Wednesday, December 16, 2009

15th December - Questionmasters

This week was the exact half-way point in the Quiz League and whilst The knot were pretty secure at the top of the B League three teams were jockeying for second place - News and Views (see link at right) will carry the details next week.
As the Phoenix had vetted the questions we thought some were hard and some easy but the balance was very good and did not affect the scoring. Al the questions can be viewed here.
We look forward to the second half of the season.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


This week the Phoenix played away to the New Castle at the half-way point in the fixtures; we have not seen them for some time as they have spent the previous two seasons in the A League so it was bit of a reunion - they are a very pleasant and fun-loving team and it was great to play them again.

Moreover we were playing away at the Castle Inn probably one of the oldest buildings in the town said to have had links to the original castle that stood nearby.It is a beautiful old building with many sectioned-off rooms decorated with brass hangings, beamed ceilings and walls with a warm welcoming atmosphere. The beer is Theakstons, with just the bitter available on the night.

A curious coincidence arose with the questions in that both the Specialist and General Knowledge were set by the two teams from Staffordshire: the Knot who have made a strong impression since joining the Macclesfield League and the Royal Oak enjoying their first season and setting their first questions.

The questions in both sets were challenging and enjoyable; Nick was particularly looking forward to the "Knot Quite In Cheshire" round, expecting questions on Rudyard Lake, Leek and even the revived Knotty (North Staffordshire Railway). Sadly it wasn't like that and he pathetically spent the rest of the evening whingeing that his question had been one on sport!!! They were actually quite difficult with everyone scoring less than usual except Bob who chalked up a storming 33. Individual scores were Bob 12/21, Wendy 9/9, Nick 3/6 and Tomo 12/9; conferred points were 6/14 whilst we picked up 7/12 passovers. The New Castle collected 8/7 passovers. The Phoenix scraped home by just 9 points.

All the questions can be seen here.

The question master from the Knot was Andrew Bogie who joined in the fun and laughter and exercised his judgement with authority.

A most enjoyable evening rounded off with extremely tasty sandwiches - thankyou questions setters, question master, the New Castle and The Castle Inn.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


This was the Phoenix' first visit to to the Pack Horse Bowling Club, new home of the peripatetic quiz team that spent some years at The Beehive, then moved to The Baths until that closed down (now reopened with a new quiz team) when they moved here. We very much hope they stay here for many years to come as it is a warm, welcoming place serving well-kept real ale. The team are well-known to the Phoenix as we have had many games together over the years enlivened with humour and good spirits. This was to be no exception.

Again there was a different slant on the specialist questions and whilst playing to the Phoenix' love of real ale and food in two of the rounds at the end of the Specialist the Phoenix were lagging by 12 points.

There was a spirited fight back in the Specialist questions particularly by Tomo who had a great run of 3's
whereas the questions just did not fall right for Nick who scored just 3.

The final score was 139 to 136 - the Phoenix lost by 3 points.

Individual scores were Bob 12/21, Wendy 12/15, Nick 9/3 and Tomo 6/24. Conferred points were 9/14 with 2/9 passovers. The home team collected 6/5 passovers.

A pleasant rounded off with a lovely selection of sandwiches and pork pies apparently provided by the team itself - many thanks.

The questions can be viewed by clicking here

Saturday, November 28, 2009

27th November Cup and Plate

The Phoenix were not playing as they had secured a bye to the next round, but they had to provide one question master. The plan was to make it a social gathering in the Tavern but due to various family and work commitments just Nick was left to ask the questions. Fortunately Tomo arrived just in time to keep an eye on Nick and his repeated scoring cockups.
As one set of the questions had been considerably delayed the two sets had not been vetted as was obvious when the questions were read out: there were two questions on China's longest rivers (does anyone know the third longest? It's actually the Pearl river), there were two questions on the British Prime Minister at the time of the Suez War, some questions could have a variety of answers (Fitzroy, who accompanied Darwin on the Beagle did a lot more than give his name to a shipping area and the Met Office) or were incomplete (the Ganges Delta whilst partly being in India, has two-thirds of its extent in Bangladesh where the floods cause most damage).
The questions can be seen by clicking here
The quiz was in good spirits and it was good to see the Phoenix sister team win despite their grumbles. A fine selection of sandwiches rounded off an evening of quizzing and fine ales.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Away to The Knot

Please click here for the questions -
We thought we had seen the last of The Knot when they finished 2nd at the end of last season (having beaten the Phoenix both at home and away!!) and were eligible for promotion to the A League. But then Fate intervened and as two teams dropped out with just one new team signing up it meant that only the team in first position was promoted. Undeterred by this setback, The Knot have started the season with a great run of 5 wins out of 5 games and are sitting comfortably at the top of the League. Nevertheless the Phoenix made up 30% of the top ten scorers, with Bob, Wendy and Tomo all making an appearance.
Wendy had volunteered to do the long drive to Rushton Spencer and was very keen to show off the heated passenger seat, despite Nick’s constant anxiety about the effect the warm seat might have on his cold body (he believes putting cold feet into hot water gives chilblains and was drawing uncomfortable parallels …).

