The Withington Pub Quiz League


28th February 2018


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

Results & Match Reports

History Men lost to Ethel Rodin

Albert lost to Opsimaths

Prodigals lost to Dunkin' Dönitz

Charabancs lost to Mantis Shrimp

The History Men lost at home to Ethel Rodin who are just about maintaining their chase of the table's top two.

James was on hand to report on events at the sepulchral Red....

"We really enjoy playing the History people; it always seems to conjure up one of the more entertaining evenings of the season.  Everybody made it to the Red Lion in good time, despite the Arctic conditions.  The snow ensured an unusually quiet venue tonight - and apart from the rounds that weren’t ‘pick your own’ it was a close run affair.

But, as so often seems to be the case, rounds designed to even out the risks of uneven pairings, etc. actually proved to be the turning point of the quiz, with Ethel winning those two rounds 15-7, 8 points happening to be our winning margin for the quiz as a whole.

Special mention must be given to Tim’s blurt on the brewing by-product question; it just went to prove the love/hate Marmite dynamic."

....whilst on the other side of the Red table losing skip, Ivor, has this to add....

"Snow might well have deterred many revellers from visiting the Red Lion but it never deters the Withington League quizzers.  True, they were all wrapped up a bit warmer - and sensible shoes and boots were much in evidence - but it was the same eight players that have met come rain or shine over the last few seasons.

We were well beaten in the end but were ahead after three rounds.  It was the 'pick your own' questions that did for us.  Young David (46 tomorrow) went for the Buzzcocks pair and was stumped by the hardest question of the night (the birth time of the narrator’s child in Up the Junction).  Meanwhile Geoff impressed us all with his encyclopaedic knowledge of football and tennis trivia.  I parked for years in Oldham Athletic’s ground at Boundary Park (it’s next to Oldham's Royal Hospital) but never knew they were once called Pine Villa.  Pine Villa would still be no more an unusual name than Aston Villa is nowadays, but I suspect a return of Bristol Rovers to its former name might raise a few PC eyebrows."


An Albert crew comprising Mike, Jeremy, Mark and Eveline were a little at sea when it came to sinking the jolly bunch of Hilary, Clare, Brian and myself from The Opsimaths.  The scoreline was pretty close in the first half but (unlike some other teams last night) the Opsis chose well in the 'pick your own' rounds which gave them a comfortable lead throughout the second half.  To be fair to Albert they did cop for the majority of the 7 unanswered questions (5 to the Opsis' 2).

Mike O'B kept his paddle well hidden (until the end when it was photographed and sent to the absent Ashton as some sort of warning).  Mark went haring for the Never Mind the Buzzcocks category in Rounds 4 and 5, and (like the rest of us) was stumped by the 'time of birth question' though later he did get the 'Chattanooga Choo-Choo' question bob on including the number of the platform for good measure.

As for the Opsis (apart from me) everyone notched up some twos with Brian being the stand-out player with 5 of them.  My best moment came in Round 2 Question 7 with the 'female cyclist' teaser.  I pondered for ages trying to retrieve the two points from the tip of my tongue.   On conferring Hilary gave me a tentative 'Beryl' and then, after stretching QM Mary ('Dusty') O'Brien's patience to the limit and travelling through the alphabet backwards and forwards a couple of times, I alighted on 'B' and just got there with 'Burton' as I was on the point of giving in.

All in all, however, a most enjoyable evening cheerfully watched over by QM Mary in one of the two historic centres of South Manchester quizzing (the other, of course, being the Red).  Just think a mere 40 years ago a handful of quizzers sat in black and white on the same seats in the same pub regurgitating (possibly) the same information set by the same fair hand of Barry Whitehead (for - as Andrew told us - Barry was one of the Pigs' question setters for last night's paper).


The Prodigals lost by some way to the galloping Dunkin' Dönitz team who are now over the Melling Road and in sight of the finishing line.  Kieran reports....

"Well that was different.  After three weeks of nail-biters decided on the last question we come up with our biggest win, and highest points score, of the season.  We led from beginning to end and extended the points gap over our hosts inexorably.  No sudden surge of points in a round particularly to our liking, in fact the whole quiz was right up our street.  Martin said he couldn't remember when he'd last played a paper where he knew so many of the answers and, when one of the league's top polymaths is having that sort of evening, there's only ever going to be one result.  He crowned a masterful performance by knowing that Oldham Athletic was once Pine Villa, the turning point of the match.  I mean really who knows that sort of stuff?  We even managed the 'pick your own' subject rounds well with Barry cleaning up on science, David on pop and Martin on classical music.  Just one of those nights. 

We need five more points to be certain of the title and with only four matches left there's scarcely any room for slip-ups.  Next up the Bards who have a winning record against us over the last six or so seasons.  Good job City got the business done in Basel a couple of weeks ago.  David and I will be suffering the considerable expense of wasted tickets for the second leg as we will both be in the Cricket Club.  We'd better make it worthwhile."


And so to the top scoring match of the evening at the Turnpike where the two local teams were pitted against each other.  The form sheet eventually got it right as second-placed Compulsory Mantis Shrimp defeated eighth-placed Charabancs of Fire - but it was one helluva' a points-fest along the way.

Rachael tells us one side of the tale....

"After a thrilling evening at the Turnpike we finished an extremely close fought match three points in front.  The Charabancs pulled ahead to a one point lead after the first round and we remained within a point or two of each other all night, ending Round 4 on a tied scoreline.  We took a slim lead at the start of the second half that we were just able to cling on to.  Our opponents were on top form and provided some inspired answers."

....and Damian the other side....

"The Beast From The East could not prevent us braving the elements for yet another evening full of conviviality (is that the right word, Rachael?) in our second derby match of the season against fellow Turnpikers, the Mantis Shrimp.  One of the benefits of inclement weather is that we tend to get the Turnpike all to ourselves - and tonight was no exception.

