The Withington Pub Quiz League


24th January 2018


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

Results & Match Reports

Dunkin' Dönitz beat Opsimaths

History Men lost to Mantis Shrimp

Albert beat Electric Pigs

Bards lost to Ethel Rodin

Dunkin' Dönitz ended up victorious against The Opsimaths thus (as Kieran had calculated) eradicating the aggregate points slump experienced by the Dunkers against the Opsis since the infamous Tooting Bec(k) moment a few years back.  Pointswise the Dunkers are now ahead - but it didn't seem that that would be the case at half time when they were trailing by 8 points.  The second half more than swung their way with a 6 point winning margin at the final whistle - blown magisterially by Bob (who informs me that we need to mind our Ps and Qs since he is now the shop steward of the QM's Union).

On the Opsis side I thought Brian played a blinder remembering that "the Word was made flesh" came early on in St John's Gospel but after the phrase "the Word was with God".  Howell meanwhile excelled on the tennis options in the 'Choose Your Own' round.  When it came to the second half we floundered - and I didn't help matters by thinking that Round 7 was Round 8.  Ironically in the end I did decide to confer on Question 7 in this round and we answered incorrectly after my first instinct (Namibia) would have got two points.  In the event there were 9 more questions to navigate during which we fell a further 3 points behind.  As Kieran has said before, the Dunkers are razor-sharp when it comes to knowing when to confer and when to go for a two - and we're not in the same league in this respect.

Next week I'm being left at home (well the Etihad actually) while Nick and Paddy return to the team for the annual encounter with Ethel at a venue which (albeit in a former life) was lovingly described in tonight's Round 1 thus: "It reminds me of the Winchester from Shaun of the Dead, but without customers."

Kieran's verdict on the same match....

"A different sort of Classico tonight.  Of course it was close and inevitably the result wasn't certain until question five in the final round.  But it was the archetypal game of two halves.  The Opsis stormed away with the first four rounds by 20 points to 12 - and we replied by taking the second half 22 to 8.  Weird! (Just take the stuff about conferreds and bonuses as read, OK?)

Neither team chose well on the bingo rounds but the Opsis did better than us and worked a four point lead up to an impressive eight at the break.  Tony you're just playing at it, we're truly hopeless at picking the subjects that suit us.  Witness Barry choosing the science fiction question that required the surname of the character from 2001 (did anybody know that?) and then answering the Blade Runner question, which was a spare at the end, in its entirety, after only hearing the words 'I've seen....'.

With that eight point deficit David mused that 'it would be a good one to win from here.'  Hmmm where have I heard that before?  But so it proved, thanks in large part to three bonuses in the 'Run-Ons' round.  I don't think that's ever happened to us before.  I was expecting the Opsis to get all their questions and was just hoping we could hold them to what, at that point, was still a five point deficit for us.  They had some terrible luck: 'Man About The House' rather than 'Doctor In The House' and 'Apache Guevara' instead of 'Comanche'.  But we showed our team game in the 'Dora Bry(i)an Blessed' question.  We were focusing on Last Of The Summer Wine; Kathy Staff, Jean Alexander and Thora Hird until I said that the reference to 'loudly' in the question suggested the second answer could be 'Brian Blessed'.  From there it was easy and Martin supplied the first part having suddenly remembered that A Taste Of Honey featured in the question.  Beautifully worked, Silva to Aguero yet again for a trademark finish.    

I was having one of those nights when I didn't know any of my own questions but was able to get points for the team on The Man in The Iron Mask and the captain of the Marie Celeste which is equally satisfying, so long as we win in the end!  'There's no 'I' in team' and all of that management-speak twaddle.

Some people have recently compared me to Ed Balls or Sam Allardyce; and Bob thinks I shouldn't arrange to have The Griffin super-heated on match nights such that our opponents inevitably wilt come Rounds 7 and 8.  Allegedly Big Sam does the same thing with the away team's dressing room to try to gain an advantage - but his argument rather falls down when we're suffering in the same oven as our guests!  I think we just wear the opposition down relentlessly trying to wrest the initiative and win points no matter what the state of the game.  I don't suppose anyone will be mistaking me for a snake-hipped Catalunyan anytime soon though. 

Without getting ahead of ourselves, Barry wondered, after the game had finished, what the hell had happened to us for three years from 2014 to 2016. There's a very long way to go in this season but it is true that we've been a different team for the last eighteen months or so.  So what happened in that three years?  I don't know.  David Moyes?  Louis Van Gaal?  The cold, dead hand of Manuel Pellegrini - who did win the title and the League Cup in his first season of course.  Not that anyone would think it since Brendan Rodgers was acclaimed Manager of the Year for, er, losing the title and not making it to a Cup final.  It's a funny old game.  Whatever - we're definitely back.  Since losing to Eveline's storm troopers in the first game of the season only the Opsis stopped us in our tracks by holding us to a draw at the club before Christmas.  We're looking forward to the remaining games with a justifiable optimism and we'll see over the next couple of months if we're good enough.  I've gone all Pep again. 

