The Withington Pub Quiz League


20th January 2016


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Wins for the Bards, Dunkin' D, Albert, Ethel and the History Men in an evening that tested the scorers' ability to keep pace with the points being notched up

Results & Match Reports

The Bards of Didsbury beat The Charabancs of Fire at the Cricket Club.  Tony calls in with this report on proceedings....

"A  most enjoyable evening, as always, when playing the Charas.  Eric somehow managed to break down on the motorway, so Dom was the stand-in QM.  He proved more than able to withstand the persistent moaning, groaning and downright ribaldry - and that was just from Róisín - he got worse from the rest of us.

The quiz started off poorly with the rather meaningless question: 'What product, etc., etc.' (see Round One Q1).  The answer 'Beer' seemed as flat as the usual offering at the Turnpike.  From then on the quiz could only get better although there were one or two questions along the way to which the answer seemed so obvious that everybody smelled a rat (or suspected there was a trap which we were about to fall into).  As a result there were three unanswered questions in the first round.  After that we decided that, if the answer was obvious, we'd go for it - although I did lose my nerve on the Joe Stalin question.  It was all bluff and double-bluff.  I must concede that quizzing is all in the mind and so who cares if you talk yourself out of a couple of points.

As to who was born in Prague in 1884, I promised faithfully I wouldn't mention the fact that one of the Charas squeaked "Jitka"....so I won't.  It wasn't a squeak I heard ..... it was a loud sotto voce!


Dunkin' Dönitz beat The Prodigals at the Griffin by a fairly narrow margin.  Kieran sends this summary....

"I had the bad luck to win the toss and after last week's experience I offered the choice to the Prodigals.  They had been similarly skewered last Wednesday so they offered it straight back.  Trusting to the Opsimaths' experience and fairness in question-setting I opted for the default of going first first only to discover at the end of the evening that we had twice the number of unanswered questions fired in our direction as our opponents (i.e. 4 to their 2).

Thoroughly enjoyed the evening and it quite cheered me up after all sorts of recent traumas.  Listening to the 1972 bootleg of the Dame in Santa Monica as I write this and we're setting in two weeks time ....... just saying......."


The History Men, crowned last week as SBWQTOAT ('Second Best WithQuiz Team Of All Time') confirmed their status  - but only just - by beating Compulsory Mantis Shrimp at an amazingly quiet Red.  Indeed the front parlour was totally empty for the duration of the quiz.  I know this because I was there acting as Honorary QM for Ivor and his crew.

It was a rollicking good evening with loads of laughter from both sides.  Topical discussion ranged far and wide - for instance the Lancashire schoolboy who had had his home overrun by armed police as a result of his innocent answer to a question his teacher posed at school.  He had been asked what sort of house he lived in and, none too clever at spelling, he'd written 'terrorist' (it turns out he had meant terraced!) - and the problems the New York Times had had in interpreting the description Donald Trump had been given in the House of Commons debate when one MP had called him a 'wazzock'.

In between all this chatter we managed to run a quiz which ended up with a slender victory for the home team.  Once there was a convenient pause in the post-match conversation, Ivor delivered his statistical verdicts using somewhat colourful metaphors which I will not repeat verbatim for fear of offending any primates who might browse this site.  It seems, although the result was on a knife edge until the very last question, the lead had swung back and forth like certain parts of an orang-utan's anatomy.  Ivor added that there were a mere 4 unanswered questions breaking 2 to each side, a massive 34 twos scored with each team registering 17, and Rachael and Ivor shared the honour of being MVP ('Most Valued Player').

Non-quizzy exchanges went on unabated until bar staff reluctantly threw us out into the freezing Withington night air at quarter to midnight.  Topics covered included the national political scene ('Is Lucy Powell comfortable in a Corbyn Shadow Cabinet?') to more parochial matters ('The plans for the City Centre Mayfield area including the HS2 terminus and the renovation of the glorious old Fire Station building facing Piccadilly') - and even more locally - to the total cock up the council have made in implementing the Wilmslow Road Cycle Lane scheme*(see pictures at the foot of this page).  On a more positive council note I did see Councillor Andrew Simcock on the local news yesterday announcing the winner of the WoManchester statue competition (Emmeline Pankhurst, of course!).  Congratulations Andrew - a great idea ably brought to fruition.


