The Withington Pub Quiz League


16th January 2019


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Those Shrimps are creeping up on everybody but the Prodigals still reign supreme

Ethel Rodin lost to Mantis Shrimp
Charabancs  lost to Opsimaths
Prodigals beat History Men
Bards lost to Dunkin' Dönitz

Ethel Rodin lost to Mantis Shrimp

The Shrimps are well and truly back in the hunt

Rachael reports

After an enjoyable evening at the White Swan, we finished the quiz 9 points ahead.  The first two rounds were very close but by the end of the first half we had gone ahead by six points, a lead which we gradually extended through the rest of the match.

Millau Viaduct – created in Reddish


Charabancs lost to Opsimaths

The Opsimaths' 'Chara jinx' is well and truly broken as the visitors notch a comfortable victory at The Albert in Withington village

Mike B reports

After 45 years living in Withington this was my first visit to the Albert.  Wonderful!  As Dusty Springfield's greatest hits churned away in the background this was the perfect venue for a quiz about 1970s sitcoms and John Leyton hits.  It would be tempting to say The Albert has seen better days but more accurate to say that better days have seen the Albert.  This is exactly what a pub should be like.  The prices for instance; Howell got the post match round and paid £9.10 for 2 and a half pints of Fosters, a pint of John Smiths and a Diet Coke.  At the Etihad on Monday evening I paid £21 for a bottle of Heineken, half a pint of cider and a Jack Daniels and coke (Kieran you'd really appreciate that).

 The Vespasienne planning committee


The particular feature of the decor that struck me was not the paintwork (think Turnpike and then subtract a few decades) or the furniture (think broken) but the amazing complexity of the exposed electrical wiring.  Everywhere there are bits of wire hanging from the ceiling, stapled to the walls, running round skirting boards.  Even a visit to the Gents (sort of 'outside inside' at the back) takes you past a festoon of wires and junction boxes.  The advent of electricity has certainly left its mark on The Albert.

Bobby Heston


During the quiz the two teams sat coiled like intellectual springs beneath an ancient notice board which displayed various yellowing and fading prints of great events in the lives of previous Albert habituées.  A wedding party here, a foreign trip there.  In the middle was a photo that looked just like I used to look  in the 1980s (i.e. with hair).  Howell couldn't believe it wasn't me.  Somewhere out there is my doppelganger - no doubt quizzing in some shebeen down Kerry way.

 The latest V & A / On the Tay / As William McGonagall would say


As for the match...well Brian and I have been quizzing Gerry and co. since the 1980s and we have always enjoyed each other's company - and so it was this time. Quiz questions are merely the excuse to be in the company of people you like.  As it happens the Opsimaths went into an early lead and stayed there.  Damian (on the bench for the first half) was brought on for Roisin at half time but the result was unaffected.  Jane QMed and was peerless. 

 Georgian delight on the Welland

(R4&5/Geography 1)

 Posh spuds from Sweden

(R4&5/Food & Drink)

Prodigals beat History Men

The league leaders coast to another victory

Deflated and defeated Ivor reports

After our three narrow losses and a tie tonight was a great victory.  Unfortunately it was for the Prodigals.

The writing was on the wall when after only four questions asked we were 6-0 down and, although we had rallied to only one point behind by the end of Round 3,  the Prodigals pulled ahead in the second half.  They had 16 twos to our 11 and were superior in the steal rate (7-5).  The Prodigals are already heading the league and on this performance they might already have their names on the league trophy for the first time.

The quiz was no constipator so there was plenty of time for chat.  Danny, John, Jimmy, Michael and David proved splendid company and conversation ranged from excellent 1970s TV and comics (though Michael might have a different view as to their excellence) to Anne’s reminiscences of her student trip to Minsk in 1977.  TV in those days probably benefited from the dearth of channels (how else could the Prodigals recall the football team and the score from a Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads episode of 1974?).  Having been at home last week and flicking through 300  Sky channels there seems to be nothing worth watching in the present era. 

Hogarth’s view of life in London’s slums

(R4&5/Art 1)

Bards lost to Dunkin' Dönitx

A 10-point margin for the league champs

Kieran lets us know...

