The Withington Pub Quiz League


11th December 2019


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

The Prods, The Shrimps & Ethel all win to strengthen their positions at one, two and three in the table; the Opsis lose and slip further behind in fourth place

Ethel Rodin beat Opsimaths

Prodigals beat Bards

Mantis Shrimp beat Albert

Electric Pigs lost to Charabancs

Turing Testers lost to History Men

Ethel Rodin beat Opsimaths

Third beats fourth down in Ladybarn

Mike Bath reports...

The two teams who seem to flatter to deceive most often in our league right now met in deepest Ladybarn - and this time it was the visitors from the Albert Club who were the flatter.

Geoff, Roddy, James and Greg just seemed to know more than Nick, Hilary, Brian and myself - and guessed better to boot.  For instance I lobbed a gentle 3 points into Ethel's lap by opting for Liszt in the LIszt/Chopin pair when Chopin was first up.  Later (much to the surprise of my colleagues) I did make amends with a bit of pop trivia by suggesting there might have been a pop duo called Everything But the Girl but overall it was Ethel's 16 twos against our 8 twos that clinched it.  Greg was the standout Rodinista with 5 twos whilst Nick took the honours for the Opsis with 4 twos.  I think there were 5 unanswered questions which broke 3-2, so no moans there.

Mebyon Kernow’s sop


After the match we fell to discussing our impending doom, with James, who is closer to the corridors of power than most, leading the way.  My own sad reflection was that after 73 years born in, and fashioned by, a Britain that stumbled out of WW2 and gradually moulded a liberal, caring, prosperous and outward-looking democracy I was now unable to express any pride in my country.  I have a French son-in-law and  every time I see him I feel the need to apologise for my country and its leaders.  We have gone from being the light of the world to being the blight of the world in a few sorry lying Tory years.  Shame on the lot of them!

The genteel heart of Manchester


Prodigals beat Bards

Convincing win for the table-toppers

Dave reports...

Three generations of the Hammonds turned up to do battle at the Albert Club.  The formidable Tom and Tony for the Bards, and 'our Kate' (as we like to call her now we have adopted her) for the Prodigals.  The Lawless clan were heavily represented as well with Nick in the QM chair and ever present Jimmy producing his usual brilliance.

We eased ahead in the first half and just never relinquished the lead.  Marvellous performances from the aforementioned Jimmy and Kate accompanied by our own Captain Marvel, Anne-Marie.  Her very own WithQuiz winning streak continues.

The great Bards did not get the luck of the draw once they'd lost the toss. They will certainly be challengers for the title right through the season and a tough return match awaits us later in the season.

On to a fixture against Ethel Rodin with at least two of their team having eyes on a Stockport/WithQuiz double. Like every match in this league, it will be very tough. I am sure it will go to the wire.

A revered face from an age when the BBC spoke truth to power without feeling the need to balance it with a load of Tory lies


Mantis Shrimp beat Albert

The Shrimps squeak a close run thing

Mike O'Brien, our man on the spot...

We threw this one away really.  The night was a story of poor discipline -never have I had to show the Paddle twice to one team player.  I will not name the individual concerned; what happens in The Albert stays in the Albert but in future if anyone in the League notices  a team member looking furtive and ashamed you will have identified the guilty party.  Until then we must all bear the shame. Afterwards I lined them all up and in my best impersonation of Terry Thomas told them they were "an absolute shower".

and James adds this Shrimp view....

Our penultimate match of 2019 was a convivial affair with Albert on great form throughout, with the Paddle of Rebuke only needing to be used once (I think!).  We managed to open an 8 point lead in the first half with Albert steadily chipping away at it after the break.  However, we just managed to hang on thanks to our knowledge of junctions in Swindon and Nick Hornby books.



Farewell to Putney’s Gesturing Jennie


Electric Pigs lost to Charabancs

Charas earn a much-needed victory away at the Moss

For once a gleeful Damian...

As is often the case, this was a game of two halves for us Charas.  What is not often the case, however, is that we came out on top, thus recording only our third victory this season.  In the first half we were consistently behind by two or three points. In the second half we picked up steam and began to forge ahead and, although the margin between us was always close as the final score suggests, we managed to get over the finishing line in front.

Tonight's paper was set by KFD and we were graced by the presence of the enigmatically named team's captain who promptly sat himself beside me but resolutely ignored my suggestion that he whisper the answers in my ear. Nonetheless his very presence must have acted as some sort of inspiration for us all as both teams fought neck and neck to earn his approval.

Farewell to Mid-Sussex’s Asshole Monica


Turing Testers lost to History Men

History Men lift themselves to fifth with a good away win

Captain Ivor reports...

Our first match against the new boys (they were all boys tonight) - though the faces were familiar as most have been on the TV in recent times as members or captains of Manchester University teams in University Challenge.

I am sure they have met teams there with quirky or downright bizarre characters so we hope they didn't regard us as beyond the pale.  Paxman always tells us the average age of the competing teams - mercifully such traditions do not apply to our league - but I would estimate there was at least four decades difference between tonight's two teams.  Despite their youth the Testers seem to have accrued a tremendous amount of general knowledge already.  Of course by the time they are our age they will have forgotten more than some people ever know (that’s our excuse when we're found wanting).

A record just waiting to be broken….

The only incumbent PM to have lost their seat at a General Election


The match was 17-18 to the Testers at half time and it was only a good second half for the History Men that allowed us to pull ahead.