The Knot is a large pub originally built in 1853 next to the newly-built station on the North Staffordshire Railway, later a victim to Beeching’s destruction. It offered a warm welcome and a choice of three real ales.

The Specialist questions had been set by the New Castle who were kind enough to send two lovely young ladies as questionmaster and timekeeper. The questions were very well received, with a different slant being given to the five mandatory rounds and inventive questions for the remaining three. At the end of the Specialist the Phoenix were ahead with a score of 67 to 48.

The General Knowledge questions had been set by The Cock and were of uneven quality – some were very easy bog-standard questions and others terribly obscure. At the end of the rounds, the Phoenix had increased their lead with a score of 77 to 68. If there was an imbalance in the questions it was clearly to the advantage of the Phoenix. The final score was 144 to 116 in favour of the Phoenix. I feel it is probably true to say that the Knot had called on their strength in depth and did not necessarily turn out their strongest team - there were dark murmurs of pantomimes etc.

Individual results were Bob 15/18, Wendy 15/12, Nick 12/9 and Tomo 12/18; conferred points were 5/13 and passovers 8/7. Obviously the top three scorers were determined to hang on to their places in the top ten doing so with strong team work as The Knot only picked up 3/5 passovers.

At the end of the quiz the landlord showed why they have built a good reputation as a food pub with a selection of generously stuffed sandwiches.

A very pleasant evening - thankyou The Knot, the team and the landlord.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 10th -Home to the Plough Taverners

Last weeks comments were rather reticent but having now seen the full results for all Leagues it seems proper to add a little detail. Bob's magnificent score of 39 whilst being equalled by the Albion's John Hargreaves was otherwise only beaten by Mark Watson's astounding 54 and Liz Horrocks' 42 in the A League. The overall score of 144 beat all teams in the B and C Leagues and whilst being equalled by one in the A League was only beaten by 2 in the A League. A great game for the Phoenix.
Despite this result the Phoenix gathered on 10th to play the Plough Taverners with some trepidation - whilst being third in the League, it was actually 3rd equal with the Albion and our opponents for the night both of whom had a game in hand - and without being too cynical that means 5th!! Nevertheless we had the benefit of a home game with the (rather noisy!!!) home supporters and no distraction from football. The Specialist questions were something of a tour de force by Rick Davies of the Church House Bollington and put a fresh slant on the categories (so much so that the Lamb vetoed the Science round which sounded interesting). At the end of the Specialist rounds the Phoenix had managed a slight lead of 46 to 41 - nothing to get complacent about there!
The General Knowledge questions were by The Lamb and were well received - again the Phoenix ended the rounds with a slight lead of 80 to 70. Wendy maintained her high-scoring rate but this week was overtaken by Tomo with a very strong 30.
All the questions can be seen by clicking here

Individual scores were Bob 9/12, Wendy 6/21, Nick 9/6, Tomo 12/18 with conferred points 3/13  and passovers 2/10;  the Taverners picked up 9/5 passovers emphasising the strong team work of the Phoenix who eventually won by 126 to 111.

It was a most enjoyable evening with old friends and adversaries overseen with humour and tolerance by the Church house questionmaster, rounded off with a generous supper of sausages, onions, chips and bread and butter. Many thanks to Brian and Tracey and the Plough Taverners.

Friday, November 06, 2009

To see the night's questions click here

The Phoenix were at home this week playing against the British Flag, a team we have met on several occasions with fluctuating results. It was therefore with some trepidation that the Phoenix took their places with the Tavern's excellent ale and cider. However, the questions suited the Phoenix and by the end of the specialist rounds they had edged ahead with a lead of 51 to 35. With confidence bolstered the General Knowledge rounds were tackled with more of the Tavern's refreshments and the lead was increased with a score of 93 to 80.
The questions we felt were balanced and the specialist in particular unusual; the Phoenix played a very disciplined game keeping all the questions “on the table” and allowing the Flag little chance to pick up pass-overs.
Bob and Wendy set a fine example while Nick and Tomo played a strong rearguard defence, individual scores being Bob 18/21, Wendy 9/21, Nick 3/18 and Tomo 3/18; conferred points were 12/9 and passovers 6/6. That the Flag only picked up 7/5 passovers is testament to the fine team play of the Phoenix
A most enjoyable game rounded off with a fine selection of sandwiches.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Problems accessing the questions

I've had some correspondence with Google and think I may have cracked the problem.

In future the link will be in the text as Questions and clicking on it should work.

