Saturday, 26 September 2015

University Challenge: Round One: Match 11

St. Catharine’s, Cambridge v. Southampton

So then, representing JP’s own alma mater we had Callum Watson, Ellie Chan, Alex Cranston and skipper Callum Bungey. Their opposition, the University of Southampton, consisted of Will Cable, Sarah Stock, Roland Sadler and captain Tricia Goggins. Now, I never wish bad luck on any team, but I have to admit that I was intrigued, going into this match, to see what JP would say to the St. Catharine’s team if they should happen to lose.

Right, controversy struck with the very first starter. The question actually was – in which CITY SQUARE was the statue called The Goddess of Democracy etc. etc. Now, the correct answer is of course Tiananamen Square. However, you listen to it on the iplayer, and you can easily be forgiven for thinking that JP said – In which CITY’S SQUARE – I’m sure that’s why Callum Watson answered Beijing and lost 5 for his team. Rather bad luck that. This gave Sarah Stock the opportunity to supply the correct answer. A gentle set of things all linked by an adjective meaning a nationality brought Southampton a full house. Skipper Callum Bungey lost St. Catharine’s a further 5 with an incorrect interruption of various definitions of the word salient. Reading couldn’t capitalize. Nobody knew Norwegian Chess grandmaster Magnus Carlson. Nobody knew about Peel’s second term in office. Finally, and I sense JP was starting to get a little frustrated at this, when he gave several East Anglian locations of large factories and asked what they processed. Callum Bungey gave us sugar beet, which was of course right. Scientific institutions brought St. Catharine’s a full house, and saw them narrow the gap to 10. A nice picture starter followed, which showed us the cover of a Terry Deary Horrible History book, with the title removed. It was Roland Sadler who correctly identified it as the Slimy Stuarts. More of the same followed in the bonuses, and Southampton were happy to take the full set. Callum Bungey knew that good old quiz chestnut that a church which does not fall under the authority of a bishop is a peculiar. Well, quite. Bonuses on gin brought another full house, which was enough to ensure that Cats (if it’s good enough for JP to call them that, then it’s good enough for me, tailed by just 5 points, 45 to 40.

Nobody knew the famous French Maths geezer Clairaut. Now, asked a classic Greek Mythology question, Tricia Goggins made the easy mistake of saying Icarus – yet the flight was completed, so it could only be his dad Daedalus, a fact not lost on Callum Bungey. Another full house on Lithuania compounded Southampton’s punishment. The Cats skipper took his 4th starter of the competition when he recognized the definition of a Turing Machine. A couple of bonuses on statistical doo dahs followed. Starter number 5 was Callum Bungey’s as he identified about half a note of a song from Les Mis for the music starter. No bonuses on other sung through musicals followed. Be honest, the first one sounded more like a slept through musical, but I digress. Will Cable bull dozed Southampton back into the match by answering that various personages were the brothers of George IV. Quotations about too much of something brought them 2 bonuses, and cut the gap to 30 points. Nobody recognized a series of quotations about Art. Tricia Goggins further reduced her team’s arrears knowing that Jaggers in Great Expectations is a lawyer. A full set on families of carnivores meant that they trailed by just 5. Callum Bungey’s 6th starter came when he knew that thermal and catalytic are two types of fracking. Good shout. 2 bonuses on Alexander Pope took Cats through to triple figures, and on the cusp of the 20 minute mark they led by 120 to 85. This was one of those games where it was just possible that both sides might make it through, bearing in mind how JP speeds up for the last few minutes.

For the second picture starter nobody fancied a shy at a lovely bit of Poussin, and so the bonuses rolled over. A good early buzz from Will Cable saw him identify the word cartouche, as used in Egyptian Heiroglyphs. 2 bonuses put them on 105. Tricia Goggins guessed a series of musical valves, which gave Southampton back the lead. Bonuses on places sharing their names with breeds of dog brought only one, although all three were gettable if not exactly easy. Nobody knew the next one which was a computer acronym thungummybob – do stop me if I get too technical. Callum Bungey knew about a squawk, which is  - oh, let’s be honest, I haven’t got a clue what it is. Chemistry bonuses were enough to give Cats a 10 point lead. The 8th Callum Bungey starter came from knowing that the two children created by Charles Addams in his eponymous family were Wednesday and Pugsley. Bonuses on New Zealand writers proved elusive, and so even with just a few minutes left the game was not over, although my money was on Cats. Callum Bungey knew that Wotan and Erda in Wagner’s Ring were the parents of the Valkyries. A full house on Chinese Emperors pretty much sealed the deal for Cats, and so it was down to Southampton to see if they could get at least a full house to give them a sniff of a repechage slot. Nobody knew the Casa Rosada is the executive mansion in Argentina. I did. It’s in the lyrics of ‘Oh What A Circus’ from Evita. Tricia Goggins knew that Toulouse won the Heineken Cup more times than any other club – 4 times. Southampton needed as many of these bonuses on population as possible. 1 they managed. Nobody knew reptation. Me neither. That was that. Cats won by 165 to 135.

A good match that, quite close. Southampton had a bad patch in the middle of the match, and ultimately that left them a little short at the end. As for Cats, well played, especially to Callum Bungey for a virtuoso starter performance. Mind you, Cats could be up against it if he has an off day on the buzzer next time round.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

JP made his first venture into dudgeon when neither team knew that the repeal of the Corn Laws happened during Peel’s second term as Prime Minister – “It’s famously the greatest achievement of his administration!” he huffed.

When Sarah Stock announced that her answer of Poincare was going to be wrong, this set him up for the every popular, “You’re right! . . . It is wrong!” He’s here all, week, ladies and gents.

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

Thermal and catalytic are two types of fracking


Jack said...

A pretty tense match, with both sides showing a respectable, if unspectacular, showing. It could have gone either way until St Catharine's pulled away right at the end. I suspect we'll be seeing Southampton again in the repechage, which would be absolutely fair given their performance. We'll have to wait and see St Catharine's play again to gauge their potential; if Mr Bungey manages another virtuoso performance on the buzzer, they may manage a fair run.

On the bonuses, St Catharine's managed 17/27 and Southampton 15/21. Both good rates, and easily cancelling out the two penalties each both teams incurred.

On Monday, Clare College Cambridge play Warwick; the week after, Queen Mary of London play Nuffield of Oxford.

Will G said...

Enjoyable show and excellent review as usual by Mr Clarke (other than calling Southampton 'Reading')!!!!

Londinius said...

Thanks Jack

Sorry Will - this advanced senility is getting worse.

So is the advanced senility.

Stephen Follows said...

Can someone tell Cats that University Challenge is a team game?