The Withington Pub Quiz League


24th April 2013


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The Charas and The Pigs battle through to the Val Draper final;

The Prodigals reach the Plate final via a walkover where they'll play the Meat Raffle

Results & Match Reports

Val Draper Semi Final Cup matches:

The Bards couldn't overcome a 9 point handicap against The Charabancs of Fire going down eventually by 3 points.  Great to see that 2 of our doughtiest campaigners (the Pigs and The Charabancs) who've suffered below par performances in the league this season have edged their way into the Val Draper Cup Final next week.  Walking home from the Cricket Club in a daze late at night our correspondent Damian composed this match report:

"Can this really be happening?  The Charas, who have been struggling to win a match for most of this season, actually find themselves in a final of something before this year's proceedings are finally done and dusted!  Ah, such are the strange twists and turns of fortune!  Just as we had expected to slink home with our tails between our legs and put the season behind us, on we go into yet another challenge. Maybe we are not quite ready for our epitaph after all!

Of course, we realise only too well that we got here courtesy of the handicap system that affords wretched performers like us a chance to redeem ourselves in the end-of-season cup knockouts.  Without their massive handicap, the Bards would have pipped us to the post by 6 points and, notwithstanding, still  finished up only 3 points behind which is a tribute to the fine form they have been customarily displaying all season. Tonight, the Hammond family were well and truly represented with Tony's grandson making yet another appearance for the Bards and doing them and Granddad proud.

Highlight of the evening was resident QM Eric's fond reminiscences of his past connections with the world of acting. Did you know that his hand (you remember, the one that sunk the Bismarck) once shared the same agent as Michael Caine?  Apparently (wait for it, wait for it), not a lot of people know that!"

Albert lost a tense Fletcher Moss derby to The Electric Pigs by 3 points despite enjoying a 2 point handicap advantage at the start.  As usual Mary acted as QM in her self-effacing and gracious manner - but this time as a 60-year old!  Happy birthday, Mary, from everyone in the league.  So the Pigs confound their league form and glide through to the Val Draper final next week to play the Charas.


Plate Semi Final Cup matches

Compulsory Meat Raffle fired their way through to the Plate final with a classy win over Ethel Rodin in what Rachael describes as "A thoroughly enjoyable evening with a most entertaining paper".

The Prodigals went through to the Plate final by virtue of a walkover.  Sadly, despite assuring both myself and Anne-Marie they would honour the fixture, Gin'll Fix It didn't show up.  I'm afraid we'll have to assume that they won't be joining us next season after all.  If only they'd have let us know in advance.....  Sorry to the other teams who fell by the wayside in the Plate in order to give our new team the chance to play and get accustomed to the WithQuiz way.  The Prodigals did ponder the idea of playing one of the knocked out teams on Thursday evening instead but it didn't suit diaries.  As it was, when it came to 9pm and the opposition hadn't turned up I nipped to the Red,  retrieved the paper and acted as QM whilst five Prodigals spent the rest of a most jolly evening 'rummaging around in Anne-Marie's loft' unearthing some of the answers to TMTCH's chef d'oeuvre.

Quiz Paper Verdict

This week the paper was compiled by The Men They Couldn't Hang.  Yet again Dave has come up with a cracking paper.  The unashamedly 'boy's toys' themes of motor bikes and guns were nicely balanced with a round of celebrity sisters.  A deep dive into the nether reaches of the Evo Stick Division 1 North was counterbalanced with a squirt of cleaning products.  Most questions offered plenty of extraneous but fascinating information so that by the end of the evening you felt you'd been to a lecture on a range of subjects by a total enthusiast with some questions thrown in for good measure.

Damian sums up the collective feelings of the Bard and the Charas:

"Tonight's paper was a characteristic Hangmen effort with many of the varied and quirky themed rounds for which they are justly famous.  Thought-provoking seemed again to be the consensus.  The Sisters and Cleaning Products themes seemed to go down particularly well although we all had a bit of trouble with Cammell Laird as the answer to the last question in the football relegation theme round as neither team could connect it to the name of an actual football club which, a quick google from Yours Truly, confirms that it most certainly is!"

The Question of the Week

This week Compulsory Meat Raffle vote for Round 1 Question 7:

What satellite remains in geo stationary orbit 22,400 miles above the Pacific Ocean and is equipped with electromagnetic cloaking baffles so that nobody outside a select workforce can know of its presence?

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


Many congratulations to Meat Rafflers, Adam and Richard, for helping to get Manchester to the University Challenge Final by beating Bangor in the semi final screened on Monday evening.  In somewhat giveaway anticipation The Guardian on Monday morning (page 3) carried a full page spread comparing Manchester University Challengers over the past few years (including Rachael who got a name check) to that other Manchester 'U' that keeps winning.  But really good news for us was that WithQuiz got a plug.  At the foot of column one there were these words:

"Many of Manchester's victorious alumni play in the Withington Quiz League in the city.  Famed for its high calibre of quizzers the league includes a champion of BBC2's Eggheads."


As usual the paper for next week's finals will be compiled by the teams who have been knocked out - that is I Blame Smoke Fairies, The Opsimaths, The History Men, The Men They Couldn't Hang, Albert, The Bards and Ethel Rodin.  Will these teams please compile a round plus a pair (for Round 8) and submit them as soon as possible (by Sunday 28th at the latest) to Brian McClintock (bmcclintock@18sjs.com) who is editing and producing the final version.  Many thanks.


Another dip into the archive revealed this QuizBiz page from April 23rd 2003:

"At the top of the table both the Braggarts (away against Snoopy's) and St Caths (away against the Opsimaths) had comfortable victories.