Still need to work on the funny layout

Any problems please the Comments

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

First Round of the Cup - Away to the Dolphin Dragons

The Dolphin is a very pleasant and friendly pub well known for keeping its Robinson's ales in top condition - not only was the fearsome Old Tom on offer (8.5% ABV, voted the world's best ale) but also the relative newcomer Dizzy Blonde an excellent quaffing beer. It is also well known for the quality of its two quiz teams both sitting comfortably in the A League - but the Phoenix know no fear and strode confidently to the Windmill St inn.
Unfazed by the unfamiliar surroundings and choice of beers, the Phoenix stormed into the fray and emerged from the first round of 20 questions with a slender lead; sadly this seems to have got them a little light-headed as they slipped behind in the next four rounds until the final round when a final rally saw them take the final round. Sadly this palindromic style of play was not enough to save the game and the final score was 113 to 86 to a very strong Dolphin Dragons team.
Graham Bailey did a great job as question master in a game marked with laughter and good cheer and the evening finished on a particularly high note with a huge supper of chillie con carne with chips and garlic bread.
Congratulations to the Dragons and good luck in the next round - and very special thanks to the Dolphin Inn for the generous hospitality.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Home to Church house Bollington

Nick could not make this game so no full report this week.
The Phoenix broke their duck with a good win against a strong team, individual scores being:
Bob 18/15, Wendy 9/15, Steve 6/18 and Tomo 12/12; conferred points were 9/15 and passovers 7/7. The Phoenix only passed over 4/6 points ending with a win of 143 to 101.
Well done all.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

'Fraid not Shakespeare!!

""Then shall the realm of Albion / Come to great confusion"" (King Lear).
The Albion have made a storming start following promotion to the B League last season. Last week they narrowly lost to the British Flag who were formerly in the A League. This week the Phoenix were to face them.
Fortunately Wendy managed to turn up this week and we did not need the dirty old beer mat we had preserved from last week. The questions were set by our sister team the Waters Green Rams and the British Flag who asked the questions for our game. We felt they were good even though at the half-way stage we were trailing by 21 points; we recovered a little in the general knowledge questions (particularly Wendy) picking up six points but the Albion had played very well and were worthy winners.
Individual scores were Bob 3/6, Wendy 6/24, Nick 9/9 and Tomo 3/3; conferred points were 13/11 and passovers 1/12. Final Score 115 to 100. A surprising point is that although there were no bloops or wild guesses, the Albion still picked up 4/14 passovers.
A great win by The Albion, and we have no excuses - everything was in our favour: home ground, Wendy back, Rosie the mascot and the best beer throughout the League. A tasty selection of sandwiches rounded off an evening of laughter and head-scratching - thanks to the Flag representatives who conducted the evening with good humour.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Turned Over By The Plough

Apologies to The Plough teams - see footnote

As the long wet summer succumbed to what promises to be a long wet autumn and winter, furtive figures emerged from the shadows of Waters Green and shuffled into the Tavern; hollow-eyed from a summer of swotting up on American capitals, collective nouns for obscure animals and various ologies they sheepishly approached the table stacked high with official looking envelopes. Yes the Macclesfield Pub Quiz League started last night and the question masters were collecting the night's questions.
The Waters Green Phoenix were playing away at The Plough against the Plodders - old friends over many years. Anxiety began to mount as the team assembled as there was no sign of Wendy and frantic phone calls failed to get a response.
Eventually the depleted team set off in Bob's car and drove until the luminous green lights of the Plough cut through the mists and drizzle. The Plough is now blessed with two teams and is a very warm and friendly pub with two real ales on offer and a third in the cellar. Wendy's absence was covered by a dirty beer mat we found on the floor and the game began.
The questions were of a very high standard (set single-handedly by Mark secretary of the Leagues) and were thoroughly enjoyed by all - see link at right). At the end of the Specialist the Taverners trailed by six points that they were never able to make up as they slipped gradually behind.
There were no serious bloopers but lots of laughter and enjoyment. The Plough eventually finished on top and the evening was rounded off with a fine selection of sandwiches. They were worthy winners.
Individual scores were Bob 15/24, Tomo 15/9, Nick 12/12 and the dirty beer mat scored nothing individually. Conferred points (including the beer mat's contribution) were 11/16 and just 2/7 passovers. The Plough picked up 3/7 passovers with a final score of 150 to the Phoenix' 123.

An enjoyable evening but there are challenges ahead for the Phoenix.

When I first wrote this blog, I welcomed the new team at the Plough that had moved from the George & Dragon because of uncertainties for its future; according to the fixtures we played the Plough Plodders but when I looked at the result sheet we had played the Plough Horntails so I removed the reference to the G&D. Then I realised that the Plough Taverners had asked the questions so we hadn't played them!! So to put the record straight, we played the Horntails who were worthy winners; the questions were asked by the Plough Taverners who did the job with good humour. And I'm sorry I cocked up!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mike Bennett R.I.P.

