The Withington Pub Quiz League


10th November 2021


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

Ethel stay top - just - with the Prods and KFD in hot pursuit

(sorry about the late publication of the complete Home page - family commitments have intervened throughout Thursday)

Electric Pigs lost to KFD

History Men beat Charabancs

Prodigals beat Bards

Ethel Rodin beat Opsimaths

Electric Pigs lost to KFD

KFD keep up their title challenge at the Moss

Kieran offers this week's football analogies...

Well that was weird.  The Albert set more classical music questions than any other team (I think) and, sure enough, Round 1 was entirely devoted to that subject.  It's safe to say that it's not the Pigs favourite topic whereas we had Martin and David in the side so Barry and I just sat back and watched the points rack up.  We ended the first round leading 8-0 and won the game overall by six points so the result was pretty much settled right at the start.  I suspect we have Jeremy to thank for that early points haul but there's not much more we can do than smile gratefully in his general direction, which I'm doing as I write.  Honest.

Round 2 followed, as is the norm, and it was crazily unbalanced with the Pigs getting fairly straightforward British towns in pop song titles and KFD receiving rather more difficult American equivalents - until the Albert had a crisis of conscience and threw me the most ridiculously easy two for Vienna.  For some reason David always gets irritated when I get an easy maximum so I'm clearly not getting the 'There's no I in team' bollocks across to him.  Maybe Ole or Cristiano could give me some tips.  Then again...

"Keep 'em peeled"


After the early music rounds not much else happened.  We maintained our lead and despite a latish start the quiz was finished by 10.00 on the dot.   Mike Heale always used to like this news so congratulations to the Albert in fulfilling the setters first duty - not boring the arse off everyone.   Somewhere in the middle of the quiz my uber-nerdy obsession with American politics paid off as I scored a point for 'cloture' being the term for the process used in the Senate to end a filibuster.  Anyone else who got that you are much, much sadder than you know.

Big flag for a little place


So we're just about hanging on to the leaders, Ethel and the Prodigals in the early table.  The reunited flab (that's not a typo) four have done enough to merit another run out at the club next week to see if we can maintain our respectable early season form.  I fear we may have become West Ham which would make me the Moyesiah.  Hmm maybe getting thumped by the Opsis wouldn't be so bad. 

Ah, the Opsis at the club, scene of so many epic battles, so many season defining moments, a storied match to rival anything Milan, Manchester or Madrid can serve up.  The friendly derby.  Yeah, right.

History Men beat Charabancs

The History mob sneak into 4th place with a win at the Red

Damian pens another of his 'philosophical' pieces...

As the scores indicate, we let Sam Beckett down by not failing anywhere near good enough to come within striking distance.  Even the daunting presence of our former captain, Father Megson (recently released on parole), was insufficient to intimidate our opponents into forgetting enough answers to give us a fighting chance.  To add insult to injury, the bar actually ran out of bitter towards the end of proceedings (come back Marstons, all is forgiven!).  Maybe the forthcoming refurbishment will include extending the beer cellar to accommodate a few extra barrels but we're not holding our breath! 

Scotland's brooch


Smiley Ivor chips in...

Our first game in the Red Lion since 4/3/20 which was also against the Charas.  We won that game by 9 points but tonight we went two better.  Historically (and we have been playing the Charas since 2002) our games tend to be much closer. It was a superior two rate (our 9 to their 7) and steal rate (our 8 to their 4) that did the damage.

Quite a tough quiz tonight with 13 unanswereds but they did break 7-6 so paper moderation by the Albert was very good.  Jeremy from the Albert kindly acted as QM since our pool of talent was further diminished by holidays.  Holidays in the quiz season?  I'm losing my grip as self-appointed captain.  Apart from the stats, how was the night? To plagiarise Rachel, it was a convivial evening despite the Red Lion running out of bitter(!).  Incidentally the planned refurbishments are not far off and a builder I passed on Monday delivering materials said it might be a four-month closure.  We await official announcements.  The Historymen will probably relocate to the Parrswood or the Albert Club for home games depending on other fixtures that night. 

and Mike's thoughts...

I was in the team due to others being unavailable - and I was getting very frustrated.  Thank goodness I could provide one two (the Kojak question) and somehow get the Owl for a one.  After just four questions, I made a note about the one-sidedness of the quiz - switching from Opera to Abba!

