The Withington Pub Quiz League


16th October 2019


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

Welcome to the Turing Testers who almost - but not quite - upset the Bards' applecart

Elsewhere wins for the Opsis and the Prods whilst the Dunkers break their duck - and Albert and Ethel tie

Charabancs lost to Opsimaths

Albert TIED with Ethel Rodin

History Men lost to Dunkin' Dönitz

Prodigals beat Mantis Shrimp

Bards beat Turing Testers

I'm on jury service again this week, so the website update will be completed a little later than usual.  I'll try and get the results up before I go to bed on Wednesday but it'll be late on Thursday before the question paper, match reports and pictures will be added.

Normal service will resume next week.

'Tweet, tweet, you’re all buggered'


...and then there were eleven

Our new team - The Turing Testers - completed their first match this week (see below for the report).

After consulting Mike O'Brien and Roddy, and mindful that it would be well nigh impossible to schedule extra matches for both Ethel and Albert for later in the season with both teams being involved in WIST battles, I have decided to award Ethel and Albert walkover wins for their matches against the Testers that would have taken place on October 2nd and 9th respectively.

For the sake of score differences and handicap scores, I have determined that those walkover matches would have ended with the winners scoring the average points scored by winning teams on the week in question and likewise the losers (The Testers) scoring the average of the losing scores.  This means that on October 2nd Ethel notionally won 44-38 and on October 9th Albert notionally won 45-41.

The fixtures, results and league table pages are all now up-to-date with this (though on the fixtures page I have shown these notional results as 'Walkovers').

Do let me know asap if you're unhappy with this course of action.

Charabancs lost to Opsimaths

Opsis edge the top of the table clash

Mike Bath Tic-Tacs the odds

What a joy to be welcomed to the 1969 Top Twenty played on a continuous loop in deep dark Withington.  Oh, and yes, there was the quiz seesawing hither and thither as first the Charas, and then the Charas, and then the Charas, and finally the Opsimaths took the lead.  And then the match was over.  Beware opponents to come; an early lead against the Opsis - indeed a late lead against the Opsis is never quite enough.  Resilience is our middle name.

Gerry and co. were great hosts and (as I note at other venues) were rightly miffed that John Hume and Seamus Heaney missed out on their WithQuiz Nobels.

Finally always good to be QMed by Jane - a model of fairness and friendliness.  Let's hope that, just like the music at their home venue, this season sees a return to the old days when the Charas were right up there with the Dunkers at the top of the table (although not at the very top if you get my drift).

“You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off”


Prodigals beat Mantis Shrimp

The Champs get back to form with the top score of the evening against last season's runners up.

Bards beat Turing Testers

Oh so nearly a dream debut for TT

Joe Hanson reports...

Our first game was a close and enjoyable one!  I think every player managed to get at least one solo answer as well as playing a key role in a conferred answer.

On one answer, we changed our mind from the correct 'Henry VI' to 'Henry IV' - it's easy to get an 'I' and a 'V' the wrong way round - missing out on a ivtal point, but c'est la ive!

Thanks a lot to Electric Pigs for a set of questions we enjoyed, and to the Bards of Didsbury for hosting us in an exciting game.

I hope this first match report works alright!  Also, we are content to have our results for the missed fixtures taken in the way suggested above. And all we can add is that we really appreciate your work in incorporating us into the league so smoothly and easily. See you next week!

Niven’s Oscar in Separate Tables


Albert TIED with Ethel Rodin

Fletcher Moss sees the first 2019/20 tie

Mike O'B with his 'ifs and 'butts'...

A tense but thrilling result that was decided when, contrary to the answer on the paper, John Hume was discovered to be British-born. This cost us one ill-gotten point and gave Ethel the two they needed for a tie. It would seem that this was a good toss to win and go first.  Certainly in our fixture the player going first for the Albert (natural modesty prevents me from naming that person) fielded some horrible questions. 

 On a more serious note I wish to announce that, after last year's successful fund raising for a pair of leather leggings, I plan to provide myself with a Brazilian 'butt lift' which I believe will enhance my profile in the quiz league (in more ways than one). This will allow me to believe that my best years are indeed behind me. Eveline has generously agreed to give up her time to receive donations.

James adds this from across the room

Forty-all was a fair result. Although that did depend on Albert’s magnanimity - which we will endeavour to reciprocate in the reverse fixture.

As with current politics, it all depended on the Northern Ireland question, with John Hume a correct answer, having been UK-born, but strangely not on the list.  He won the prize jointly with David Trimble. Albert did some fact-checking and agreed we could have the point. 

