The Withington Pub Quiz League


6th December 2017


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

Results & Match Reports

Ethel Rodin beat The Prodigals

The Opsimaths beat The Electric Pigs

Albert lost to Compulsory Mantis Shrimp

The Charabancs of Fire lost to Dunkin' Dönitz

Ethel Rodin kept up their title challenge with a convincing victory over The Prodigals.  James was on hand to report....

"That was a slightly flattering result for us as our lead more than doubled in Rounds 7 and 8.  As with last week it seemed a good toss to lose questions-wise, but in fact unanswereds were shared 5/5."


The Opsimaths got back to winning ways in their tussle with The Electric Pigs at The Albert Club.  The first two rounds went decisively to the visitors but a dramatic turnaround in Round 3 saw the home team gain the lead and keep it from thereon.  Five of the unanswered questions went to the Pigs against 4 to the home team.  The Pigs don't seem to be having the best of luck this season, but it was just a few years ago in the very same back lounge of the Albert Club that Dave pulled Tosca out of thin air to win a thrilling Val Draper Cup final - so you never know.

Hilary completed the contest by correctly answering the 'Name a year in the life of George Stubbs' question and just about resisted the temptation to thump the adjacent wall in celebration.


Albert were the latest team to surrender to the all-conquering masters of our Blue Planet, the mighty Compulsory Mantis Shrimp combo.

Rachael, humble as ever, sends this despatch from the ocean floor....

"After an exciting evening at the Fletcher Moss we completed a memorable victory over the Albert team. We led by a single point at the end of Round 1 and then extended our lead to four points by half time.  We just about managed to retain this advantage throughout, despite an excellent performance from our opponents."

Mike O'B's typically sideways view of the same affair was.....

"Ah, another defeat!  Our mood summed up by the lines from Siegfried Sassoon's war poem Glory Of Woman:

'Oh German mother dreaming by the fire, while you are knitting socks to send your son, his face is trodden deeper in the mud.'

Lifting our faces from the mire we felt it was a good toss to win and go first which we did not.  The questions themselves were fair enough but in places the pairs were unbalanced.  Mind you we contributed to our downfall with a surfeit of blurting.  This led Ashton with his six twos to declare he felt like Joe Root trying to build an innings while all around him collapsed.  We had been within touching distance of Mantis (who were surprisingly well up on Old Culture) until we suffered a disastrous Round 7 which put them out of sight."


The Charabancs of Fire lost to Dunkin' Dönitz in the Turnpike under the watchful gaze of fledgling Chara, Graham, who this week was QMing.  His message....

"Despite being sat on the sidelines tonight, relegated to the role of QM, I found the power bestowed by being in charge of timekeeping most entertaining.  In the meantime the Charas slid to an overwhelming defeat.

The rest of you just be aware, we have no fixture next week and so may be turning up at your match in Christmas sweaters just to barrack from the  sidelines and declare the Turnpike as the new capital of Withington."

Enigmatically Fr Megson adds these few words....

"Like Tosca, the meeting of the Charas and the Donuts is always a story of Love, Lust, Intrigue and Murder.  And true to form tonight the feckers murdered us.  Though in truth, both teams found the questions more lukewarm than passionate."

Kieran, meanwhile sends his own take...

"Not to be outdone by the lunchtime, bouncer-heavy, Great Moor Travellers Call, the Turnpike welcomes its guests with a large notice behind the bar enforcing the pub's 'no swearing' policy.  And then, the quiz barely begun, QM Graham, with a laugh that was pure Sid James, announced the 'No Sniggering at the Back' round.  That went well.  The edict forbidding the vernacular of Wednesday evening quizzers being presumably the work of 'the miserable bastard who owns the place' sitting alone in his dark eyrie with time to kill while spying on surreptitious vapers with a view to issuing banning orders.

A win for the Donuts which was largely without incident.  We led after every round, though the Charas came back at us in the second half before we pulled away again in Round 8, for once getting our bingo picks right.  Fed up with Barry and Martin getting all the column inches for unbelievable blurts, David threw in a barking Jake Thackeray as the TW3 calypso-singing assassinated MP.  How I laughed. There is one Donut who is yet to ignore his team mates and shout out a mind-bogglingly idiotic answer this season.  I know, I know, it's out there and it's going to get me soon enough.

Both teams struggled with the members of Thatcher's first cabinet even now stalking the earth like Dementors circling Hogwarts.  The Charas wondered if Keith Joseph was still somehow sucking the milk of human kindness out of the living and vomiting it out again over the poor and dispossessed but I assured them I had the stake I'd driven through where the heart would have been in a human, still covered in molecular acid. 

And so next week we finish the pre-Christmas fixtures at the Albert Club with the season's first El Classico.  Can't wait, except for that game changing blurt somewhere out there."

