WIST Champions Cup
Bards lost to KFD
KFD top score and cruise into May's WIST
tells how the KFD conferences won the match
business anomaly that is The Parrswood Inn - and the
Bards, the only team other than the fabled Chunky to
have bested us more than once in WIST. Over
the years Tony's shock troops have made a habit of
upsetting the odds and spiking the guns of teams
seemingly armed with more firepower - His Honour
cosplaying Diego Simeone. Now there's an
A bird to kill for
No such outcome was ever on the cards last night as
we built a healthy lead throughout the Stockport
section of the quiz and then strode off into
uncatchable territory on the WithQuiz questions.
Thomas was once again the Starboy
© scoring three
maximums from his four attempts but
the overall story was the strength of the KFD
conferring 'huddle' in the first half - the
Stockport team questions really do suit us.
Tony described the paper as "an exemplar of the
question-setter's art" and he
didn't mean that in a good way. It will be
interesting to see what Brian's fellow Opsis come up
with next week without his setter's keen eye for a
The question that we felt needed more information
was the one about the charlatan who blinded Handel
and Bach amongst others. Did this happen
accidentally, through the administering of some
noxious substance and how many victims were there
before he was stopped? We presumed it must have
been sort of inadvertently, if it had been more in
the manner of Alan Strang in Equus I think we
may have heard about it before it turned up in a pub
So we've made it to the WIST final, our ninth, and
our season stays alive until Mayday while Ethel
stroll to their inevitable league title.
Surprisingly Ms. Rodin stumbled last night and we'll
face a career grand slam chasing Prodigals (though
they also need the question of the season prize for
the full set).
We have a curious record in WIST finals: four
victories against Stockport teams (Chunky and The
Alexandra twice each) and three defeats at the hands
of WithQuiz opponents (two by The Bards and one in
our last final five years ago against The Shrimp).
Our other loss was in the first WIST final when
Chunky vanquished us all the way back in 2008.
Two weeks ago we claimed our first victory over The
Prodigals in six years albeit they were lacking half
of their all star team. So we have some hope of
silverware then and if University Challenge
could schedule a spring roadshow to, say, the
Highlands and Islands and if Michael would continue
his sybaritic odyssey in London we may have half a
Back to the bread and butter of the league next week
and what could become a real dogfight for the top
four places. Who's going to be Villa or Spurs
(no one wants to be Spurs) and who Arsenal?
That mob at the wrong end of the East Lancs or God's
own team? All to play for.
When Britain ruled the
Ethel Rodin lost to Prodigals
The Prodigals overcome the league leaders to earn
a place in May's final
welcomes Richard back after his Challenging roadshow
successive league defeats this was a return to form
for the Prods. Richard arrived back
fresh-faced from two weeks’ intensive quizzing on
the University Challenge trials to provide us
with a much-needed boost.
We edged in front in the initial Stockport conferred
rounds, and then managed to keep Ethel at a distance
during the latter WithQuiz half of proceedings.
Our second victory of the season in Ladybarn - and
while the Prods’ title hopes are fading, we at least
now have a cup final to look forward to in May.
As it was once again my turn to buy the oppos’
drinks, I remain the only person to buy Ethel a pint
"And now excuse me while I interrupt myself"
boy James misses Hattie Jacques
The Prodigals won without too much difficulty.
Unfortunately Roddy was absent ill, but I doubt we
would have performed differently if he had been
7th Feb is my own birthday. However none of
the people I knew who shared the same birthday came
up: Eddie Izzard, Charles Dickens, Hattie Jacques,
errm Mick McCarthy….
Innocent inspiration for Bacon
WIST Lowly Grail
Albert beat Electric Pigs
Albert coast into the Lowly Grail final
and what's more Mike chalks up a victory in the
two medics struggled with the medical questions.
This, of course, may merely prove that they are
genuine doctors since a fake doctor would have
learned enough to be convincing. Bernard from
the Charas kindly volunteered to QM but like the
teams found that some of the questions contained too
much information which was not relevant to the
One thing I did notice is that my devastating
critique of the potato crisps at The Sun has
resulted in a change of supplier. I will
continue my work as the people's champion.
Just blow those verrucas away
Opsimaths beat History Men
A comfortable win puts the Opsimaths into the
Lowly Grail final
observes the proceedings from the QM chair
goodly win for the flip-flopsimaths - up one week,
down the next.
time round it was Hilary, Charlotte, Nick and a much
refreshed Howell, following his holiday in South
America (Chile, Argentina and Uruguay to be precise)
who flew the flag. The 7-point victory puts
the Opsimaths into the Lowly Grail final against
Albert on May 1st.
fair to say the History Men (Anne, Vanessa, David
and Ivor) had high hopes of a win given their
stellar rise from the ashes of their early season
slump - and indeed for much of the contest it was
nip and tuck but the Opsis just eased ahead in the
last few WithQuiz rounds.
the QM duties while Brian, the setter, watched on
adding the occasional setting perspective.
the evening I promised Ann I'd correct an impression
that has been growing apace in regular reports on
this website that she can be a little fierce.
So, I canvassed the History Men team to find their
'go to' adjective to describe their colleague:
"humble", "unique", "convivial", "companionable",
"adorable" and "non-violent" were just some.
