Saturday, 24 January 2015

University Challenge - Quarter Final Match 1

Bristol v. Liverpool

First of the quarter final stage matches, then. Bristol, represented by Lewis Rendell, Benjamin Moon, Miles Coleman and their captain, Anastasia Reynolds knocked out the Courtauld Institute first time out, then followed up by taking out LSHTM. Maybe it’s worth noting that both teams Bristol knocked out were ‘specialists’ as opposed to all rounders. Liverpool were this week’s opposition, and they were Ben Mawdsley, Jim Davis,  Hugh Hiscock,and their captain, Declan Crew. In their first round they sent Sheffield packing, and int heir second round they beat Glasgow. On paper? Difficult one to call, and so I preferred not to make a prediction as I sat back to enjoy.

Ben Mawdsley was the first to realise that the singer born in Nutbush, and the founder of CNN were both Turners. So was The Fighting Temeraire. Bonuses on high waterfalls were fairly benign and they earned a full set. Jim Davis had an early rush of blood to the head buzzing in before he had formed an answer for the next starter. Damage was increased when Lewis Rendall correctly supplied the name of Adam Smith for the next starter. Descriptions of trees from the RHS website gave them just the one bonus. The next starter asked for the name of artist David Shrigley, which was supplied by Miles Coleman. Bonuses on definitions of virtues gave them two correct answers this time. Onto the picture starter. We were shown a map of a journey in a well known novel. Miles Coleman identified Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness correctly. More of the same followed in the bonuses, and they had Huckleberry Finn, but The Catcher in the Rye and On The Road escaped them. That brought us to the cusp of the ten minute mark, and Bristol led by 50 – 20.

Miles Coleman recognised that a list if events had all occurred in the 1560s for the next starter. Physics and Astrophysics promised me little, which is what they delivered, but Bristol also failed to add further to their score. I have never heard of the Ancient Mariner effect in psychology, but I got it from the description given in the question. I dare to say that Hugh Hiscock did the same. This got Liverpool’s engines running again, and brought them a set of bonuses on Napoleon’s Hundred Days. Given the opportunity to get back in the match they made no mistake and took a full set. Declan Crew then knew that in Cyrillic there are actually 6 letters in the name Krushchev. This brought up a UC special set on chemistry and darts. Basically you had to take the numbers, and ascribe them to elements – so 1 for hydrogen,  for helium etc. All they had to do was name which elements came between which on a dartboard. Simple? No, but gettable with thought. Good set. Liverpool probably thought so since they had all of them, due in no small part to Ben Mawdsley by the look of things. Onto the music – and Ben Mawdsley was first to recognise a lovely wee bit of Northern Soul. More of the same followed, but I dare say that the Liverpool team are just too young to have done much better than they did. I had Gloria Jones with Tainted Love. Not that you needed to know that. Now, Ahmed Tewfik Pasha was the last Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, and both teams had Grand, but neither had Vizier. Anastasia Reynolds knew that Gogol wrote “Nevsky Prospect”. Railway and Metro Stations in Barcelona was not the most promising title for a set of bonuses, but Bristol got two of them. I have a story about the Barcelona metro, but it’s a story you have to hear rather than see written down. When I manage to get the podcast going again I’ll tell you then. An early buzz from Jim Davis was not capitalised on by Bristol when the word nematode was being asked for. Now, Hugh Hiscock was unlucky for he was deinifitely on the right lines. The answer, the title of a French film of 1945 was Les Enfants du Paradis. Hugh just gave us Paradis, which was not good enough for the points and lost 5. I think that put Bristol off, as they went barking up another tree. All of which meant that just about the 20 minute mark we had Bristol holding a much reduced lead, but 75 – 70.

