Friday, 29 November 2013

University Challenge - Round Two - Match Four

Bangor v. Southampton

Bangor looked good in their first round match against Aberystwyth. The team comprised of Owain Jones, Daisy Le Helloco, Anna Johnson, and their skipper, Catriona Coutts. Their opposition, Southampton, who stormed past Loughborough in their repechage, having been beaten in the first round by the London School of Oriental and African Studies, were David Bishop, Richard Evans, Matt Loxham, and skippering the team was Bob De Caux. Let’s get on with it.

A long winded review of Darwin’s Origin of the Species saw Anna Johnson take first blood. Statues of fictional characters brought them a full set of bonuses. Bob de Caux came in too early on a question that required the answer mote spoon, but Bangor couldn’t capitalise. Matt Loxham, who was to have a good evening – well, so were all the members of Southampton’s team- came in for Southampton’s first with leptin. Bonuses on descriptions of painters brought 2 correct answers. A nice UC starter asked for the word made by the middle initials of Susan Anthony, Robert Lee and Nelson Rockefeller. Bob de Caux won the buzzer race with bed. Radio astronomy gave nothing to any of us, Catriona Coutts took a flyer on the next starter, which asked which creatures Tolkein created in response to the shabby use in Shakespeare’s Macbeth . . . That was enough to give the answer away, but she was just a tad too early and plumped for orcs, losing 5. Given time to work it out David Bishop correctly supplied ents. The bonuses were on the pantone colour of the year – otherwise known as the what? at LAM towers. I actually had 2 of these, although not the same two as Southampton. The picture starter showed us a New York Street Map. Matt Loxham supplied the correct identification of 5th Avenue. More of the same followed, of which the team managed two. A brisk start by Southampton then had put them well in the driving seat, and they led with a distinctly useful 70 to 20 at the ten minute mark.

Clockwise countries bordering Sudan was too tricky for either team to take the points, and so we moved on to a question about the cathode ray tube. Matt Loxham was in first, and this led to bonuses on the dominions. 2 were taken. David Bishop did well to recognise a description of the coat of arms of Lithuania. Graphic novels looked likely to provide a full set, but Southampton leaped in too quickly with the answer to the last, giving the magnificent ”Watchmen” when the answer required was “The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” The term Mountebank escaped both teams, and so we moved on to Matt Loxham’s answer of the Copenhagen Interpretation. Fair enough. The Orange Prize for Fiction, I must confess, yielded me nothing, rather as it did for Southampton. Not that it mattered since Southampton were winning the buzzer race hands down. As if to add insult to injury it was at this point that JP uttered the famous kiss of death, “Bangor, there’s plenty of time to come back.” Now, you know it’s just not going to be your night when he comes out with that one. The music starter gave us the dubious pleasure of a quick snatch of the Prodigy’s Firestarter. Other songs banned by the BBC followed, and Southampton took the first two quickly, but it needed Matt Loxham to mime playing the ukulele before they could dredge up the name George Formby, smutty little Herbert that he was. That’s George Formby, not Matt Loxham. Henry David Thoreau was the first to use the phrase civil disobedience but nobody knew it. Nobody knew that a quote from Shakespeare came from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Well, I mean I did, but only because I acted in it at school (Elthorne High School – Midsummer Night’s Dream – Summer Production 1981) Everyone was enthralled by my Bottom. I’m here all week, ladies and gents. Richard, our own Cromarty IV, gave the answer to a question about molecules – I think that was about the only word of the question that I understood. This gave Southampton bonuses on crystal structures in chemistry. Say one thing for Southampton, they knows their crystals, they does. Queen Anne’s Bounty – which probably wasn’t quite the taste of paradise – was the unanswered starter which came next. Schopenhauer was picked as the answer to the next by that man Loxham. African capital cities were snapped up by Southampton, and as we approached the 20 minute mark they approached the 200 point barrier, with 195, and the result in the bag. Sad to say, Bangor hadn’t managed one for over 15 minutes, since the very first starter of the show.