Like all good quizzes there was plenty of chat during and after the contest.  I managed to get a steal on Cliff Michelmore because 1970 was the first election results night I remember (I was 11 in 1970 and allowed to stay up late).  The highlight of that night was George Brown, then de facto, if not de jure, deputy Prime Minister, losing his seat in Belper.  Immediately after the result there was a strap line across the screen with 'Brown Out' in large letters which struck me even at the time as punching a man when he was down.  Certainly in his interview afterwards he sounded punch drunk.  Tomorrow will be my fourteenth election night and, like many of you, I await the dramas of success and failure.

Schadenfreude might be a German phenomenon but it does chime with many viewers.  Elections are the ultimate audit of a politician's performance and I wonder which ones will be weighed in the balance and found wanting tomorrow?

to which QM Mike H adds...

A very pleasant experience co-QMing with Joe of TT - and despite Kieran's preamble, a very enjoyable paper.  We took it in turns to read each round (Joe on 1,3,5,7; me on the others with Joe reading the spares) and we managed to finish by 10.30.  This helped since some of the TT team have to travel some distance to play in our league.  Despite this I do get the impression they are enjoying the experience so far.

The only poor bit of KFD's paper was the pair at the start of Round 4 (as I've said before, the worst questions for me are the ones which create the reaction "So what!").  This pair were two of only four questions that went unanswered.

For me the most enjoyable round was the 'Run-ons' Round with plenty of the questions qualifying for Question of the Week - in particular Question 5 which took a nice view of the role of our current Minister for the Cabinet Office.

Quiz paper set by...


Average Aggregate score 76.8

Well that just about hit the average for the season nicely - but as those of you who moan about my weekly emphasis on numbers must also agree - this was a high quality challenge well above the norm.  Down in Ladybarn there was a unanimous feeling that KFD had served up a corker; inventive, amusing and - apart from that daft pair at the start of Round 4 about John Bercow - just about the right degree of challenge.  So many thanks to them.

At the close Roddy read out Kieran's elegant preamble to the paper in which he begged forgiveness for any harsh words offered by him in the past towards other setters and volunteering to take any offered back this week on the chin.  The preamble also contained an apology to any quizzers who didn't share KFD's political views which seeped through into most of this week's paper.  Well do you know, I think Kieran is going soft in his dotage.  Ahhhh!

Other verdicts on the KFD oeuvre?

Ruler Waves Britannia...



Mike O'Brien...

The quiz itself, although overburdened at times was fair enough.  We enjoyed the airports round and the marginal constituencies stuff.

and Damian...

The questions were the usual interesting and eclectic assortment we have come to expect from KFD in their various incarnations.  In particular we enjoyed the 'Companies' theme and the 'Run-ons' round, the latter of which produced our Question of the Week, and a rather risqué one at that.  After both teams had failed to guess it spectating KFD captain, Kieran, couldn't resist whispering the answer in my ear.  So the question I have selected as QotW is Round 8 Question 3.

and Ivor...

We agreed it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.  The election-themed quiz paper certainly tested all areas and the questions were nicely constructed to be interesting. Our Round of the Quiz, however, was the non-election one called 'Two's Company' (Round 6) - a double question round asking us to identify well-known company's that had two names (e.g. Tate and Lyle).

and James from the Shrimps...

I think we all thoroughly enjoyed the quiz.  A great variety of subjects were covered (particularly nice to see some maths questions, which are often underserved)  and the balance of the paper was well done on the whole.  People who have airports named after them and 'two-surname companies' were great ideas for rounds too. Even the cryptic questions were well done on the whole.  Congratulations KFD!  And (speaking for myself here) the Tory-bashing in the paper earns the paper the title of 'My Quiz of the Season' never mind what happens over the next few months.

and finally Prod Dave...

Some very inventive themes. The Companies round provided some fun and the Run-ons were the best of the season. The 'Eve of Destruction' round  should have contained some reference to December 7th when a Spanish general allowed his charges to be overrun by Norwegian-led troops.

Worth the Ransome


Question of the Week

This week for raising some naughty smirks on the collected faces of the Pigs and the Charas Damian gives us 'Run-on' Round 8 Question 3...

Second in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons books for children;

Presenter of a British daytime game show from 1993 to 2001 - it has recently been revived on ITV2 with the seemingly ubiquitous Rylan Clark-Neal as host.

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

...and also

How does Countdown Octochamp (and WithQuiz Shrimp) James Haughton get on in the Countdown 2019 Octochamps play offs?  Well, tune in to Channel 4 at 2.10 tomorrow afternoon (Thursday 12th) and find out.  Let's hope we're not discombobulated (oops! that's more than 9 letters).

The end of The Long and Winding Road


...and finally with the election in mind here's the full text of the 1964 Barry McGuire song that inspired Round 5

(which you can play here)...

"The eastern world, it is explodin',
Violence flarin', bullets loadin',
You're old enough to kill but not for votin',
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin',
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin',
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Don't you understand, what I'm trying to say?
And can't you feel the fears I'm feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there's no running away,
There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you, boy, it's bound to scare you, boy,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Yeah, my blood's so mad, feels like coagulatin',
I'm sittin' here, just contemplatin',
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
Handful of Senators don't pass legislation,
And marches alone can't bring integration,
When human respect is disintegratin',
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin',
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
But when your return, it's the same old place,
The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace,
Hate your next door neighbor, but don't forget to say grace,
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

No, no, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction."