Saturday, 22 October 2016

University Challenge : Repechage Round: Jesus - Cambridge v. Queens' - Cambridge

Repechage One: Jesus - Cambridge v. Queens’ - Cambridge.

Yet again Jesus perversely fail to select any team member with the surname Jones – that would make my day. Instead their highest scoring runners-up team were represented by Sam Fairbrother, Rosa Price, Daniel Petrides and their captain Theo Morris Clarke. Opponents Queens’ were represented by Sam Booth, Lorenzo Venturini, Daniel Adamson and their skipper, Frank Syvret.  On with the show.

Daniel Adamson sounded a little unsure when he suggested that the novel of 1719 concerning a mariner from York was “Robinson Crusoe”. He shouldn’t have been. This earned a set of bonuses on republics and gave 2 correct answers. Sam Booth put on a late, late show to answer St. Kilda which is the only UK UNESCO World Heritage Site so named for both cultural significance and natural beauty. SO Queens’ were off the mark , and Premier League Football Clubs gave us a UC special set – giving us scientific clues to the club’s nickname – hence pica pica (magpies) gives us Newcastle Utd. A full house was taken. This week’s lap of honour came early as I knew that the pores on the underside of a leaf are stomata. Strictly speaking I shouldn’t be so pleased at getting a biology one right since that’s the least weak area of Science for me, but hey, sometimes you gotta take it where you can get it. Frank Syvret took that one, and the works of George R.R. Martin brought his team another 10 points. Dan Petrides knew that the largest sports arena in Ancient Rome was in fact the Circus Maximus. The bonuses were on chemical elements of the periodic table. I invite you to consider the scenes of joy in LAM Towers when I took a full house of Science bonuses, as did Jesus. The picture starters invited the teams to identify the God Osiris, and Dan Petrides was first in. Three more Gods followed. I loved captain Theo Morris Clarke’s query of his team’s answer to the first “Thoth? . . . really?” and then the way he delivered the answer in a tone which said – look, don’t blame me for this one, Jez – and then his look of disbelief when it was right. A full set was taken. Frank Syvret knew that Adagio for Strings was played at Kennedy’s and Einstein’s funerals. Aethelflaed was a figure from English history who should be much better known – as with most other Anglo Saxons apart from her father Alfred the Great. Only one bonus was taken. Still that was enough to give Queens’ a good lead of 80 – 40 at the ten minute mark. Nothing was yet decided, but as a statement of intent this was a pretty good one.

Nobody knew the astronomy starter next, but Theo Morris Clarke knew that UBI is universal basic income. The three highest pubs in England were a very tricky set and provided none of us with any joy. Now, ou had to really wait for the next question to become clear. We had a set of teerms defining words beginning with the same 2 letters, and only when the last – a unit of measurement equal to 12 dozen did the answer – gr – become clear. That one went to the Jesus skipper. SI prefixes brought 10 more points. Curiously deci = 10 to the minus 1 which they didn’t get was the only one that I did get. Nobody knew periods of the history of Peru for the next. Theo Morris Clarke knew something about the angle of the thingy with the magnetic pole – look, I didn’t understand it, but the answer was 90 degrees. Bonuses on education brought a full house, and the lead. For the music starter, the moment Paul Robeson starts singing Old Man River he is instantly identifiable, and Sam Fairbrother certainly found him so. He was in like a whippet. Three more songs inspired by the Mississippi River brought Jesus another full house. They were gathering momentum and things were starting to look ominous for Queens’. This momentum only increased after a splendid early buzz from Rosa Price to identify the source of the opera Peter Grimes. The playwright Arthur Miller looked likely to be fruitful, and yielded 10 points. They issed out on the old chestnut that The Misfits was the final film of both Clark Gable and his ex wife Marilyn Monroe. Never mind that dropped point, the Jesus juggernaut steamed on as Sam Fairbrother buzzed early and correctly on the Rotten Borough of Old Sarum. Once represented by Pitt the Elder, IIRC. Art Galleries brought another 10 points. Lorenzo Venturini stopped the rot, knowing that the rocks at the cap of Mt. Everest date from the Ordovician period. Bonuses on Emmanuel Kant provided another 10 points, which Queen’s sorely needed. The second ten minutes up to the 20 minute mark had seen Jesus leap ahead, and the score now stood at 160 – 95.

Frank Syvret took his team through the 00 points barrier, knowing that nacre is mother of pearl. Novels employing the device of the unreliable narrator meant that Queens’ were only two full sets behind. They were unlucky to say Bret Ellison rather than Brett Easton Ellis. The second picture starter was by Breughel. Bit of a strange one having a painting by Brueghel only a couple of sets after a set of bonuses all about where some of his works are on exhibition. Still, it gave Queens’ their third consecutive starter, and Frank Syvret his second, and narrowed the gap further. More pictures involving games or sports cut the deficit to 35 points. The inspirational Queens’ skipper took his hattrick with Aziz Ansari. English towns ending with -bury – provided a full house, and the gap now stood at just 10. Now the momentum was clearly with Queens’. A rush of blood to the head saw Daniel Adamson come in far too early for the next question, which required the answer of 1770, and lose 5 points. Theo Morris Clarke had a good stab at it with 1771. Nobody knew about roles played by the actress Anna Maxwell Martin. Sam Booth was in extremely quickly to answer that the number 222 in ternary is 26 in decimal. That’s the sort of thing I could work out, but only with paper, pencil, ten minutes and a strong cup of coffee. Biology, so good to me earlier, now left me high and dry, and was equally unproductive to Queens’. Only 5 points stood between the teams now. Sam Fairbrother broke the spell that Queens’ had seemingly cast upon his team, knowing John Henry Newman as the author of the Idea of a University. Bonuses on heraldic symbols only allowed them to stretch the gap to 20 – less than one full set, and with hardly any time left on the clock. Nobody knew about Hooper’s Hypothesis. However I sensed that Sam Fairbrother’s identification of the last lines of A Midsummer Night’s Dream might well be decisive. Bonuses on people with similar surnames – eg Tom Wolfe and Virginia Woolf brought the 10 points they needed for a modicum of security. The gong sounded before JP could complete the next starter. The 195 – 155 scoreline belies how close the contest was, although this is not to suggest that Jesus were not deserved winners, for they were. In fact both teams played extremely well – a great contest.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Time was when JP would have been critical of Sam Booth’s late buzz on the St. Kilda question – what kept you? – something of that ilk. Not now. “Oh Well DONE!” he enthused. In fact he’s really become Mr. Nice now. His comments to Queens’ at the end were true – but rather sweet all the same.

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

On the planet Mercury, 2 years last about 3 days. 


Jack said...

Another very good close match. Am really enjoying this series so far; the last few series, while excellent in their own right, have had very few truly close matches but the ones we did have were very good. This series, we've had several very close matches and, while the scores haven't been terrifically high, I can easily forgive that, as it shows excellent, closely matched teams.

Both of these teams would've deserved a place in Round 2, and Queens' are definitely unlucky to bow out winless. But all credit to Jesus, and very best of luck to them next time. I expect we'll be seeing them again sooner rather than later.

No show on Monday, as the Quiz Hour takes a week off for Autumnwatch. Back on Halloween with SOAS vs Durham.

Londinius said...

Such is life, Jack. I agree - there have been a lot of really good matches so far this series - it's difficult to pick a winner right at this stage of the game