The Withington Pub Quiz League


26th February 2020


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

This season's WIST final will be Smart Alex against Albert, while the Lowly Grail final will see the History Men up against KFD


Mantis Shrimp lost to Smart Alex

Albert beat Prodigals

Lowly Grail

Alexandra lost to History Men

Ethel Rodin lost to KFD



WIST Champions Cup

Mantis Shrimp lost to Smart Alex

Last season's top team from Stockport beat WithQuiz's runners up in a tense finish

Mike Bath was QMing this one...

Having done the setting it was great fun to QM the Parrswood Hotel tussle between last season's Stockport League winners and our own runners up.  It was close all the way with both teams enjoying the lead at some stage or other.  In the end Greg's Billy Cooper knowledge trumped the Shrimp's collective uncertainty about the Boar's Head on Eastcheap.  A great contest with loads of points on both sides.

Nice one, Patrick


As it happened the 1979 novelty song question about Bangor fell to Rachael and after a great deal of umm-ing and err-ing she scored a memorable 2 points delivering a word perfect first line.  Bravo!  It turns out her Dad used to sing this one as he toured the Northern clubs and over time replaced the pukka lyrics with increasingly obscene versions as he went from club to club.  Apparently the punters never noticed!

The other major revelation to emerge from this cauldron of competition was the fact that in his youth in Peterborough Roddy was once sat upon by one of Billy Smart's Circus's chimpanzees.  I leave the reader to provide the bon mot to sum this up! 

Guinness is not good for you after all


and Smart Alex Greg adds this...

I was part of the Smart Alex team tonight, together with fellow Rodinista, Roddy, and Andrea and George who travelled all the way from Barrow. Mike dragged himself away from watching the Real Madrid v City match on telly to QM his own paper.

The Artist's Best Friend


We took a 5-point lead by half time, which was whittled away during the second half.  It was all square with two questions to go - the mark of a good paper.  We managed a steal on the penultimate question by working out that the Boar's Head tavern on Eastcheap is mentioned in Shakepeare's Henry IV, so took a punt on Henrys IV and V. Fortunately for us, the last question fell to a cricket lover who clocked Billy Cooper as the trumpeter of England's Barmy Army.  A close contest against one of the best teams in WithQuiz.

Corrie clarion call


Albert beat Prodigals

The home team top score to beat the reigning WithQuiz champions

Mike O'B reports...

What a competitive cup tie.  The pattern for us followed its usual course for a WIST competition: we did better under the Stockport format than the WithQuiz version.  We won because of our excellent start; 14 out of 15 questions correct and after that we were always in front.  The quiz was QMed by Eveline in a reasonably professional manner in that she resorted to violence only once against a member of the Albert team.

Falstaff's local on Eastcheap


...and Dave adds...

A superb performance by the Albert was too good for us.  We got 11 out of 15 on the first set of conferred questions, but that wasn't enough to match the Albert's 14 out of 15.  We were 11 down at halfway and clawed our way back to 3 behind before the last round juggernaut of Ashton, Jeremy and the O'Briens crushed our resistance led by a Jimmy WithQuiz maximum (4 two-pointers)

Eveline was a brilliant QM, managing to make herself heard above a drunken football rabble who have changed their minds about VAR.

A fourth successive league and cup defeat for the Prodigals, but what can you do against brilliant opponents?  February has been the cruellest month for us; directly opposite to the form this month of our next opponents KFD.  We are hoping for a better March.  We need it!

Part of Norway that stars on Radio 4 each day


Lowly Grail

Alexandra lost to History Men

History Men cling on for a victory in Edgeley

Mike H is first to dispatch...

Tonight as an observer I watched  an enjoyable contest in darkest Stockport.  The Alexandra was not so easy to find especially as Ivor had to contend with a sat-nav and two back seat drivers (Tim and myself).  We more or less circled Morrison's twice before eventually finding the venue.

The History Men ended the evening 4 points ahead.  The clincher really was Round 4 which the Historians won 9-1, helping them to go in at the end of Round 5 nine points in front.  Despite the Alex winning the last round 6-1, the History Men held on for a good win.

