Saturday, 2 March 2013

University Challenge - Quarter Final Match 4

New College, Oxford v. King's College, Cambridge

New College , Oxford looked very strong in the first round beating a Homerton side who were good enough to progress to the repechage round themselves. In the second round they also beat York fairly comfortably. The team were Remi Beecroft, India Lenon, Tom Cappleman, and skippering the side was Andy Hood. King’s College defeated that very same Homerton team in the repechage round, having lost ot the very strong side from St. George’s London first time out. in the best match of the second round they defeated Warwick on the last starter. The team were Curtis Gallant, Amber Ace, our own James Gratrex and captain Fran Middleton.

Bacon – as in Roger, Francis and Francis fell to our own Jim Gratrex for the first starter. Bonuses on rule books provided one bonus. Fran Middleton lost five on the term ecumenical, but New College couldn’t capitalize. Tom Cappleman knew a set of things which were all hexagonal in shape. Bonuses on roses didn’t blossom as well as they would have hoped , but they managed one of them. Neither team knew Hymen, the greek god who has walk on parts in Shakespeare. I didn’t get all the philosophical lead in to the next starter, but I did know that Ishmael only escaped to tell the tale in Moby Dick. Neither team managed that one. Tom Cappleman knew the mesosphere, and he was first in with the buzzer to earn the points. This brought up a set on chemistry. These provided nothing for any of us. I did know that the picture starter showed us a map of the flight of Operation Chastise – the Dambusters . So did Tom Cappleman, who was certainly proving his worth to his team in this show. More maps of battles followed, and two of these were taken. It was Tom Cappleman again who buzzed into correctly answer the starter that asked in which seaside resort the comedy carpet was unveiled in 2011. He knew it was Blackpool. French playwrights added nothing to their score, but since they were now leading by 55 to 10 that didn’t really matter. Kings had made some slow starts in previous matches, and come back strongly, so all was certainly not lost. Still, they certainly could needed a turn round in fortunes at this point.

I’ll be honest, I hadn’t really had time to digest the next starter, which was about a mnemonic, but Tom Cappleman had it before JP had finished explaining the question anyway. African countries and their coastlines were an interesting set of bonuses. New College made an error in answering Democratic Republic of Congo when Jp had only asked for the river on the estuary of which the shortest coastline of any African country stands – he just wanted the river, you see. So no bonuses there. Andy Hood knew the marigold is named after the Virgin Mary. The next set were all about thought experiments. I’ll be honest, say “French Philosopher” and I’ll usually think Descartes, and it would have bought me a bonus here. For the first time in the contest New College managed a full set of bonuses. Since the very first starter it had been a complete shutout as far as Kings were concerned, and they really needed either a flash of inspiration, or a bit of luck on the buzzer. They didn’t get it right away. Asked this – if you list all of the English cities that contain a Church of England cathedral in alphabetical order, which one comes last, Tom Cappleman was straight in with ‘York’. When you’re on form, you’re on form, and Tom Cappleman certainly was in this show. Given names and anagrams promised a lot, but they didn’t get Angela/galena. Still, 2 others were answered correctly, and that gap was now up to 100. Jim Gratrex buzzed in incredibly quickly to identify a bit of Schubert, and the gap was back down to double figures. More classical composers followed as bonuses, and ten more points were added. Amber Ace knew that whales have baleen plates, to earn a set of bonuses on gases, and so these were pretty much down to James. He added five points to the team’s total. Andy Hood knew the National Secular Society, and earned bonuses on the Solar System for New College. One of these was taken. Curtis Gallant was on the right lines with his answer to the owner of the title “Eternal President of the Republic” but had buzzed too early to hear the words ‘4 years after his death.’ This gave New College Kim Il Sung and opposed to Kim Jong Il. Bonuses on Gregory XIII were elusive for them. Remi Beecroft knew that Che Guevara, and a cricketer chappie both had names ending in ARA, and having managed to name 2 centuries in which certain rulers were in power they led by 155 to 40 at the 20 minute mark. We have seen some fantastic comebacks in the past, but really and truly you could have named your price on Kings at this stage of the contest.

