Saturday, 3 February 2018

Univeraity Challenge 2018 - Quarter Final match 1

Quarter Final 1: Bristol v. Newcastle

Here we are then, the quarter final stages. Not quite as labyrinthine as JP’s comment that the rules were devised by Torquemada would suggest, if truth be told. Bristol, then, were Ollie Bowes, Kirsty Biggs, Dom Hewett and captain Sam Hosegood. Their opponent were Newcastle, represented by Jack Reynard, Molly Nielsen, Adam Lowery, and their skipper Jonathan Noble.

Ollie Bowes took first blood for Bristol, knowing that ‘device’ plus ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ equals guillotine. A set of bonuses on Roald Dahl brought a full set, which served ample proof of Bristol’s serious intentions. The next starter was one of those you had to wait for, before the name of the African country it wanted for the answer became obvious. Molly Nielsen didn’t wait, losing 5. However – once the words – entirely surrounded by the republic of – were uttered it became clear it was Lesotho, which answer was supplied by the Bristol skipper. Temporary capital cities brought nowt, and so we moved to the net starter. Jonathan Noble was the first in for a rather lovely starter, working out that the character in the Harry Potter world whose name is derived form the Greek messenger of the Gods is Hermione. Star clusters brought me an unexpected correct answer with the Pleiades, but Newcastle managed a great full house. Right, if you multiply the three numbers sharing keys with the £, the $ and the %, what do you get? Easy if you have the keyboard in front of you, but not so easy if you don’t. Jack Reynard was the first to get 60. Bonuses on pointillism were a bit of a giveaway, and Newcastle duly despatched them to the boundary for a full house. The picture starter showed us a map highlighting one of the stem duchies of the Holy Roman Empire ( it wasn’t Holy, it wasn’t Roman and it wasn’t an Empire. Oh, you’ve heard it before? Sorry.) None of us recognised Saxony. Ollie Bowes did well to work out that the Maori moko and the Japanese yakuza were linked through distinctive styles of tattoos. So more stem duchies followed, of which C was obviously Munich. I didn’t get any of the others and neither did Bristol. For the next starter we were asked for a disease. Molly Nielsen buzzed, collected her thoughts for half a second, and just as JP was going to give her a wigging gave the correct answer of Typhus. Insects brought them a couple of bonuses, which meant that Newcastle led by 65 to 50 just after the 10 minute mark.

So it had been a lively opening to the contest with both teams showing a little sprightly form on the buzzer. Judging by the way they sat on their buzzers, neither team had heard of King Louis Philippe’s dad, Louis Egalite, but it was Jonathan Noble who chanced his arm, and fortune did indeed favour the brave. This brought bonuses on the novels of Saul Bellow. Well, I only know Herzog, but I still guessed Trotsky for the first, ending with two, the same two that Newcastle managed. Molly Nielsen was very quickly in with the Hindu festival of Holi for the next starter. Bonuses on logic brought none of us any joy, so let’s move on. Now, if you get any question which mentions Buddhism, and the Odyssey, then you slam the buzzer through the desk and answer lotus. Both teams dwelt a little before Ollie Bowes picked that particular low hanging fruit. For the first two bonuses on molecular biology JP might just as well have been speaking Klingon for all that I understood them, but ATP is an old chestnut, and gave both Bristol and me our only correct answer of the set. Mind you, Bristol, to be fair, did not set off on a lap of honour as I did. The music starter offered us an American composer. Now, if it’s American I used to always say Copland (That’s Aaron, not Stewart). However now half of the time I say Glass. I did this time, as did Ollie Bowes and we were both right. 3 more composers who have written music in a minimalist form brought Bristol 1 and me nowt. Asked a question about the moons of a specific planet for the next starter, Jack Reynard tied himself in knots, saying “Titan – oh, Saturn”, allowing the Bristol skipper to come in with Saturn.” Harsh but fair. The first answer is the one that must be accepted. Mothers who gave birth to two kings of England gave Bristol two bonuses, which meant they took the lead again and became the first o the two teams into double figures. A terrific early buzz from Dom Hewett saw him identify a couple of the subjects of Eliot’s Four Quartets. Politics and social science offered me but little although I actually got the same two as Bristol. There may be another word which can come after dialectical, but materialism is the one I’ve heard. Jack Reynard knew that the human skeleton has 12 thoracic vertebrae, which took his team into treble figures. 2 bonuses on genetics meant that only 5 points separated the two teams on the cusp of the 20 minute mark. Great game.

So, as we entered what in boxing would be called the championship rounds, or in football, ‘squeaky bum time’, neither team leapt in to answer the Hemingways – Ernest and Wayne. Skipper Noble chanced his arm, but Bristol couldn’t capitalise. Ollie Bowes knew the huckleberry for the next starter earning bonuses on battles of the Civil War, of which they managed one. Johnathan Noble identified a picture of Andromeda for the Art starter. (Isn’t that a defibrillator, an art starter?) More pictures of Andromeda brought just the one correct answer. Asked for three of the next five most spoken languages in England in the 2011 census, Jack Reynard opted for Polish, Urdu and Punjabi, and he was right to do so. Dependencies in the Caribbean Sea brought a great full house, and pushed Newcastle’s collective nose in front for the first time for what seemed like ages. Jack Reynard also knew that GWP stands for global warming potential. H.L. Mencken brought two more correct answers. Importantly this meant that Bristol would need two visits to the table to pull ahead now. Jonathan Noble widened the gap further, knowing that the terms feng shui and kamikaze both refer to wind. Words originating in the quechua languages of South America had the double bonus of providing another ten points, but also running the clock down. Surprisingly, nobody on either team knew two of the three 20th century queens regnant of the Netherlands – Juliana, Beatrix and Wilhelmina. Adam Lowery knew that Staten Island holds the Southernmost point of the city and state of New York. Wives of Roman Emperors gave another 10 points, and game was well and truly safe for Newcastle now. Adam Lowery knew that Transnistria is part of Moldova, and that was it, as we were gonged before any of the bonuses could be asked.

For once JP hit the nail on the head, saying that the match felt closer than the 225 – 130 scoreline suggested. It’s very difficult to go on to win the whole shooting match after you’ve lost your first quarter, but Bristol are still in there, and good enough to give anyone trouble in their next match. Well played Newcastle, a deserved win. Good show, everyone. 

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Well, I thought we were on course for another show with nothing worthy of note, until Jack Reynard’s starter fluff. JP’s reaction was as if this was a personal affront – although having said that this tone only lasted for the first couple of words of his utterance, and he even included the words ‘I’m sorry’ in his response. Oh, is it just me who longs for the good old days of responses like ‘Swaziland . . . in the EU? Are you MAD?”

There was just a hint of the old JP. On the genetics bonuses, when Jonathan Noble gave the correct answer of colchicine, he rather sniffily replied, “Col KYE SEEN I think it’s normally called, yes.”

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

The word quinine comes to us from Quechua, as does puma and guano.

1 comment:

Jack said...

I agree that this was a much closer match than the final score suggests. It was on the bonuses that Newcastle won the match, 22/33 compared to Bristol's 11/24. But well played by both sides, both still very much in it.

If I may take issue with Paxo accepting Bristol's 'Saturn' following Mr Reynard's slip, I do believe, when this has happened before, he has killed the question there and not let the other team take the open goal. Wouldn't surprise me if there's been a chance of rule though.

Tomorrow, then, we have Fitzwilliam vs Merton, which should hopefully be good. Then, in the weeks after, we have St John's vs Ulster and Emmanuel vs Edinburgh.

Also, Dave, I am sorry to hear of your friend Mr Phillips' passing; my condolences to his family.