Winning skip, Ivor, adds this...,

Off to Stockport for our European game tonight.  The first challenge was how to get there.  As driver I thought the best bet was the sat-nav.  I have a poor sense of direction - a planet is more likely to deviate from its orbit than me from a route I have been given.  However there were two back seat drivers (Tim and Mike H) who despite 100 years of Stockport knowledge between them barked out instructions at diametric odds to the kindly sat-nav lady.  Examples of conversation:

Tim:  “Don’t go down there we’re not going to **** Cheadle”

Me: “The **** sat-nav says we should turn right”

Tim: “No turn left"

Mike: There’s the Morrisons (this was the second time of passing it).  This is how to get to Edgeley"

Me: "Mike do you actually know where this pub is?”  

Mike: “No” 

We have been to the Alexandra before but maybe a decade ago, or more, in two previous Cup campaigns.  Once we arrived memories flooded back.  Not least the resident parrot (a lady called Mojo).  I am uncertain of the species but she had mostly grey plumage and a remarkable ability to mimic a referee’s whistle and a mobile phone.  There may be more impressive examples of her lexicon but she was largely silent tonight (maybe she was not sure what to make of our team regulars).  If she starts saying “Chough me” we will know who to blame.

Our previous meetings with the Alexandra resulted in sound beatings so we did not have very high hopes of either a draw or a win tonight.  We finished Round 1 a point behind (21-22), lost further ground in the written Round 2 (9-11) and only caught up with the WithQuiz style rounds (winning those 22-15).  Going into the last round we were 9 points ahead and although we had our usual implosion (losing that round 1-6) the late charge by the Alex was not enough.

Anyhow a very enjoyable evening with old friends.  Stockport’s Mike and Barry are regulars  at Mike Bath’s monthly Monday Albert Club quizzes (as part of the Stockport Reivers team).

We now meet either Ethel or KFD in the final.  Let’s hope this Covid19 business does not lead to postponement of the match or even the extermination of our team!

Ethel Rodin lost to KFD

KFD beat the current WithQuiz league leaders

James checks in for the losers...

Ethel (Geoff and myself with Lloyd and John returning for this competition) lost by 5 points to KFD (their 'classic' line-up minus Barry).

After 12 pairs of questions in Round 1 it was 24-11 to them so we did well to claw back most of the deficit.  Four questions went unanswered in that round, all of which fell to Ethel.

I got some stick for not recognising the astragalus, having never seen the talus called that in my 25 years of doctoring.  Perhaps because it’s an odd bone that hardly ever breaks (although when it does it can be a disaster) it’s hardly ever mentioned.  Meanwhile Geoff dredged up armpit for oxter.

Oz's capital cricket venue


with Kieran somehow combining Ladybarn and Madrid...

Our second trip of the season to our favourite league venue and our second win against the current WithQuiz table toppers.  We haven't lost in Ladybarn since January 2008 with fourteen wins and two draws in all competitions in that period.  We were quietly pleased when the semi-final draw had us heading to Ladybarn yet again. 

We were three-handed tonight; Dhani is settling in at a new school, well you know how it is.  But 'Patient Zero' is now fully recovered and was back to his accustomed form as we stretched our lead to seven points after the first Stockport round and then nine at the end of the superbly inventive written round. 

After the half time break a lot of things happened very quickly. Most of them 900 miles away in Madrid, but they were sufficient to cause David and I (and even neutral Grimbarian Martin) to ape Rodri, Otamendi and Walker and lose focus to the extent that we only led by three with two rounds left.  But then the dodgy, petrodollar-stuffed Italian ref brought matters to an end at the Bernabéu and we returned to the business at hand, seeing out an unusually comfortable win on Ethel's turf.  In fairness I should point out that Rodinista stalwarts Greg and Roddy had embraced the lure of the 'Big Cup' and were busy elsewhere helping Smart Alex into the WIST final. 

