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4th October 2023

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Clean sweep for away teams as the two Albert Club teams top the table

(N.B. the Pigs v Bards match has been rearranged for October 25th)

Ethel Rodin lost to Prodigals

History Men lost to Opsimaths

KFD lost to Albert

Electric Pigs v Bards - postponed until Oct 25th

History Men lost to Opsimaths

The Opsimaths extend their good start to the season

Mike reflects on a rumbustious evening

Most of those present had gathered earlier in the day to say a fond farewell to the History Men's erstwhile QM, Mike Hansford.  The atmosphere in the Parrswood, it has to be said, was somewhat rowdier than that at Southern Cemetery.  Alison took the QM seat and made a good fist at keeping order as the match proceeded neck and neck to the final round in which the visitors just squeaked ahead to win by two points.


A Precious Stand-up QUEstion

(R1/Q7)


Ivor, Ann, Vanessa and new boy, Steve were in the History corner with Howell, Hilary, Emma and myself contending for the Opsimaths.  Steve is a worthy addition to the History Men line-up getting a number of points that would otherwise have gone begging.  On the other side Emma (despite bemoaning the preponderance of 'old men' questions) proved her worth not least by guessing Mo'Nique when nobody else had a Scooby.  Hilary proved a picaresque odalisque in Round 1 helping the Opsis to an early lead.

The History Men are nothing if not sporting and (unlike the ruling at the Ladybarn Club reported by James) allowed Hilary two points for answering "Communards" to the 'Revolutionary Socialist Government' question.  Throughout the evening there were a number of disputes around  inaccuracies and ambiguities in the paper but all were resolved amicably thanks to Alison's forbearance.

A late finish but a most enjoyable evening spent by a load of old mates laughing and joking.  Perfect!


Scottish football's great north/south divide

(R5/Q1&8)


Balaam's Ass has his say

Our first home game of the season.  We nearly won, managing to claw back a six point deficit to go into the last round 35 all before suffering two consecutive 'unanswereds' which put an end to our progress.

The damage was done earlier in the 'Bernards' round when we overruled the thoughts of our new member Steve who was rooting for Acker Bilk when we were fruitlessly thinking about Ryder Cup captains - and then by passing over his suggestion of Tony Curtis as the likely madcap comedy star in The Great Race.  Worse thing was we saw both these answers going as 'steals' for the Opsimaths.  However the main reason for our defeat was sealed at the start of the evening when the Opsimaths moved into the Parrswood snug before us and nicked our lucky seats.


A Gentleman's Lady

(R6/Q2)


Alison (Mrs C) was the QM tonight taking up the mantle for Mike Hansford whose funeral was earlier in the day.  She proved a worthy Elisha to Mike’s Elijah (using my primary school RE knowledge to pick a metaphor even better than Balaam’s Ass).  She did require the wisdom of Solomon to adjudicate some answers but everything worked better than a VAR decision (none more so than the 'Elgin City/Ross County' quandary which resulted in the use of a Spare - as did the 'whistleblower' question with confusing dates).


Q gets to grips with Moneypenny

(R5/Q2)


Moonpig dragon

(R7/Q2)


KFD lost to Albert

Last season's champs suffer an early loss at home

Ashton tells us how 'new look' Albert took a big scalp

Albert have a new squad member as well as a new venue this season.  Retired GP Jullien will be adding his knowledge to the collective pool after guesting a few times last term.  Mike, therefore, took his now customary seat as a baleful ghost at the feast.  No doubt a first game of the season against the defending champions had him licking his lips in anticipation of a hefty drubbing and bringing us all in for extra training.  But... we crept ahead in Round 2 and stayed ahead.  An excellent debut from Jullien with some unique answers suggests that maybe we can dream of the top four again.  We are sad not to be having the chance of a three-peat in the WIST trophy.  Surely reigning champions should qualify?  Jurgen Klopp would demand it. 


Chaos Unleashed

(R2/Q4)


A baleful ghost writes in...

I sat this one out but turned up to ensure that the team would be aware of my malevolent presence.  Much to my disappointment the Albert performed very well getting an early lead and gradually building on it.  Concealing my chagrin I will have to wait for some catastrophe further down the line.  The quiz itself was well balanced and the aggregate score suggests that it was accessible.


The Great Leslie

(R3/Q6)


Ethel Rodin lost to Prodigals

The Prods march on

James reports on Ethel's second half rally falling short

"Don’t Leave Me This Way!!"

Slightly disappointed that my answer of “The Communards” wasn’t allowed as a correct answer tonight.  I was obviously referring to Jimmy Somerville and Richard Coles, and not the Paris Commune, even though the Wikipedia article uses the terms ('the Commune' and 'the Communards') interchangeably.  Harsh, and an early blow to Ethel morale.

