University College, London v. Jesus College, Oxford
For the first time that I can remember in a long time JP didn’t introduce UCL as the godless institution of Gower Street. They were certainly one of the form horses in the first round, having set the highest score against the University of Exeter. Representing them were Adam Papaphilippopoulos, Tom Tyzsczuk-Smith, Tom Parton and their captain Simon Dennis. Their opponents were Jesus College Oxford, who had scored rather less in their own first round match against QMC. Matt Hitchings, Frankie Goodway, Johnny Woodward and skipper Guy Brindley have had a long wait for their second match. I watched their first round in my mother in law’s in Spain, and that was back in August. So let’s not keep them waiting any longer.
It took both teams a bit of a while to figure out that the tourist attraction often photographed in forced perspective was the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but it was Johnny Woodward who had it first. This earned a set of bonuses on US History, and two were added to Jesus’ total. I’ll be honest, I didn’t quite get my head around the next question, but it asked for three consecutive letters, which were X – Y – Z. Matt Hitchings, who was going to have a pretty good evening on the buzzer, took it for Jesus. One bonus followed on classical music. Tom Parton recognised a biography of Paul Dirac, which put UCL on the board. Just as well, because they didn’t manage any of a set of bonuses on optics. Matt Hitchings struck again in the next starter, recognising a definition of the word ‘eke’. The bonuses were an interesting set on internet deceptions, which actually provided me with my interesting fact of the week - more about that later. Tom Tysczuk-Smith recognised the flag of Greenland for the next starter – impressive shout that. The bonuses were more flags of islands which are territories administered by other countries, and they had to get the islands, and the administrating countries as well. Tough set – I had none, and neither did UCL. Still, they were going to earn bonuses on the next set, as soon as Adam Papaphilippopoulos answered on the Cape Verde Islands. Two bonuses on John Donne were added to their score, taking them to just 10 points behind Jesus at the 10 minute mark. Jesus led by 50 to 40.
UCL’s Simon Dennis took his first starter when he identified the Chorleywood process as being involved in breadmaking – contender for interesting fact of the week, there. 2 bonuses on the Suez crisis put UCL in fron for the first time in the contest. Tom Tysczuk Smith jumped in too soon on the next bonus on a French philosopher. If he had waited he would surely have known that the lover of Eloise was Abelard. Guy Brindley accepted the windfall, but a tricky set on comets followed, and for the first time in the contest Jesus failed to score on their bonus set.Johnny Woodward scored for Jesus with the next starter, identifying the last recorded words of Ernest Shackleton. A full set of bonuses on the films of Stanley Kubrick made it fairly clear that Jesus were in no mind to just roll over and make it easy for UCL. Up to this point it was a very good contest. Tom Parton recognised the sound of Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven for the music starter. This unleashed a set of bonuses on the Radio 4’s world’s saddest music, and they took two of them. UCL, seemingly moving up a gear, took the next starter as well, when Tom Tysczuk Smith answered a question on cytogenics. Maintaining momentum UCL took two of the bonuses on desert vegetation. Unfazed, Frankie Goodway took the next starter for Jesus on the Grand Remonstrance. 2 bonuses on blood cells reduced the deficit further. Simon Dennis knew that Marianne and Armenian are anagrams of each other, and only one bonus on Scottish traditions followed. In this high quality match, only one starter went begging, which was the next – asking about which SI (base ? ) units were named after scientists. Kelvin and Ampere were required. Adam Papaphillipopoulos knew that Helmut Kohl was the German Chancellor next in the list going backwards, and one bonus on literature meant that UCL had a narrow lead of 125 to 105 at the 20 minute mark.
The second picture starter showed us a natterjack toad. Neither team flew to their buzzers, but Tom Parton took it, and two more species which are the subject of conservation efforts in the UK followed. After an incorrect answer from UCL, Matt Hitchings struck back for his team, knowing that Cyprus was famed for copper in ancient times – hence the name of Copper, derived from Cyprus. 2 scientific terms beginning with syn- brought bonus points. Tom Tysczuk Smith knew about Footnotes in Gaza, and this then earned a bonus on peninsulae. I was pleased with myself for knowing the Oligocene, as did Johnny Woodward. One bonus on the Mann Booker Prize was correctly answered, and still UCL could not shake Jesus from their tails. A good buzz from Tom Parton do identify Technetium helped, though, as did two bonuses on US Universities. Simon Dennis consolidated the lead with another starter on books on American Football. I’m afraid I didn’t note down how many correct answers on the set of Physics bonuses they provided. Yet again, Matt Hitchings hit back with Lines Written Upon Westminster Bridge. ( Earth hath not anything to show more fair – wrote Wordsworth. Don’t get me wrong, I love bridges, especially London’s bridges, but come on ! ) A bonus on EU member states gave Jesus hope. Then a great UC special starter fell to that man Hitchings again. If Cuba is copper ( Cu ) then what is Australia ? Au is gold, of course. Lovely little starter, that. A tricky set on the colours that various elements burn yielded just the one bonus. Time was getting close – as were the scores, but it was Tom Parton who took the last starter, with Double bass. Only enough time remained for one bonus on Irish literature, and that was that.
So UCL go through to the quarters, with 215 to Jesus’ 180. That’s probably fair as well. However, what a performance from Jesus, Oxford, who made such a brilliant fight of the whole show. I’m sorry we won’t be seeing you in the quarters.
Jeremy Paxman Watch
JP offered precious little for the connoisseur in this show. There was his amused reaction to the answer given to the question – Complete the quote – on the internet no one knows you’re ? The answer given was ‘in your underpants’. Probably more likely than the real answer – a dog.
I got a little annoyed about his finishing comments to the Jesus team , though. They played a full part in a great match, and were only just beaten by one of the best teams in the first round, and yet all he could say was,
”Well, it started for you better than it finished, Jesus Oxford.” That’s a bit of a misrepresentation , Jez. They were better than that.
Interesting Fact That I Didn’t Already Know Of The Week
’Sock Puppet’ is internet slang for someone who logs on to a website or online community under an assumed identity for deceptive purposes.