Well in a turn of events rarer than Theresa May winning a vote in parliament, the Dönitz beat our constant Nemesis for the first time in three outings.  Convincingly too, by ten points, and with the result beyond doubt after Martin scored a two on the second question of the final round.  One of those nights where we took the lead after Round 3 and never looked back, extending the gap by a point or two each round until it was too big for the Bards to have any chance of pulling it back.   

Attention wandered to the big screen which was tuned to BBC News. They appear to have installed a countdown clock but since we couldn't hear we didn't know what it was counting down to.  Possibly the moment when the champions-elect are assumed into heavenly glory and the cherubim and seraphim sing and trumpet out the Millennium and all the souls that ever lived rejoice beyond imagining.  Then again, as far as I remember, that happened on 25th August last year when City could only draw at Molineux so maybe something else is planned for March.

There was also footage of the potato-faced poltroon emerging from hiding in his shed, giving an interview (which fortunately we couldn't hear) and jogging off - if only.  In these strained times it's a testament to the stability, maturity and sheer decency of all of us that he wasn't immediately set upon, torn asunder and his entrails scattered to the four parts (for now) of the kingdom.  I'm sure Nicola would have opened the border, and probably declared a national holiday just to put the cherry on top.

Away from existential terror, we're in the Albert again next week taking on old friends the Charas.  And somehow we've still got a passing interest in the top half of the table.  Probably won't last and we're very much in 'eight cup finals and one game at a time' territory.  And I'm wondering why I sometimes think I catch a glimpse of a square-headed son of Dudley behind me in the corner of my mirror, holding a pint of wine and laughing maniacally. 

The first Oscar John


Quiz paper set by...


Average aggregate 82.0

A highly enjoyable paper created by the experts from the Moss - with a goodly score rate to boot.  A variety of styles: Run-ons, Hidden themes and a 'Qwerty' innovation.  At the Albert in deepest Withington we loved it with my own favourite being the 'First John to...' round.  I thought this an innovation but Brian said he seemed to remember we'd had something similar a few years back.  Are we going to get a 'First to...' copycat craze?

In the 'watery' Round 2 I got the Gabriel Chevalier question.  Fortunately I'd just visited The Albert's facilities (I use the word loosely) and thoughts of my teenage school trips to France and of pissoirs were right in the foreground of my noddle.

 Anne resting beside the sea


There were similar congratulatory sentiments from participants in the other contests....

Kieran's view...

"Six unaswereds, three each, and generally a very good Albert paper - apart from the first round which had everyone just guessing and consequently dragged on for ages.  After that things speeded up and even including the long rant (from me) over the clumsily worded Oscar Wilde run on with the missing "The" we were all done shortly after 10.00."

 Cutting grass

(R4&5/The Troubles)

and Ivor's...

"This quiz produced a good combined score of 84.  To be honest this was not the kind of quiz where the Historymen would shine (and we didn’t).  On top of which we suffered yet again from 'wrong seat syndrome' (always bad when Tim gets a football question or anything on modern pop - i.e. anything since 1962).  Even questions which played to our individual strengths produced more than the occasional blurt.

For us the QotW was the one about Tom of Finland.  Just like last week’s display of knowledge of heterosexual porn stars Withquizzers seem equally at home in the outré world of artistic homoeroticism."

...and Rachael comments...

"It was generally an enjoyable paper, with plenty of variety and interesting questions.  On the downside the  'North by Northwest' questions both went unanswered."

Question of the Week

Despite Ivor's preference for Tom of Finland I have made the choice this week and have unashamedly wallowed in 1970s nostalgia by choosing the Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? question.  Come to think of it this was a comedy for all ages and would bear repeating on a mainstream channel today.  So it's Rounds 4 & 5 (Pick Your Own Subject)  Question 17 (!970s TV comedy):

In the No Hiding Place episode of Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? which European nation were the England football team playing, the score of which match Terry and Bob go to great pains to avoid discovering before they can watch the highlights?          

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

Flint (Brian Glover) trying to spill the beans to The Likely Lads

(R4&5/1970s TV Comedy )