A minor quibble would be that Sancho's donkey was not given a name by Cervantes (though I do remember that in English, the name was Dapple).  A couple of the rounds were rather abstruse: Birds (that round got the bird in fact!) and Rutland.  Ann was moved to hilarity by the question on the flag of Rutland - nevertheless, she got the answer right.  Many thanks to Jeremy of Albert for QMing so ably, and being very interesting  to listen to afterwards.

Just a little "irrational exuberance"


A poet more celebrated in his death than his life


Prodigals beat Bards

The Prodigals win a close encounter at the Club

Jimmy sums up...

Caution pays!  So sang George and Andrew in more innocent days.  And this adage proved true as the Prodigals saw off a determined challenge from the dogged Bards in a very close contest. 

The more conservative approach was favoured by your humble scribe who chose to confer on three first round questions when a two was quite firmly in his grasp.   Cue howls of disapproval from QM Anne-Marie.  My feeble response was “it‘s all about game management” but to be honest, at the back of my mind was an awful blurt in our last game against the Bards which not only cost us the match but ultimately the league too. 

Maybe those four seasons watching West Ham under Sam Allardyce had taken a bigger toll on my psyche than I’d realised. Respect the point indeed… 

So, as we trailed the Bards by three points at the turnaround, three points that you could definitely lay at my door.  The young (and not so young) guns did indeed have to go for it. 

But as an older and better-rounded George later sang… "you gotta have faith". And confidence in my team mates to turn around the deficit was not ill-judged.  New(ish) Prod Richard started the fightback with a good steal on the Mad Men question.  Michael was his usual assured self with John turning out to be our MVP with successive correct answers in the Run On round turning the contest in our favour. 

The Bards led for most of the game and can consider themselves a little unlucky. Tony was in fine fettle, and it was good to see him robustly clashing with Anne-Marie on the exact location of the grave of Princess Alice. 

QotW?  I’d plump for the 'Major Charles Ingram' one.  In a week which found me getting up an hour early to watch the latest episode of Succession, it’s sobering to realise that this excellent performer might not even be in the top three actors on that great show.

French author in his barefoot phase


Ethel Rodin beat Opsimaths

Ethel just cling on as the Opsis fail on the final 'Ethel' question

Our reporter Mike ventured to deepest Ladybarn...

What a pleasant evening in Ladybarn at the best appointed Club in South Manchester (apart, of course, from the Albert Club).  They really have worked hard to produce a cosy atmosphere redecorating throughout and removing the somewhat gaudy picture of Marilyn Monroe in the process.  When I arrived a tad early I congratulated the barmaid on the smart appearance and referred to the bad old days of the White Swan.  I got a withering look that shrieked back "Don't mention the White Swan".

Battenberg and Olives


Ethel are a finely honed team that efficiently cover most of the bases of knowledge required for a top flight quiz team - with if anything a penchant for classical music questions, that as we know, always seem to get relegated in favour of second-rate 'here today gone tomorrow' pop trivia.  But, hang on a moment!  Round One all about classical music!  Roddy and James were in their seventh heaven.

Never mind Roddy, Greg and James, let's have  a shout-out for Geoff.  Loyal Rodinista for more years than he cares to remember and dyed-in-the-wool Notts County supporter.  The scene as he struggled (unsuccessfully as it happens) to dredge up Telly Savalas' name with his three team mates directing telepathic messages in his direction amounted to a perfect tableau of a quiz evening in miniature.

The basic passage of the match was a whopping lead for Ethel after the classical music starters followed by the Opsis clawing back to level pegging in Round 8 only - ironically - to fail on the 'Ethel' question at the death.

A keenly fought match which went down to the wire followed by lots of sociable chat.  What more could you wish for on a Wednesday evening in Ladybarn?

Ethel's Peak; it's downhill all the way from here


and James reports in from the winner's enclosure...

From last week‘s final question which was perhaps the easiest question we’ve ever had (and I hope no matches depended on the 'Brave Springs' answer) to this week’s final question which might well have been one of the hardest. That did fortunately work in Ethel’s favour last night, when Opsimaths needed two points for the win and one point to tie.

(Ed: Post-match chit chat elicited the fact that a certain other member of James' household, namely Lucy Powell MP, is appearing tonight on Question Time from Hartlepool alongside Alistair Campbell)

Quiz paper set by...


