The Withington Pub Quiz League


18th January 2017


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Victories in line with the form-book - apart from the Bards beating Ethel at the Cricket Club

The Results

At the Parrs Wood Hotel The Men They Couldn't Hang lost to The Prodigals in the lowest scoring match of the evening.  Graham sums up....

"Another defeat for the gallant Hangers.  We were ahead after the 'FOUR Letter' round, but ended up fuelled by four letter words at the finish."

Dunkin' Dönitz just can't be bested - this time seeing off the challenge from The Charabancs of Fire.  Damian puts the loser's point of view....

"The Charas' recent run of wins came to a juddering halt when, to their consternation, they came up against a team not named 'The Opsimaths' and were so confused by this fact that they struggled to focus and were unfairly taken advantage of by their red-hot opponents.  I ask you, what are we poor confused Charas supposed to do?

In all seriousness,  it was a lovely evening for losing a quiz against a bunch of top notch opponents who are currently the undisputed best team in the league.  We trailed in every round and did well to keep the final difference to a mere 9 points.  We've had worse evenings!"

....and Kieran the winner's perspective....

"Bob returned sporting Lima's equivalent of 'Kiss Me Quick' headgear - a plain cap with 'P-E-R-U' picked out in bright lettering on the crown.  Who knew that Shining Path had the hat concession on Swinton Market?

The front room at the Griffin, overheated as ever, with the beer varying in quality during the course of the evening.  It's good to be home.  One thing that doesn't vary is the good humour of the Charas and their belief that Wednesday evenings should consist of rambling funny conversations with old friends occasionally interrupted by a quiz question or two.  The Charas beat the Opsimaths home and away either side of Christmas and we thanked them by putting them to the sword of a Donuts team unrecognisable from the shambolic rabble of recent seasons.

Speaking of which......... no I can't.  But I'm considering adding Catalunya to the 'Good Ol' US' on my list of places I want God to wreak his most vengeful havoc upon.

Highlight of the night was Babar the elephant's wife.  Seriously, I know we're post-fact and nothing can be believed anymore, but elephants have wives?  No matter, magnificent team work from Martin: 'I think it begins with a C..... Celestine?' and Barry 'Celeste that's it!' secured one of our nine bonus points.  That's the sort of inspiration we've rediscovered this season that's won us many points in some very tight games. 

We always answer conferred questions through me, rather than any other member of the team shouting out, but I couldn't bring myself to vocalise the answer to Round 1 Question 5 so Barry had to speak the 'She Who Must Not Be Named' words.  It got us a point and I hope he doesn't suffer the wrath of supercilious, poisonous, patronising, hand-wringing, brain-deficient, bien-pensants, for daring to utter those words.

Ah that's better!  Now I can think about twelve wins from twelve games and the Bards next week.  Surely they must have a win in them sometime soon?  Maybe they'll rediscover their title winning form tonight against Ethel - or maybe not (ED: Actually they did).  Whatever, we won't be taking them lightly, but we can be happy with the way things are going so far."


At an uncharacteristically quiet Red Lion The History Men continued their losing run against The Opsimaths.  The last 'Historic' victory was on October 26th in an era when truth was all the rage and Hillary Clinton looked to be set for the White House.  On the visiting side of the quiz table the Opsimaths were pleased to turn up and not see a gang of Charabancs facing them, and they responded accordingly scoring a comfortable victory.

Opsimath Nick (by Ivor's reckoning both MVP and Jonah) picked up 6 twos and two unanswerables, whilst Anne was the MVP on the History Men's side with 4 twos.  The History Men's David was in Hong Kong so Ivor's wife Alison (once again) stepped in nobly to fill the gap.  I was 'rotating' so happily officiated as QM.  It was an extremely jolly - verging on rambunctious - affair between two sets of quizzers who refuse to take life too seriously.  I'd like to claim that our boisterousness cleared the front TV-less parlour but the truth is it was empty when we started and nobody even put their head round the door throughout the the whole evening.  As QM I sat under the 'Roy Grainger' plaque conscious that I was unable to emulate the sternness Roy used to exhibit in those far off days when he QMed for Old Erin and their predecessor Red Lion teams.  During the post-match conflab we took to estimating the number of WithQuiz questions on the website; we think it might be approaching 36,000!

