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14th November 2018

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WIST Champions Cup

Ethel Rodin beat Smart Italics

Alexandra lost to Mantis Shrimp

Travellers Call lost to Dunkin' Dönitz

Opsimaths beat Loko. Stöckpört

A good night for the WithQuiz teams with 3 through in the Lowly Grail and all 4 teams through in the Champions Cup

WIST Lowly Grail

Prodigals beat HMRUFC

History Men lost to Wandering Star

Hatters Arms lost to Albert

Tiviot lost to Charabancs

Ethel Rodin beat Smart Italics

A comfortable win for Ethel over their 'Stockport alter ego'.


Balls to the Italians

(R1/Q6)


Alexandra lost to Mantis Shrimp

Last season's WithQuiz runners up coast to victory at the Alex

Back from her autumn break Rachael reports...

This is the first time you've heard from me this season, but we've finally managed to win a game!  We finished a very enjoyable evening 22 points ahead.  Alexandra were wonderful company and we were all charmed by the venue, particularly by the pub's resident parrot, Mojo, which whistled its encouragement throughout the match.  Bird-fanciers might like to know Mojo is an African Grey.  We were also greatly impressed by the delicious free food which arrived at the end of the quiz!

I was a little concerned at Adam's suggestion that the sudden silence of the parrot and the arrival of a chicken stew might be connected, but I'm happy to report that Mojo was safe and well when we left! 

All in all, a very enjoyable and successful visit to Stockport!


What The Sun headlined in 1935

(R1/Q11)


and from the other side of the room Mike Wagstaffe reports on what he calls 'last night's massacre'...

To paraphrase Jon Landau, I have seen the future of quizzing and it is the Shrimps. This was the first time we've played our young opponents and we were on the wrong end of an absolute pasting.  Tom, Rachael, Adam and Richard were very pleasant company who seemed to enjoy their trip across the river to Edgeley and were rather taken with Mojo, the Alexandra's resident (not dead) parrot.

The paper obviously played to their considerable strengths and they were worthy victors, winning five of the six rounds. We did poorly on the first round and fared even worse in the second.  It was in Rounds 3 to 6 when things got really bad. Despite Sunday's revelation that post-drubbing stats are meaningless, the round scores (CMS first) of 24-15, 8-4, 5-1, 0-2, 5-5 and 8-1 show just how close the match wasn't.  We wish our young conquerors well in the competition - they will take some stopping.


Travellers Call lost to Dunkin' Dönitz

Our reigning WithQuiz league champions win through on the A6

Kieran reports

A win!  An actual, verifiable win, tallied and signed off by Rick Scott.  A victory margin well in excess of 0.5% leaves no room for late filed lawsuits winging their way from Great Moor to Heaton Mersey.  We won!  No fake news here.

Our second quarter final at The Travellers in as many years and the last two WIST champions facing off, in our case at least,  to keep the season alive with the promise of knock-out action at the end of February.  For all its charms Great Moor doesn't instantly bring Turin to mind and The Travellers isn't ever gong to be able to pass itself off as the Allianz but we love it anyway.  I suspect La Vecchia Signora has a similar attitude to 'dirty work gear after 9pm' (unless the gear in question is Signor Chiellini's shorts).  But that, and the drinks prices, is all the two venues have in common.  

Robinsons website, giving The Travellers the big sell, promised us a talent contest at 9pm followed by karaoke.  The Travellers has won the local karaoke league in recent years and has the certificate to prove it - no, we have no idea how that works either.  Our hosts quickly informed us that no such entertainment had ever been put on and, very sadly, that our wonderful plastic trombone man hadn't darkened the doors since we last played here.  One punter did her best, a capella, and she was very obviously having a splendid evening but it wasn't quite the all-singing, all-dancing floorshow we had anticipated.  Robinsons brewery might as well be CNN.  It's fake news guys.  Sad.  

I see that WithQuiz swept up in all four WIST Champions Cup matches and so we'll be welcoming the Opsimaths to The Griffin the same night that the Charming Man returns to the Etihad (probably).  Go on Mike, if you go to the West Ham game instead of playing the semi final I promise that David and I will do the same (we won't but shhhhh!).


Max Gate

(R1/Q12)


Opsimaths beat Loko. Stöckpört

The home team notch up 56 points to beat their Stockport rivals

Mike Bath reports

The visitors' very respectable tally would have seen them there or thereabouts in most of the evening's other matches but the home team were on sparkling form.

