The Withington Pub Quiz League


25th October 2017


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

A clean sweep for this week's away teams as the Dunkers, Ethel, the Bards and the Opsimaths come

out on top

The Results

The Charabancs of Fire lost at home to the The Bards of Didsbury who seem to be starting this season with a bit more panache than their campaign last season displayed.  Damian tells the story from the losing side of the table....

"Beer tonight not quite up to its usual drinkability.  Consequently our quizzing was not up to our (at least recent) quizzability standards.  After being even Stevens with the Bards for the first 3 rounds, we fell away quickly and never quite recovered.  Our first two quizzes of the season had been amongst our best ever results but tonight was a desultory return to the worst of our form from seasons prior.  For us everything depends on the type of questions set.  Obviously tonight it did not go our way!"


The History Men lost at the Red Lion to Dunkin' Dönitz.  Various reports on this one.  First the winning visitors' view from Kieran....

"Our unsettling repetition of exactly the same results as last season by margin of victory or defeat came to an end with a 12 (as opposed to 5) point win in the Red.  More than that, we are in positive points difference territory and it's only taken us four games to get there.

Some things remain the same though.  David ducked out to go to a gig (Jason Isbell this time rather than Joan As Policewoman) and so we called on a sub.  Not, for once, supersub Simon but David's daughter Ruth.  Ruth is only the second of our academy products to feature for us, following her cousin Alex (Mike's son) who played a few times some years' ago.  There's nine in the next generation between Barry, David, Mike and me but somehow spending Wednesday evenings in the pub with a bunch of 50-something quiz nerds has yet to set their millennial pulses racing.

Ruth started in thoroughbred style, confidently scoring a two for 'Strider' on her first ever question; thereafter her fortunes were more mixed.  She instantly caught the old-hand quizzer's 'I know the answer to everyone else's questions except mine' malaise but seemed to enjoy the evening anyway.  Despite spending the last three years at Cambridge she couldn't tell us the former name of Murray Edwards college which, to be fair, was renamed six years before she went up; and she clearly had never ventured to Impington or Histon by means of the world's longest guided busway.  Students!  They weren't like that in my day, bah!  In truth they, and I, were exactly like that and long may it remain so.

The Historymedics managed not to embarrass themselves over anatomy or medical terms and Tim scored his most lowbrow two ever by knowing the Paltrow/Martin dreck.  He may never live that down.  Anne's football team collapsed even more speedily than her quiz companions who only trailed by three at the end of round six.  Presumably they (Spurs that is, not the Historymen) are warming up for their traditional abject lay down and die at Old Trafford on Saturday.  Barry thinks so and frankly so does Anne.  

Unanswereds were three each (sorry, Ivor, for stepping on your territory) and twos were also even at ten apiece.  The match was won by our six bonuses while our hosts got none.  I may have mentioned the importance of bonuses and conferreds once or twice already this season.

The evening ended in the time-honoured fashion with Ivor on his phone issuing urgent instructions for control of the latest zombie-apocalypse plague trying to break out of the MRI - and the rest of us wittering amiably about Blade Runner in IMAX and why our generation thought the original Star Wars was gobsmacking while Ruth's cohort were a bit more.... meh.

Week off next week and attention completely focused on Naples.  Now I'm really not confident about that one."

....then the losing home team's thoughts from Ivor....

"The teams in our quiz league are a bit like North Korea in that meritocracy very closely resembles dynastic inheritance.  Tonight saw the debut of Ruth (David’s daughter) for the Dunkers who rather discomfited us with a two on her very first question.  After our record defeat by the Mantis Shrimp post-grad students last week our confidence is so shattered we do worry that a team from Beaver Road Year 6 might take us to the wire on a good night.  However tonight also saw the return of Anne’s niece Vanessa whose last game saw us snatch the Cup from Ethel on the last question ('the greatest comeback since Lazarus' as the late Sid Waddell might have said).  Tonight she was introduced to our more usual style of play - i.e. staying in touch only a few points behind until our implosion in Rounds 7 and 8.  Perhaps if the Swedish Round had included a few Dutch questions things might have been better.  It started promisingly with Tim recalling Wild Strawberries but concluded with three steals for the Dunkers."

and finally Mike H, the QM chips in....

"The History Men ended Round One three points behind, and remained three behind, right up to the end of Round 6.  It seemed to me (judging by the murmurings I heard) that they thought the balance of the questions was against them."