Neither team recognized a painting of Salome in the second picture starter. Curtis Gallant correctly took an early buzz to identify Urdu as a language mutually intelligible with Hindi although written in a different script. This brought up the picture bonuses – three more paintings of Salome. One correct answer put them 100 behind again. Propane was the answer to the next starter, and it was Tom Cappleman who managed it. Shakespearian quotations about books provided me with one correct answer, and New College with none – tough set. Amber Ace provided a very good early buzz to identify that a given set of nouns could all form compounds with the word – land. A Physicsy thingy about waves provided King’s with one bonus. 4 minutes to go, announced our Jez. Jim G. knew that Coronation Park is in Delhi. Greek Mythological trios didn’t offer a great deal, but they managed a point. Neither team knew that the Potemkin Mutiny of 1905 occurred in Odessa. Amber Ace buzzed in to say that the IUGS is a body dedicated to international cooperation in the field of Geology. Archaeological cave sites brought one bonus. Nobody knew that Brahms and Beethoven are both buried in Vienna. James had a fantastic early buzz when he heard a description of a quipu, knowing this to be an artifact associated with the Incas. Bonuses on Scottish monarchs . One correct answer meant that the gap had now shrunk to 50. King’s were having by far the best of this stage of the contest – but they had left it so late for the tide to turn. Once again it was our own Jim who buzzed in early to identify Swing and Gordon as Riots. bonuses on blood clotting yielded nothing, but then the gong was struck after the first. In the end a victory to New College by 165 to 125. You can’t argue with that scoreline. However they’ll need to be less profligate with their bonuses to guarantee progression. Hard lines King’s, but nil desperandum. All to play for in the next match. Jeremy Paxman Watch

Just a flash of indignation early on when the New College skipper suggested Billy Budd as the narrator of “Moby Dick”. Not a daft suggestion – not the same writer, but both American, and both classic works of literature about the sea.

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

The archaeologically important prehistoric site, the Blombos Cave, is in South Africa


Jack said...

Very much a match won on the buzzer. The teams got most of the starters between them, but not very many bonuses: New College managed just 11/33, while James and co made 9/25 (with two penalties). James led for King's with five starters, while Tom Cappleman got an impressive seven for New College.

So, as we move into the qualification/elimination series of the quarters, it is very hard to tell who is going to make the semis. All the sides are evenly matched, and, given the recent difficulty of the bonuses, it's hard to tell. This series could be won, and lost, on the buzzer.

Manchester play UCL for the first place in the semis on Monday. Too close a match for me to call, I'm afraid.

jim360 said...

Well, one advantage at least of knowing that you are losing is that it doesn't half give you good reason to go for it. No way I'd have buzzed in so quickly on that Quipu starter otherwise. It reminded me of the "Incan communication system?" so Incas must surely be the answer. Thankfully I got that right and didn't look like a prat. The riots one I knew after Gordon Riots that I have heard of though I know nothing more about them apart from the name!

It's nice to have got a starter like that. There's a sort of running joke between me and my dad along those lines, buzzing in far too early on some question and getting it right anyway. The ultimate goal would be to be able to get something like "When - " "1945." "Correct!", but this will have to be close enough.

The music starter by contrast was a buzz that was a fraction of a second too early. I recognised the piece no trouble, but forgot to give myself time to recall the name! So I really was flustering for a while trying to remember it. I seem to recall spending longer even than they showed on screen -- perhaps because I started saying "Cra..." just before the name came to me!

Anyway, an entertaining if at times one-sided battle on the buzzer. I'd have liked it maybe if we'd stayed close all the way through - in particular missing out on the "Meso-" starter (and I had ecumenical, sigh...) were pains - but New College were worthy winners and Cappleman could easily win it for them. Some more buzzer rivalries coming up in the next round of matches?

Londinius said...

Hi Guys

I take your point Jack. There are no obvious 'rabbits' who are going to be thrashed whoever they play - so we should see some good tussles in the weeks to come.

Hard lines Jim, but nothing is over yet. As regards the anticipation, I did actually make a tongue in cheek suggestion of a quiz show based on this idea several years ago in this very blog. It would work like a dutch auction - the Qm would say - this is a 9 word question on Geography. Contestant 1 says he only needs 8 words - the second contestant says he will only need 7 - and so on, until some brave contestant goes for it with one word. The Qm reads out - "Ulaan" - to which the answer is Mongolia. Then the same happens with the next question , on literature, and the poor sap who went down to 1 gets "Who ". I think it's got legs, myself.

Good luck in the next match

Andrew B. said...

Surely Billy Budd and Moby Dick are both by Hermann Melville?

dxdtdemon said...

They are. I assume that David just meant that they were from two different books of his.