This week saw the funeral of Mike Bennet a very popular quiz team member from the George & Dragon in Higher Hurdsfield.

The Crematorium was absolutely packed with standing room only at a service conducted by Rev Stella Coles, with a light touch that did not distract from the solemnity of the occasion. Many familiar faces from the Quiz League were seen along with friends, family and colleagues.

A long-standing friend who had shared many escapades and pints gave a fulsome tribute to Mike's life: a classical scholar, a chartered surveyor, a knowledgeable quiz player and a devoted family man. After his retirement he lightened the burden of shopping at Sainsbury's with his humourous comments on the PA system.

He will be missed by many, not least his fellow quiz team players throughout the League. We wish him well in that super league in the sky.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Keith Arnold R.I.P.

This blog normally restricts itself to the erractic wanderings of the Waters Green Phoenix quiz team with a long hibernation through the summer.

We have broken with that tradition following the sad loss of Keith Arnold, a founder member of the Church House Bollington quiz team who sadly passed away on 24th June after a battle with liver cancer.

His funeral took place in St Oswald's parish church in Bollington Cross, a rather austere building but enliveneded with hangings from the local school and residents. Conducted by Revd. Veronica Hydon with a eulogy by a distant relative (first cousin once removed?) Canon Roy Arnold who emphasised Keith's love of sport in general and in particular Manchester United. The church was absolutely packed with standing room only reflecting his warm character and the respect he has earned from collegaues, fellow sportsmen and quiz members.

A separate tribute was paid by Allan Sherrat another founder member of the Church House Bollington quiz team and long-time friend with an amusing and untimately very touching account of some of their escapades particularly with the Bollington cricket team.

Another great loss was the death of Mike Bennet within days of Keith's passing details of which are still awaited.

The League will greatly miss them both

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Last Game of the Season 28th April

Duncan Disorderley writes: 

As blogmeister extraordinaire Nick is on holiday in Spain he has asked me to make a special guest appearance to write about the final night of the 2008/09 season, even though I officially retired from being a famous celebrity ages ago. I have been trying to keep a low profile to avoid certain people to whom I owe money (Nick has promised me that this will be a paid job).  I have tried hard to find a good job with plenty of brass to keep the credit crunch at bay and to keep certain people away from my door. All the jobs have turned out disastrously. I applied for a job at the new East Cheshire Council and they offered me what they said was a prize job with no less than two thousand men under me!  I was over the moon until they told me I would be cutting the grass in the local cemetery.  The last job I tried was a disaster. It was as an entertainments officer in a nudist camp. They asked me to organise their Sports Day which I did. Things went very well at first, especially the nude sack race using transparent polythene sacks. The trouble came when I started the men’s nude 4 x 400 baton relay race. It was pandemonium at the second baton change. One poor chap was dragged 200 yards before we found out what the problem was. 

Anyway enough of my problems. The last match of a good season was played against the Puss Artists. The redoubtable Steve Berwick, of whom Magnus Magnusson once said “Who?!” was standing in for Nick. Right from the word go there was a definite ‘end of term’ flavour about the night, tolerated – even encouraged by the excellent quiz master Mike Vickerstaffe.  I do like a quiz with a laugh and a joke and the B League is certainly the place for that. The specialist rounds were tough, but with some interesting questions. In an entertaining round called Location, Location!, on famous addresses we were asked who was the Downing of Downing street fame? Even though it disappointingly turned out to be just the landlord it was nevertheless one of those questions that you didn’t know the answer to but probably should.  The scores at the end of the specialist round were close – 45 to the Artists, 49 to the Phoenix.   

The General Knowledge rounds undoubtedly favoured the Waters Green team, who pulled away about a third of the way through and eventually won  121 to 63, with a final match score of Waters Green Phoenix 170; Puss Artists 108.  

So a good season came to a very entertaining end. Time now to thank the organisers, particularly the indefatigable and always cheerful Mark Watson for his Herculean task (and also congratulation to him on his team’s winning of the A League and his own personal scoring feats!).  

For the Waters Green Tavern – another excellent and enjoyable year. Many many thanks to Nick for the blog and the wisdom of age; substitutes Ra, Steve, Tony and Eric and in particular to Rosie, our official mascot.  Thanks to Tracey and Brian and all at the WGT. 

See you next year. 


Tommo 36

Wendy 21

Steve 27

Bob 33

Sunday, April 26, 2009

21 April

The penultimate game of the season against old friends the George and Dragon playing on their home ground in Higher Hurdsfield.

The pub had two real ales on, Bombardier that is the regular offering plus one from the newly established Wincle Brewery that are all named after local characters.

