Thursday, December 17, 2015

15th December Away to the Dolphin Dragons

Still without Bob the Lemmings trudged through a dark and damp (but surprisingly warm) winter evening up the hill to The Dolphin to face the Dragons.
The Dolphin is a very friendly and welcoming pub sporting five handpumps that although all Robinsons are very well kept and in top condition.
It was a disappointing start for the Lemmings as Liz from the Dragons managed to get locked in the toilet – but escaped.
The game itself was very interesting as the lead shifted from one to the other, the Lemmings winning the first Specialist round but lost the lead with the second – the game continued thus until at the end of the Specialist both teams had 48 points. An encouraging start and a tribute to the question setters.
Fortune then abandoned the Lemmings who at one stage were 30 points behind, but they rallied and whilst unable to catch the Dragons they pulled back some points losing by 93 to 72 – final score 141 to 120.
A most enjoyable game  with no disputes and lots of laughter
Individual scores were Sunil 3/3 Wendy 12/6 Nick 3/18 Tomo 9/18 conferred 13/8 and pass-overs 8/6. The Dragons picked up 9/9 pass-overs
The evening was rounded off with an excellent stew with pickled red cabbage – hearty thanks to the landlord and staff, and to the Dragons for a most enjoyable evening.

And finally may all who see this and all players in the Macclesfield Pub Quiz League have a very merry Christmas and health and happiness in 2016.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Away to the Ox-Fford 8th December


Heads hung low and with drawn faces, the team trudged out to the playing area, they knew they were heading for another dull game and certain defeat and once again endure laughter, sneers and jeers for yet another poor performance. They were not to be disabused, Manchester United lost 3-2 to Wolfsburg and crashed out of the Champions League with barely a whimper.

At the Ox-Fford however, the buoyant Lemmings bounced into the room set aside for the quiz looking forward to a keenly fought but fun evening. Bob was unable to take part due to family sickness and his place was taken by Sunil, Nick’s son. The Specialist questions had been set by the Harrington Academicals which both teams thoroughly enjoyed, Dumb Britain in particular was original and great fun; nevertheless with the exception of Tomo the Lemmings’ scores were on the low side. At the end of the Specialist, the Lemmings were trailing with 44 points to the home team’s 73.The General Knowledge were less well received but did at least gain a nomination myboyfor the Nine Banded Armadillo award ; the Lemmings’ scores were a little better except for Nick whilst Sunil did something to defend the family honour. The Ox-Fford increased their lead with 89 points to 55 – final score was 162 to 99 – not much of a cliff-hanger but at least they went down fighting

It was an excellent game with lots of laughter as Alan Hodgson squirmed with embarrassment as he asked the GK questions he felt should have been vetted (they probably had been but suggestions ignored)

The Ox-Fford lived up to its escalating reputation with a selection of six real ales and very friendly staff - whilst the German football match was on TV it did not intrude until either team scored that then raised another set of questions.

Individual scores were Sunil 3/9, Wendy 6/15, Nick 3/3 and Tomo 15/12 – conferred points were 13/9 with 4/9 pass-overs

The evening was rounded off with a very tasty sweetcorn chowder – many thanks to the landlord, the home team and to Alan for his patience and good humour.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

1 December Question Masters


It was the Lemmings’ turn to set and ask the questions and we  are under a huge obligation to Matt, AKA Alan-A-Dale, who covered at very short notice for Wendy who had some family problems. Not only did he travel to the Weaver, he seems to have had the roughest ride of the four games.

All OK - good to see a game played well and competitively - until the Weaver pulled ahead in the last few rounds to run out winners without a steward’s enquiry.

There was some grumbling re: questions (even though only 2 GKs didn't get answered by anyone).  Can a race contain only one team/participant? - all three parties decided that it could so we replaced the three-legged race with a supp.  I suspect that many teams spotted "woolsack-gate" and a second supplementary did the job.