So, there - I hope this does something to redress
The $12.4M fiddle
does some parsing
And so our lucky streak has come to an end at the
hands of the Opsimaths who had a comfortable seven
point margin of victory. However we were not
disgraced with our score of 46 being the best of the
defeated teams tonight. It was only after the
game started that I remembered the Historymen are
the defending Lowly Grail champions having defeated
the Opsimaths in last year’s final. The trophy
is still safely on my mantelpiece and will be
polished in time for the new champions, who really
will be new as neither the Opsimaths nor Albert have
won this shiny trinket before (I am not sure if it
is 'silverware' or not).
The game as ever was most convivial. Could it be
otherwise considering how often the same agile
(though ageing) players have pitted their failing
wits against each other? Only Opsimath Charlotte is
relatively new but even she passed the 'Ann' test
and they were soon best of mates discussing their
mining heritage and which Derbyshire or
Nottinghamshire folk might have been scabs in
disputes from 1926 onwards.
Afterwards we did reflect on whether 'convivial' is
the right word for all matches. Perhaps it is one of
those conjugated words:
'I am companionable'
Doesn’t blurt, quietly contemplative and buys their
'You are convivial'
'Feisty' if female, 'loudly opinionated' if male,
drinking before the game.
'They are competitive'
I wonder who that could be? Perhaps it is all
of us when our sheep’s clothing is shed.
... Brian McClintock
Average Aggregate score 93.5
a tough quiz judging by the scores but a quiz
absolutely packed full of information, both quirky
and insightful. As QM I watched as the Opsis
and the History gang devoted their evening to
plentiful conferring - not always ending up with the
right answer. There was a lot of dark stuff
too, from Hitler's bath to the Electric Chair.
My own favourite question came early in Round 1 with
the 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 question. Neither team
got it but there was a big "oh yes - of course" when
the answer was revealed. Interesting that at
the start the try was merely the step required to
earn the right to kick for the points and didn't
gain any points in its own right.
Another fine evening's entertainment. Many
Worth a whole Round
and this is what Ivor thought ...
Excellent quiz entirely set by Brian - and he has
not failed to entertain. Compiling and
balancing the 15 pairs in Round 1 is challenging but
in our match the unanswereds broke 3-4 and none of
the second pair could be predicted before the
also liked the extra info given with the answers. We
failed with the rugby try scores in Round 1 (I
investigate how you could score 0 for the first 14
years) and also failed with the thermometer
inventor. QM Mike B did suggest that perhaps
the Historymen should have a doctor on the team -
which, of course, like Proust’s Madeleine, evoked
memories of the late Tim D who once got a question
on the number of bones in the human body wrong even
though he was an orthopaedic surgeon.
WithQuiz format had all our old favorites but with
plenty of traps to catch us out (it was not Graham
Norton, not Johnny Weissmuller and not Pearl Buck).
Apparently Brian (who was in attendance) found the
round on births and deaths on February 7th the
trickiest to compile as there seems to be a dearth
of famous folk who chose that date as their sunrise
or sunset. Sadly for us the "possibly greatest
Polish composer since Chopin" had not left an
indelible mark in our collective knowledge.
Key maker par excellence
and Kieran reflects on the paper ...
felt it was a bit chewy and maybe there was a bit
too much obiter dicta going on in some questions
(that's a legal term Your Honour for when a judge
goes off at a tangent not central to the judgement
but purely to show off extraneous knowledge) but
Brian did a pretty good job of producing a
serviceable paper entirely by himself.
and James adds this thought ...
was a generally tough quiz - Brian’s contributions
are usually a lot more accessible.
to which Mike O'B adds ...
was a strange quiz where the questions ranged from
the incredibly easy to the almost impossibly
difficult. The majority of the points were
gained through conferring.
finally Jimmy chips in ...
The quiz itself was well balanced and covered a wide
range of subjects, some of the questions were a
little on the lengthy side for a timed quiz but the
excellent QM was patience personified when she
needed to be.
My only gripe was the Ramones question, it was at
best badly worded, and factually inaccurate. As a
big fan of 'Da Brudders' I knew that no drummer had
been in the seat for that length of time. Luckily,
it didn't prove critical in the end. A minor quibble
QotW? Richard was much taken with, and ultimately
frustrated by, the occupant of Hitler’s bath.
Bathing with Hitler
Question of the Week
Richard was both frustrated and intrigued by Round
1 Question 17 ...
In Munich on April 30th 1945, the day of Hitler’s
suicide, which war photojournalist and former
student of Man-Ray, was photographed in Hitler’s
For the answer to this and all the week's other
For those interested in competing in Mastermind
(and I know a few of you have had a pop at this
challenge in the past) I've received my annual
invitation from the Mastermind production
team to ask if you want to have a go (as Wilfred
Pickles would have said).
Here's the invitation ...
"Hi there! BBC2’s Mastermind is currently scouring
the UK to find contenders for the next series which
will be filmed in Belfast!Although applications close on Friday 10th May at midnight, we would encourage you to apply as soon as possible as casting is currently underway. To apply,
(the application takes just 10 minutes to
Entry is open to UK residents (including Channel
Islands & the Isle of Man) who are aged 18 or over."