Friday, 17 October 2014

University Challenge - Round One Match 13

Corpus Christi, Cambridge v. York

After quite a long winded preamble, which saw JP taking particular care over the pronunciation of the alliterative Corpus Christi Cambridge team, he introduced Ram Sarujan Rajkumar , Jessica Stewart, Caroline Purvis and the captain Sam Sharma. Apparently York University predates me by a year, although the idea of York University is several centuries older. Their team were Jack Alexander, Adam Koper, Joe Crowther and skipper Alistair Middleton. That’s enough of the niceties, let’s get on with the show.

We began with a whole long list of things which were – the second . . .  – and Alistair Middleton was the first to spot it, opening York’s account. Various Arnolds provided a set of bonuses, and York were happy to take two. A good early buzz from Adam Koper saw him identify the Netherlands as the country whose King took over after the abdication of his mother in 2013. A lovely UC set of bonuses came early in this show. Pop music was the linking theme, and the questions gave three definitions of genres of pop music, asking for their name – so you had a very scientific description of the hip, followed by the latin name of the hop plant. Well, I thought it was clever. Two more bonuses for York. Now, I don’t know what a Feigenbaum diagram is when it’s at home, but Mr. Rajkumar of Corpus Christi knew that it all related to chaos. For their bonuses they were given three questions on Measure for Measure. Got to admit, never taught it, seen it nor read it. I did get the second two bonuses – that it’s set in Vienna is a bit chestnutty. Corpus Christi managed 1 bonus. We were already at the picture starter, and saw a map of Italy with some red dots. When asked for the sporting significance of the red dots, Ram Sarujan Rajkumar took his second consecutive starter by identifying them as the locations of football teams in serie A. Now, for the bonuses, three of the cities marked played host to two teams. The team had to identify which teams were playing in which city. This time they took 2 bonuses. This was enough to narrow the gap to 35 – 40 at the 10 minute mark.

A quote from Walter Bagehot brought the correct answer of Oliver Cromwell from Alistair Middleton, and York were rolling again. Geology proved difficult, and both of us only took the last one. Sam Koper earned a wigging from JP and a pointy finger for buzzing in too early on the next, which was a quote from Bertrand Russell about Mathematics. Corpus Christi were unable to take advantage. Now, Shakespeare had a thing about the name Balthasar. In the next starter, JP gave us four examples of characters with the name from different plays, and Jessica Stewart was the first to throw the name Balthasar into the ring. Canadian Provinces were by no means gimmes, but the team took a full set, to take the lead for the first time in the competition. Asked for the name of one of the three men to be Chancellor, Foreign Secretary and PM, Joe Crowther supplied John Major. Bonuses on astronomy brought another 5 points, which took us up to the music set. It took a little while, but it was Jessica Stewart who first recognized Happy Birthday by Stevie Wonder. Three more songs associated with the civil rights movement followed. They got the first and last, but missed out on Marvin Gaye in the middle. Now, the next starter, on a famous Philip Larkin poem, seemed to be leading towards a request for the line – They *&!% you up your mum and dad – This may be why Jessica Stewart buzzed, then felt better of it and apologized. Thankfully the question swerved, and asked instead for the advice that the poem gives the reader in its final line. The answer being ‘and don’t have any kids yourself’ – advice which, to be fair, the old curmudgeon followed. Sam Crowther heard ‘Ecclesisastical History . . . ‘ and when this was eventually followed by the word ‘Northumbrian’ he slammed the buzzer, and gave the correct answer of The Venerable Bede. Bonuses on people born in Riga brought ten points, and more importantly the lead. A great interruption from Alistair Middleton saw him identify the phylum of creatures with a spine or stiffening rod (behave yourselves) as chordata. Bonuses on the river Rhine added a further ten points to their score, taking them into three figures. I was pleased with myself for getting the next starter, knowing that five of the world’s largest 12 islands are either wholly or partly part of Indonesia. Alistair Middleton took that one for York, which gave them a set of bonuses on the King James Bible. They didn’t get any of them, all of which meant that by just after the 20 minute mark York were leading by 115 to 75, a lead which had all been carved out in the last couple of minutes, so they were certainly the team with the momentum.