Average Aggregate score 71.0

Another excellent paper as the comments below attest.  A lower average score than of late, but pretty respectable nonetheless, and plenty of interest in the subject matter covered.  A whole round on Rutland! (for the next Opsimaths paper I'm considering a round on Clackmannanshire which I visited recently for a hill-walking weekend).  Unashamed multigenerational classical music right up front!

This was an intelligent and finely constructed quiz with good balance planned in.  At the Ladybarn Club we were all appreciative.  If I had one small quibble it was on the final question of the evening (which interestingly referenced the setter's wife).   The scores were very close and both teams were stopped in their tracks by some fairly contorted wording.  I think there were about 3 interventions during which we sought clarification from the QM as to what the question-setter actually wanted for the answer.  As it happened it didn't matter because neither team knew the answer anyway.

Many thanks Albert for entertaining us.

so what did Jimmy think...

The quiz itself was well-balanced and reasonably tough. Gripes? I could have done without the Cock Robin pair though this might be because one fell to me.  I was also glad we’d wrapped up the points before the last question which I thought was a bit 'chewy'.  But minor quibbles... really, a very good paper.

Pyxie lot


and Damian...

We found tonight's paper a little on the tough side.  I counted 10 unanswered questions which, unfortunately, fell 7/3 to us.  Nonetheless there was a fair amount of variety to whet most appetites from across the age spectrum.  On the plus side, each Chara scored at least one two-pointer and therefore earned the right to try and do Sam a tad prouder in next week's proceedings.  Everyone bar 'yours truly' managed a couple of twos.  If only I had had the nerve to join them by going for it on the city known as the 'brooch of Scotland'.  Must try and fail better next time!

Sheffield's answer to everything


and Ivor...

Did we like the questions?  Generally yes and it was pleasing to have classical culture (a whole round on proper music) as well as the more transient popular culture and current affairs. We were unable to get even one letter correct in the COP26 question (though the Charas did) and I am not sure if there were any correct letters for SAGE from either side. We also struggled with half-remembered childhood rhymes concerning the unlawful killing of cock robin. If Jeremy was the defence counsel would the sparrow have pleaded  diminished responsibility?  After all how safe is it to trust a sparrow with a bow and arrow.  Education of birds seems to have fallen somewhat in the Gavin Williamson era as it has been some time since a rook was seen with a book.  And practical classes, once prevalent in the secondary modern establishment, would once upon a time have seen many owls adept with a trowel - but no longer.  Tim would have appreciated a whole round on Rutland as a counter-balance to his round on the Scottish islands but sadly it did prove a tad difficult.

There was much thought on who was the first declared gay Tory MP.  My guess of Jock Bruce-Gardyne (very Tory, but very straight) might have been libellous were he not also very dead (in 1990).  Gerry plumped for Ben Bradshaw (gay, alive but very Labour).  It is interesting that no one really cares anymore about MPs sexuality.  Compare that with the days when Maureen Colquhoun was vilified coming out as a lesbian, and Tom Driberg and Jeremy Thorpe had to keep their heads down.  And now we fret in case people feel mispronounced, or feel aggrieved if 2SGBLTQQIA+ fails to be inclusive enough (by the way, it appears 'P' should be added to the acronym to include 'pansexual').

So big it wouldn't fit into the county


and finally James...

Overall, we thought it was a good quiz.  Perhaps the balance in the Run Ons round favoured the Opsimaths in that all of their questions seemed straightforward and didn’t require conferring, but ours all landed wrong and did.

There were some grumbles about a round predominantly based on classical music.  I don’t think there are much grounds on which to complain; almost all of the questions there were mainstream classical questions, akin to a pop music round based on the Beatles, Elvis, Michael Jackson and Madonna.  That said, A Lincoln Portrait by Copeland is very much more obscure than Peter and the Wolf - and I suspect every team on the night plumped for ‘Prokofiev’ first time round, only to then groan when the second question came up.  

Slightly disappointed that The Ruttles and Eric Idle’s 1970s comedy programme didn’t make an appearance in the Rutland round. 

Overall a relatively lower scoring quiz than recent weeks but generally fair with unanswered questions distributed evenly.

Question of the Week

This week Jimmy has opted for Round 5 Question 8...

Which actor, who was educated at Oakham School, has recently won plaudits for his portrayal of Major Charles Ingram in the 2020 TV adaptation of James Graham’s play Quiz and for his role as Tom Wambsgans in the current hit Succession?

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

A Wang creation