The Withington Pub Quiz League


18th October 2023


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The Prods slip up at home so now we have 6 teams who've only lost once but no team with a 100% record

KFD beat Charabancs

Prodigals lost to Electric Pigs

Albert beat Bards

Ethel Rodin beat History Men

KFD beat Charabancs

KFD luck holds for another 'squeaky bum' one-point victory

... Griffin psychic sees the future in the past

It's déjà vu all over again, again

Yeah ... see last week and any number of trademark KFD clutch wins from last season.  

The psychic advertised on the blackboard outside the Griffin hadn't turned up (presumably he/she didn't get the memo) so we were back in our normal room.  But, and I did give Damian a very clear warning about this last week, the travellers once of Ladybarn had travelled all the way to OUR bench and were in situ, unbecomingly insouciant, when we arrived.  Revenge ..... cold ... or something.  

City's bog roll millionaire and staff


Bob being Bob, hale, hearty and back where he should be, dispensed the quiz  with his customary authority and in pretty short order despite significant conferring on both sides.  It probably helped that I was rather quicker with Rosemary & Thyme for the winning 2 points than I had been when struggling for the current defence secretary's (God help us, every one) real name nearly a year ago.  

Wall-King like Cleese


The last round was a roller-coaster.  We hadn't spotted that it was literally a 'pot pourri' theme by the time Martin missed La Môme Piaf's signature song by a country mile and handed the Charas a bonus and a two point lead with only four questions left.  Fortunately the penny was about as likely to drop with the Charas as it would be in a falls game in an arcade - and Jack Lemmon rather than Art Carney put us back in the lead after we'd finally worked out the theme and Thomas had slotted home the Orange Free State with minimal fuss.  John and I traded twos at the end and that was that for the latest of our 'it ain't over till it's over' relaxing Wednesday evenings.   

An Egyptian dish


With Mike in attendance we knew the scores from the other games much earlier than usual - including the unexpected and, from our point of view, unexpectedly good news from the club.  No clear team to beat after four weeks then and all to play for as we go into WithQuiz's tribute to football's much loved international break.  

Next up it's the Opsis and the Griffin again in two weeks.  Mike don't get any ideas about crossing the floor, you'd be about as well received as Lisa Cameron at an SNP gathering, or anywhere really.  

Hasta la vista, baby.

... and Damian reports from the KFD corner of the Griffin lounge

Last night's proceedings were an exciting, down-to-the-wire affair that hinged on a solitary point in the end that - typical of our luck these days - didn't go our way.  For us, it was a rather disappointing exercise in overthinking the answers to many of the questions and therefore missing out on several twos we could, and probably should, have had since we did actually know the answer.

For example: 'Tony Bennett' which confused me as I never thought of him as a jazz singer although I should have guessed he was the answer from the Lady Gaga clue - and so I chickened out for a one.  Bernard hesitated on the 'TOE' science question and 'Cedar' from the tree flags connection and we could have scored 2 twos there.

In addition, and this has been one of my bugbears for a long time, questions about who won the Oscar should (in my view) relate to the year in which the film was released for which they won it and not the following year when the awards are given out.  Hence I missed out on 'Jack Lemmon' who I knew had won the Best Actor Oscar for 1973 and went instead for Art Carney who won it for a 1974 film (I confess to being a bit of a nerd when it comes to Oscar winners, as I memorised who won Best Actor / Actress, and when, a long time ago).  Anyway, rant over.

So, it was a quiz of missed opportunities for us.  As for sitting in Kieran's favourite seats I plead not guilty as I was the last Chara to arrive and the rest of the team were already happily ensconced in that corner.  I do seem to recall that we beat KFD once before when sitting in those same seats (but maybe my memory is a bit faulty).  

No I'm not Gaga


Prodigals lost to Electric Pigs

Bookies in despair after a stunning 6-point win for the Pigs

... Michael witnesses the Prods shellacking

To say we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory would be to do a disservice to the Pigs, whom we led by between one and 4 points for the first seven rounds, only for them to rack up an enormous score on Pot Pourri (naturally, I heard this as "popery" and, as a good Presbyterian, refused to take any further part in proceedings).  We blurted a few times but, to be honest, we thought the Pigs had the harder set of questions for at least the first half, so a six-point margin in their favour was a real shellacking for us!

United manager checks for gaps in his defensive line up


Albert beat Bards

Albert keep in with the top group

... whilst QM Mike takes lessons from Tony on malevolence

A very high scoring match with few opportunities for conferring.  It was very close until Round 6 when Albert edged ahead and managed to get over the line. 

I QMed last night while Tony assumed the role of baleful presence for The Bards.  It is always interesting to see another malevolent spirit in action and I am always eager to acquire new strategies.  His piece de resistance was to allege that Paul Foot had libelled him, but had come up with the clever escape plan of dying before Tony found out about it. 

Referring to the events of last week Eveline has not yet produced a letter of apology taking the blame for my disastrous performance.  Worryingly she asked if I can lend her my well-used thesaurus of insults, expletives and obscenities.  I fear this cannot bode well for an acceptable letter.

Ethel Rodin beat History Men

Ethel move to the top of the table with a narrow home victory

... Dr James is on hand

A close game throughout, but ultimately tonight’s outcome could be described as the Battle of the Blurts. Even though the most obvious of the History Men’s came in the crucial endgame, I think the blurt points were ultimately shared evenly across the quiz.

Our new player Michael asked afterwards what constitutes a blurt (I hasten to add he was not guilty of any, whereas I and Greg were - twice!).  I think a fair definition is:

'When everyone else in the team would have got two points and then they look at you as if you’re a ****wit after you've come out with a wrong answer even though you could have conferred’.

