The Withington Pub Quiz League


9th December 2015


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Results go with the form book as The Bards, Dunkin' Dönitz, The Pigs, The Opsimaths and Ethel Rodin all win on a high-scoring Prodigals paper

Results & Match Reports

Dunkin' Dönitz beat Albert at the Griffin.  Kieran reports from the winner's enclosure....

"An outrageously unbalanced quiz as BOTH the unanswereds fell to The Albert!  That's 100%, and I can't think of a more damning statistic.

To their credit, our visitors took it on the chin and didn't make life uncomfortable for Prodigal Dave who was filling in as QM at The Griffin while 'Bahamas' Bob Ganley performed yet another disappearing act to keep himself a good few steps ahead of Gorgeous George's finest.  

For the third week running we had a thoroughly enjoyable Wednesday evening.  We might even get to like this quizzing lark.  The Griffin was, as ever, ridiculously overheated but the quiz itself was civilised, expertly dispatched in an hour and a half or so by Dave, and played in a friendly but competitive spirit by both teams.

Our experience of the paper was a bit odd since we scored no twos at all in the first three rounds but then registered 11 of them in the next fourteen questions.  That was where we won it, turning a five point deficit into a 6 point lead.

Great evening, enhanced by the presence of Barry and Dave who, strangely, didn't seem to want to defend LVG's 'philosophy' very strongly.  On to The Albert (I'm old school) next week and a match against the Porkers to complete the first half of the season.  As the (not terribly good really) Manuel would say 'we shall see who will win'.

And then in January there's the double-headed Everton conundrum.  We might need 'The Destroyer of Clubs' © Hristo Stoichkov to solve that one."

(In response to my overnight query, Kieran has kindly texted to explain that the 'double-headed Everton conundrum' refers to the fact that City have two Wednesday matches in January, both against Everton which will provide David and himself - and me for that matter - with hard choices as to where we will be on those evenings - the 13th and the 27th as it happens.  The 'Stoichkov' reference also caught me out - apparently it concerns something none too complimentary the former Bulgarian international has said about Louis Van Gaal.)

...and from the loser's corner Mike sums up....

"This wasn't our finest hour, but Dave R as QM almost makes a defeat seem a pleasure.  Despite the score we were very competitive in the first half and led at the break.  We lost momentum in the second half and compounded this with an uncanny ability to select the Bingo questions we could not answer and pass up on the ones we could."


The Electric Pigs beat Compulsory Mantis Shrimp at The Fletcher Moss.  "An excellent quiz and a sterling performance from the three-handed Shrimps" according to Andrew.


Ethel Rodin beat The Men They Couldn't Hang at Ladybarn's Stadium of Light.  Cheery Graham reports in on his last appearance of 2015....

"The Hangers were battered at the Ladybarn Stadium in a match admirably QM'd by Prodigal Danny.  Despite the fact that 'Il Capitano' Dave, 'Two-pointer Brakedisc' Steve, the reappearing world traveller Neil and myself constituted tonight's Men, a 50-26 defeat summed everything up.

Dave had obviously been put out by traffic chaos this evening which put him off his stride, and I was disappointed not to have selected the Caractus Potts answer in the Bingo Round.  Nevertheless a fun evening as ever, and as I will be away next week, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all Withquizzers!"


The Charabancs of Fire lost to The Bards of Didsbury as Damian reports....

"Our mood tonight seemed to be summed up by the immortal words of Samuel Beckett: 'Ever tried, ever failed?  No matter.  Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better'.  Well, it worked for Stan Wawrinka so who knows?

This is only the second time this season that we have notched up 40 points on a quiz paper and yet still come off second best.  However, with a margin of just 3 points at the end, this was our highest scoring loss so far, and against one of the superstar teams of the league to boot, so we actually felt more celebratory at the close of tonight's proceedings than is usual when we have to resign ourselves to yet another drubbing.

Again this seemed like a game of 2 halves with the Charas quickly falling behind at the start of the match and the gap ominously widening with each round until half time.  In the second half we gradually came into our own and reduced the gap with each round so that, for the first time in ages, it felt like we could actually have won against one of the top teams of the league if only there had been one more round to go.  Say it again, Sam!"

....and Tony's view from the winning side of the table....

"We enjoyed the quiz, although as the evening wore on and the Charas gained in confidence we began to wonder if our perennial nemesis was about to strike again.  The conviviality of the evening was greatly assisted by, to my taste buds, a slight improvement in the quality of the beer emanating from Yorkshire's oldest brewery, and also by the Chara's agreement that the definition of a 'hard' question should be one that neither team can answer and an 'easy' question as one that everyone in both teams can answer.  I was cheered to hear Jim (from Cleethorpes) stating his relief in learning that Dora Bryant did not come from Yorkshire but 'was one of us'.  We had a good night's quizzing. Well done Charas!"


The History Men lost to The OpsimathsHowell sends his observations....

"The normal venue in the Red was occupied so we were relegated to a small space just by the front door, which got pretty crowded with people drinking at the Bar itself (fortunately they were doing a 'Poznan' as far as we were concerned so only a bit of noise interfered with the serious business of quizzing).

This was a close match where the teams were 3 points, or fewer, apart right up to Round 7 when the Opsimaths accelerated and romped home with an outstanding knowledge of Disney bingo!

Nick was Ivor's MVP and Jonah in the same match (this must be a rarity - he got 6 twos and 2 unanswerables)."

