Tuesday, 9 August 2011

University Challenge - Round One - Match 6

Christ Church Oxford v. University of Bath

Christ Church was founded by Cardinal Wolsey, so it can’t be all that far off its 500th anniversary by my reckoning. The team were Thomas Hine, Will Peveler, Nimish Telang and captain George Scratcherd. By way of contrast Bath University came in for some rather withering comments from JP who ‘praised’ the way that its functional glass and concrete buildings provide a pleasing relief from all that georgian stuff in the city. Bath were represented by Stephen Pagett, Dorian Lidell, Sam Causer and captain Adam Melling-Smith. Off we go.

First blood was drawn by Sam Causer who knew that Hilary and Tensing ate Kendal Mint Cake on Everest. 2 bonuses were taken on town halls. Bath were off and running. However so were Christ Curch when skipper George Scratcherd recognized that the title of the book The Second Sex was required for the next starter. A good UC set on homonyms – eg puttee and putty followed – 2 of which were taken. I didn’t get the second one myself either. Christ Church pulled ahead with the next starter on the Michelangelo effect. Will Peveler looked as if he was guessing, and so was I, but we were both right. A set on coastal regions provided them with 2 more correct answers. Neither team knew Hardy’s The Laodicean – not surprised either, tough question that. George Scratcherd took a good early buzz on Rorschach for the next starter, and a set of bonuses on mathematics saw that rarest of rara aves – me getting a maths question right – squaring the circle. Well, this brought up the first picture starter. This led us into controversial waters last week. Not so this week, I hope, as we were shown the emblem of a UK sports governing body. Will Peveler again looked like he was guessing – but he was guessing right anyway with weightlifting. Three more of the same followed, but proved difficult for the team, who only managed to identify handball out of the three. A very good early buzz in from Nimish Telang on Godwin’s analogy brought Christ’s Church within a couple of questions of the 100 point barrier. A little irony was in the fact that the first bonus concerned the painting “ Benefits Supervisor Sleeping “, painted by the late Lucien Freud, who has passed away since the programme was recorded. I knew Doctor Gachet, which was the only one that the team missed. Still, at the 10 minute mark the scores looked ominous for Bath, who trailed Christ Church by 20 points against 100.

Stephen Pagett buzzed in with Telekinesis as his answer to the next starter, which JP , struggling with himself, ruled as a lose 5 points interruption, allowing Thomas Hine in with teleportation. Undoubtedly the right answer. As regards the ruling, well it was correct, since the buzz happened immediately before JP said the last word of the question – ‘means’ – even though he said it before the answer was given. Hard lines – just one of those things. Christ Church managed a good 2 bonuses on accents and diacritics. I’ve met a couple of dire critics in my time, but I digress. Neither team managed to dredge up Marsh Wiggles from Narnia – shame on them ! Sam Causer finally brought Bath back into the game with compliant and complaint. Winners of the Costa Book of the Year Award didn’t help – I don’t know if this will make Bath feel any better, but I didn’t know any of them either. Will Peveler cut off the revival when he took the next starter on osteoporosis. Bonuses on islands of the Caribbean proved rather tricky and escaped them completely. This brought up the music starter. This was rather a gentle lob as the teams were asked to name the old theme music for the Antiques Roadshow – written specially for TV by JS Bach who called it The Brandenburg Concerto, though what this had to do with Hugh Scully and Royal Doulton I have no idea. This gave the team a set of bonuses on pieces of music associated with historical figures. As soon as JP asked who the next was originally dedicated to I shouted Napoleon – knowing that it was going to be the Eroica – there may well be other pieces of music whose original dedication was changed, but they don’t get asked about in quizzes so much. 2 of the3 bonuses were taken. In the next starter the Lady of Shallot once again put in an appearance, a fact gratefully noted by Adam Melling-Smith. A set of bonuses on mammalian physiology brought a bonus. “Nordic hero . . . Richard Wagner . . . title” was more than enough for Thomas Hine to buzz in correctly with Siegfried. Another UC special on pairs of place name – Essen and Essex for example - brought them a full set of bonuses. Good set, that. Dorian Lidell took his first starter on the mathematician Bernoulli, which brought up bonuses on translations of the Bible. Now, the second bonus asked who made the first complete English translation . Bath answered Wycliffe. JP told them , correctly, that the first translation of the Bible into modern English was by Myles Coverdale. However he made an error when he added that Coverdale was earlier than Wycliffe. That’s a no – no. The translation of the Bible by Wycliffe and probably his followers was made about 150 years earlier than Coverdale’s Bible – but this would have been in Middle English. Not only that, but it was before the invention of the printing press as well. Whether the Wycliffe Bible was not a complete translation, or whether it doesn’t count because it was Middle English , or it wasn’t printed I don’t know – but Coverdale’s Bible is the standard answer to the question. Sorry – lecture over. There was balm in Gilead for Bath, which actually brought them up a bonus as well. Nonetheless they still trailed by 55 points to Christ Church’s 175 at the 20 minute mark.

