Saturday, 14 February 2015

University Challenge - Quarter Final Match 4

Magdalen, Oxford v. Trinity, Cambridge

In the first round Magdalen defeated Pembroke, and in the second the Open University. The team of Harry Gillow, Chris Savory, Cameron J. Quinn and skipper Hugh Binnie are one of the teams who are quietly fancied to duke out the semi-final stages. Their opposition, Trinity, represented by Matthew Willetts, Claire Hall,  Aled Walker and skipper Hugh Bennett defeated St. Andrews in the first round, and Leicester in the second. The reigning champions can never be easily dismissed.

There was a bit of a slow start as both teams sat on their buzzers for a moment or two until Cameron Quinn identified the Battle of St. Albans as the start of the Wars of the Roses. Bonuses on trilogies brought no more correct answers, but to be fair none of these were exactly gimmes. Matthew Willets, who had a blinder on the buzzer last time out had a real rush of blood to the head buzzing in far too early for a quotation from Shelley, and lost 5. Nobody knew that the ‘daughter of earth and water’ is a cloud. Cameron Quinn took a second starter, recognizing a description of Nye Bevan. Island nations of the Caribbean brought a full set of bonuses. Now, when you hear a UC question which starts asking about the Critias by Plato, it’s a safe bet that most of the time it’s going to be about Atlantis. Harry Gillow took a good early buzz on this one. The resulting bonuses on bees brought another correct answer and took us up to the first picture starter. This week we saw a list of characters from a 20th century stage play. Willy Loman identified it immediately as Death of a Salesman, and Chris Savory won the buzzer race to say so. More of the same followed and they took the second two, but rather surprisingly missed out on Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. I’m afraid that the dreaded Paxman words of encouragement were issued at this stage – “See if you can get off the mark with this one, Trinity.” Believe me, they were trying, Jez. The next starter was another of those which suddenly becomes obvious when one of the details is given. In this case, the name of the work “The Affluent Society”. Magdalen had won all of these buzzer races so far, and Cameron Quinn won this one. He knew it was the work of JK Galbraith. Proper names that are eye rhymes followed – as in Degas and Vegas. A full set put them one starter away from triple figures in the first ten minutes. Well, they didn’t get it. Hugh Bennett buzzed in to say that the Treaty of Utrecht gave Britain Gibraltar and Minorca. Some Science things about metals provided the bonuses. Trinity had 2 which gave them 15 points to 90 at just after the ten minute mark.

Hugh Binnie recognized a definition of Malic acid. Good shout. Terms coined by Social Scientists – as opposed to antisocial scientists, one presumes – and two of these were answered correctly. A very good early buzz saw Cameron Quizz answer that EAU were the three letters at the end of the surnames of authors of two books I don’t know. One bonus on Hindu deities followed. Hugh Binnie recognized the strains of Gershwin’s An American in Paris very quickly for the music starter, and for the bonuses they were asked for pieces of music from Musicals to have won the Pulitzer drama prize. Magdalen managed one, but were too young to know that There is Nothing Like A Dame is from South pacific. Maybe they never saw the Morecambe and Wise skit. If you haven’t then click on this link –
Yes folks – they did it long before Comic Relief started making newsreaders sing and dance. For the next starter Hugh Binnie very quickly worked out that Wednesday comes 100 days after Monday. The set of bonuses on authors yielded them 2 correct answers. Chris Savory knew that Deborah , Samson and others appear in the Book of Judges. Botany was the subject of their next set of bonuses, and these netted them 5 points. It seemed like a long time since we’d heard anything from Trinity, and the next starter didn’t make it any better for them. Asking for the country of the Hausa people, Cameron Quinn, as he had been doing all contest, won the buzzer race to supply Nigeria. A great UC set on primroses and politics offered the chance of a full set, but Magdalen settled for 1 correct answer. Now – if it’s studied gorillas it’s Diane Fossey, and if it’s chimps it’s Jane Goodall. That man Quinn knew that, and took the starter. Scientific apparatus did little for me, nor for Magdalen for that matter. Already we had arrived at the second picture starter, and it was Cameron Quinn who recognized the work of Rubens. Three more garden scenes by Central European Artists provided them with a full house – good work after being a tiny bit profligate with earlier sets. So it was that this period from the 10 to the 20 minute mark had provided us with that rarity, a 10 minute shut out, as Trinity languished on 15, while Magdalen had already won with 225.

