Sunday, 11 September 2016

University Challenge - Round One - Heat Nine - Open University v. Salford

Open University v. Salford

Open University were represented by Rob Mitchell, Dale Crawford, Mags Adamson and captain Sarah Banks. Their opponents, Salford, were Robert White, Mark Sanders, Peter Smith and their skipper Bradley Wakefield.

I felt we might be in for a good match when I saw the way that both teams waited on their buzzers to identify a 1944 novel until JP starter saying the name George Orwell, at which Mark Sanders won the buzzer race to give the answer 1984. Types of apple only brought the one bonus. Rob Mitchell of Open, who was to have a very good night, opened their account, knowing who coined the term ‘scientist’. They too managed one bonus,  this time on the dramatist Thomas Dekker. Open took their second starter as Dale Crawford, who was also to have a very good night, identified the film “Kinky Boots”. This time they took a full house on atom stuff. This brought up the picture starter, on a map of a model village. Robert White had that. Three more model villages – I predicted Bourneville, Port Sunlight, and New Lanark would be coming up, and I wasn’t disappointed. Neither were Salford who took a full house. Rob Mitchell knew that Glucinium was the former name of beryllium. This earned bonuses on Lord Chancellors of England. The fact that they only took 1 out of three gettable questions suggested that maybe they were a little light on the historical side within the team. Never mind – at the 10 minute mark both teams had shown good form, but Open led by 55 to 40.

In 1861 the only writer likely to start a book with a section titled The Mistress was Mrs. Beeton, and Peter Smith was the first to the buzzer on this starter. They were unlucky to get a tricky set on Germanic tribes, of which the only one any of us got was the last. Mark Sanders knew several definitions of the word impact for the next starter. Joan Didion, who apparently has no connection to Ken Dodd, earned us both a full house. Peter Smith knew that Dave Brailsford introduced the concept of marginal gains, and presidents of the Royal Society who won the Nobel prize gave me an unexpected bonus, while Salford, who had made a blitz start to this second phase of the competition, scored a different correct answer. So to the music starter. I t was so obviously Louis Armstrong that a buzzer race ensued in seconds, won by Dale Crawford. 3 other musicians sent to propagate jazz  overseas during the Cold War brought no rewards. Both teams sat on their buzzer a bit for a starter on Tasmania before Dale Crawford buzzed in. Acts of parliament and the decades in which they were passed provided a single bonus. A third starter in a row fell to Dale Crawfod who knew Patrick Leigh Fermor. Italian operas and their Italian titles provided them with a full house, a triple figure score, and the lead. Mags Adamson knew that if you hear the words ‘early form of writing’  and ‘Sumerian’ – or indeed anything Mesopotamian, then you go for the buzzer and answer cuneiform. Two bonuses on Nishapur followed. Thus, by the 20 minute mark Open had wrested back the lead from Salford, with the score standing at 125 – 95.

Rob Mitchell was the first in to identify a quotation from Pygmalion. Archaea – no, me neither – provided Open with 2 bonuses, and me with an opportunity for a lap of honour around the Clark sofa for knowing that Halo – refers to salt. For the second picture starter we saw a Gustav Doré engraving of Jacob fighting with an angel. Neither team had both engraver and subject. Rob Mitchell took the next starter, some Maths thing, and earned the picture bonuses. Which brought none of us any points, so lets move on from that. Rob Mitchell knew the Government’s Chief Scientific Officer, and earned bonuses on the films of Carol Reisz. I didn’t know the name, but I did know the films. We both had a full house, and poor Old Salford had been shut out completely for the last five minutes or more. That can seem like a lifetime in UC. Their main chance at this stage seemed to be a repechage score. Peter Smith put them ten points closer with the word trousseau. A tricky set on religious terminology didn’t help much. Dale Crawford knew of Gestalt psychology, and three bonuses on Asian G20 countries brought 10 more points. Now Open skipper Sarah Banks muscled in on the Starter act , recognising some examples of beta blockers. Bonuses on novels with the word fear in their titles frankly should have been a full set even if you’ve never read the books, but only brought a single bonus. Mind you, any more points for Open at this stage would have just been gilding. Mark Sanders knew that Viti Levu is an island of Fiji, and that was that. The final score was 220 to 115. Hard lines to Salford. They didn’t play at all badly, but just were not as fast on the buzzer as Open, and when that happens there’s precious little you can do about it. Well played Open – a team worth watching I’ll be bound.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Nothing to see here, citizens. Get on with your lives.

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

Kanzi apples take their name from a Swahili word meaning hidden treasure.

1 comment:

Jack said...

Excellent first performance from Open, against a decent Salford side who are unlucky to fall at the first hurdle. I suspect they'd have won out against another team. They were simply outplayed by the buzzer work of Messrs Crawford and Mitchell, the latter of whom some may recognise as the second man to get the £500,000 question wrong on Millionaire. Agree that Open look like a team to watch, but we'll need to see them again before we knew for sure.

Tomorrow, Edinburgh play Durham; the week after, Wolfson of Cambridge take on SOAS of London.