Scott's Centre


This bad situation is aggravated when the answer you gave is 95% correct, but, alas, 100% wrong.

So, thanks to Tim Fallon and Jennifer Jupiter, the Shoe Bomber and the Little Sparrow went unpunished.

Our aggregate score of 83 points was a good total - and, as ever, to construct a quiz that swings from one team to another  throughout the night and then ultimately boils down to the final question, is an achievement.

The ranking round didn’t rank particularly high in either the points or the popularity rankings, but both teams failed equally badly. There is a 1 in 24 chance of guessing these correctly (I think) and I don’t think we collectively did much better than that.

QotW, which I rarely nominate, has to be the one about the 1975 death of 5-year old Raymond Leitch.  I already knew the answer having read about it in the Oxford Handbook of Emergency Medicine 15 years ago.  But should any of you ever go out onto the heaths of southern England and put yourselves at the mercy of an adder, just remember that there is no UK doctor still practicing who has ever looked after a patient who has been critically ill from this affliction.

Tiptoeing to Number 10 - not


... Ivor blurts in

Our matches against Ethel Rodin, whether league or cup, are always as neck-and-neck and full of incident as a Coe v Ovett race (though perhaps a slightly friendlier rivalry). Tonight was no exception.  We squandered a five point lead (the science round was our undoing losing 8-3) but with two questions to go I had the opportunity to go for the two with the penultimate question to win the game with the Donovan lyric.  Alas I had a mental aberration and blurted Jennifer Jupiter (perhaps reflecting the space probe question that I also got wrong) and the steal was easily taken.

British Jazz Warrior


Anne was not pleased; mainly because it was the second time I had blurted.  Earlier I answered "Tiny Tim Fallon" instead of "Tiny Tim Farron".  Obviously I had confused the one-time Lib Dem leader with the Dynasty character or the champion lady darts player (both of whom have contributed more to the merriment of nations than the earnest latter-day Cumbrian puritan).

Even worse I failed on the two medical questions - though Vanessa spotted the unusual cause of death, and James thought the syndesmotic thingy was in the realm of specialised orthopaedics (which of course he was once, for an easy steal).  The only defence for my poor performance is that I have been retired for three years (so please no-one have an emergency on quiz night!).

Although we lost and remain pointless we do take encouragement from the fact that we have only lost our games by small margins and all our players are scoring well.  Tonight Anne had 6 twos - though I was informed that this is of little consolation when someone (me) is leaking steals like water through a dodgy Dutch dyke with answers that rival my Fu Man Chu blurt which remains unforgotten and unforgiven a decade on. 

"The lamps are going out all over Ladybarn" - Sir Edward Grey after his visit to the Stadium of Murk


Quiz paper set by...

...The Opsimaths

Average Aggregate score 85.0

I was a passive observer this week at the Griffin where I watched the local derby between the Charas and KFD scrupulously officiated by that doyen of QMs, Bob the Hat.

Since the Opsis compiled the paper (well Brian really with his team mates providing a little feedback in the run through last Sunday) I will leave value judgements to the rest of you and just report on what I saw and heard in Heaton Mersey.

And what I saw and heard was generally enthusiastic.  A close contest throughout went down to the last question and everyone got some individual points on the board leading to a bumper aggregate of 81.  In advance I had brazenly predicted to Barry that it would be a 90-pointer (well done Albert and Bards!) but thanks to a dismal Round 2 it missed this target.

The answer to the Towel Day question


Round 2 was problematic for both teams with loads of time spent conferring on every question and very few points scored.  The 'curry strength' one and the 'top to toe afflictions' one did provide some interest but the dropped Olympic sports pair was very much not appreciated.

On the other hand the delicious 'hidden hidden' theme round (as Barry dubbed it) at the end of the evening was much liked.  Bizarrely Barry actually said out loud after the 'Lavender' answer that it was odd that the first answer of the round chimed with the round's title but then both teams ignored the hint until the penny really dropped for KFD towards the end of the round.



... and this is what Kieran thought ...

The Opsis paper was generally well received, or at least 7/8ths of it were.  An aggregate 78 points scored in seven rounds topped up with a stunning 3 from Round 2 which was an idea that should probably have stayed on the drawing board.   

"If you like Humphrey Bogart ..."


... and Mike O'B's view ...

The one weak point in what was a very sound quiz was the Order Order Round where some of the questions (e.g. the pair on Olympic Sports) ended up as a gamble rather than a display of knowledge.

... and Damian's ...

Excellent quiz, as usual, from Opsimath Brian.  We always enjoy his quizzes and tend to do well in them even if the result didn't go our way this time.  Well done!

Who's that Fawkes Guy?


... and Michael Taylor's ...

Brian did his usual good job as a setter with lots of points on offer around the league, it seems.  A round on science is good for a quiz, if not for us, while I was utterly delighted by the absence of any questions on goat-tossing or other delinquent sports.

... and finally Ivor weighs in ...

Another excellent quiz from Brian.  Only 4 unanswereds.

The science did catch us out but the physical sciences are resembling science fiction these days with the TOE and GUT explanations of reality.  There is still a long way to go I suspect.  No one has explained (not even Einstein) that the longer you carry a suitcase the heavier it gets, and that time speeds up as we get older so that Christmas comes every three months. 

Round of the Week (for us) was the drinks connection round and tempted as we might have been to relive our youth with a snakebite or a mild we stuck to our usuals when it came to the consolation 'pints not points'.

London's 1900 Tug-o-War


Question of the Week

This week James chooses the unusual route to death raised in Round 1 Question 8 ...

In 1975, 5-year-old Raymond Leitch was the last person in Britain to die from what?

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

...and also

Next week is the first of the season's 'Free' weeks with no scheduled fixtures.

When the Beeb put Trust in the Brains