Kiro Kiso (capt.)
(R1 – L 140 – 135 to St. Hilda’s, Oxford)
St. John’s. Cambridge
Jonathan Chang (capt.)
(R1 – L 210 – 155 to Imperial)
Bonuses on fermented products saw me consider taking a lack of honour for the first. I knew that kvass if made from fermented mare’s milk, so lactic seemed a good shout for the acid. But hey, I have a bad chest, so I let it go. Didn’t know kombucha, but kimchi was a bit of low hanging fruit that we both took. Kiro Kiso knew about the Abel Prize ( for being killed by your older brother?) and earned a set on Vergil, who we all know was named after the pilot of Thunderbird 2.We both took a brace on that set. All square. Kiro Kiso came in too early on the word question that was the next starter, and seemed rather angry about it too. Had he waited, the second clue clearly referred to latex, the middle letter of which is T, as Thomas Clark was only too happy to say. Bonuses on the Platinum group – who surely performed in the Goldsmith’s College 1984 Fresher’s Ball – saw me earn another declined lap of honour from osmium, and to be honest that was the only one either of us got on this set. I might have had Palladium, but I zagged with Cerium. So to the picture round. We saw a brightly coloured map of the South Pacific, and were asked to identify which country has control of the dark blue blobs. I thought Jonathan Chang was in very quickly for the correct answer, USA. More coloured blobs brought a further 5 points. We were still some way from the ten minute mark and St. John’s already had 55. Kiro Kiso earned JP’s approval for knowing or guessing that a quote by a thriller writer who also wrote film scripts came from Raymind Chandler. This brought a set of questions on American author Isabelle Who? – or Isabelle Wilkerson to use the name JP gave her rather than the one I gave her. You know it might not be your night when you get questions about writers you’ve never heard of. They actually got one, and weren’t a million miles away with the other two. A clutch of sporting Edwards (surname , not given name) saw Jonathan Chan win the race once the ski jumper Michael, known as Eddie, was added to the list. The Russian Composers known as The Five (Julian, Anne, Dick and George and Balakirev the dog?) brought them two correct answers. The Cambridge skipper thanked Kiana Ouyang, as well he should since she was the source of both answers. Which all meant that his team led by 75 to 30 at the ten minute mark.
This was the point at which it all started to go wrong for St. John’s last time out. Yet the St. John’s march continued with the next starter. Did Jonathan Chan know it from ‘reticulated’ – which is what gave me giraffe. Yeah, you get a reticulated python too, but giraffe seemed a better fit to the rest of the question. Terms first coined by 20th century authors. They ignored the traditional quizzing axiom which goes along the lines of – US author – woman – witty quote = Dorothy Parker, and so only took one of the set. I have to admit, “Cash fo Ash” seems to have completely passed me by, but Hugo Fleming knew it. Flippin’ ‘eck – thought I as a set on nuclear physics was announced. Amazingly I guessed alpha decay (honestly!) to get a bonus. Funnily enough this was also the only one that UCL got as well. The music starter saw Louis George identify the dulcet tone of Jennifer Lopez. JP, who must obviously be well known to the artist called her J-Lo. How would he like it if we called him J-Pa? I encourage all of you to use this sobriquet more in conversation. Other winners of the Icon Award at Billboard’s Annual Women in Music Awards brought us both two but saw us miss out on Mary J. Blige (ooh, the temptation to make the much used misspelling, there.)These put St. John’s into triple figures, and Jonathan Chan pushed them further ahead knowing that the film “The Dig” centres on the discovery of the Sutton Hoo ship burial. Good film, too. South America saw them drop gettable points on the Iguazu Falls but the 10 points for the correct answers they gave pushed them closer to the breaking point of the elastic between the two teams. This got even worse for UCL as Hugo Fleming zigged with oleaceous when he should’ve zagged with oleaginous – and let’s be honest, who among us has never done that? – and lost 5. Louis George took that one. I’m not impressed that St. John’s passed on the butterfly bush bonus, but the one they did answer correctly gave them a lead of 145 to 40. Home and dry, surely? Now, having watched Billy Connolly’s World Tour of Australia, many years ago, the moment JP said “Walter Burley Griffin” I shouted Canberra. Jonathan Chan won the buzzer race once it became gettable from other details and earned a set of bonuses on artists. The one they had correct took their score to 160 as against UCL’s 40, just as we approached the 20 minute mark. Surely, even if UCL threw caution to the wind, this must be game over?
Kiro Kiso didn’t seem to think so. He identified Lawrencium for the next starter. They might have done better with the gettable football bonuses which yielded nothing. Still they were at least buzzing. So Jonathan Chan won the picture starting identifying David’s Death of Marat, once described memorably to me as ‘killed by a mad bint when he was havin’ a bath.’ More of David’s work was enough to push St. John’s to the seemingly unreachable eak of 175 points. At last UCL won a buzzer race, to identify a Colombian artist. Italian verbs which have different meanings in English cut the deficit to a mere 100. The indefatigable UCL captain buzzed early on the nest starter to identify French words beginning with es. Bonuses on Danaus from Greek Mythology saw a full house cut the lead by a quarter. Kiro Kiso recognised the Lagrangian function for the next starter. Bonuses on jealousy only provided 5 points. It seemed as if Max Traeger was taking inspiration from his skipper’s example as he buzzed early to correctly identify the Notting Hill Carnival for the next starter. Surnames of 20th century PMs cut the deficit to 40. Nobody knew that Browning wrote the Ring and the Book. Kiro Kiso knew the hexagonal columns of the Giants Causeway are made of basalt. 2 bonuses on the name Boniface cut the lead to 20. If there was time for a full set, then UCL could even win! Max Traeger went for death or glory with the starter and was rewarded with his answer of Michelangelo. They took the first bonus – just 5 points behind. They just didn’t have time for the one bonus they needed to take the contest to extra time.
So St. John’s march on, having narrowly won a splendid contest by 175 – 170. In particular bouquets to both captains, whose buzzer work was an inspirational example to their respective teams.
Interesting Fact That I didn’t Already Know Of The Week
The citation for the first use of the word ‘beep’ meaning a sound is from “The Sands of Mars” a 1951 Arthur C. Clarke novel.