Worcester, Oxford v. Clare, Cambridge
Ah, the first Oxbridge head to head of the season. Might this mean a close match ? First to be introduced were the Worcester team of Dave Knapp, Jack Bramhill, Jonathan Metzer, and captain Rebecca Gillie. JP informed us that the skipper had only decided to give UC a go after coming away from a quiz machine and realizing she’d made a profit. Well, that’s no easy thing to do at all. Their opponents Clare were represented by Kris Cao, Daniel Janes, Jonathan Foxwell, and captain Jonathan Burley, and were another very young team, with an average age of 20.
The first sign we had that Worcester meant business was a very good early buzz from Jonathan Metzer, who realized that Pythagoras discovery of his famous theorem, and the murder of Agamemnon amongst other events both happened in a bath – although not the same one, or at the same time. 2 bonuses were taken on oysters in literature. Dave Knapp followed up , knowing that Cotopaxi is in Ecuador. Another couple of geography bonuses followed. A nice starter, the next one asked for the French word meaning – boldness – forever linked to a Turner painting . At the mention of Turner all hands leapt for the buzzer, but Jack Bramhill got there first of all with Temeraire. 2 bonuses were taken with the letter Q. It had been a whirlwind start for Worcester, and it needed Daniel Janes to stop the rot. He knew that a list of titles were all nominees for the lost Booker Prize, which enabled Clare to take a full set of bonuses on Physics. Game on. Neither team fancied the first picture starter, which showed a diagram of the brewing process. So the bonuses went with the next starter, and when the words ‘nickname’ and ‘australopithecus’ had passed JP’s lips, Jonathan Metzer knew full well that the answer had to be Lucy – or Lucy In The Ground With Arthritis as I once heard her unkindly described. Worcester were happy to take all 3 brewing bonuses. Clare quickly hit back with starters from Jonathan Foxwell and Daniel Janes on Physics and Economics, the second of which brought up a lovely set of bonuses on unusual World Championships – more of that later. So after a good fightback by Clare, Worcester’s lead at the 10 minute mark had been narrowed to 80 – 65.
Rebecca Gillie took the next starter on the Pentagon. A bonus followed on questions containing the word self. Kris Cao hit back, knowing that the mystics referred to were Sufis. 2 out of 3 bonuses were taken on the 7 deadly sins and Dante, Kris Cao buzzed early on the music starter. Yes, he knew it was Tchaikovsky, but zigged with Swan Lake. 5 points off. Jonathan Metzer zagged with The Nutcracker, and thus earned a set on music linked to animals via the film Fantasia. Only 1 taken. Undaunted, Kris Cao correctly buzzed on Blackfriars Bridge for the next starter. 2 bonuses followed on Plate tectonics, and we were all square. Then Clare took the lead for the first time in the contest when skipper Jonathan Burley answered the next starter on some Physics chappie. Still, the gap was not widened when they failed to answer any of a set of bonuses on paintings of Madonna. Sorry, that should read paintings of THE Madonna. A classic early buzz starter followed. If its Tenniel then the answer is likely to be either – Bismarck – Punch – or – Alice in Wonderland – or the Captain ( ask your parents ). When the question asked which event, then Daniel Janes won the buzzer race, knowing it was about the cartoon Dropping the Pilot. 2 bonuses followed on Parts of the Body. Jonathan Metzer narrowed the gap by correctly answering that Latin had no word for ‘the’ while German has 6. A great UC set involving doing simple arithmetic with the numbers in famous book titles followed – they did well to get 2. Neither team recognized Marlene Deitrich in the 2nd picture starter, and so the bonuses which accompanied this went to a starter on Astronomy, won by Kris Cao. So going into a tense last period, Clare now led by 150 – 125.
All was set, then , for a grandstand finish, and neither team were to disappoint us. Kris Cao, very influential from the halfway mark onwards, recognized 6 Degrees of Separation, and 2 bonuses were taken on Middlesbrough. Rebecca Gillie hit back with Cordelia, for a bonus on the year 1711. Dave Knapp maintained Worcester’s momentum with the Khaki Election of 1900, and a full set were taken on Geography. Jonathan Metzer knew Penguin Classics for the next starter – blimey, it was close – and this brought up another lovely bonus set, on working out chemical elements from clues to the first few letters of the name – eg – Japanese style animation = MANGAnese. Questions on UC are always good – tonight they were brilliant. Neither team could get a Maths starter. Worcester had a tiny lead, as JP started asking the last starter. It was Daniel Janes of Clare who took it on The Sublime. All Square again. Time remained only for 2 bonuses on Kings of England – but Clare took both of them, to win by a nailbiting 190 to 180.
JP was quite right to offer fulsome congratulations to both teams. This was a great show, and think about this. How well both teams played against good opposition – and how much better the pair of these well matched teams might do against slightly slower, or slightly poorer opposition. Both have good buzzers, and strength throughout the teams. Well played both of you – congratulations Clare, and Worcester, you will surely be back.
Jeremy Paxman Watch
Just a couple of vignettes tonight, but the first was a cracker. When asked for the mountain range which contains Mount Elbrus, captain Rebecca Gillie replied “Causacus ?”
“Its CAU – CAS – US” spelled out a rather narked JP, before realizing that he was talking to a lady, and ameliorating his tone somewhat. To the team who suggested that the photo of the actress was Margot Fonteyn he was rather incredulous. ”Fonteyn was a dancer ! “ he rather snorted. Ah, give the people what they want, JP.
Interesting Fact Of The Week That I Did Not Already Know
The hybrid sport of chess boxing ( yes, you did read that correctly ) does have its own world championships.