The Withington Pub Quiz League


28th February 2024


WQ Fixtures, Results & Table

WQ Teams

WQ Archive Comments Question papers

A bonanza of a quiz sets the scene for the underdogs to put the 'overcats' to the sword in every match;

Ethel remain firmly at the top but they're still not quite - mathematically - home and dry

Charabancs beat Prodigals

Opsimaths beat KFD

History Men lost to Electric Pigs

Albert beat Ethel Rodin

Charabancs beat Prodigals

Despite a welcome win the Charas stay bottom because the Pigs won too

A beaming Damian looks back on the evening's triumph

Well, I couldn't pass up the opportunity of sending in a report after scoring our first victory of the year (and only our third this season), now could I?

The Prodigals were our unfortunate victims for the second time of asking this season in a close fought contest where there were only ever two or three points between us.  Remarkably (for us) we led in every single round except Round 5 which we drew.  Going into the home strait two points ahead we couldn't help thinking "Oh this is where we blow it as usual", but we stayed on track and managed to see it though for once.  In contrast to last week's disastrous performance against KFD we composed ourselves and stayed disciplined and focussed and it paid off, thank goodness.

After a recent spell of illness Chara John graced us with his presence for the first half and swapped places with our latest recruit Bill in the second.  I'm happy to report that everybody behaved impeccably and all scored at least one two.  Now you know very well that 'Yours Truly' is far too modest to blow his own trumpet but he can't help but report that he was the star of the team on this occasion notching up no less than six twos plus a few steals (ok, ok, you can all stop clapping and settle down now).  So, yes, it was a very good night for us and a welcome turnaround after what happened last week.  Thanks Sam we will always keep trying to fail better and do you proud!  

Everybody seemed to agree that the most remarkable guess of the night was in a hidden theme round where I was asked the popular name for the US state of Utah (I'm ready to wager that no American quizzers would have a clue about the popular names for English counties!).  Needless to say I hadn't a scooby-doo, but helped by the theme, from nowhere at all I managed to blurt out the correct answer.  Yes, it was that kind of night for us.  Hopefully more will follow before this season's done!

The 'Father of the Symphony' - but is it Farewell or Surprise?


Opsimaths beat KFD

The Opsis move up to third place

Mike reflects ...

A most enjoyable quiz entertaining the Wizards of Heaton Mersey (Kieran, Martin, David and Thomas) to a paper provided by the Bards of Didsbury.  As has happened a few times now in that cosy Albert Club back lounge when these two teams meet it was the entertainers rather than the entertained who came out on top.  The home team got the upper hand at the start and just kept the lead going throughout, to end 7 points ahead, notching up the highest team score of the evening.

Nick, Howell, Charlotte and myself had a near perfect evening.  Nick got 6 twos (as did Kieran and Martin it has to be said) whilst Charlotte was firing on all cylinders reliably providing the pop music second halves in the classical/pop run-on round.  I was the Jonah by some way although I did at least prevent Howell answering "Roger Hunt" to the 'Liverpool footballer with the alliterative name' question.

Brian was QM and rattled through the questions at a fair lick only stumbling once when describing the New York benefactor as a "phithlantropissed".  The match was determined by 10pm and we had plenty of time to chat about all sorts before wending our various ways.  A great evening shared by two teams of quizzers with plenty of mutual respect - and a desire to carry on enjoying each other's company on Wednesday evenings for a few more years yet.

1950s Top of the Pops ivory tinkler


Kieran remembers when this fixture used to be a title decider

Well that was all very brisk and spectacular.  Thirty one twos in total, what may be a record aggregate score, no unanswereds, a sort of contest up to about half way through Round 7 and all done by 9.55.  Wham, bam, thank you Bards.  However, a bit like other recreational experiences that are over in the blink of an eye (I'm alluding to something like watching one huge firework obviously) it didn't quite hit the spot for a satisfying evening.  