The Prodigals lost to The Opsimaths in the first of this season's Albert Club derby matches.  Both Jimmy and Dave were absent for the Prodigals but Anne-Marie seems blessed with a pool of reserves so both sides were four-handed.  The Opsimaths snuck ahead in Round 2 and never looked back finishing a comfortable 16 points in front.

Nick was on imperious form for the Opsimaths displaying his Archer's knowledge to the full (including a magnificent two for 'Robin Snell' which had been gestating in Nick's noddle for what seemed like an age before emerging perfectly formed).  Hilary impressed with her knowledge of German baritones on the 'Marlene Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau' answer and I managed to remember some long ago memorised list of the most populous Swedish cities to snatch two points for 'Uppsala'.

Most importantly however the evening was full of fun and jest with the racket from the quiz room overwhelming the somewhat sombre mood from the main lounge where Spurs were sinking to the Hammers to everyone's disinterest.  Well, everyone that is apart from long term Spurs fan, Brian, who did an admirable job as our QM."


The Electric Pigs lost to Ethel Rodin at the Fletcher Moss.

The Paper

This week the paper was set by Albert.

No complaints at the Albert Club where we enjoyed the paper greatly.  Who would have thought you could squeeze 8 very reasonable questions plus a spare out of Hartlepool?  Does this herald a new trend as we trawl through the towns of Leagues One and Two week after week.  Certainly our old mate, Dave, would have loved this.

As for the stats it was a healthy average aggregate across all the matches (just over 70) and at the Club the unanswereds split 8-6 against the team going first (the Opsimaths as it happened).  Twos were 11 apiece so all the real advantage came from the steals which the Opsimaths won 11-2.

Only one error I could spot: Round 5 Question 10 on Foundations should (I think) have read 'Robert Capa', not 'Robert Cage' - I've corrected this on the questions page.

The History Men's perspective on the paper is summed up by Ivor....

"Despite our mauling we largely enjoyed the questions.

There was some debate on how Paired Bingo should be played with a suggestion that should player one pick Anatomy (for example) then their opponent also has to answer the second Anatomy question of the pair.  In the end we played it as a 'pick your own from the grid' type of round with (for example) the second Anatomy question being picked (or not) by anyone who chose it in the second round.  I wonder how other teams interpreted this?"

....and for a QM's point of view Mike H comments....

"But the strangest thing, as question-asker, was that there was no explanation for how the bingo rounds should be played.  Fortunately the teams were able to agree between themselves how the two rounds should be tackled.  Oh and by the way, twice recently we have fruit flies on the menu.  Reminds me: time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

....finally Damian has the Charas's say....

"As you can tell from the score, the quiz did not really play to our strengths.  Too much of the obscure 'you either know it or you don't' type of questions for our liking and no prizes for guessing which category we fell into.  Even our beloved bingo rounds did not look kindly on us with no points at all for us in the first Bingo Round - although we performed better in the second (we did enjoy the 'Links' categories though).  The 'Hartlepool round', a monster prompted into existence by our own Father M, did not really do it for either of us and the setters managed to make a whole round on Sweden even more boring than necessary (all that lovely Scandi-noir on our tellies of late and we get asked which is the fourth largest city!).

We've had much more interesting and varied fare from the Albert in the past.  Frankly, we felt that this one did not quite live up to their usual standards.  Oh well, you can't win 'em all I guess!"

The Dave Barras 'Question of the Week'

This week (and not for the first time) the award goes to a question from the 'Run Ons' Round (where the last part of the answer to the first of a pair of questions is the same as the first part of the answer to the second of the pair).  In this case the surface reading to the whole answer is particularly tasty.  So my vote goes to Round 6 Question 2:

1998 romantic comedy starring Cameron Diaz and involving some unusual hair gel; instigator of the last private prosecution in the UK for blasphemous libel (the crime was abolished, long afterwards, in 2008)?

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

Setters v Sitters

Albert and Compulsory Meat Raffle were the non-playing teams this week but again a friendly fixture between the two of them proved impossible to arrange.

....and also

Mike Wagstaffe has just informed me of a change to the Lowly Grail Quarter Finals on November 8th.  Tame Valley have been unable to raise a team for a Wednesday so their place will be taken by The Printers.  Ivor and the History Men please note!