The Withington Pub Quiz League


1st November 2017


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The Shrimps strengthen their hold at the top whilst Albert, the Opsimaths and the Bards slip up

The Results

Yet again The Opsimaths (Nick, Howell, Clare and Brian this time) lost to The Charabancs of Fire.

Last season the Opsis were confidently in contention for the league title until Christmas came round, and then a couple of defeats home and away to the Charabancs either side of the festival brought all hope tumbling to the ground.  Surely it couldn't happen again against a team shorn of its inspirational leader (apparently off on a break in Ireland)?  Bloody hell!  It did.  While Megson was away Roisin, Damian (in particularly good form), John and new boy Graham triumphed.

It was an epic struggle with the visitors leading up to the break, and then the Opsimaths creeping into pole position in the latter stages, until a swing of fortune in Round 8 left the Charas ahead by two points at the final whistle.  After the match was over and the excitement in the room ratcheted down a few degrees, the winning side requested that I send this message (via the website) to their absent captain and coach, Father M:

"We'd like to thank Father Megson for his contribution to our team over the years.  We wish him well in whatever challenge he chooses to take on next.  The pork scratchings are in the post."

It was a jolly gathering which I had the privilege to QM. It got off to a spectacular start with the Charas thinking that Andy Burnham had had the good sense to appoint Councillor Andrew Simcock as his deputy with special responsibility for business and the economy of Greater Manchester (Round 1 Question 2).  Even better in Round 6 Chara Graham guessed that the answer to the question paired with the one about Max Planck was 'Four by two'.

So well done Barry Shanks but beware the Opsimaths will be gunning for you in April in the return match at the Turnpike!


Albert lost to The History Men.  The losing skipper, Mike O'B laments....

"OMG we were a total Shiloh Pitt tonight.  We started off badly with me blathering about Wolfson College and we never caught up.  Since we had a late QM crisis Eveline volunteered to officiate and I am here to tell you she's ever so fierce.  We quivered with fear when she spoke our names.  To replace Eveline Jeremy called up his friend Mark who was thankfully able to join us.  Jeremy warned us that there was to be none of the usual foolishness and we did try hard for a couple of rounds but you can't keep a good Paddle down and soon the bespectacled rat was out on the table.  Now Mark knows what top level quizzing is all about."

....whilst gobsmacked winning captain Ivor has this to say....

"An unexpected victory for us tonight at the Fletcher Moss.  We gained a lead in the first round and pulled steadily ahead to record what is a rare win these days against the Albert (and indeed a rare win against anyone)." 


Compulsory Mantis Shrimp kept their 100% record - just - beating The Electric Pigs at the Turnpike.  Rachael sends this report....

"In what was a very enjoyable evening we just pulled ahead to beat our excellent opponents by two points.  After falling behind in the first round we made up lost ground and were neck and neck by half time.  In the second half we remained within a point or two of each other, with the Shrimps just clinching victory on the last question.  Roddy did a fine job reading the questions for us."


The Bards of Didsbury lost to The Prodigals who have, at last, broken their duck.  Ecstatic, Anne-Marie sends these words....

"The Prodigals are back!!  Lovely evening at the Cricket Club and all finished by 10:30.  Danny and I were inspired by our visits to see David who is now on the mend and back in Manchester at Trafford General."

....and QM Mike H adds these comments....

"Prodigals got off to a good start (partly helped, I regret, by a little QM generosity on the very first question) and won every round except Round 6 which was tied, and Round 7.  It looked as if the Bards might be making a late comeback, but then the Prods won the last round, probably the most difficult of the evening, 5-0.

Incidentally Round 5 was possibly the fastest I have experienced.  The Star Trek pair produced no points, though Anne-Marie was certain she knew the name of the new Spock, but it just wouldn't come to her.  But then the Bards didn't know either.

Altogether 18 twos (split 10-8 to Prods) and six unanswered questions four of which fell to the Bards."

The Paper

This week the paper was set by Ethel Rodin and it notched up a very healthy average aggregate of 78.8 - a little above the season's average to-date of 76.0.

'Most unlike a typical Ethel paper' was my immediate thought.  Erudition yes, with a number of trademark classical music questions (set by James I'm told) - but quite a bit of playfulness as well peaking in the invented spoonerisms presented cryptically (Round 3 Questions 7 and 8).    This was a thoroughly enjoyable pair but in no way a test of knowledge.  It did occur to me at this point that my job as QM was more akin to a Strictly Come Dancing judge than a WithQuiz interrogator since there might well have been other answers just as valid as the ones given in the paper.  But so what?  It was worth the laugh.  We did  wonder who got Round 3 Question 8 in the Albert v History Men match. 