...and yet more column inches on the Turnpike tussle, this time from Damian....

"With Chara new boy Graham doing the honours as QM and promising to treat us as leniently as possible, we went into battle against the best team in the league hoping that the History Men's questions would give us a chance (as they so often have done in the past) but, not a hope!

Throughout the first half, the Dunkers were well ahead and, then, at the start of the second half, we started to make a comeback and led in every round until the last one when we got utterly sunk by Bingo.  Now it's very embarrassing for the Charas, proud inventors of the Bingo round, to have to admit this but we have just been absolutely crap at them lately and have developed an unerring and unfortunate knack for picking all the s**t questions (i.e. the ones we can't answer).  Why is this?  Have the Bards, those well-known lovers of Bingo rounds, been at the ouija board again and summoned up some dark entity from the the quiz equivalent of Hades to torment us whenever it is our turn to pick a number?   Or are teams just setting Bingo rounds we can't answer these days?  Answers on a postcard please!!

Anyway off we trot into that quiz no-man's land that separates the first half of the season from the second as we will not again be quizzing until 2018.  So, grumbles and misgivings aside, here's hoping for a very merry Christmas and New Year to everybody in WithQuiz, and especially to those of us trying to recover from health setbacks with the sure hope of seeing them hale and hearty again soon as 2018 looms large!!"         

Quiz Paper Verdict

This week the paper was set by The History Men.

The average aggregate was 72.3.

Yet again the average aggregate score was pretty close to the season's norm (just 2 points below it). 

A fairly conventional paper with three rounds of paired questions, a bit of 'Double entendre' material in Round 2, a 'Missing item in a list' round, a couple of themed rounds and a 'Pick Your Own Doom' in Round 8 to irritate the Bards (who, as it happens, were sitting out this week).  No 'Run Ons' for a change.

The themed rounds were typical of a new trend I've noticed where the theme is half given in the introduction to the round but more is waiting to be discovered as the round progresses.  I think the competitors at the Club found these two rounds the most entertaining.  I distinctly heard Andrew mutter that the former MPs surnames theme was "excellent".

I was QMing and my heart sank when I read Round 4 Question 8 about the literal meaning of the Latin word 'tumor'.  Never mind the groan-worthy link to the theme (which, when revealed afterwards, the teams both enjoyed) but what would I have done if either team had given an accurate synonym for 'tumour' that just happened not to be the theme word - for instance the word 'growth'?  I think I would have given the points for a correct answer since themes are just there to guide the competitors not to define what is and isn't a correct version of the answer.  Fortunately I didn't have this problem as both teams searched unsuccessfully for a synonym that linked to the theme without seeing the horrible sound-alike pun.

Never mind it was a good 'down the middle' paper that gave us an enjoyable evening.

James' comments from the Ladybarn Pleasure Dome....

"Despite none of us being US soap fans, we did enjoy the Dallas round on which we picked up a full house of twos.  We also spotted the theme in the MPs round, so had 'Cox' and 'Gow' ready - reflecting, perhaps, a shortcoming for a round with only 8 possible themed answers.

Our 'Answer of the Week' was given by Anne-Marie who guessed correctly the 50km walk.  On the other athletics question, the two teams guessed Hammer and Shot Putt, but missed out on the discus!

Enjoyed the quiz."

Meanwhile Rachael's take on the paper....

"We enjoyed the paper.  Lots of variety and, even if some of the pairings were a bit unbalanced, it seemed to even out overall.  Many of the questions were challenging and interesting and inspired much heated conferring on both sides.  It was lovely to have Ivor in attendance to oversee the success of his paper.  Our Question of the Week was the 'Merton Professor' question in the Dallas round."

....and Mike O'B's....

"We liked the Dallas themed round especially the one about the Merton Professor."

....and finally Damian's comments....

"As hinted above, we just didn't find the History Men's questions as Chara-friendly as we have done in the past.  Too much politics (does one really care which constituency has never returned a Tory MP since the Great Reform Act of 1832?), too much obscure film lore (who can remember that Gregory Peck was in The Yearling?) and too much sport (who can recall which event some Portuguese lady won in the recent Athletics Championships?).  Come on Ivor, what happened to your pope questions, a regular feature of History Men quizzes which stalwart left-footers like us always eagerly anticipate from a good Proddy like you?  Even my shame-faced admission to knowing what wee Prince Georgie wants from Santa this year couldn't compensate (staunch anti-royalist Kieran almost lynched me for knowing that one)!!"

....and the Dave Barras Question of the Week award this week has been nominated by Compulsory Mantis Shrimp and Albert and goes to the Round 4 Question 3:

Who was Merton Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford from 1945 to 1959?

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