Friday, 18 January 2013

University Challenge - Round Two - Match 6

Bristol University v. Imperial College

This week’s second round match pitted underdogs Bristol against highflying Imperial College. Bristol’s team of James Xiao, Andy Suttie, Madeleine Fforde and skipper Will Brady beat Wadham College, Oxford 120 to 105 last time out. Their opponents, Imperial College, beat Jesus College Cambridge in the first round. The team of Pietro Aronica, Dominic Cottrell, Henry Guille and captain Martin Evans scored 225 to 80. On paper, then Imperial looked the favourites.

Puetro Aronica took the first points, knowing that Mexico City hosted the Summer Olympics once, and the world cup twice. A set of bonuses on Charles De Gaulle take two bonuses, and got Imperial on the move. Bristol hit straight back when James Xiao buzzed in with dew point. Literary advice was a good UC bonus set but Bristol only managed the one . Henry Guille took the initiative back for Imperial, recognising that the term lotus refers to several different flowers. A Maths set was their reward, and they managed one, after a bit of argument about squaring the circle. Martin and Baker developed the ejection seat. I didn’t know it but Dominic Cottrell did. Performance Art was the bonus subject, and Imperial managed to get precisely the same number of points that I did, namely none. The picture starter showed us Baffin Island, which Martin Evans gratefully accepted. More Canadian Islands saw them fail to capitalise. So, although Imperial were well out in front in terms of starters correctly answered, by the ten minute mark they only led by 55 to 15. As JP would say, plenty of time for Bristol to come back.

Pretty much as soon as JP read the words “Population unchecked . . . “ Martin Evans knew that we must be looking for Malthus. Indeed we were. A good UC set on anagrams followed – eg. A variety of Cabbage enjoyed at Christmas, and a state of near unconsciousness – stupor and sprout. Imperial managed two of these. Andy Suttie took his first starter of the match, and Bristol’s first for a long time, knowing the cut of meat called the saddle. Bonuses on Queen Christina of Sweden brought them 10 more points, and narrowed the gap to 40 points again. Try this one. Two of the first 8 months of the year can be transformed from the French name to their English counterparts ( not including accents ) by changing one letter in each. Dominic Cottrell jumped in too early and lost five. Will Brady had it spot on with April and May. Bonuses on anatomy yielded another ten points. Pietro Aronica knew where the title Defender of the Faith came from, and this gave Imperial a tilt at a set of bonuses on Pushkin. They took two. The Music starter gave Dominic Cottrell the chance to make up for his previous transgression by identifying the dulcet tones of Richard Gere instructing us to give ‘em the old Razzle Dazzle – whatever that might be. The bonuses convinced me that Pierce Brosnan shouldn’t give up the day job any time soon. Imperial took a full set with these. Will Brady , playing a captain’s innings for his team, identified the programme Photoshop. Capital cities near the Tropics provided Bristol with 5 more points. Dominic Cottrell took the next bonus with weltanshauung. Gesundheit. Nobel Prize Winners reintroduced us to Golgi, he of the famous apparatus. A full set was taken.Martin evens knew that Autolycus appears in “A Winter’s Tale”. Political figures born in 1770 gave them two more bonuses, but they missed out on William Huskisson, killed by Stephenson’s Rocket on the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Will Brady supplied two counties of Connaught to keep Bristol in there and fighting. NUMA – the US agency, saw them answer another two correctly. At the 20 minute mark, then, Imperial led by 160 to 90.

