The Withington Pub Quiz League


15th January 2020


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

The Prods power on at the top;

Ethel slip up against fourth-placed Opsis;

Charas recall their illustrious past with a whopping 51 points

Charabancs beat Electric Pigs

Albert lost to Prodigals

Opsimaths beat Ethel Rodin

KFD lost to History Men

Turing Testers lost to Bards

Charabancs beat Electric Pigs

A whopping 22 point margin for the mercurial Charas

Damian gives the low-down...

Our first victory of the new year and probably with the biggest score and widest margin ever (or at least since we are able to recall).  Everything about this quiz just fell right for us with the balance of twos scored (14 to us v 7 to them) and steals snatched from under our unlucky opponents' noses falling heavily in our favour (8 v 1).  If only every week could be like this!!

Albert lost to Prodigals

A 15-point margin keeps the Prods at the top of the tree

Larkin looking


Opsimaths beat Ethel Rodin

Ethel just get the rough end of a massive 96 point aggregate match

QM Mike reports

I was QMing in the Albert Club's back lounge whilst a handful of very quiet United fans watched the telly in the front lounge.  At half time I asked Howell for the footie score.  He said he'd heard a faint murmur about half way through the first half of the quiz (albeit the second half of the United match) which probably meant the Reds were ahead.  My word how times have changed!

In the world of WithQuiz, however, nothing much shifts.  The same 8 trusty knowledge banks were on display tackling a corker of a paper from the Shrimps.  This time the form book was slightly ruffled since Ethel (2nd place in the table) lost to the Opsimaths (4th place in the table).  The first half was fairly nip and tuck but after half time the home side opened their legs and sprant for the line.  Late on Ethel rallied but, alas, too late on.

Highlights?  Well, Greg seems to think that 'quince' and 'honey' rhyme; Howell got his Scandinavian straits confused but swallowed his Gwladys Street pride to get a two for 'Rush'; and Nick knew all about The Whitsun Weddings.  The latter cheered me since at the bar before we started I was complaining to Nick about what I thought was clearly an error on this week's Only Connect when Homeward Bound, Brief Encounter, Oh Dr Beeching! and The Whitsun Weddings were linked as being 'set on railway stations'.  Well the first 3 were but The Whitsun Weddings was set on a railway journey.  The wedding parties that Larkin saw from the train window were indeed at stations but to say the poem was set on a station was wrong.  So having had this (admittedly rather pedantic) conversation beforehand, and then on Round 2 Question 5 Ethel (who initially got the question) having opted for 'Easter' as the festival referenced, Nick was able to slam-dunk a steal with the correct answer 'Whitsun'.  I enjoyed his smile.  Moral of the tale:  keep talking at the bar, you never know.

Post-quiz chat centred on the leadership battle in the Labour party (Keir Starmer seems to be the one to bet on according to the inside track that is James) and the forthcoming battle of the footballing giants when Peterborough visit Accrington later this month (Roddy and I will be there).

Oh, and as for the individual honours: the Opsimaths got 18 twos against Ethel's 15.  For the home team Howell and Nick tied for MVP with 6 twos apiece.  Just one question went unanswered and that was Round 5 Question 6 about a Czech-American physicist.  Well I ask you!

A great evening and a wonderful paper!

“And for that minute a blackbird sang.”


Turing Testers lost to Bards

A win for the Bards nudges them up to 5th in the table

Tester James sums up

Our first ever WithQuiz match was against the Bards, when we came within a point of them.  While this did presage a series of more convincing losses in the first half of the season, we were quietly confident we could challenge the Bards when we met for our return fixture.  And we did indeed take a modest early lead thanks to a poetry round containing a personal favourite of mine, Edward Thomas's Adlestrop.  But The Bards recouped this with their superior knowledge on matters both avian and aviational, leaving us on level-pegging 21 each at the halfway mark.

It's all too easy to blame bad luck or wish for a different batting order in hindsight, yet we could not help but reflect that the second half may have gone better for us had our South African astronomer team member received the questions about Karl Jansky and the Great Trek.  As it was, our knowledge of bicycle manufacturers proved woefully inadequate and we earned ourselves yet another round of drinks.

With the FA Cup playing on the television screens, we were once again relegated to the 'children's area' of the Greenfinch; as usual it was mercifully toddler-free, and we were able to quiz in relative peace under the benign QM'ing of Mike H, for whose presence we were once again grateful.

‘The Taj Mahal of the North’

James Williamson (no relation) erects his Lancaster folly


and QM Mike H gives his views...