We've got a week off next week (thanks Roddy), so David and I will be at the Etihad hoping to see City's hundredth goal of the season (that is if it doesn't happen on Sunday).  I'll keep a close eye on the technical area to see if I can pick up any tips.  If I'm seen haranguing Damian over playing conservatively and not going for twos after our match against the Charas in a fortnight, you'll know I've taken it too far."    


The History Men lost at home to Compulsory Mantis Shrimp.  Which means the Shrimps are still firmly in the title hunt, underlining the fact by registering - by some way - the top score of the evening.  Rachael reports....

"After a very enjoyable evening at the Red Lion we finished 15 points ahead.  As always, it was a pleasure to spend the evening with the History Men who are always delightful company and worthy opponents.  We took a slight lead in Round 1 which we steadily extended throughout the match, though I think we benefitted from the luck of the draw in a few cases."

...whilst from the opposition benches Ivor rises to address us with these words....

"Mantis Shrimp beat us by 21 points at our last meeting so I suppose a 15 point deficit suggests a degree of improvement for us.  We were only 7 points behind going into the last round before a 9-1 score condemned us.  The Shrimps have a seemingly endless supply of players tempered in the furnace that is University Challenge.  Tonight it was Charlie who appeared in the Manchester team of two years ago.  'We didn’t do very well then,' he reported.  Well he did very well tonight, along with James, Tom and Rachael; 15 twos between them compared to our 5."


Albert beat The Electric Pigs in the Fletcher Moss derby.  Mike O'B reports on events as follows....

"Ah, the refurbished Fletcher Moss!  The Pub twitter-feed tells me that there are new cask beers available and 3 new urinals in the Gents; good to see raw materials and production in equilibrium.  The quiz itself was fairly straightforward although Pig Andrew, who had kindly agreed to QM, wondered how many in the quiz league knew what was going on in Iceland in 1844.  There was occasional griping about the wording  of some of the questions.  Jeremy has insisted that the following be inserted into the record concerning the medical question in round 1:

'I almost got the answer wrong because I assumed the question would be right.'

Think what he would have been like if he hadn't picked up the points for the answer!  He wrote the above quote out for me and will be checking this on the website to ensure that I have transcribed his words accurately.  No lack of paranoia in the Albert team then."


The Bards of Didsbury lost at home to Ethel Rodin - another convincing win for Ethel keeping them in touch with the top of the table.  Roddy reports on the mix-up at the start of the match....

"We were playing at the cricket club but we were fortunate to gain entry as it turned out Tony had thought that the Bards were playing at the Red Lion - so the whole Bards team were down in Withington until they realised the mistake.  Subsequently when they arrived back at the cricket club they were a question master short and had to play 3-handed.  Apparently the club had only been opened for them specially by the steward as it is normally closed on Wednesdays."

Quiz Paper Verdict

This week the paper was set by The Charabancs of Fire

The average aggregate was 66.8

A lower aggregate than usual for a Charas' paper (their paper before Christmas had an average aggregate score of 79.8).  So pretty tough but full of variety and plenty of interesting material.  A heavy flavouring of Ireland and literature as we've come to expect - and indeed look forward to - from John, Gerry, Roisin and Damian.

In the Griffin encounter there were 18 unanswered questions and plenty of debate about some of the answers (for instance it turns out that Comanche was not General Custer's horse but that of Captain Keogh who fought alongside Custer at the Little Bighorn).  I was also concerned that the 'run-on' style of question might be getting contorted by compacted answers.  For instance it would have been feasible by the rules set out in this evening's paper to have a one word answer containing 3 syllables where syllables one and two answered the first part and two and three the second part.  Is this OK - or too clever by half?  More crossword than quiz answer?


Ivor comments....

"A combined score of 75 suggests a 'good standard par' quiz - however we found it rather taxing (as losers usually do) and, whether we got harder questions or whether the Shrimps were just better, can be debated until the cows come home on Salt Island.  Regarding the latter I suspect if the Pointless team asked 100 people in County Down if they had ever heard of it, it might even be a pointless answer.  I checked on Wikipedia and it is listed in red; i.e. no separate page which, considering Wiki now has 5, 557,123 entries, must make that answer pretty obscure.  Just as well it was on the bench as a spare question.

On the quiz proper we had a few good rescues with Comanche (not Apache) as the horse, Alice in Wonderland and Jonny Wilkinson.  But mostly the questions fell to the wrong seat (though Mike got his two on the location of that well known film starring Harrison Ford (!!!) Romancing the Stone; it turned out that he had actually worked in Colombia).

Interesting thoughts about changing times over the years: a policemen who laughed when given half a crown - presumably corrupt and, as Anne suggested, probably in the Vice Squad.  Oh, and don’t the French do political scandals better that any other country?  Puts a new meaning to 'dying on the job'."

...and Mike H....

"Found the quiz less enjoyable than on other occasions.  Seemed there was something lacking; a bit one-sided, more difficult questions than usual and not a lot I could get involved with."

...and Rachael....

"We all enjoyed the quiz, a good range of topics and themes which inspired a lot of fevered conferring on a number of occasions." 

