Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Home to the British Flag 9th October

Image result for dawnAs twilight fell over the long hot summer dawn broke over the new season of the Macclesfield Pub Quiz League.

The Lemmings welcomed the British Flag back to the B League, mostly sporting bright new tans and as keen as the Lemmings to get off to a good start. Some of the questions fell into the Lemmings’ lap – three on Croatia whence Nick had just returned and 3 or 4 on Australia all of which fell to Becky who had spent some time there.

Nick struggled as usual with names but conferring saved the day – in fact only Tomo scored more than the conferred points – see below.

The questions were of a very high order, as we have come to expect of the first game of the season, with no challenges and high scores.

It was a game with much laughter and banter and an excellent start to the season.At the half-way point the Lemmings were trailing by 71 to 57 but have made up such a deficit in the past. Unfortunately this was not the case and the general knowledge result showed the Flag moving further ahead with 103 to 87, final score 174 to 146.

Individual scores were Bob 5/21 Becky 9/9 Nick 6/15 and Tomo 12/21 conferred points were 13/13 with 4/8 pass-overs. The Flag picked up 5/8.

A fine finish to the evening was a superb stew with slices of baguette provided by landlord Brian.

Many thanks to Brian, to the Flag and to the question master Alasdair from the Nags Head.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

27th March The Final Countdown

Image result for final curtainThe curtain was falling on the last League games of the season. The Lemmings were playing their sister team the Rams who were first equal in the B League with the Royal Oak and a game in hand. The Lemmings meanwhile were in a comfortable mid-table obscurity position of fourth and resolved to defeat with dignity.

The Specialist questions were very interesting and the Lemmings marked them highly, despite losing that group with 37 to the Rams’ 59 – everything going to plan and as Bob pointed out they were looking worried.

General Knowledge were also challenging and interesting and the Lemmings steeled themselves for the confirmation of their ambitions. But no!! They took these rounds with 89 to 67 winning the game with 126 to 125 – a very pleasing result of crushed ambition. A fine end to the season that did not affect the Rams’ promotion and the Lemmings remain in fourth.

Individual scores were Bob 3/24, Sunil 0/12, Nick 6/12, Tomo 15/18; conferred points 11/8, pass-overs 2/15 while the Rams collected 7/15 pass overs.

The evening was rounded off with a fine chicken curry and rice with naan – a splendid end to a great game and a truly enjoyable season. Many thanks to Brian for his support throughout theImage result for last minute cartoons season, to the Rams for a good-humoured game, to the question master Alasdair from the Nag’s Head for his firm but light-hearted control of the game and finally to Mark for his unflagging work throughout the season to keep all Leagues running smoothly.

And finally up the road Macc Town FC regained the top spot in the League with three points clear after a 1-0 victory over Gateshead scored in the 88th minute, another last-minute lifesaver!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

20th March - It Shouldn’t Happen To A Vet

A frequent comment on the results sheets when they are handed in is “Were these vetted” – sadly the questions this week were not. The General Knowledge were sent for vetting two weeks before the quiz but there was no response from the paired team. On the other hand the Specialist were received on the Friday before the quiz leaving no time to make thorough changes although the Lemmings did point out one inaccuracy that was corrected in the printout. But then it got Image result for disappointmentworse!!! At 5.30 on Tuesday evening Mark discovered that only the Specialist questions had been printed and delivered which meant frantic printing and copying (fortunately with the key to the photocopier room) of the General Knowledge questions. Crisis was averted by the usual calm, orderliness of the Quiz League but it was a situation that should not have arisen.

Sunil asked the questions at the Plough (again with his brailler) which saw a very friendly game against third-placed Nags Head with a couple of queries that would have been avoided had there been any serious vetting: Earth being the fourth largest planet (is that starting from the smallest, or should it read terrestrial planet?) and as Churchill was Prime Minister twice the answer to his predecessor would have been ambiguous so a supplementary was used.

Bob covering the Harrington also had problems with the size of Earth in a very friendly game which saw the Royal Oak continue their winning ways against the Harrington B.

Tomo with assistance from Becky (who emerged as a very confident scorer and interpreter of vagueness)  oversaw the Rams defeat the Harrington Academicals.

So with just one more game for each team to play there was no change at the top of the B League and it seems unlikely there will be any.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

13th March – An Evening of two ‘alves

This week the Lemmings welcomed the Plough Horntails for their penultimate game (the Horntails still have a game in hand). The evening started very well as there were peals of laughter by the time the question master arrived and things just got better.

Image result for dumb britainThe first round was Dumb Britain, a little confusing at first but very good indeed once understood. We were given questions taken from various quiz shows to which we were required to give the correct answer – and were then given the wrong answer given in the show – absolutely hilarious. The sport round in keeping with current concerns was about women’s sport while the arts and entertainments round was just what the Lemmings love – a lot of ballet, opera, art and literature – all to the Lemmings’ strengths but rarely called for. Remaining rounds were equally good (although out-of-towners probably struggled with the food and drink round) and were marked very highly accordingly. The Lemmings had stolen a lead at the end of the Specialist with 64 to 47.

General knowledge rounds were also good and they contained more than usual cultural questions that added power to the Lemmings’ elbow. The Lemmings took these rounds 103 to 75 making the final score 167 to122. This is probably the highest score the Lemmings have got for many seasons and is a tribute to the teamwork displayed.

Individual scores were Bob 15/21, Becky 9/12, Nick 12/’27 and Tomo 15/21; conferred points were 8/14 with 5/8 pass-overs; the visitors collected 5/5 pass-overs.

Many thanks are due to Brian for a delicious sausage casserole with bread, to Stuart the question master for his humorous control of the game, to the Horntails for probably the best game of the season and to the Harrington Academicals and Park Taverners for excellent questions..