This means that - by a single point - the  Braggarts are this season's champions.  Well done to them - again - and well done to St Caths for pushing them so hard right up to the last match.  And don't let's forget The Historymen and Snoopy's Friends in 3rd and 5th places who ran the top two a close race until the final few games.  It's particularly pleasing that Snoopy's, the Historymen and (lower down in mid-table) SWMCC have done so well as they are the latest teams to join the league.



  • In what was (according to Gary Donely) 'a points fest' the Pigs thumped Dr O'Neil 50 - 35

  • Brains of Oak ended the season on a high, managing to sneak past Snoopy's into 4th place, by beating TUFKAC - as usual match reflections from the Royal Oak appear below

  • Albert also finished on a high beating the Historymen down at the Fletcher Moss

  • SWMCC completed a most successful opening league campaign by defeating Albert Park down at the Cricket Club in Chorlton

This week's paper was set by 'Dummy'.  Our guest 'Dummy' this time round was Gerry Hennessy.  Gerry has been seriously ill in recent months so it is really good to see him back on question-setting duties.  He has long had a good reputation for entertaining and balanced papers.  Comments from the teams this week reflected that view with aggregate scores well up in the 70s and 80s.  The only adverse remarks in our match were about: a) the number of TV-based questions and b) the size of the typeface on the paper (was it 6pt?).

As you know we are not called Opsimaths for nothing and our eyesight is showing its age.  Jitka eventually managed to read (rather than guess) the questions when a thoughtful Colinski lent her his spectacles.  This improved the speed of question-asking but pretty much finished off Colin for the evening.  Apparently he can't think without glasses.

The size of the typeface also affected my computer.  After each week's match I take the paper and scan it into my machine using some OCR software that turns the characters scanned into a word document that I can then put onto the website.  Usually the software misinterprets 2/3 words in a paper and these slips are pretty easy to spot and put right.  This week because of the tiny size of the typeface the software was all over the place providing some very interesting versions of some of the answers.  Highlights I spotted were:

  • (Round 1 Question 1) 1999's number one songstress was Marline Escutcheon

  • (Round 2 Question 8) Eau Sauvage and Opium were produced by Christian Roar

  • (Round 6 Question 2) the 19 year-old found guilty of murder by a Massachusetts' court was Louse Woodworm

  • (Spares Question 8) "But love is blind and lovers cannot see" is a quote from Shakespeare's The Monument of Granite

Since it was the last league match there was an 'end of term' atmosphere at the Albert Club and we took to some reminiscing.  Brian McClintock is the longest-serving (though, he asked me to stress, by no means the oldest) member of our team.  He claims to have played in the league in its second season which I think was 1979.  Are there any of you out there whose league careers go back further than that?  Pete Taylor maybe?  John Tolan?

To redress a bit of the balance between science and arts questions, my 'question of the week' award goes to Round 4 Question 4:

What name is given to a four-sided plane figure quadrilateral with two parallel sides of unequal length?

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

.......and so on to the Cup.

Next week sees round one of the Cup competition which it is almost impossible to get knocked out of (remember last season we dubbed it a 'lock in' rather than a 'knock out' competition?).  There is also a Plate competition for those who achieve the impossible and get knocked out of the Cup in early rounds.  The whole business ends with Plate and Cup Finals on June 4th.  For details on the draw click here.

Finally I can confirm that the Albert Club has been booked for a grand end of season social quiz and presentation evening on Tuesday June 10th (apparently there is an England Football International match on Wednesday 11th).  The paper will be set, as usual, by Andrew 'Pig' Simcock .  Get this date in your diary now!!


 Reflections on Brains v TUFKAC from our rambling correspondent...

A Chairde,

Unlike Arsenal, the Braggarts, or Tony Blair, neither of these sides had any worries about failing to retain the Premiership and in the event neither of them did.  In true Celtic fashion the girls from the Reeks scraped home by the skin of their hoops. Tuf on Kac. Tuf on the causes of Kac.  Congrats to Alison from Chorlton-Cum-Hardy (Gateway to Stretford and the western Reeks) who scored highly and impressively on her League debut for B'oak.  The big question now is, can the heavily cash-and-jock strapped Fr. Megson hold on to his youthful starlet?  He reckons she reminds him of a young Wayne Rooney but everyone else reckons that she is even prettier.  And she doesn't spit!!

Hard to believe but it is 30 years now since Christies last topped the charts though it's said that even now on cold moonlit nights ghostly strains of Yellow River can still be heard wafting plaintively across the Reeks.  Yes, the song remains the same but not the name.  For, with a business acumen unworthy even of French Connection, Christie's cocked an anarchic snoop at titular convention and a new tee-shirt legend was born.  Today, from the catwalks of Milan to the tomcat alleys of Droylsden, "Tufkac" has become the opium of the idle and the icon of the chic.

Nothing foppish though about the unashamedly, unflexed pectorals behind the tee-shirts.  Equally at home in Stringfellows on a sultry Saturday night or in Wacky Warehouse on a drizzly Sunday afternoon they continue to raise Cain and the profile of Christie's Hospital in much the same way as General Sherman razed Atlanta.  Thanks to their shady efforts a rash of theme-pubs now pockmarks the entire rive gauche of the Mersey as far as Tesco's and they plan to move into their new purpose built topless quiz-bar 'The Tartan Turkey' early next Mother's Day (terrorists permitting).   No cow is sacred to them and nobody is allowed to halt their inexorable march to Monopolyville.  Witness this terse comment from the ex-manager of the now defunct Pie And Porringer alehouse on School Lane:

"Big Issue, sir?  FCUKTUFKAC!!!!"   Have a nice day, anyway.


PS: Congrats also to Jay Garner for landing Mike Baa'th's old job as managing director of Tie-Rack in Ballydad.  I always knew he would get the chance to play Maverick again."