Wednesday, 5 October 2011

University Challenge - Round One - Match 14

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine v. University of Nottingham

Ah, the end of the first round. Doesn’t time fly ? I don’t know, its normally nearer half term time when this happens, isn’t it. Come to think of it as well, when is Mastermind coming back ? Off the point, I suppose, and so back to the show. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – LSH for brevity from hereon in , were John Bradley, Grace Eckhoff, Michael Wallace and Martin Harker the captain. For Nottingham we had Harry Dalton, Matthew Byrne, Ewan Pickard and skipper Leigh Cooper.

It was the Nottingham captain who took the first starter, knowing Ezra Pound’s quote about Eliot’s “The Wasteland” . Did you know that T.S.Eliot is an anagrams of ‘toilets’ ? Please yourselves. The bonuses were on WWI peace treaties, and they took a full set. Leigh Cooper was happy to take his second starter in a row, recognizing a reference to Thomas Edison, and once again the team took a full set of bonuses, this time on Jane Austen. Neither side knew the S.I.unit the Gal, named for Galileo. I’ll be honest, I didn’t either, and plumped for Galileo myself. Harry Dutton of Nottingham knew that Erich Segal, of Love Story fame also wrote the screenplay for the animated film “Yellow Submarine”. The team managed a couple of bonuses on anatomy. The first picture starter showed us a picture of a flag of an English county. After an incorrect guess by LSH, Matthew Byrne correctly supplied the answer of Northumberland, much to JPs surprise. More of the same followed, and Nottingham managed all three, again, much to JP’s admiration. A nice football question followed. Told that five British clubs had won the European Cup/Champions’ League, and given Liverpool and Man Utd. John Bradley quickly reeled off the other two English clubs, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest. I’m sure that he knew Celtic as well, although only two had been asked for. The next set of bonuses were on a banking scandal, and they took two of them. So after a quality first ten minutes, the momentum was very much with Nottingham, who led by 85 to 20.

LSH skipper Martin Harker took the onus for beginning the fightback on himself, and took the next starter on Edward Bernaise. Two bonuses followed on torments in Homer, and I will admit that I would only had had the second two of them myself. Neither team knew that the first artificial transuranic element created was Neptunium. But I did ! Yes, thanks sporcle !!. The LSH skipper continued the good work, knowing the book “The end of History”. 2 bonuses followed on important ladies of Nationalist China. A nice set that. Leigh Cooper knew that if it mentions the Symphonie Fantastique, then its going to be Berlioz, and this brought Nottingham a bonus on volcanoes. That man Harker, though, who was having a real purple patch, and had found his range with the buzzer, took the next starter with the town of Dumfries. This brought another bonus on events of the 20th century. This brought us to the music starter, a more modern one this, and Ewan Pickard knew the timeless classic “99 Red Balloons” by Nena when he heard it. A remarkable set of bonuses followed, with pieces of music with numbers in the title, to which all kinds of mathematical functions had to be performed. It was a miracle that Nottingham took the bonus that they did ! Neither team knew the Justice from Shakespeare’s 7 Ages of Man speech, but Martin Harker knew what a dittle was. Good job too, since it enabled them to take another 2 bonuses on animals in research. John Bradley followed his captain’s lead, taking the next starter, knowing that Lord Byron was having a good old fashioned go at Lord Elgin for the famous Marbles. This brought up a UC special set , of two word terms, where the last two letters of the first word are also the first two letters of the second. don’t worry, it makes sense, and they had 2. All of which meant that the sides were absolutely level at the 20 minute mark, with 110 points apiece.

JP had already made it clear that the sides needed a score something above 145 to go through. It looked odds on at this point that both would do it. John Bradley knew that Trevithick drove his first steam locomotive at the Penydarren iron works near Merthyr – and believe me they are still justifiably proud of it there, too. 2 bonuses were taken on eye conditions. The second picture came up, and showed a king. Neither team could recognize Edward Ist. I didn’t note down who knew that alphabetically and numerically, two comes second in French – deux , but anyway, that was the next starter. Pictures of castles in Wales followed, of which they took one. Leigh Cooper knew that the 39 Steps preceded Greenmantle, and this brought up a full set of bonuses on Canada. Neither team knew one of the Monsters in Yorkshire. John Bradley knew Magnetic Flux for the next, and this brought up bonuses on Scottish islands. Leigh Cooper, with the wind back in his sales, knew about Shatsu massage, and three bonuses on medical terms beginning with oe followed. Was it me, or were Nottingham doing particularly well with the bonuses ? I cannot read my own notes about the next starter, but certainly at this late stage Nottingham looked like the most likely winners. Harry Dalton knew some of the characters from the Count of Monte Cristo, and again a full set of bonuses were taken. The only question left was whether LSH could hammer home a repechage place. Well . . . they could ! Grace Eckhoff took the last starter on terms from Yoga, which was enough to clinch it, and at the gong the score was a win for Nottingham by 215 to 155.

