WIST Champions Cup
KFD beat Flying Horse
KFD edge a close contest
describes a wonderful evening with the Flying Horse
One of the great pleasures of inter-league evenings
is visiting new pubs and experiencing the atmosphere
and vibe of a hostelry which is not on the workaday
league rota. Over the years we've had many
such evenings: epic battles with Chunky in The
Pineapple, a total-chasing in The Tiviot (which was
demolished by the wrath of god shortly afterwards),
tussle after tussle in the
Alexandra (within walking distance for Martin
and me), and many other memorable nights in The
Printers, The Heatons Rugby Club and, best of all,
the wonderful Travellers Call.
So, tonight the Flying Horse got to savour the
semi-overheated (Barry removed at least one layer
during proceedings) Living Room of The Griffin in
all its ordinariness. We had hoped to add the
Gatley barn to our list of venues, but the Flying
Horse are tight on numbers and had requested an away
fixture so that they didn't have to provide a QM -
more on him later.
It was the most enjoyable quiz evening we've had in
many years. Our opponents were - Rachael
alert - the most convivial of companions and a damn
fine quiz team to boot. We took a lead in the
Stockport format, were pegged right back in the
written round and after that there was never more
than one point in it until David scored our second
and final two on question five of the last round.
The events of last Sunday in Buenos Aires mean that
Bogota Bob's beloved continent is once again facing
uncertain times and so it's fortunate that he now
has a couple of months on his hands without quiz
interference to work what magic he can. Tonight's
news indicates he might want to take a side trip to
The Hague as well if he can squeeze it in. Those of
you who are old enough, which is pretty much all of
us apart from Prodigals Michael and Richard, will
remember the Tom Lehrer quote "Political satire
became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the
Nobel Peace Prize". Well as you probably
understood at the time, the Kissinger business was
all a snow job. People like Bob, and there are
very, very few people even remotely like Bob, move
in the shadows and the half spaces and if they're
ever glimpsed in public it's fleeting and at the
very edge of the picture. But they
So, we wished Bob a happy everything from
Thanksgiving to Valentine's Day including the Feast
of the Immaculate Conception, which Barry, being a
heathen, doesn't understand. And we hope we'll see
Bob healthy and safe in a couple of months when
he'll tell us not one word of what he's been up to
in the intervening weeks.
It looks like the Cups may well provide our best
chance of silverware this season and the WithQuiz
clean sweep tonight means that we won't have a new
world to conquer in the semi final. Alexander
the Great and Eric Bristow would weep at such a
We're setting next week, don't think I've left any
hostages to fortune in this report but we'll find
out once the reviews are in.
And finally this from John Palmer, the exceptionally
genial (and knowledgeable) leader of the Flying
"Excellent quiz, very enjoyable. We arrived with no
expectations but were surprised to find ourselves in
contention until the last five or six questions
where KFD got their first twos to edge us out.
Chapeau to the QM."
Thank you, John, for that and for an excellent
evening. Chapeau indeed to the man in the
hat. Go well and we'll see you in the New Year.
Two of the four M&S Oscars
Prodigals beat Alexandra
The Prods get the better of the habitual
'European' performers from The Alex
gets his Carlows and his Wicklows muddled
Convivial evening as per usual down the Albert Club
as we hosted some of Stockport’s finest. Kate
had eyeballed them as regular winners of a Monday
night quiz she takes part in, so we knew we were in
for a tough test. Our recent upturn in
fortunes continued and we led 35-25 after the
Stockport rounds. With four rounds in the
WithQuiz format to see us home we managed to grind
out the win - though we did have a bit of a shocker
on the innovative triple run-on round. Mainly
down to me blurting Carlow where my Granny 'Mad'
Maggie Murphy hailed from, rather than the required
Stella as QM was her usual gracious self though she
did blot her copybook by not dishing out the sheets
provided for the written round. Thankfully
there were no ten point deductions for this
Afterwards, the talk turned to the price of fish and
the dearth of decent chippies in the Manchester area
- though the Atlantic Fish Bar in Chorlton, and
Armstrongs of Prestwich
(home of the jumbo cod)
were mentioned favourably in dispatches.
Now that's what I call a Real eyebrow
Railway lost to Ethel Rodin
Another close run thing - but Ethel prevailed
tells how every one of Ethel's members played a part
Wow! A clean sweep for WithQuiz.
Probably not the healthiest of outcomes for the
future of this particular competition, but something
we can be collectively proud of.
The Stockport league style questions are all
conferred meaning that a standout quizzer (such as
The Railway’s 2022 Mastermind champion Alice
Walker) has the potential to carry a team to regular
success in their league. However, the way our
WithQuiz questions are presented gives the rest of
the team nowhere to hide, and so the quiz becomes a
proper team game. It certainly felt that way.
There are times when Greg could be said to fill the
'Alice role' for us - and of course, he often does -
but the rest of the team (tonight Roddy, John and I)
all made full contributions.