....and the Dave Barras Question of the Week award this week has been nominated by The Opsimaths and goes to Round 6 (the Run-Ons Round) Question 5 which was a perfectly pitched tip-of-the-tongue teaser:

English actress (born 1923 and died 2014) who had roles in The Last of the Summer Wine and the 1961 film A Taste of Honey;
British actor whose autobiography is entitled Absolute Pandemonium, My Louder Than Life Story.

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

'WithQuiz at 40' News

Make sure you've got Wednesday March 28th in your diaries as this is when we will be gathering to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the formation of our Quiz League.

Celebration Evening

As suggested last week early returns nominating invitees for our 40th celebration indicate that numbers will be nearer 100 than 80 so the organising group have decided to switch the venue from the Cricket Club to Didsbury Sports Ground on Ford Lane in Didsbury (where the TOC H Rugby team play).  This new venue can accommodate 100 fairly comfortably.  The lounge is split level with ample seating and plenty of space to move around.  The photo below gives an impression of how it's laid out with both upper and lower levels available for our exclusive use....


As far as nominations for invitees are concerned I've had returns from Dunkin' Dönitz, Ethel Rodin and the Opsimaths - and from a number of ex-players who wish to join us for the evening (such as the TMTCH team).  Please do get your returns to me as soon as possible (the deadline is February 10th).  When all nominations are in I will issue a formal invitation to all concerned with full details.  From now on you can ignore the previous imposed limit of just 7 nominees per team and let me have the full list of all who would like to join us for the evening.

In preparation for the Celebration evening I've been getting information together about the formation of the league in the late 1970s and have had lunch with Roddy and Barry Whitehead (who was the guy who got the league organised and off the mark in 1977).  Interesting to compare archives for the late 1970s to 1999, and those for 2000 onwards when the website became our means of keeping in touch.  From 2000 onwards pretty everything that moved in the league is documented and available on the website archive pages; from 1977 to 2000 Barry's complete set of records amounted to 5 scraps of paper from a 1984 personal diary with some scribbled match results.  Who's to say?  Maybe we were better off then with just rosy memories and none of the archived data and opinion recorded for posterity that we have these days.

Fr Megson

Sour Aul Cleric up for grabs

Fr Megson is no friend of the New Professionalism that has engulfed the modern quiz league.  Even as he slides his  penknife into the wee slit on the underbelly of his ancient piggybank and extracts a torrent of Victorian pennies and thrupenny bits to meet the ever spiralling  pay demands of the Charabancs, he weeps and gnashes his teeth and harks back to better times when quizzers would turn out for nothing more than the glory of the parish and the odd pound or two of smuggled butter.  They were real quizzers in them days; big hefty lads who would plough all day long, pull a calf from the rear end of a cow or a  stricken ewe from the ditch on the way to the pub and then beguile the taproom beauties through the long dark night with their arcane knowledge and their bulging biceps.  And it was good practical stuff they knew too.  None of that Harry feckin Potter stuff or what manner of piss them city slickers put in their cocktails.  There wasn't a landlocked boghole in the Reeks that they couldn't put a name to nor any internal organ of a sheep that they couldn't identify with their eyes closed.

But try telling that to the hoors that are only in it for the money nowadays.  Big Sassanach lummoxes for the most part, educated beyond their intelligence in socialist secondary schools, big Bolchevist palaces with roofs and flushing toilets and bottles of milk and all manner of sybaritic excess, establishments that pandered to the every whim of these big bouncing baby boomers and made them soft.  No longer beaten to a pulp for not learning their Catechisms off by heart, these cosseted milksops grew up feeling entitled to become freethinkers and freebooters, atheists and bank clerks who believed in neither God nor hill farmer.

And this drift towards Hell in a handcart continues apace.  If you can believe the tabloids and the websites, there are some teams out there who won't even deign to  turn out for Victorian pennies and thrupenny bits.  The hoors in the Griffin are rumoured to be demanding appearance money of anything up to ten decimal coins a week - that's more than some decent hill farmers get on the dole.  It's elitism gone mad.  It will be the Bitcoin next.  And it was in the Mail a few weeks ago that some uppity manager from  some place in the back of beyond of Europe is saying now that any team that can't afford to buy in at least 300 million brain cells can never hope to compete for an end of season tin cup.  Well that's the Pigs and the Charabancs well and truly fecked for the next 300 million seasons.

Withquiz and the modern world are off to hell in a handcart and there's precious little Fr Megson can do about it.  Except to donate his most favoured birthday present as a new and hopefully much sought after trophy.  A bottle of  Sour Aul Cleric, brewed as a "controlled and disciplined union of bitter lemon and apple juices for the poor and plain people of Ireland".  A dedication extended on this occasion to the poor and plain people of the Withington Quiz League who take the greatest stand against taproom elitism.  So, your future Wednesday mission is clear: just turn up and drop off, as the hippies used to say -  but don't forget to wake up in time for the free round at the end.  The team that does this most consistently and manages to finish the season propping up the league will be rewarded with this handsome trophy.