A very closely competed quiz for the most part, between two great teams.  They were level at half time but the Bards ran out eventual winners by 6 points.  It was another high-scoring quiz, just one point less than last week, and it finished just after 10pm (certainly a first for me), at least half an hour earlier than other matches.  It was the 'Bike round' that did for the TTs.

"Watch the birdie!" - Tony and friend


KFD lost to History Men

A nail-biter at Sauna Griffin

Kieran 'We're all better for a metaphor' Dillon drums on

Our thirteenth game of the season and our seventh different line up.  David hasn't been seen since early December and it's eight weeks since Barry answered a question in anger.  That was also the last time the quondam 'fab four' played together with the overheated Griffin front room serving as a poor stand in for a freezing Savile Row rooftop.  Barry and David haven't gone for good (hopefully) but I am starting to think of them as the departed John and George.  I'll leave it to them to fight over who gets which role (hint - EVERYONE wants to be George) but if those two are taken then Martin and I have to be....... Look I need to make this as clear as it can possibly be - I AM NOT BEING RINGO.  I don't care how uncool Macca is, don't care that he can no longer sing a note, don't care that every time I hear Hey Jude anywhere other than The Etihad I. Just. Want. To. Make. It. Stop.  I'm not being the ridiculously up himself one time star and second best drummer in his own family (probably).  Sorry Martin you're stuck with the gig (peace and love, peace and love). 

Vermeer's virginal lass


So if Martin and I are Ringo and Paul then that must mean that Liam and Ruth are Dhani and some weird amalgam of Julian and Sean - Juan?  Again it's your choice guys but Dhani has played guitar onstage with Prince and as life goals achieved go that takes some beating, even for George Harrison's lad.  .

tl;dr:  Steve Bruce can button it, he's scarcely scratching the surface of selection nightmares.  

So there was a quiz match and Dhani and Juan joined Martin and me in a young, old, young, absolutely decrepit batting order.  I can change line ups and formations faster than Pep having an epic paddy.  But, as with the once and future Poch, whatever I do we keep on losing.  This was Liam's first career defeat and the same goes for Ruth.  Elizabeth was in the QM seat (Bob is..........somewhere but he'll certainly be aware of everything that went on) and so including her the average age of KFD fell below 40 for the first time this millennium.  Curiously, Liam's first game was against the Historymen in the Red earlier this season.  Ruth's only other appearance was also in the Red a couple of seasons' back and Elizabeth first took the QM seat in February 2018 against.... yup the Historymen.  I don't know what strange power Ivor and co. exert on South Manchester youth.  He doesn't look a lot like a rat catcher but if you see him coming down your street, pipe to his lips, lock up your daughters and your sons.  Or just give him the damn money, that'll probably work. 

Next week. Bob back in charge, if he can get through immigration.  God knows who'll be playing for us.  Martin and I may well have succumbed to consumption, pox or plague and Dhani and Juan will probably sod off to an ashram.  Or a Spoons.

See you nest week. probably. 

Vulcan atop Sheffield


...and the victors speak via their legendary skipper...

The literal hothouse that is the Griffin saw an exciting match tonight where we crossed the line a smidgeon in front of KFD. 

Illness in both teams (David and Barrie of KFD, and Tim on our side - “It’s noravirus, or possibly the oysters") meant appearances by Young Vanessa (Anne’s niece) for us, Young Ruth (David’s daughter) and Young Liam for KFD - and even Younger Elizabeth (Kieran’s daughter) in the QM chair.  Everyone did well getting at least one two - which is one of the definitions of a 'good quiz evening' penned by our sadly missed friend Dave Barras.  Plenty of banter and conversation during and after the quiz.  We have by chance played against KFD’s new generation on a few occasions now and hopefully they have got used to the strange ways of the coffin dodgers (or their elders and betters…). 

Interesting things learned tonight:

1) There was a persistent urban legend in Martin’s school amongst Year 7s that he was the third cleverest teacher in Europe. (Martin got 6 twos tonight so it might well be true),

2) When Young Vanessa was even younger a relative told her Jesus Christ’s first name was Jim, a fact she shared with her primary school teacher  (not sure if this might be what Jansenism is all about),

3) Young Vanessa was once punished for 'copying' in primary school - the copying being the use of the same colour as a class mate when colouring in a colouring book (“as if there could be another colour for water apart from blue”).

There was a combined score of 75 with 12 unanswereds.  Good theme variety.  The poetry round however was a 6-0 round with KFD getting four questions that no one could answer though things did even out overall (the unanswereds broke 7 to us and 5 to KFD).  There were 3 steals each and we won with a superior two rate (13 to their 10).