Balance was a common theme in discussion during and after the quiz – Alan L’s campaign for pairing sustained when the occasional difficult question was followed by a “doddle” – although I think (at team-level, at least) this probably evened itself out. Not sure if this was a broader pattern but the gap between the two “big beasts” answering 2nd (both scored 45) and the 2 going 4th (42 between them) was indicative of some seats being comfier than others on the night (with or without a woolsack).

As expected and befitting the pedigree of the two teams, the quiz was hard-fought, but with humour increasingly on show in the latter stages. An apparent escapee from the WGT’s ladies’ darts team did briefly interrupt the second half with a lengthy and vociferous monologue nearby, whilst a passing punter slipped by to offer Mark some (useless as well as unwelcome) advice on the chemical properties of diamond.

What was very clear to me is that the evening could have been less enjoyable had I been personally implicated in the setting of the questions. As such, I will continue last week’s message – could the “chicken and egg” problem of dodgy questions vs. too much grumbling. My impression of the Weaver is that whilst they are a team who are happy to criticise a question (and these were criticisms I could frequently see coming), they also often have a perfectly legitimate suggestion for how it could be rephrased. In this spirit, two suggestions for the question-setters scrapbook:

  1. “West Sussex” and similar. Not an ideal answer if the player might respond with “Sussex”, for example. Correct? passed over? ask for further guidance and then when “East Sussex” comes out, it is a freebie to the opposition?

  2. “Specifically” seems like an invitation for trouble – was glad that nothing was riding on the last question. The initial answer of “concerto” was a long way from wrong. “With which instrument….”?

This was my first (and quite possibly only) exposure to a top of the A League ding-dong. It was a healthy reminder of the breadth of competitiveness and skill on show across the divisions. Whilst many participants see the purpose of Tuesday’s to be fun, there are serious quizzers out there and they are not wrong in wanting their contests to be decided by the skill of the players and not the questions. Like football referees, questions will never be perfect, but that shouldn’t preclude discussion of how to get closer.”

Matt was only able to help out as the Robin Hood have a pool of players, and it was Bob who returned to the lovely Peak District pub as question master.


"Tonight's quiz was a question masters dream. A warm, friendly and welcoming pub with two teams who were up for a good night's entertainment.

The Robin Hood and the Dolphin Dragons engaged in combat but sparked off each other in the most humorous ways. Driven by banter from Jim Kennelly and Liz Horrocks in turn, the evening bounced along most agreeably. Even the 'problem' questions were dismissed with a casual 'have a supplementary'.  Best of all was agreement between the two teams that you can ENTER a three-legged race with two people but you can't RACE until there are four.  This promoted much hilarity, as did the "Who wrote Blue Suede Shoes?"  It began when Tim Grimes of the Robin Hood asked the assembled teams what was the anthem of one-legged Elvis lovers.... answer... "Blue Suede Shoe". This prompted a rare joke from question master Bob Langstaff who halted proceedings to tell the sad story of the man who had trouble with his feet. The doctor examined him and informed him that he actually had TWO LEFT FEET! Not in the sense that he couldn't dance, but that he literally had two left feet. The man was grateful for the answer to his problem but depressed that he had two left feet. He left the surgery and as it was a lovely sunny day he decided to cheer himself up by going into a shoe shop and buying himself a pair of flip-flips."

Dolphin Dragons won the match 158 to 130. Great evening.”

Tomo made his way to the Dolphin where he too had an enjoyable evening.

“I had a good evening, too.
I don't know how Little Women got into the Mr & Mrs round and it was immediately pointed out that The Woolsack is sat upon in the House of Lords, but apart from that it was  a very good evening. The Royal Oak marked the specialists down as they were getting some stinkers, but overall the balance looked good. The Dolphin gave the specialists 8. I can't remember the scores for GK.
Final score Dolphin 156 - 143 Royal Oak”

And finally Nick was at the Ox-Fford that has just been renovated and has a very friendly landlord and staff. Moreover, they are no longer tied to Marstons and had an interesting selection of real ale including Sharp’s Atlantic (previously only seen in bottles) and who remembers draft Worthingtons? It was a very friendly tussle, with the two major errors already referred to being spotted and without the challenge of a single three-legged horse race. A high point was Haydn getting all of his General Knowledge questions. The evening was rounded off with an excellent selection of hot pies – a most enjoyable time with thanks to both teams who tolerated Nick’s twice reading the answer instead of passing over the question with good humour and with every good wish for the new landlord’s success in the future.

