The Withington Pub Quiz League


14th February 2024


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

A low-scoring evening sees Ethel keep up their run with a narrow win - whilst the Prods leapfrog Albert back into second place

History Men beat Charabancs
Ethel Rodin beat Bards
Prodigals beat Albert
Electric Pigs lost to KFD

History Men beat Charabancs

The History Men continue their late season surge against the Charas

Ivor has a Funny Valentine

No doubt we have all had memorable Valentine’s Days.  The first time I sent a card? (1969); the time in Don Camillo’s when we got a table but Michael Atherton didn’t (early 90s)?; receiving a card from the same girl for 33 years (that’s Mrs C)?  Whether a quiz night qualifies as memorable is somewhat unlikely but at least we had the satisfaction of not only a win, but like 'The Head Waiter', of 'coming from behind'.

Tonight our match was against our old friends the Charabancs.  My first blurt (or faux pas) was even before the quiz started when I noticed an extensive resolving bruise on Damian’s forehead and enquired “had he been in the wars?” (I used to be a doctor, you know).  His reply of “Don’t you know what day it is?” left me no wiser and I replied: "It’s Valentine’s Day; did you forget to buy a card?”  Such drollery with references to domestic violence would probably get me cancelled these days.  However the explanation was that it was Ash Wednesday and Damian’s priest was a great believer in rather more substantial smudges of ash in the rite.  We Protestants do not usually have such visible markers of faith, though the Pentecostal Church's full immersion baptism must run it close. 

A Strong Female Taskmaster


Anne’s husband Guy was in the QM seat and, as before, was only marginally successful in reducing the overall tenor of the Historymen from raucous to feisty.  Mike B was in attendance and found himself defending the Opsimath paper from an early stage of the proceedings.  Indeed he had to defend himself from Anne before we even started as he had made the unforgivable error of spelling her name “Ann” in previous on-line reports when every quizzer knows “Anne” is a four letter word (this is my last attempt at drollery in the style of Frankie Howerd).

The quiz was certainly challenging with 19 unanswereds and only 11 twos.  Anne and Gerry (good to see him back for a guest appearance for the Charas) were joint 'Jonahs' getting four unanswereds each. Graeme was MVP with 3 twos but still ended up on the losing side.

Bernie's no stranger


Damian's day goes from ashes to ashes

Another close one; another near miss for us Charas.  I sat with the mark of Cain on my forehead planning to do murder to our opponents (purely metaphorically of course) but alas, they were just too nice, which completely distracted me from my evil intentions.  Even trying dirty tricks like attempting to persuade Ivor that he couldn't remember whatever it was that he was trying to remember backfired on us in the end.  Nevertheless it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening with plenty of good humour which is only typical of a night's quizzing against our favourite opponents.  

With new boy Bill eventually realising that sitting in the Gateway IN Parrswood was not quite what I meant when I told him we were playing AT The Parrswood, the History Men introducing their new QM, Opsi Mike observing proceedings and our former Captain Gerry making a rare comeback appearance for us, we did find the paper a bit of a toughie with perhaps a tad too much 'modern' content for a bunch of old farts like us.  Nonetheless we kept pace with our rivals with the lead changing hands several times.  We went into the final round two points ahead and were cautiously optimistic but, as so often happens with us, the questions in the final round did not suit us at all and we scored just 2 points (courtesy of Gerry) to our opponents' 6 including two steals from us.  Sorry Sam, we'll keep on trying to fail better! 



Ethel Rodin beat Bards

Yet again the league leaders squeak home by a single point

Manc Alumni MPs all

(Round 5)

Bacharach and his words


Prodigals beat Albert

The Prods leapfrog their opponents into second spot

John tries hard to echo Dave Rainford's relentless positivity

As proud Prodigals we like to stay true to the spirit of David Rainford and be positive at all times.  In that spirit, this quiz was good in parts, and we got most of the good parts.  

It was an unusually peaceful Wednesday evening at the club, with no football on TV and the Chorlton Wheelies having one of their less noisy gatherings.  That made the groans and sighs from our opponents all too audible as they started to fall behind.  Their dismay reached its peak in the 'Britney' round and they had a point.  What sounded like an interesting idea turned out to be too tenuous for a full round and resulted in some very oddly phrased questions.  

Returning to positivity, QM Stella was very complimentary about the clear and spacious layout of the questions and everyone enjoyed the Taskmaster round.   Best of all, we were finished by 10pm so there was plenty of time for convivial chat afterwards.

... whilst Ashton fears retribution from Albert's absent Oberführer

A bruising encounter last night as we fell to what must be our heaviest defeat in quite a few seasons. Looking at the scores from around the league, it appears most teams struggled with the paper and it was our misfortune to find ourselves facing the one team who seemed to find the questions to their liking.  None of this will wash of course with our absent Oberführer who has already been in touch this morning to voice his displeasure.  We can expect cold showers and ten mile yomps in training this week. 

We managed a couple of 'twos' in the first round and then were unable to manage another until Round 6.  It was that sort of night.  For all their dominance, the Prods found the going heavy in places too, but they would have beaten us comfortably whichever way round we had gone.

Mother of the Blues


Electric Pigs lost to KFD

KFD get the better of a low-scoring contest

Brace yourself!  Kieran and co. really didn't like this paper

So how would the Opsis get on producing a paper without the sure but exhausted hand of Brian to ensure an evening's head scratching entertainment?  Well......... 

