The Withington Pub Quiz League


5th February 2020


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The Prods lose their Club Derby allowing the Shrimps to leapfrog them to the top of the table;

Albert and the History Men conjure yet another tied match

Prodigals lost to Opsimaths

Albert tied with History Men

Bards lost to Electric Pigs

Charabancs lost to KFD

Turing Testers lost to Mantis Shrimp

Prodigals lost to Opsimaths

Opsis complete a Derby double to knock the Prods off top spot

Mike Bath sends this from the visitors' changing room...

...and I was not only in the changing room this week but on the pitch too to witness another performance that underlines the consistently inconsistent season the Opsis are having.  Not just victors against (arguably) the best team in the league but victors by a fair distance.  Contrast this with our defeat at the hands of the team at the bottom of the table two weeks' back.

We won the toss went first and kept on adding to our lead round by round.  I guess the paper just suited us; virtually no pop detritus, plenty of geography and old films, and a tasty portion of chemical elements for Nick at the end.  All in all a perfectly fine-tuned Opsi-friendly paper.

Roddy watched over us from the spectating area but he had nothing to fear as we lapped up his team's offering - even the Prods had a few kind words.  The only blips from a setting point of view seemed to us the penguin-themed wedding at the start (which no-one got) and the hopelessly difficult 'piano concertos times symphonies' arithmetic at the end.  In between we grazed

Lettice and her man managing to keep business and their private life completely entwined


and Dave adds these kind words...

Well played Opsimaths!  They inflicted a second defeat of the season on us last night and there was more than a Turkey Twizzler between us this time.  One paltry steal all night were the only crumbs the Opsimaths would give us; an indication of their strong all-round play.  I thought 34 was a good score from Kevin, Jimmy, Kate and myself, but as Paxo would say, we met a team on imperious form who thoroughly deserved their victory.

Albert tied with History Men

Not even a gnat's whisker could part these two behemoths

Home skipper Mike goes first...

An exciting draw to what seemed a fairly tough quiz in which neither team could score on the final pair of questions.  In true Albert 'fraidy cat' style we managed to blow an 8 point lead in the second half.  The quiz marked the debut of Jeremy's wife Deborah as QM which she did with great good humour considering the collection of abject creatures with which she was confronted.  It did not seem to matter who went first and the nasty questions were evenly distributed.

The unsinkable Miss Jessop


...and away skipper Ivor second...

Yet another tie - and our second against the Albert this season.  Last time the Albert pulled back from a 6 point deficit in Round 8; this time we pulled back from a 7 point deficit in Round 7.  Scores were still level with two questions to go.  Unfortunately the chemistry caught out me out with my blurt of iridium, but the Albert were unable to capitalise on the steal; and then Evelyn and her colleagues plumped for copper on her question and we were unable to capitalise with our wrong attempt of cobalt.  As you can see I have already forgotten what the correct answers were and no doubt (like many chemical elements questions) they will reappear in a few seasons' time and be just as perplexing. 

Died on Friday July 13th 1951 at 11.45pm, fifteen minutes from safety


Bards lost to Electric Pigs

The Pigs trot up the table with a handy win

Mike H was QMing and saw it all...

Not a very inspiring quiz tonight - seemed to be rather cobbled together since most rounds were paired, one of them without a title admitting as much.  Certainly one of the more difficult quizzes I have had the pleasure to QM.

The Bards were soundly beaten.  New member Jaimie (from the Friday morning group I go to) admitted it was not very enjoyable, much more like an exam.  Tony and one of the regular Pigs were missing.

The Bards were in fact in front at half-time, 17-15, after a couple of low scoring rounds for the Pigs, but then the Pigs certainly crashed ahead in the second half with the Bards only scoring a total of 7 points in the last four rounds.  There were only 10 twos all night, including 4 in the best round, Round 2.  It's not that the questions were particularly complicated or difficult to read or required too much repetition, just that so much conferring was required that the quiz finished rather late.  Most rounds were very one-sided, notably Rounds 6 and 8.  One other  quibble: Round 3, Q8 had half the answer given in the question yet neither team got the right answer.

