Withington Pub Quiz League

QUIZBIZ - 17th December 2014

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Ethel, Dunkin' D and the Opsimaths win but the Bards lose; all to play for as we hit the season's halfway mark

The Results

Dunkin' Dönitz are roaring back into form as their talisman, Barry, returns.  Tonight at the Griffin they dispatched The Electric Pigs with some aplomb.  Kieran tells us what went on....

"Our fourth successive victory so maybe we are getting back to something like normal form.  Still not the usual foursome, however, since David was understandably being the proud father at his daughter's school prize-giving.  I think we'll allow him that one.  Simon played in his place yet again (I think now he's our most used super sub with four appearances so far this season).  We'd have struggled without his knowledge of Bonnie Prince Charlie's final resting place and also his sudden inspiration in dredging up Maxwell's Silver Hammer.   

Barry is getting better I'm delighted to report but he's still taking strong medicine so I'd warned him to keep the racism and homophobia under control.  He just about managed and the Pigs left The Heatons with only their pride bruised.  Barry was late to the contest however, having been held up in the jams on the A34. 

A good night all round and only 7 unanswered questions, which went 5-2 against us.  One of those papers that didn't seem to yield that many twos but favoured conferring and team efforts to get to the right answer.  A case in point would be our question of the week....'You stupid boy' sounded impossible at first until you thought about it for a while, and then talked about it a bit, and the answer became pretty obvious.

No disrespect to Simon but I wish David had been there because he would have seen me answer The Sabre Dance for a two.  Since he believes I'm a philistine whose knowledge of classical musical or indeed anything that can be described as 'culture' is about the same as Russell Brand's knowledge of, well anything, I would have liked to have seen his slack-jawed astonishment.

Happy Christmas to all, and see you in the New Year.  We're on our way back.  Be afraid, be very afraid!"

The Bards suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of The Charabancs of Fire.  Just as you thought you knew who was going to cruise home in the new year following their confident victory over close rivals, The Opsimaths, last week along comes a coachload from the Tuirnpike to throw everything back into the air.  Damian tells us what went on....

"Despite the Stockport half of the team (Gerry and Roisin) suggesting I use their current ill-health as a possible excuse for our inevitable drubbing, it turned out to be a satisfactory end to the first half of the season for the inconsistent Charas with a victory over the current league leaders!  Why, oh why, can't we get results like this more often?

The Bards were in their usual commanding form for the first 6 rounds although we duly kept pace with them for the most part.  We managed to come into our own in the second half and finally established a lead in Round 7 that we never relinquished."

...and John Dennison offers his own postscript to Damian's match report....

"Hope Gerry and Roisin are feeling a bit better after last night's stirring events.

It's not that often that a major goal is achieved and I think it should be properly marked.  I'm not talking about beating the Bards which any team could do - that just requires you to score more points than they do.  I'm talking about the objective of the season which was to be mediocre.  We now have stats which read: Played 10, Won 5, Lost 5, Points for 347, Points against 347, Points difference 0.  If that's not mediocrity I'll hang up my thesaurus.  Merry Christmas."

With Rachael away, Richard and Adam did their best, as a twosome, to keep the Compulsory Meat Raffle flag flying, but in the end the volume and weight of The Opsimaths prevailed in a surprisingly noisy Turnpike.  Nick was our QM for the evening and managed - just about - to overcome the very loud effing and jeffing going on in the background.  It was a most affable evening with lots of chat about the theory and practice of competitive quizzing leavened by some admiring nods in the direction of Professor Jim Al-Khalili whose BBC4 programme on Quantum Physics (The Secrets of Quantum Physics) has even managed to get me interested in the subject.  A return to D:Ream for Prof Cox methinks - the life scientific has just got a whole lot better.

Anyway back to the quiz.  Personally I went from zero for being 'afraid, very afraid' of Psycho (a truly terrible blurt on my part), to hero for knowing that the bricklayer from Bath was none other than my idol who I had the honour of meeting at the Etihad just last year.  The greatest in my Book!  Thanks, Dave for ensuring that this question came my way (how did you know?).  I can forgive all those Darlo name-checks now!

Albert just lost out to joint top team Ethel Rodin at a very noisy Fletcher Moss.  Whilst Ethel share the same number of League points as the Bards they are second on 'points scored difference' having achieved a mere 32 more than they've conceded in the ten matches to date.  Even more surprisingly Dunkin' Dönitz lie in fourth place having scored 3 fewer than they've conceded in their ten matches.  By comparison The Bards have a healthy 104 points difference advantage and The Opsimaths an 83 points advantage.

Back to the Fletcher Moss....James sends this report on affairs....

