Saturday, 13 December 2014

University Challenge - Round Two - Match 5

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine v. Bristol

The LSHTM team of Andy Taylor, Rebecca Glover, Anjaneya Bapat, and their captain Sarah Legrand defeated fellow London University team, the LSE in the first round, by just one starter. Monday’s opponents, Bristol, had a rather more easy time in their own first match, when the team of Lewis Rendell, Benjamin Moon, Miles Coleman and their captain, Anastasia Reynolds comfortably saw off the Courtauld Institute of Art. Let’s get on with the show.

It to0o0k a while for the first starter to get to the point, but when it did, it was Sarah Legrand who buzzed in first with the Blair quote – Educationx3. Three questions on the Minoan civilization followed – ah yes, a small thing, but Minoan. 1 was taken. Right, surgical instrument and window were not enough to provoke a buzz, but the addition of the word journal gave Sarah Legrand her second starter with The Lancet. A UC special set of pairs of words beginning with the same 4 letters – eg – protozoa and proton – provided two bonuses. Neither team could quite dredge up the name of the Leeds and Liverpool canal – home to Wigan Pier. This was only delaying Sarah Legrand’s hattrick of starters, as she knew next that Marc Chagall painted sad clowns etc. The music bonuses that followed asked for names linked by a word or words – for example – Ode to Joy and Joy Division. A full set of these followed. I was a little surprised that nobody took the picture starter which marked the site of the Battle of Monte Cassino on a map of Italy. Sarah Legrand was rather unfortunate to buzz early on the latin name passer domesticus with sparrow. The question specifically asked for a two word name, although this wasn’t obvious until after she had buzzed. This allowed Benjamin Moon in with House sparrow. This brought them the picture bonuses on locations of other battles in the Mediterranean during world war II. 2 bonuses made a dent in the lead, which stood at 55 – 20 at the 10 minute mark.

Now, I didn’t know Chebyshev, but Lewis Rendell of Bristol did, and that brought them the next starter. Last words in poetry provided an interesting set of bonuses, and Bristol were slightly unlucky not to get. Asked for the full name of the academy of drama whose acronym resembles a Greek letter minus one letter, Miles Coleman eventually gave us the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Meteorology offered me little although I did get Indian Summer. Bristol had that and another and now trailed by 10. Anastasia Reynolds showed some nifty buzzer work on the next starter. Asked for an English King, as soon as she heard ‘born in Pembroke Castle’ she went for it and gave the correct answer of Henry VII.Bonuses on British monarchs since 1600, in the words of Walter Bagehot. 2 correct answers gave them a lead of 15. For the music starter the teams were asked to name the composer of the theme of Dances with Wolves. Nobody knew John Barry. A splendid speculative buzz from Sarah Legrand on The Well of Loneliness dragged LSHTM back into  the match following a fallow period of a few minutes. This brought the dubious blessing of the music bonuses. Three more winners of the Oscar for best original film score brought ten more points, the only one missed being the only one I got, Giorgio Moroder. Now, I got the geometry starter, don’t ask me how, but basically if you take all the internal angles of a 100 sided polygon and divide by 98, what you’re left with is 180 degrees. Only just behind me was Lewis Rendell. The judiciary provided two bonuses and the points to take the lead again. On the cusp of the 20 minute mark they led by 90 – 75.

Miles Coleman extended this lead knowing that the OPCW is dedicated to the eradication of Chemical weapons. For bonuses T H Huxley provided two more bonuses. The picture starter showed a University building. Andy Taylor took a punt that it was in Mexico and earned a heart felt Paxman ‘well done’. The bonuses were UNESCO world heritage sites that have housed educational institutions. I managed the same two that LSHTM managed. Now, if you’re asked for a French wine growing region, Burgubndy is always worth a shout. Especially if the question mentions Dijon. Rebecca Glover took that one.They took two bonuses which put them 5 points ahead, which moved JP to erroneously say ’10 points from this starter and you’ll be ahead.’ Already there Jez. Whatever the case, Sarah Legrand made sure of it by buzzing early for the next starter on smelting. The bonuses on number theory did nothing for me, but LSHTM took two of them, and with 3 minutes left they led by one full set. Asked for the two countries involved in the Chaco War, Miles Coleman supplied Bolivia and Paraguay to keep Bristol just 15 points off the lead. They duly obliged with a full set on forms of the verb avoir. All square, and what a good contest these two teams were serving up for our delectation. A crucial, and ironically appropriate buzz from Benjamin Moon saw him identify the IAU as the International Astronomical Union. Bonuses on sausages saw Bristol guess the name of a French city, any city, linked with a sausage. They came up with Toulouse, and that correct guess ensured a full set, and looked to be a crucial one. Quite simply, LSHTM needed a correct buzz on the next starter, or game over.Neither team recognised lines penned by A E Houseman. Neither did I. Was there time for a full set? Agaricae might have given either of the teams the idea of mushrooms – but it didn’t. Surely not enough time left for an LSHTM come back now? Indeed not. Bristol ran out winners by 160 – 135. Full marks to Bristol for holding their nerve after the LSHTM went off to their blitz start, and especially after being given the kiss of death encouragement from JP.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Oh dear. We hadn’t even reached the ten minute mark and our hero was already issuing the dreaded ‘Plenty of time to come back’ kiss of death to Bristol.
Later on , when asked for the name which appears at the end of last lines of a specific poem, he wouldn’t accept Lady of Shalott when only Shalott was wanted. His explanation “It’s harsh, I know, but it’s the only way to play this game.” Very true – just so long as the same harshness is applied to ALL teams – and there are some times it doesn’t seem to be.
Ah, at last a flash of spirit from the great man. When Miles Coleman suggested that the composer of the film theme ‘could be Purcell’ he gave him a splendidly old fashioned look and replied in high dudgeon, “No it couldn’t! It’s not a bit like Purcell!’
Having said all this, our JP is still taking his happy pills, as he hailed the gallant runners up as being ‘certainly the giggliest team we’ve ever had’ but also as being ‘very, very good.’ Well said.

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

The word chipolata originally denoted an onion stew.


Jack said...

Not a terribly high scoring match, but it was close at least, and either side could have won it in the right circumstances. Ultimately, it was that final starter than won the match for Bristol.

I do feel, though, that Bristol will need to play better than that if they're going to progress through the QFs. As others have pointed out, the other four teams in the QFs so far have scored over 200 at least once. We shall have to wait and see how they fare.

And LSHTM gave a good account of themselves; two fair showings and very pleasant TV making too.

On the bonuses, LSHTM converted 14/21(with one penalty) and Bristol 16/24.

On Monday, I'm informed it's Liverpool vs Glasgow. Then, the series pauses for Xmas UC.

Londinius said...

Hi Jack

Oh, I'm glad that the Christmas series is back - I know in some ways it's University Challenge Lite, but I always enjoy it.

Yes, I know where you're coming from with Bristol. If they sleep on their buzzers like they did for the first 7 or 8 minutes another team may not be so generous as to allow them back in like LSHTM did. Still, for me the big difference between these two teams was that Bristol at least seemed to have buzzing throughout the team, while LSHTM relied heavily on their captain. So no, I don't necessarily see Bristol making it through the quarters, but hey, I've been wrong about this sort of thing as often as I've been right.

Stephen Follows said...

That name thing was a poor question: if JP didn't say 'one-word name', and I don't remember him saying so, then 'Lady of Shalott' was a perfectly acceptable answer - 'Lady of' is part of a noble name. That single bonus could have made a big difference to the result, so I think they wuz robbed.