The Electric Pigs lost to Albert in the post-Christmas Fletcher Moss derby.  Captain Victorious, Mike explains....

"This was an enjoyable quiz played in a good spirit.  At one point both teams agreed to let the Pigs have another go at a question when their worthy QM, Andrew, slipped up and asked them which Italian car had been produced over 8,000 times (rather than over 8,000,000 times) up to 2013.  We managed to score zero points on the beer questions, so clearly clean living isn't what it is cracked up to be.  The theme in Round 1 and the vegetarian-linked round were considered too clever for the likes of us since neither team could work them out.  Nevertheless both teams managed a decent score without the help of the themes."


The Men They Couldn't Hang lost to Ethel Rodin at the Parr's Wood Hotel.  Graham adds this....

"Despite falling behind 8 - 1 in the first round the Hangers hung on until the penultimate pair.  Sadly Shakespeare never wrote the six words "The bastards all have it infamy!"

Quiz Paper Verdict

This week the questions were set by The Opsimaths.

A hatful of points on offer with the Red Lion match recording a massive aggregate score of 94 - and the overall aggregate average across all five matches being 83.2.  Were the questions interesting as well as accessible?  Well, yes seems to be the general consensus.  Was there an excessive amount of text in the questions and answers?  Well, yes - but judging by the time the results started pinging on my phone most matches were done and dusted before 10.30pm.  In truth the papers which generate long-drawn out matches are those where there are too many questions which lead to lengthy conferences rather than those with lots of text.

At the Red after a fair bit of coaxing Anne dubbed the paper 'The least irritating quiz ever' which is praise indeed.  Rachael was in her element too.  Having been away on a cruise honeymooning with Adam she had missed out on the last two pre-Christmas papers, and so was badly in need of an injection of Christmas themery.  Round 8 duly obliged.  On the down side the 'vegetarian link' in Round 7 was regarded as an unnecessary distraction to some perfectly OK questions.

Other comments?


"So a scrupulously fair paper with an aggregate score of 84 and 25 twos - 14-11 in our favour.   All participants pretty satisfied though I'm sure the Prodigals were unhappy to be just edged out at the end .  Bob despatched the whole thing by 10.05 in his unfussy manner and then spent another twenty minutes over the endless spares (you need an Ed - Ed!).

The 'one' theme escaped us all but the questions were fine.  The veggie link was way too nebulous to be of any use and there was quite a disparity of difficulty in the beer round.  But we liked the sportsmen famous for other things and the 'Time Person of the Year' round (only one woman, famous for an affair?) and we ended wondering if Rudolphs Hess and Nureyev had ever featured in the same quiz question, or indeed anywhere, together before tonight.

Anne-Marie simply called it "a great quiz" - but added (via the accompanying picture from the Griffin's wall) "....that just sometimes the answer is staring you in the face - literally!

The Question of the Week

The competitors at the Red much enjoyed Round 1 Question 4 despite the fact that the answer did not contain the word 'infamy'.  Ivor's attempt at a suitably Shakespearean answer (which I can't quite recall accurately) was something like "Come on then, bring it on":

In Shakespeare’s play, what are the last six words spoken by Julius Caesar before he dies?

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

Grumpy Old Man (part 1)

* (see above)

Just one example of the idiocy of the Wilmslow Road Cycle Lane scheme......

As drivers turn into Moorland Road off Wilmslow should they slow down to 20mph or 15mph - or like everyone else take no notice whatsoever of the forest of road signs that have been inflicted on us over the past few weeks?