"If you found the jugular joke in tonight's paper painful it was only a fraction of the painfulness of taking part in this quiz.

The Fletcher Moss a week before Christmas offers little acoustic opportunity for a quiz of this nature to be fully appreciated - and actually that was probably the main gripe of the night.  We like this pub, but it is only now after closing time as I write this that the ambient noise has reduced to a level where we can hear ourselves think, let alone hear the questions."

The Prodigals were entertaining the mercurial History Men - up one week and cocking a snook at the league leaders, down in the dumps the next.  This week was a 'snook week' for Ivor's motley crew as their engine steam-rollered the Prodigals.  Ivor offers these thoughts on proceedings at the Albert Club....

"A week is a long time in politics and it so it is in the quiz world.  After our trouncing last week at the hands of the Albert we would not be the bookies’ favourite to take the points against the Prodigals especially as we were only three-handed.  However Tim was on fire and the questions fell to the right seats so not even the might of Egghead Dave, or Big Ed, or the Glennon/Bassett combination of Danny and Cheryl was able to stop us tonight.  I do not believe we have ever been ahead 22-4 after only three rounds.  Anne-Marie QMed tonight and condemned the quiz fairly early on as a 'boys’ quiz' and it is true there were a fair amount of engineering and footie questions.  Ann-Marie is setting in a month’s time and there might well be a girls' backlash.  Be afraid…. be very afraid. Anyhow in all other respects the evening was, extremely convivial.  Happy Christmas to all our rivals and let’s hope 2015 will be as fun as 2014 was."

The Paper

The paper this week was set by The Men They Couldn't Hang.

It was on the tougher end of the scale with an average aggregate of just 68.8 but, as is always the case with one of Dave's efforts, beautifully crafted and cleverly worded to entertain.  The trouble is that, increasingly, such fine touches fall (literally) on deaf ears as our pubs get rowdier - or we get collectively harder of hearing.  It seems that at both the Fletcher Moss and The Turnpike the QMs had their work cut out.  My hope is that when Labour get back in next year and James' better half becomes Minister for Culture, the Media and Pub Quizzes there will be a Bill rapidly brought forward to prevent noise in pubs and clubs on Wednesdays (Thursdays in Stockport, of course).  I will scour the manifesto when it becomes available and let you know.  This could be a real differentiator between Labour and UKIP who, on the other hand, are known to favour noisy pubs with loudmouths proclaiming their zenophobic views to all who'll listen.

As ever Dave embellished the evening's paper with a lovingly hand drawn sketch on the envelope (see the image of the CMR v Opsimaths envelope accompanying these words); this time representing TMTCH's Christmas card to the league.

Perhaps the main area of criticism for tonight's paper is reflected in Anne-Marie's comment from the Prodigals v History Men match reported by Ivor above, namely that Dave does love his 'boy's toys' - this time parts of a gun rather than WW2 tanks or planes.  Darlo and other NE football teams also got a good airing again tonight.  As I've said on countless occasions before, however, it's the variety and personal idiosyncrasies of our setters that makes Wednesday evenings such a delight.

One practice I did notice Dave had adopted last night, which I think he hasn't previously.....When a themed round (Rounds 2 and 6 last night) depended on spotting a word that can precede or succeed another word ('play' and 'mark' in tonight's paper) then the theme word was declared at the start of the round.  I think this makes good sense as with these types of link - more often than not - the theme is too hard to work out and the process of trying to get it overwhelms the rest of that round's worthy content.

What did the rest of you think?

Damian:

"Tonight's offering from the Hangmen, tackled at the Cricket Club in the presence of Hangman Dave himself, was full of the usual well-crafted and well-thought out topics and themes that Yours Truly would never think to set.  But hey, that's just me!  Well done to the Hangmen for their different and original take on what constitutes an interesting quiz.

QotW: In the absence of any consensus, I nominate the one about the Lancashire location for Disraeli's 'One Nation Speech'.  If only I had had the courage to insist on the Free Trade Hall instead of agreeing to go along with Preston Guildhall!

Funniest AotW: Possibly my suggestion to the team in the round that required an answer that could prefix the word 'marks'.  When we were discussing what was the name missing from the Magnificent Seven character list we came up with a load of possible candidates one of which quite rung true.  Eventually, and more in hope than expectation, I ventured the suggestion that he might have been called 'Skid'.  Well, I tried!"

Ivor:

"We quite liked this paper which, as always for a TMTCH paper, was both interesting and challenging.  The 'play' and 'marks' prefix rounds were very well thought out (in the latter case young David was waiting for the band fronted by Richard Jobson, The Skids, whilst I was anticipating Severe Combined Immuno-Deficiency or SCID syndrome. 