The second circle of hell is "a part where no thing gleams" where the souls of the lustful are buffeted back and forth by the terrible winds of a violent storm without rest.  I've been to Edinburgh in December and Dante has pretty much nailed the experience there.  Morningside matrons don't go too big on lust but I've emptied a quiz machine in The World's End on the Royal Mile,  that, or its aftermath, being akin to a howling darkness of helpless discomfort - until my then wife demanded that the barman intervene to forestall my impending murder in the toilets.  Yup, an entire round on Edinburgh, entry level hell. 

New England's seafood medley


Gaily skipping over the prostrate fatboys we find ourselves in the company of the greedy and the avaricious.  That seems a fair description of Britney's father.  If the transcript of the case went something like Britney asking "why do you hoard?" and dad replying "why do you waste?that would be very spooky.  From the little I know of the family Spears dad sounds like a deserving candidate for an enormous weight on his chest for eternity.  This round was a seriously bad idea as was Britney's choice of father.  

Ah, the swampy stinking waters of the river Styx House of Commons.  The actively wrathful (Kemi Badenoch and Suella Braverman) fighting each other viciously on the Treasury Bench while the passively wrathful (Michael Gove and the potato-faced baron of Chipping Norton) withdraw "into a black sulkiness which can find no joy in god or man or the universe". You know Dante was really on the money with this stuff.  "In weeping and in grieving, accursed spirit(s), may you long remain".  Oh, Amen to that.  

And now we move on to liars, sorry heretics (even I'm getting bored with this now).  Pick a heretic, any heretic (or failing that a stand-up), include a random fact or two in the bio and invite players to guess a name of a comedian they half remember seeing once on Dave at 01.30 am.  The Guelphs (KFD) and Ghibellines (Pigs) adopted a scattergun approach, occasionally scoring a hit; Battleships for quizzers. 

In amongst all this Barry scored spectacular points for the Do Nothing Congress and Fern Brady - and Martin's adoration of the saints meant he was only thinking about Methodius of Byzantine Thessalonica just the other day.  As you do.  

14 unanswereds and also 14 twos.  Not much else to say.  The 'CL' and 'Bible' rounds were ok; most of the rest was trying to appeal to an audience who don't tend to turn up to Wednesday evening pub quizzes. 

Hell is an Opsis question paper sans Brian.

(see 'An Opsimath comments' in the Quiz Paper section for a considered reply to Kieran's verdict)

Quiz paper set by...

... The Opsimaths

Average Aggregate score 63.0

By 4 points the lowest average aggregate of the season so far.   At the Parrswood  (History Men v Charabancs) where I was observing a few eyebrows were raised at some of the round formats - in particular the Britney Spears related one.  There was also comment as to the point of the pictures which didn't add anything to the questions to which they were linked.

Once met Kieran in an Edinburgh pub bog


... and given Kieran's onslaught in his match report an Opsimath (Mike Bath) comments ...

First of  all, Kieran, I have to admit we got it wrong and take it on the chin - both the low aggregate scores and my own experience observing at the Parrswood testifies to that.

However, you have let your own rotten experiences of Edinburgh in the past spill over into slagging off what seems to me a reasonable subject and a reasonable set of questions about the Scottish capital (of course I would say that as  I set this round).

As to the 'Britney' and 'Taskmaster' rounds, yes they were poorly executed but at least we were trying to connect our paper to a slightly younger  audience.  I believe the 43 points scored by the Prods may be evidence of that.

As for the future I think we mustn't just go back to letting Brian set everything but rather learn from last night's experience and improve our collective offering.

Most nominated and oldest


... and what did Ashton think ...

Hard to find too many positives here.  It was a difficult paper all round.  It felt as if in some rounds, the setters ran out of gettable questions to fit a theme and shoehorned in some virtually impossible ones to make up the eight.  In amongst these were some dollies ('dextrous', 'chukka', 'Kelce') which all fell to the same team.  Speaking of which, nomination this week is not for QotW but for 'Most Unbalanced Pair of the Season': The Kelces versus Two Other Brothers who Happen to Play American Football Neither of Whom is Dating One of the Most Famous Women in the World. 

The quiz was certainly challenging with 19 unanswereds and only 11 twos.  Anne and Gerry (good to see him back for a guest appearance for the Charas) were joint 'Jonahs' getting four unanswereds each.  Graham was MVP with 3 twos but still ended up in the losing side.  

... and Ivor ...

The quiz was perfectly sound as every question had one answer and if one knew the answer one got the points.  Unfortunately there were obvious gaps in our collective knowledge and sadly even being told a theme (Britney Spears songs, Taskmaster and Manchester Graduates) did not add the extra hint towards the right answer.  We even missed the 'CL' connection in Round 1 until it was too late to help, despite the generous rubric.  My round of the week was the one inspired by Edinburgh; the Deacon Brodie pub on the Royal Mile/George IV Bridge intersection is well worth a visit.

... and Damian ...

I think we all liked the round with answers beginning with 'CL' and could kick ourselves for not guessing the theme in time to get Cleveland as the US city on Lake Erie.  One interesting outcome I learned last night was that whenever I ordered Chara Graham to get a two he promptly came up with the goods.  I must keep on trying that tactic with him!

... and John ...

We all thought that was a temporary lapse from the usual Opsi's level, but then oops they did it again (ÓJames Lawless) - pairing the most famous person in popular culture right now with two brothers known only to NFL obsessives?  Hmmm. 

Hielanman's Umbrella


Question of the Week

This week Ivor liked the one about the nefarious Edinburgh councillor at Round 2 Question 5 ...

Stevenson’s book The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was said to be based on the real-life story of a notorious Edinburgh character who was head of a trades guild and Edinburgh city councillor by day but a burglar by night.  Who was he?

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

Catalonian's Parliament