Saturday, 2 February 2013

University Challenge - Round Two - Match 8

The team from Bangor beat the University of St. Andrews in the first round, in a close contest. They were our own Adam Pearce, Mark Stevens, Simon Tomlinson, and captain Nina Grant. By the way, there was a lovely article about you in the Bridgend Gem this week, Adam! They were battling against, firstly, the curse of the Clark sofa, and secondly, Durham University. The team of Philip Ferry, Katie Vokes, Dominic Everett Riley and captain Richard Thomas thrashed Strathclyde in the first round, and indeed were one of the early favourites for the series.

Bangor’s Simon Tomlinson stamped his authority on the game right from the start. He took the first starter, knowing a series of people all linked by the surname Doolittle. This brought up two bonuses on confectionary. Then he went and took the second starter for good measure, identifying the Pentecostal movement. A full set was taken on the Peloponnese. Could Simon Tomlinson make it a hattrick of all of the first three starters? It’s a long time since we’ve seen that. Well, yes, he could and he did , with the term cloaca. Another 15 points came from three bonuses on the eye. This prompted JP to offer the dreaded words of encouragement to Durham after just 6 minutes of the show, the earliest I’ve ever heard him do it. Which seemed to do the trick if truth were told, since Philip Ferry was first in to answer a set of words all beginning with ui. What made it even better for Durham was that they took a full set on treaties. The first picture starter also produced more points for Durham, who recognised a 5 euro coin bearing a picture of a building in Madrid. More of the same for the bonuses provided another five points. Simon Tomlinson then reasserted his authority with a starter on Voltaire. that’s four starters within the first ten minutes. Impressive. 2 bonuses on the Nobel Prize for Literature meant that Bangor led by 90 to 40 at the 10 minute mark.

Neither team took the next starter on G.K.Chesterton, the first such starter to go begging in this high quality contest. Katie Vokes took the next starter for Durham with ether, and the team added another ten points on Foreign Secretaries. Our own Adam Pearce recognised a series of symphonies by Mahler, and a bonus on Maths halted the closing of the gap. Simon Tomlinson showed his first sign of weakness in the whole game by buzzing too early on the minimum number of people needed to ensure that at least 3 shared the same birthday. Durham couldn’t capitalise with the correct answer, 733. To make up for that aberration Simon Tomlinson took the next starter on the Monroe Doctrine. It was noticeable though that Bangor’s bonus conversion rate had dropped, as again they only managed one bonus on psychology. Now, the pop music set was a really clever one. We heard Fleetwood Mac to start, as Richard Thomas well knew. Then the next was a Fleetwood Mac song covered by Elton John. Then an Elton John song covered by Kate Bush. You get the drift. Sadly, Durham didn’t get the bonuses though. Still, Durham weren’t giving in. Dominic Everett Riley identified Kaunas as the former capital of Lithuania. 1 bonus was taken. Adam stepped in to identify the writers of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau – Land of My Fathers, but the team could not take any of a set of bonuses on phases in Science. Neither team managed the next starter, but Katie Vokes then took one on viscosity. At this stage of the competition I was reminded of many a boxing match that I’ve seen where one boxer makes a lightning start in the early rounds, but can’t manage to put his man away. Then the opponent starts to find range, and for the rest of the competition the two trade blows punch for punch. Durham took two bonuses on the Arts. Neither team recognised a painting that inspired a poem by Wordsworth, so the bonuses rolled over .Philip Ferry took a starter on North Korea, which was so early that it really impressed JP. Me too.One bonus was taken on the paintings, which required both the artist and the poet it inspired – a lot of work for five points a bonus. Nina Grant, the Bangor skipper weighed in with a starter on words that mean laziness, and two bonuses were taken on Vietnam.The pressure was straight back on, though, as Dominic Everett Reilly knew that the symbols of nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorus all follow alphabetically. 2 bonuses on satire meant that the gap was bridgeable with another full set. Philip Ferry dult obliged with the starter on John Dee. 3 bonuses on elements of the periodic table were taken, and Durham were now in the lead, and in the driving seat. What was the time like ? I had been so engrossed in the contest that the 20 minute mark had long since gone without me even noticing that it had passed. Who would take the next starter to bring Bangor back? Who else, Simon Tomlinson. A full set on Royal Divorces meant that all was square. There was time for just one more set. Whoever took the starter would win the contest. Who took it? Only Adam Pearce, that’s who! He knew a quote from Thoreau, and one bonus on football added just a little bit of gilding to the score. In the end , Bangor won by 175 to 165. What a contest, and you have to say, what a performance by Bangor to take a very notable scalp. Very best of luck in the quarters.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