An Imperial victory looked on the cards, but there was still quite a lot of play left in the match. The second picture starter showed an engraving which Pietro Aronica recognised as being produced by Gustave Doré. The bonus set, more of the same, was another full house. Right try this one. The smallest cyclic number , what are the six repeating digits of the decimal equivalent of one seventh ? No, of course I didn’t. It was 1-4-2-8-5-7 – and neither team had it, though Will Brady was just one digit out. Martin Evans knew that works including “Baal” and “Mother Courage and her children” were written by Bertold Brecht. The set of bonuses on astronomy were snapped up , and if the game wasn’t over before, it was now. Pietro Aronica knew that the HQ of the League of Nations was in Geneva. The bonuses on sets of composers born in the same year were tricky. I had one of each pair, but only the correct pair on the last. The next bonus saw James Xiao get close to the answer, when we were given a list of Moon walkers, and he suggest they were all from Apollo 17. Dominic Cottrell said that they all went on the moon, but that wasn’t enough for JP , who insisted that the key to the question was that they all walked on the moon. I’d like to think he only turned it down because they were so far ahead, because I’ve seen him allow answers which were no closer than this one before. Yes, I know that it’s not JP who makes the call, it’s the voice in his ear. Anyway, I digress. Neither team knew that it was the Duke of Monmouth who launched his rebellion in 1685. Neither did they know that goniometry in medicine means the range of movement in joints. Andy Suttie knew that the film “Arietty” would be based on The Borrowers. A set on nature gave them two bonuses. Egg on face moment of the show. I didn’t know, and neither did either team, that the two Wagner operas about a father and his son were “Lohengrin” and “Parsifal”. I really should have had that one. Nobody knew that the population of Germany is closest to that of the UK. Bearing in mind the relatively large number of unanswered starters in the last couple of minutes I think JP decided to reach into the ‘giveaway’ pile, and it fell to Will Brady to answer that it was the Owl and the Pussycat who died on Mince and Slices of Quince. A gettable set on battlefields saw them fail to score further. Martin Evans knew about the Enigma variations to earn a set on Botany. It didn’t really matter that much, because we were really into the stage of the contest where any more points for Imperial were just gilding. Now, I had a Science one right ! I said that B, C, N, O , F would be followed by Ne for Neon. Yay ! Members of Parliament only saw enough time for two bonuses before the gong. The final score was 245 to Imperial , and 115 to Bristol. A comfortable win indeed. Hard lines to Bristol, but a performance which means Imperial will be a difficult proposition for any team that encounters them in the quarter finals.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

JP seemingly enjoyed this match. Even when Imperial worked out that cartel and rectal were two parts of an anagram, but offered ‘lecart’ as the French wine , he merely raised his voice slightly “It’s CLARET !” while laughing.

In the music bonuses he greeted Imperial’s correct identification of Pierce Brosnan singing in “Mamma Mia” with the muttered words, “Yes, put us out of our misery, please.”

After Imperial took a full set on Golgi, he observed “Music to your ears, that sort of question !” There speaks someone who read English at Univesity. I know how he feels.

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

In Pushkin’s poem “The Bronze Horseman” the protagonist believes that he is being chased through the streets by a bronze statue of tsar Peter the Great.


Jack said...

So, an expected victory for Imperial, but Bristol certainly did not disgrace themselves. After what happened to Bath against Pembroke, one could easily expect Imperial to do the same to Bristol.

But the Avonsiders managed a respectable score, only five short of their winning score from before. Will Brady led the way with four starters, and the side answered 10/21 bonuses correctly, with one penalty.

Pietro Aronica and Martin Evans got five starters each for the Londoners, who managed an impressive 23/41 bonuses with two penalties. They definitely should be taken seriously, having twice scored over 200 points against decent opposition.

Next week, U.C.L. play Jesus College Oxford, which leaves Bangor to play Durham the week after. Unfortunately, someone on Twitter may have accidentally given away the result of one of the matches, but I'll say more about this later. I don't want to potentially spoil it.

Londinius said...

Hi Jack

Yeah, Imperial look like a pretty good side, don't they. I didn't say it in the review, but I was pretty impressed with Pietro Aronica's knowledge of British history. I'm glad to say that I'm not on Twitter, so thankfully I have no idea about any of the results of matches we've not seen.


jim360 said...

Imperial certainly look in with a reasonable chance to progress further into the competition. So far, though, not really played very strong opposition - which may make them look better than they are, or may just mean that they're making otherwise good teams look bad.

UCL looked to have this season's top stand-out player, potentially, so I'd not be surprised if they win at all.

This is all just idle speculation.