Tuesday, 20 September 2011

University Challenge - Round One - Match 12

Leeds University v. Goldsmiths College, University of London

I’ve been waiting for a very long time to watch Goldsmiths on UC, and when I heard some time ago that they’d made it on to the current series I was filled with pride, but also not a little trepidation. After all, finally getting onto the show, could I take the guilt if the curse of support from the Clark sofa were to strike them down ? Well, its not something I have any control over, I’m afraid. Enough nonsense. Leeds fielded the youngest of all 24 teams in the competition, in the shape of Lucy Bennett, Peter Hufton, Christian Mannsåker, and captain Lewis Mills. Goldies’ team consisted of Adam Fenton, Julie Tanner, Wes Pauline and skipper Tom Bush.

Leeds struck first. Christian Mannsåker, not for the last time in the contest, buzzed in with Television,and earned a bonus on foreign policy doctrines. Goldies struck right back with Wes Pauline who knew well that the ‘vulcan neck grip’ is nothing other than another name for the command – ctrl – alt – delete. Alas, bonuses on property proved hard to come by. I’ve always found property hard to come by as well. The captain, Tom Bush buzzed in impressively early on the Butterfly Effect for the next starter, and this time thy managed a bonus on English words borrowed from Arabic. The first picture starter showed us the insiginia of a rank in the army . Christian Mannsåker recognised the insignia of a colonel when he saw it, and the team managed another one of the same as a bonus. Wes Pauline knew that it was Ivor Novello who achieved fame with Keep the Home Fires Burning, , but the bonuses were still not flowing as a set on Romulus and Remus showed the team a clean pair of heels. Captain Tom Bush took another starter, on Max Planck, and the team took a bonus on the pollination of flowers. At the ten minute mark things weren’t looking too bad for my guys, who led by 55 to 30. Although ever the pessimist I did wonder if they would come to rue those missed bonuses.

That man Mannsåker immediately cut the deficit with the next starter, knowing that it was Pizza that an Italian king used to slip out of his palace in mufti to enjoy. This brought us a first full set of bonuses on semi autobiographical works of literature. Thus encouraged, Christian Mannsåker was happy to take a second consecutive starter, knowing that Krook in Bleak House spontaneously combusted. Well, if you will insist on wearing a vest every day. 1 bonus was taken. The first starter to be missed by both teams followed, on a quote by Camille Pagila. JP having stressed Goldies’ international reputation in the visual and expressive arts, it was only natural that Adam Fenton should recognize a description of the work of Giacometti, and a bonus on Geography was taken. Skipper Lewis Mills of Leeds took a very good buzz at the next starter, knowing that it was Estonia that joined the Euro zone in 2011. Neither team knew that a Times article had compared Agatha Christie to Enid Blyton. Lucy Bennett took the next, and one bonus on events of the 1990s brought the scores level at 105 apiece at the 20 minute mark. Putting it into perspective, both teams could have made it through at this stage, with a good last few minutes. All the momentum was with Leeds, though. Lewis Mills took another good shout with the Gang of Four. This brought a single bonus on invasive species. Wes Pauline struck back , identifying the second picture starter as a portrait of Queen Mary of Teck. Alas, that curse on the bonuses would not allow the team to correctly identify any more of the same. Peter Hufton knew that JP’s next starter required the answer of a metre, but the bonus drought had now struck Leeds again, and they too failed to answer any on widows. Lewis Mills knew that it is Henry V that begins “O for a muse of fire . . . “ and the set of bonuses that followed were all taken. The skipper, with the finishing line clearly in view, doubled up with the next starter on the 404 error message, and one bonus was taken on railway stations with the word – Junction – in them. Neither team knew the astronomer Kuiper. Christian Mannsåker knew that the Orinoco rhymes with rococo – who used to play rugby for the All Blacks, didn’t he ? I digress. A couple of bonuses were taken on archaeologists. By now Goldies had been shut out for a long period, and Leeds were over the event horizon. Peter Hufton and Lucy Bennett took the last two starters, and in the end Leeds finished with 220, to Goldsmiths’ 115.

Very hard lines, Goldies. No disgrace at all. Sometimes it works like that – and if you don’t know the answers, all you can do is guess. Sometimes guesses come off – sometimes they don’t. Them’s the breaks. Well done for getting on the show, and I hope we’ll see the college back in the near future. Well done to Leeds ! Good luck in round two.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

There were a few fragrant nosegays from the master in this last show of round one. Firstly he was highly amused at Lewis Mills’ attempt to nominate Lucy Bennett to answer an early bonus . “She doesn’t WANT to be nominated !”
Then there was this little innuendo, which could have come straight out of the Two Ronnie’s repertoire – when explaining about the Italian king slipping out to Domino’s , he added “His wife didn’t let him have it – the pizza that is. “ Ooh, matron !
Finally I enjoyed the way he seemed almost personally insulted when Goldies didn’t know that it was Mr. Macgregor who owned the field/garden where Peter Rabbit’s father was killed.

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

Estonia Joined the Euro Zone in 2011

Its getting late, so it'll be tomorrow before I post about our own Hugh Bennett's first round appearence on Only Connect - something for you all to look forward to.


Jack said...

Unlucky that Goldsmith's ran out of steam in the final stretch, as they were doing reasonably well until then. Alas, they could only manage 7/24 bonuses, while Leeds managed 19/39 (with one late penalty).

So, overall, a match that started well, but then faded as Leeds gathered momentum in the final third.

Next week is the penultimate match of the first round, and a fourth Oxbridge match (which may be a first round record for the Paxo era). St Anne's Oxford take on Pembroke Cambridge. Neither side has yet won a match under Paxman AFAIK, so will be interesting.

But then, all matches are interesting in one way or another.

Des Elmes said...

Up to and including the second picture round, this match looked like being a cracker, even if the bonuses were hard to come by - the teams were level no less than four times, and the lead changed hands four times as well.

But then, of course, Leeds proceeded to run away with it - with the consequence that Goldie's missed out on a repechage place by just ten points. Without any disrespect whatsoever, that poor bonus conversion rate cost them dearly in the end...

We will definitely be seeing Worcester Oxford in the repechage, though, while Edinburgh - somehow - cling on to their place for at least another week...

And Jack is quite right - this is the first Paxman Era series to have four Oxbridge matches in the first round.

Finally, Dave, I know it was late when you typed up this post, and I do hate to be picky - but you missed out the music round, on the works of Jack White (né Gillis). ;)

I just knew that the third bonus in this round would be "Seven Nation Army" - arguably his best-known song...

Londinius said...

Hi Jack - Hi Des

Ah, Des, you're right. How did that happen ? I've checked and I even wrote it down in my notes. Yes - I know its anal, but I have to make notes as I'm watching the show, because there's just no way I can hold it all in my head, and trying to write a full report as I watch the show would kill the enjoyment as well. Oh well, apologies to Mr. White.

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