Comment has been made about the times shown on the blog – the server is in America and shows their local time – I’ve not found a way to change it but will ask Google who own Blogger.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

24th November Cup/Plate Away to the Robin Hood


Although it was only two weeks since the Lemmings had last played the Robin Hood, here they were again, this time playing away in the Cup.

It was a real pleasure to return to the Robin Hood, as last time the Lemmings played there the pub seemed to be on its last legs with a big question mark over its future. Under the new landlords however it is a warm and welcoming pub with very friendly staff and three hand-pumps including Hobgoblin and Thwaites. There is an extensive food menu and whilst we were unable to take advantage of it, the photographs are very attractive.

The usual contributor to this blog Alan-A-Dale was this time restored to the home team (strength in depth means players rotate) but the Lemmings were confident following their previous win despite Wendy being away with Sunil standing in for her.

And at the end of the first round of twenty questions the home team were reeling – not from the staggering breadth of knowledge displayed by the visitors but because they had completely thrashed the Lemmings with 21 points to a wretched 10; the second round was much closer with 18 to 17 but they returned to form in the  third set with 17 to 8. With the score at 56 to 35 there was then a beer break – perhaps one that “refreshes the parts that others cannot reach” would perhaps strengthen the straw the Lemmings were clutching. But no – round 4 continued the trend 19 to 13. But then the tide turned and the Lemmings put in a crashing 19 points to the Hood’s 15 – only to revert to form with 18 to 14. Final score 108 to 81.  The Lemmings well and truly shot down by the Robin Hood.

Being ever-optimistic the Lemmings can now look forward to a night off in future rounds.

But it was a most enjoyable evening, great atmosphere in a friendly pub rounded off with tasty beef and egg sandwiches – many thanks to the landlord, to the team and as usual the patient and tolerant question master.

And finally may I say how pleased I am that the blog has become a forum for an open exchange of ideas and suggestions – thank you all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Stitched Up By The Weaver


“If we see light at the end of the tunnel, it’s the light of the oncoming train” – Robert Lowell

The Lemmings knew they were up against it for this game as both Bob and Wendy were away on holiday (not together I hasten to add); reserves Tony and Sunil stepped in and both made a creditable score.

Although playing at a disadvantage,the game was not without its moments of humour; Sunil pointed out that part of question 60 of the General Knowledge is a pizza at Pizza Express; as usual Nick struggled with names, in particular that of the new Bond girl - then immediately after passing it over remembered it was Monica Belucci. And Fortune smiled on the Lemmings in the form of questions on local beers and pubs and they were ahead at the end of the first specialist round.

Despite this, however, the Lemmings were soon floundering and at the end of the Specialist were losing 64 to 38. This pattern was to be repeated for the rest of the evening.

The questions were not well received, in particular for lack of balance – very obscure difficult questions were followed by the simplest and obvious even though in two of the specialist rounds only one 3 was scored: the Sport and Money rounds.

As mentioned before the Weaver has had a substantial renovation, has introduced a wider selection of beers (including their own Weaver brewed by Tetleys) and have a very welcoming landlord who had set aside a corner of the large room for the quiz.

Individual scores were Tony 9/9 Sunil 9/6 Nick 12/12 and Tomo 3/21; conferred points were 3/17 with 2/2 pass-overs – the Weaver picked up 9/11 pass-overs. The Weavers total of pass-overs was mainly through the Lemmings quickly passing over the question so as to cut down on the home team’s conferring. Final Score 180 to 105.

Despite the crushing defeat it was actually a very pleasant evening with lots of laughter, sympathetic questioning from the Dolphin Dragons’ question master and tasty sandwiches to round off the night. Many thanks to the Weaver landlord, the team and the question master.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

10th November Home to the Robin Hood

Once again the Lemmings were crossing swords with the Robin Hood who had beaten the Lemmings into second place in last season’s B League and the two teams had progressed to the A League together. No hard feelings of course …. In fact Bob has known one of their team for over 20 years dating back to the old CAP team of fond memory.