History Men lost to Dunkin' Dönitz

DD return from the dead

A relieved Kieran spills the beans...

The Donutz have always been proud, smug some would say, that our line up has barely changed over nearly thirty years of doing the same thing week after week and it's largely served us well. Only seven regular players over that entire period, three born here, three drawn here and I've never been certain of super-sub Simon's antecedents.  And hardly any one- hit wonders; Mike's son Alex, David's daughter Ruth, Bogota Bob of course, and the legendary 'Mr Fitzgerald from the Urmston office',  who died shortly after his sole appearance.  But he wasn't going to be asked back.  We are the Athletic Club of WithQuiz if you will: 'Con cantera y afición, no hace falta importación', which has become more and more on point in our disturbed times.  

But Bilbao are crap and haven't won anything for thirty five years so tonight saw the debut of Liam, 'young Liam' (for he is only 23) as he will inevitably and patronisingly become known.  Now we can claim tangential connections to Liam; he is a Mancunian (and therefore a Blue) and a schoolfriend of both my son Joseph and David's daughter Ruth.  Clearly I should be Marco Bielsa whose Bilbao side gave United a two-legged shellacking a few years' back but it may be more fitting now to think of our team as Frank Lampard's Donutz®.  It should lead to some strange business with cameras and bushes at any rate.  Liam is here to stay for a week at least since David is quite reasonably (hah!) taking his wife Nicola to Spain on Monday to celebrate a significant birthday.  Liam successfully made the quizzer's rite of passage with his first two, displaying a youthful contempt for Brussels sprouts (excellent when properly cooked) and a mind fully in tune with 'our survey said'; the tyranny of the mob at work again. So young Liam® will get to experience the quondam Stadium of Murk when we take on suddenly high-flying Ethel in a Quixotic bid for mid-table respectability. 

Talpa talpa


As for tonight, well the Pigs produced a paper that gave up two one point wins, a two point win, a four point win and a tie and by any measure that's a successful effort.  But neither the Donutz nor the History Men liked it. A deserted Red witnessed a slow, laboured and not particularly engaged contest which ended well after the last orders bell, leaving both teams feeling rather 'meh'. Ten questions unanswered (6-4 against us), eight twos each and guess what - we won it by four bonuses against the History Men's two. And then there were the arguments and disputes. No, not Anne and Tim, well of course those happened, but the errors or sneaky questions that left both sides feeling hard done by.  John Hume, a son of Derry, being a UK-born Nobel peace laureate left Ivor nonplussed, especially when we decided he must have been born in the Republic (which he wasn't), excluded him, put in both Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams and picked up an undeserved bonus.  We had the same experience when told that fear of oneself was not a correct definition of autophobia (it is). 

The real kicker was Ivor not getting a two for Viktor Frankenstein.  Yes the question asked for the character in the film who was pointlessly renamed Henry, but that's just a bit too clever-clever.  We were happy to give Ivor the two but Anne nobly declined on his behalf. I don't understand the History Men team dynamic but they're nothing if not the most honourable and decent opponents that could be wished for. Nice guys come last though - see Bilbao above.

So we're on the board and we have a six month slog ahead of us in which we have to be perfect if we are to have any interest in the business end of the season.  We've promised young Liam® that next week's paper will have more questions suited to someone of his frightening youth so no pressure Prodigals. There's at least one of you under thirty isn't there?


Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse


and Ivor's view...

Who would have thought that with two consecutive losses against last year’s whipping boys we would still be only third from bottom in the league and facing the mighty Dunkin' Dönitz who were ermmm ...rock bottom.  Sadly normality was restored and the Dunkers were the team to get points on the table though it was a very close game. It was Round 7 that did for us and although there was a rally in Round 8 we still ended up short. It would have been closer had Derry-born John Hume (he went to the same primary school as Seamus Heaney) been accepted as an answer for the UK-born peace laureates and we had not confused Victor Frankenstein and Henry Frankenstein.  And is offal a meat?  Young David was in Spain this week and we could have done with our periodic table and geography expert.  The Dunkers had an even younger Young Liam on their side who if he didn't know his onions certainly knew his Brussels sprouts.

The face that launched Stalin’s purge


There are no easy games in our league any more (and it might be that the Turing Testers are no pushovers either).  I would not be surprised if we went into the new year totally pointless. Of course confidence is required, but being on the spot and deciding whether to go for a two (and be a hero) or do a blurt (potential -1 and be a zero) does sometimes lead to inadvertent loss of the maximum if you are psyched out by fellow team members.  That happened to me (with 'David Niven') and twice to Mike H (with 'Robespierre' and the deceased celebrities). Should game theory favour caution in the first half and a lack of caution if behind in the second half?  Or should aggressive (reckless?) play be encouraged in the first half and caution if ahead in the second half?  Does any strategy work if Anne calls you an imbecile (I’ve bowdlerised this) if you get an 'easy' question wrong?

