Saturday, 24 November 2012

University Challenge - Round Two - match 1

Pembroke, Cambridge v. University of Bath

In heat 10 Pembroke, represented by Robert Scanes, Emily Maw, Jemima Hodkinson and their captain Tom Foxall, beat the University of Lancaster by 200 to 140, with their captain Tom Foxall showing great buzzer form. Well, we know that Lancaster certainly weren’t any mugs, and so I expected Pembroke to go well . Their opponents, the University of Bath, Joe Kendall, Adam Salvesen , Toby Smith and their captain, Matthew Wise, beat Liverpool by 125 to 110. Not a huge score, but in a two horse race either side could win, and I wasn’t writing off their chances before the start of the show.

Stephen Hawking saw skipper Tom Foxall get Pembroke off the mark. Bonuses on countries of the world gave them a further 10 points. Neither team knew that Edinburgh was UNESCO’s first world city of literature. I was pleased that, like Adam Salvesen , I knew that Becquerel shared a Nobel Prize with the Curies. Drinking in Shakespeare – which I can heartily recommend – provided the next set , of which Pembroke managed a brace. The Folies BergĂ©re saw Matthew Wise open Bath’s account. Questions on evolution brought them two correct answers. A long question followed about a village, but when we got to Occam’s Razor that was enough for Tom Foxall. Terminology of Takeover Bids provided an interesting set . No, of course I didn’t know any of them, but I loved the fact that terms were taken from an arcade game, a character in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and a porcupine ! The picture starter was a real UC special. The tagline of a film was given in another language, and we had to identify the film. My knowledge of language gave me scream, which suggest ed Alien, but nobody in either team had it. I had the next starter as well, when the teams were asked to spell out the word carbon , using the chemical elements the letters represent. Emily Maw was first in with Calcium – Rubidium – Oxygen – Nitrogen, Nice question that. This brought up the picture bonuses, which gave tag lines from film posters in other languages. I had all three, Pembroke had one. This was enough to take them to a narrow lead of 50 – 40.

Toby Smith recognized a group of places all linked by the suffix – polis. Bonuses on Beatrix Potter were gettable, but they couldn’t manage to answer them. Tom Foxhall supplied the word ‘inner’ for the next starter, and the set of bonuses on illness and women again provided them with two correct answers. I don’t know about Monism, but Tom Foxall did, and this extended the lead. Bonuses on former Soviet Republics brought Pembroke another 5 points. The gap wasn’t huge, but it was widening, and Pembroke were winning the buzzer race. The music starter offered the teams a little snatch of Acquiesce by Oasis, but neither team knew it. A number thing followed. I didn’t get the question, but Robert Scanes had the answer of 9. JP apologized for the fact that they had to revisit the music bonuses. This was a nice set on records whose B sides had become more popular than their A sides. At once I shouted “Maggie May !” as this is quite a well-known instance AND Rod Stewart was only talking about it on Graham Norton’s show the other night. I guessed the Kraftwerk one, and the Smiths, come to that, although I didn’t know them. Pembroke had the last. Robert Scanes knew that Macao was the answer to the next starter, and although the bonuses on soil and chemistry proved elusive they had now passed the total that bath had managed in their first round heat. Adding insult to injury Tom Foxall took a rhyming set of starters on meme, steam and n=another one I didn’t catch. Kings and Queens bonuses probably should have been a happy hunting ground for a team who are intending to do well in the series, and so Pembroke can be a little unhappy that they only managed the one. It had had been, nonetheless a very productive ten minutes, since their lead had now extended, and they looked relatively safe on 130 to Bath’s 50.

Tom Foxall was in no mood to show mercy, and he knew that the house in Buckinghamshire in question for the next starter was Chequers. A set about bacteria followed. For the next picture starter the irrepressible Pembroke skipper buzzed in again to identify the cover of HG Wells’ The Invisible Man. Nice to see Dune as one of the bonuses, which were more book covers. The Tom Foxall show continued, when he knew that the answer to the next starter was louvre. Italian cheeses brought two more correct answers. Joe Kendall went for a quick buzz on the next – fair play for at least trying to stop the rot – but it wasn’t Jane Eyre that Charlotte Bronte based on her sister Emily. Neither team knew it was Shirley. Tom Foxall again took the next starter, recognizing different definitions of the word rostrum. Fountains brought a full set and took Pembroke through the 200 barrier. Joe Kendall received just reward for buzzing early to identify Ecuador as the country possessing the Galapagos Islands. Jacques Cousteau and scuba gave them two correct answers. Something about electrics followed, and Robert Scanes had it. 4 letter words with 3 vowels were a nice set, but they missed the middle one. The kraken reared it’s ugly ( and massive ) head, and Tom Foxall was the first to spot it. Modern American fiction brought them another full set. Geology escaped me, and amazingly Tom Foxall as well, but nobody else knew a playa either. Toby Smith took a maths starter for Bath, and that took Bath to 75. The gong wouldn’t allow any bonuses , though, and so they finished there, and Pembroke with 255. Nice words from JP to Bath – “You kept going and I admire you for that. “ Well said. Well played Pembroke. A serious score which indicates that they could go a long way , although they are very heavily reliant on the buzzer speed and knowledge of skipper Tom Foxall. Well played.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Quality rather than quantity was the name of the game in this show. Firstly, when neither team knew that Edinburgh had been the first City of Literature , he observed
”Well, it clearly didn’t work as an advertising exercise, did it ?” Then we had his observation,
“Never has Beatrix Potter caused so much pain – visible pain too.” showing the Great Man’s philosophical side.Then we had the pick of the bunch, a lovely little comment on the introduction to entries on former Soviet republics from the CIA World Fact Book “Hence of course the split infinitives .”

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

The PacMan Defence is the official term for a firm which, when it is the subject of a takeover bid, defends itself by making a bid for the acquiring firm.


jim360 said...

A fairly predictable result - even with the benefit of already knowing the outcome at least - because of the first-round results. So I was impressed to see Bath making a fight of it for the first half or so of the match, before Pembroke pulled away.

We've not had many individual stand-out performers yet, but so far three people have been particularly impressive - Foxall; Cappleman of New College, Oxford; and UCL's Simon Dennis have all done pretty well. New College are up again on Monday so we'll see if Mr. Cappleman is as impressive then.

Jack said...

Agree with what James says about the result of this one. Bit of a shame that, after giving Pembroke a close match to start with, they ran out of steam, and didn't get back in the game until Pembroke were home and dry.

Tom Foxall did indeed give a very impressive individual performance: ten starters, the second best individual haul of the series so far behind Simon Dennis' eleven. The Cambridge side answered 23/42 bonuses; Bath managed 6/13 with one missignal, with Toby Smith getting two starters, and his colleagues getting one each.

So, on Monday, York vs New College. As James says, will be interesting to see if the Oxonians will maintain the form they had first time around; whatever they do, they must start as favourites. Week after, Warwick play King's, with James of course.

dxdtdemon said...

Carbon could also be carbon, argon, boron, oxygen, nitrogen.

Welshguy said...

I don't know about anyone else but I think these "picture rounds" with just a bit of text in a foreign language are a bit of a cop-out. I suppose it saves us the horror of hearing Paxman trying to pronounce German or something, but they don't really seem to be in the spirit of the *picture* round.

Welshguy said...

& my supervisor said that one of them contained a grammatical mistake!