For the second picture starter that man Middleton identified an equestrian statue of Genghis Khan. Three more equestrian statues followed. They knew Richard I and Louis XIV, but missed out on Charlemagne. Not surprised, I was nowhere near either. Sam Sharma knew that CTS is Carpal tunnel syndrome, and this gave Corpus Christi a set of bonuses on the works of Thomas Hardy. This was a very gettable set, but they only managed 5 points. A hell of a good buzz from Mr. Rajkumar for the next one. I don’t know what the unit of distance measuring 150 billion metres is, but he knew that its abbreviation is also the chemical symbol for gold. That brought Corpus Christi into 3 figures. Words beginning with Gn followed – and that earned not only a full set, but a ‘well done’ from Jez. Only 20 points behind now. Neither team knew Calabria is the Italian region on the Straits of Messina, although Sam Sharma was closest with Calibria. York lost five for an early buzz. Brontolo, Grincheux and Severus are the Italian, French and Latin for Grumpy of the Seven Dwarves. Alistair Middleton worked this one out and earned a really nice UC special set on fauna whose names are reduplicative, eg, the dodo. I’ve never heard of cucus, any more than York had, although we both had the other two. Sam Crowther knew that the hotel rent value of Mayfair is precisely 8 times that of Old Kent Road in Monopoly. This earned a set on African countries. York answered in double quick time, only missing out on Bechuanaland, the former name of Botswana. Caroline Purvis knew that a set of operas were all based on the works of Schiller. Physical constants named after Scientists saw them raise their score to 35. A repechage slot was tantalizingly close, but so little time remained. In fact the gong went before any more points were scored.

The final result was 170 – 135 to York. Corpus Christi didn’t get the consolation of JP saying what a nice team they were, which he’s been doing a lot this series. Don’t know why, they seemed perfectly nice to me. As for York, that was a good performance against a useful team, so you never know. Good luck in round two.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Nowt of any note at all for long periods of the show. When offered Martha Reeves and the Vandellas our hero pontificated, “Well, she was just called Martha and the Vandellas at that point I think.” JP a Motown fan? Top man if that’s the case.
Finally a little needle emerged when Corpus Christi only managed to get one bonus on the Thomas Hardy set. JP hates people getting English Literature questions wrong! Knowing that Angel Clare appears in tess of the D’Urbervilles, he muttered,
“Indeed . . . so you’ve done that at school.”

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

Brontolo, Grincheux and Severus are name for Grumpy in Italian, French and Latin.


Jack said...

Nothing terribly memorable about this match; a fair performance from both teams, but the better team overall won. Corpus Christi were maybe a bit unlucky with the draw there; against some of the other winners we've seen this series, they could have probably won. Well done to York though, and best of luck next time.

On the bonuses, Corpus Christi converted a good 14/21 (with one penalty), and York 16/30 (with two penalties).

So, on Monday, Magdalen College Oxford play Pembroke College Cambridge in the final first round match. Then, the repechage begins; thankfully, the Radio Times hasn't given us a fixture for that match, and thus spoiled the outcome of Monday's match.

Londinius said...

A decent match without necessarily any real fireworks. I'm getting a bit worried about Jeremy Paxman, though. Very light on the memorable comments in this show.

dxdtdemon said...

It seemed like there were a lot fewer starters than usual. If the usual number of starters had been asked, and if the two teams kept up the scoring rates they had in the match, they likely would've both gone through.

Andrew B. said...

I suspect there were fewer starters than usual because Corpus were *very* slow and deliberate in answering their bonuses - so a good success rate on them, but possibly costly in the end.

Incidentally, I don't know why Weaver's Week contains the claim that York were wrongly penalised twice for buzzing in early: both times they clearly buzzed before JP had quite finished speaking - and it didn't matter anyway! The comment "York were playing against the production staff" is completely uncalled for.

dxdtdemon said...

I was under the impression that a lot of the conferring on bonuses were edited in afterwards and not part of the original taping. Maybe this is wrong.

ddarwood said...

I complained to the BBC about the Calabria question. Surely the answer was mispronounced rather than outrightly wrong, after all there is no other region in Italy sounding anything like it. The producers said it was "too far beyond the accepted pronunciation."

Jeremy was too dismissive, and has often accepted correct answers which had been mispronounced. A major injustice was done to CCC

Surely a team from Corpus Christi Cambridge should be automatically invited back on the next series. I have no connection with the college but I’m an avid University Challenge fan

The final score - CCC 135, York 170 might well have been very different had the starter been accepted.

ddarwood said...

Why do some teams insist on conferring on bonuses about topics they clearly know nothing about? This is clearly a waste of time. The Corpus Christi team were particularly guilty of this. The best strategy is to pass quickly, after all the bonuses are only worth 15, and aim to build up points on starters.

In the earlier (Bamber Gascoigne) series, some bonuses were worth up to 40. Shame this still does not apply.