The Withington Pub Quiz League


20th March 2024


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Well done Ethel, the new League Champions!

They squeaked home this week against the Charas to make themselves unassailable at the top of the table; also this week the Opsimaths' win confirmed them as the season's runners up

The Val Draper Cup draw has been made - details below

Electric Pigs lost to Prodigals

Bards beat Albert

Charabancs lost to Ethel Rodin

Opsimaths beat History Men

Charabancs lost to Ethel Rodin

Home and dry - just!  Our new league champions are crowned

James looks forward to a thumping defeat next week

Another close match for Ethel, but, whereas we slipped to narrow defeats in our last two matches, this time, despite the Charabancs hanging on in there until the end, we just about held on.  So for the second time in four seasons Ethel are WithQuiz league winners.

Roddy gets his bone


For new team member Michael Byrne this represents a 100% success rate, so no pressure next season….!

Next week we can safely lose to the Prodigals by 30 points to make sure our handicap for the cup is minimised.

Our team photo for the 2023/24 season should really include John Mellor, whose contributions this season have been as valuable as any of the four in the picture - but he wasn't playing this week.

The Dandy Number Ones


Damian tells of a close run match against the Champs

Well, we did our best to spoil Ethel's coronation as 2024 League Champions but our valiant opponents were not to be denied.  In a close fought affair that went down to the wire they beat us by just 2 points - albeit they had led by a point or two at the end of each round.  Being slightly ahead on twos and steals did the trick for them - and so big congratulations to Ms Rodin for securing their second league title in just three years.

Where Housman's "lads in their hundreds come in for the fair"


All in all we had an enjoyable night even if the result, yet again, didn't quite manage to fall our way (so apologies to Sam once more as we yet again endeavour to fail better).  

To rub salt into our wounds our conquerors asked us to take the celebratory picture for the website (see top of page).  Even my warning that we would refuse to take the picture unless they all agreed to strip naked couldn't deter them.  In the end I relented and let them keep their clothes and dignity intact.  Chara John volunteered to do the honours and take the pic; I think he finally managed to get it on the 25th attempt! 

'Allo 'Allo, it's Herr Flick


Bards beat Albert

Albert slip up again and drift down to fourth place

Like the Stones, Mike needs to find out how to Not Fade Away

Well, a continuation of our poor run.  I attended as a spectator last night.  As I watched them struggle I wondered about the idea of hiring some ninjas to beat them with bamboo poles to make them know more.  It would be win/win really, as, even if it didn't work, I would have the pleasure of inflicting pointless pain on them.

The quiz itself was fair enough full of interesting facts.  At the half way mark we were only one point behind but we faded away in the second half.

The Scriblerus Four


The only golden Oscar


Opsimaths beat History Men

Completing the double over the History Men earns the Opsis second place

Mike chews over a great evening with old mates  

A thoroughly enjoyable evening with our genial (could 'genial' become the new 'convivial'?) guests from the Parrswood.  Anne was her usual charming self; Vanessa was firing on all cylinders (though towards the end of the evening she slumped to the Club carpet claiming that this term's teaching burden had just about finished her off - Howell who could only see her head just poking above the sofa back thought she had shrunk); Ivor was - well just Ivor; while David's encyclopaedic NFL knowledge had him all a-flutter.

Over on the other side of the room the Opsis sat at the big table and coasted their way through to victory courtesy of Round 6 which (I think) went 10-1 our way.  Howell and Charlotte were particularly impressive with Hilary and myself notching a few crucial points along the way.  Brian was his usual authoritative self in the QM chair pitch perfect except for a 'Dove' which accidentally emerged as part of the question when it was indeed the answer.

So, after what seems to us a somewhat lacklustre season - to our surprise - we end up runners up behind Ethel.  Full marks to them for being clearly the best team this year.  The 25-point pounding they gave us at the Club back in the November fixture was an extremely chastening experience.  So, watch out Roddy, we're coming for you next year!



History Man Ivor  remembers days of silver and bronze

Oh dear!  A week is a long time in quizzing.  My thoughts last week of possibly challenging for a Champions League place for next season has been as hubristic as David Steel’s 1981 party conference election hopes.  We can now only aspire to fifth place (and saying that probably guarantees defeat next week).

Nemesis came in the form of our old rivals, the Opsimaths, who have not only done the double over us but also the treble as they eliminated us in the Lowly Grail semi final.  We possibly gave them a scare being two points ahead going into Round 6 which we proceeded to lose 10-1, and, although we clawed a little back, the game was all but lost (or won if you are an Opsimath).  So congratulations to them as they have secured the silver medal this league season.

I would not be so churlish as to mention that I recall the days when the Historymen got the silver or bronze medal and the Opsimaths were challenging for the wooden spoon (Oops! I might have mentioned that accidentally).  

