Corpus Christi, Cambridge v. St. Anne’s , Oxford
Unless I’m very much mistaken, Corpus Christi have the unenviable distinction of having been disqualified after the brilliant Gail Trimble-led team carried all before them in the 2009 series. I thought that was harsh at the time. Procedures have been tightened up since, and this year’s team were Tristan Roberts, Kripa Panchagnula, Benedict McDougall and their skipper, Joseph Krol. Their opposition were St. Anne’s Oxford, represented by Ramani Chandramohan, Cameron Royle, Andrew Jamieson and captain Kanta Dihal.
Both Cameron Royle and I spotted definitions of the word mortar early for the first starter. Rebellions in English history revealed a worrying lack of historical knowledge among the St. Anne’s team as they managed none of a distinctly gettable set. I didn’t know that the Islamic scholar Ibn Rushd wrote on the works of Aristotle, but I guessed, as, so it appeared, did Benedict McDougall. A set on islands saw Corpus post their intent with a full house. If you’re asked about an epic poem, it won’t always be the Iliad or the Odyssey – but it will be a substantial proportion of the time. This time it was the Iliad, ad it was Benedict McDougall who buzzed in for his second. A lovely UC special set on SI units – where the unit was given in first names rather than surnames – saw Corpus take a great full house, and me take an early lap of honour for getting radioactivity from Henri, as in Becquerel. Now, I guessed that NOMA might well be in Manchester, but neither team managed to. Now – you hear ‘gold and silver’ in a question, and you fly for the buzzer and answer ‘electrum’. That’s what Cameron Royle did, to earn St. Anne’s a set on popinjays. Not easy, and they managed 1 bonus. So to the picture starter. We saw a map with several countries highlighted, and Joseph Krol was first to buzz in to correctly say that they all received full independence as republics in the 1940s. More of the same for the bonuses again saw Corpus make sure of a full house. Thus they led by 75 – 25 approaching the 10 minute mark.
The Corpus Christi juggernaut forged on as Joseph Krol knew that the outermost ring of Neptune is named after British astronomer John Couch Adams. Titles that differ only by their final word were a hard set, and neither of us managed anything on them. I’ll be honest, the only two ancient Greek physicians I could name are Galen and Hippocrates – but since they were the answer to the next starter I’m not complaining. This was taken by Joseph Krol – very much leading his team from the front. Kings of the Belgians gave me a surprise full house, and Corpus another 2 bonuses. Nobody knew that the remodelling of the Brighton Pavilion was completed in the 1820s. Ramani Chandramohan knew that SDG stands for Sustainable Development Goals, to get St. Anne’s going forward again. A timely full house on chemistry saw another outing for Linus Pauling – beloved of question setters for winning Nobel Prizes in 2 separate categories. So to the music starter, and a real buzzer race to the familiar strains of Flight of the Bumble Bee. Ramani Chandramohan took her second starter with Rimsky-Korsakov. It sounded as if she said ‘Rimsy -Korsakov’, but rightly JP made no bones about it. Three more Russian composers, with extracts from works they had based on Pushkin (who once wrote a poem about my 4x great uncle) saw them add a further 5 points. Fair play to Cameron Royle, who came in very early to give the Japanese Meiji era, and take his team’s third consecutive starter. 2 bonuses on 19th century US History followed. On a compass rose, how many degrees separate west northwest from north northeast? It’s one of those questions where your instant answer is more likely to be right than the one where you take time to think about it. Joseph Krol ended St. Anne’s run of success by supplying the correct answer of 90 degrees. Orders of mammals provided just the one bonus. The impressive Joseph Krol knew that messrs Laud and Hershel were both called William for the next starter. Leading ladies in Hitchcock films took Corpus back to a 50 point lead at the 20 minute mark, with 135 – 85.
Ramani Chandramohan buzzed too early for the next starter, allowing Joseph Krol to tell us that Wegener was the man responsible for plate tectonics. Time zones brought Corpus another 10 points. Nobody recognised the Temptation of St. Anthony for the second picture starter. The bonuses rolled over to Corpus after Tristan Roberts had correctly announced that 2 Australian states are smaller than the UK. 3 20th century triptychs provided slim pickings, but even 5 points pushed Corpus closer to a 100 point lead. The impressive Cameron Royle knew something about cobalt to take the next starter. I didn’t think that St. Anne’s could win at this stage, but they could bag a repechage slot, and so they needed a full set on polar bears, although they managed two. Joseph Krol halted their progress with a superfast buzz to identify one of Wittgenstein’s greatest hits. Screenplay writers saw them deliver another full house in fairly short order, and took them to the brink of 200. Andrew Jamieson knew the prefix peta- and put his team on 110. India gave them just 5 points. Cameron Royle knew that crude oil (alright, he said petroleum, but close enough) is processed in various given places. 125. CGS units brought them to 135. Joseph Krol correctly guessed that the joker was the highest trump in the game of Euchre. The 16th century took Corpus to 215. Time just remained for Joseph Krol to complete a splendid evening by identifying W.H.Auden’s quote on the death of Yeats. This capped a comprehensive victory by 225 – 135.
Corpus are definitely serious contenders, and will be worth watching in the next round. As for St. Anne’s, well, they are hanging onto a repechage slot by their fingertips. Hopefully they won’t rue those missed bonuses.
Jeremy Paxman Watch
Not that much to report. I was intrigued that we saw Corpus Christi provide 3 full houses early doors, none of which earned much approval from JP – however St. Anne’s first full house on chemistry received the coveted Paxman ‘well done’ – and he’s a Cambridge man himself.
Interesting Fact That I Didn’t Already Know Of The Week
The outermost ring of Neptune is named after British astronomer John Couch Adams.