A win's a win for all that, and, in this weirdest of seasons for us, we have a final to play and a chance of silverware.  This will be our ninth final in the thirteen years of Withington/Stockport competition and we have an unsettling record.  All four victories have come against Stockport teams (Chunky and the Alexandra twice each) and three of our four defeats have been at the hands of Withington opponents (Bards twice and the Shrimp last year).  Pied Piper Ivor's band are the only one of the four finalists to have previously triumphed in the relevant competition and I'm sure they'll be looking to add to their 2015 win.  But with five consecutive victories we seem to be finding some form at the business end of the season and the two league games against the Historymen have produced an aggregate 73-72 total, just in our favour, so we have hopes.  We also have the opportunity to do what no other team from either league has managed and complete a career grand slam of all available trophies, even including the 'Question Of The Season'. 

Becoming Pep is on hold for now and we have won nothing this season, so I'm off to dream about Gabigol, Raz, the Ginger Prince (mmmm ginger....) and beautiful, beautiful Ramos red cards.  

Warner Brothers' Best Friend


Quiz paper set by...

...WithQuiz (Mike Bath)

Average Aggregate score 107.0

Well, the aggregate average was highish compared to past average scores on papers of this sort, so that was a positive.  Also the balance seems to have worked out OKish since the results were all fairly close .

Kieran was complimentary about Round 2 which pleased me since I had worked hard during the setting process to try and ensure that the theme in this round was perfectly gettable after a couple of questions and did actually help the process of arriving at each answer.  It is very tempting as a setter to err on the side of using a theme to try and beat the quizzers rather than offer them help.

Manchester's Whit Walks


Ivor has his say on tonight's offering...

"Tonight’s quiz was set by Mike B and it certainly bore the hallmarks we all enjoy, with inventive themes and questions that were tough but which could be dredged up by our ageing brains.  Tim impressed us with his knowledge of T S Eliot and I received a withering look by not knowing the alternative name of the talus (Tim rescued me here).  My excuse is that the part of my course about the anatomy of the foot fell at the end of the second term by which time I had realised that germs were more interesting than bones."

...and Mike H...

"An enjoyable quiz, with a few impossible questions (at least from my point of view), a few 'wrong seats' and a very enjoyable literary round."

...and Greg...

"The match was a high scoring affair, especially on the Stockport half of the paper, with very few unanswered questions in a well-balanced set. "

...and James W...

"It was an enjoyable quiz played in a great spirit.  There were several 50/50s that went wrong for both teams but everything seemed to even out in the end.

We all liked the 'Countdown' Round 2.

As a native of Handsworth in NW Birmingham, I was hoping for a 'hands' reference in Round 5 but sadly the setter  didn’t think it was worthy."

...and Mike O'B relieves my anticipated dread with these comments...

"The quiz was well balanced and we enjoyed some of the innovative tweaks to the rounds such as the 'countdown' theme and the book chapters.

We had approached the evening with trepidation, Lord Bath being renowned for his brutal quizzes.  But it turned out to be balanced and fair although Jeremy was left mumbling about the validity of the alternative name for the ankle bone.  Nevertheless we left the Bowls club with a warm glow, a mood enhanced when Eveline decided to set fire to the straw dummy she had made of Lord Bath, but in celebration rather than the night of rage she had anticipated."

...and finally Dave R offers this cheering feedback under the heading 'Quiz: A pile of sh** just joking'...

"A well crafted effort from Lord Bath, full of imaginative themes.  It was very well balanced and personally I was amused that an educated surgeon couldn't dissect your medical questions.  Good paper Mike."

The Raft of the Medusa


Question of the Week

I've yet to get any nominations for QotW from competitors so I'll indulge myself by picking one from the setter's point of view.  Lyrics questions are always fun to read out so how about Round 1 Question 30...

“Ba deedily deedily deedily dum, boo boo bee doo!” are the concluding lyrics of a song that featured in which 1959 Oscar winning comedy film?

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

Well, somebody's perfect!


...and also

Dave Rainford sent me this note that just goes to show how high up the pecking order WithQuiz is these days...

"Some of the elite of UK quizzing took part in a national Speed Quizzing event in York last week.  WithQuiz's own Ashton Davies finished in the top ten beating luminaries such as Paul Sinha and Kevin Ashman, and low lights like David Rainford.  The Turing Testers livewire Joe Hanson also performed very respectably.  Well done."

Congratulations Ashton!

Napoleon Crossing the Alps