Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Catching Up: University Challenge Heat 4: Queens' Cambridge v. Peterhouse Cambridge

Heat 4  Queens’ Cambridge v. Peterhouse Cambridge

Queens’ Cambridge were represented by Sam Booth, Lorenzo Venturini, Daniel Adamson and captain Frank Syret. A special shout out for Sam Booth, since he’s from Greenford – I’m originally an Ealing boy myself. Peterhouse were represented by Ephraim Levinson, Oliver Sweetenham,  Xiao Lin and their skipper Natasha Voake.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t recognise that the title of Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” was from Isaiah, but Xiao Lin knew and scored first blood for Peterhouse. Two bonuses on fictional detectives followed, but the Literature students on the team will know that they missed a trick not knowing sergeant Cuff from The Moonstone. I’ll be honest, like Daniel Adamson I thought the question was finished for the next starter when JP paused on a 4 letter ending for Scottish placenames. He lost five for – burn, but like many a UC question it only became obvious when the coda – it denotes a place of worship made it clearly into – kirk. Peterhouse couldn’t capitalise, but captain Natasha Voakes did recognise a definition of the word syndrome. The Mighty Five Russian Composers offered a gentle full house, and Peterhouse were making good ground with each visit to the table. He chemical term free radical brought the Queens’ skipper his team’s first points. African countries provided them with their own full house. Game on. Now, if you’re told the question is about classical music and greek mythology, have a pop with Orpheus is my advice. Ephraim Levinson did, and took a very good early interruption. Some Maths stuff would normally do nowt for me, but I guessed Wittgenstein, and earned one correct answer, just like Peterhouse. For the picture starter neither team guessed that the river shoe drainage system was highlighted on the map was the Eleb. Pleased myself by getting that one. Oliver Sweetenham took his first starter, knowing that it was Elizabeth Barrett Browning who was thought of as a rival to Tennyson to become Poet Laureate. This earned the picture bonuses, which gave Peterhouse another rcorrect answer, and a lead of 70 to 20 at the 10 minute mark. Peterhouse at this early stage were showing by far the better work on the buzzer.

A great interruption from Sam Booth on the US Patriot Act signalled the start of the fightback. Mont Ventoux has seen many a doughty competitor come a cropper in the past, but Queens still managed a further 10 points. Oliver Sweetenham I thought was close to the next answer with the term ‘safety blanket’, but lost five, and Daniel Adamson offered ‘comfort blanket’. Both sounded good to me, but apparently the answer was transitional object. Daniel Adamson knew that Sousa was the composer of marches who only had one consonant in his name – s. A selection of Gore Vidal’s acid drops about his fellow writers were very entertaining, but difficult, and none of us scored on them. Ephraim Levinson recognised a couple of definitions of the word mead, and Peterhouse embarked on a set of internet firsts. The only one we both got was spam. Story of my life. The music starter brought a real buzzer race, as the ever familiar strains of The Barber of Seville were correctly identified by Ephraim Levinson, giving him a pair of consecutive starters. 3 more pieces from the programme of the first Proms concert brought them one correct answer. Oliver Sweetenham denied Ephraim Levinson the hattrick by correctly identifying the Basilikon Doron as the work of James I and VI. A full house followed on Women’s football. Peterhouse were on a roll, but Oliver Sweetenham with a rush of blood to the head interrupted with vole when the answer required, as supplied by Daniel Adamson was shrew. A costly mistake since the questions on inventors and engineers supplied another 10 points, resulting in 25 points being knocked off the lead of 75. He atoned for it though, knowing a list of characters from the play Endgame. Only having one scientist on the team counted against them though, since they failed to score a bonus on microbiology. Even so, with a lead of 130 to 70 they looked comfortable favourites at the 20 minute mark.

Ephraim Levinson continued a good evening’s work knowing that the city in which the French army were to be ‘hammered to death’ in 1916 was Verdun. Once again, no bonuses were taken, this time on Australian test cricket. For the second picture Ephraim Levinson identified a photo of Mary Ann ‘George Eliot’ Evans and her unfortunate nose. 3 more ‘pen name’ authors two of which were dispatched to the boundaries, the other of which was a very near miss with Voltaire. So Queens’ needed to throw caution to the winds, and did so with a skipper’s correct interruption on the word modulation. A full house on the number 13 and History saw them cut the deficit to 65. With only 4 minutes to go, though, they needed a lot of unanswered points. Skipper Frank Syret again came up trumps knowing that the Tropic of Cancer passes through the Greenwich Meridan in Algeria. Something I didn’t understand in the least about Chemistry provided enough to cut the gap to 50 points – still 2 full houses. Daniel Adamson provided hope, recognising the work The Economic Consequences of the Peace. Agatha Christie used several quotes from Shakespeare as titles, and they recognised one of them for a bonus. Lorenzo Venturini took a punt with the middle ear for the next starter, and his correct answer boosted the Queens’ score to 135. Kings of France didn’t help at all. Daniel Venturini knew that several words could all follow the word butter. 145 – if they took a full house we’d probably be looking at a tie break. They took the first, but sadly that was it – the gong finished the contest amd Queen’s finished 10 points behind on 150.

A very good contest – hopefully we’ll see both of these teams again.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

JP does reckon himself when it comes to English Literature. When Oliver sweetenham answered the Elizabeth Barrett Browning question correctly he sniffily replied, ‘of course’. No of course about that one actually, Jez old boy.

When the Eiger was suggested in the Tour de France question JP’s eyebrows shot skywards and he half spluttered, half laughed. He did more when the cricket questions came up. When they were asked for a record breaking batsman and came up with the sensible guess of Ricky Ponting, JP smarmed Peterhouse down with the words ’is he the only Australian you know?’ before following it up with the next question then relying “Surely you know Shane Warne?!” Obviously not, JP. Say it quietly, but the world does not revolve around cricket – and lets be grateful for that.

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

The first ever registered domain name was

1 comment:

Jack said...

Decent performance from both teams, who both deserve to come back in some form. Hopefully Queens' have done enough to get through; a superb fightback, though just too late to catch up.