Apostate.  I wonder if last Wednesday evening in the Griffin was a portent of things to come.  We rage in vain against the dying of the light bulb and in a few short years many of us Withquiz veterans will be living cheek by jowl in the mashed potato and custard reeking environs of Dunblurtin rest home where the faculty of instant recall will be but a distant memory - though I feel sure that age shall not wither our anal retention - and the only question exercising our once razor sharp minds shall be: "Who the fcek has hidden the doo-dah, you know, the wotsitsname, the fcekin thingumajig with the buttons on it that make the fcekin pictures on the telly change?"  Maybe it will come as a crumb of comfort to know that there will still be youngish quiz teams out there, trundling down to Withington intent on knocking off their lofty perch those old fogeys who have gone fifteen years unbeaten and who still rabbit on and on about how they once appeared on something called University Challenge.

Coalition or no coalition, the future for Withquiz is bright.

Gerry Collins

PS: In reply to Mike's question in last week's QuizBiz as to how Round 2 Question 8 was handled at the Griffin where Rachael Neiman's Meat Raffle were playing SPW..........

Meat Raffle won the toss but elected to go second thereby inheriting this question.  They sussed the University Challenge connection early on in the round and seemed to be waiting in advance for the Christopher Hitchens question.  The lad who went last though was clearly not expecting his connection to be sat so close to him.  Roisin built up the tension by phrasing the question very .....very......slowly with some dramatic pauses.  There was a sort of stunned silence, then a titter followed by an explosion of slightly embarrassed laughter before the lad snaffled the two points.  Kieran then asked us if the Charabancs google all their opponents.  We denied this, saying we normally preferred to just follow them around for a few weeks at a discreet distance.......Afterwards I asked SPW if they minded this gifting of two points to the opposition (though it was of course 50/50 as to whether it would fall to them).  They had no hard feelings and thought that it was both funny and clever to fit a player into the theme.