The Withington Pub Quiz League


11th March 2020


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

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All thoughts this week are on the sad loss of Dave and the enormous gap he leaves


It ain't half hot at the top - Ethel lose to the Shrimps and the Prods beat the Pigs - 2 points separate the top 3 with two to play

Electric Pigs lost to Prodigals

Bards beat Charabancs

Opsimaths beat History Men

Ethel Rodin lost to Mantis Shrimp

KFD conceded to Turing Testers

Opsimaths beat History Men

A good win for the home side who still have an eye on a top 4 finish

Mike Bath was on hand...

A sombre atmosphere at the start with all us, including Jeremy our borrowed QM, reminiscing about Dave.  I say 'all of us' but in fact there were only 6 players, since Brian is opting out for the rest of the season with Jitka in the 'Coronavirus most vulnerable' category, and Ivor was in quarantine having chosen the last few days for a short holiday break in Florence (see below for his report from the front line).  We opted to play with the missing seat in both teams being taken in turn by one of the 3 players and it worked fine.

As the evening wore on the mood lightened assisted by Jeremy who was able to fill us in on the process behind the paper's setting as well as embroider some of the answers with extra gobbets of information.  Nick was on imperious form and in his wake the Opsimaths coasted to a  welcome victory after quite a few torrid weeks at the quiz front.

We were all glad to be quizzing and enjoying each other's company but well aware that there are a lot more important things in life.

So good Watford employed him twice


Isolation doesn't stop Ivor the Intrepid...

Sorry to have missed the quiz tonight.  Alison and I arrived back from a 'Saturday to Wednesday' city break in Florence and it was not the most successful holiday we have had.  All was open on Saturday night but on Sunday the museums, and even the churches, closed throughout Italy.  The northern provinces (including Florence, even though it is quite far down Italy) were declared a red zone, so it rather put paid to the planned trip up the Cathedral dome.  The army turned out (as if we Brits would have stormed the 463 steps to the top!).

Otherwise the weather was pleasant, the shops and eating establishments remained open and the locals got on with life.  Florentines are not usually fazed by anything.  In 1348 Florence was the second biggest city in Italy (after Milan) and half the population died in the space of six weeks from the Black Death.  Within a decade or two it was the cultural centre of the Renaissance (it probably helped that the people who died left their money to those still alive!).

Eurion constellation; small yellow rings on left hand side between ‘£20’ and Her Maj


The tourist trade (in 2020) was obviously already affected by concerns about Covid19 with only nine rooms of our 55 room hotel occupied.  On Monday night we ate in a trattoria that had just one other couple eating, honeymooners from Australia.  On Tuesday the whole of Italy became a red zone.  We only learned from Sky News (at 17.40) that this meant all eating establishments, bars and shops closed at 18.00 so our last meal was some hurriedly purchased crisps and Snickers Bars, and a bottle of Prosecco (mercifully from a supermarket and not the mini-bar).  As we left the store the shutters came down.  We did worry if we would get home.

Barry Burn: One in a Hole


Fortunately the trains were still running on Wednesday morning and we managed to get the Easyjet from Pisa.  It might well be one of the last flights out of Italy for some time.  Good old Ryanair and the nation’s favourite airline, BA, had already shown their customer service qualities by cancelling all flights.  Some of you might think this is possibly a good idea to keep the virus out, but it is already here and whether the UK does any better than the Northern Italians (whose medical services and intensive care facilities are excellent) remains to be seen.  At the time of writing Italy has had 12,000 cases and over 800 deaths - only three weeks ago they had the same number as the UK has now.  It is certainly ironic that one of the early UK cases is the Health Minister.  However our Public Health response has been excellent and scientifically and medically evidence-based; Boris does seem to be listening.  I can only reiterate James’s advice last week of self-isolation (if you have a respiratory infection), hand-washing, cough/secretion control, social distancing (if you have other risk factors), and just generally looking out for each other.  We are all in this together.  Meanwhile I too have to follow latest advice and self-isolate for 14 days (though I remain well) and unless national advice changes I will miss the quiz next week too (and work except for work at home).

Ivor goes viral in Florence

Hitchcock goes all colourful


Ethel Rodin lost to Mantis Shrimp

Ethel just hang on at the top but its 'squeaky bum' time for the next fortnight

Ethel's James reports...

Ethel had the rub of green with the questions in the first half and were 6 or 7 ahead at one point.  However the early bias evened out in the second half and we stopped scoring points in Round 7 before choosing very poorly in Round 8.

A far better match than the reverse fixture had been.

Electric Pigs lost to Prodigals

Many thoughts of a great friend

Jimmy was there and reports on an extremely emotional night all round...

Me and Dave had an agreement this season; like Gerard Houllier and Roy Evans, he'd do the defeats and I would do the victories.  OK.  That's the way the mop flops.

As I left the house this evening there were a few little reminders that things were not the same.  No need to fish out a spare pad of papers for yer man; no need to dig out another pen from the drawer full of crap.  Bus and tram to Didsbury, rather than the usual routine of picking the other fella up on Clippers Quay.  After all, there was drink to be had and Dave would understand that.

Big Rainford-shaped hole in the Prodigals. Felt it a lot tonight; Anne-Marie, Kate, John and Mike all did.

Glad we played though.  Electric Pigs were great hosts and Albert skipper Mike the perfect QM.