Miss Chicklitter


Medieval Sat-Nav


Charabancs lost to KFD

KFD move up the table to challenge for a top four berth

Kieran is joyous...

To the weirdest pub and the best music on the WithQuiz circuit.  I don't know where the Albert gets its music from but tonight's offering included The Doors, Love Affair, The Kinks, Elvis Costello and Norman Greenbaum (surely the greatest ever one hit wonder) amongst many others.  Unlike the Parrs Wood the business case for the Albert is clear.  No money has been spent on the place since before decimalisation and, while the beer isn't up to much, it's a small space so it always feels busy like a proper local and that encourages punters to linger and spend more; particularly since there's always the chance of winning on the random pricing bar lottery.  Tonight I lost as a £6.60 round turned into £10.10 when the barman remembered to charge me for the Guinness he'd just poured.  He must have seen my eyes light up at the initial amount.  Don't play me at poker please, you'll bankrupt me.

Fin de siècle decadence in all its glory


With all that's going on outside our south Manchester bubble (Coronavirus,  more terror attacks on London streets, impeachment, etc.) we were of course distracted by the stunning news that Dave Hill has sacked Don Powell, his best mate of 57 years, by email.  Devastating!  Times can be hard if you're a 73 year old black country drummer with a gammy leg and zero song writing credits.  We feel his pain.

Despite the shock both teams soldiered on with the quiz - which was, well, a quiz.  At half time spectating Ruth went to spectate the toilets.  You'll be familiar with the expression 'ashen-faced'; she'd gone into the Gents by mistake and as someone who did that for the first time more than forty years ago I could understand her reaction. She looked slightly more reassured after successfully locating the Ladies.  Only slightly.

Meanwhile Dhani/Young Liam® notched his fifth win in seven appearances.  Borussia Dortmund are emailing on the hour, every hour.  Anything over €10m and he's theirs.  Nice lad but business is business.  By way of contrast the 'fab four', or Martin, David, Barry and me if you prefer, have lost all five league games we have played together this season.  There's a message in there somewhere which I'm determined to ignore for as long as is tenable.   

Back to back wins and looking like we're consolidating a position in the top half, just.  So obviously the Tinkerman takes over and next week it'll change as Dhani has to catch up on outstanding essays.  If Jadon Sancho had spent his evenings doing his chemistry homework instead of kicking a football around the mean streets of Camberwell.....  So Pigs you have a chance; a very good chance given the way we've been performing for most of this season.  And especially since Thomas and Elizabeth, who were pretty much responsible for our narrow victory in the Griffin just before Christmas, are unavailable. 

But we're in a much better position than seemed likely just a few weeks ago and I'm pretty happy. Feeling better than Kirk Douglas at any rate.

Chemical Sister supreme


..Damian adds this...


Another week, another narrow defeat.  Following our triumphant visit to the Griffin in the first half of the season, KFD returned the compliment by beating us on our home turf.  A few too many unnecessary confers on our part where a braver attempt at a two would have sufficed (especially on my part) did not help our chances as we narrowed the gap towards the end.  Nonetheless, all team  members, which this week included John's son Charles, scored at least one two and thus qualified to play next week.  Maybe we can improve our standing by being a tad bolder in going for twos in future endeavours.

In any event, we will plough on and hope Lady Luck deigns to smile on us again at some point hopefully in the not too distant future.

Fielding's foundling and Miss Western


Turing Testers lost to Mantis Shrimp

The Shrimps move to the top...but only just

Rachael is exultant...

Tonight saw our first away match against the league's newest team and they certainly gave us a run for our money!  While we had a comfortable lead at half-time, our formidable opponents steadily chipped away at it in the second half so that, going into the final round, we were only three points ahead.  After a good final round for the Testers the result was to be decided on the final pair of questions and we were lucky to squeak home.

TT were excellent company and great hosts, Joe read the questions beautifully and a most convivial evening was had by all!

Quiz paper set by...

