Saturday, 19 November 2011

University Challenge - Round Two - Match 4

Queen’s Oxford v. Worcester, Oxford

Queen’s team consisted of Peter Sloman, James Kane, Leila Hill and the captain, Matthew White. In a nice little irony , Queen’s trumped King’s – of Cambridge- in the first round.
Worcester had a slightly longer route through to the second round. They lost their first match to Clare, a real nailbiter, but defeated a good St. Andrews outfit in the repechage. They were Dave Knapp, Jack Bramhill, Jonathan Metzer and captain Rebecca Gillie.

For the second week running the setters resisted the temptation to start us with words by their definitions, and instead we were asked about Colin Firth. Rebecca Gillie knew it. Worcester posted their intent early on by taking a full set of bonuses on the Limpopo river. Peter Sloman struck right back for Queen’s, on the word Monte. They in their turn took a full set on mottos. Early days yet, but this was shaping up as a good contest. Dave Knapp took a starter requiring two similar words – psychic and phsyics. One bonus followed on exploring duos – Burke and Wills etc. James Kane recognized a description of Sanskrit for the next , and this brought a full set on chemistry. The picture starter followed, and it was a medical chart devised by Florence Nightingale. Jack Bramhill correctly identified it, and the team identified three more of the same for a full set of bonuses. Dave Knapp knew that the lapwing is a species of plover, and this led to a couple of bonuses on railway station. Neither team knew Magnox for the next starter. James Kane knew all about the Legion d’Honneur, and a full set of bonuses on coop words meant that at the halfway stage there was hardly anything in it. Worcester led by 85 to Queen’s 65 – a high quality match.

Dave Knapp knew both Delaware and Florida for the next starter. For the first time in the match the team drew a blank on a set of bonuses on Nobel Prize winners. Mr. Knapp, who would take a fine 7 starters in the match by my reckoning, also knew Deuterium. The team did slightly better with these bonuses, taking one on galaxies.The music starter played us part of an opera – a snatch of music possibly best known for being used a few years ago on an advert for British Airways. It took a while, but Leila Hill supplied the correct answer of Lakme. No0ne of a set of bonuses on other operas set in Asian countries were taken. Skipper Matthew White knew all about Geoffrey Chaucer for the next starter. One bonus was taken on architecture, though it would have been two if he had not misheard his team mate offer Le Corbusier. Never mind. Neither team knew the philosopher Thales . Nope, I didn’t either before you ask. A brilliant speculative early buzz from Matthew White gave the Football War for the next starter, but no bonuses, alas, on female Nobel prize winners. Jack Bramhill took the next starter with silver, after an early buzz from Queen’s lost 5 points. Would this prove to be costly in the final reckoning ? 1 bonus on New York was taken. Dave Knapp, who had just had a quiet five minutes, leapt back into action with the second picture starter, identifying the sculptor of a piece we were shown as Anish Kapoor ( probably my favourite modern sculptor, but I digress ) . 2 bonuses on more of the same were taken. It looked very much like Advantage : Worcester, as they now led by 145 to 95.

Dave Knapp paired attitude and latitude for the next starter. 2 bonuses followed on – tok – words. James Kane took Noam Chomsky for the next, and one bonus on cruciferous plants followed. You pays yer money . James Kane made it a double with a good answer with Diligence, which was also a type of horse drawn carriage. 1 bonus followed on the films of David Lean. Only singe bonuses were being taken, but the gap was beginning to close. Dave Knapp knew that Graham McDowall won the US Open , and a couple of bonuses on greek prefixes kept the pot boiling. Matthew White knew that it was Heracles who took the cattle of Geryon. 1 bonus followed on the Pacific Theatre in WWII. Leila Hill knew Tropism for the next starter, and a valuable full set of bonuses were taken on Exiles. The lead was now down to 25 – one starter and bonuses. Peter Sloman knew Electrons , and the three bonuses required were taken ! All square. Perhaps time for one more starter – perhaps two. Rebecca Gillie played the captain’s innings by taking the next knowing that Thackeray’s Rebecca and Rowena was based on Scott’s Ivanhoe. Only 1 bonus was taken on seaside settings in fiction was taken . . . but it was enough ! The gong sounded, ending another fantastic contest. Very hard lines Queen’s. You played very well indeed. But well played Worcester. Good luck in the quarters.

Jeremy Paxman Watch.

One small slice of vintage Paxman served up early in this show. When offered the wrong name in answer to a question about a musician , he virtually hit the roof . “HERB ALPERT !!!!!!!!!! It’s Wynton Marsalis !!!!” Alright – he didn’t quite say – you donkey ! afterwards – but it was all there in his tone.
Then we had his dismissive reply to Leila Hill’s answer of Lakme for the music starter –
“It is Lakme . . . I’m surprised it took you so long !” Listen , Jez, most of us at home were still saying – oh – go on, it’s the one from the BA advert.

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

South Cambridgeshire District Council have the only known civic motto in Britain which is in Dutch.

4 comments:

Jack said...

Another great match between two great teams, neither of whom deserved to go out so early.

In the end, it was one extra bonus for Worcester, along with two penalties for Queen's, that won the match; Queen's made 17/33 bonuses with two penalties, Worcester 18/33. Dave Knapp's seven starters proved crucial for Worcester, while James Kane did best for Queen's with four.

On Monday, what looks like another fine match between Christ Church and Manchester. And the week after, UCL play Warwick.

Londinius said...

Hi Jack

There's always the potential in a knockout torunament that good teams are going to meet early in the competition, but then that all adds to the excitement. Its harsh, but its just the way that it is.

Des Elmes said...

Almost a week after this match aired, but anyway...

It looked like Worcester had done enough to win when they led by 65 with only around three minutes left - Queen's may have been getting the starters, but their bonuses were letting them down badly.

And how - after getting eight of their first nine, they only managed three of their next 18.

But, it must be said, UC can be a funny old game sometimes - and so it proved when the bonuses suddenly came good for Queen's again, and they quickly bagged those full sets on exiles and anagrams of 'omen' to make it 185 apiece and set up that last-starter showdown.

This great comeback, and the fact that all four members got at least two starters correct, make it a real shame to see them leave...

But of course, it would have been a shame to lose Worcester too. One certainly wouldn't bet against them in the QFs, whoever they face - and especially if Mr Knapp impresses on the buzzer again.

Tonight's match between Christ Church and Manchester is, incidentally, a repeat of the first semi-final in 2007/8. The Oxford side won that 220-170, going on to beat Sheffield in the final by the exact same scoreline.

The Mancunians will therefore be out for revenge. Will they get it? Well, as Jack says, it looks like being another fine match...

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