Monday, 21 December 2009

TV Watch - University Challenge

University Challenge – Round 2 – Heat 8/8 – Manchester University v. Kings, London

Well, here we are at the end of Round Two. Reigning champions Manchester beat the Royal Veterinary College in the first round by 235 points to 60, which JP compared to watching a boa constrictor squeeze the life out of a much loved toy poodle ! Manchester featured LAM’s very own Rach Cherryade , who competes under her real name, Rachael Neiman.I’d love to have just once heard Roger Tilling announce “Manchester – Cherryade” though. The team in full comprised of Tom Whyman, our own Rachael Neiman, captain Jacob Whitfield and Mick Daunt. Their opponents, Kings College London, had, so said JP, a much tougher time in the first round, beating Cardiff by 155 to 140, where he said they spent perilous amounts of time not getting to the buzzer at all. They were represented by Tom Graham, David Willis, captain Brian Murray, and Ollie Crawshaw.

Of course, you’re asking yourself now, who will I have been supporting ? London teams are usually cursed with my support. However the fact that Rachael was on the Manchester team swung it for me. Curse or not, all the support from the Clark sofa was flowing in Manchester’s direction. So you can imagine how delighted I was when Rachael claimed the first two starters to give Manchester the perfect start, identifying Robert Burns from a description by Walter Scott, and then identifying that "Callaghan’s second was Wilson’s first " referred to prime ministers' first names.

JP had expressed concern that Kings had taken a very long time to get into their first round match, and this concern seemed justified when Kings were on a minus score right through until just after the 10 minute mark, when they identified the tree used for building dwellings by early Australian settlers as the wattle tree. They took one of their bonuses on literary prizes, and at least put themselves into credit. This rather encouraged them, as they took the next starter, and 2 bonuses on Titian. Then Kings identified the song Sun is Shining as being performed by Bob Marley, after an impressively short excerpt had been played. Again, they took two bonuses out of 3. So , by the halfway stage they had narrowed the gap a bit, and trailed by 45 to 85.

Tom Whyman claimed the next starter for Manchester, correctly identifying Assumption as the term used for the Virgin Mary’s bodily removal to Heaven. The resulting bonuses took Manchester through the 100 point mark. Tom Whyman weighed in with another good starter, recognising “A Treatise on the Social Contract” as the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Jacob Whitfield really played a captain’s innings, pulling out a couple of starters to push Manchester beyond the event horizon. The team impressed with a full set of bonuses on American presidential assassination attempts.

Rachael managed a very quick buzz on a starter which asked which venetian artist had a name which rhymed with an almond flavoured liquer, buzzing in with “Canaletto “ . Personally I always thought Amaretto was the place for which Tony Christie was asking for directions , but I digress. On the 23 minute mark Kings came back with a starter, but it was too little, too late. Late on Rachael identified Robbie the Reindeer as the star of Hooves of Fire, which pushed Manchester through the 200 point mark.

By the end of the contest Manchester won by 210 points to Kings’ 90. A very good score, and a very impressive performance, where you have to say that you felt throughout the competition that Kings were always going to be second best. So well done, Manchester. All the team played their part in this impressive victory. Its early days still to start talking about a successful title defence, and I shan’t curse you with the Clark tip. Yet you have to say, this is impressive form to be carrying into the semi finals. And Rachael, well done, and thank you for the Christmas Quiz questions ! Much appreciated.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

JP must have been pleased because this was the last of the second round matches, since he was in an unusually mellow mood for the second week in a row tonight. No outbursts , although a couple of answers provoked rather snotty responses “Malthus ?! No!” When it was suggested that Hitler died in 1939, he replied “1939 ?! Sadly no. “

I could have sworn that he was about to tell Rachael off for turning over her card for a bonus on her own initiative, when he remembered that he should have already told her to do so himself, and so he contented himself with “Yes Miss Neiman, please turn over your card “

Jeremy obviously didn’t fancy Manchester’s astronomical and arithmetical knowledge, when he said.“Manchester, you’re going to enjoy these bonuses, they’re on planetary arithmetic. It was actually a very impressed Jeremy who conceded that they had done well to get two of these right. At the end of the contest he got in a sneering reference to this, saying “Imagine getting all of those ridiculous planetary combinations right !”

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

A long pass thrown in hope rather than expectation in American Football is called a Hail Mary !


Rach Cherryade said...

Hi, thanks for the lovely review, it was a bit embarrassing watching the match back cause I'd forgotten how many questions we got wrong or didn't attempt, but it wasn't too bad! My highlight was the Robbie the Reindeer question, could have been tailor-made! I very nearly did introduce mysef as Rachael Cherryade, I've been toying with the idea of making Cherryade my official middle name for some time now and getting it changed in time for filming seemed like a good idea, but my partner was totally against the idea and I also wondered whether I might get accused of product placement, I know the BBC are pretty hot on that but dont know what they could do if it was my legal name! Anyway, thanks again for the support and for creating such a great blog with so many great articles this year, it's been great reading! Have a lovely Christmas and new year, best wishes, Rachael.
p.s. Forgot to say I heard you on Brain Of Britain, didn't realise you were on till I heard it, well done, look forward to the next round!

Londinius said...

Thanks Rachael - compliments of the season and best wishes to you.