Anyway there was plenty of time afterwards for a bunch of old gits, plus Thomas, to bemoan the state of the world in general and worry about the future of pub quizzes in particular.  It's a long time since a match between these two teams has been a title decider and, despite last night's results this league season was done weeks ago.  I haven't got too much else to say but Mike insisted that he always looks forward to my post mortem reports (I worry about him more and more) and I guess my ramblings don't always have to go in an absurdist direction.  If Leeds had beaten Chelsea this would have been written very differently and I'd have disinterred Poch.  I miss him but his current iteration is just a bit dull, a bit meh.   

For the blues amongst us next week is a very handily placed free Wednesday (I wonder how that happened?) and then it's back to the Griffin, the Bards and the return of Bob.  Now I've got to be able to get a story out of that lot. 

Grace's favourite floorwalker


Star of the Durham Castle


History Men lost to Electric Pigs

The History Men run comes to an end as the Pigs earn a much-needed victory

Ivor tells a tale of some resurgent Pigs

Our run of victories is at an end.  The Pigs become the first side to do the double over us this season (they will probably not be the last).  They were on great form and we only had our noses ahead once, but other than that it was snouts that were ahead - and by some margin following our usual last round collapse.  High scoring quizzes (an aggregate score of 87 tonight) leave little margin for error and going for the two is often vital.  The Pigs got 13 of those to our 10.  Not many 'steals': three to the Pigs, two for us.  Remarkably there was not a single unanswered question in our match.

 NYC venue for world premiere of Dvořák's New World Symphony


There was only one blurt and an unusual one (and by the way it was not me this time, in case Anne is reading this report in Ibiza and preparing her indignation).  Young David (52 tomorrow but until we get a younger player he must bear this epithet) is our geographer par excellence, his worldwide interests reflecting his Zambian birth and Iranian childhood.  So when the question came up about the missing African country on the equator he immediately knew it was Uganda and said so.  Unfortunately it was not only not his question, it was not even our team’s question.  It was Dave Pig’s question - and Dave after suitable reflection decided the answer was indeed Uganda.

Dave (Pig) got 5 twos tonight just pipping his colleagues Guy and Andrew (each on 4 twos) as MVP.  Teams who have to face the resurgent Pigs in the remaining league games will be pleased to know that Dave is off to Australia but will be back for the Cup games. 

Tony H was in the QM seat and even brought the paper along fresh off the presses, which saved Andrew Pig from having to divert two yards from his route past the Fletcher Moss.

Liverpool legend


Albert beat Ethel Rodin

Ethel miss the chance of clinching the title

James recalls the days when Sam Smiths was £1.20 a pint

A close run game throughout - it was tied at 22-22 at half time.  This means that Ethel can still mathematically be caught for the league title. 

If the questions had fallen differently we think we’d have done better - but of course in such a close quiz with pretty much every question answered, every team could say that.

Very unusually, Greg blurted early by mixing up his board games.  He went for the Flat Iron building when the rest of us all had the answer.  He might feel slightly better knowing that when I got home I went online to join the (still going) Dave Tilley Online Wednesday night quizzers, and Pat Gibson didn’t get it right either.

The round which paired Hansen with Huntington (etc) was decisive in our match.  Overall we felt that the second questions of each pair were generally the more difficult afterthought to a good starter (we went second, of course).  Nice questions but perhaps a bit more balance was needed.

It’s the second time we’ve been to The Sun in September in 15 years.  I think the other time might even have been the first time I ever played in this league.  What I do remember is that at that time it was £4.80 for 4 pints of bitter.  Sam Smiths’ inflation might have been even more than Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak’s as the same round would now cost £12.  Nevertheless it is still the cheapest pint away from the domestic fridge.  Central Manchester or London could put you back  £30 for the same round these days.

Benjamin and his coda


Mike's reign of terror pays dividends

This was the most entertaining and exciting quiz of the season.  There was a good balance between conferrals and straight twos.  Several of the rounds were old favourites with a new tweak e.g. the run-ons being given a theme - classical composers and modern performers.  There was never more than a couple of points between the teams and the result was in doubt until the end of Round 8.  The quiz was ably QMed by Robin from The Bards who moved matters on at a swift rate which added to the excitement of the evening.  Despite the mathematical possibility that we could win the League I believe our opponents last night will take the title and it will be well deserved. 