Meanwhile some 20 miles away another clash of teams took place – Manchester United played Seville and lost 2-1 after a lifeless performance that showed none of the flair and attacking Image result for newton heath fcfootball that was the hallmark of Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure. Mourinho’s cautious and boring style violates United’s history of attacking football and entertaining games which go back to its origins providing relief for Manchester’s workers. A travesty – no wonder Fergie looked furious as United were booted out of the Champions league.

Perhaps I should add a little information about not allowing anonymous comments - it is not to force contributors to disclose full details but maybe first name and the team played for - I really don't want to see it lead to a reduction in the number of contributors

Thursday, March 08, 2018

6th March–Back at the Harrington

This week we played the sister team of last week’s opponents, the Academicals but with an added bonus. On this visit we learned more of the labyrinthine layout of the pub. On arrival there were diners in the room last week’s contest was held  that caused some consternation but we Image result for hand pump beer tapwere then told our venue was in the upper parlour – yes the upper parlour!! This must have been reserved for Mrs Bailey’s very special customers (perhaps even the member of the Robinson family who lives in the village although I think they fell out when Robbies insisted on installing hand-pumps rather than carrying jugs from the cellar). It was furnished with a beautiful polished wooden table illuminated with candles – the visitors felt guilty putting beer glasses down and were relieved when beer mats appeared.

The specialist rounds were interesting and the palindromes were a bit of a change and by the end of the Specialist the Lemmings had managed to build a healthy lead of 58 to 46. The general knowledge were also set by the Dolphin Dragons and again played to the visitors’ strengths  taking 86 to 71. Final score 144 to 117.

Mention must also be made of the question master Mike who efficiently kept the game moving with a firm hand on timing and a light touch and sense of humour.

Individual scores were Bob 6/21, Sunil 6/9, Nick 18/9 and Tomo 9/21; conferred points 14/19, pass-overs 5/7 and the home team picked up 1/5 pass-overs.

Once again we were delighted with a generous selection of sandwiches – many thanks to the landlord and very pleasant and helpful staff, to Mike and to the jolly players of the Academicals.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Defiant Despite Everything

Image result for harrington arms gawsworthThe first proper winter snowfall and it all seemed to be going wrong: Becky was supposed to be playing but had had an exhausting day and rang to ask if Sunil could play instead; then Bob rang – he was snowed in up in the hills above town and couldn’t make it. And we were to play the Harrington B team in the lovely old pub the Harrington Arms in Gawsworth – an absolute treasure. Originally a farmhouse it was converted to a pub in 1710 but the farming business continued; for many years it was run by the magnificent Mrs Bailey, herself a Cheshire treasure and the reason there are so many hilarious stories  about visitors to the pub. Following Mrs Bailey’s death the farm business  was detached and it is now a warm friendly pub still belonging to Robinsons brewery.

Fortunately both Sunil and Becky were able to play and Tomo ploughed through the snow to face the home team. The Dizzy Blonde was on top form and a warm welcome awaited us.

The Robin Hood had set both sets of questions that were well received but one question in particular fooled both teams and the question masters as all believed that the division of Korea could not possibly have taken place in 1945 and the Image result for yalta conferencegiven answer must be a typo for 1954 (the answer given by the home team). On checking later however we found the printed answer was correct and there was a hurried rewriting of the scores. All was done in a friendly and humorous atmosphere and it was a most enjoyable evening.

At the end of the Specialist, the Lemmings had slipped ahead with 48 to 41, but did not fare so well in the General Knowledge which they lost with 62 to the home team’s 64 – final score 110 to 106 to the visitors. An interesting point is that there was a surprising number of successful pass-overs with both teams picking up around 20. Individual scores were Sunil 6/15, Becky 6/3, Nick 12/9 Tomo 12/12, conferred 6/9 with 6/14 pass-overs. The Harrington picked up 9/12 pass-overs.

Throughout the game, anxious eyes were kept on the window as it continued to snow but a generous selection of tasty sandwiches set up the visitors for the slalom home Many thanks to the very friendly bar staff, to the home team and to the patient question masters for a most enjoyable game.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

13th February Away to the Nags Head

Image result for nags head macclesfieldThe Lemmings trudged across Waters Green in a biting wind and stinging drizzle to the cavernous Nags Head probably built originally to provide shelter for drovers, shepherds and cattlemen bringing their livestock to market – for many years it has been a popular venue for music and is the meeting place for Macc Bikers – very much a community pub it supports several other activities as well as the quiz team, who are old friends and adversaries.

This time it was Becky’s turn to show how she has settled in to the team impressing everyone when she ran through the whole list of classifications in the animal kingdom.

The specialist questions by the Church House Bollington were clearly the fruit of much thought – naturally there was a round called Valentines but not at all what was expected and all the others were not of the usual run of questions. At the end of the Specialists the Lemmings had edged ahead with 57 to the Nag’s 47.

The General Knowledge were not quite as good and when the scores were  checked during aImage result for losing beer break the Lemmings were trailing with 38 to 41 – not going too well!! Time to buckle down and ensure no points were thrown away. This the Lemmings managed taking the General Knowledge with 74 to 71 taking the game with 128 to 118.

Dave Reynolds from our sister team the Waters Green Rams was the question master with a light touch and good sense of humour making it a very pleasant evening.

Individual scores were Bob 15/12, Becky 12/9, Nick 9/6, Tomo 3/21 with 6/19 conferred and 9/7 pass-overs. The Nags picked up 9/4 pass-overs.

The evening drew to a close with a huge platter of excellent chips with chicken nuggets and bread and butter – many thanks to the landlord, to the Nags Head team, and to Dave for making everything so enjoyable.