The Withington Pub Quiz League


27th November 2019


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

Shrimps win to go top whilst the Prodigals slip to second place after a tie with the History Men; high-scoring everywhere

History Men tied with Prodigals

Charabancs lost to Albert

Electric Pigs lost to Bards

Mantis Shrimp beat Ethel Rodin

Turing Testers lost to KFD

History Men tied with Prodigals

A thrilling match at the Red ends all square

Ivor sends this...

A very peaceful Red Lion and no one to disturb us in our usual quizzing area tonight.  Perhaps Liverpool's European games are not popular here (apart from Mike H and Young David there appeared to be no fans at all).  As an added bonus there was no cackling raucous band of revellers to interfere with our cogitation.

We did not have high hopes of a victory against last year’s league champions and so it proved to be.  A second consecutive tied game for us. Unlike last week the match was incredibly close all the way through and a tie did seem to be a fair result this time round.  The Prodigals outscored us in twos (15-14) and steals (2-1) but it was the fact that they got 4 unanswereds to our 1 that ensured the tie.

...and QM Mike H adds

A very good quiz leading to a high-scoring draw between two excellent teams - two of the league's nicest and friendliest.  They proved a joy to QM despite the length of many of the questions and the consequent necessity to repeat quite a few of them.

The History Men could have won as Ivor conferred twice when I had heard him say the right answer.  It was neck and neck in almost every round: 7-4, 4-7, 6-6, 6-6, 4-3, 7-7, 4-4, 6-7.  The 'Prophets' round proved much more straightforward than we would have guessed from its title - and were they all prophets?  My only QM lapse: I got two questions in the wrong order in Round 5 - would it have made a difference?

Well she would leave the stage in 2014, wouldn’t she?


Charabancs lost to Albert

A Mikeless Albert ventured to deepest Withington and returned with the spoils

Ashton reports...

For the first time in a long time we were Mike-less tonight. Stephen ably stepped in to keep our O'Brien contingent quorate. Our player of the evening though was Eveline - or so she kept telling us as her twos mounted up. As for Mike, the more suspicious amongst you might clock his absence tonight and make some kind of link to his repeated references to 218 ladies of dubious virtue in recent write-ups. He SAYS he was giving one of his WW1 talks tonight in Burnley to a group of elderly men for whom no amount of information about the Ludendorff offensive can ever be too much. But as Mandy Rice-Davies might say - well, he WOULD say that wouldn't he?

...with these additional remarks from Damian

In the absence of Captain Mike (apparently too busy entertaining his newly discovered female fan club to have any time for the likes of us)  we were treated to a visit from the Albert B Team, one of whom (Jeremy) promptly took a stroll down Memory Lane by flashing us a pic of his appearance on University Challenge circa 1978, long dark hair and all.  Why am I starting to get the impression that we are one of the few surviving WithQuiz teams not to have anybody who ever appeared on that particular quiz show?

Following this introduction we duly got down to business and the Charas soon fell into their familiar pattern of flattering to deceive, taking the lead all the way through the first half only to steadily relinquish it in the second.  All this was under the watchful gaze of quiz setters Brian and Jitka.  Brian's smile grew ever more ironic and sympathetic as we struggled to keep up in the last few rounds.

...and some people just can't be kept out...

I could not be present last night. Having whittled my  list of 218 luscious lovelies down to 2 - French Jeanne and Irish Lola - I decided to prove that I know how to give women a good time by taking them to Burnley for the evening.  It did not turn out as I hoped.  They were unimpressed by the Weavers Triangle (they seemed to think it was something to do with the Kama Sutra) and the Royal Masonic Hall left them cold.  They moaned so much on the way back that I was forced to abandon them on the road, in the torrential rain near Ramsbottom.  Surely a fitting punishment for the ungrateful harpies.

As I returned to The Albert I consoled myself with the thought that those eejits in the team were bound to have been thrashed without me.  My mind worked on exciting innovative insults that would allow me to humiliate them in front of a jeering crowd (which in The Albert amounts to about 5 people).  Imagine my dismay when I found that they had managed to win.  All my creative work gone for nothing. This was compounded when I learnt that Jeanne and Lola had managed to pick up a lorry driver in Rossendale. At this moment they are probably working on their own version of the Weavers Triangle. All in all a disastrous night.

Electric Pigs lost to Bards

A comfortable away win for the Bards at the Moss

Tony was on hand...

