Tuesday, 20 February 2018

University Challenge Quarter Final Stages - Edinburgh v. Emmanuel

Edinburgh v. Emmanuel, Cambridge 

Yes, dearly beloved, it’s half term, and so what better way to start a Tuesday than a UC review? Another two teams made their first attempt to win a quarter match. First up were Edinburgh, represented by John Heaton-Armstrong, Stanley Wang, Philippa Stone and their captain, Innis Carson. Their opposition, Emmanuel Cambridge, represented by Ed Derby, Kitty Chevallier, James Fraser and their captain Alex Mistlin are not, to my mind, one of the most fancied teams, but useful dark horses who can cause any side problems at this stage of the competition. 

A very good early buzz from Kitty Chevallier linked an edible tuber and a city with the name Jerusalem. Their first set of bonuses, on alliteration brilliantly brought a bonus bonanza. Stanley Wang opened Edinburgh’s account, being the first to recognise a question relating to Richard Feynman. Huge statues and their Geographical coordinates were an interesting although highly gettable set which gave Edinburgh their own full house.Neither team knew that a particular style of art belonged to Buddhism for the next starter. John Heaton-Armstrong came in too early for a term for a particular variety of language with pidgin, losing 5 and allowing Kitty Chevallier to tap in patois to the open goal. Psychology brought me two and Emmanuel one bonus. Now, the next starter gave us a definition of the word ‘methinks’, which was taken by the Edinburgh starter. A good shout, and it looked even better when this led to a full house on a set of islands named after explorers. The picture starter showed a photo still from a film which people of my vintage probably had no difficulty recognising, “My Beautiful Laundrette”. Of course, no one in either team is even remotely close to my age, and so both missed out. Philippa Stone did a lot of the hard work on the next starter, yet ended up losing 5 for Edinburgh. She recognised a description of the fist ever kidney machine and buzzed early with the answer – dialysis. So close but no cigar, for the rest of the question actually asked for the organ whose function it replicated. Bad luck, and it allowed James Fraser to tap in for the points. This brought up the picture bonuses, more stills from films representative of ‘the new queer cinema movement’. Emmanuel only managed the one, which meant that they led 50 – 40 at the 10 minute mark. 

A lovely UC special asked for 2 of the three city names that appear in the names of properties in the London standard version of Monopoly. A rush of blood to the head saw John Heaton-Armstrong chance his arm with Kent, allowing Kitty Chevallier in with Coventry and Leicester. A bonus on Alphas in Science followed. Now, for the next starter, I’m sure John Heaton-Armstrong knew that the list JP had started all featured in works by Pushkin, but the name escaped him, and he knew he was wrong with Shostakovitch. Given then that the writer concerned was killed in a duel Kitty Chevallier was there to provide the correct answer. Pushkin also wrote a verse about my 5x great Uncle, George Dawe. Not very interesting, but true. The Seven Churches of Asia only brought the one bonus. None of us recognised the work of Saint-Saens for the music starter. I guessed that the Oyo Empire and the Aro Confederacy would have been in Nigeria, neither of the teams could. It had been several minutes since and Edinburgh correct buzz, but this was supplied by Innes Carson who was in quickly with the word fulcrum. This brought the dubious benefit of the music bonuses. No points were taken, but at least Edinburgh had found something of their range. I do like periodic table questions, and when I supplied VAN as the first three letters of the element between titanium and chromium just before James Fraser I decided to get while the going was good, and set off on my lap of honour. The playwright Laura Wade didn’t do much for them, and this meant that, as we approached the 20 minute mark, Emma had a lead of 100 -45. They’d had by far the better of the buzzer in this middle period of the contest. However it seemed to me that they weren’t making the most of the bonuses, and because of this, Edinburgh were closer than they might have been.