Lovers flying in from Vitebsk


Quiz paper set by...

...Compulsory Mantis Shrimp

Average Aggregate score 83.2

The Shrimp papers just get better and better.  I'm sure there were multiple inputs to tonight's paper but I did get the feeling that the delicate touch of Tom ('everything that Jeremy utters comes via me') Benson was hard at work.  The precision with which each question was crafted (e.g. 'I need only the surname which includes a common Slavic surname suffix') is a marvel to behold.  All is balanced and all aimed to help the quizzer rather than shout 'I know something you don't'.  Thanks Shrimps you produced a great evening's entertainment.  We are very lucky to have the cadre of University Challenge craftsmen at our service in WithQuiz.  Quiz League of London eat your hearts out!

My views may have been somewhat coloured by the rosy tint of a high-scoring victory.  What did others think?

Vanuatu's Eclectic Pig flag


Well Kieran wasn't quite as keen and he has one or two specific criticisms...

"The quiz was ok and, as with last week's almost heroic win but eventual defeat, we had our chances but failed to take them. Our morale was rather crushed though by the ludicrous, and ludicrously unbalanced, Round 2 on poetry.  All four of our questions went unanswered (despite Liam holding an English degree) while the Historymen going first got 3 twos.  We didn't ever recover from that.  To be fair the Historymen got on the wrong side of the dreadful 'Japanese island the size of a six nations country'.  Ivor went for Scotland and since after that there were only two possible answers we picked up a scarcely deserved bonus for Wales as a nonplussed Ivor looked on.  Ivor you really should have worked out by now that anything to do with a part of a country is always stated in terms of 'an area the size of Wales'."    

Mike H liked it but not without a quibble or two...

"Almost everyone got their two (Tony was unlucky with his questions but a great conferrer).  It was mostly very well balanced.  The poetry round was difficult with only 2 twos, but only two questions went unanswered all evening (R2/Q1 and R7/Q7).

One personal quibble: I don't like questions where you are asked for either of two answers.  Another personal quibble is making questions more difficult than they really are, of which Round 7 Questions 5 and 6 are good examples. Nevertheless a very enjoyable evening."

Tester James was most impressed...

"This week's paper was thoroughly enjoyable, with pleasing variety, a well-pitched level of difficulty and some charmingly inventive themes. In our match, we were quite taken with the rhyming pairs round, with particular amusement caused by the question requiring the rhyming of 'castle' (which for some of us non-Mancunian interlopers sounds like 'parcel') with 'vassal'. This is our nomination for question of the week."

(Interloper Ed: Hear, hear, James!  'Vassal' goes with 'tassel', but 'castle' goes with 'arsehole').

...and of course the record-scoring Charas loved it as Damian tells us...

"The Shrimps served up what was, as far as we are concerned, their best paper yet with plenty of fun themes and varied questions that just tickled the dark recesses of our ageing brains and made us feel alive and quiz-sharp again after what seems like an eternity.  I even managed to conjure up the name of the Czech-American physicist!  It was a bit like that film Cocoon where a bunch of old gits briefly recapture their youth and vigour by bathing in a special Fountain of Youth provided by some kindly aliens.  Now there are several Albert locals who could probably pass for aliens of some sort whilst the Shrimps very kindly provided our Fountain of Youth.  We're keeping our fingers crossed that it won't all just be a brief and glorious one-off like it was for the characters in Cocoon.  

Well done Shrimps!"

Rhymes with Donald Trump not Darius


Question of the Week

This week the Testers nominate the regionally discriminating Round 4 Question 3 (requiring two rhyming words)...

Surname of the Minister for Transport from 1965-68


In the feudal system, one holding lands from a superior on conditions of homage and allegiance?

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

...and also

This note accompanied all of this week's quiz papers...

"ITV are looking for quizzers to take part in run throughs for two potential new Quiz shows for ITV Daytime.

Both run throughs will take place on Wednesday 22nd January at Manchester Studios (Old Granada) in Manchester City Centre (car parking available).

For the first quiz we need 5 contestants who will play individually.  They need to be available from 0830 in the morning until 1300. Lunch will be provided.

For the second quiz we need 4 x couples to take part. They will need to be available from 1200 until 1630.

If you are interested and available on the day please call us on 0161 952 0976 or email jack.mcardle@itv.com.

Alternatively, send us your number and Patrick or Jack from the team will give you a call back.  Any help is much appreciated.

The Albert Club’s unanswerable Czech-American physicist with a Slavic suffix