Northern Ireland v. South of England
Unlike the last couple of weeks I didn’t actually look at the questions to this week’s RBQ. By a combination of circumstances I got to actually listen to it as it was broadcast, so came ‘cold’ to the questions.
Right then – Northern Ireland’s Polly and Brian took on the South of England’s Fred and Marcel. Northern Ireland kicked off with
Q1 Northern Ireland
Why would you not need to linger over an Open golf venue in Kent, the flipside of Eleanor Rigby, and six human figures by Rodin?Rather quicker than Polly and Brian I said that the flipside of Eleanor Rigby – the other A side – was Yellow Submarine. A submarine went nicely with Sandwich as the Open venue, so we were dealing with fast food – which inevitably suggested the Burghers (sic) of Calais.Polly had the Burghers of Calais after a little ‘fishing’ but it took a while to get fast food from that. More fishing brought yellow submarine, but still sandwich needed help. I thought I was worth 6, but Northern Ireland had 3, which was maybe harsh but fair.
The South of England’s first was the rather lovely
Jim was first, Joe was second, Arthur was third, and Reg was just a kid. Who was the object of their admiration?
Again, the key to this one sounded fairly easy from where I was listening. I had Reg as Reg Dwight aka Elton John. Just a kid is a line from “Candle in the Wind” which was about Marilyn Monroe. Arthur Miller was her third husband, Joe Di Maggio her second, and I make no apologies for knowing that Jim Dougherty was her first husband. Sorry, but another unprepared maximum for me. To be fair Fred was onto it very quickly, but had Jim Baker rather than Jim Dougherty as her first husband. This meant that they earned a slightly jammy 6.
Northern Ireland’s music question asked
To which undesirable club do all these people belong, and why would Handel's one-time neighbour also be eligible?
Believe it or not, another 6 pointer. Me and Bobby McGee – the Janis Joplin version made it fairly clear that the club was the so-called 27 club, of musicians who died at the age of 27. Jim Morrison of the Doors came next, then Kurt Cobain, and I predicted the last would be Amy Winehouse. It was. This meant that Handel’s one time neighbour was a cryptic reference to Jimi Hendrix. Polly had the connection, but not the specific name of the club. She didn’t quite have all of the musicians, missing Jim Morrison until given heavy hints by Tom. Brian barked up the wrong tree with a contemporary of Handel, but after much toing and froing they finally arrived at Hendrix. Northern Ireland were awarded 4, which was fair.
Well, my streak had to end some time, and the South of England’s music question,
Consider why one of these pieces apparently encompasses the other two?
looked likely to do the job. But, well, I recognized all three. We started with Carnival of the Animals, then had All Saints’ Never Ever. So Saint Saens and All Saints so far. Then we had the theme of ‘The Saint’. So the second encompassed the other two. Fred knew the theme of the Saint, and Marcel the Carnival of the Animals by Saint Saens. They just couldn’t get All Saints. With much pushing Fred eventually had it. I had the lot again – 6 for me, and a rather lucky and generous 5 for the team.
I will admit straightaway that I didn’t have a six for Northern Ireland’s next question.
Who would be unlikely to welcome a porcine from Russia, fragrant balm from the Himalayas, and something hard to untie from Japan?
The only thing which occurred straightaway was Japanese knotweed, and Polly was straight onto this one as well. I didn’t have Hogweed from Russia which Polly did, nor Basalm weed. Polly quickly took the 6 points, and with two bits of the question unanswered from me, I could only claim 3 or possibly 4.
When I heard the South of England’s next question
Where would you probably not find celebrated: a 17th century siege engine, Prince Frederick’s campaigns in Flanders, and the Great Plague – in spite of received wisdom?
Prince Frederick was the Duke of York – but maybe not the Grand Old Duke of York, and the Great Plague isn’t celebrated in Ring a Ring O Roses, despite what people think. I wasn’t sure about the siege engine, but on balance plumped for Humpty Dumpty. Fred and Marcel didn’t see it at first at all. After a little pushing, well, actually quite a lot of pushing, eventually Fred got there. Tom confirmed that my guess of Humpty Dumpty was right. I took 6, South of England got 2.
I’d been very lucky with the South’s questions so far. Northern Ireland’s next I found rather more difficult.
Which Italian priest brings together a Chinese airline, Margaret Drabble’s first novel, an English Romantic poem and a precious Russian gift?
I didn’t know Margaret Drabble’s first novel. Polly knew it was ‘A Summer Birdcage’. Now, I too, as did Brian, guessed the Russian gift might be a Faberge egg. Tom asked which one. Well, I read a great book about these, and there were a lot of them! When the team elicited that we were looking for seasons, then Vivaldi had to be the priest – having composed the Four Seasons. Keats “Ode to Autumn” is simply one of my favourite poems of all time. Now, I knew that Faberge made a fabulous crock crystal confection called The Winter Egg. I’ve never heard of Spring Airlines, but only Spring was left. When Tom added it all up he gave Northern Ireland 2 points – a little harsh. Still I don’t think I was worth any more for that one either.
The last question for the South of England
Why might Ursula Andress, Mrs Rumpole and Mary Rider’s adversary imagine themselves to be the mother of Unsinkable Sam?
strick some immediate chords. I knew that Hilda Rumpole was referred to by her husband as She Who Must Be Obeyed. In H. Rider Haggard’s “She” Ayesha was referred to by the same title, and Ursula Andress played Ayesha in the Hammer film version. Mary Rider’s adversary escaped me as did unsinkable Sam. Marcel got the She Who Must Be Obeyed connection. They were stumped on the same bits I was. Tom said unsinkable Sam served with both German and British navies in WWII. Apparently he was a ship’s cat rescued from the Bismarck. Mary Rider’s adversary comes from Life and Loves of a She Devil. In the TV series, wasn’t the name Mary Fisher? So they were all Shes – as in Who is she – the cat’s mother? Fiendish. Both South and I took 2. Which gave the teams a draw – 15 points apiece. For what it’s worth I awarded myself 17 for Northern Ireland’s questions, and 20 for the South’s.