Tuesday, 16 March 2010

TV Watch - University Challenge

University Challenge – Elimination/Qualification Match – Imperial v. Girton

A fascinating, enjoyable and at times nail-biting series of quarter final matches ended with this match. Imperial beat Edinburgh, but then lost to Emmanuel, while Girton lost to St. John’s, then beat St. Andrews. Nothing to choose between the teams then ? Well, perhaps, but then perhaps not. In their two quarter final matches Girton scored a total of 195 points. However Imperial amassed a total of 400 in theirs.

Healy of Imperial struck first, identifying a series of definitions of the word starter.3 bonuses were snapped up. Both teams knew that Paxman was talking about the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, but Imperial got to the buzzer first for the next starter. They didn’t take all the bonuses, but it didn’t seem to matter since they took the next starter for good measure. Both teams missed the next starter, although an early buzz saw Imperial giving away 5 of their hard earned points.

Gilead Amit of this parish knew that the successor to William the Lion of Scotland was Alexander II. Good answer ! I had a good answer too, knowing that 101 on the periodic table is Mendelevium. Starter went begging, to introduce the picture bonuses, but Mr. Spenser of Girton identified active and passive as being correctly termed voices of verbs. One bonus followed, and Girton now had 15 on the board, against Imperial’s 70.However with the next starter and bonuses going to Imperial, after an incorrect interruption from Girton, the score at the 10 minute mark stood at 95 – 10.

Regular LAM reader Chris Cameron, captain of Girton, tried manfully to pull his team back into contention, correctly saying that the Government department shortened to HMC would also have the word inland in its full name. At the half way stage , with Imperial leading by 125 to 20, JP offered Girton the lukewarm encouragement “ Come on , you can still do it. “ The tone in which he said it said something rather different. Maybe it did the trick, though, as they took the next starter. Both teams got a little stuck in the mud after this for a bit, missing vorticism, and Livonia.

LAM contributor Gilead Amit pulled out the next starter, though, pushing the team further towards the 200 barrier, while Girton, to be honest, were still struggling to make half that total. I loved the fact that when told his son’s mistress was Norah Barnacle, James Joyce’s dad said “She’ll stick to him “! The gap was remaining fairly substantial, and at the 20 minute mark it stood at 135 to 45. To be honest, you never really thought by this stage that Girton were going to be able to do it. Still, in this last third the honours were shared fairly evenly.

The final score was 200 - 100 and if Imperial never quite reached the heights of their performance against Edinburgh, they still had too much firepower for a game and likeable Girton team. Now, far be it from me to boast, but I think I should quote from my preview of the quarter finals . On the 22nd December I wrote
“If I had to stick my neck out, then I’d plump for St. John’s – Emmanuel, the two highest scoring teams, and then Manchester and Imperial, the two teams who have been most dominant in their matches - to make it to the semis”
An amazing clean sweep. Does this mean that the curse of the Clark sofa is a thing of the past? Well, I’m not making any predictions for the semis yet – watch this space.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

When Girton identified a poster showing Marshal Petain as being Degaulle he virtually spat out “ His nose is far too small !” I think that JP was a little struck by the two ladies of Girton tonight. When Becca Cawley offered “The Confessor” as the nickname of King Edward of 1015, he actually apologised – and sincerely at that – for the fact that it was wrong. He gave her rather an unsettling smile also when she gave an incorrect guess at a number, and paused as if teasing her before answering “Nnnnooo !”
I enjoyed the fact that JP pronounced St. Denis as in Norden, Thatcher or Compton, rather than the usual French pronunciation – as in Oh Denee – be – do, I’m in love with you - by the fabulous Blondie ( ah – Debbie Harry ! )

Interesting Fact I Didn’t Already Know Of The Week

The primrose takes its name from the fact that it is one of the very first flowers to bloom in spring, and has no relation to the rose family at all.


Rach Cherryade said...

So glad to have UC back after last week's break, I've got nothing against lambs but it's not quite the same thing, maybe they should have had Jeremy presenting it to hurry things up!

It was a great match, shame only one team could get through but Girton were a great team so well done to them for putting up a good fight and congratulations to Imperial who fully deserved their place in the semi finals.

The interesting thing is that the extra quarter finals actually didn't make any material difference, the teams that won the first four matches are the teams who are through to the semis so the result is the same as if we were operating last year's qf system, it's made for six extra exciting matches though so looks like it was a good experiment, wonder if they'll keep it next year?

The St. Denis question came up at our regular pub quiz recently and I'm glad I'm not the only person who immediately started humming the Blondie song to myself!

Unknown said...

Got to confess to Blondie too!!

The primrose question was interesting as Paul Sinha posed a simialr one recently on Facebook. The only two things that I knew about it previously was the coneection to D'Israeli (I grew up in High Wycombe) and that it is Bob Wilson's middle name (taken from his mother's maiden name)

I'm really looking forward to the semi finals now.

joe said...

Blondie's "Denis" was actually a cover version. The original was a U.S. hit for Randy and The Rainbows in 1963, but was titled "Denise".

Londinius said...

Hello Rach,

Yes, its funny isn't it. I'm glad that we had the extra matches , though. We'd never have seen just how good Edinburgh were, for starters, if they'd been knocked out by their match with Imperial. Nor your own matches with Edinburgh and St. John's, which were extremely exciting.

Hi Chris

Bob Primrose Wilson - yes, that one did the rounds quite a bit a few years ago - but I haven't heard it for a while.

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the extra information about the song. I did always wonder why they used French pronunciation on the Blondie record. I suppose it would never have worked as Dennis ( as in Menace ) !

Thanks all


Gilead Amit said...

Hello David - thanks for another gentlemanly and enjoyable account of a match.

I think that the extra 6 QF matches are a very good idea and, provided that the BBC are still getting good audience figures, they should maintain this new system. It gives the audience an opportunity to get to know the teams a little better, and it gives us a chance for more coverage!

Look forward to next week's match and your comments on it.



Londinius said...

Hi Gilead

Thanks ! And congratulations on a fine performance to book your passage to the semis. I knew you could do it.

I've loved the quarter final round like this. I've already made the point about Edinburgh, but it is true that we'd never have seen what a good, gutsy team they were if they'd been knocked out by your match against them.

Good luck against St. John's !