 As always many of the questions and answers evoked past memories and asides: Norman Rockwell’s drawings (not on the New Yorker), Anne Packer’s brood of successful footballers, and a strange story that when The Winds of War was being proposed as a mini-series an aged Wallis Simpson misheard the title as The Windsor War and instructed solicitors to monitor for potential libel (I read that in the Daily Mail so it must be true).

Greatest British film of all time?


Electric Pigs lost to Prodigals

A thumping victory at the Moss moves the Prods up to third place

Jimmy reflects on a good time at the Moss

A relatively quiet night down at the Fletcher Moss with the international break putting paid to braying Blues and raucous Reds - and for once this quizzing season, the Prodigals were all sat in the right seats.

After a couple of close early rounds we got into our stride on the hidden theme Round 3 and never really looked back.  I don't remember that many unanswered questions by either side as we kept slotting regular two pointers away to rack up our joint best league total of the season against a Pigs team that had deservedly turned us over at the Albert club back in October. 

QM Andrew handled matters superbly throughout and the match was played in a really good spirit.

The Man who fed Sergio


Quiz paper set by...

... KFD

Average Aggregate score 73.3

An excellent paper from the always reliable setters from the Griffin.  Good themes (how did it take us so long to rumble the cricket one!) and a wide range of subjects.

The evening kicked off well for me with the first question in the 'Prime Numbers' Round 1.  Only a few days ago I read the results of the same BPG poll referred to in the question (the poll to find the 'Most influential TV shows of the past 50 years') with a view to using it in a quiz I'm setting - not least because its choice of the Number 1 programme exactly chimed with my own assessment.  Sadly the maker of all but the first programme in this series, Michael Apted, died a few years back and so I think the '70 Up' version we were due in 2 years time will never happen.  The curious thing about this series was that it was conceived as a way of proving Aristotle's words "Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man” - but in reality it has proved the opposite with the life stories of the subjects being anything but predictable.  In taking us on this journey through these lives we have all learnt so much more than if Aristotle had been proved right.  Thank you Granada, thank you Michael Apted and thank you KFD for reminding us all!

Artistic covers galore


.. and Jimmy's verdict ...

There was plenty to enjoy about tonight’s offering.  Dot Cotton, Doris Day, the delights of Shropshire and the pop prodigies from Broughty Ferry featured amongst the topics in a wide-ranging set of questions which had something for everyone. 

All the Prods thought that the question about the lone Italian premier league winner was too good to only be a spare, but kudos to the setters for a well-balanced and entertaining quiz.

.. and this is how James saw the  paper ...

Tonight’s quiz was a little less accessible than some recent offerings from KFD, whose quizzes we usually enjoy.  That said, it was fair with the difficult questions shared evenly.

Even more questions than usual, landed with the only team member (in either team) that didn’t know the subject (e.g. “Roddy, which Marvel film….?”, “Graham, in maths…?”).  So, a generally low-scoring affair - but the last round did help to lift the scores. 

... and Damian's view ...

We found KFD's paper a bit of a toughie, although the final score seemed to match the season's average.  I counted 7 unanswered questions which seemed to break evenly between the two teams.  That said the themes were all gettable although my knowledge of prime numbers (like most things mathematical) is extremely wanting, so thank goodness for the presence of the more mathematically attuned players on my team. 

For QotW I have personally chosen the one from the Prime Numbers round about which TV series was voted the most influential in the last 50 years.  Given that the series in question actually began 60 years ago I thought it was a tad misleading but nevertheless much appreciated it. 

... and finally Ivor gives his feedback ...

A tricky little test this week from KFD.  Anne did comment sotto voce that she thinks she now knows what the letter 'F' stands for in their team name.  The genetics questions both yielded zero points.  Most of Dawkins’s  books have interesting titles: River Out Of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving The Rainbow, amongst others so clearly there had been a failure of imagination with the second book title.  Soil science and ionosphere layers also stumped us, though we did enjoy the cricket-themed round (probably because we spotted the theme early) otherwise I might have blurted Brief Encounter as the best British film ever (it is, of course).

Up there!


Question of the Week

This week (much to my approval) Damian has voted for Round 1 (the one with prime numbers in each answer) Question 1 ...

In a recent poll of the Broadcasting Press Guild which British TV series was voted the most influential of the last 50 years?

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

... and also

After the match at the Club, between the Opsimaths and the History Men, we made the draw for this year's Val Draper Cup competition.  You can see the resulting ties on the Fixtures page.  The highlights are ...

  • Albert play at home against the History Men in the preliminary round (Round 1) on April 10th

  • The Bards shoulder the burden (or joy?) of setting the Preliminary Round paper

  • The Round 1 losers set the paper for the following week

  • In Round 2 our top two teams get to fight it out (Opsimaths v Ethel Rodin)

Given that 6 of our teams are neither competing nor setting on April 10th it seems a good idea to arrange one or more friendly matches for the non-competitors using the Bards paper.  The Opsimaths are up for this - any takers?