The Withington Pub Quiz League


4th December 2019


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

Prodigals win and return to the top after the Shrimps lose at home to the Opsis; Ethel win to retain the third slot; the Testers pick up another point in a thrilling tie with the Pigs

Mantis Shrimp lost to Opsimaths

KFD beat Bards

Ethel Rodin beat History Men

Prodigals beat Charabancs

Electric Pigs tied with Turing Testers

Mantis Shrimps lost to Opsimaths

Leaders upset at home

Mike Bath reports...

The topsy-turvy Opsis are at it again beating the top teams whilst succumbing to the rest; this time a confident victory over the table-topping Shrimps.

I was 'on the bench' this week and only got to the Parrswood at half time, but even so saw enough to be able to gauge that this paper suited the older customer somewhat better than the newer punters.  Old TV characters and music questions from an age when the term 'music' meant classical music and 'pop' was something else altogether.  As a result the visitors were not just victors but the highest scoring team of the night.

Star of the evening though was Rachael who (as we all know) is a Christmasoholic starting her celebrations round about October.  Well this week her hair was bedecked with a wonderful hairclip from which two small decorated and wrapped Christmas parcels dangled.  A proper Jingle Belle!

“A spiral of pineapple ice cream and lime fruit ice on the outside with a strawberry fruit ice on the inside” – or in reality flavoured sugar


Ethel Rodin beat History Men

Rodin carves out a tight home win

James is calmer than last week...

This was more like it. A good game all the way through.  Nip and tuck.  Not over until the last question.

We ended up winning by a couple of points but it could have gone either way and we’d still all have been happy.

No doubt Ivor will forward the scoring breakdown - I think the History Men got the worst of the unanswereds - but a couple of them were close misses, such as the guess as to which Shakespeare character's death was in question - where both teams had Othello as the answer they didn’t give (an answer of course, that might also have appeared in the themed round on games, and I wonder if it originally did).

Both teams appreciated the quiz overall - and the classic music that fell in favour of Ethel Rodin was matched by Anne’s chuffingly (or 'high-flying choughingly'?) superb poetry and literature knowledge for the History Men.

Ding Dong!  Well hello, ladies!


...and Ivor's view?...

No tied match for us this week though the match was tight all the way through and scores were level with four questions to go which always makes for a good finish.

Scaramanga's Nick Nack


We did get more of the unanswereds going first first (7 to us and only 3 to Ethel) but Ethel had a superior 'two' rate (8-12) and not even our better steal rate (4-1) could make up the deficit.  Saying 'our' steal rate I have to be honest it was of course Anne who knew the answers no one else did - but as she points out I do not have a proper box in my score grid to give credit to 'assists' or 'saves' or unexpected left field goals.   A prophet is not without honour except in his (or her) own country; just another of the injustices of the life of a quizzer.

Wimbledon’s very own triumph of hope over experience


Hooked on the girlfriend’s mother


Prodigals beat Charabancs

Prods win to go back to the top

Anne-Marie reports briefly...

A win for the home team but a low scoring quiz with some shockers!

Merkel Mark 2


Electric Pigs tied with Turing Testers

All square at the Moss

Joe's brief take on the match...

A rare draw, pulled back from a disastrous first round which we lost 9 - 1.

...and Gary's...

A thriller at The Moss. Great game and all credit to the Testers for recovering deficits of 1-9 (at the end of R1) and a later 7-18 deficit, with a storming performance, in the second half.  In particular Tester James demonstrated an impressive mastery of chess that surpassed even the Pigs' knowledge of draughts !

Les Verts – L'Homme U de France


KFD beat Bards

KFD's great comeback gets underway

A relieved Kieran checks in...

I've been the sadly departed Poch, I've toyed with Bielsa, I've even nodded in Frank Lampard's direction but tonight I was the much missed dilly-ding, dilly-dong Tinkerman.  KFD aren't getting free pizza though, nor doughnuts.  Biggest victory of the season last week - so what?  Call for Young Liam®, KFD's very own Christian Eriksen, exiled to the bench for the last six weeks for no good reason.  And once again Young Liam® delivered with a surprising knowledge of Frasier and, despite a Boss blooper, a courageous two for ice lollies that can also be board games.  In fairness the Springsteen albums were released twenty years or more before our new boy was born.

So Young Liam® - how does it feel to be loved?

I've already noted that we're setting next week and, alongside the 'neck on the block' feeling that comes with that duty if one is not always totally complimentary about the setting efforts of other teams, I'm aware that the date is... December 11th.  And I'm also aware that not everyone in the league may share my politics.   For those who do, well we'll do our best to cheer you up and make you forget about the problems in these times.   And for those who don't, enjoy our paper, have an extra drink on Wednesday and a lie in on Thursday - until Friday if at all possible.  We'd appreciate it.  Me?   For many reasons I'm going to hide behind the sofa around Thursday lunchtime and most likely not come out until 2024.

