London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine v. London School of Economics
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have taken part in one previous series, in 2012, when they reached the repechage round. This year LSHTM consisted of Andy Taylor, Rebecca Glover, Anjaneya Bapat, and their captain Sarah Legrand. I don’t know how many times, if any, the LSE have competed before, since JP didn’t say. The team consisted of Peter Sims, Jeffrey Mo, Pedro Franco de Campos Pinto, and their skipper Jimmy Chen.
Sarah Legrand buzzed in extremely early to answer the first question correctly with Aristotle. Only one bonus on Caribbean cuisine was taken. Sarah Legrand buzzed in early again for the second starter, supplying the correct answer of meritocracy. LSHTM took a full set of bonuses on poets and their responses to war and revolution. Eager to follow the lead of his skipper, Anjaneya Bapat buzzed in early to identify a description of the sternum. No bonuses were taken on silicon. The picture starter showed us a graphic representation of the name of an opera. A barber’s pole and an orange sat up and begged for the Barber of Seville, and Sarah Legrand buzzed in somewhat apologetically. Three more of the same followed, only this time they had to supply the name of the composer of each as well. Only one could be taken, still, LSHTM were leading by 65 points, and LSE had yet to score. A state of affairs which Jimmy Chen remedied with the very next question, giving the teams a series of works by one of my all time favourite writers, W.M. Thackeray. One bonus on triptychs meant that they trailed 65 – 15 at the ten minute mark.
Emboldened by their first success, Jimmy Chen buzzed in for the next starter, knowing full well that a question that starts with –In 1769 – and ends with –actor?- will more often than not be looking for David Garrick. Bonuses on Lord Curzon provided a further 10 points.Nobody knew which two neighbouring planets have the lowest and highest geometric albedos. I had geometric albedos once – a bit of ointment cleared them up. I’m here all week ladies and gents. They were Mercury and Venus. Sarah Legrand didn’t think she knew about the golden age of Danish painting – but she did. Lines from films from the 1930s where both film and actor were required just showed how last week’s controversial periodic table might have been dealt with. When LSE offered “Gone With the Wind – Rhett Butler” for the line – Frankly My dear etc. – first JP gave a prompt – The Actor please. Mind you, they still persisted with Rhett Butler, thereby failing to add to their score from this bonus set. For the music starter, we had a classic pop song from the 80s rather than classical music. Peter Sims was first in to identify the B-52’s Rock Lobster. Apparently the lead singer Fred Schneider is known for his sprechgesang style of singing – speak singing literally. Three other examples followed. LSE managed none of them. I didn’t get the Pixies, didn’t know the song but recognized Jarvis Cocker and Pulp for the last, and of course knew the late Ian Dury’s Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick. I was alittle surprised that it took so long for anyone to get the surname linking the Nobel Prize laureate who shared the award for with Florey and Chain, the director of Gone With the Wind, and the author who wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and remarkably Sarah Legrand had a starter wrong, which allowed Jeffrey Mo in with Fleming – Alexander – Victor and Ian. Not Bob, sadly. IT and technology companies didn’t help a huge amount, but nonetheless the gap was coming down, and at this stage was only 10 points. Sarah Legrand looked most surprised that JP accepted her answer of Red Queen Hypothesis (more on that later). Bonuses on genetics provided just another 5 points. I didn’t understand the next question, but Jeffrey Mo supplied the correct answer of Ketones. Weren’t they a group of comedy cops in the early days of Hollywood? A tricky UC special set on capital cities beginning and ending with A supplied two more correct answers. Which meant that LSE had had the best of the previous ten minutes, and now trailed by a single bonus, 90 to 85.Game on.
A great UC special asked which three digit number results when you take the roman numerals of the name of the muse of History. This one saw neither team quite manage 151 (CLI and O).Peter Sims knew that Pascal Paoli founded a republic on Corsica, which put LSE into the lead for the first time in the competition. On the bonuses they were slightly unlucky not to be given Ludwig I for Louis I son of Charlemagne – with the reason being that although he is known in some areas as Ludwig, the fact is that the name was in the question. A bit harsh. Of the two remaining bonuses on medieval treaties, LSE managed one. For the second picture starter nobody identified a beach scene by Monet. Show me the Monet. Jimmy Choo earned the rollover bonuses when he correctly identified the river that joins the Severn in the Severn estuary after rising on Plynlimmon as the Wye. I was pleased with myself for getting a full house of beach scenes, of which LSE managed one bonus. They led by 20 points, but it was still anybody’s game. Anjaneya Bapat knew the old chestnut that Sir Joshua Reynolds was the first president of the Royal Academy. A full house of bonuses on William Tyndale was just what the doctors ordered. Now, I’ve watched it three times, and I still can’t tell you what it is that the Greek letter gamma symbolizes, but nobody had it anyway. Sarah Legrand buzzed in very early to identify the author of Dead Man Walking. Asexual reproduction in fungi sounded like a laugh a minute category for bonuses, but they still managed one of them, and now they led again by 15. Now, if you concatenate the silent letters in Honour, biscuit and mnemonic, you end up with hum. Jimmy Chen was close with hun, but the cigar went to Sarah Legrand.. 2 bonuses on sea going mammals looked invaluable at this stage. Peter Sims knew that the Economist was founded as a measure against the Corn Laws. Only one bonus on quotations from Hamlet could be taken. Jeffrey Mo recognized the first woman to be elected to the Academie Francaise. JP told LSE that if they got a full house of bonuses they would take the lead. The subject of palaeoanthropology promised little, which didn’t matter anyway since time ran out and the gong was struck before they could answer the first. Well played both teams. Congratulations LSHTM, and bad luck to LSE – 140 may do it, but I think they may well be at least 10 points short of a repechage place by the end of the first round heats.
Jeremy Paxman Watch
Was it my imagination, or did JP seem particularly taken with LSHTM in general, and Sarah Legrand in particular. She reminded me a bit of Andi Macdowall. When she buzzed in with the Barber of Seville he almost apologized to her for having to ask, saying, “It’s embarrassing, isn’t it.”
It took a while for him to add anything of note, but he almost purred when she offered the correct answer of “Brussels” to complete the full house on Tyndale, saying “You always seem so pleasantly astonished when you get it right.”
Then, at the end of the show, while he merely thanked LSE for joining us, he went as far as to say “You were a delightful team. . . “ I may be wrong, but I do wonder if our JP is a bit of a smitten kitten, people.
Interesting Fact That I Didn’t Already Know Of The Week
The theory that states that species must continually evolve to survive is and maintain the same positions in their relative ecosystem is called the Red Queen hypothesis.