I QMed whilst our newest recruit, Innis Carson (last year's Edinburgh captain from University Challenge who is now working on the programme alongside Richard and Tom at Media City) made his debut.

As ever with these matches we really enjoyed the company of our Stockport guests who did not get the rub of the green with the way the questions fell.  Alice opted for the Daily Sketch instead of the Daily Herald as the Sun's progenitor only to see the home team get the Sketch as the erstwhile bedfellow of the Mail.  Indeed whenever there was a 50/50 choice Loco seem to have gone the wrong way.

Since the Prods were also at home and had nabbed the back lounge we had to contend with some noisy tennis players in the main lounge area for which many apologies to our visitors.  I trust we will meet them all again before too long.

and Howell chips in...

Good team performance last night - as Bruce Forsyth said "didn't we do well"... there wasn't much competitive tension after the first 16 questions when we were 7 ahead and the 13-5 score on the written round finished our visitors off!!

Nevertheless it has to be said Loco were the best scoring team from the Stockport League!


Prodigals beat HMRUFC

The Prods get the better of a close encounter with the Rugby players.

Dave managed to make it along to boost Jimmy, John and Kate's performance - with Danny acting as the genial QM.  Although still wheelchair-bound Dave is looking much better and (of course) is as sharp as ever at the quizzing.

It was remarkable to see 98 points being notched up a few feet away in the front lounge in the Opsis/Loco match whilst just 71 were recorded in this back lounge match .


The Peterloo memorial...

“It’s not going to be a memorial that people look at and admire, but a civil monument that people actually use. That seems to capture the egalitarian spirit of Peterloo itself.  I want people to be able to sit on it and have their lunch.”

(R1/Q18)


History Men lost to Wandering Star

The visiting Stars wandered into the Red Lion and wandered back at closing time over the Mersey as the only successful Stockport team of the evening

Mike H reports

This week, the History people were not helped by their leader, Ivor, being away at a conference and another potential member being laid low and losing her voice. There were only three of us,  Ann, David and myself with the QM (and certainly the star of the evening) being Alison.

It was a very low-scoring evening  (an aggregate of 58 points - perhaps the lowest ever for a WIST-format match)with the three History people on the losing side.  It was a lengthy contest too, with a late finish at about 10.50.  Apart from QM Alison, our other star was Ann, with her, as ever, comic caustic comments. There were lots and lots of unanswered questions.

Curiously the first two Stockport-style rounds were won by the WithQuiz team and the 4 WithQuiz-style rounds by the  Stockport team.  There were only 12 twos scored all evening, 9 of those being in the first round. The History Men won the first round (14-11); the next three were drawn (1-1 in the case of Round 3!!!) but our opponents surged ahead in the penultimate round winning it 6-1.  If Ivor had been playing he would have surely made a difference and notched some twos.

Withquiz is never boring as the camaraderie is all important but for the History Men, quiz-wise, this was not a night to remember.


Would you rather have Donald J?

(R2/Q1)


Hatters Arms lost to Albert

A goodly victory for the WithQuiz visitors to Marple

Mike O'Brien was there to witness it

A very pleasant evening in Marple at an unreconstructed pub with lots of small rooms.  In order not to let the Withington quiz league down we reined in our usual lunacy - no paddle, no rat, no Icelandic sheep noise.  Because we were playing a team of very pleasant blokish types we attempted to respond in kind - why I even found myself saying well done to Ashton at one point rather than the usual "that was an easy one".  I think we came over as pleasant blokish types,  successfully concealing the  suppurating melange of venom, backbiting and treachery which constitute the recognised ethos of The Albert.  I'm sure we'll recover from the culture shock soon.


Halycon days

(R2/Q5)


Tiviot lost to Charabancs

Home and dry for the WithQuiz visitors in this Tiviot Dale clash

Gerry reports

The state of nirvana was reached by the Charas long before half time; maybe not a liberation from Ignorance but certainly a liberation from desire. Both  teams found it hard going tonight - particularly the Tiviot who were forced to play as a threesome due to founder member Hamish having other and bigger fish to fry at a different venue.