As always with the G&D this was a lively and good-humoured quiz despite Nick's rather questionable poem on the origins of the camel's hump and and the sphinx' smile.

The evening was rounded off with a generous tray of sausage and toasted baguettes for which we were very grateful.

Individual scores were Bob 15/18, Wendy 6/12, Nick 3/12 and Tomo 12/9, Conferred points were 11/13, Passed over 8/11 whilst the G&D picked up 3/7 passovers - final scores George & Dragon 86 Waters Green Phoenix 130

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Sorry about this but I've been getting left behind recently - am away now for a couple of weeks but on my return will publishthe semi-final questions, subsequent questions and comments on last weeks' game - in the meantime Church House Bollington have been kind enought to supply last week's GK questons that have been published as normal

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Semi Finals

What a night this was to be!! Manchester United playing Porto, Arsenal playing Villareal and the semi-finals in the Macclesfield Pub Quiz League Cup and Plate knock-out competitions including the mighty Phoenix against the Oxford C (highly placed in the A League) with the formidable Alice Walker (formidable only in the extent of her knowledge, as she is a charming and fun-loving player); and Haydn who is high in the competition for the individual placings in the A League.

The evening started with a surprise - the Phoenix were following the tradition of gathering at the Waters Green Tavern for a talk on tactics lubricated with some of Brian's finest ales before moving on to the venue (the Ox Fford) when in walked Alice!! There had been a mix-up at the Ox Fford and what with the football and crib and what have you the quiz could not take place there.

A hurried consultation with Brian quickly resolved the situation and the venue was changed to the Phoenix home ground - many thanks Brian. But obviously there would be no butties. There was some delay whilst the rest of the Oxford team were gathered and shepherded to the Tavern along with the question master who had not long since left with the questions. The Phoenix tried to take avantage of the situation by claiming a 40 point penalty for the inconvenience, late start and anything else we could think of but it was quickly rebuffed, despite Tomo passing the time amazing Alice with his conjuring and mind-reading skills.
The knock-out competitions take the form of 6 rounds of 10 questions to each team and the Phoenix fought hard narrowly losing the first two rounds 17/14 and 20/14 and even drawing in the third at 16 each. Whether the questions then changed, or the lubrication took effect is difficult to say but the next rounds went to the Oxford 19/11, 16/8 and 23/10 the game finishing at 111/73 to the Oxford. So the Phoenix would only just have won if they had been given the 40 penalty points!!

No complaints about the questions or the balance - the Oxford were the better team and it showed on the night.

So to sum up the night: United lost the lead with a last minute goal from an unmarked Lisandro after a lacklustre display, Arsenal also drew with a spectacular overhead kick from Adebayor and the Phoenix came away second.

But the night was not yet over! A huge tray of chips appeared with a plentiful supply of baps - Brian had arranged it with Tel of the Waters Green Chippy!! Many thanks fo Brian and Tel.

So we now look forward to next year's knock-out competition, and wish the Oxford C every success in the semi-final.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Garrotted By The Knot


This was the return match against The Knot, currently jostling with the Puss Heads for the number 1 spot in the League (awaiting formal results).

The Phoenix were without their top-scoring member Bob but were confident of victory by calling on their mascot Rosie. Sadly Rosie was out for walkies, and we had to call on our second-string mascot Rah, Nick’s son.

The Knot on the other hand demonstrated their strength in depth by allowing Brian (who did so well in Mastermind recently) to help the question-master with the scoring and to take no part in the team.

The specialist rounds had some out-of-the-ordinary questions, in particular a spelling bee that was a severe test of memory without a spellchecker to help! It was a keenly fought contest and at the end of the specialist rounds it was level pegging at 42 each. The General Knowledge were equally challenging and it was here that The Knot’s strengths were brought to the fore as they strode ahead to beat us by over 30 points (see link at right for the questions). This is brought into even higher relief by the number of pass-over points they picked up (see below).

Individual points were: 

Rah 3/0, Wendy 6/9, Nick 12/9 and Tomo 6/9; conferred points were 10/15 with 5/6 pass-overs. The knot on the other hand gathered 6/18 pass-overs!!! Final score was 90 for the Phoenix to 122 for The Knot.

Rah’s score is not an accurate reflection of his contribution – as a beginner in the quiz he was rather over-cautious on his own questions but was extremely useful in all the conferred discussions. We look forward to his participation again in the future. 

Well done to the Knot – worthy winners in a good-humoured game and we wish them well in the title race.