Big thanks to all the teams in the league. We have felt the love from you all in the past few days and we truly appreciate it.

Ernst von Dohnanyi, Hungary’s star composer


Bards beat Charabancs

Bards just get there on the last pair

Damian reports...

What can I say except this was yet another sadly typical performance from the Charas.  Maybe the fact that QM Mike kept referring to me as 'Jamie' for the first half of the quiz was an ominous sign (I wouldn't mind but he had addressed me by my correct name the previous week when he QMed our match against the History Men).

On this occasion we led in every round until the very last one when, ironically, the bingo format did for us once again.  Whoever thought that concept up?  No, don't bother answering.  We have obviously offended the quiz gods in some grievous way.  Now if only someone will tell us how and what we might do to regain their favour, we promise they will earn our undying gratitude and, more importantly, free beer for the rest of the season.  Please form an orderly queue. The quiz gods may be laughing at us but we feel sure that our sadly departed mate, dear Dave Rainford, would have had kindly and comforting words for us.  Now that he has left us, I'm sure we are all feeling the need for those!

The Bards beat us on twos scored (8 to our 6) and on 'steals' (5 to our 4) - which is why they squeezed us out at the very end despite having trailed in every previous round.  All the members of our team bar one scored at least one two with Gerry and John racking up 3 apiece.  I'll leave you to guess who the 'bar one' was!

"...and here's to you Mrs Murdoch"


QM Mike adds this...

Perhaps not the most entertaining quiz, but as ever a very entertaining evening.  The Bards just squeezed home on the very last question, though they'd really won it the question before with Tony's astute Bingo choice of 'Shopping'.  The question of the evening, as no doubt others will tell you, was the combination of Sylvia Kristel with the Methodists - and the most 'so what' question was the one that informed us that 'hwaet' translated to mean 'so'!

Charas started well (6-2 up in the first round) and they maintained their lead throughout, sometimes three ahead, sometimes four, until the last round which they lost 6-2 - so indeed it was a well- balanced quiz...

We'd of course started the evening thinking of Dave, and we dedicated the quiz to him, as I imagine everyone else in the league would have done.

KFD conceded to Turing Testers

KFD were unable to muster a team for this match

(The Testers will be awarded 2 points for a victory.  The scores will be registered in the table as if the Testers scored the average of the scores achieved by this week's winning teams, and as if KFD scored the average for the losing teams)

Quiz paper set by...


Average Aggregate score 70.3

In our match at the Albert Club Nick tells me there were 19 unanswered questions (i.e. almost 30%) which is pretty high so it was quite a tough paper.  On the plus side however there was plenty of subject matter to chew on and what I thought was the best constructed Hidden theme round for a while at Round 6.  It offered plenty of hints early on in the round - with a few red herrings - and then the penny dropped and we homed in on the right theme which duly paid us back by helping out with the final few questions.

Pure Bad Manners from Margate


Damian's take on the paper...

"We thought that tonight's paper from the Albert was reasonably well-balanced and varied enough to excite at least momentary interest from everyone present."

“Jesus was a black man / No Jesus was Batman / No, no, that was Bruce Wayne”


Question of the Week

This week the Bards and the Charas were unanimous that the first question in the Run-ons round (Round 4 Question 1) should  take the biscuit...

Dutch actress who starred in the Emmanuelle series of films, and as Constance Chatterley in 1981


Nickname given to Paul Flowers, sometime chairman of the Co-op Bank, after his conviction for drugs offences in 2014.

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

Now that's what I call Co-operation!


...and also

Here's a link to the QuizBiz page published last Saturday carrying all the tributes to our friend Dave Rainford QB.

A couple of matters relating to Dave's memory...

  • I have received an email from Steve Lilley, a friend of Dave's from the national quiz circuit, paying tribute to Dave and asking whether our league would mind if a new national competition (the England Regional Quiz Championships) named the winner's prize 'The Dave Rainford Trophy'.   Both Anne-Marie and I think this would be an excellent idea.  I will reply to Steve accordingly.

  • ...and with that in mind what do you think about renaming the annual WithQuiz League trophy 'The Dave Rainford Shield'?

Finally Ivor (lost in Italy during the tragedy of the last few days) sends this heartfelt memory of Dave...

"I am as shocked as everyone else about the far too early passing of our WithQuiz colleague and friend David Rainford.

The first time I became aware of Dave and his great quizzing prowess was as long ago as 1989 (or possibly 1990).  The History Men first started as a team in 1989 at Gerry Hennessey’s Red Lion Monday Night Quizzes.  One night one of our then members, Mick Taylor, pointed Dave out.  He said 'Do you see that man at the bar- that’s Big Dave.  If you can tell him the name of any pub within 20 miles of here that has one particular type of quiz machine that he doesn’t already know about, he will give you £10'.  That was the first time I had heard you could actually make a living from quizzing.  Dave’s trajectory in the quizzing world went onwards and upwards, but it was indeed his likeability and human warmth that was his greatest attribute.  I remember a few years ago after a quiz at the Fuel cafe we were all drinking afterwards when he was recognized as The Egghead's 'Tremendous Knowledge' by some of the students who frequented that table top quiz.  Dave happily posed for selfies and engaged in banter.  None of the Meghan Markel-like airs and graces with Dave!  He will be greatly missed."