The Withington Pub Quiz League


27th January 2016


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

The Bards win the top of the table clash against The Opsimaths and leapfrog them to go top; elsewhere wins for Ethel, the Dunkers, Albert and (at last) the Charas

Results & Match Reports

The History Men lost to Albert in the Red.  Ivor reports....

"As with Everton tonight our early lead was whittled away until the scores were level by the end of Round 7.  Then a final round of Manchester-themed questions unfriendly to our team of immigrants (though of course none of us have been here for less than a quarter of a century) saw us bested by the Albert.

Albert’s 'Paddle of Rebuke' is no more - apparently the nose has fallen off.  However we were introduced to the 'Icelandic Sheep Baa of Contempt' - a novelty noise-maker that Mike found in the premier Reykjavik concert hall gift shop (presumably Reykjavik’s only concert hall) amongst all the CDs and knick-knacks of proper classical music.  The 'Baa' was sounded as early as Round 1 when Mike blurted out the answer to Evelyn’s question before she had a chance to answer herself.  We were also introduced to the Albert’s new mascot - a black rat hand-puppet with added sunglasses (I promise I am not making this up, nor have I inhaled waccy baccy)."

.... and Mike chips in from the rat's side of the table....

"This was an exciting quiz.  We were behind for a number of rounds, level for a couple of rounds, and pulled ahead in the last round.  The atmosphere was frosty for a while after I'd forgotten that the 'Pierre Trudeau' question was Eveline's and blurted out the answer, depriving her of a two.  She believes this was an attempt by me to make sure she didn't become 'Most Valuable Player'.  The Blade Runner theme escaped both teams but the scoring was pretty good so it didn't matter too much."


The Bards of Didsbury beat The Opsimaths in the 'Clash of the Titans' at the Cricket Club.  I got there late on from the Etihad (sorry Howell, Ivor and any other toffee-lovers) to witness the last knockings of the final round.  It seems to have been a keenly fought affair with the lead swinging backwards and forwards throughout the contest (just like Ivor's orang-utan of last week's reports).  The Bards are clearly the ones to avoid for the Opsimaths whose only two defeats this season have been inflicted by the team from the Cricket Club.  I gather Sarah was on cracking form with the music questions, a subject topic that has often been the Opsis' Achilles heel.

Tony has now added these comments to my summary of affairs above....

"Your somewhat laconic report of last night's match did less than justice to a great and keenly fought contest.  It also did no justice to Steve who, with Sarah, performed exceptionally well on the musical questions.  Sarah did even better on the detective literature.

I am not going to reveal our team tactics here but sometimes my lot can be on tenterhooks lest I blurt.  They never know if I really know the answer or am guessing.  I shall have to talk to them severely as it is a mere mannerism of mine.  The 'Samuel Beckett' question was a case in point.  The team were suggesting I shouldn't chance my arm and blurt whereas I was telling them I didn't want to confer.  Howell muttered darkly that it sounded like conferring to him after which I gave the correct answer without asking for, or receiving, any assistance.  In the spirit of fairness, which our league usually demonstrates, I nevertheless conceded that I should only be awarded one point for my efforts."


The Prodigals lost to The Charabancs of Fire at the Albert Club.  At last Damian can report from the perspective of a winning team....

"Yes, the Charas are finally up and running scoring our first victory of 2016 and a fairly handsome one too against one of our favourite opponents!  Fears that the comfy leather chairs John and I were sat on might tempt us to nod off during proceedings proved quite unfounded as it only served to sharpen our wits and focus what's left of our ageing brains on the task at hand.  That said, we started off by quickly falling behind in the first 3 rounds and then, for once, managed to pull ourselves together by winning everything else.  This was in marked contrast to the usual trend in some of our recent performances where we start off strongly and then fall apart.  We are not yet entirely sure if there is some sort of lesson to be learned here.

Surprise Revelation of the Week: Roisin has unsuspected mathematical talents - she eschewed all offers of help on the first of the mathematical pair (R7, Q3) and triumphantly went for a two.

Shocking Question of the Week: The second of the mathematical pair (R7, Q4) which demonstrated that Dave could be only 14 years older than his son.  Anne-Marie and Yours Truly felt we should inform the police about this but our resident beancounter, Roisin, assured us that information of this kind, no matter how scandalous, was perfectly acceptable in the interests of mathematical inquiry.  How admirably academic of her!"


Compulsory Mantis Shrimp lost to Ethel Rodin at the Turnpike.  This victory keeps Ethel in touch with the leading pack whilst confirming a mini-slump for the Shrimps after their victories either side of Christmas.


Dunkin' Dönitz beat The Men They Couldn't Hang at the Griffin.  Kieran offers his usual 90 degrees slant on affairs....

"A night with all sorts of talking points and echt Withquiz moments.

The three-handed Dönitz (David was at the Etihad watching the demise of KDB and, possibly, the end of City's season) won the toss and elected to go second first on the basis that both hidden themes were in the first half so going second would give us an advantage.  It did, we won those rounds 6-4 and 6-1.  We also collected 7 unanswered questions to the 4 on offer to the Men.

The Men were ahead twice but eventually we gegenpressed them into submission.  They were, as ever, terrific company for the evening.  The Griffin was full of young types in replica shirts wildly celebrating Kun's winner.  They've been brought up on a diet of continuous success and none of them were at York 17 years ago so I couldn't really see why it seemed to be so important to them but it was still nice to see and hear.  And eventually we could also enjoy hearing Bob's peerless delivery of the paper. 

