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
Normal service will resume next week.
'Tweet, tweet, you’re
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
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
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
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
“You're only supposed
to blow the bloody doors off”
beat Mantis Shrimp
The Champs get back to form with the top score of
the evening against last season's runners up.
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
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
Fletcher Moss sees the first 2019/20 tie
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.
Men lost to Dunkin' Dönitz
DD return from the dead
relieved Kieran spills the beans...
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.
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
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).
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
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
Four Horsemen of
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
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?
paper set by...
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
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...
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."
Some very good questions and some that were slightly
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
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
For the answer to this and all the week's other
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
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
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
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