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13th December 2023

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.... and in the delayed October 4th match played this week the Bards beat the Pigs to leapfrog 3 places up the table

Electric Pigs lost to Bards

Ethel go into the Christmas break as clear leaders in a  season that's proving anybody can beat anybody else - on the night

Happy Christmas and see you all in 2024!

Albert beat Opsimaths

Charabancs lost to History Men

Bards lost to Ethel Rodin

Prodigals tied with KFD

Albert beat Opsimaths

Albert move up to third after a home win over the faltering Opsis

An old boy of the Blessed Mary Blige RC High School reports

It was with a sense of relief that we returned to our new home at The Sun.  Relief because our last home fixture against The History Men was punctuated by a stream of expletives which would have made a sergeant major blush, and which violated the numerous notices scattered throughout the pub warning that foul language will be punished by banning.  My natural sense of delicacy and discretion prevent me from naming the member of The History Men responsible but she knows who she is. 

The fixture against Opsis was more sedate but very enjoyable.  There were  plenty of 'cultural' questions which allowed teams to draw on  their personal experiences. My own favourites were the pair in Round 5 which obliged me to begin by stating I died in September.  This aroused a certain interest among The Albert team which I am not entirely happy about.  Also did Gandhi ever turn out for City - meditating on the crossbar perhaps?  The run-ons were popular again especially amongst those of us who attended Blessed Mary Blige Roman Catholic High School. 


Paris in the rain

Iconic Magnum image

(R8/Q4)


Charabancs lost to History Men

Those History Men just keep on winning

Ivor gets all toasty at the Griffin

Itís beginning to feel a lot like Christmas: the falling temperature; the scurrying around for presents; the third week, or more, of Christmassy muzak on Classic FM; the Hallmark films where rich Americans experience first world dilemmas in snowy Five Star resorts with happier endings than hypothermia or falling under snow ploughs.  So it is always pleasant to return to the routine of a good quiz night with our old friends the Charabancs in their newish home, the Griffin.  Despite the falling temperatures in Didsbury there is no chance of heat loss in the Griffin - regular drinkers there must have a carbon footprint to rival Harry and Meghan.  The snug without the televised Aston Villa/Manchester City game was an oasis of calm. 

We achieved our second league victory of the season but the game (as last week) was on a knife edge (29-29) going into the last two rounds.  Once again we exploded rather than imploded with three steals to secure victory by seven points.  The match stats for those who are interested (no one probably) were only six unanswereds (two of them to the Charas playing first first), 19 twos (9-10) and it was the Historymenís superior steal rate (3-7) that saw us through.  Charabanc Bernard had a much better night than Bernardo in the football with a hat-trick of twos.  Chara Bill (despite being a City fan) had no trouble with Unitedís hero statues as well as the City equivalents.  Not everyone sparkled tonight.  Someone gets over 300 test wickets and I could not even remember his first name.  Nor could I remember the forename of the naughty Mexican impregnator.  Damian blamed himself for a blurt in the last round with a literary wreck (the Hesperus) rather than Gericaultís pictorial wreck.  The only controversy was the plane crash cartoon which we voided, as the name was in the cartoon but neither team mentioned Wagner Group in the answer.  However it was another opportunity to hear Anneís impeccable (we think) Russian accent she perfected in her university year out in the old Soviet Union. 


The Midnight Cowboy

(R6/Q3)


Bards lost to Ethel Rodin

Ethel stumble towards another victory to go three points clear

James is on life support

Not much from me tonight, or in the morning, as I have the painful reality of a life support course all day tomorrow.  

A tight game throughout - Bards 5-2 up after R1 being the widest the margin ever got.  Itís reasonable to say that if Bards hadnít been playing as a threesome, thereís a strong likelihood that they would have held on for the win.  Three of us blurted answers tonight when we really should have conferred - and each time we did it we let slip a narrow lead.

Mention of Jack Grealish in the quiz allows mention of tonightís excellent result at Villa Park, where a team built with the proceeds of his sale thoroughly outplayed the European champions - our first victory over City for a decade. Admittedly a good time for Villa to play City and a bad time for City to play Villa.


Blindingly good actress - sadly no longer here

(R3/Q6)


1957's face of early evening BBC

(R1/Q1)


Prodigals tied with KFD

A two-pointer on the last question earns KFD a tie

Kieran invokes the spirit of Abbey Road

Well that was fun. I had hoped this report might riff on At Last (any excuse to get the mighty Etta James into WithQuiz) or maybe Blowin' in the Wind ("How many times must the Prodigals win...." etc.) - and I guess I could still go with those, but no, a draw, however exciting and well earned doesn't really get anywhere near evening up the ten defeats on the bounce that we've suffered at the hands of tonight's hosts.  We're happy with the point though.