The evening was rounded off with a fine selection of sandwiches – thank you Brian and Tracey. We do not blame the excellent selection of beers for the defeat although it was the Phoenix drinking the Easy Rider, whilst The Knot acted it out.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

24th March - Question Masters

This week it was the turn of the Phoenix to ask the questions in the B League. It is amazing that the questions can be scrutinised by both teams (the Church House Sutton set the Specialist) and then on the night you are confronted by something that is so obviously wrong and you thought you had removed it (Winter Q6); that, and the fact that one question was omitted altogether (GK76). Apologies for that.
Other than that, it seems the questions were regarded as balanced if rather obscure - the results will tell a truer story when published.
Nick covered the Pack Horse Bowling Club, the new home of The Baths team following the pub's closure. It is a very large and comfortable building selling Hyde's ales that are well kept and it is good that the quiz team found this haven. Other teams in the League can help them stay there by taking advantage of the bar giving good reason for the quiz team always to be made welcome. Perhaps with time the Club will go so far as to provide refreshments that are currently provided by the team themselves.
Comments below from other teams are welcome, if with some trepidation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The demons of the Phoenix (to win every game in the second half of the season) were decisively rooted out by the Church house Bollington. It was all prophet and big loss.
The Church House is a highly respected pub with a good reputation for food; there were three real ales on the bar including the almost-local Beartown Kodiak Gold - most welcome. It has had some ups and downs over the past couple of years but has now settled down with a firm customer base - and a very strong quiz team.
The questions by the Ox-FFord were very good indeed and will no doubt see some big scores this week - including the Phoenix; the Specialist rounds saw some new ideas (see link at right) but just did not fall the Phoenix' way - by the half-way mark the Church House were winning by 87 to 54!! We've never been so far behind at this stage before.
The General Knowledge questions saw a more even contest but the Phoenix were unable to make up the deficit with a final score of 182 to 147 - the Phoenix tally of 147 is enough to win most weeks but the Church House were so enthusiastic  about winning points they even started to answer the Phoenix' questions at one stage!
The departed spirits were soon replaced with a selection of sandwiches, pork pies and sausage rolls and the Phoenix returned home bloodied, de-spirited but unbowed.
Individual scores were Bob 15/24, Wendy 9/18, Nick 9/18 and Tomo 9/15; conferred points were 10/15 and a wretched 2/5 passovers shows the strength of the home team who garnered 9/8 passovers.
A great game by the Church House - well done!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Third Meeting With The Plough - this time at home

Getting rather incestuous this! The return match with the Plough in the League, we played them in the Cup and Granville has asked the questions at the Tavern the previous two weeks. A great bunch with equal amounts of knowledge and humour but this time we had our mascot Rosie!
The Specialist questions were set by The George & Dragon with some new twists on the rounds, in particular the History and Geography - see link at right.
However, although the Phoenix enjoyed the questions and marked them quite highly, there were no big scores - in fact at the end of the Specialist the Phoenix were trailing by 51 to 42 and Nick had scored 0!! So it was with some trepidation that the Phoenix settled down for the General Knowledge questions.
Our fears were justified - it is hard to believe that the laid-back and friendly guys we had met only  the previous week could produce such a set of questions - is it really the same team? By question 20, two questions were already vying for the title of the most ridiculous of the season: would it be "What is the fastest ever recorded speed of someone travelling on a jet-powered skateboard?" (Q5) or "What is macropocide?" (Q19) - if anyone is interested the answer to the second one is the killing of kangaroos!!!
Nevertheless, the questions allowed the Phoenix to slowly make up the difference and gradually overtake the Plough eventually finishing with 114 to 93 - it is a sad irony that the questions that we judged very harshly and gave (for the first time I can remember) 0 marks were what allowed the Phoenix to save the day.

Wendy continued with her strong performance this season, with Tomo scoring a good 24 but otherwise the questons just did not fall our way.

Individual scores were Bob 6/3, Wendy 9/12, Nick 0/9 and Tomo 9/15; conferred points were 10/15 with passovers 8/18. The Plough picked up just 6/5 passovers evidence of very strong team work by the Phoenix.
A fine spread of sandwiches rounded off the evening - thank you Brian and Tracey

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

3rd March - The Cup Quarter Finals

For the quarter final of the Cup, we were drawn against The Albion currently top in the C League with John Hargreaves the top scorer in the individual merits. It certainly would not be The Fall of Albion as foreseen by William Blake (Albion dancing aside).
Steve was making a welcome appearance in Wendy's absence and for the second week running the genial question master was Granville from The Plough Taverners.
The questions were quite good but the importance of balance meant there were a large number of follow-on questions - i.e. consecutive questions taking the same form. (See link at right)
Since all questions were conferrred there are no individual scores, and the Phoenix managed to win most of the six rounds with a small margin. Final score was 102 to 82, a well-fought contest.
This means that the Phoenix will now go forward to the semi-final to play one of the teams from the Ox-Fford or The Dolphin who are towering above the rest in the A League - bring it on!!
A well-lubricated evening ended with a lovely selection of sandwiches - thank you Brian and Tracey.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