Richard knew that 5 decades separated Yuri Gagarin’s spaceflight, and the last flight of the last space shuttle. Vienna Secessionists were the subject of the next set of bonuses, and another full set was taken. Matt Loxham’s answer of Oxford to the next starter came in so quickly that I didn’t really catch what the starter was actually about. Historic routes only yielded 2 this time, but it led on to the picture starter. Thankfully Owain Jones managed to get in before Southampton, and correctly identified Simon Bolivar. 3 more military and political figures from the 19th century followed. I was pleased that I recognised Paul Kruger, but Bangor only managed Ulysses S. Grant. After that brief diversion Bob de Caux told us the 4 roots of unity in Maths. Fair enough. Bonuses on cell biology brought just 5 more points, but the score was purely academic. They were up to 255 anyway. David Bishop recognised a set of conflicts from the American War of Independence. Isograms - names in which no letter is repeated – brought ten more points. Owain Jones knew that apart from the pre-Cambrian and Cambrian, the names of the Ordovician and Silurian periods are also associated with Wales. But only one of them is associated with Doctor Who. The United Nations, and decades in which certain countries joined, gave Bangor another full set. Bob de Caux wasted no time in spelling out excerpt. Bonuses on the cardio vascular system took their score to 290. David Bishop knew the old chestnut that Pilsner is a word that come from a location in the Czech Republic. August only brought one bonus, but the team were now over 300. Not that it made them show any more mercy towards Bangor. Richard took the next, and earned bonuses on Indian languages and religion. By now Bangor were hitting the buzzer so quickly that Richard had buzzed in with the correct answer of Martin Scorsese almost immediately after just the words “Cape Fear”. Charles Laughton was the subject of the last set of bonuses, but there was no time for Southampton to add to their score of 335. A fantastic score, and a great performance. Look out quarter finals – here Southampton comes. Hard lines Bangor, it really wasn’t your night. Before anyone makes any derogratory comments, it should be remembered that you already won one show, and won it well too. Nothing to be ashamed of here.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

On the Orange Prize for Fiction questions Bob de Caux showed admirable honesty in admitting that if they did give answer s they’d just be making names up to which our hero replied,
”Well, it’s served you fine so far.” Cheeky monkey.
I knew there would be some comment if nobody got the Shakespeare starter ( I’m a Shakespeare starter, twisted Shakespeare starter – no? Well, please yourselves.) He couldn’t resist adding in terms more of sorrow than anger – “It was Helena!” as if that would lead to both teams slapping their own foreheads and going D’oh! in unison. It didn’t.
When Owain Jones took Bangor’s second starter at around the 21 and a half minute mark JP informed Bangor – “You’ve got a bit of ground to make up though – you may have time.” Come, come Jeremy – lies, even white lies such as this, ill become you. I think he regretted it too, for when Owain Jones took the team’s next starter he added the rather too sarky “Nice to have you with us.” Believe me Jez, it won’t have been that they weren’t trying.

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

The BBC decided that the Bangles’ “Walk Like An Egyptian” was a song to be avoided during the Gulf War .


Jack said...

Utterly amazing showing from Southampton there, one of the best showings in months, and definitely one of the most stunning in a while. Well done once again to Richard and co!

Poor Bangor didn't deserve that hard a defeat after their good first showing, but they were just repeatedly beaten to it tonight. When they did get in, they did very good indeed, getting 7/9 bonuses. Southampton got 32/52. And one missignal each.

Some series this is turning into.

Londinius said...

Hi Jack

Yes, I didn't mention it in the review, but I did notice that poor old Bangor were getting the majority of their bonus questions right, but just not getting the chance to try.

What a performance from Southampton, though. Which all begs the question - just how good are London School of Oriental and African Studies, who actually beat them in the first round.

jim360 said...

I think that Cromarty talked about a change of tack on the buzzer after their first match, which basically amounted to once you think you know try it without any further time spent! It paid dividends and then some in this match... you have to go back to the 2010-2011 season to find a score so high.

ianf1 said...

Anyone else spot an error from Mr Paxman and/or the question setters? Southampton got the question about Sudan right - the next country bordering it was indeed South Sudan. The question setters must have been looking at an old map - Kenya no longer borders Sudan "proper".