Anastasia Reynolds buzzed as soon as she heard Fiordland National Park with the correct answer of New Zealand. For the bonuses a set of quotes about engineers of the soul and that sort of thing earned them just five more points to add to their lead. For the picture starter we saw an engraving of a work of literature. Benjamin Moon identified it as Dante’s Divine Comedy. Three more illustrations from the same followed, and the team were invited to identify the creatures or humans that Dante met in them. A timely full set of bonuses meant that their lead was now 45 points. Not insurmountable, but starting to look distinctly useful. Hugh Hiscock pulled back 10 points, knowing about antitrust laws. The set of bonuses which followed on conduct policies on Wikipedia knocked off another 15. This was a very good match. Now, Lucy – Florence – and 1908 should be enough to give you “A Room With a View”. Neither team had it. Given the parietal and asked for any 2 of the remaining 3 lobes of the brain Anastasia Reynolds buzzed in with just frontal. JP was not amused. Declan Crew supplied Frontal and temporal for the points. Just ten points separated the teams. Fossils gave them the ten points, and it was all square. A very good match indeed. Hugh Hiscock recognised a group of trumpet soloists. Names or expressions containing the names of US states brought 10 more points. The lead stood at 20 – what Sir Alex Ferguson might have called squeaky bum time. If Liverpool took the next starter, you fancied, it could be all over. If Bristol did – well, anything could happen. Jim Davis correctly identified a set of poetic names for Japan. Bonuses on statistics went right over my head, but seemed very much to Liverpool’s liking as they took a full set. Surely game over? Now, this was my lap of honour round nthe living room moment. When the subject of quantum theory was given and we were asked for a fundamental, I, like Ben Mawdsley, offered Planck’s Constant. We were both right, and that really was game over as far as the match was concerned. There was just time for one bonus on dorsal fins, and the gong sounded. In the end the final score was 175 – 115, which maybe flattered Liverpool slightly, or if that’s unfair, then it gave the idea that the match wasn’t as close as it actually was. Well played Bristol – they are not finished yet by any means. But extremely well played Liverpool – halfway to the semis now.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

I had a feeling that JP wouldn’t like Bristol’s offer of “The Great Gatsby” for “On The Road”. He does so hate it when they get a literature question wrong. In this show he merely contended himself with observing “The Great Gatsby never went that far west.”
Anastasia Reynolds buzzed in too early on the Kruschev question, and gave no answer. As JP started telling her off “No, I’m sorry but if you buzz you must answer,” she dredged up. “There’s three H’s”, which led our hero to observe,
“That’s even worse, to give a wrong answer!”
He wasn’t quite so amused when Anastasia Reynolds offered just frontal lobe of the brain for a starter.
“Two – of – them.” He stated in deadpan fashion, then there seemed to me to ne just a hint of schadenfreude as he added “ I’m going to offer it over to the other tea,.” So there!
Wasn’t it sweet, though, when Declan Crew identified coprolites as ‘dung’ and JP replied, “correct . . . poo.”

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

The psychological tendency to be more willing to disclose intimate personal details to complete strangers rather than members of ones families or close acquaintances is called “The Ancient Mariner Effect”. 


Jack said...

A match between two teams who began the QFs as underdogs, but both of whom played a fine match, and, in Liverpool's case, definitely their best win so far. In their second match against Glasgow, lest we forget, the Merseysiders only converted 13/33 bonuses; this time, though, they managed a brilliant 20/25! This easily made up for the three penalties they incurred. Bristol managed 10/21 (with one penalty).

Next week, I am informed, it is St Peter's vs Oxford Brookes; no word on the draw for the remaining four yet.

BTW, over on JOW, there's a debate raging on whether Mr Crew should have been given the points on the Krushchev starter after not actually buzzing before answering; I'd be interested to hear your views on this Dave.

Londinius said...

Hi Jack.

I've just gone back over this, and blimey, I didn't notice it before, but you're right.

I think that it might have helped if JP had said one of you has to buzz in first to give the answer. I mean, it's not as if it denied Bristol the chance to answer. But hmm, I can see what people might be complaining about. I mean, you either have a rule, or you don't. Yes, I know I'm being anal about it, but I do think you have to stick to a rule if you have it. But everyone makes mistakes, and it's a very very small one if it is.

Stephen Follows said...

I also don't see why the chap from Bristol was allowed 'Chiaron' when he meant 'Charon' - surely adding a syllable to a name turns it into a completely different name.