I really liked Round 2 where the answer was a name shared by two celebrities though this round proved to be the downfall of the Opsimaths who only scored a single point.

I gather from Roddy that Greg was the mastermind behind Rounds 2 and 3 whilst Roddy himself was responsible for Rounds 5, 6 and 7.

All in all loads of diversity in this paper - and isn't diversity what we're all expected to celebrate these days?  So many thanks to the Rodinistas.

Ivor had this to say on behalf of the History Men....

"Unusually for an Ethel Rodin paper we enjoyed it (but do winning teams do this anyway?).  A combined score of 75 and only 7 unanswered questions is just about the right level of difficulty.

We were intrigued by Rounds 2 and 3.  It must have taken a year or two to craft these questions since namesakes and spoonerisms are as rare as interesting questions on Munros or naval ordnance.  I suspect we will not see their like again for a while.  Although 'Shiloh Pitt' might well appear as an answer in other quizzes it is unlikely it will be in the context in which it was used tonight.

The most interesting thing I learned is that a prescription costs £8.70 per item.  You would have thought I ought to know this but the last time I had to pay was for painkillers for sinusitis in 1978, and it cost 20p (four shillings in old money).  Inflation is a strange beast and so variable.  In 1978 I paid £1.99 for a bottle of Hungarian Bullís Blood red wine (there was not a great selection in Presbyterian Edinburgh then) and it is not much more than this today."

....and Mike O'B this....

"The Spoonerism round was a good effort which didn't always come off, but any initiative is to be encouraged.  The aggregate score suggests that there were enough gettable questions though it did seem that this was a good toss to win and go first."

....and Rachael this....

"We enjoyed the paper very much; lots of interesting and challenging questions on a wide range of subjects.  We particularly liked the 'same name' and 'spoonerism' rounds - with the spoonerism about Jurassic Park and Angelina's eldest child's name our favourite."

....and Anne-Marie sums up the general sentiment....

"Really enjoyable quiz."

The Dave Barras 'Question of the Week'

This week - not unsurprisingly - a number of you mentioned Round 3 Question 3 where the answers to the two parts were spoonerisms of one another:

a) Brangelina's first biological child born in 2006 (first name and father's surname required);

b) From the film Jurassic Park complete the sentence uttered by Dr Ian Malcolm (played by Jeff Goldblum) upon encountering a mound of dinosaur droppings: "That is one big----------".

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

....and also

Next Wednesday we play the Quarter Finals of the WIST Champions Cup and the WIST Lowly Grail competitions against our colleagues from the Stockport Quiz League.

The question paper is being set by Gerry Collins on behalf of WithQuiz (it's our turn to set all the WIST competition papers this season).

Whether your team is playing at home, or away over in Stockport, please note it is the WithQuiz teams that are responsible for collecting the papers from the Red Lion.

Good luck!


Finally this week I thought I'd share a little of the content of the monthly Albert Club quizzes I've been presenting for the past ten years or so.

This month's quiz was held last Monday - they're always on the last Monday of the month except when Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Eve intervenes.  If you want to get an independent view of their standard ask Ivor, Anne-Marie, Danny, Graham, Dave Rainford or Mike Wagstaffe who have been regulars for a few years now.

By the way Dave wasn't able to make it this time round as he's in Trafford General Hospital recuperating.  If you're tuned in, Dave, all the regulars asked me to pass on their best wishes and tell you that they are looking forward to seeing you soon (oh, and the 'Anonymous' team that you usually play for managed to come first despite your absence!).

For a while now Anne-Marie has been urging me to make some of the monthly quiz material available on a website - so I'll place something up here each Wednesday for the next few weeks and see how it goes.  Feel free to comment via the message board or any other which way.

Hopefully the puzzles will provide you with some innocent fun during the week and - who knows -possibly tempt you to come along to the Club and sample a future quiz first hand. 

Whenever I put a round of questions up, I'll give you the answers the following Wednesday via this same home page.

So here are four rounds from last Monday (originally compiled as Powerpoint files but shown here as pdf files).  In each case the initial page explains the challenge.  Try them out and let me know what you think.

Albert Club Quiz - 171030 - Home Internationals - Questions

Albert Club Quiz - 171030 - Connecting Wall - Questions

Albert Club Quiz - 171030 - QMPHC Pictures - Questions

Albert Club Quiz - 171030 - Les Departments - Questions