Tuesday, 1 February 2011

University Challenge - Quarter Final Match Four

Quarter Final Match 4 – Queens’ Cambridge v. Bristol

An interesting match on paper was this one. Queens’ had the lowest aggregate of the 8 quarter final teams, with Bristol just above them, equal with York. I did say that I had a sneaking feeling that Bristol might do the business though. Well, I’ll be honest, I did feel sorry for both teams tonight, but simply because their match had to follow the feast put on for us last week by Sheffield and Magdalen. Still, I’m quite sure that this didn’t bother Mark Jackson, Simon Wallace, David Webster and captain William Belfield of Queens, nor for that matter Ario Brunet, Lucinda Critchley, Georgia Malcolm and skipper James Williams of Bristol. They had other things on their mind, and its precisely those things we shall now move on to.

First blood fell to Queens’, as for that matter did second and third blood. David Webster kicked off by recognising a description of the flag of the European Union, then Mark Jackson knew that JP was describing the various derivations of Finnegan’s Wake, and skipper Belfield recognised a quotation from Paul Dirac with a good buzz. A mixed bag of bonuses on French history, historical novels and communication pushed them into a very confident early lead. Lucinda Critchley hit back for Bristol with the 4th starter, when William Belfield miscued on the birds known as petrels. 2 bonuses followed on mathematical constants. For the picture starter Mark Jackson buzzed in very quickly when a map of Japan was revealed, to answer correctly that the section in red would be Hokkaido. Unfortunately they didn’t get any of the other coloured sections for bonuses. Neither did I for that matter. A very quick buzz on Philip Larkin from Lucinda Critchley impressed JP no end, which unleashed a set on Canadian Territories. So at the 10 minute mark there were signs of Bristol beginning to warm to their task, but Queens’ had the advantage, leading by 65 to 30.

Now began the Bristol charge. Georgia Malcolm recognised a definition of the word isotonic. Good shout that one. No bonuses followed on artworks with very long titles. Funnily enough this did not include the classic film The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies – but I digress. Red face for skipper James Williams when he ignored Georgia’s correct answer of pop art for the last bonus. It happens. Neither of the next two starters were taken when offered, but Georgia Malcolm knew that the Architectural prize in question was the Stirling Prize. Poor James Williams was having a funny five minutes, when given a set of bonuses on infectious diseases when asked about the disease which led to shingles in adults he replied ‘ shingles’ knowing full well that he meant chicken pox. JP couldn’t accept it. NO matter, and James went on to more than make up for this momentary lapse as the show went on. Georgia Malcolm managed her third starter with lithium. All three bonuses on fast food were taken. Then Ario Brunet took the next starter by identifying the super smooth soul sounds of the late Mr. Luther Vandross. Was this second period going to be a complete shutout , I mused. It began to look that way when James Williams took the next starter on the term bimetallic. But then William Belfield managed a blow for Queens’ by recognising the similarity between the ilium and the ileum – or something like that. 2 bonuses were taken. Ario Brunet took one more starter, and then James Williams another, identifying a statue of Beethoven. By the 20 minute mark Bristol were well ahead, leading by 145 to 80, and looking a very good bet for the win.

This, though, was a game of three halves. Firstly Lucinda Critchley took a starter which earned a great set of bonuses on famous grandchildren of famous grandparents. Then there was a sense almost of Queens’ rolling their collective sleeves up and getting down to the serious business of pulling themselves back into the match. Mark Jackson identified the paleozoic. 2 bonuses taken. Bang – Simon Wallace identified a description of the flag of Bhutan from the description, and 3 bonuses were taken. Well, if you’re going to fight back, then you give it a good old lash , I say. Mark Jackson took the order of the garter for the next starter. David Webster took the next starter on triangular numbers, and another two bonuses on words beginning with pol followed. The scoreboard never lies, and it told us that the teams were now all square. With a little time left on the clock, and all the momentum with Queens’. Skipper Belfield made a lunge for the line for Queens’ by identifying the Korean War, and the team followed up the good work by taking all three bonuses on countries connected by bridges. There was just time for one starter, and it was Mark Jackson who knew that 10,000 traditionally was the meaning of a myriad.

That was it. Game to Queens’ , and you have to say it was an exciting game too, which I hadn’t necessarily expected. Well played to both. As for Bristol , I am sorry with burdening you with the curse of the Clark tip, but you can still qualify.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

When one of the Queens’ team offered Robespierre instead of the Empress Josephine I though he was going to go into orbit. Well done JP ! This is the sort of reaction I tune in for ! I also enjoyed the way that he described the music bonuses which asked for three artists who recorded songs called The Power of Love between 1984 – 6 as too easy ! Well, its too easy for us old timers who were there, Jez, but not for those who weren’t.

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

Chips – as in chipped potatoes – are first mentioned in print in Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities”


Jack said...

So, it's a surprise win for Queens', proving that you should never count a team out if they're still in. Although I thought Bristol were favourites, I wasn't ruling out Mark Jackson putting up a Guttenplan-esque virtuoso performance on the buzzers.

Not quite what happened, but Mr Jackson still got an impressive five starters, while Lucinda Critchley and Georgia Malcolm got three each for Bristol. The other five all got exactly two. Queens' upped their bonus rate to 19/30 with three penalties, while Bristol made 12/30.

Maybe Peterhouse are better bets for the semis than Bristol, as they've been very impressive so far, especially holding their nerve against St John's. But feel free to disagree.

Next week? Well, the BBC website says Oxford Brookes vs Bristol, but this must be wrong after last night's result. Oxford Brookes vs Sheffield is a good guess; that's what my digital guide says. We'll see.

Londinius said...

Hi Jack

I have to agree that it looks like its going to be tough for Bristol now. I thought that they would do it at the 20 minute mark, but full credit to Queens' for buzzing their way back in and taking the win.