For me the most noteworthy JP moment was when on 6 minutes he offered Durham this veritable kick up the backside “Time for you to get going , Durham, I think.” Believe me JP, they had been trying to. He also couldn’t resist rubbing it in at the end that maybe they would have won had they not allowed Bangor to make such a blitz start. Yes, Jez, and as the saying goes, If me Auntie had had . . .

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

Confectioner Paul Furst created a marzipan and nougat confection which he named after Mozart.


Jack said...

Well, I don't think anyone could've seen this result coming based on the first round performances of the two times. But Bangor played a superb match, and deserve the victory.

The closeness of this match is reflected in the stats: Bangor made 16/28 bonuses with one penalty, Durham made 15/27. So, it was one extra starter that won Bangor the match. Simon Tomlinson ended the match with six starters, while Philip Ferry got three for Durham.

But well done once again to Adam and co for a deserved victory. And apologies for any confusion/offense I may have caused with the 'accidental spoiler' business. None was intended.

Next week, Manchester play Imperial in the first quarter-final, with UCL playing Bangor the week after.

BoiCymraeg said...

I was expecting you to flag Paxman's "They wouldn't have let you back if you didn't get that!" under the Paxman watch.

pocketmouse said...

If you want some woah-worlds-colliding fact, Katy Bateman, of this week's Mastermind heat, was our Bangor team captain when we made an effort to get onto UC two years ago too!

Londinius said...

Hi Adam

Congratulations! That was a great Bangor performance.
I did consider putting that comment into JP watch, but it really was such an obvious comment to make, and not really worthy of the Great One. Best of luck in the semis. Did you see the article in the Gem ?

Hi Jack
Never mind, we all make slips of the tongue/pen/keyboard from time to time. I thought it was a great match, and really enjoyed it.

Hi pocketmouse

Welcome to LAM and thanks for taking the time and trouble to leave a comment. Katy played well on Mastermind, and has no need to reproach herself at all about her performance. It was just a shame for her that such a great quizzer as Didier happened to be in the same heat.

BoiCymraeg said...

Yeah, I saw the Gem article. I don't know who came up with that thing about Bangor being by the sea, it sure as hell wasn't me...

jim360 said...

Quarter Finals line-up all complete. And well done to Bangor for what probably came to many as a surprising but well-deserved victory.

Dare I say it, but I had wondered after seeing Bangor's first-round match, but knowing that they would feature in the quarters, that maybe Bangor had had a kind draw in their second-round e.g. against Bath or Jesus, Oxford. Instead to take out Durham ... very impressive and definitely worthy quarter-finalists.

Each team has a stand-out player now, or two, and if Tomlinson stays cool on the buzzer who's to say that Bangor won't progress even further? Even so, a tough first match against UCL to come in a week.

Londinius said...

You're right jim - it is a very tough ask. UCL weren't quite as good in their second round as their first - still formidable though. Bangor were better in their second than their first.
Both teams have played two games by now, and know how to handle the studio pressure and everything. I'll be supporting Adam and the guys from Bangor - even coming from London myself - but they are still underdogs. Which means that they have nothing to lose . . .

HughTube said...

pocketmouse, was that the series Magdalen won? Of so I'd have met you at the audition, we, Sheffield, were at the same audition as the Bangor team.