Throughout the match the gap between us was never more than 3 points which turned out to be the exact margin by which we lost come the close of proceedings.  It was a fun match from start to finish with chances to win for both teams."

Quiz Paper Verdict

This week the paper was set by The Electric Pigs

The average aggregate was 82.5

If Gerry Hennessy  is up there watching us all right now he will certainly have approved of his colleagues' efforts last night.  He must have taught them a thing or two.

The phrase 'one of the best papers this season' kept coming up in the reports.  When there is such unanimity it probably means it was the best.  Varied in format and content, well-balanced and concise without ever being boring.  And great scores too with a massive aggregate of 87 points in the Turnpike derby.

Only one real controversy in our match and that was the question about Cinque Ports.  If you look at the Wikipedia page it starts by naming the same 5 places as were given in the paper, but then goes on to mention other places in Kent and East Sussex that 'joined the Confederation' - especially when New Romney got silted up and unable to act as a port.  Best keep off Cinque Ports I would have thought.

Kieran has this to add....

"The quiz took little more than an hour which was just as well since the snow delayed our arrival until around 8.45.  But we were done well before 10.00 so compliments to the Pigs for brevity and accessibility.  And also for an 80+ aggregate points paper with only six unanswereds, perfectly evenly split three each."

....and Rachael this....

"We all thought this was an excellent quiz with plenty of variety, just challenging enough to make it interesting without any really unfair or frustrating questions.

Probably our favourite paper of the season so far.  I think the high scoring and closeness of the scoreline between the two teams are testament to the fairness of the paper.  A lot of us liked the 'Up the Junction' question even though we all failed to listen to it properly, thus preventing us from giving the actual time of birth rather than the time they set off to hospital!"

....and Damian this....

"As the scores indicate, we thought tonight's paper from the Electric Pigs was one of the best papers of the season with plenty of finely judged themed, paired and (what can only bring joy to a Chara's heart) Bingo 'choose your subject' rounds.  I counted only 3 unanswered questions which broke 2-1 to the Shrimpers.  Chara John was our star turn of the night notching up 4 twos but all of us scored at least one which meant we all qualified for next week's quiz (which is just as well as Father M is still busy desperately trying to avoid the perils of defenestration at the hands of the sceptical inhabitants of Prague).

There were a number of possibilities from us for QotW but consensus seemed to opt for the question from 'The Greats' round concerning which light heavyweight gold medallist of the 1960 Rome Olympics participated in a 1975 meeting with the Ku Klux Klan to advocate the benefits of racial segregation.

RotW we allocated to the 'Gold, Silver and Bronze' themed round but, in our opinion, nuggets of gold could be found everywhere in this quiz!"

....and Ivor this....

"The Electric Pigs served up a well received quiz with plenty of point scoring opportunities, very few unanswereds (5) and not too many arguments.  Cinque ports questions are a bit dodgy as names changed over the years and we had to google to see if Aurelian was the same emperor as Marcus Aurelius (he wasn’t).  We managed to work out the themes pretty quickly which is always a help - even the Olympic Medal conundrum.  The Electric Pigs might well be this season’s whipping boys in the league table but once again they have not disappointed in the setting contest."

....and finally James this....

"The Pigs rose to the occasion with what we found to be one of the top few quizzes of the season so far. 

A very good quiz paper.  We often fear rounds on Coventry-based pop bands when the Pigs set, but tonight, a solid and interesting set of questions with only 5 unanswered and, of those, only one dodgy question (always check that the Cinque Ports aren’t actually cinq plus un; both teams offering Rye and each of the other correct answers).

The Olympic medals round deserves special mention too, which we enjoyed, despite being momentarily scuppered by the notion that bronze contained zinc, and trying to work out answers beginning Zn."

....and the Dave Barras Question of the Week award this week has been nominated by The Charabancs of Fire and goes to Round 3 (the 'Greats' round) Question 1:

Who spoke to a Ku Klux Klan rally in 1975 calling for racial segregation?  He is better known for his sporting achievements which include the Light Heavyweight gold at the 1960 Olympics.

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.

The event will take place at The Didsbury Sports Ground, Ford Lane, Didsbury and will start at 8pm.  The bar will be open until midnight.

Through the wonders of social media I have managed to track down Rod Riesco, the husband of the late Val Draper after whom our annual Cup competition is named.  Rod writes as follows....

"Dear Mike

Good to hear from you after all these years!  Yes I am the Rod Riesco who was married to Val and, of course, I remember you well from the Albert, Crown etc.

Thanks for the kind invite to the 40th birthday event and if I can get there I will.  I now live in Horwich with my present wife Sue (we married in 1994, I moved to Horwich the year before).  I'm still working as a freelance translator and think about retiring from time to time, but haven't quite managed it yet.

I haven't done much quizzing for a while apart from joining in an occasional local quiz evening, and entering Brain of Britain in 2012-13 where I got as far as the semi-final before being knocked out by two vastly superior players (including an Egghead).  These days I mostly confine myself to watching University Challenge and barking out answers at Paxman (which are often wrong).

Anyway if I can get along on the 28th March it will be good to see you and any other survivors of the 1980s & 90s Withington quiz scene.

My son Chris is now living in Didsbury and he might be interested in attending the event especially if his mother is being remembered there (he also participates in occasional local quizzes and has won a few free drinks etc. over the years).  Would it be all right if he came along as well?

Meanwhile I hope all is well with you and your family and I look forward to meeting up again.

Best wishes, Rod

P.S. The website is great! Very entertaining."

Naturally I replied that we'd all be delighted if either he or Chris could make it along on March 28th.