The Lemmings sister team the Rams had set all the questions that produced some odd results. Tomo seemed to be heading for a full house of 24 points in the Specialist rounds but the last two questions eluded him - he still got a remarkable 18. On the other hand Nick’s questions just did not fall for him and he struggled along with just 3. Nevertheless they were highly marked as they were not the run of the mill quiz-book type but were still gettable although rather hard.  There has been a suggestion that the final question of the General Knowledge be nominated for the Nine banded armadillo trophy –  would it have been commented on a lot at the time so not so obscure?  Let’s see what others think. On  the other hand, Q6 in Geography is about a language spoken only in one country and is so little known that we all thought it was Aramaic, the language of Jesus.

Individual scores were Bob 9/12, Wendy 12/15, Nick 3/15, Tomo 18/15 conferred points 11/19 with pass-overs 4/6; the visitors picked up 2/4 pass-overs. The large number of conferred points and low number of pass-overs tells its own story.

Thanks to the question master who raced through the questions the quiz was over quite early and the evening was rounded off with an outstanding supper of sausages and onion gravy with bread rolls. Thank you Brian, the Robin Hood and the question master for an enjoyable evening

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

3rd November–Local Derby


The first local derby for a long time – the Lemmings were playing the Rams in the Waters Green Tavern.

In a rather underhand trick the Lemmings arrived early and commandeered the table that both teams prefer, paying scant attention to the protests of the two regulars who were displaced. This didn’t seem to faze the Rams overmuch so the scheme backfired and alienated two possible supporters at the same time.

The Tavern of course maintained its reputation for having the best ales for miles around and this was no exception – special mention must be made of the remarkable Mallinsons New World Pale using a blend of galaxy and simcoe hops that boosted the hopes if not the abilities of the Lemmings.

As usual distractions had been arranged – Manchester United were playing CSKA Moscow away - a restrained and modest affair compared to the ladies darts game that tried to drown out the question master in the Tavern.

The struggling question master is well known to readers of this blog – it was Alan A Dale who adds depth and analysis in the comments.

The questions had been set by the Pack Horse Bowling Club (specialist) and the Wharfies (General Knowledge) and whilst the Lemmings liked the specialist very much they were trailing by 14 points at the end of the series. The General Knowledge  were not so popular and whilst a little ground was made up in the early questions the Rams gradually pulled further ahead.

Individual scores were Bob 12/15, Wendy 12/15, Nick 9/9 and Tomo 9/6 conferred 7/14 and pass-overs 4/7; the Rams collected 9/13 pass-overs. Final score 119 to 149.

The evening was rounded off with a superb cheese board with a peppery salad that Nick nearly missed because he was furthering international relations with two attractive Polish ladies.

Many thanks to Stephen for the supper, to the question master for his light touch and perseverance, and to the Rams who were restrained in victory.

United scraped through 1-0 but it is not clear who won the tarts darts but it was with three falls or a knockout.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cup/Plate 1st round Away to the Wharfies


The Wharfies – immediately conjures up images of burly stevedores one-handedly unloading the barges moored along the canal by the Hovis building. But no, it is our old friends from the Knot in Rushton Spencer which is striving to become a restaurant with no interest in quiz teams. They have now moved to The Wharf – good to meet them again.

The Wharf is particularly interesting – it was taken over by a real ale loving guy who introduced new ranges of ale with great success and has now expanded to an off-licence (with a couple of hand pumps) with a staggering range of foreign and independent beers in the Market Place. Of particular interest on the night was All Gates Nellie Melba – their excellent range usually takes the name of the beer from Wigan coal mines so this was quite a break with tradition – no idea why.

The questions had been set by the Plough Horntails and the Robin Hood at very short notice and they produced a challenging and interesting set – very well done indeed. Challenging is perhaps an underestimation – scoring was very slow in starting in fact it was not until the fifth question that either team scored a point giving rise to a rousing cheer and handshakes all round.