They are a team of veterans that have survived worse catastrophes.  Their home pub, redolent of 1950s charm and atmosphere, was falling down about their ears long before it was condemned and finally demolished about five years ago. They ply their trade now in the Railway on the A6, a decent pub with decent beer. Just ignore the perpetual roadworks outside and the overpriced B&Q store across the road and head homewards across Heaton Norris park where the badgers are  numerous and unknowing. Sometimes it is good to meet fellow creatures who neither know nor care  to know how little you know.


Dodgy Ernie: To Southern Cemetery via Wallasey and Monaco

(R2/Q8)


Quiz paper set by...

Stockport League

Average aggregate 76.5

A fairly low aggregate for this format of paper but perhaps the most intriguing feature was the wide range of aggregate scores from the various matches - from 98 points in the Opsis/Loco clash to 56 in the Stars/History Men encounter!

The questions provided plenty to get stuck into as our correspondents note. 


Delivered for Gloucestershire, Arsenal, Bristol City and the Royal Mail

(R4/Q5)


From the Hatters Mike O'B finds much to like in the paper...

"The quiz itself was very fair and well balanced with a wide range of topics.  As appears to have become traditional with Withquiz teams we did better on the Stockport-style rounds than the WithQuiz section.  We were fairly hopeless with the music questions - perhaps the 1970s were simply before our time; but did rather better on the Ancient world and the sports questions with the exception of the Slovenian cyclist.  All in all a very worthy quiz spent in good company (not us - The Hatters)."


The 'Kilmarnock Camus'

(R1/Q14)


From the Alex Mike Wagstaffe has these observations...

"This was a tough paper, very tough. It was a struggle from start to finish, although it was fair and balanced as both teams found it hard going and there was no discernible ‘toss advantage’.  Relatively speaking the first round wasn't too bad, but we found the theme in the written round rather obscure. One of the ideas behind using a theme in this type of round is that it can help teams fill in gaps once they've 'twigged' what the theme is.  For this to work the theme should be accessible, which (in our opinion) wasn't the case here.  Most people would struggle to name any Thornbridge beer, never mind ten.

At half-time we hoped that things might turn around in the second half.  Fat chance. The triplets round worked ok, but the sporting duallists round was accompanied by the first recorded sighting in Stockport of tumbleweed. Across the four WithQuiz-style rounds we managed a pathetic nine points and my cap currently sports the world's smallest feather, as scorer of our team’s solitary two-pointer of the night."


A sculling pedaller

(R4/Q3)


From the Alex/Shrimp contest Rachael reports...

"The Stockport-style questions from the first half of the quiz presented us with  some challenges, but they definitely favoured us rather than the Alex and by half-time we were about fifteen points ahead.  Things became closer in the second half though we still managed to extend our lead by the end of the match. Neither team enjoyed the sports round very much; we didn't get a single point in this round while our opponents managed a mere two.  Mind you we were hampered by the lack of our sports expert who will be absent for the next few weeks as he recovers from surgery (get well soon James!).

The connections round was fun as were the hidden theme rounds and we enjoyed some of the questions in the homophone round though the theme did cause some initial confusion."

...and Kieran offers this feedback from the Travellers Call...

"The quiz was rather harder than the usual WIST standard but it made both teams exercise what remains of our brains and produced its fair share of inspired answers from both sides. And I'll always know - when required - that Len Deighton was a pastry chef before he started writing."


The walled city of Jaipur

(R2/Q10)


Finally a gnomic James...

"It was a tough start to the evening for both teams though it improved a little as things went on - however the sporting duallists round wasn't pretty.

Generally speaking this was a hard and esoteric paper.

On the plus side I did spot the Thornbridge link, although it didn't really help...."


Question of the Week

The Pigs weren't playing tonight (nor was Anne-Marie in the Prods line-up) but in their honour I have chosen the Emmeline Pankhurst statue question at Round 1 Question 9.

December 14th, the date for the unveiling in St Peter's Square, looms and Andrew's tireless efforts (inspired by Anne-Marie's original thoughts) will come to fruition.  I am lucky enough to have seen a maquette of the statue and held it (see below).

The frumpy Queen Vic in Piccadilly Gardens will be joined - at last - by a truly great Mancunian woman as the only statues of women in Manchester City Centre.  So to paraphrase the regular patter of The Apprentice "Lord Simcock's search for the next female statue continues....".

Oh, and the question was...

Who designed the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst which will be placed in St Peter’s Square on 14th December?

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


Lighting up Ely on all 8 sides

(R6/Q3)


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