Father Megson

Big Boot and Custard Cream

Father Megson woke up.  He allowed a few brief thoughts of mortality, and the four Last Things, to scuttle across his consciousness before swatting them firmly with a large tumbler of sherry and a wacky cheroot.  He was out of hospital now and on the road to recovery.  He had called into the Red over Christmas where Dr Tim had given him the once over and told him that he was as sound as a Bells except for his 'vas deferens' which was, in layman's terms, well and truly fecked, adding tearfully (Dr Tim always got a bit maudlin around closing time) that if the good Father wanted children in the future he would probably have to steal them.

Medically speaking, Fr Megson was no longer in a coma but, to the unpractised eye, it was hard to tell.  Certainly he still preferred to appear comatose whenever the bishop phoned to discuss his return to work, or when the quiz team called around to throw bricks through his window.  He had had to meet the team at training and tell them them about his attempt to replace them with intelligent (but murderous) girls in duffel coats.  They had taken it badly, very badly.  So badly in fact that Fr Megson had feared more violence.  Fortunately, however, they had nodded off before being able to give full vent to their fury.

He drank another tumbler of sherry and made a mental note to get up before dark and turn on the microwave.  He had a nice young Jesuit coming round for tea and a chat about the art of team management.  He had first met Fr Keane on a TalkQuiz phone-in on the wireless.  Right from the moment the severe young curate had bellowed at him to turn his fcekin' wireless off when he was on the fcekin' wireless, Fr Megson had liked the cut of his Jesuit jib.  Here was the type of manager Fr Megson had always longed to be.  He listened spellbound to the Hitleresque vehemence of Fr Keane's argument that all losers were tosspots who deserved nothing but a good kick up the arse and never mind buying them a fcekin' round of free drinks - and his insistence that the only way of handling the ongoing threat from them hoors in the Griffin was to carpet bomb East Didsbury and the northern badlands of Heaton Mersey.  Nuke the fcekers and nuke 'em hard.  Such resolute manliness had caused Fr Megson to swoon.  He had desperately wanted to ask Fr Keane if he loved the feel of silk against his naked skin but had made do with asking him if he cared to pop around to his bijou bungalow for a quick bite and  maybe something to eat.

Fr Keane arrived promptly at six.  Father Megson found him in the hall.

"Your door was closed, Father, so I had to put my shoulder to it.  What's for tea?"

Physically he was as imposing in the flesh as he had been on the airwaves.  Perhaps a trifle abrupt in manner and perhaps a little too conventional in dress (black soutane over matching  Bri-nylon socks and panties).  Fr Megson had dared to hope that he would be wearing something a trifle more decadent but it was not to be.  Clearly Fr Keane was more of an angry tallboy than a cross-dresser.

Fr Megson told his guest to grab a pouffe and offered him a tumbler of sherry.

"Nice tumbler, Father, did you get it free at a petrol station?"

He was less complimentary on the pulled pork pot noodle that Fr Megson had lovingly microwaved for him earlier that afternoon.

"Just like my dear old ma used to make, Father.  She was another hoor that couldn't cook.  Any custard creams, Father?"

After tea they sat and shivered as a seasonal gale blew through the broken windows and smashed front door.  Fr Megson would have liked to warm himself by cuddling up but something in Fr Keane's icy stare and raised fists suggested that he did not wish to share his pouffe.

In a desperate attempt to break the ice Fr Megson decided to spark a debate on management tactics.

"I've lost the dressing room, Father."

"Can't help you there Father, it's your fcekin' bungalow."

"No, I mean the Charabancs are revolting.  So are them hoors in the Griffin.  Have you ever seen them in the shower?  Any ideas on a winning formula, Father?"

"How often do you kick the team, Father?"

"Seven times an hour."

"Try kicking them six times an hour.  Then when they're expecting kick number seven, give them a custard cream.  It's called psychology, Father.  I read it in a book.  The  good cop, bad cop routine.  The eejits will think you love them and they'll be motivated.  Never fails when you're dealing with stupid teams, Father.  Look at the fcekin' Opsimaths.  If you believe the tabloids they get through two packs of custard creams a week.

I'm off now Father.  All this socialising is doin' me head in.  Is your back door open or shall I put my shoulder to it?"