However, I think I would have been more bothered if the scores were close enough for it to have made a difference.  The Prodigals were on top form.  That we lost by only 6 points was something of a rescue mission.  At one point I think we were 19 behind before some more favourable questions in the second half intervened.  Probably about right in the end because even when well behind, it didn’t feel like we were completely outplayed.  In several rounds, different seat positions would have led to much better scoring for us. 

Thanks to Damian for being QM tonight.

The teams spent a little time afterwards reflecting on the conference taking place in this great city - on the site of a disused railway station.  It was quickly established that none amongst us was likely to be offended by some of the choice words being used to describe some of our current political masters and mistresses.  I suppose we do live in bubbles, especially here in South Manchester - but if anyone asks a question in the remainder of the season about our current home secretary, then I won’t be able to account for the regurgitated contents of my stomach.


Michael sees the Murk lift

Last night the Prodigals decamped to the Stadium of Murk (although, to be fair, it has been well lit since the refurbishment) and came away clutching two dear points.  We raced into a 26-16 lead at the half-way point but simply did not know many answers in the remaining rounds of the quiz, as Ethel closed in.

Afterwards we pondered more important questions such as: "Does anyone know a Tory?"  There was even a leaked sample question from Rishi's new compulsory maths course:

"If a person has seven bins but pays no tax on meat, how long will he spend on a replacement bus service between Manchester and Birmingham?"


Quiz paper set by...

...The Charabancs of Fire

Average Aggregate score 74.3


Well, a good aggregate so everybody scored.  Not many unanswerables and those that there were, were evenly spread.  The content was suitably varied (though Emma would have liked some 1980s R&B music she said) and there was a welcome inclusion of the famous Charabanc Blockbuster round format.  But ...

Inaccuracies.  When it comes to Scottish football league clubs (boring I know) I'm something of an expert.  Stranraer I'm fairly certain is more southerly than Annan - and what's more I'm totally certain that Elgin City is more northerly than Ross County (I've been to both grounds).  To make one mistake is careless but to get both of a pair wrong....


Jowett Javelin:

Ideal for the 1950s supermarket run

(R8/Q5)


Then in Round 3 the question about the US activist and whistleblower had text that seemed to be saying the US Defence documents were leaked in 1987 when in fact 1987 was the birth date of the perpetrator.  This slip caused much confusion at the Parrswood.

Finally the Hidden theme round engineered by Bernard had examples of actual 'Bernards' mixed in with questions where one of the words in the answer could be preceded by 'Bernard' to form another well-known name.  This had me confused though the others at the Parrswood didn't seem to mind it.

All said though the Charas' paper was at the heart of a most enjoyable evening.


... and this is what James thought ...

Seemed like quite a tough set of questions, but I think generally they were well-balanced, both in get-ability and levels of obscurity. The distribution of the unanswered questions was just about shared.  The hidden themes were perhaps a bit obscure (certainly obscure enough not to have mattered), but the questions in those rounds were all decent enough.   


... and Ashton ...

The paper seemed to suit us and everyone chipped in with some important answers.  One or two very hard ones (who is Lee Johnson and are there not hundreds of more notable Lees?) but overall a very good paper.


... and Michael ...

Mostly a good quiz - and thanks to Chara Damian for QMing - although we failed utterly to spot the hidden themes.


... and finally Ivor ...

The quiz itself resulted in a combined score of 76 with seven unanswereds, 19 twos (8-11 to us), and ten 'steals' (6 to the Opsimaths).  So, a usual good effort by the Charabancs with some tricky questions, some quiz classics and the usual 'wrong seat for the question' occurrences for me.  I have all 77 episodes of Game of Thrones downloaded for the day I can get round to watching them - so just too early for me to be able to answer the Blockbuster 'surviving dragons' question.  Dragons were my bęte noire this week as I also failed with the Dragon’s Den dragon.


A Silly Derby every week

(R2/Sp2)


Question of the Week

This week I've chosen the second Spare question from Round 2 about the aptly named football league ...

Which aptly named Football League in the British Isles used to consist of 4 teams before the 1950s but is now only contested by the Woolpack Wanderers and the Garrison Gunners?

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


...and also

Mike Wagstaffe and myself have now agreed the fixtures for the Quarter final matches of the WIST and Lowly Grail competitions which take place on Wednesday November 22nd.  You'll find them on the fixtures page.  We've kept it as fair as we could manage whilst avoiding any double use of venues.


Cumbrians' fairground and racecourse

(R6/Q7)