The Withington Pub Quiz League


20th November 2019


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WQ Teams

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The Prodigals and The Shrimps both win to go joint top;

Ethel win and nip into third place just one point behind the leaders

History Men tied with Albert

Opsimaths lost to Bards

Electric Pigs lost to Ethel Rodin

KFD lost to Prodigals

Mantis Shrimp beat Turing Testers

History Men tied with Albert

All square at the Red

Mike O'B was there...

What a strange quiz.  The first half contained some extremely challenging questions and an imbalance that made it a good toss to lose.  The half time score of 17 to 13 told it as it was. The second half was better except for the unlikelihood of being able to match birth dates and death dates of the people concerned in the answers in the 'Regeneration' round.  Even so we were 8 points behind at one point but did well enough in the last couple of rounds to produce an exciting result with Eveline getting a two on the very last question to produce a tie.  Stripe me, I would rather have walked 8¼ miles from the Red Lion to Wilmslow.

My having 218 new girlfriends continues to arouse intense jealousy among the rest of the team.  How can I explain to them that Tania and Chardonnay and the others find my repartee and stories of my life in the Withington Quiz League so fascinating.  The History Men on the other hand were more interested in meeting the Paddle who appears to have the status of a minor legend these days.

Glamorous and dangerous French Jeanne


and Ivor has his say

After our walkover last week because our Stockport opponents could not field a team there was no reprieve tonight against the Albert.  In fact last week we would have been a bit short of players too and it continued this week with Tim and Mike away on holiday (in quiz season!!!), and Anne away organising her house move.  Fortunately David is back fully restored to fitness and Anne’s niece Vanessa was our star player tonight. Also on the team was my neighbour John in his debut game with a blurt-free evening and a magnificent two with the Magnificent Suleiman and Lorenzo.  Mrs C came to the rescue with QM duties, but off to Abu Dhabi in five hours so luckily all packed before her last minute recruitment.

It’s a funny old game is quizzing.  Here we were 8 points ahead with 2 rounds to go. We were even 3 points ahead with only two questions left. But somehow it slipped away when the specific Boris/Donald connection question (not a very good question that really) was lost to a steal and then it was Evelyn’s turn to be the heroine with a two to level the match.

The Albert did not have to use the Paddle of Rebuke tonight but as we had to introduce John to the quirky nature of our quizzing world it was displayed along with the black rat stuffed with the Reykjavik sheep sounder souvenir that travel with the Albert’s esteemed captain Mike.  John might be back next week to face the Prodigals (I hope)…

Dangerous and glamorous Irish Lola


Opsimaths lost to Bards

The Opsimath plunge continues as the Bards profit at the Club

Mike Bath reports...

It was nip and tuck throughout until falling a little behind late on the Opsimaths needed one of their trademark surges.  They duly obliged and surged to a deficit of 10 points.  The Bards were good value for their win and shouldn't be discounted as outside contenders for the title as the season hots up.

Hilary did a sterling job in the QM chair with quite a lot of ambient noise to contend with.  And Howell bagged the 'answer of the week' award with his surmise that 'Bald Eagle' was the male equivalent to 'Cougar'.  Amazingly I proved to be the 'poptastic Opsimath with the mostest' as I guessed both Hawkwind and Velvet Underground to notch the points.

In the White House when Perceval fell


Electric Pigs lost to Ethel Rodin

The Pigs lead throughout only to fall at the final fence

James texts in...

The Pigs led all the way through but fell victim to the medical questions near the end - unable to answer the bariatric question correctly despite having a (slim) player called Barry. 

KFD lost to Prodigals

The Prods take their imperious form to the Griffin

Not for the first time Kieran uses football as a metaphor...

Poch shook his head for the tenth time as he gathered his meagre mementos into the shoe box that had generously been provided to smooth his departure.  Why?  Just why had he taken any notice of that eternally chirrupy Norwegian idiot? Oh, he was all for listening to, and learning from, the experiences of his fellow managers, those with an international perspective even more so. But hell Norway weren't even in the club and as for Wales!  He crumpled the photograph of the celebrity golf tournament and tossed it into the wicker bin.  If the new guy wanted Gareth, well he could find him for himself.

"Just keep doin' what you been doin' son" Ole had prattled, "it's always worked before why change anythin' now"?  And he was gone, singing some 80's throwback about wheels and some random named Fred, in his irritating faux Mancunian whine.

Well it was too late now, he'd listened and not changed one single thing.  And his side had continued to lose, game after game until it all became too much for his masters.  He took one last, lingering look at the picture of Alan Gilzean.  It had inspired him in the bad times and this was the darkest of dark hours.  How he longed to take Alan with him on whatever his new adventure was, that he was absolutely sure was just around the corner.  Or the one after that.  Or... his mind drifted off. But it had been made as clear as it possibly could that Alan would stay, forever, while he needed to be off the premises within the hour or he'd forfeit the manager's jacket that he'd insisted be part of his severance deal.

Surely the answer to Kieran’s KFD woes?

He worried about his boys that he'd be leaving behind.  Would they get on with the new guy, would they be appreciated?  Would everything that he had built be treasured and used as the foundation for a glorious future?  Well for a week or two yes, he was sure of that, but then?  Nah, there was no chance.  He'd pick up those he could once he got wherever he was going. Maybe back to Barcelona? He'd been happy there.  He certainly wasn't going to Southampton, except maybe to catch a ferry somewhere, anywhere.  Or maybe he'd go all the way back to Argentina and introduce quizzing to the gauchos.  But he hadn't been that popular there since that little sh*t Owen had conned a penalty out of him in Sapporo.

