The Withington Pub Quiz League


9th April 2014


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

Opsimaths, Charas, Prodigals and Albert go through in the Cup; Bards go to the Plate as Highest Scoring Losers

Results & Match Reports

Albert beat The Men They Couldn't Hang at the Fletcher Moss.  Mike O'Brien sums up:

"This was a strange quiz.  After nearly six rounds neither side had scored a two which suggests we found it pretty hard.  Then in the last couple of rounds there was a surge of points for the Albert.  But it is what it is, and we can't complain about the result.  Many of the questions were interesting and there were a lot of good  conferral questions, especially in the sequences round."

The Charabancs of Fire beat The Bards of Didsbury, who nevertheless go through to play the Pigs in the Plate semi-final next week.  Damian tells us what went on....

"One of the annual perks of finishing in the bottom half of the league is that you tend to benefit from the varied handicaps the higher placed teams have to cope with when the dear departed Val Draper and her cup come up for contention.  For the last 2 seasons, the Charas have been able to benefit from this particular perk, and beat teams we normally struggle against in the league.  Tonight was no exception.

After scraping into the lead in Round 1 courtesy of the Bards' two point handicap, we fell behind in every single round right up to the very last one. Fortunately for us, we were never behind by more than 3 or 4 points, leaving open the possibility of a last minute surge.  This duly happened.   A single point behind going into the very last question, Tony bravely fell on his sword by going for a two in a desperate attempt to secure the win.  Somehow, however, he managed to talk himself out of Alexandre Dumas and blurt Prosper Merimée instead.  Ah, on such tightropes, pivot the fate of all would-be Val Draper champions!"

The History Men lost to The Opsimaths in a match that transferred for football reasons from the United-crazed Red to the TV-less Turnpike.  The expectation amongst the Opsies was for a comfortable victory by the History Men.  Only 2 weeks ago we'd won by the slimmest margin on the last question without the impediment of a handicap.  Surely 7 points ahead from the start the History Men would romp home?  Not so!  With the usual boisterous dissent in his ranks Ivor found it impossible to guide his flock into the winning pen.  In mitigation his closing statistical summary demonstrated a pretty uneven balance in the distribution of the unanswerables - the sizeable majority going to the History Men (who had won the toss and opted to bat first).

I wonder if Shakespeare's Boar's Head in Eastcheap might ever have hosted the occasional Pub Quiz match (no Dickens questions there!)?  If so I think the History Men would have made an excellent home team.  Falstaff, Mistress Quickly, Bardolph, Pym....the casting would be a shoo-in.  With Rupert the QM as a visiting Prince Hal perhaps?

Sir John's view?

"Congratulations to the Opsimaths on their victory tonight.  They whittled away the 7 point handicap by the end of Round 2 and although we held on to the end of Round 6 they ran out clear victors.  It might have been a bit closer if we'd been lucky on our 50-50s but with 10 of the 13 unanswered questions falling to the Historymen it was a bad night to win the toss and go first.  Our only consolation (not getting into the Plate as Highest Scoring Losers) is that INBTO were unable to field a team tonight thus ensuring that their score of -6 points is even lower than our paltry 24, and so condemns them to the job of compiling the paper for next week's semi-finals!"

I've Never Been to One conceded to The Prodigals in the knowledge that if they did get through this week they would have to scratch from next week's game due to unavailability.  A pity, but in the circumstances a sensible decision.  Maybe even a noble decision, since it automatically consigns them to the position of Lowest Scoring Losers and therefore the duty of setting for next week.

Quiz Paper Verdict

This week the paper was compiled by Ethel Rodin.

A toughie but, as ever, some excellent material from Roddy and his crew.  The average aggregate score across the grounds was pretty low at 58.7, the second lowest of the season to date.  But this by no means tells the whole story.  It was a paper packed with curiosities and plenty of occasions for lengthy confers (meaning that the last question at the Turnpike did not get fired until past closing time).  The conundrum for me on such occasions is that the more interesting the material the more I'd like to linger after the final whistle to discuss one of the topics raised - but the more interesting the material the more conferring goes on and so the less time there is at the close for lingering.

What did the others think?


"With a combined uncorrected score of 61 it was a typical hard quiz from Ethel Rodin - well not quite typical given the number of pot luck unpaired questions.  Not that we are complaining as quizzes used to be unpaired and unthemed in their entirety and just as tricky to come up with a right answer."


"We thought tonight's paper by Ethel (with Roddy duly acting as our QM) made for a rather tough, thought-provoking affair.  There were many unanswerables but they tended to be fairly evenly distributed between the two teams.  The Charas very much liked the 'pot-luck style' of most of the rounds, which is very much in keeping with the spirit of the bingo format we instigated a while ago - although we know our opponents take a different view.  Highlight of the evening was Tony's luridly detailed account of Lady Margaret Beaufort's Cambridge college, St. Johns.  Steve suggested it would make a funny story for the website but I'm afraid the terrible effects of Sam Smith's cheap ale have rendered me unable to recall it accurately.  All I can say is that the words 'spears' and 'cocks', and the phrase 'spearing cocks', came up more than once.  You'll have to ask Tony, or maybe Steve!"

The Question of the Week

This week the Charas vote for Round 1 Question 1:

Which 20th Century Prime Minster was forced to travel abroad to where the monarch was holidaying, for the official "kissing of hands" of the Monarch, the only time a British Prime Minister has formally taken office on foreign soil?

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