Wednesday, 31 August 2016

University Challenge: Heat 5 : Oriel Oxford v. Manchester

Heat 5  : Oriel, Oxford v. Manchester

Oriel were represented by Owen Monaghan, Alex Siantonas, Tobias Thornes and skipper Nathan Helms. Their opponents, Manchester are one of those teams you never want to draw in the first round, as they have a hell of a pedigree within the revived series. They were Aaron Morrison-Griffiths, Jane Scanlon, Owen Michael and captain Joseph Bath.

Both teams sat on their buzzers a little bit after the starter became a bit obvious, but Owen Michael was first in with the South Sea Company. Women born in the 1870s brought them close to a full house, but they plumped for Mary rather than Nancy Astor. Hard lines. Owen Michael missed out on the next by giving us the book rather than the end of the quote from Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Oriel couldn’t capitalise. Tobias Thorne knew that Lipperschey probably invented the telescope , and a full set on Goths and the like brought them the lead. Again, a member of Manchester, skipper Joseph Bath, identified the right novel, The Prisoner of Zenda, but not the answer to the question, which was Ruritania. Again, Oriel failed to capitalise. Poor Owen Michael, the next question looked for all the world like it was asking for ‘the renaissance’ until it took a swerve just as he was buzzing. He must have heard what was required, but couldn’t stop himself from giving his original answer. This time Owen Monaghan capitalised with quattrocento. Bonuses on medicine provided another 5 points. For the picture starter we saw an equation, which expressed a law of physics, and Joseph Bath correctly pegged it as one of Newton’s. Fair enough. My mind went and put the kettle on as Manchester managed to identify 1 more equation. A very early buzz from Alex Siantonas saw him identify the term falsification. Declarations of love in 19th century literature brought two answers for both of us. So at slightly after the 10 minute mark Oriel led by 60 to 25. Which is funny considering Manchester looked sharper on the buzzer, but they were nowhere near as cool under fire.

Sadly for Manchester it happened again in the next starter. OBE led Owen Michael to dive in with Order of the British Empire, while waiting for the whole question was enough to give Owen Monaghan Out of Body Experience – well, not literally, but you know what I mean. The mid 80s miners’ strike brought these young whippersnappers only the one correct answer. Joseph Bath waited until the opportune moment before buzzing with the correct answer of silicon for the next starter. Biochemistry saw them flog the Krebs cycle for the answer to each question, and they were rewarded with the last bonus. Nobody knew Bo Diddley for the music starter. Alex Siantonas knew that the latin for wise is Sapiens, thus earning the music bonuses on other tracks using the same beat, or variations thereon. Sadly they didn’t recognise The Cure – what are things coming to? Nor the Clash, and they went for the full Wham! rather than George Michael.Skipper Halems recognised a description from the obituary of Monet. Currencies gave them 10 points which put them into triple figures. Jane Scanlon knew that the oridinal number you’d associate with Napoleon III is second – as in Empire. Operas that premiered at La Fenice ddn’t deliver much, although skipper Joseph Bath was given a little bit of leeway saying Turning rather than Turn of the Screw. He’d been given the right answer by Jane Scanlon, which is why JP allowed them the points. This meant that at the halfway stage Oriel led by 100 to 50.

Owen Michael showed he had learned the benefit of waiting, as Nathan Helms misspelled Mr. Knievel’s given name as Evil. Chemical elements provided us both with a full house on higher numbered elements. I paused the playback to allow time for a lap of honour of the living room, you’ll be pleased to hear. Thanks Sporcle. I recognised a Whistler painting of one of the Thames Bridges, as did Alex Siantonas for the second picture starter. More works secured for British galleries by the Art Fund brought them 10 more points. Nathan Helms knew that the Battle of Kursk was in 1943, and this brought them bonuses on 14th century History. Skipper Joseph Bath held his head in his hands. The time to secure a repechage place score at least was running out. The gap after they added one bonus was now up to 60 points. Poor Owen Michael buzzed without a ready answer to the question name two of the other three countries apart from Iraq that have a q in their shortened English spelling. Owen Monaghan was once again on hand to pick up the pieces, supplying Equatorial Guinea and Mozambique. Japanese cinema only brought 5 more points, but the game was over as near as dammit, and it didn’t matter. Aaron Morrison-Griffith correctly identified Rio de Janeiro for the next starter. The Chateau of St. Germain brought 10 points, and put them one answer away from triple figures. Sadly, that was it, and a win for Oriel by 150 to 95.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

We saw JP unleash both barrels when Alex Siantonas suggested, somewhat tongue in cheek one feels, that the American blues singer was in fact Cole Porter – or “Cole PORter?!” as JP spluttered. I think he realised he was being had, though, when he smiled and hailed it as an amusing guess.

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

Telescopes were once nicknamed Dutch Trunks.


Jack said...

A rather low scoring match, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. 'COLE PORTER?!' will surely be remembered for a while!

Manchester didn't do too badly (10/18 bonuses), but, for the second year in a row, just couldn't find the form that Manchester teams enjoyed in the past. As I've said before, Manchester teams have in recent years developed a tendency to start poorly/averagely and hit their stride second time around; just, this year and last, there hasn't been a second time around. They may need to snap out of that if they're to regain their imperious reputation.

Manny the Lion said...

There's been a lot of public comment about the music bonuses particularly the Cure, the Clash and George Michael. Oriel were unfortunate with Wham on the George Michael. Whilst I agree that the Cure and Clash are great and something people who like music should be exposed to, it's probably fair to say that it's not on the top of the list that many young people at university listen to.

Addy said...

You're a Sporcle fan too! Hardly surprising - one of my favourite websites these days, I get no end of use out of it.

Music-wise, I'll say that The Cure and The Clash both turn up routinely in the goth/rock/metal nightclubs I still occasionally attend - if you travel in the right circles, even those aimed at younger people, the bands are still there.