Tuesday, 30 October 2012

University Challenge - Round One - Heat 14

University of Warwick v. University of Aberdeen

Here it is, then, the last of the first round matches. The University of Warwick received its Royal Charter when I was one year old, in 1965. Its team consisted of Sean Quinn, Sarah Jane Bodell, James Wheatley and their captain was Andrew Shaw. The University of Aberdeen is actually the fifth oldest in the UK. Its team consisted of Thomas Ainge, Shaun McMahon, Mr. Collier whose name I didn’t quite catch, and their captain James King. Both teams were in the enviable position of knowing that even if they didn’t win a score of 140 would be enough to bring them back. Scoring that many points, though, is easier said than done.

It’s not a 100% certainty that any questions with ‘film cameos’ and ‘film directors’ in it is referring to Alfred Hitchcock, but it’s pretty close, and so Andrew Shaw was the first in with the correct answer to the first starter. He earned his team a set of bonuses on 19th century duels. They didn’t manage any of a tricky set. A description of Ebeneezer Scrooge fell to Andrew Shaw, and the set of bonuses it brought up on caves were much more to Warwick’s liking, and they managed a full set.Neither team managed the term Creep, and neither did I. James Wheatley knew that the magic roundabout is in Swindon. A set on cell biology gave me a rare biology answer with Parkinson’s disease, and this was the only one that Warwick answered correctly as well. A great picture set followed. In the starter, and the subsequent bonuses, famous scenes from films had been recreated in lego – the teams had to name the films. Mr. Collier took Aberdeen’s first points, and it was a good starter for them to get since even though they had to get the author of the novel on which the film was based they took a full set. It got even better since Shaun McMahon took the next starter for them on Vermeer. Unfortunately this time they didn’t manage more than one of a set on art installations – and neither did I.All of which meant that at the 10 minute mark Warwick led by 50 – 30.

James Wheatley knew the Q factor ( the pilot working title for the X Factor ? Probably not. ) Tranquility was a mixed bag for Warwick, bringing them one correct answer. I took the next on Rochester, and so did James King. Cosmology bonuses didn’t offer a great deal and they were unable to convert more than one of them. No, don’t be ridiculous – of course I didn’t have any of them. The music starter followed , and we were asked to identify the work of Rachmaninov. Neither team had it, and so the music bonuses went forward to the next correct starter. Something about a reversible heat engine followed, and James Wheatley had it right. This brought Warwick the music set on three more musical types, based on dances which gave the music its form and official title. I only managed the minuet for the last one. This was one more than Warwick managed. Still, they were winning the buzzer race, and that’s one of two ways of winning the show. The other is to do slightly worse on the buzzer but get all of your bonuses right – but that’s a lot harder. A UC special followed. We were asked for three consecutive letters which begin the names of the largest part of Indonesia, the largest province of Canada and the largest state of India . Neither team had it but it’s PQR. I loved the next one. What part of the body features in names of peace democrats in the US Civil War – and the supporters of Parliament in the English Civil War. AS it happened I did know Copperheads, and so did James Wheatley. The bonus set which followed were on Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography of Charlotte Bronte. 2 followed. Skipper Andrew Shaw, guiding his team towards a very useful team, answered the next starter, that CWG stands for Commonwealth War Graves. I enjoyed the set on monarchs which followed, and they managed 2 which put them through the 100 points barrier. We were about half a minute shy of the 20 minute mark, and Warwick had precisely double Aberdeen’s score , with 110 to 55. Warwick, then, even if there were to be an incredible Aberdeen fightback were just 30 points from safety.

There was a question about circling a rope around the earth. Nobody could answer it so let’s move on. James King knew about durum wheat. The bonuses which followed, on the theme of homage didn’t yield any points. Not surprised – tough set. The second picture starter showed the city of Bruges, as Andrew Shaw knew. Three more world heritage sites were shown, and they were asked for site and country in which it is located. They took the first, but I’m kicking myself for not getting Robben Island. A great UC special followed, with French versions of terms in cricket. Nobody had it, but I still liked the question. In fact, there were a lot of great starters tonight. The next one – in the titles of English novels, what is unqualified by John Banville, repeated by Iris Murdoch and described as cruel by Nicholas Monserrat. Lovely question that , and Andrew Shaw had it. Chemistry followed, I didn’t get any, and neither did Warwick. I had the next though, a set of words linked by Force. James Wheatley had it. President Gerald Ford gave them a full set, and a guaranteed place in at least the repechage. Lundi and Lundy gave Thomas Ainge a starter, and Aberdeen an outside chance of getting into the repechage. A full set on homo – species helped. They missed a trick on the next starter, saying that transpiration rather than transpire is an anagram of terrapins. Warwick made no mistake with that . They took one on electrical SI units. Neither team guessed that Harold Wilson was Prime Minister when David Cameron was born. James King knew that Cincinatti is the third largest city in Ohio, and this gave Aberdeen bonuses , but not enough time to answer more than one. AT least Aberdeen had made it into triple figures, as they scored precisely 100, to Warwick’s 175. Well played both , and good luck to Warwick in round two.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

In answer to the questions about which Foreign Secretary fought a duel on Putney Heath, Warwick offered The Marquess of Salisbury. JP did a verbal double take , saying , “No. WHAT ? No, I don’t think he did that sort of thing at all. “

He wasn’t fussed on the lego pictures was our JP “Three more scenes from famous films recreated in lego – Lord knows why .”

Interesting Fact of the Week That I didn’t Already Know

The UK Space Agency is based in Swindon


Jack said...

Certainly not a bad game. Both sides did manage a reasonable performance. As has been the case throughout the first round, a relatively low scoring game is made watchable by the teams participating.

I didn't have high hopes for Aberdeen when I saw James Wheatley on the Warwick team. He was on the Third Degree (the Radio show) back in March, and his team of Warwick University students defeated the Dons, the first and only student team to do so.

Andrew Shaw's six starters were Warwick's best individual total, just ahead of Mr Wheatley's five. This made up for a rather low 13/33 bonuses. James King's three were best for the Aberdonians, who managed 9/18 bonuses with one penalty.

Next week, the repechage begins with Lincoln vs Lancaster. Think I'd have to guess Lincoln for this one, but I expect Lancaster to give them a good fight. If Lincoln lose, it would be most unfortunate for them, given their last half-second defeat by Manchester in the first round.

jim360 said...

The "rope around the earth" problem is a classic, so I called out "two pi" very early - might have faltered under the buzzer, though. Basically it's just making use of the formula for circumference of a circle, Circumference = 2*pi*radius. Then if it's a metre above the earth the new circumference is :

2*pi*(radius of earth + 1 metre)

= 2*pi*radius of earth + 2*pi.

So that the extra slack on the rope above a rope tightly about the earth is 2*pi regardless of the size of the earth! I think that's just a really nice fact.

Anyway. The draw for the high-scoring loser play-offs is out. Lincoln College, Oxford are playing Lancaster according to the RadioTimes, so it's Homerton v. King's the week after. Lincoln were very unlucky not to reach the second round already, so it's hard not to call them favourites. I'd not seen Homerton's match before and they had a tough draw so their 145 looks stronger than ours...

DanielFullard said...

A good show but Warwick were always in control.

As I said on TQA, I would love to see a stat for this years series about how many starters have actually been correctly answered on the music questions. They have been very tough this yar

Londinius said...

Hi Guys

Thanks for the stats, Jack, and for the explanation Jim. AS regards your question, Dan, - well, I don't know, but maybe Jack would have some ideas on this one ?

Jack said...

I make it about seven music starters that have been answered correctly so far. So about half of them.