Our nomination for QotW was the Jimmy Perry father quote.  Although this was not his question Danny managed to work out the answer.  Our 'close second' nomination would be the Trigger question."

....and finally James:

"We are sure a lot of effort went into setting this quiz, but I'm afraid many of the more carefully written questions ended up in frustrated nonchalance because of the ambient noise at the Fletcher Moss.  Our nomination for QotW went to the Jimmy Perry father quote."

Question of the Week

This week a number of you opted for Round 1 Question 7:

According to TV comedy scriptwriter Jimmy Perry's memoirs, published in 2002, what did his father say to him at the age of 16 when he said he wanted to become an actor or a comedian?

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

Chatterbox

Against my better judgement a friend has persuaded me to have another go at getting onto Only Connect.  Anyone from WithQuiz fancy joining us us for the audition?  We need one extra team member to make up the three required.

...and finally a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.  Our next round of matches will be 4 weeks away on January 14th.  This extra long break will allow knackered students time to recuperate at home and swat up on pre-1990 pop music - and dud fuddy duddies (like me) a chance to talk to their children and grandchildren and learn all about Indie bands.

Dusty's Clippings

Blobber Soul

Were any of youse at early mass the other Sunday?  God, that Fr Megson was awful hard on me.  It was like bumping into Chopper Harris when he was in his pomp.  I was heartscalded.  Poor Mr Dusty who prides himself on being as insensitive as the next man was heartscalded too and took to his bed for a week and the man from the dole had to come around and collect his signature at his bedside.  I think even the rooster was heartscalded.  He hasn't crowed since apart from a half-hearted squawk when the X-Factor came on - and he only pecks at his Coco Pops.  Bad cess to the clergy.  For two pins, I'd turn Stalinist and liquefy the lot of them, the whole caboodle.  Good enough for them.

Mr Dusty is not optimistic.  He is a passionate student of current affairs and often reads The Daily Star from cover to cover.  He is firmly of the opinion that there is not much chance of a bloody revolution in the North of England before next May at the earliest.  On the positive side though, he reckons that 'Suck It And See' has an excellent chance of being placed in the 3:30 at Wincanton.  I'm a fierce teleological woman by nature so I'll pop out for a wee flutter after I've mangled the neeps and who needs a revolution when you are a winner and the cupboard under your sink is crammed full of bottles of strong alcohol.  If Fr Megson calls to cadge a Christmas drink I'll give him Harpic and pretend it was a tragic accident.

Morbid depression and bunions is a terrible price to pay for being an artist.  How can I ever do a blob when I spend my nights staring into a gaping abbess or whatever it's called and my days too plum-tuckered even to pop into Lidl.  Mr Dusty says feck all that arty-farty stuff for a game of soldiers, you'd be lucky to get a bottle of stout these days for half a crown let alone a work of art.  And anyway, if you still want to do the oul blob couldn't you just do it in a stream of unconsciousness like what that Joyce wotsername did in her book about Finnegan's Wake whoever the fcek Finnegan was when he was at home.  "Don't think about it", was Mr Dusty's literary advice, "Let her rip bejaysus and care not a fig for the philistine sensibilities of hoors like Fr Megson and his henchmen who have done for the WithQuiz website what fcekin Mussolini did for Abyssinia.  Be true to yourself, old girl.  But not a blessed word, mind, about my wee problem in the bedroom department or about what that rooster said about me last night.  Sure, he never would have said such a thing if you hadn't poured that sourmash over his Coco Pops.

Well, be that as it may, I'll have to put me blob on the back burner till Twelfth Night at the earliest.  The Baby Jesus will soon be celebrating his 2014th birthday.  God, can you believe how awful quick kids grow up these days!   Christmas might be fine and dandy if you happen to be the Messiah but it just means more skivvying in the kitchen for me.  It will be worse than ever this year as the rooster says he has ethical issues about the jerking of dead turkeys and could we keep it vegetarian this year.  And not just fcekin neeps.  I told him to mind his language and I'd see what I could muster up.  Little does he know that back in the 60's in our courting days me and young Mr Dusty were great fans altogether of the Craddocks when they used to cook on the telly.  We would write the recipes down and make a mad dash for the scullery when it was over.  I still fondly remember them days (before Mr Dusty decided to become a useless gobshite) when nothing would give him greater pleasure than to play Johnny to my Fanny.  We used to tickle palates the length and breadth of Ladybarn with our legendary soya bean tripe and kidney pie served with sun-dried potato peelings - and for pudding you would have been hard pressed to find a pamplemousse stuffed with greater aplomb.

So fear not little red rooster.  This Christmas you will be a quorn-fed chicken.  Fr Megson and the rest of youse can fcek off and fend for yourselves.

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