...Ethel Rodin

Average Aggregate score 70.6

We enjoyed this paper at the Albert Club (perhaps more so in the case of the victorious Opsis than the Prods) but nevertheless a good spread of subject matter to chew on.  I suspect this was one of the less youth-friendly papers of the season but the yesteryear fodder was by and large memorable stuff rather than just crap culture.

QotW?  Well, both teams enjoyed the Violet Jessop survival tale in Round 1 and (although neither team got it right) the discussion around the 'non-infringement' VAR use was engaging - as was the answer.

"How could they tell?"


Rachael was on the whole positive...

"The paper presented us with a good range of subjects and some genuinely interesting facts.  The 'Bond themes' theme round was nice and accessible.  However some of the questions were pretty tricky and did require fevered conferring on both sides, but that was no bad thing!

On the downside we did notice that the team going first in the first half seemed to be at some disadvantage - and James had some concerns about one of the football questions but, since I possess not even the barest understanding of football and its rules, I will leave it to James to explain what was wrong with that question!"

...as was Ivor...

"A reasonably gettable quiz tonight (we often find Ethel’s tests pretty hard) and there was plenty of hallmark science, classical music and tricky football.

We nearly lost the match with some expensive blurts, and by not cashing in on the solid two-pointers (e.g. in my case thinking that 'cheese' was too likely to be a correct answer for what you add to a Bechemal sauce to make it a Mornay sauce).  There was a fair amount of 'well I never' quirkiness too (e.g. the missing composer body parts - or was that duplicate parts).  We thought the very first question of the night regarding a wife with an unusual name, and a wedding guard of honour even more unusual, must take the biscuit for obscurity but hats off to Mike O’B for working it out."

Eisenstadt's two-headed composer


...and Mike O'B has his own special take on the evening's offerings...

"There were some interesting pairings. including the strange burials.  These put me in mind of the scene in the film American Graffiti in which Debbie Denham and Terry walk through the town cemetery.  During the journey she regales the nervous Terry with tales of the mythical town serial murderer, 'The Goat Killer', who dismembers his victims  and puts their arms where their legs should be  and their legs where their arms should be.  I must bear this in mind for the next Albert Team Disciplinary Meeting."

Kieran was OK with the paper too...

"Nothing terrible except maybe the nonsense about prime ministerial partners and nothing stand out brilliant or 'well I never knew that'.  Quite a lot of science, Africa and classical music.  Snakes and ladders for KFD there, mostly snakes because of Barry's continuing absence, and especially when David convinced classical music expert Martin that Rachmaninoff had written only 3 piano concertos.  But for once winning the toss and going first worked for us as the Charas got the rougher end of the paper and eight unanswereds to our five.  Plenty of give and take from both sides of the 'yeah that's close enough you can have the points for that' variety though I do have a smidgen of guilt for nicking a bonus on 'Forza Italia' after Gerry had stopped short with just 'Forza'."

Damian and the Charas found it tough going...

"With Graham chairing proceedings in his own unique style (and impressing us all with his brave attempts to pronounce the German questions correctly), we found the quiz on the tough side with ups and downs and a few too many of the latter falling into our lap.  There were certainly some accessible and interesting questions but we had little success in spotting the hidden themes and we found some of the pairings (as so often happens in quizzes) somewhat unbalanced (a confluence of German rivers vs a confluence of Chinese rivers?).  Furthermore trying to multiply the number of one composer's piano sonatas by the number of another composer's symphonies required perhaps a bit too much specialist knowledge of classical music for our tastes."

...and Prodigal Dave sums up thus...

"A good effort from Ethel Rodin.  If you have covered everything from VAR to bechemal, on content alone it is a fair test for both teams."

Bordeaux's two-bodied artist


Question of the Week

This week the Prodigals and the Opsimaths vote for the intriguing football teaser at Round 6 Question 2...

The VAR officials can monitor penalty incidents, offsides, red card incidents and which other type of incident, which doesn't directly involve an infringement of the rules and can occur anywhere on the pitch?

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

...and also

Roddy sends this bit of news...

"By the way, The Red Lion is closing from today until next Wednesday afternoon while it is being taken over by J W Lees. Presumably everything will resume as normal after that."

A rich rabbit