24th Feb - Home to the Puss Heads

We knew this was going to be a tough one - the Puss Heads top of the League and with a huge total points lead.
The Phoenix were intent on not letting the visitors get any passovers and played very cautiously - probably a little too cautiously.  There were no moments of high drama and Nick refrained from his usual faux pas - there were a couple of Specialist questions he should have got but his usual problem with names meant they were conferred.
Except for Wendy's magnificent equalling of her PB it was a low-scoring game but the Phoenix played solidly as a team managing to get 27 conferred points of which maybe 3 or 4 could/should have been 3's.
No complaints about the questions that were balanced, but there was some confusion at the end of the game when the question master's scoring was challenged and several questions were rerun. Eventually it was decided that the visitors won by 121 to 120.
Individual scores were Bob 6/12, Wendy 15/15, Nick 0/12 and Tomo 3/15 - conferred points were 12/15 and passovers 9/7; The Artists picked up 9/9 passovers. 
The evening was rounded off with a generous selection of sandwiches - thank you Brian and Tracey

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Cock - But No Bull

A return match against the Cock (a Robbie's pub outside town) and this was bound to be a close call. 
Bob of the Phoenix and Jackie of The Cock were tied for second place in the individual scores and they each had something to prove. Moreover the Phoenix were again without a mascot and Bob's daughter had still not produced her baby. The tension!!

 At the end of the specialist  rounds the Phoenix were a nose ahead with 47 against The Cock's 44; The Cock kept up the pressure in the General Knowledge questions just losing by 67 points to 66. Final score was 114 to 110 to the Phoenix. A very close and most enjoyable match.
Nick had learned the lessons from previous mistakes and this time thought about his answers instead of blurting out the first thing that came into his head; so when asked "Which crime-fighting duo had the first names Christine and Mary-Beth?" he scratched the inside of his skull for the answer eventually coming up with that little-known series Cagney and Makepeace!!! The groans could have been heard at the Tavern!

We felt the questions were pretty good and balanced even though the two question setters had not been able to vet each others' questions.

Bob and Wendy continued to get high scores with Bob easing in front of Jackie in the individual merits; individual scores were Bob 15/15, Wendy 9/15, Tomo 9/6 and Nick 6/9. Conferred points were 2/17 and passovers 6/5. The Cock picked up 7/3 passovers.

A very pleasant evening with a good selection of sandwiches - perfectly rounded off just before midnight with Bob's daughter giving birth to a baby daughter.

A good night all round.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Baths Are Empty ...

... but the quiz team remains buoyant.

Yes, The Baths pub is one of the casualties of the financial crisis and its doors have closed. 

The quiz team however continues and last night The Ox-Fford were good enough to allow us to use that pub as neither of their two teams was playing at home. The team are continuing their search for a new venue. It was good to be back in the Ox-Fford with memories of our sojourn in the A League, and there was a selection of Jennings and Wychwood beers that were welcome.

The Phoenix were under some pressure - not only were both mascots missing, but Bob's daughter is about to go into labour which was something of a distraction.

The questions by the Oxford C we thought were very good (see link at right) and the twist on the picture round (nations' flags in black and white) was certainly different.

The Baths raced ahead to an early lead of about 13 and at the end of the Specialist were ahead by 51 to 43. The Phoenix fought hard to get back and managed to win the General Knowledge by 76 to 75 the final score being 126 to 119 in favour of the Baths. It was a very hard-fought game and very few points were given away - no complaints, well done The Baths. The able and affable question master was Brian from The Knot.

Individual scores were Bob 15/12, Wendy 9/18, Nick 3/15 and Tomo 6/9; conferred points were 7/17, passovers 3/5 with The Baths picking up 9/5 passovers.

Well done The Baths and thankyou very much to the Ox-Fford who prepared a plate of varied sandwiches that were very welcome.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

February 4th - Home To The Puss Artists

A first meeting with the Puss Artists, the second team from the Puss In Boots, who had a bad start to the season losing the first three games but who have made steady progress since, winning the subsequent four.

 Our mascot Rosie was back again but seemed to take more interest in the radiator pipe under the seats than the game itself.

 It was a very tight game with the Artists showing the wide range of knowledge that has brought them such good fortune. It was made even tighter with two of the Specialist rounds being out of the ordinary, Round 3 in particular  allowed Tomo to display his encyclopaedic knowledge of daytime TV. The other unusual round was a picture round. The challenge enabled two of the Phoenix (Wendy and Tomo) to attain personal bests for the season and Bob put in a very steady 27. Nick unfortunately once again showed off his loose canon trick on two questions that a moment’s thought would have given three points rather than 1 to the Artists. Rosie was in danger of being dragged from her warm spot to be replaced by Nick.