A great contest played in a great spirit and the ending that all of us fourth-seater masochists secretly long for - having to score a two on the last question to get anything from the game.  OK The Towering Inferno is more a six inch tap-in than a thirty yard howitzer, but they all score the same.    

For KFD tonight was chiefly about Thomas who bagged four twos and was the main reason we got the draw.  His maximums included the Prigozhin blunder (but he knew the answer anyway having had the same question a few weeks' back) and naming all six statues outside Old Trafford.  For this he was accused of adhering to the dark side, a slur that I think offended me more than it did him. Thomas's 25th birthday was last Sunday (and he has an older brother), and Prodigal Jimmy became a grandfather for the first time last Friday.  Many congratulations but how does all this grown up stuff keep happening to a bunch of carefree quizzers?

Thomas being in the team meant that David got to watch the City vs Villa game - I'll have to make that up to him somehow - but we've definitely got a squad now and hopefully the ability to select horses for courses in the second half of what is building into an intriguing season - except for Ethel obviously. 


Cabinet re-entrant

(R5/Q1)


A splendid offering from the Pigs who, despite the weather, got out from under their blankets to craft a paper with something for everyone and only five questions for no one as the post match stats revealed. Our fixtures with the Prodigals are always full of good humour and a serious respect for each other's abilities and achievements.  Tonight was a fine example maybe because there was no real jeopardy as far as the top of the table goes.  In truth it's always been that way even when we've played what have been title deciders in all but name.  The Prodigals are just an exceptionally good quiz team, and exceptionally good company.  They're an exceptionally good reason to leave a warm, comfortable home on a freezing December night.

Now we have a five week festive break before finding out if any of the four teams jockeying for position from second to fifth can mount a serious challenge to Ethel's seeming impregnability.   

The reader of this nonsense may remember that in my report after our last game I blew the gaff on the real story behind Henry Kissinger's shamefully absurd Nobel Peace Prize.  Shortly afterwards the warmongering old so and so made the world a much better place by leaving it.  Bob's not around - I've no idea where he is.... just saying.  I'd apologise to Kissinger's nearest and dearest for any part I may have played in his departure but I doubt he could have inspired love in anyone.  

On that Christmas note...  

Happy whatever you call this time of year to you all and may you share it with those whom you love.  It's equal to the love you make, it's easy.  

See you in 2024.


Peter Sarstedt's dancing ideal

(R8/Q5)


Quiz paper set by...

... The Electric Pigs

Average Aggregate score 80.0


Not much from me this week as I was holed up in bed coughing my heart out all evening (and occasionally peeping from behind the cushion to see City being thoroughly outplayed by an excellent Villa outfit).

Scorewise the paper was bob on with a slightly above average aggregate lifting the overall season's average a tad to 78.3.  On loading it onto the site I did spot rather too many lyrics questions for my comfort - but other than that all seemed fine.


'Walk with me'

Gandhi outside Manchester Cathedral

(R5/Q5)


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

An accessible quiz and no issues with balance.  I suspect the setters originally had a whole round of song lyrics planned. That would probably have been a step too far for us.


Oldest surviving Oscar winner

(R8/Q7)


... and Ivor's feedback ...

The quiz was well received and the various formats and content met with approval.  Perhaps some questions were a little long especially as our attention span is not always great by the end of the evening. The coastal connection themes and the national parks were well hidden.  Needless to say (but I will say it anyway) the Garage group (no me neitherÖ) from 1999 was far too recent pop for us but Damianís attempt at Shankís Pony was the 'best effort wrong answer' of the night.  Despite a late-ish finish we had our usual apres-ski equivalent with the Charas, and topics of conversation ranged from Great Blurts Of Our Time (Fu Manchu againÖ), how good The Wicker Man film was, the lyrics of Talking Heads hits, and a hint of Anneís May Day parade celebrations in Minsk 1977.


Downtown Shithole

(R2/Q3)


Question of the Week

This week the vote goes to Round 2 Question 3 which was amusingly accompanied by the cartoon shown below...

Which constituency was allegedly called "a shit hole" by the Home Secretary?

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


Wrestling with fame

(R1/Q2)


...and also

Well that's it for the first half ... nearly.  There's the small matter of the delayed Pigs v Bards fixture which is eventually going to be played next Wednesday at the Fletcher Moss - and then our first half really will be over.

Good luck to everyone in the second half after Christmas!  It really is looking an open contest this season with plenty of contenders - though I have to say my own experience of Ethel's competitiveness last week leads me to think that they will take a lot of overhauling.  They are a formidable outfit at present.

Have a good time over the break - and if, like me, you dine on a feast of puzzles and quizzes over Christmas, good solving!


Gericault's masterpiece

(R8/Q2)