In all honesty it looked all over bar the shouting , especially when the impressive Will Peveler took the second picture starter, identifying Josiah Wedgewood from a postage stamp of 2009. There was more of the same in the bonuses, and Christ Church took one of them. Thomas Hine knew that ‘ciao’ was introduced into English through Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” Bonuses on capacitance brought a full set to the team. Thomas Hine took a double when he knew that the entrances to many of the Paris Metro stations are in Art Nouveau style. Bonuses on chaos in literature took the score to 235. Neither team fancied Thomas a Kempis. So the next starter on particle physics fell to Sam Causer. Bonuses on typographical marks brought them another 10 points. George Scratcherd knew that as inventory is to find, and dormitory is to sleep , lavatory is to wash. Latin roots, you see. Human anatomy followed, and another 10 points were added to a formidable looking total. Nobody knew how many kilotonnes are equal to one teragram. Throwing caution to the wind Adam Melling-Smith buzzed in early with a guess that Yell and others are among the Hebrides. I don’t blame him for going for it. Bath were in might-as-well-be-hung-for-a- sheep-as-a-lamb territory here. When JP completed the question with the main town Lerwick Thomas Hine knew it was the Shetlands. Greek Mythology bonuses brought them 5 points. Adam Melling-Smith atoned for his former earlier buzz with a great interruption with Risorgimento . Famous ships brought a couple of bonuses, and when Adam Melling-Smith leapt to the buzzer again with the correct answer that three African countries were all linked by the name guinea this pushed Bath through the 100 point barrier. Good – no less than they deserved after all. That brought up the gong though, and a very convincing win for Christ Church by 270 to 105. Well played Christ Church. Three team members each hit a number of starters– a good performance which marks them out as a team to watch in the next round.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Well there wasn’t actually that much to comment on during the quiz itself – all the action was going on around the fringes. After the withering remarks about Bath University’s architecture, I didn’t notice anything really until JP turned to Bath and said - “There’s plenty of time for you guys to come back so don’t panic now, we’re about halfway through.” I think he meant it kindly, but if I was sitting where Bath were sitting that would just have put the tin hat on it for me. You KNOW you’re struggling when JP starts encouraging you.
There was a small vignette when George Scratchered answered the lavatory question, as JP suppressed a half chuckle which he acknowledged with “ I don’t know why we smile just at the word .”
Finally at the end he congratulated Christ Church for being the best turned out team so far this series – well two of them were wearing ties – then virtually challenged them to wear elegant suits for the next round. Time will tell.

Interesting Fact Of The Week I Didn’t Already Know

Pitch Lake in Trinidad is one of the world’s largest resources of asphalt


Jack said...

I enjoyed this match, despite the big winning margin.

Sure to say, Christ Church look like ones to watch later on in the contest. And they look smart too. Evenly split starters, with Thomas Hine and Will Peveler getting five starters each, with 26/42 bonuses, while Bath managed a respectable 11/18 bonuses with two penalties (the first for four weeks).

Now, next week should be interesting: Plymouth, making their UC debut AFAIK, take on my mother's alma-mata of Durham. Two of the Durham team were part of the winning Trevelyan college quiz team that won the Durham Quiz Competition, so they could be potentially good.

Ben Dutton said...

I did feel sorry for Bath, though it was rather fun watching them being slaughtered: though they did manage something of a resurgance in the last few minutes.

And from next week, we get UC followed by new Only Connect on BBC4!

Adam M-S said...

Hi, Adam Melling-Smith here...I thought I'd have a look and see if there was anything on this blog about our match yet, and I wasn't disappointed!

Nor was I too disappointed with the result really. After all, Bath against Christ Church? In all honesty it was never going to be likely against any Oxford college. We could have done better, but factoring in buzzer speed, not much better. Almost half the questions that Christ Church got, at least one of us had hit the buzzer for too. But I'm sure you realise that anyway.

'Hebrides' was bad, but 'telekinesis' was worse. I actually hit my buzzer thinking 'teleportation', but Steven was quicker...and after that, especially given the cue of a word beginning with 'tele', there was no way Christ Church wouldn't get it. Nevertheless, I'm quite proud of my last-minute surge there.

Thanks for the balanced way in which you discussed the match. Oh, and what you say about Jeremy's 'encouragement' making us feel worse? I can't speak for the others, but that was definitely the case for me, spot on!

Trivia for you: Dorian (that's Lidell, the one in the hat) went to the same school as James Wilson of the 2008 Bath team – who I have since met on campus and indeed taken part in a pub quiz with. So we now seem to have an unofficial tradition of a Cornish maths student on the captain's right side!

Thanks again for the post, I enjoyed reading it.
Adam M-S

Londinius said...

Hi Adam

- and welcome to LAM. Many thanks for taking the time and trouble to leave a comment.

You're quite right to feel pleased with your late surge - and its nice that it at least gave people a chance to see your mettle, as it were. This is something which I say to people I know who watch the show a lot - you can't underestimate who important buzzer speed is . A very good team can be made to look ordinary if the other team are consistently a fraction of a second faster on the buzzer.

I hope that you enjoyed the experience anyway, and once again, thanks for leaving a comment.