The Withington Pub Quiz League


4th October 2017


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The 2017/18 season kicks off with high scores all round and defeat for last season's league champions

The Results

Last season's champs, Dunkin' Dönitz, lost at home to last season's third placed team, Albert.  Visiting skipper, Mike O'Brien reports....

"A lively old encounter.  As the score suggests for the most part the questions were gettable.

In other news I have decided that the Albert team image needs sharpening up and have been working on a corporate emblem which I will reveal to the rest of the squad shortly.  It will sum up the ethos of the team and tell everyone what we are about."


Compulsory Mantis Shrimp just shaded the first Turnpike derby of the season by a solitary point against The Charabancs of Fire.  Fr Megson (a.k.a. Gerry Collins) sends the text of an uncharacteristically brief sermon on the affair....

"Good game.  Great scoring.  Great opposition.  Maybe first up on 'The Quiz of the Day' highlights?"

....and now Fr Megson's obedient altar boy Damian comes up with his liturgical responses....

"Encouraging start to the season with a derby match against our fellow Turnpikers and just managing to lose with a walloping great score of 47 points! Must be a bit of a record, surely.  Would have been a draw if senility hadn't struck me on the 'A' round and prevented me dredging up 'Absinthe' from the dark corners of my fading memory - even though I knew the answer so well.  Aaaagghh!  But it was a great night and an exciting contest all round.

Giggle of the Week?  QM Adam referring to Chara John as 'Ash'.  A quick glance at Father M's handwriting and I guess we could see his point.  Our mortified reverend captain promptly volunteered to return to the remote Irish monastery where he learnt his calligraphy for a refresher course.
'Ash' and the rest of the team felt we had no option but to agree!"


Ethel Rodin outscored The History Men at the Ladybarn stadium complex to start their season on a high.


Meanwhile at The Fletcher Moss The Electric Pigs lost their opener to the visiting Bards of DidsburyTony sends in his thoughts....

"Last night's quiz was free scoring and a fun start to the season.  The Pigs fought back hard from a poor first round and almost levelled the scores before time caught up with them.  Andrew was in the chair and contributed well to make it a most enjoyable evening.  People seemed to take their time answering but nevertheless with Andrew's occasional gentle 'May I have an answer' we finished the quiz by 10.15."

The Paper

For this first week of the league season the paper was set by The Opsimaths.

The scoring was spectacularly high - and if you think I'm gilding the lily a bit then just remember that the highest aggregate score from last season was an 88.2 notched up by Albert's paper from October 12th.  Last night the aggregate was 92.8!

So plenty of twos (indeed if you were in any doubt and didn't go for a two then there's a good chance that your team lost).  But on the down side an experimental dalliance with a new sort of round that missed the mark - for some teams by quite a mile.

It's hard to devise a new format for a round but always worth trying.  This time it didn't come off.  The round in question was the 'Quote/Misquote' Round 4 where you were invited to decide whether two well-known quotes from a given source were both accurate, both misquoted or one of each.

Here's what you had to say....


"Quote/Misquote: Complete pot luck....terrible idea"

Mike O'B....

"The quotations round caused a few problems because it called for such precise knowledge.  In our case it degenerated into a hit or miss series of gambles which sometimes paid off and sometimes didn't.  To come up with an original format for a quiz round takes some doing these days so the attempt is to be applauded.  With a bit of tweaking this would be a good round - e.g. for the Shakespeare pair Ashton suggested quoting a couple of fairly obscure lines and asking if those particular lines came from the named plays.  We did enjoy the 'Run Ons' round, a format that always provides a few laughs."


"There was the almost obligatory Blockbuster Bingo round (that abomination invented by the, hopefully, soon to be canonised Megson) but also some serious attention paid to novel formats for themed rounds which we all agreed made a refreshing change and was much to encouraged.  We were quite unable to agree a Question of the Week; there was an 'embarras de richesse'.  I think that should be taken as a compliment by this week's setter."


"The misquotes round wasn't particularly successful (that's a misquote of Anne's opinion of the round).  Overall only 2 unanswered and lots of twos.


