Withington Pub Quiz League

QUIZBIZ - 30th September 2015


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WithQuiz's 38th season starts with a thrilling tie between Ethel and the Dunkers - accompanied by wins for the Bards, the Opsimaths, Mantis Shrimp and Albert

The Results

The Bards of Didsbury beat The Electric Pigs at the Cricket Club.  Tony offers his views on the evening....

"We enjoyed a relaxed evening with the Pigs.  The questions were slow in arriving and even slower in the reading out.  Eric tried to apply the new rules but some of the questions were a tad on the interminable side and needed to be repeated as everyone had forgotten what the question was about by the time the question mark arrived.  Having four bingo rounds was certainly overegging that pudding although we did all agree that the Biblical Blockbuster Bingo was enjoyable with some well chosen questions.  We scored very heavily on these whilst the Pigs drew the short straw time and again.  Otherwise the quizzing was pretty much level pegging - indeed the Pigs enjoyed an early lead.

Whatever  happened to good themes and clever pairing?   I think someone had a touch of the PMTs!"

(Ed: This is positively the last time I will publish any comments that contain references to 'PMT', 'Potteries' or 'Traction')


Compulsory Mantis Shrimp beat The History Men at The Turnpike - as Rachael reports...

"A very convivial evening at the Turnpike where the recently renamed Mantis Shrimps finished with a score of 33 to the History Men's 25.  Although we were ahead  throughout the match, our opponents did claw back points to run us pretty close at several points in the game.  The History Men were delightful opponents as always and we look forward to playing them again in the next leg!"

....whilst Ivor's first report of the campaign as losing skipper goes thus:

"The excitement has been building up for weeks - the start of a new season and can we regain the heights of yesteryear (second in 2004/5 and 2007/8) or are we doomed to continue our downward quizzical drift (seventh last year)?  Sadly for us it is the latter with a comprehensive victory by the Mantis Shrimp (no we do not know either where the name has come from)."


The Prodigals lost to The Opsimaths in the first Albert Club derby of the season.  Things looked tight in the early rounds but then as the bingo stuff took hold the Prodigals drifted behind and never managed to recover the gap.  To be fair the choices they made on the bingo rounds (in comparison to the Opsimaths' plumps) were ill-fated.  In a literal sense it was a very hot encounter as the Club's crazy heating system accelerated into deep winter mode and left a few sweaty brows.

Ethel Rodin tied with Dunkin' Dönitz at the Ladybarn Club.  Kieran writes....

"An up and down evening on a challenging paper which maybe promised more than it delivered.  The prospect of an entire Boycott bingo round was just about the most exciting introduction imaginable, but then no 'my mother's pinny' nor indeed an appearance of Mrs. B's sweeping brush.

Euro bingo was similarly in and out but The Leningrad Cowboys are totally new to me and they look an entertaining bunch so once again Wednesday evening has added to the sum of my knowledge.  I was certain that IIR would provide an easy two points in the biblical bingo rounds - how wrong could I be?   And who has ever heard of the character involved, or, indeed, who can remember his name even now?  P.R.U.D.E.N.C.E. was also a bit tough.  I felt bit it all made for an exciting evening with Ethel getting the draw with a point for Malmo on the last question.  

Barry made an early claim for goal of the season by correctly identifying the American Spice Trade Association.  Given the subject matter Martin and I thought that the 'TA' would stand for 'tingling arse' but we've never really got out of the fourth form as far as humour goes.

And on top of all that, Manchester 2 Germany 0 London 0.  Not a bad night."

Albert beat The Men They Couldn't Hang.  Mike sums up matter-of-factly with a sombre touch....

"Both teams were complete and able to start at 8.30 and finish around 10.30.  The paper was generally fair.  The Bingo rounds (for a change) seemed to arouse few complaints about varying level of difficulty.  A few questions were overly verbose - and to demand  knowledge about  the scale for measuring the hotness of spice was asking a lot.  The Albert's favourite question of the week was number 20 in the city bingo round.

After all this it did feel strange to be in a home fixture without Mary asking the questions."

(The City bingo question to which Mike refers was: 'It may have started in the Balkans as a protest but nobody paid any attention and it quickly became harmless. That was in 1961 when it was generally called a 'Grecque'.  Turning its back on fickle fame, it retreated to Eastern Europe where it lived under sedation until 2010.  Then some English citizens caught sight of it on the banks of the river Warthe and carried it back triumphantly to their own lair where it still resides.  What is it?')

The Paper

The paper for this first week of the season was set by The Charabancs of Fire.

This was a tough paper with a an average aggregate of 63.6 some way below the overall average for last season of 70.5.  At the Albert Club we found the first two rounds considerably tougher than the rest of the paper.  The bingo rounds got the scoring going and, as Mike says above, the level of hardness did seem to have been fairly balanced across these rounds .  The bingo-themed Round 5 had some good questions but no-one had the faintest idea what the theme was as the round progressed.  Indeed some didn't understand the theme even after Stella had read it out at the end of the round.  I suspect the hand of an émigré Yorkshireman here!

In mitigation the paper did remind us all of one of the most insightful, and moving, current affairs quotes of recent times (from the Leveson enquiry) in Rounds 7/8 Question 13:

'When I was 21 I would often find myself running down a dark street on my own with ten big men chasing me.  The fact that they had cameras meant that that was legal.  But take away the cameras and what have you got?  You have a pack of men chasing a frightened woman'.

Ivor had similar sentiments about the paper's toughness in his comments....

"The quiz was played in the presence of Damian and although he did not confess which questions he had set, he shouldered the blame for all of them.  The overall verdict was that the questions were too hard - though an alternative opinion might be that our brains are too soft.  Perhaps we are too old to learn the names of new pop singers and film stars (i.e. anyone after 1980).  We were even on shaky ground with the more 'elderly' material - not even knowledge of Biblical names was any help in identifying the discoverer of nuclear magnetic resonance.

Question of the Week for us was one of the spares: the owner of the first Abyssinian Wire Haired Tripe Hound.  Interesting question, interesting answer.  We needed more of those."

....whilst from the same match Rachael was a little kinder....

"The paper was largely enjoyed by all, though some of the more difficult questions, such as the alternative pepper scale and the nickname given to the navy proved beyond us all.  The length of some questions, however, made them difficult to follow.  We ended up with a large number of unanswerables, but, nevertheless, found the paper fun and challenging.  The biblical bingo round was a great idea as was the European bingo.

I think the consensus was that the spare question about the owner of an Abysinian wire-haired tripe-hound was question of the week, though I was personally most impressed by Adam recognising the photo of the Leningrad Cowboys.  I'd be interested to know how many other teams were able to identify them.  I now feel vindicated for some of the trickier music questions I've set in the past!"

Question of the Week

Compulsory Mantis Shrimp's name change (from Compulsory Meat Raffle) turns out to be the only thing that has shifted since last season - and with their inaugural triumph this week over the History Men we'll indulge Rachael and her team mates and let them choose the first QotW - the Spare Question from Round 2:

Who is the proud owner of the first Abyssinian wire-haired tripe hound recorded?

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

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