Albert beat The Electric Pigs in the Fletcher Moss derby.  Mike O'B reports a close run affair for the first 5 rounds but then a surge in Rounds 6, 7 and 8 saw Albert comfortably home and dry.

The Bards of Didsbury scored a welcome victory against Ethel Rodin to nudge their way a little higher up the league table.

The Paper

This week the paper was set by Compulsory Mantis Shrimp.  This was a toughish paper with an average aggregate of 68 - 5 less than the season's overall  average.  Rather like last week's offering from the Prodigals it evoked some contradictory opinions.

Some of the comments below are quite flattering but at the Red we found it pretty hard going with 15 unanswered questions throughout the evening - too many for our comfort.  I suspect the problem for us was the very slow start with just 5 points scored in Round 1.  Thereafter it got going and finished at a canter.  Perhaps a lesson for future setters: put your easiest round up front to get everybody in the mood!

At the Parrs Wood Anne-Marie thought it an "enjoyable quiz paper" whilst Graham sent this review....

"Thoroughly entertaining quiz by the Shrimps, enjoyed by both the Prodigals and ourselves.....apart, that is, from the Chemistry/Physics questions which were not to my taste - and the em-Barras-ment of Il Capitano Dave getting his Derbyshire question wrong!"

At the Griffin Damian thought....

"Tonight's quiz fare from our fellow Turnpikers, the Mantis Shrimps was an intriguing assortment of pairs and themes that contained some gold nuggets but also bowled us with plenty of googlies (to coin one of those cricket terms that Roisin is so fond of).  The 'Peak District themed' round was a nice idea but kind of falls a bit flat if you're not too familiar with the area or have only passed through Derbyshire villages once in a blue moon.

The Shrimps certainly exhibited a sadistic relish for raising our hopes when they started questions talking about THIS year's Golden Globe winners only to steer the question in the direction of PAST Golden Globe winners!  We enjoyed the hidden Monty Python theme in the last round but I was aggrieved to see that 'Denis Moore', my inspired answer to the question about the Canadian broadcaster, was wrong.  I maintain that my answer was better and have unanimously decided to vote it 'Best Wrong Answer Of The Evening That Should Have Been Right'.  So there!!!"

....whilst at the Fletcher Moss this was Mike O'B's verdict....

"Oh how we oldsters struggled with some of the rounds set by the young folk.  Surely this was revenge for having inflicted Wilfred Pickles on them a few weeks back.  Readers your hearts would have been rent in two at the sight of Jeremy flailing around for the answer to the Ryan Gosling question and coming up with 'Inflatable Me'.  The Peak District round made us believe that they had hacked into the Barras on-line account and made off with some of his prize questions.

Although on the hard side, it did produce a very competitive contest for the first five rounds with the teams never more than a point apart and the lead regularly changing hands."

....and finally at the Cricket Club Mike Hansford (who was QMing for the Bards in their match against Ethel) reports some controversy over the pronunciation of the French version of the surnames of the Tintin detectives.  Perhaps the question should have specified that the answers should be spelled out as well as spoken.

Question of the Week

This week the vote goes to Round 6 (the Peak District themed Round) Question 1.  With the words 'bacon' and 'breakfast' in the question some considerable time was spent by both teams at the Red Lion trying to recollect the names of Derbyshire villages named after the ingredients of a full English breakfast.  'Black Pudding' and 'Sausage' were considered before the unlikely 'Bakewell' got the vote....

According to Francis Bacon, this is "a good breakfast, but… a poor supper".

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