The Withington Pub Quiz League


5th March 2014


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

Opsimaths edge closer to the crown; Bards and Pigs consolidate their claims to be in next season's WIST Cup

Results & Match Reports

The Men They Couldn't Hang lost to I've Never Been to One at the Parrswood Hotel.  Kieran's take on affairs:

"As ever a hugely enjoyable evening in the company of The Men - we always look forward to our games against them.  Amongst all the jokes and one liners some desultory quizzing took place."

The Charabancs of Fire lost to The History Men at the sepulchral Turnpike.  First Damian's report from the loser's corner:

"I'm not sure why I'm in such a jolly mood tonight considering we Charas just got whupped by 12 points!  Maybe it is merely acknowledgment of what a superior team the Historymen proved to be tonight, or maybe it's just because I am honouring Kipling's famous lines - you know, the one that goes 'If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same' blah blah blah!  Or maybe I've just been indulging a tad too freely in several pints of Sammy Smith's (particularly cheap) finest!  But whichever way you want to view it, tonight was yet another thoroughly enjoyable evening against one of our favourite and most competitive opponents."

...and now Ivor's from the winner's enclosure:

No tie tonight.  It is in fact our first victory since 8th January (and then that was against a 3-sided CMR).  The large margin of victory was due to the questions falling to the right seat as well as to our good fortune in winning the toss and going first, since there was a 2-10 split in the unanswereds.  The evening was, as always, extremely hospitable helped by the unfeasibly low prices in the 70s timeslip bar that is the Turnpike.  The Charas managed to field two QMs tonight which reminded us of the 1970s ASLEF rules for train driving."

Albert lost to The Bards of Didsbury by a single point in what proved to be the closest match of the evening.  Colourful background notes have yet to reach WithQuiz central so that's as much as I can tell you right now.

The Opsimaths beat Compulsory Meat Raffle in a jovial affair at the Albert Club.

The Club art class had cleared up its artistic detritus, the tables had been set up for the serious business of quizzing, the toss had been won and lost, and the first question fell to the Meat Raffle.  A hush descended as the QM intoned: "Have you collected the paper then?".  Sadly the Meat Raffle gave the incorrect answer.  Ten minutes later, thanks to Nick, Round One really did get underway.

Despite a Meat Raffle line-up that was instantly recognisable to anyone who had watched University Challenge over the past few years the Opsimaths kept their noses in front throughout.  Happily however the Meat Raffle were able to score a memorable 'steal' on the Nancy Rothwell question after the Opsimaths came up with an inspired guess that just missed the target by leaving out the 'Vice'.  Got that one wrong, Raffle, and it would have been mass rustication!

Perhaps there was the hint of an excuse for the Raffle's defeat in the fact that Richard had to depart at the end of Round 6 leaving his colleagues 3-handed for the final canter.  Richard was called away by Cupid's arrows.  Oh dear!  Love, life and the continuance of the human race have their place but really Richard, quizzing is at an altogether higher level.

Ethel Rodin lost to The Electric Pigs at the White Swan.  Two reports to give you - first James with Ethel's take:

"Ethel caught up strongly in the bingo rounds but the deficit consequent on losing the toss was too great to catch up.  This match was quite possibly the 4th/5th decider but it was never close - and I think it's always a shame when the result depends so heavily on who went first.  I don't wish to take anything away from the Pigs, but I am fairly confident that we'd have done a lot better with their questions than we did with ours."

...and now Andrew with the Pigs viewpoint:

"A really good quiz.  Question of the week: 20th Century Bingo 1926 George V.  A very interesting evening from my personal point of view.  The White Swan is  now converted and unrecognisable from its former self, but 20 years ago the room upstairs where the snooker and quiz now take place, used to be the meeting place for the Withington Labour Party!

It was also good to have a question master (mistress) from the Stockport league, and one of the ER team members deputising for John Mellor.  We wish him well in his convalescence (James and Geoff have more details)."

Quiz Paper Verdict

This week the paper was compiled by The Prodigals.