Meanwhile back at quizzing, maybe, just maybe, I'm beginning to see the light.

"Be afraid, Adolf - be very afraid"

Mrs Mainwaring sees the light of day in the 2016 Dad’s Army film


...and Mike H's postscript...

KFD won with a bit to spare but nobody enjoyed the quiz.  I told Kieran I would look forward to reading his report.

At least I got a couple of questions right; one on my own turn, and another on Jim's when he conferred.

Matters were not helped by having the TV on above our heads with the sound turned up but we shouldn't blame our defeat on that.  I think we'd have got a few more points if we'd gone first - but not enough to have altered the result.

At least it wasn't too slow tonight; the match was over before 10.30, but not because of the brilliance of questions, but rather because of the number of 'dunnos'!

Quiz paper set by...


Average Aggregate score 66.2

Scores somewhat below the season's average with a really low aggregate of 55 points at the Griffin.  Nevertheless plenty of interesting questions and an excellent 'Run-ons' round.

Views from around the grounds are markedly varied this week.  It seems to have been a real 'Marmite' paper.

Kieran's none too impressed...

"Some people work very hard - but still they never get it quite right.  Well enough about tonight's paper.

Oh alright then. Two rounds in which the Bards didn't score at all and one where they only registered one point.  Only one for us in Round 4; 19 unanswereds which broke evenly 10-9 against us; only ten twos between us in the entire quiz and a slog through a desert of points or interest, at least in the first half.  OK - hostage to fortune I guess because we're setting next week but still....

David mocked me (not for the first time) for working out the 'High Flying Birds' answer.  Fair enough, it was an awful question and they're a terrible band but he inexplicably failed to register a two for Saint Etienne despite having seen them at least three times (the indie dance titans that is not Les Verts).

whilst Ivor's measured analysis is....

"The subject matter tonight certainly favoured the aficionados of classical music (in its broadest sense) and Ethel are particularly strong here.  Mercifully the contemporary music round (Mercury Prize winners or nominees) required no musical knowledge whatsoever.  The unseen TV character round went down well and we all awaited other characters who did not in the end appear - for example Margot Leadbetter’s nemesis Miss Mannshaft and Rumpole’s 'She Who Must Be Obeyed'.  The Coronation Street character was so distant it was in black and white and from the days when Emily Bishop was Miss Emily Nugent and Arthur Lowe’s most famous TV role was Mr Swinley rather than Captain Mainwaring.  It defeated our Corrie expert Anne but not Ethel’s Corrie expert Geoff.

The poetry lines were testing too; and the repeated 'I' in the Frost poem did leave us struggling in vain to find a seventh word.  The second Shakespeare death had us agonising for minutes - was it Romeo or was it Juliet?  This was our last chance to put pressure  on Ethel so imagine the anticlimax when it turned out to be Othello.

We did like the games and captains theme rounds.  Some quite tricky pairs - perhaps in a few years we will know A K-K as well as we know Angela Merkel now - but not yet."

...and James's...

"Well done Albert for setting questions that kept the match interesting and close throughout."

...and Joe's...

The Run-on round had some excellent answer lines.  A lot of classical music, but Francesca da Ramini Mouse was  excellent, as was the Shostakovich firefighter fact.  Thanks to the Electric Pigs for a good game and to Albert for an enjoyable paper.

...and finally Gary gives his reactions...

QotW?  The Jamie Delgado one, though, as pairs, the 2 chess questions and the 2 music score pictures were welcome novelties.

Fireman Dmitri


Question of the Week

This week Mike H nominates the prize-winner.  He writes...

"I would like to nominate the one question I got right (the Dr Hook hit running into the Bertold Brecht play) for Question of the Week - and not just because I got it right.  The first part of the answer reminds me of one of my favourite people (my wife's mother) even though the hit tune used to be one of my least favourite records of all time.  The second part concerns a play which I enjoyed very much when I saw it many year's ago in the round (starring Diana Rigg)  at Liverpool's St George's Hall."

So the vote goes to the 'Run-on' poser at Round 7 Question 1...

1972 single, first hit for Dr Hook and the Medicine Show, whose lyrics consist of a conversation between the singer and Mrs Avery, with occasional and repetitive interruptions by the operator;

1939 anti-war play by Bertolt Brecht, set in the Thirty Years War.

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

...and also

Albert Club Quizzes

There are 2 Quiz nights at the Albert Club during December both starting at 8pm:

  • The Fun Quiz on Sunday December 15th

  • The Challenger Quiz on Monday December 30th.

Both will be full of Christmassy themes with loads of prizes on offer.  For one month only I have promised to make the 'Challenger Quiz' on the 30th all squidgy and easy to suit the occasional festive quizzer.  So if you're in the area do come along with your family and friends and enjoy the fun.


Rather nice Clive James quote I picked  up from the various obituaries and remembrances over the past few days...

"A sense of humour is nothing but common sense dancing."


The agony of war by Britain’s greatest ever war photographer