Both teams chose to nominate  a 'Worst Question of the Season': 'Who used to work the lights in Grand Prix Motor Racing' was a tad too esoteric even for Jim, who usually knows these things.  John did venture the answer 'Max Mosley' but hadn't realised that being still alive and kicking Max didn't qualify.  Although he is a bit of an extinct volcano, he might still claim, in the words of the Irish Judge "There's fire in the ould crater yet".

Lots of linguistics to enliven the evening.  Carthage was destroyed, yet again, and we proclaimed "Je suis Charlie" cheerfully despite the French for 'Charlie' being 'Charlot'. We agreed that you can't tell the French anything they don't know already.

It was unfortunate for the Pigs that they were another victim of Boris' determination to be as bloody awkward as he can be and hold a Christmas Election.  Thus Andrew was away trying to save the NHS and unable to delight us with his considerable knowledge of L'Affaire Dreyfus.  Consequently the quiz was a tad one-sided and certainly played to our strengths. 'Cui (or) qui bono' was a bit of a gift to a team of conspiracy theorists like Jim and Tom.

We took a very early lead and just cruised through a quiz which really did suit.  The Pigs unfortunately thought it was Albert Lord Tennyson and that MacArthur used the royal 'We', quite forgetting his delusions of grandeur only came in after everyone else had won the war.  So we got quite a few steals.  Jim was MotM for us with 7 twos and I kicked myself all the way home because, for the life me, I could not remember Mandy Rice Davies. You will remember her; she was the posh one who looked like a tart and Christine Keeler... well you know the rest.  Which reminds me that Ernest Edwards, late Clerk of the Peace and an old fashioned Liberal, with all the good manners and decency that it used to connote, always said that the trial of Stephen Ward was the only case in English legal history where the prosecution affected an arrest first and found a charge later.

In the time honoured cliché we enjoyed a convivial evening with a gracious host in a relatively peaceful Fletcher Moss.

Mantis Shrimp beat Ethel Rodin

A high-scoring win for the Shrimps sends them top

Mike B QMed and reports...

Well as James says below it was a pretty one-sided affair with the final margin being a hefty 22 points.  From the QM's chair it did seem that many of the easier questions, especially in the first half, went the way of the Shrimps. However it was also evident to the observer that the Shrimps have honed their 'confer-or-go-for-a-two' skills to the fine art that has served KFD so well over the years.  Ethel on the other hand were less sure of their 'confer' decisions and dropped a few points this way.

As for the venue the Parrswood is well nigh perfect with its voluminous lounge areas and lack of clientele.  Despite some pretty lengthy question text the match was over before 10.30 and there was plenty of time to ponder wider matters - not least the looming Election.

Quintessential Vorticism

Percy Wyndham Lewis – The Dancers


...and (Ethel) James adds his thoughts

We were beaten by the better team in a quiz which did not play to any of our strengths.

That said, Ethel Rodin losing by a record margin has to invite some critique.  Finding our team 14 points behind after 3 rounds - one of which was lost 9-1 - killed any interest and enjoyment in the rest of the quiz from my perspective.

I don’t believe that any fixture in our quiz league should facilitate such imbalanced scoring, whether that is because of poor distribution of questions, esoteric subject matter, or the academic brilliance of any particular team - all of which were factors tonight.  

With a nod to the Urban Dictionary referenced in last week’s quiz, the word ‘Wankism’ perfectly describes Round 2.

Poussin's Shepherds


...whilst (Shrimp) James doesn't share the 'imbalance' sentiment

While the quiz obviously suited us, I thought that it was a fairly well balanced paper with only one unanswered question (I think) in the entire paper.  The quiz went at a nice brisk pace, helped by Lord Bath of Withington superbly QMing and ensuring there were no ridiculously long conferences so that we were all finished by 10:10. What's more  I loved the breadth of subjects covered - so well done Opsis, it was a pleasure!

First British Captain to lift the European Cup


Turing Testers lost to KFD

KFD win the foot of the table clash

Kieran reports...

Well that came from somewhere in the past, like a dominant City performance or a politically neutral BBC with journalistic standards.

Looking back at our dismal record so far this season there was only one hope left for us so we did what the flattest of flat track bullies have always done and beat up the new kids on the block.  We would have had a clean sweep of twos in Round 1 had I not snatched at Christine Keeler instead of Mandy Rice-Davies - you wouldn't would you?