The first round saw some very high scoring -
essentially shared between both teams - with the
only difference between us being Faisalabad.
Every other question was answered; we got two
bonuses and they got three. Ethel are a good
conferring side, and everyone had something to offer
Second round was nine all. John and Roddy
suggested the obscure Vaughan Williams opera
(obscure to me, even as an RVW fan) and The Railway
got Lutyens when we went for one of the Scotts.
Neither team got Singer Sargent, although we had
50/50’d him with Whistler.
The WithQuiz rounds then just about played into our
hands, and the two-pointers made the difference.
Mike, you must show a view of the spectacular
Cosmati Pavement on the website (see below,
James). I knew this from trips
to Sicily and Italy, where Cosmatesque floors are
always a rare and special treat.
Just running on and on and on
Smart Alex lost to Bards
A thumping victory for the Bards sees them into
the next round
WIST Lowly Grail
HMRUFC lost to Albert
A comfortable win for the team from the Sun
O'Brien sniffs out some dodgy crisps - again
I must deal with the really important issue first.
Last night I examined the crisp packet of the brand
on sale at HMRUFC. Unlike the crisps available
at The Sun In September with their la-di-dah Lady
Clare potato varieties the Piper Crisps I analysed
claimed to be "using the best quality, locally
sourced potatoes, working with unique ingredient
partners creating bold flavours". The cheese
in these crisps is from Lye Cross Farm at the foot
of The Mendips. All this smacks of wokery to
be deplored as much as the faux aristocratic tone of
the Sun in-house brand. Be warned I will be
subjecting the crisps at each quiz venue I visit to
the same in-depth critique. You have all been
Madame X: a cold shoulder in France
Although we won every section for the first time in
this competition it was by slim margins until the
final round of the WithQuiz section. The
opening round of 30 questions was the toughest I
have come across and the Rugby Club had the same
problem. The triple run-ons were frequently
challenging but interesting - L S Lowry in tandem
with Roy Cooder! The 'Oscar Round'
demonstrated how quickly we forget even the most
modern of films.
All in all a pleasant evening spent in good company
(and I am not referring to The Albert!).
Edwin's gift to Manchester
Horse & Farrier lost to Opsimaths
A smash and grab by the Opsis - with the emphasis
was munching his crisps on the bench and saw it all
hospitable team from Gatley's own Horse and Farrier
welcomed us to their upstairs quiz eyrie.
Whereas the downstairs has been modernised, equipped
with TV screens and treats for passing dogs the
upstairs looks a bit like the Scottish hotel rooms I
visited in the 1960s - functional and nowt else.
Never mind it was a most enjoyable evening in good
Round 1 the Opsis were well ahead and that lead just
kept on getting larger. It did seem a bit
unfair that we could easily cope with
Stockport-style rounds demanding team conferences
for every question, whereas the H&F team found it
difficult to adapt to the more complicated regime of
WithQuiz rounds. Perhaps it's the focus we
have to give on deciding whether or not to confer
that sharpens our act. When all you ever do is
chat amongst yourselves the added task of deciding
whether to confer or not is hard to get used to.
Whatever, the home team were well beaten but most
gracious in defeat. Thanks too to their QM who
clearly found the WithQuiz style a whole new
Emma, Nick, Howell and Brian march on. Next
week we play Ethel at the Club with top spot at
From Wales to England and back again
History Men beat Wandering Star
The History end their losing run with a
convincing Cup win
reports on someone else's blurt - for a change
Readers will know we have lost all six of our league
games this season and more firmly fixed to the
bottom of the table than ancient discarded chewing
gum. So it might be forgotten that we are actually
the defending champions of the Lowly Grail which we
won handsomely against the Opsimaths last season.
As traditional in first rounds we had a game against
a Stockport team, the Wandering Stars. We have not
previously met in any contest and they were
excellent company. They soon got used to our
strange ways with QM Steve keeping order with a
light touch and good humour prevailing throughout.
The first 30 questions resulted in a tie 26-26 with
one unanswered per team and two steals each (Gerry
as setter will be delighted at that balancing act)
but we pulled ahead in the written round 12-4.
The WithQuiz format often favours WithQuiz teams
because, as Charlotte from the Wandering Stars
noted, there is the element of jeopardy as to
whether to go for the two or confer for the one -
and the Stockport format does not provide this extra
element of tension. Of course WithQuizzers
also have a degree of tension - especially if you
are a blurting Historyman who has to cope with
vituperation from one’s own colleagues.
Fortunately there was only one blurt tonight and it
was not me, so Anne did not have to say “You are an
idiot” but rather “I am an idiot”.
We were delighted to find that the miasma that
haunts our lucky seats and which usually results in
us throwing away leads in the final rounds has at
last lifted as we ended the game with six
consecutive twos and two steals to achieve the
highest score of the eight matches. Perhaps
the chewing gum will loosen in our remaining league
No Flying Dutchman he
Electric Pigs beat Tiviot via walkover
Unfortunately Tiviot were unable to field a team
so the Pigs go through to the next round on a
Outspoken - or just plain offensive?
