The Withington Pub Quiz League


15th February 2017


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Double bubble for the Dunkers - they win whilst nearest rivals Albert, the Opsimaths and the Shrimps all slip up

The Results

The Prodigals scored a good solid win over The Opsimaths in the second of the season's Albert Club derbies.  Anne-Marie and her quartet went ahead in Round One and never looked back.  The match was firmly QMed by Stella who got us all done and dusted by 10.15pm.  Jitka and myself were squeezed into the small slice of the back room terraces reserved for 'away' supporters and roared our mob on - but to no avail.

Post-match there was much quizzing chit-chat and a few reminiscences of the old days when the Shrimps were unhatched, and The Men They Couldn't Hang weren't even yet formed as a folk punk band yet alone a quiz team.  Indeed next season will be the 40th season that WithQuiz has been in existence.  How should we celebrate the fact?  Your comments on the message board would be most welcome.

As is always the case after these derby affairs one of the quizzers duly inscribes the label on the Orkney Dark Trophy with the name of the latest derby winners; this time round it was Howell with his diddiest and neatest writing (see photo).  The trophy/bottle was then placed back on the shelf above the divide above the front and back lounges.  The bottle is now 24 years old and its contents almost certainly undrinkable.  We're thinking of sending it to North Korea for Kim Jong-Un to sample.  Might blow his head off.


Meanwhile at the Red The History Men just clung on by one point to beat Albert and damage their title-chasing ambitions.  Ivor reports on the evening....

"It has been an up and down season for us.  After 7 consecutive defeats we have now had three wins in a row - admittedly two of those games by a single point.  Tonight we overcame the Albert.  We have always struggled against the Albert in the 15 years we have played in the league.  In fact we had beaten every other team in the league at least once before the Albert lost their win record.  Tonight’s game was nip and tuck with the lead changing hands several times and everything hinging on the last two questions.  We had James in the QM seat and as co-setter he ably solved the 'missing questions in Round 2' dilemma.  It was a very pleasant evening with old friends - and Arsenal going down was an added bonus."

....with Mike O'B adding this....

"We can't complain.  We trailed for most of the evening and couldn't find the inspiration to get past a tenacious History Men team.  As the pressure grew Team member X physical assaulted yet another member of the team.  I fear a lengthy suspension is coming up.

By the by, Monsewer Bath was a little too reticent last week in claiming that the Quiz Ball was consulted on a couple of occasions.  In fact in at least two other instances the Quiz Ball was asked to adjudicate on his QMing and, sad to report, the decisions were lukewarm to say the least (consult the list on last week's quiz page to decide which comments would best fit the situation)."


The Electric Pigs scored a fairly comfortable win over title contenders, Compulsory Mantis Shrimp, at the Fletcher Moss.  Texts from Shrimp Richard received at the Albert Club by Clare indicated this was not a paper that suited the slightly younger quizzer.


The Charabancs of Fire beat The Bards of Didsbury in a cliff-biting, nail-hanging, one-point thriller at the Turnpike.  Our cheapo beer man on the spot was Damian....

"Well, I guess Chara John's optimistic visits to the bank in case he might have to stump up for a round for our opponents finally paid off when we were forced to do exactly that for our esteemed opponents this evening.  The fact that Fr Megson was so overcome with joy that he managed to beat John to the bar does not negate the worthiness of his steadfast preparation.  Save it for the next time, John!

With Carmel and Roddy sharing QM duties, this was a close-fought affair with never anything more than a couple of points between us and the lead changing hands from round to round, ending in a tie in several of them.  The Bards very kindly allowed us a point for me drawing upon my (occasionally deep) knowledge of queens past and present to guess that 'Lord Linley' is the nearest in line to the throne who is not a descendant of the present incumbent and her spouse - despite the fact that he had recently changed his title to the Earl of Snowdon.  This proved to be the deal-breaker that enabled us to come out ahead by just one point.  Thank you Bards!"


The Men They Couldn't Hang lost rather convincingly to Dunkin' Dönitz at the Parrs Wood.  Kieran reports....

"We were in a furnace-like Parrs Wood, even hotter than the infamous front room of The Griffin, and playing against the team we put to a '38-point sword' back in October while I was absent helping Alex Tsipras out with the loose change in my pocket.

Well my return has plainly weakened the Dönutz since tonight's margin was a mere 34, but it's still good to get back to winning ways after a couple of stumbles recently.  Arsène, inbox me, I can tell you what you need to do and it's really easy.  At any rate we're pretty happy to have repaired the damage that the Bards did to our points difference in the last league match.

