Wednesday, 31 August 2016

University Challenge: Heat 7: Balliol, Oxford v. Imperial College

Heat 7

Balliol, Oxford, v. Imperial College

This is going to upset people, but out of 8 heats so far including this week’s we’ve only had two which didn’t feature at least one college of either Oxford or Cambridge. It would just break the season up a little if we had a heat which didn’t feature either. Mind you, having said that I haven’t seen a Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish institution yet. I do hope that they’re not planning on putting let’s say a Welsh against a Scottish or Northern Irish institution in the first round. OH well, on with the show. Balliol were represented by Captain James Hook, Lord Peter Wimsey – oh, I’m sorry, JP’s still waffling on about the college. Balliol  were really represented by Freddy Potts, Jacob Lloyd, Ben Pope and their captain Joey Goldman. Imperial College (who were part of University of London when I was, but aren’t now) were represented by Rupert Belsham, Lottie Whittingham, Nas Andriopoulos and their skipper, Jasper Menkus.

I didn’t know Umberto Eco died this year – but Rupert Belsham did and took the first starter. A set of bonuses on German Chancellors were all gettable, but they didn’t get any of them, and this suggested some gaps in their knowledge on the arts side of things. A terrific early buzz from Jacob Lloyd saw him identify Longitude as the subject of an act of Parliament in the early 18th century promising a prize. Internet encyclopaedias saw both of us only manage to answer about Memory Alpha – Star Trek. You can tell that neither team are regular pub quizzers. If they were the moment that they heard the name Elsa Schiapparelli they would have known shocking pink. Been asked loads of times down our way, don’t you know. Freddy Potts was in too early for the next, and left it to Lottie Whittingham to identify cholera. The french writer Christine de Pisan is a new one on me, I’m sorry, but I guessed the last one. Imperial didn’t. The picture starter was a UC special – highlighting countries on the map and asking you to combine the two letter IS codes of each to form the capital city of another. Amazingly I did it and got Brussels, the right answer. Neither team did, and so the bonuses rode over to the next starter. The moment that the words presenter – and – undiluted joy for railways were said it was most likely going to be Michael Portillo, but it was a while before Jasper Menkus buzzed in with it. The picture bonuses proved a lot harder for me than for Imperial, they had two and I only had the one. This meant that Imperia had the better of the first ten minutes, leading 40 – 10 in what had been a nervy encounter so far.

None of us knew autolysis, which is fair enough since it sounds ghastly. Ben Pope knew that the first city attacked by the Israelites was Jericho. On the astronomy bonuses Jay Goldman was a little unlucky to give Halley Bopp instead of Hale Bopp. It would have been a full house too, since they had the other two. Never mind. Rupert Belsham buzzed too early for the next starter. He knew that Swift wrote “A Modest Proposal”, but he needed Taylor from the rest of the question to give him Taylor Swift. Ben Pope didn’t make the same mistake. Bonuses that followed were on Cultural studies in Britain. I guessed multiculturalism, but that was it, as it was for Balliol. Jasper Menkus won what should have been a buzzer race to give rhinoceros as the species of large mammal, threatened, and limited to Africa and Asia. They couldn’t do anything with bonuses on recent novels. On the music starters on UC, if the work is announced as being by a German composer, if it isn’t obviously Wagner it’s always worth going for Beethoven. Joeyy Goldman threw it onto the table as a guess, but it worked. I didn’t know that he was once a pupil of Salieri, but he was. So were the others on the bonuses. That didn’t help either of us that much. Next starter asked us whose uncle Pelias usurped his father’s throne. That should have been enough, but Ben Pope contrived to give away five points with Achilles, and even the mention of Medea didn’t help Imperial. A halfway decent grounding in Greek mythology is not an essential for a quizzer, but it don’t half help. Freddy Potts supplied the term gubernatorial for the next starter, and bonuses on the Sciences brought them another 10 points. Freddy Potts knew that it was Freddy Engels who moved to Manchester to work in the family business in the 1840s. Troubled painters gave them a good full house, and at the 20 minute mark they were ahead as the score stood at 100 – 40. In all honesty neither team was exactly going at full speed, but I couldn’t see Imperial coming back now.

A well known still from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was identified by Ben Pope. More robot stills brought a couple of correct answers. I don’t know the film Ex Machina – must have been asleep when that one came out. Joey Goldman had a good interruption to identify that it was a sjull which featured in various paintings. A set on Britain and Japan, which were much easier than they originally sounded gave us both a full house. Let’s be honest, though, Balliol had found their range now, and were just starting to steamroller through. Another correct interruption from Ben Pope gave the term phylum , and earned a pat on the shoulder from his skipper. Lives of contemporaries of Winston Churchill brought another ten points, and the Balliol juggernaut steamed on. Jay Goldman knew that Martin Amis wrote “Time’s Arrow”, and almost inevitably they picked up another ten points for the bonuses. It didn’t matter – they were way ahead, and to all intents and purposes it seemed as if the stuffing had been knocked out of Imperial. Or perhaps not since Nas Andriopoulos knew about something called a coordination number. Philosophy in the early 20th century did not sound like exactly fertile ground, but my standard guess of Bertrand Russell at least brought both of us one correct answer. Jacob Lloyd knew the Research Excellence Framework to push Balliol towards the double century. A full house on oases pushed them to 205. The old chestnut, dephlogisticated air, gave Jaoe Goldman Joseph Priestley, and to be honest, the sooner the gong sounded the better for Imperial. Science terms beginning with V brought them 10 again. Come on gong. Ben Pope lost 5 points on the next starter, and that was it. Balliol finished what turned out to be, in the last ten minutes, an easy win, 220 – 55. Rather surprisingly JP did try to commiserate with Imperial, calling them unlucky. As for Balliol – well it’s a decent score, but how good they were is difficult to tell. That we’ll get a better idea of from the next round.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Nothing to see here. Get on with your lives, citizens.

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

Ganfyd is an internet encyclopaedia set up specifically for those working in or training in Medicine. It stands for Get A Note From Your Doctor. 


Jack said...

Excellent performance from Balliol: all four players contributing on the buzzer and a decent bonus rate of 24/36. Definitely one to watch later on. Poor Imperial just got swamped in the second half, having done perfectly well up til then.

And BTW, it's Joey Goldman, not Jay; I've already made that mistake and the man himself corrected me on Twitter.

Londinius said...

Thanks Jack - changed now

Manny the Lion said...

Really impressive the way Balliol racked up 170 points in the second half of the show, and due to their early buzzing interruptions, it would have been difficult for Imperial to stay afloat then.