The returning Antony nailed Thomas Aquinas right at the start, which would have seen him in serious trouble with the thirteenth century authorities and their present day counterparts for that matter - not to mention a pretty tricky conversation with God.  Antony was in his element all evening as Latin tags and biblical prophets poured forth and it all fed in to the 'When We Were Kings' feel of the evening.  To reassure the rest of the league who have been eyeing up KFD as the easiest two points they'll ever be gifted, Antony's appearance was for one night only and no doubt we'll be back to our hopeless worst next week.  Poch may have left the narrative but Ole's still at the wheel. 

Thoroughly enjoyable game, nostalgia is definitely better than it used to be although the Greenfinch's prices were bang up to date.  But since we've barely had to buy a winners' round all season that wasn't such a hardship. 

We're back in the Griffin next week and so far the Opsis, the Charas and the Prodigals have all left with the points.  It'd be nice to show El (ex) Presidente that we can still turn on the style.  So who have we got?  Ah the Bards, KFD's very own Nemesis. That's f***ed then. 

A commemorative tile from the Victorian age to Albert, Birmingham Snow Hill’s long-serving station cat.

It was found during station renovation and preserved in the new station.

(seen by Father Megson on his travels this summer)

Old Lord Coal


Quiz paper set by...

...The Opsimaths

Average Aggregate score 86.6

The highest average aggregate of the season to date with very few questions going unanswered.  Most of the feedback, not surprisingly therefore, is on the positive side.

Where I was QMing (The Shrimps v Ethel at the Parrswood) the mood music on the paper however was dominated by Ethel's feeling that a lack of balance allied to their decision to go first meant that almost all the easy questions fell to the Shrimps.  The Shrimps on the other hand sailed through delighted to know so much.

Here's some of the feedback from around the grounds...

Kieran has this to say...

Our compliments to the Opsimaths who produced an accessible paper and a trademark pointsfest with only four unanswereds, twenty four twos in total and the whole thing done by just after 10.00.

and Shrimp James...

Brian, and the rest of the Opsimaths did a really excellent job with the quiz.

and Damian...

In any event, as the score shows, this was our highest losing score of the season so far reflecting yet another of  Brian's typically enjoyable and accessible quiz offerings with only 3 unanswered questions by my reckoning. My own particular favourite was the Latin Mottos Round where surprising answer of the week was that, after 150 years, 'E Pluribis Unum' is no longer the national motto of the United States and is now reserved solely for the odd Portuguese football team and a cheesy dish of some description.  Who knew?

Built to a design created in Trafford Park


and Ivor...

Opinion on the paper was generally favourable with only a few grumbles about pairing but as Anne points out we always grumble about perceived injustices and forget our easy twos.  A whole round on Latin phrases (some more obscure than others) was thought to be excessive and although many of us will have had school mottos in this language none of them appeared in the quiz. My own (Quaker) school’s motto was 'Quae sursum sunt quaerite' ('Seek the things that are above') which is rather more other-worldly than Cato’s blood thirsty instruction to destroy the Carthaginians.  We do not get that from politicians any more - unless you count Boris’s 'Let’s finish Brexit'. The Prophets round was greeted with the muttering and trepidation usually reserved for 'Dickens characters' rounds but it was actually the highest scoring round of the night.  The Welsh surnames in reverse with the obvious answers Williams and Jones being in the spares was quite cunning, as was the Victorian children with the eldest discretely tucked away as an extra like the lingerie from Victoria’s Secret.

...and finally a tailpiece from the Opsimaths...

Like all good setters the Opsimaths meet to review their prospective offering.  As is usually the case these days Brian prepares the questions and then quizzes the rest of us - this time early doors in the Fletcher Moss a couple of Tuesdays ago.  When we got to the round themed on Victoria's children, the amusing one about the 'waterless regatta' in the Australian outback fell to Howell.  He agonised for a quite a few moments and then confidently said "Wagga-Wagga". "Princess Wagga-Wagga???" said the rest of us in unison.

“I baptise you, Princess Wagga-Wagga, daughter to Albert and Victoria, and sister to Edward”

Anything to please the Aussies!


Question of the Week

This week we listen to the Bards who put their collective thumbs down for what they regard as the worst question of the season so far (Round 4 Question 3 about the FIA Formula One Director and Safety Delegate) but resoundingly upturn their pollices for Round 8 Question 6 ...

In 1974, the New York Times published transcripts of the Nixon White House tapes.  Soon afterwards, protesters outside the White House held up placards.  Complete the four-word phrase that they displayed: 'Impeach the…' what?

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

Modern Manchester – No Anger

Lynda and Noel say it all