The Withington Pub Quiz League


13th March 2024


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Coronation on hold

Ethel lose and the Opsimaths win to go clear in second place; but only miraculous scorelines over the next two weeks can prevent Ethel from winning the league

KFD lost to Bards

Electric Pigs beat Charabancs

Opsimaths beat Albert

History Men beat Ethel Rodin

Electric Pigs beat Charabancs

The Pigs advance their chances of moving up the table whilst the Charas remain firmly rooted to the foot

"Forty one years of cruel repression is just what's needed, my people"


History Men beat Ethel Rodin

A famous victory by the History Men delays Ethel's coronation

Ivor reports the History Men are eying a top 4 finish

Ethel did come close to a coronation tonight and led 17-22 at half time.  We only caught them half way through the last round so it made for an exciting finish.  We played 'first first'.  There were six unanswereds and Ethel got five of them.  Despite getting more steals than us (2-5) we got more twos (11-7) which kept us ahead in the end.  That we won by two points was a satisfactory reversal of fortune as we had lost our away fixture five months ago with the same margin courtesy of my “Jennifer Jupiter” blurt on the penultimate question.  Still I do not suppose we have delayed Ethel’s acquisition of silverware for long as it would take some amazing results to overturn their goal difference. Such happenings might occur in Indian Cricket spot-betting but not in our gentile parlour game where respect is paramount (and one's own team-mates are only allowed to call you an imbecile, or worse, no more frequently than twice a game).

Regular readers will know that the Historymen do not usually come from behind and tonight it was Vanessa’s turn to be our star with three consecutive twos, a steal and a save  in Rounds 6, 7 and 8. Regular readers might also speculate as to whether imbibing ale and spirits blunts our late round performances, and as Vanessa does not drink, this might well be the case.  Our recent results now mean there is a chance that we could even make it into next season’s Champion’s league.  I might even start to encourage my team members, as David Steel did with his members in 1981 ("Go back to your constituencies and prepare for Government”).   On second thoughts…

Finally to add that we were all pleased to hear that Geoff is recovering from his recent illness; we send our best wishes.  Football questions are much more slowly answered (if at all) when he's not around!

Hollywood's first Western star


KFD lost to Bards

Defeat by the Bards means KFD slip behind in the runners up race

Both May ... but only one had the ball at his feet


'Bobby Charlton' coaches the goalie


Opsimaths beat Albert

Opsimaths win the battle of the runner up contenders

Mike looked on from the QM seat

It was a tough evening for the Albert squad.  First of all they were reduced to three human players alongside a pair of Paddles who sat in Seat one and - although they were only permitted to confer all night - said not a word.  Ashton was on holiday and Julian and Stephen unavailable.  Secondly they won the toss, went first and seemed to have the tougher questions.  Thirdly I think they were less well-equipped to deal with the pop music stuff that came their way than their opponents.

Having said this the Opsimaths were on good form with newbie Charlotte making a significant contribution.  Brian was suitably flattered at his elevation to the status of cult hero in Round 5 although there was a suspicion that the introduction to this round was as much a sideswipe at the rest of the Opsimaths and their setting prowess as a tribute to Brian's excellence.  Anyway when Brian's turn came in this round, with the Walter White question, he had to confer.

As for the score the Opsimaths crept into an early lead and just stayed in front for the rest of the evening.  There were plenty of unanswered questions (as elsewhere it seems) and so the scores were on the low side.  Despite this it was a highly enjoyable evening with plenty of good laughs along he way - not least thank to Jeremy, Mike and Eveline being such warm and friendly guests.

Oliver Reed packs his trunk and says goodbye to the Nazis


Mike announces important information about the annual Albert team photo

For us already obliged to play three-handed this turned out to be the hardest quiz of the season.  Rounds 1 and 4 really did for us but we did improve enough to make the second half a draw.

We won the toss and went first but on reflection would have done better to go second.  Without having kept the exact score it felt as if there was a very high number of unanswered questions.

The most amusing question of the night for us concerned the Livepool author of  The Streets.  Nadine is so talented. 

This week I have had to make a public apology concerning my decision to alter The Albert annual team photo.  Observers have pointed  out several incongruities  - Eveline is smiling, Jeremy looks as if he knows the answers to some football questions and I am unperturbed over the numerous shortcomings of the team.

A pair of Coxes


Quiz paper set by...

... The Prodigals

Average Aggregate score 70.0

Quite a tough paper with an aggregate average a tad below the season's norm (75.8).  Having said this there was a plethora of inventive question styles deployed - and even a round where four different styles were used on each of the four different pairs of questions.  Perhaps a little too much pop music stuff for our liking at the Albert Club but loads of fascinating facts on display elsewhere to keep one amused.

My own favourite question (R8Q3) was the one about the last person to score a Division One goal before the world was taken over by the mighty Premiership.

Although there were no Hidden theme rounds (unusually) there were some hidden gems in the answers with the evening kicking off with a pair of appendages and ending suitably for a paper used on March 13th with a Middlemarch.  Nice one Prods!

Fish out of water


.. and Ivor's verdict ...

We loved this quiz (do winners ever detest a quiz?).  It certainly required a team with varied interests but mercifully not too much contemporary stuff to addle our ageing brains. Indeed the only modern answer we came up with was Vanessa’s wrong answer of a rapper with an X in his name instead of Bix Beiderbecke.  It is always a delight to be reminded of the past; Nadia Comaneci (though now fattened up), Sergey Bubka (also so fattened he would not clear 1m now), the ageless Nile Rogers, the talented Sarah, Duchess of York, and your very own Googie Withers (and what to do with it if it does).  And a whole round on Brians, a name which like Gary and Dwayne, is heading for extinction in the most popular boys’ names rankings.

I did have some luck tonight with the (allegedly) easiest question of the night: the “Nobody is perfect” quote.  I would not have known the answer 40 years ago - as Gary Player once noted “The more I practice the luckier I get” and that applies to quizzing too.

End of an era


Question of the Week

This week I've chosen the one about the last day of the old Football Division one at Round 8 Question 3 ...

It is a well-known quiz trope that the first goal scored in the Premier League was by Brian Deane of Sheffield United.  But which Arsenal player was the last player to score in Division One?  A 90-minute effort in his side’s 3-1 win against Southampton, making him the League’s leading goal scorer for that season?

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

"What me Minister for Culture, Media and Sport? You must be joking!"


... and also

Next week at the Albert Club, at the end of Opsimaths v History Men match, I'll organise the draw for the Val Draper Cup competition so we all know who is setting the paper for Round 1 (April 10th) and which teams get a bye into Round 2 (April 17th).