On a far more serious matter I was obliged to take action to put an end to our recent run of poor results.  I had two of our regulars arrested by The Albert security police and there was an immediate improvement.  Eventually the two detainees will probably be shot while trying to escape.  I turned out for the team in order to monitor the rest of them.  Naturally I knew the answers to all our questions but refrained from giving them in order to put the rest of the team under maximum pressure.  This how we roll in the Albert team 

Quiz paper set by...

... The Bards

Average Aggregate score 89.5

A cracking paper from our friends from the Parrswood.  Shortish questions with plenty of points on offer and a good range of inventive round styles.  In our match at the Club there were no unanswered questions at all - and I can't remember that ever being the case before!  If I was to single out one round for special praise then the run-on round that had a classical composer preceding a pop song title/pop group name would take the gold medal.  Well done Bards - the highest average aggregate of the season to-date.

Canada's first stamp


.. and James's verdict ...

A slick quiz; generally bang/bang questions - even in the run-on round; finished by 10.  Only one unanswered I think, and even that would have been cracked if we'd had another go (we went with Derek Jacobi who was also married to a Messalina, played by Sheila White - whilst Albert went for John Hurt - but of course it was Christopher Biggins).

The classical/pop run-ons round was a good idea.  I never understand why classical composers pose such a problem in quizzes.  There are literally only about 100 names to learn - and this quiz chose names from the top 20.  Meanwhile there are currently 3 million pop music artists to choose from on iTunes.

"Yes, but apart from that what did the Romans ever do for us?"


 ... and a happy Damian appreciated the paper big time ...

Needless to say we loved last night's paper from the Bards.  It was just up our street with a nice varied assortment of what I call proper general knowledge.  Most of the themes and questions were fairly accessible and interesting with maybe the odd caveat about some strange pairing (pairs always being the most difficult type of question in which to get the balance right).  We especially loved the classical composer/pop composer run-ons and the alliterative rounds.  I'll take the liberty of guessing that our esteemed opponents will agree.

... and Ivor pretty much agrees ...

By general agreement the paper found favour even with us, the losers.  Jim did an excellent job with the editing, moderation and question allocation.  Tony was pleased to see that the bus company had been correctly called a traction company (R2 Q5) though it did trigger PTSD when he remembered how a league title eluded the Bards some years ago when 'traction' was deemed a wrong answer.  Although the combined scores of all the matches was high it is often the case that a question can fall to the team member who does not know the answer - rather frequently in my case this week with my lack of knowledge of African capitals, Premiership players and film directors.  It did not help that I misheard “Brick Lane” as “Bricklaying” which, given the titles of modern literature, would not be bizarre at all.  Thank goodness for our conferral rescue system.

The quiz was devoid of any 'constipators'  and, although the Pigs might have a reputation for occasionally being slower than a Ladies Four Ball, we were all finished by 10pm.  My suggestion that the winners might buy the losers two rounds to help fill in the time fell on deaf ears. 

We enjoyed the themes (announced and unannounced) and the relative brevity of the questions. It was good to have one’s classical and pop music knowledge tested in the run-ons.  You need breadth as well as depth to be successful in our league!

Reliably memorable


... finally Kieran comments ...

Nobody likes to be made to feel stupid by being asked very obscure or niche questions and it's always fun to bag a bunch of maximums (Nick, Martin and I 6 each) but there weren't any real teasers or "I never knew that" moments.  All very new world Zinfandel as opposed to a Burgundian Gamay that might take a little more effort to get your head around.  I had a pop at the Opsis paper from a couple of weeks ago, perhaps a tad harshly though I was far from alone and now I'm moaning from the other standpoint.  Maybe I'm just too demanding.  

The Music Lovers


Question of the Week

This week I've chosen one from Round 5 where the answers consisted of a classical composer's name overlapping with that of a pop star - and it's Question 6 ...

The Russian composer of Swan Lake; and the only female singer with a number one album in the 1980s, 90s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s?

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

Potteries Wizard