Well played both teams. An exciting and interesting match. Good luck in your next matches.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Not a huge amount of any note tonight. Excpet for one moment, when Ewan Pickard made a successful bid for ‘clever dick of the night’. When asked for the title of the music starter, he replied with the correct, original title in German – 99 luftballons. I really thought that JP was going to tell him off by the look on his face, but he contained himself and muttered about the title being usually given in English.

Interesting Fact Of The Week That I Didn’t Already Know

Shiatsu literally means finger pressure ( I guessed it, but I didn’t KNOW it )


Jack said...

I enjoyed this match; a good performance by both sides and both deserve to come back. The music round was particularly amusing/compilcated.

As for the tallies: Mr Bradley and Mr Harker both got four each for LSH, while Mr Cooper led for Nottingham with five.

So, next week, the repechage begins. Homerton take on LSH, then the following week, Worcester will play St Andrews, preseumably.

joe said...

"Neither team knew that the first artificial transuranic element created was Uranium. But I did ! Yes, thanks sporcle !!. "

Wasn't it neptunium in 1940? Or, arguably, technetium in 1937? I don't think uranium is artificial.

Londinius said...

Sorry joe - of course you're right. That's what you get for rushing your report - which I tend to do as you can tell. I did get neptunium - it was a slip when I wote the post. Apologies - I'll change it now


Electric Dragon said...

"Or, arguably, technetium in 1937?" Technetium isn't transuranic, having an atomic number of only 43.

Des Elmes said...

Can't disagree that this was a good match to end the first round - and an impressive debut outing for the LSHTM, too, recovering from a slow start to push Nottingham hard until those last few minutes.

The Notts, though, were indeed impressive on their bonuses, 23/33 with two penalties, while the LSHTM finished with a respectable 13/25.

And it was refreshing to see a mature student, in the form of Mr Cooper. However, since he was more than old enough to be the father of the other three Nottingham members, I wasn't too sure if Paxo really should have stated the team's average age... :?

Finally, you could say it's a case of second time lucky for Mr Pickard, as he was also on the Nottingham team that unsuccessfully auditioned for the last series. (And there was a mature student on this team as well!)

Des Elmes said...

And now that the first round is complete, it's time for my breakdown of this year's 28 teams:

* 12 Oxbridge teams (six each from Oxford and Cambridge).

* Three London teams (UCL, Goldsmith's, LSHTM).

* Two Old Scottish universities (Edinburgh, St Andrews).

* Three "traditional" redbricks (Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds) and four other universities founded between 1800 and 1960 (Durham, Newcastle, Queen's Belfast, Nottingham).

* Three 1960s universities (Warwick, York, Bath).

* And one 1992 university (Plymouth).

No wonder there were four Oxbridge clashes in the first round - the numbers of teams from the Isis and the Granta are the same as last year, with Balliol and Merton from Oxford appearing in back-to-back series.

The numbers of teams from "traditional" redbricks and other C19th/early C20th universities also haven't changed - though, curiously, it was the other three "traditional" redbricks last year (Sheffield, Bristol and Liverpool).

And it's traditional for there to be two Old Scottish universities and one 1992 university - though, for the FIFTH year running, the two in the former category are Edinburgh and St Andrews.

Surely it's time to let Glasgow and Aberdeen have another go - the two having not been seen since 2004/5 and 2000/1 respectively?

There's one more London team than last year, and two more 1960s universities. No representatives from Wales, though, and no independent specialist institutions either, after two last year.

Of the individual teams, it's great to see Manchester back after their very notable absence last year. The same can be said for Warwick, too.

And it was great to see Queen's Belfast flying the flag for Northern Ireland. How come the University of Ulster hasn't yet appeared in the Paxman Era, though?

Sheffield is probably the biggest name missing after the heroics of Hugh, Tris, Andy and Tom last year, while Southampton is also a notable absentee after appearing in each of the last three series.

And still no sign of the Open University since Lance Haward and co won the 1998/9 series. One gathers that this has something to do with the furore that surrounded Mr Haward - but did the OU pull out voluntarily as a consequence, or did the BBC and Granada actually decide to bar it from taking part?

HughTube said...

Des, great stats as usual. I can tell you that the OU hadn't given up as of last year because there was someone from their team at our audition. Of course I can't speak as to why they haven't been selected in that time.

Des Elmes said...

Cheers Hugh. ;)