"The Opsis' paper was smooth going and very enjoyable except for, as you may have guessed, the Quote/Misquote round which was more of a Misfire round.  Interesting idea but just far too nitpicky and overly precise (whose memory is sharp enough these days to recall where every single word should be placed in a quotation?).  It just seemed to go against the grain of the well-known 'near as dammit' spirit of WithQuiz that has made it so enjoyable for most of us down the years.

QotW?  We had opted for the answer to the Goon Show/Whisky follow on question: 'He's fallen in the water of life!' but, on reflection, must agree with the one selected by Ethel Rodin as it involves one of our very own even though he only fell in the water of the Atlantic!"
....and Gerry C....

"And the paperwork?  7 gotten rounds and 1 misbegotten one."

As Mike O'B says it is hard to come up with a satisfactory new round format that fits our type of quiz.  Paddy Duffy, late of the Opsimaths and now one of the regular team members on Radio 4's Round Britain Quiz was visiting the Albert Club last night.  He now plays in the Quiz League of London (QLL) and he was effusive in praise of the format and standard of the WithQuiz papers compared to that enjoyed in the QLL.  By the way, Ivor, Paddy is representing the Northern Irish team in RBQ.  Who said Brexit is bringing back a hard border?

The Dave Barras 'Question of the Week'

This week Ethel Rodin chose Round 2 Question 1 - a question which delves into the murky past of Bards QM-in-chief, Eric Gow:

Which 1960 film links a real-life event of May 1941, with a WithQuiz participant?

And a postscript to this QotW sent in by Eric's great mate Tony....

"Not only did Eric play his part in this film but Porton Down (see Round 8 Question 2) nearly did for Eric.  Eventually he led the Porton Down Veterans and secured a verdict of unlawful killing against the MoD.  Not bad in one short lifetime, eh?"

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

Setters v Sitters

As trailed in last week's QuizBiz, this week's Setters (The Opsimaths) met this week's Sitters (The Prodigals) in a friendly contest at the Albert Club while the rest of you were notching up megapoints (or struggling with quotations) on The Opsimaths' paper.

There were 5 Opsimaths against 4 Prodigals with Nick QMing.  Many thanks to Nick for sourcing the question paper from another North West Quiz league.  The paper consisted of 70 general knowledge questions arranged in no particular order.  Each question was addressed to the whole team in conferring mode for one point.  If the team initially asked the question got it wrong (or couldn't answer) then it went over for a bonus point to the other team.  The interesting (and for us novel) part of the format was the sequence of interrogation; the team asked the first question also got the second question unless they got the answer to the first question right in which case the other team got the next question and so on.  Put more simply you were consigned to offer a bonus point possibility to your opponents until you got an answer right.

Anyhow we had great fun with the paper The Opsimaths running out victors 32 to 20.

Howell will be in touch with the Sitters/Setters each week offering to source the quiz paper if they wish to have such a contest, and I will keep reporting on experiences and results in this section of the Home page each week that an 'S v S' match takes place.

....and also

Roddy, Anne-Marie, Andrew, Gerry and myself (Mike Bath) got together at the Albert Club at 7pm last night - just before the first matches of the season kicked off - to discuss the special 'WithQuiz at 40' evening we plan to hold during the season.

I'll report on this as the plans develop but one thing we decided for sure was that the event will be on March 28th next year (the Wednesday before Easter) rather than December 20th this year (as provisionally shown up to now on the Fixtures list).  This gives us more time to prepare and keeps us clear of the pre-Christmas crush of social outings.

I have altered the website fixtures list accordingly.  The Christmas break will now be 3 weeks long (rather than 2) and the season will finish with the 'End of Season evening' a week later than previously planned - i.e. on May 30th rather than May 23rd.

40 Years On......

A blessed memory from Kieran concerning the fabled Alan McPhee of The Gerbils (one of the Red Lion's former teams)......

......asked a question that he clearly hadn't a clue about McPhee bellowed "I don't know the answer but I AM NOT conferring!"

Any treasured WithQuiz memories you'd like to share?