Yes, I had a lovely time in my short flying visit to Amsterdam, thanks for asking. Enough of such things, and let's get down to business.
What, end of round one already? Well, don’t worry, dearly beloved. There’s still tons of matches to go before the destination of the title is decided. In Monday’s match, Keble College were represented by Ellen Pasternack, Michael Green, Thomas Player and skipper Rose Atkinson, while UAE were, collectively, Edward Bellamy, Matt Reid, Maddy Forde-Roberts, and captain Matt Walker.
None of us knew that the name Chile appears in the binomial of a dinosaur. Not surprised, although I was surprised that Matt Reid took a flier and lost 5 on it. Nobody managed to guess the next starter either, which gave us various clues to the letters DR, or Dr, or dr. Finally, after both teams having sat on their buzzers for the whole question, Maddy Forde Roberts took first blood for UAE, recognising a description of The Color Purple. Shakespeare and German writers offered the chance to increase the score, and UAE managed two, and with a little rub of the green might have had a full house – the answer they wanted was on the table, as it were. Ellen Pasternack opened the Oxford team’s account with an early buzz to identify various varieties of rhubarb. Anatomical objects named after people sounded difficult, and indeed both of us managed just the one correct answer with fallopian tubes. The next starter was one which repaid patience. Dendrobatidae? Meant nothing to me. They secrete poison used to coat arrow tips – no problem and both Ellen Pasternack and I chimed in with the correct answer of frogs. Two bonuses gave Keble the lead. For the picture starter we were shown the great seal of an American state. JP said that all helpful words had been removed – well, I’m sorry but it was firstly the word Eureka which gave me California. Michael Green took that one. More seals and heraldic symbols with bears on them brought just the one correct answer. I was intrigued to see both teams showing buzzer caution for the next starter. I did think that when asked for the middle letter of a word referring to an earthy shade between yellow and red the answer would be h – we had another couple of clues before Maddy Forde Roberts buzzed in with the same answer. The Association of South East Asian Nations brought UEA’s score to 35, while Keble led with 45 at just after the 10 minute mark.
Ellen Pasternack took a flyer with the next starter and was right to do so, as she recognised that the first clue of a set was referring to the word Hunger. 1 bonus on town halls in the north west of England saw them eke the lead out to 25 points. Maddy Forde-Roberts guessed that Fakir was the term which translated as poor man, and thus earned a set of bonuses on The Dead Kennedys. Two correct answers reduced the gap to 5 points. Rose Wilkinson buzzed early for the next starter, convinced she had the answer, only for JP to had a further word which convinced her that the answer she was going to say was wrong. Given the whole question, I’d thought it would be the artist Miro, and as soon as JP said he was born in Barcelona I knew it was. UAE could not capitalise. None of us knew that Cream of Tartar contains potassium. For the next starter, asked which geographical feature is contained in the name of certain given French regions, Rose Atkinson answered mountains. “Specifically?” countered JP She zigged with Alps, allowing Matt Walker to zag with Pyrenees. I shan’t lie. When JP announced bonuses on the periodic table I put my trainers back on in preparation for a lap of honour. Well that I did, for I scooped a full house. UAE threw away two bonuses. The first, by rejecting the correct answer of tellurium for another element. The second, though, by not remembering the terms of the question which had said that the answers all begin with the same first two letters. Thus they offered ytterbium instead of terbium. Nonetheless, that one bonus was enough to take their lead to 15 points. So to the music starter. We heard Good Morning Starshine, and Thomas Player was the one to take a speculative punt on Hair. He was right to do so, and it earned more songs from rock musicals, from which two correct answers gave Keble back the lead. Ellen Pasternack was able to supply the term systole for the next starter. Winners of the Best original song Oscar provided 10 more points to stretch the lead to 25. Would UEA bounce straight back, as they had done before? Yes, they would, and once again it was Maddy Forde-Roberts draggin her team back into the match. She knew that Elizabeth Woodville was the mother of the two princes in the Tower. Bonuses on biology reduced the gap to 5 points. A gap which was reduced when Rose Atkinson had a rush of blood to the head and buzzed too early for the next starter. Again, though, UEA could not capitalise with the name of the lumen. Thus, on the cusp of the 20 minute mark, all was square.
Now, Maddy Forde-Roberts knew that the only book of the Old Testament named after a queen is Esther, and she buzzed early to secure the points. Siblings in Russian Literature provided one bonus, but again potentially another was thrown away by forgetting the terms of the question, which saw Matt Reid supply Turgenev rather than the title of the novel involved. For the second picture starter we saw a still of Peter Cushing from what seemed to be a Hammer film. It was always going to be either Van Helsing or Baron Frankenstein. Thomas Player zigged with Van Helsing, and was right to do so. This earned bonuses on more fictional professors. Two bonuses on the same two that I knew followed. Both teams were now in triple figures. I didn’t know that the clarinet is used to represent the call of the cuckoo in Beethoven’s Pastorale, but I guessed, and I guess that Ellen Pasternack did the same. Sea bird colonies brought two bonuses and a 20 point lead. This time, Michael Green took Keble’s second consecutive starter, knowing that Germany is the country bordering certain named Swiss cantons. Missing words from quotations, each of which begun with z, supplied a couple of bonuses, and stretched the lead to 40. Nobody on either team knew that Arthur Ashe beat Jimmy Connors in the 1975 Wimbledon Men’s singles final. Ellen Pasternack recognised that The Autograph Man, I Capture the Castle, and Not Waving But Drowning were all written by female writers with the surname Smith. It wasn’t quite the end of the match, but it was the end of the contest. The starter alone put UAE two full sets in arrears, and there were the bonuses to come. One bonus on the name Phaedrus was enough to put the lead at 55. This was stretched further as Michael Green knew that the massive Buddhist monument of Borobodur is on the island of Java. Only one bonus of a gettable set on US State capitals was taken, but this was immaterial, even though Rose Atkinson forfeited 5 more points of Keble’s total by buzzing too early for the next starter. It allowed Edward Bellamy to answer that Yves St. Laurent had based a dress design on the work of Mondrian. They were unable to add any more points through a set of bonuses on insects. Ellen Pasternack knew that the two consecutive digits in the year in which Charles Edward Stewart won victory at Prestonpans, would be 45. The gong sounded immediately, and Keble had won by 180 to 115. It looks like a decisive scoreline, but UAE were in there right up until the last five minutes. JP seemed to rather acknowledge this in his closing comments. Without wishing to be unkind, there just wasn’t enough buzzing throughout the UAE team to withstand Keble for the whole match. Of their 7 starters, no fewer than five were taken by Maddy Forde-Roberts. This was compared with the excellent Ellen Pasternack’s contribution of 7 starters. Does this give Keble a good chance in the second round? Hard to say, and time will tell.
Jeremy Paxman Watch
There was a lovely moment immediately after JP had finished with the first starter, where he flung the card away as if to say, ‘I bloody told you there was no point in asking that one!’ When Rose Atkinson gave her Goya answer, and hung her head in seeming shame, he joshed, “Don’t cry!”. Then when she recovered, laughing at her own misfortune, he went back for another go, “There’s no cause to laugh” he expostulated in mock exasperation. Oh Jez, you old tease, you.
I have no idea why JP corrected Edward Bellamy’s pronunciation of Mondrian. He repeated it almost exactly the same way and then said, rather huffily “Yes, I’ll accept that.” Would that possibly be because it was correct and you didn’t have any other option, there Jez?
Interesting Fact That I Didn’t Already Know Of The Week
Nouns that are only used as plurals are correctly known as pluralia tantum