We're setting next week. Every one of us is fanatical about Dame David.  Just a pointer - but the paper won't be what you might imagine."

....and Graham offers this postscript....

"A 9-point defeat at the hands of the Dunkers does not truly reflect the difference between the teams (including my own tally of 5 twos)....nevertheless a fun night for all, despite raucous cheering in other parts of The Griffin for City.  But the Hull-themed round????"

Quiz Paper Verdict

This week the questions were set by The Electric Pigs.

A respectable average aggregate of 73.6 (the Pigs recorded a 72.4 average in the their pre-Christmas paper - so they're consistent if nothing else).  Hardly any moans from the correspondents about unfair balance (as there has been in quite a few papers this season) and no excess of unanswerables.  When I arrived late at the Cricket Club for the Bards/Opsimaths contest the QM looked to be a little exhausted from the length of some of the questions but otherwise all were relatively content with the paper.  On prodding I did elicit the view that the Maths pair in Round 7 was an unfortunate inclusion.  Though noble to try and get some Maths into the evening's deliberations this form of question is really not suited to our format unless it is time-limited.

What were the views from the other matches?

Kieran's twopennyworth....

"Barry was in heaven with a 'Blade Runner' round, in which he duly collected his own two and, with a question on the Peveril, his and my favourite Manchester pub, also falling to him.   After an aeon Maths first and Maths teacher, Martin, proved he could cope with algebra without a blackboard so just about rescued his credibility.  And I got a Dickens question right - strange times indeed!   

We didn't understand why the Hull round (William Wilberforce, Mick Ronson, Tigers, Alan Johnson etc.) wasn't announced as a theme but rather as pairs.  My eldest is at university there, making bombs (though he was at the Bluecamp tonight and he wouldn't have had a clue about any of the questions in that round - kids!)."

James' musings....

"Good quiz - well balanced, no dud questions except perhaps the round with the food companies.  Unusually we got the better of Rachael on pop music tonight.

QotW: Rather than the 'Bohemian Rhapsody/Mamma Mia' one (it's an old chestnut) I vote for the 'Chuck Berry' one, if only because he's (for now at least) a living legend - though watch this space - this year has not been kind to musical heroes so far!"

Damian's views....

"Tonight's questions from the Piggies felt a bit like a trip down memory lane with several 'I'm sure I've heard that one before' reactions and a yet another appearance for American state capitals.  The pairing was a trifle suspect in one or two cases, for example was it really necessary to demand all four railway companies in R7 Q1 when only asking for one motor manufacturer in the accompanying pair?  Personally I really appreciated the 'Blade Runner' theme in R3 even though I was slow to cotton on to it despite the fact that it is one of my favourite films of all time.  The obvious drawback in setting such specialised film or TV rounds, however, is that if you haven't seen the film or followed the TV series in question, you wouldn't have a clue!  We particularly enjoyed the 'same initials' theme in R6."

Ivor's feedback....

"We had Andrew in the chair as QM tonight and he informed us that the quiz was compiled in the Red Lion on Monday with no less than seven compilers crafting, moderating and balancing 12 candidate rounds.  Certainly the stats confirm that there was balance and the right amount of difficulty.  Plus, most importantly, there was the right degree of interest in the subject matter.  Themes do seem to be getting more obscure these days - I can't complain about the state capitals and the alphabet pairs, but, even though I saw Blade Runner twice in 1983, I couldn’t fathom the plot at all (pre-cinema drinks probably didn’t help) - and the character names, if ever embedded in the neuronal network, have long since proved impossible to retrieve (not that anyone else at our match spotted the theme either!).

The greatest cruelty of the setters was having maths questions towards the end of the evening.  Attempts by the History Men to write simultaneous equations only resulted in the conclusion that 1=1!"

Finally Tony adds this....

"I thought it was an interesting quiz.  We didn't spot the 'Hull' theme, but then we were not looking for a theme.  Clever of those who did spot it.  Perhaps we should have this new kind of hidden 'hidden theme' round regularly.  Did we not also have an alliteration round?  I can't remember if this was announced in any way, but at least we spotted it."

The Question of the Week

James and the Ethel Rodin/CMS teams opt for Round 7 Question 5:

On February 3rd 1972 at the Locarno Ballroom, Coventry, an international rock icon performed what became, after its release as a ‘live’ recording, his only no. 1 in both the UK and USA.  What was the song, and who was the singer?

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



Roddy has emailed to say that, after a conversation he had with Barry Whitehead and John Mellor last weekend, he believes none of the current WithQuiz regular team members were in at the start in 1977.  He started playing for the Red Lion team in 1982 and feels both John Mellor (also Ethel Rodin) and Brian McClintock (Opsimaths) started at about the same time.  If anyone out there can remember playing in the league before 1982 please do get in touch.


Finally yet another invite to apply for a TV quiz show....

"Hi there,

We are currently on the lookout for amazing contestants for ITV’s brand new quiz show 500 QUESTIONS!

We are very keen to recruit a diverse range of contestants from different backgrounds.

500 Questions is an intense game of strategy and stamina.  The aim of the game is to hold your own and bank cash as you go.  There is just one rule: three wrong in a row and you’re out!  With a challenger to take your place and tens of thousands of pounds waiting to be won, can you handle the pressure?

If you, your friends, colleagues or anyone else you know are up for a laugh, have great general knowledge and want the chance to win thousands of pounds then please head to www.itv.com/beontv/shows/500questions.

We will be extending the closing date for applications. Thanks, the 500 Questions team (tweet us @500questionsuk)"