Edinburgh knocked ten points off the lead with skipper Innes Carson knowing that teleost relates to fish. Chaim Weiszman surprisingly gave me a full house – too knackered for another lap of honour, I’m afraid. Edinburgh managed just the one. Still, Edinburgh were moving forward, with the skipper taking a second consecutive starter with French sociologist Durkheim. Again, they only managed one bonus, this time on human prehistory. Surprisingly neither team recognised a picture of Jonathan Swift for the second picture starter. Both James Fraser and I knew that it was two years before Edward I was crowned – I’ve heard of long holidays, but that one takes the biscuit. This won the picture bonuses where Emma could only identify one of a set of pictures of writers of speculative fiction about Mars. Now, if you’re asking about alloys with different amounts of carbon, even I know that iron is going to be a good shout. So did Innes Carson.  Again, though, Edinburgh themselves could only take a single bonus on a set on jolly German funster Angela Merkel. The contest at this stage saw only a full house separating both teams, but neither team had been close to one of those for ages. Philippa Stone seemed disbelieving that her answer of Cuthbert as the sainted Bishop of Lindisfarne was correct for the next starter, but it was. When I was a kid I loved dinosaurs, and can stull remember the meanings of some of their names. So I took an easy full house on the set of bonuses on dinosaurs of the late Jurassic. So, amazingly, did Edinburgh. Thus, after everything which had already happened, both teams were level on points. Captain Alex Mistlin chanced his arm with an early buzz on the Olympic football champions, but the gamble lost five points. This was compounded when Stanley Wang supplied the correct answer of Brazil. There was only time for two bonuses, neither of which Edinburgh could take. On the gong, the final score was Edinburgh 125 to Emmanuel’s 110. 

Congratulations to Edinburgh for resilience. That crucial full house might have just pushed their bonus conversion rate towards respectability. As for Emmanuel, well, I doubt that their own conversion rate makes pleasant reading, for make no mistake, this was where they lost the match. Without wishing to be too horrible, on this form you wouldn’t fancy either team making the semis, but there’s still a long way to go in these quarter stages. 

Jeremy Paxman Watch

The great man started by sniffily apologising to Emmanuel for the set on alliteration being so easy – and you sensed that this was only half in jest. 

A fine splutter came when, asked for one of the 7 churches of Asia which shared its name with a large city in North America, Emmanuel replied Toronto. JP’s eyebrows headed for the ceiling, and the indignant reply, “The church of Toronto!” gave us all a good idea what he thought of this answer. Later on Jez seemed rather peeved that both teams missed the Jonathan Swift picture, and when Emmanuel won the right to the bonuses he harked back to “Jonathan Swift, who was the GEEZER you failed to identify.” Jez, don’t try to get down with the kids, mate. It’s just embarrassing. He went on to reply to the Emmanuel suggestion that HG Wells’ photo was really Franz Kafka, “ It doesn’t look a BIT like Kafka.” Harsh – but actually quite right. 

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

Jonathan Swift speculated that Mars had two moons in Gulliver’s Travels


Keshava said...

A question that perhaps only you can answer:
You said back in 2011 that you'd been waiting for years to watch your alma mater Goldsmiths on UC. Was 2011 the first (and thus only) year they've ever been on?

Londinius said...

Hi Keshava

They haven't been on since and as far as I know the weren't on before that. However don't take everything I say as gospel.

Maybe it's just me, but from London University UCL, Kings and Birkbeck seem to get on a lot more often.

Aethelstan said...

The old Paxman was in a bit of a mood wasn't he? Perhaps not without some just cause, but Stanley Wang's twitter suggested some sort of unaired altercation. I didnt realise Kitty Chevallier had a twitter, she was liking away various tweets last night. One of my 'studes' has met the Edinburgh team on some student quiz thing circuit thing as it happens, rated them a good bunch. But yes I dont think we've seen the champions. The Scots face mighty Merton next, that could be, er, interesting. Emma vs Fitz, could go either way, probably favour Fitz on stats.

Next week will be interesting, will Johns nail their colours to the mast and stake their claim or will Newcastle deliver an upset? Could go either way in my opinion, though maybe advantage Johns on their speed and arts prowess.

Jack said...

Emmanuel's bonus rate wasn't that bad, 9/21, but it was indeed that late Edinburgh full house, 12/23, plus that final starter that won the match. Agree that neither of these sides looks likely to progress based on this, but, as I said on Monday, no result on UC can be known for sure until the match is played.

On Monday, yes, Newcastle vs St John's, which I agree will be interesting, as St John's didn't quite seem as imperious last week as they did before, whereas Newcastle seem to be improving. As I say, we'll see. Weeks after, Bristol vs Ulster, Merton vs Edinburgh and Fitzwilliam vs Emmanuel, as Aethelstan has already said.

And, yes, that Goldsmiths team from 2011 was the only student team that has appeared under Paxo.

Stephen Follows said...

I think it was probably the Pushkin business (which was aired) which Wang was commenting on.

Especially as the Daily Mail did too: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5412603/University-Challenge-contestants-air-fracas.html

Personally, I thought Kitty Chevallier's death stare after the Argentina interruption was much more amusing.