Sunday, 15 September 2019

University Challenge 2020 Round One Heat 8

Durham v. Trinity, Cambridge

Right then, ready for the next? Bad luck if you’re not, for here it is. Durham, then, first into the lists in this match, were represented by Charles Bland, William Tams, Arthur Raffle and captain Joe Cooper. Representing three times winners Trinity were Nadia Hourihan, Lillian Crawford, Liam Hughes, and skipper Joseph Webber. Let’s crack on.

Joe Cooper took the first starter, buzzing early to identify the term default. Two bonuses on cave systems could have been a full house, had they not zagged with Cheddar when they should have zigged with Wookey Hole – which incidentally is the punchline to a very rude joke I once heard about Star Wars which I have no wish to repeat. William Tams knew that Cameroon was a German protectorate until 1916. The bonuses on sporting positions were a deceptively easy set which Durham were happy to take a full house from. Respect to Laim Hughes who very quickly worked out that in binary a 1 followed by 5 zeroes is equivalent to 32. Scientific memoirs brought Trinity a brace, but I’m a little surprised that cartilaginous fish didn’t make them think of sharks. Knowing about imehouse I was fairly quickly in with Chinatown for the next starter, but Joe Cooper eventually took it for Durham. Battles named after rivers gave Durham another rather gentle full house. A terrific UC special picture starter showed us Greenland, White Sea and Orange County, from which we could deduce the national flag of the Republic of Ireland. William Tam was first to work this out. More of the same – although harder clues, I felt, brought a very good two bonuses to Durham. This meant that by the ten minute mark Durham led by 90 – 20.

I’ve never knowingly heard of Chebyshev, but Liam Hughes had and that was enough for the next starter. Two bonus on a good set on artists who were also muses to other artists made their score look a little less anaemic. Nobody knew that the Knights Templar were founded in the 12th century. Joseph Webber knew that Faure composed Pavane. JP announced bonuses on elements of the Periodic Table, so I put my trainers on in preparation. Both Trinity and I took a full house. By the time I returned, wheezing, to the much maligned Clark sofa neither team had been able to say that Fagus refers to Beech trees, and Trinity had lost 5. Nadia Hourihan was the first to recognise titles by Cormac McCarthy for the next starter. He must have written them before he became Roman Catholic Primate of England. The Architect Amanda Who – apologies, Amanda Levete – provided us both with 2 correct answers, and put Trinity in with the chance of taking the lead on the next set. Being mere youngsters, it took both teams a while to recognise the immortal Kylie Minogue version of The Locomotion (I believe she is a big fan of George Stephenson). It was Lillian Crawford who reached up to pick this particular piece of low hanging fruit. Three other artists or groups performing songs by Carole King brought them the two correct answers which took them into triple figures, and also the lead. I don’t think that I could even type out the mathematics starter which followed – but nobody knew the answer – affine transformation – anyway. William Tams came in early to identify the kingdom formed by Picts and Scots as Alba, and bring the teams level. Scientific terms offered little to me, but delivered me one bonus, and Durham one. I nearly awarded myself another lap of honour for guessing Thermoplastic for the next starter, but inertia won the day. Joseph Webber had that one. Two bonuses on a gettable set on Mrs. Gaskell were taken. So, teetering on the brink of the 20 minute mark, Trinity had reestablished a narrow lead of 120 – 110.

Anyone’s game, then. A great buzz from Liam Hughes to supply the term quincunx showed that Trinity meant business now. Bonuses on the town of Gainsborough earned a further bonus and brought us to the second picture starter. This showed the copy of a lost painting. To be honest, it was absolutely shouting out Brueghel, and I’m surprised that both teams sat on their buzzer before Lillian Crawford gave the correct answer. More paintings brought just the one bonus. Arthur Raffle pushed Durham closer to at least a shot at a repechage score by correctly identifyin the work of Robert ‘Gravy’ Browning. Films based on French Language Comics saw them edge 5 points closer. Again, a superfast buzz from Liam Hughes edged Trinity away, as he correctly gave the answer permutation to the next half completed starter. Chinese Emperors, and the years of their reigns, saw none of us get any correct answers. I’ll be honest, the work of Orlan has somehow passed me by all these years, but Nadia Hourihan knew her for the next starter, pretty much putting her team out of Durham’s reach. They took a couple of bonuses. As for Durham, well with 125 it was entirely conceivable they could win a repechage slot with just one more full house. That would involve winning a starter, though, which is exactly what Joe Cooper did, knowing that young Amy Tinkler won an Olympic medal in Gymnastics. With two bonuses and a total of 145 they now had at least a chance. Nadia Hourihan knew that Dun Laoghaire and Cobh were previously known as Kingstown and Queenstown. Recent winners of the Booker Prize showed us all 3 clean pairs of heels. I didn’t really understand the next Physics starter, but the answer, as supplied by Joseph Webber was excited. Biblical patriarchs were announced but the contest was gonged before the first question was completed. Trinity deservedly won by 200 – 145. Well played both teams – another very enjoyable contest.

Trinity’s win was more impressive considering Durham’s blitz start in the first few minutes – conceivably this Trinity team could play even better than they did here. Their conversion rate was 50%, but they won on the buzzer. As for Drham, well, they’re worth keeping an eye on as well. Should they reach the repechage stage an impressive bonus conversion rate of over 60% suggests that they could be a handful for another team.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Nothing worthy of note here.

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

Cameroon ultimately derives its name from the Portuguese for River of Prawns


Jack said...

Another good match between two good solid teams, ultimately won by Trinity on the buzzer, with Durham having the much better bonus rate of 15/21 to Trinity's 17/34. Hopefully Durham will be back in the play-offs; should it come down to a tie between them and Jesus for the last place, I suspect they'll get the place having achieved their 145 with one started fewer.

Tomorrow, then, a London derby between the LSE and the Courtauld Institute; the week after, Dave, your alma mater Goldsmiths play Southampton.

dxdtdemon said...

Chebyshev is someone that people would only come across if they took a few college-level statistics courses.