Quiz paper set by...

...Electric Pigs

Aggregate score 78.8

Slightly below the average for the season so far but that average is pretty high by historical standards - so 78.8 meant plenty of smug quizzers with points to brag about when they got home.

Alas there were a few questions to navigate that demanded lengthy conferences (the football grounds and the 'put the dead bodies in order' pairs) so most matches stretched up until 11pm.

At the Albert and at the Red Lion both Nationalists and Unionists from across the water were dismayed at Seamus Heaney and John Hume's exclusion from the Nobel scoreboard.  There was speculation in our match that the setters regarded Northern Ireland as no longer part of the UK but of course we all know that that doesn't happen until midnight on October 31st.

Lest I appear too negative, however, there were some tremendous questions as well and the whole evening got off to an enjoyable gallop with the 'Why, oh why, oh why?' round.

Gone and forgotten – a Nobel Irishman (part 1)


Mike O'Brien's view...

"There were a lot of interesting questions on the paper but it was felt that some of the questions were too wordy. Our fixture finished at 11 which meant there was no time for some of us to have a drink."

and James'...

Some very good questions and some that were slightly painful.

The cryptic round wasn’t too bad, and managed to provide some tough questions that tested the mettle.

Not sure that anybody has ever died from an actual mosquito bite, but many millions have fallen foul of the plasmodium that some of them carry.

We thought of 'snake' immediately in the paired question (and eventually gave it),  but couldn’t believe there are 50,000 deaths a year from snake bites. A quick google, however, suggests that may even be a substantial underestimate.  And on the subject of snakes, can we have a moratorium on the 'boa constrictor' question please.

Finally if anyone votes for the football grounds question as QotW, can Albert and ourselves submit negative votes. Several teams have had two grounds - but it appears the question hinges on those teams that haven’t yet played Premier league fixtures at the new Spurs ground and those that have.  Plus you possibly also needed to know what years various other teams were or weren’t in the Premiership and whether they had moved grounds by then and so even though it’s a clever question it ended up too clever by half. That it was in the final round, made it even more excruciating.

Ivor adds this...

Quiz itself was quite long but perhaps that was due to the thinking time required for the 6 letter pairs. There were some that were rapid light bulb moments but a few that were not ('banner and manner', 'settle and mettle').  QotW was the football fixtures at five different grounds though combined informed cogitations did not produce the right answer (of course Tim and I had no informed opinion on this and we have forgotten the answer already).

Gone and forgotten – a Nobel Irishman (part 2)


Question of the Week

This week some of you wanted the football question about the two Premier league fixtures that have been played at 5 different grounds over the years (Round 8 Question 1) - but some of you anticipated this being chosen and forbade me to accept the nomination.  Always one to be cowed by James I have gone for the question that gave me the most personal pleasure in the evening (Round 8 Question 4), the one about Italian confectionery giant Ferrero  and their onomatopoeic product name (which I guessed  right to the amazement of my teammates) ...

Which product, first marketed 50 years ago by the Italian company Ferrero, is available in many colours but most commonly white? They take their name from the sound that they make in their container.

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

...and also

Message Board/Discussion Forum

The reaction to the new Discussion Forum facility has been a mixture of silence and objection.  Most have said nothing (nor indeed used the facility); those that have used it have been critical ("Why have you done this to us?", "Harder than getting into Fort Knox!").

My reasons for switching were to get away from the smutty messages and banner adverts of dubious taste.  To me the new facility is just as easy to use as the old Board....

1) Click on the 'Comments' tab at the top of this page ('Comments' tabs on all other pages take you to the old Board where you can still start or continue message threads if you wish - or indeed browse the adverts for oversize bras and sexy dating sites)

2) View any of the threads by clicking on the thread title and reading all the messages shown.

3) Add a message to the foot of an existing thread in the box provided using whatever name you wish in the 'Guest name' box (if you register with the Forum and then log in as a member your member name will appear automatically instead of the 'Guest Name' box).

4) Start a new thread by clicking on the 'Create Thread' text at the top of the initial page.

To me it seems no harder than the old Board and looks somewhat better.  However if you want to revert to the old Board let me know and I'll change the link back - or indeed set up a WithQuiz Twitter and/or Facebook account.

Britain’s most detested meal