....and Ivor reviews things from a Historian's perspective....

"A fun evening in the snug of the Red Lion with the league leaders.  No shock result tonight although we were a point ahead after round 5 before the wheels came off the wagon and we careered into the ditch with ill-judged Bingo choices in the last round. 

The things we learned tonight about our fellow competitors included stuff about Hilary’s Mastermind appearances in 1990 in the Magnus Magnusson era.  Her topics were impressively broad: the English country house from 1500 onwards and archaeology in Wessex 3500-45 BC, which compares most favourably with the feeble topics offered these days (excepting those more recently chosen by Nick, Damian and Rachael of course!)."

Quiz Paper Verdict

This week the questions were set by The Prodigals.

A fine aggregate score of 79.4 meant that this season's trend of keeping the dreaded 'unanswerables' to the bare minimum was maintained.  I was off sick so didn't experience the paper first hand.  Let's hear from those who did.

The Dunkers seemed to enjoy the evening's offering as Kieran sort of indicates (in his own unique way)....

"We liked the 'Meg Ryan Gosling' round but were horrified to learn that 1D had had the gall to mash up two brilliant songs and cover up the ensuing audio crime.  This led to some scurrilous speculation about just how much the boy Styles had put it about when he was famous and just what his upper age limit might be.  Enough.  Really enough. 

We also liked the 'JC' round although we totally failed to spot what was going on, a bit like the round's eponymous inspiration and thought the Prime Ministers missing their initial letter was brilliantly crafted - well I had the misfortune to get Lana Del (G)rey so I wasn't totally sold on it.  The appearance of Rahul 'The Wall' Dravid sent all four of us into a reverie about the recent Delhi Test match and just how wonderful watching 143 runs being scored in 143.1 overs would be.  That '.1' is so important.  You get the idea about just what stereotypical grumpy old men we have become. 

And having declared that I effing hate Disney and regard it as one of the four horsemen of the modern apocalypse along with Coke, Microsoft and MacDonalds (Bayern Munich makes a decent fifth should a substitute be needed) I was cruelly done out of my Archimedes two by Martin making me believe that I couldn't even remember the most basic 'O' level physics."

Clearly the Rodin team liked the paper as James tells us....

"I quite like the image of a headless Thatcher (somebody once actually knocked off the head from one of her statues.  The problem with that round, however, was that there are only 8 PMs in total whose names could be used.  Thus, having written them all down after 2 questions it meant that we had predicted all of the answers.  'Den' might have been better as Q1, and then 'Lair' as Q2.  The Hangers did toy with the possibility that the Japanese fish was 'A squith' before a moment of realisation.

Round 4 (the Corbyn round) led to the only dubious answer of the paper with 'prow' or 'bow' both seeming possible answers for question 1.  Had that been question 4 or 5 in the round it may have been easier to work out.  Perhaps Q1 could have been replaced with a question about a chocolate fireguard! (Ed: Not quite the sentiment offered by Mrs James earlier in the day on The Daily Politics as I recall, James!)

We enjoyed the compound names round, and the one about 'CS Lewis Carroll' was our nomination as QotW.  This format offers plenty of potential for mischievous answers such as 'Killer Queen Elizabeth' or 'King John Humphreys'.  Great fun!"

....and Tony's feedback....

"Apart from one blip over understanding precisely what was required to answer the question about the front of a ship - which has about half a dozen names and doesn't really therefore count in any Cartmill analysis - there were three unanswerables all falling to the team going second.  We did like the various themes and appreciated the thought and homework entailed.  The newly established 'Bingo on a theme' type of round does not attract criticism from the Bards as, for instance, a simple series of numbers undoubtedly would.  We had a good night's quizzing. Well done Prodigals!"

....and the Albert team's view courtesy of Mike O'Brien....

"Our favourite round was the one with the Jeremy Corbyn theme.  All in all this was a good quiz with plenty of interesting questions and well constructed themes.  Oh, and by the way, Eveline is not speaking to me because I revealed that I had to censor her more obscene contributions to our quiz last week."

....and Howell sums up for the Opsimaths....

"The Opsimaths liked this quiz.  It was pretty well-balanced with some cleverly put together rounds which contained plenty of interest.

However History-woman Anne disagreed with this verdict feeling it was an irritating paper (which became increasingly so as the History Men fell away towards the end).  Our own Clare felt that 2 Golf questions was 2 too many!"

....and Damian proffers the Charas' collective view....

"We preferred the second half of tonight's paper which seemed to play a bit more to our strengths.  Nevertheless, this was a nice assortment of themes, pairs and bingo (always guaranteed to warm the cockles of our hearts).  We especially enjoyed the 'first name/last name' theme.  Overall this was a well executed, straightforward quiz enjoyed by all.  Well done to the Prodigals!"

....and finally Ivor's take on affairs....

"An enjoyable paper with plenty of variety and questions requiring lateral thinking and team work on occasions.  Very few unanswereds (only 5) and 25 twos.  Themes were duly cracked.  Cryptic hints in the round titles always help in this regard, though sadly the only announced theme was no help at all to those of us who have stopped listening to popular music since it ceased to be popular."

The Question of the Week

This week the vote comes from the Ethel Rodin team and goes to Round 7 Question 6 (this was the 'Last name/First name' round where each answer was made up of the names of two people, one of whom had a surname that happened to be the first name of the other):

Mr Tumnus; The Fawn?

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