As he scooped the artisan cheese menu and the photograph of the fantastically spacious new trophy room into his shoe box (his complimentary Tunnel Club membership card had been deactivated earlier in the day) he sensed a malign presence behind him.  A chill ran down his spine and he had just about summoned the courage to turn round when his Nokia 3210 (very generously he'd been allowed to keep it) spluttered to life.  He could just make out the legend 'Jose calling'  on the screen.  "Jose?  Jose is that you?"

"Lolz, lolz, lolz, lolz, loser!" The phone went dead.

It was definitely his old nemesis, He'd recognise that cackle anywhere. But if that was Jose on the phone then who was filling him with dread just behind his back? Michael?  No he had a good life in Madrid, he'd never give that up to come back to some clapped out team years past its sell by.

There was only one possibility. Someone who'd been part of the great days, who could bring that feel good factor with him and who wouldn't baulk at leaving Essex behind for a week or two at least.  Poch turned round and sure enough he was right.


“…nobody ever tells me where I’ve been” - the divine Eleanora Fagan


Mantis Shrimp beat Turing Testers

The Shrimp power home in the 'University Challenge' showdown

James Counts us Down...

After last week's sojourn to Stockport, we headed back to the comforts of the Parrs Wood Hotel. We've quizzed with some of the Turing Testers for a while now, so we were well aware, going into the game, of how good the league's newest team are.  And indeed, they took an early lead.  However, Round 2 played much more to our strengths. We won it 9-1 and it proved to be decisive, as we managed to retain the gap and slightly extend it towards the end. The Turing Testers are a lovely bunch, and all in all it was a very convivial night's quizzing, superbly QMed by John from the Charas. After the quiz had finished, I found out about John's Anthony Trollope expertise, and he gave me some advice on which of Trollope's works to start with.  So it was a productive night in more ways than one!

In 10 Downing Street when Lincoln fell


Cradle of Humanity


Quiz paper set by...

...The Charabancs of Fire

Average Aggregate score 70.8

A tough paper with an average aggregate 6 points below the season's par.  Plenty to relish though in the range of subjects.  It did take some time to navigate and at the Club it was nearer 11pm than 10.30pm by the time we'd got through to the final pair (the second half proved much quicker than the first; at half time we feared a post-11 finish).

To me the use of the internet's Urban Dictionary to source questions seems flawed and personally I would avoid it.  Whenever I've come across this e-dictionary I've never heard of the word in question or the definition, and suspect most is either made up or American city slang that even most Americans wouldn't recognise.

And (on Nick's behalf) it would have been better to leave the 'Snow leopard' question until later in the 'weathery' round.  Nick agonised for a while and dragged up the answer 'leopard' but was marked down (harsh but fair).  Later in the round the theme would have been established and he would probably have said 'Snow leopard'.

so what did Ivor think?...

Usual good range of questions with perhaps occasional uneven pairing and, although a tad difficult in the first half, a combined score of 72 and fairly even split of twos, unanswereds and steals.  The fish connection theme was spotted early enough by Vanessa for John to retrieve Tony Roche but the 'Regeneration' round should probably have been an announced theme (and even then the theme would have been of little help).

and Ethel's James...

Nine unanswered overall, mainly in the first half - especially Round 3 which had 2 to each team.  Some unbalanced pairs such as Mme Pompadour and Lola Montez, Madison and Palmerston, and Natalie Evans and Kier Starmer.  The fish round was probably the best of the set.  The 'Regeneration' round wasn't a bad idea - but would perhaps have been better as an announced theme.

Lord Asriel's Daemon


and Shrimp James...

I thought it was a quiz packed with very interesting questions and ideas! The two teams found it tough going in the first half; scores were 18-10 at the half-way stage, with lots of passes and long conferences. (though that is probably as much, if not more, the fault of the teams).  The pace definitely quickened in the second half. And, as ever with a quiz from the Charas, the paper was filled with humour and panache throughout.  There were very few poor questions, far outnumbered by the very good ones!  The variety of questions was great too.

In terms of question of the week, I'm torn between the one on the 'Valle Aelium' and that concerning the only person to appear on the front and back of a US banknote.

Question of the Week

This week the vote goes to Round 7 Question 5...

Who is the only person to feature on both the front and on the back of a USA currency note?

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

The 'front and back' President


...and also

Weekly Match reporting

I usually wobble home from the quiz nearer to midnight than 11pm and it is helpful if I have at least the match scores so that I can update the website Fixtures and League Table pages before I go to bed; so please text me a score (if nothing else) as soon as your match is over.  Most frustrating for me are the odd occasions when I get a match report fairly soon after the match has concluded but the correspondent has forgotten to include the actual score.

Text reports on games are great but don't worry if you haven't the time.  The usual convention is for the winning team to send in something about the evening.  I try and wrap up the match reports on the Home page by about 10am on Thursday if I can.

If you have comments on the evening's question paper (and maybe a nomination for 'Question of the Week') do remember that some of your colleagues have sweated extra time the previous week to try and create something of beauty for you to enjoy.  Constructive feedback should always be welcome but silence can be pretty eloquent too.