Of all of our teams the Prodigals tend to be the most experimental with their setting.  They like to push the boundaries and see if they can come up with new ideas for round formats.  Indeed were it not for this spirit of inventiveness our Wednesday evenings would still be stuck in the 'What's the capital of Albania?' mode that characterised the early years of the Withington Quiz League.  The Prodigals are also regular contestants at the monthly Albert Club end of month Monday quizzes and I'd like to think this shows in some of their formats.  For instance the hidden theme in Round 6 was distinctly Albert Clubbish (by the way this was not introduced as a 'Hidden theme' round on the paper - it just said 'Theme' - but in the Opsimaths/Meat Raffle match, as QM, I chose not to state the theme up front).

The '20th Century Bingo' in Rounds 7 & 8 seemed to us an excellent twist on the 'Pick your Subject' format and should bear regular use.  The use of the stated theme in Round 5, however, did not seem to have been executed quite so successfully.  Some of the '-esque' words in the answers were simply names that have managed to earn an '-esque' suffix over the years (not much added guile here), but some were words that had altogether different meanings with the '-esque' suffix such as 'picture' (these questions were more interesting to answer).  The real boob in this round was in the first question where the '-esque' word was hardly an essential feature of the answer.  In our match at the Club, Meat Raffle's Richard copped for this question and agonised for ages having got the right answer without seeing any 'esque' word in it.  Eventually he conferred, forfeiting his bonus point for going solo.  In a theme round it is always worth double-checking that the first question gets the teams off to a fair start.

Finally a special mention for the second spare at the end of Round 4 that asked competitors to name the first band to perform at Live Aid 1985.  Even the world's most knowledgeable popular music quizzer, Rachael Neiman, was flummoxed by this one.  Excellent question!!

What did the rest of you think?


"A largely enjoyable Prodigals paper, much more accessible than some of the post Christmas efforts.  We liked the 'mother and daughter' round and the '-esque' suffix round was pretty good too - but the Monty Python theme smacked of an idea with two or three good questions and then a rather laboured process to force the rest of the round to fit.  The hidden capitals were ok and made for some of those very satisfying moments when you were able to confirm your original guess by spotting 'Male' for instance and then happily go for the two points.  The final two rounds were a decent variation on blockbuster bingo as well.   All in all a very good evening."


"It's been our opinion that the standard and quality of recent quiz papers has risen quite dramatically and tonight's offering from the Prodigals was no exception.  It was a thoroughly entertaining and well crafted quiz with novel and excellently worked out themes plus a wonderful 'Pick Your Subject With Dates Provided' pair of rounds that gave enough variety to satisfy everyone - and I say all this despite the rather lopsided score by which we lost tonight. Well done, Prodigals!

We couldn't settle on a particular Question of the Week but the 'Mother and Daughter' and 'Now For Something Completely Different' themed rounds could certainly be nominated as 'Rounds Of The Week'!"


"Very enjoyable quiz and the themes went down a treat.  Never knew there were so many '-esques' and capital cities short enough to sneak into a word.  The 'mothers and daughters' round was my favourite, though the Monty Python round runs it a close second.  The 'Pick Your Own' grid was suitably enigmatic despite the year clues (was anyone expecting American football?).  Major disappointment of the night was the appearance of Giacometti’s L’Homme Qui Marche which scuppers a picture pair for next week's History Men's paper.  We'll have to park that for a future season!"


"We thought non-QotW was the one with the answer 'STATUE of Alan Turing'.  We knew it was AT but could not fit that to the theme.  My favourite questions were the ones that led to a 'late Norwegian Blue' and to 'Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink' (and I was waiting for another 'python' to appear in the '-esque' round)."

The Question of the Week

This week a number of you have voted for Round 2 (the one with the Monty Python theme) Question 5:

Name two rivers in South-West England: the first is mostly in Devon and runs from near Simonsbath south to the coast; the second runs from Thorney Mills Springs in Dorset through Somerset to the Bristol Channel.

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