Hugh Bennett did what he had to do, and buzzed early for the next starter. Unfortunately he answered that 12 years separated the execution of Charles I and the Restoration of Charles II, while it was 11. Hugh Binnie supplied that one. US Secretaries of State were gettable, but they only managed the one. The Magdalen skipper also knew that Door-Dashan is a public service broadcaster in India. Bonuses on films brought another ten points to an already burgeoning score. Hugh Bennett forced his way back in with the next starter, knowing that the sequence of numbers topped off by Beethoven’s Pastorale would be 4 5 6. Regions of Italy brought just the one answer, but at least the score was moving in the right way now. Cameron Quinn knew that the words “Scotland Brought Me Forth” were on the sarcophagus of Duns Scotus. Bonuses on English Kings claiming the title King of France added 10 more points to the Magdalen score. Cameron Quinn was able to identify a setof titles of works by Magritte. Former Military ranks. This was getting repetitive, but Magdalen again managed 2 out of three bonuses. Incidentally this took them to the milestone of 300 points. Aled Walker took another 10 points for Trinity, knowing that the book “The Worst Journey in the World” is about Scott’s journey to the South Pole. Bonuses on South America provided them with 5 more points. Nobody fancied Locksley Hall much for the next starter, but Hugh Bennett took a shy at it with Tennyson and was right to do so. Politics in the 1830s gave them one more correct answer. Now, any question which contains the words up – down – top – bottom – strange – and – charm either wants the answer quark – or you’re watching the wrong type of quiz show. Cameron Quinn was never going to let that one go begging. Features on the lunar landscape were enough to take Magdalen to 315, while Trinity languished with 55. Trinity – it really wasn’t your night. I don’t know if a couple of earlier penalties for early buzzes put them off their game for this show, but they were not hitting the buzzer as they had done against the Open Uni. As for Magdalen, a very impressive performance. Very well played.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Cameron Quinn offered ‘Bevan’ for Nye Bevan, and JP asked for more clarification. Then he did something I’ve rarely seen him do before, and explain why he asked for clarification – the fact that many people confuse Nye Bevan and his contemporary Ernest Bevin. It was almost apologetic. What is the matter with our Jez?
He did get a bit fussy on the eye rhyme bonuses when he corrected the pronunciation of Brougham – “I’ll accept that . . . It’s usually pronounced Broom.”
On the 100 days after Monday question, Hugh Binnie earned JP’s exasperated amazement with his answer, “How did you know that?!” and a look on his face which spoke volumes.

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

The rank of Brigadier replaced the rank of Colonel Commandant in the British Army in 1928. 


Jack said...

Well, like last week, it was the result we all probably expected, but I don't think we'd have seen that coming. Biggest trouncing for some time, since our friends Southampton trounced Bangor by 275 last series.

Trinity were simply outbuzzed throughout, and there's not much you can do in that case except keep trying to get in. I thought Mr Bennett's getting penalised for the Charles II buzz was totally unfair, as Paxo had just finished reading the question when he did. At least, unlike when they did that to Pembroke in Magdalen's first match, it cannot be said to have had any impact on the final result in any way.

On the bonuses, Magdalen converted 27/54 and Trinity 5/12 (with two penalties). So it really was the acing of the buzzer race that won Magdalen the match.

No official word on who's on next, though someone on JOW has suggested it's Caius vs Magdalen. If so, both sides will probably face their toughest challenge yet.

Londinius said...

Hi Jack

Caisu v. Magdalen - that's a match to savour.

Interested that Magdalen achieved a 50% conversion rate - that may need to improve.

I will be honest, I didn't notice anything untoward on the adjudication on that buzz, but sometimes you do get marginal calls. It's the luck of the draw.

asphinctersays said...

This was the match where Magdalen put in the performance I thought they’d be capable of. We’d played them in a quizbowl match, well three of them plus another OUQS member and they demolished us 600-15. Not that we are by any means a barometer, but the scale of that defeat in the context of our performance at the same tournament vs other successful UC teams from this and the previous series was such that it was obvious they would be a team to beat in this series.

I think the next match will be St Peter’s vs Liverpool, obviously with the winner going through to the semis.