The Turnpike again next week, and another tussle with title rivals, the Shrimps, who despatched us in Europe pretty comfortably 7 nights ago.  Should be an interesting evening and no telling which team a Bards paper might favour.

'There's something happening here

What it is ain't exactly clear'

...but maybe it will be a little clearer this time next week."

The Paper

This week the paper was set by Ethel Rodin.

This paper was in the 'moderately hard' category.  Aggregate scores (67.8) were on average about 5 points below the season's norm (72.6).  But this paper will be best remembered, I think, for what was not asked rather than for what was asked - furthermore for the imaginative device of omitting different questions on the 'different copies' of the paper.  Were this not a horrible accident (as Roddy admitted in his very honest text late on Wednesday evening) one might have imagined it as a device to floor certain teams in a very targeted way.  So for instance anything on Dickens would definitely have been included in the version of the paper going to the Griffin but possible omitted elsewhere.  As it was this turned out to be a mysterious and embarrassing Toffler computer malfunction.  As Roddy says....

"Having gone to the Red Lion after the Turnpike I realise that you might have been mystified last night. The fact was that for some reason Open Office decided to print different versions of the paper, omitting some questions and duplicating others.  The paper at the Red Lion omitted Question 7 of Round 4 whereas at the Turnpike it didn't.  Rounds 2 and 3 were also affected.  There may have been 5 different question papers out last night. Anyway, they coped at both the Red and Turnpike and there were no grumbles."

Roddy is indeed correct since at the Club we were OK on Round 7 Question 4 but had a few others missing.  Never mind it all added to the fun of the occasion and gave the QMs a chance to show their mettle by devising ways round the glitch.

At the Club we managed the best aggregate score of the evening (74) with just 7 questions going unanswered (splitting 4-3 to the slight detriment of the Prodigals).  Both teams enjoyed the paper and there were no complaints as to the question content.  On the plus side it was generally agreed that Round 4 on classical music was brilliantly put together with just enough information for non-classical buffs to hazard a guess.  Such a good round will surely redress the traditional imbalance of our papers towards trashy music for a few weeks to come.  I suspect Round 4 was a Roddy special so many thanks to him (later I've learnt that Round 4 was created by James - so apologies to him - I got it wrong yet again).

Let's hear what others think....


"We found tonight's paper from Ethel Rodin to be a tad on the toughish side with, by my reckoning, up to 13 unanswerables (that broke more or less evenly between us).  For once, we managed to confer in a disciplined way squeezing out answers to a number of questions that, at first, seemed to elude us.  Nevertheless, there was a broad variety of subjects and themes that managed to appeal to at least somebody on one of the 2 teams at some point in the proceedings.

Our vote for QotW?  Chara John nominated the very last question which won the quiz for us (courtesy of some well thought out conferring).  He gets very sentimental about questions that do that!"

....and Ivor....

"A slightly easier quiz than some recent Ethel offerings and generally well received.  Unusual to have a classical music round all in pictures - and fortunate that the sight reading question fell to Anne, and the Rachmaninoff question to me.  The theme rounds were very good, though having blurted 'Julius Caesar' in the 'Assasinateds' (or is it 'Assassinees'?) Round it was only Albert’s failure to produce Luxembourg that ensured our victory.  As always we must remember to listen to the questions carefully; it is fortunate that Tim’s 'Westward Ho Chi Minh' was overruled in favour of 'Charles Kingsley Amis'."

....and Kieran....

"The Men were good humoured as ever and the match progressed at a reasonable pace despite my late arrival.  An Ethel paper rather out of character in that there were pop music and pop culture questions all over the place which suited us just fine.  David's and Martin's eyes did light up when told that Round 4 was a classical music picture round and we duly took that one 8-1.  Nine unanswereds in total, 5-4 against us, and David had a very odd evening getting three of the unanswerables but also 4 twos.

The 'second part of the first answer is the first part of the second answer' format is becoming a fixture and we love it.  Particularly as (almost) children of the 80s we're all now searching YouTube for the Special A.K.A's seminal political protest ditty Free Willy Wonka.  How the world could do with their voices now."

....and finally from the Red Mike O'B sums up....

"The quiz itself was always challenging but contained some interesting questions such as linking the national anthem of Luxembourg to an assassination theme."

Question of the Week

This week the victorious (just) Charas vote for the very last question of the evening, Round 8 Question 8:

Which country has the national anthem 'Ons Hémécht'?

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



Play 'Ons Hemecht'