... WithQuiz - Gerry Collins
Average Aggregate score 99.3
Excellent paper from Gerry. We really miss you
Gerry but it's such a pleasure to hear from you
every now and again through your wonderful papers.
A distinctive mix of erudition, whimsy and personal
prejudice always infuse your setting (as indeed
Russell Davies recently got to know on Brain of
balance throughout and plenty of variation in style
and subject matter.
sympathise with the Horse and Farrier team in our
match, however, for having to master the delights of
the triple run-ons from a standing start. The
QM appeared somewhat baffled too as to what was
going on in that round - though as it progressed
everybody enjoyed the juxtaposition of Jonah Lomu
and Jacob Rees-Mogg with just a small deer to keep
them apart. Brilliant, too, getting Erling
Haaland to cling to Merlin!
However there is one blot to cover ... the question
which referred to upskirting (Round 5 Spare Question
2) and another that referred to P J O'Rourke's
comments on Irish girls and bikinis (Round 6
Question 6) did, I know, offend some quizzers.
I'm sure that this was not Gerry's intention so on
behalf of him and WithQuiz I apologise. We'll
be more wary in future.
Having said that, many thanks, Gerry, for providing
a most enjoyable evening.
and this is what Kieran thought ...
A very good paper from Withquiz's prodigal son,
Gerry from the Northern Reeks. Not many twos
but hardly any unanswereds all night and an
aggregate score of one hundred points or more in
four of the seven matches. The Oscars round didn't
play to our strengths but essaying Three
Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri as a likely
quote from Psalm 22 wasn't our finest hour.
Also a quiz set by an Irish Catholic on the sixtieth
anniversary of the Kennedy assassination and not
even a suggestion of a grassy knoll or triple
underpass. What's the use of being my house's
leading expert on/debunker of conspiracy theories
when I get those kind of breaks? Yes, I live alone,
how did you know?
and Jimmy's feedback ...
The quiz itself was nicely crafted, well balanced
and had something for everyone to get their teeth
into. My favourite question was the run on which
featured the Hulme Arthouse cinema. I was
slightly too young to ever get there myself but my
older brother Kev (a one-time Prod) managed to catch
Tod Browning’s disturbing 1932 film Freaks
there sometime in the mid 70s. The Prods are
actually thinking of adopting the phrase “Gabba,
Gabba we accept you” from the film, as part of our
revamped initiation ceremony for potential new team
members. Watch this space...
Taken during Gerry's visit to count the Jaffa
Cakes at McVitie's
and James appreciated the setter's
efforts too ...
Thanks to Gerry for the questions - it is not easy
to write so many questions and maintain balance and
A couple of candidates for QotW: Ben Kingsley and
whoever it was, was a decent question, even though
the 'not Ben Kingsley' part of the answer evaded us
The run through answer at Round 5 Question 3 -
Merlin (g/ha) Alan Davis was particularly inspired.
However when taken as a whole, this particular
round’s answers were perhaps always going to be a
series of conferred efforts.
and finally Ivor's thoughts ...
There was praise for the quiz from both teams.
I do not think Gerry/Father Megson has ever produced
a dull or disappointing offering. All that
transliterating Latin into Gaelic on vellum under
candlelight in the Reeks and the organised violence
of the hurling pitch are the obvious training
requirements for a quiz setter of the first rank.
The triple run-on round was very well received but
QotW was the actor who played three roles in the
three Godfather films, one of them in the opposite
Question of the Week
This week Ivor opts for the beguiling fact presented
in Round 4 Question 4 ...
Before going on to win an
Academy Award for best original screenplay, who is
the only person to appear in all three Godfather
films, playing different characters in each and
indeed playing a character of the opposite sex in
the first of the trilogy?
For the answer to this and all the week's other
Godfather: Woman and Boy
Obviously the results for the WIST Champions Cup and
Lowly Grail matches this week reflect well on the
prowess of our WithQuiz teams. However
ultimately, added to the dominance of the WithQuiz
teams over the past few seasons, these results are
bad news for these competitions. Mike
Wagstaffe and myself need to chat as to how we take
things forward over the coming seasons.
All I hear from our teams is that they really value
the 'European' matches and enjoy visiting different
venues and meeting less familiar quizzing faces.
The friendliness of the matches and the courtesy of
our Stockport hosts is palpable. I, for one,
would be keen to keep the contacts going.
One observation from me is that it is very easy for
our quizzers to adapt to the Stockport quiz paper
format, but perhaps harder for the Stockport teams
to get comfortable with the more complex quizzing
formats we use. Additionally the matches
invariably happen on a Wednesday which is our
quizzing night whereas Stockport use Thursdays so
the WIST matches are added into their week as extra
So, if you have any thoughts on these issues please
fire them at me and I'll add them to my discussions
with Mike Wagstaffe.