 However there were some questions that caused some comment, in particular:

  1. A question about the width of the standard gauge asked for the nearest inch – but gave the answer with a fraction of an inch and no leeway shown. (GK Q13)

2. The first name of Dubya Bush’s younger brother was requested with the answer shown as Jeb (or maybe Jed - apparently they are interchangeable) but in any case his first names are John Ellis. (See Round 8 Q3)

 For both these questions and throughout the quiz the question master stuck strictly to the rules and insisted on the answer shown, similarly with time-keeping. We felt he did a very good job indeed. The responsibility for both difficulties lies with the vetting, as did the imbalance of questions in the General Knowledge.

 Final scores were Bob 6/21, Wendy 15/15, Nick 3/9 and Tomo 15/15; conferred points were 5/18 with Passovers giving 6/3. The Artists got 10/6 passovers.

 The evening finished with a splendid supper of sausages, onions, chips and bread and butter. Thank you Brian and Tracey.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Close Shave At The Plough

Once again the Phoenix were at The Plough, this time in the knock-out Cup/Plate competition (See Week 4 2nd December). And The Plough were out to avenge their close defeat at the previous meeting.

Once again there were serious distractions - Manchester United were playing West Bromwich Albion and Macclesfield were playing top of the League Wycombe; to compound the problems the Phoenix were without either of their lucky mascots.

It was a keenly-fought match with the lead swapping from one to the other team with pretty good questions. There was lots of laughter and fun and The Phoenix eventually scraped through with 66 points to The Plough's 64.

The game ended with a splendid assortment of sandwiches and particularly a bowl of pickled onions. Excellent!!!

Oh and United won 5-0 and Macc achieved a goalless draw.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Home To The George & Dragon

Good to be back home for the quiz this week with an amazing selection of fine real ales to bolster our efforts.
This was to be a very interesting week as the standings from last week show that there were 4 teams tied for 3rd place - including the Phoenix and the George & Dragon.
Our opponents have been friends and adversaries over many years and the game was bound to be good-humoured and fun.
There was a major change in the Phoenix side - Nick's son was dropped as the team mascot and replaced by Wendy's Jack Russell Rosie. Sadly this did little to improve Nick's performance - last week he confused Scotland and Ireland, this week he surpassed himself confusing Dvorak's New World Symphony with Holst's Planets Suite. There is serious consideration being given to replacing him with Rosie.
The Specialist questions (see link at right) showed a lot of thought and ingenuity with rounds that were not at all familiar (i.e. not the usual textbook questions) and it was a keenly fought battle with the Phoenix eventually finishing ahead by just one point at 51/50.
General Knowledge were not quite as good but were well received and allowed the Phoenix to pull slowly ahead, mainly led by Bob's brilliant score of 39. Final score was 140 to 126.
Individual scores were Bob 18/21, Wendy 9/18, Nick 3/15 and Tomo 6/15, conferred 10/16, passovers 5/4 and the G&D picked up 9/5 passovers.
A very pleasant evening with the Bollington Church House question masters taking part in the fun. Many thanks to Brian and Tracey for a superb spread of sandwiches.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

13th Jan - Choked by The Knot

The Phoenix braved the Cheshire-Staffordshire border and its multiple speed traps to play away at The Knot in Rushton Spencer. We were met by a roaring fire giving out enormous heat and a very friendly team that has done extremely well over the last two seasons. Three real ales were available (Jennings, Black Sheep and Bombardier) which is always welcome.
The Specialist questions were very well received and although there were no big scores someone answered just about every question, and there was very little to choose between the two teams. It was clear that a lot of thought and imagination had gone into the questions  and at the end the scores were 37 to the Phoenix and 38 to the home team.
The General Knowledge were less well received but that is not the reason The Knot began to nose ahead to eventually finish 122 to 108.

Final individual scores were Bob 9/12, Wendy 6/15, Nick 3/9 and Tomo 3/12, Conferred points 10/15, Passovers 7/7 whilst The Knot picked up 6/7 passovers.  The knot is a very strong team ably captained by Brian Bogie whom many of us admired on Mastermind a few weeks ago.
A very tight and most enjoyable game rounded off with a generous selection of sandwiches.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

An Epiphany

January 6th saw the valiant members of the Macclesfield Pub Quiz League battling through ice and snow to play their games.
It was the turn of the Phoenix to ask the questions in the B League in Rushton Spencer (The Knot), Bollington (Church House) and in town the Plough and Puss In Boots.
The results will have to await the News and Views (see link at right) but the questions (see link) were very well received in Bollington  and the Specialist rounds especially gained high scores. In the General Knowledge there was some discussion about a couple of questions which were substituted by Supplementaries: Q34 as it was unclear if the question meant mainland Scotland or the islands, and Q48 that should have referred to the Liberal Democrats not the Liberals.
The evening was rounded off with a splendid selection of sandwiches, pork pies and hot pizza - many thanks.
All the question masters from the B League report that the questions were well judged.