Question 64 in particular had everyone scratching their heads but after much research the answer can be revealed:

“The six of hearts is so called in Kilkenny. At the Revolution in 1688, one of the family of Grace, of Courtstown, in Ireland, equipped at his own expense a regiment of foot and troop of horse, in the service of King James. William of Orange promised him high honours if he would join the new party, but the indignant baron wrote on a card, “Tell your master I despise his offer.” The card was the six of hearts, and hence the name.” Wonder if anyone got that.

It was a very close contest throughout, except for one round that the Lemmings won by 10 points that carried them through the evening. Scores at the end of each round were (visitors first) 16/13, 21/11, 15/14, 16/15, 9/14 and 12/10 – final score 89/77 to the Lemmings.

The evening was rounded off with some excellent sandwiches and crisps – many thanks to the Wharf, to the Wharfies and to the question master.

In lesser leagues, Arsenal lost to Sheffield Wednesday (3-0) and Chelsea were held to a draw by Stoke

Friday, October 23, 2015

20th October–Away to the Dolphin


For the first game of the season, the Lemmings were playing the Dolphin and were hoping for a warm welcome such as this – we were not disappointed. The pub has always had a good reputation for the quality of its Robinson’s ales and the night was no exception – there were at least five handpumps with a variety of beers including the new Trooper and the very welcome Dizzy Blonde.

The questions had been prepared by the Ox-Fford in a very short time and full credit must go to them for the high standard they set for the rest of the season. Nevertheless the Lemmings did rather badly in the Specialist rounds losing by 20 points with 54 to 74 although there was no feeling that the questions had been unbalanced. The General Knowledge questions were perhaps a little over-egged with Oscar and film questions but the Lemmings’ performance improved considerably losing by just 4 points with 100 to 104.

The question master was Paul from The Ox-Fford who managed to run through all the rounds in a remarkably short period with a very light touch and rich sense of humour – perhaps infectious because the whole evening was a deli8ght with much laughter and jokes.

And to round off a most enjoyable evening the landlady produced a delicious dish of chicken jalfrezi with chips.

Individual scores were Bob 9/24, Wendy 12/21, Nick 12/15 and Tomo 9/24; conferred pints were 8/12 with 4/4 pass-overs. The Dolphin collected 7/7 pass-overs. Final score 178 to 154.

Many thanks to the Dolphin landlady, to Paul and perhaps most of all to the team – may every game for the rest of the season be as enjoyable.

Thursday, October 15, 2015



The season opened with the Plate Final and the thorny problem of how to deal with The Wharf’s disappearance – should the A League carry the vacancy or the C League? It was a fairly difficult one as if the A League were selected, the promotions from last season are affected. The issue was put to a vote (one member of all teams present to vote) and the C League was selected by a big majority. The Lemmings did not vote.

The Plate final was between the Lemmings and long-term adversaries but very close friends the Park Tavern. The questions  were selected from those presented by all teams at the end of last season and thanks are due to Billy Stubbs and others for creating a balanced and enjoyable set of questions (although we did get the first nomination for the Nine-Banded Armadillo trophy).

The Lemmings stormed into a pretty hefty lead in the first round with 18 points to 10 which seems to have gone to their collective head as they lost the next two rounds and at the half-way stage it was level pegging! However the half-time pint sobered them up and they began to pull away eventually winning the game with 85 to 69. The Lemmings were all of the opinion that it would have been a different story if they had had the Park’s questions.

The Weaver has changed considerably under the new landlords, and it was a pleasure to see beers other than Robinsons, with a Tetleys bitter and Rock’s Doom Bar.

Rick Davies officiated with his usual light touch and added asides contributing to a most enjoyable evening.

Many thanks to the Weaver, the question master, the question setters and most of all to the Park Taverners.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Cup Final (the important one)


After a glorious day (almost 20 degrees!!) as the blue skies slipped

Battle of the Titans(Full view) by NagaYasu

towards a calm warm twilight The Weaver became the arena for a local battle of the titans: the Waters Green Rams were defending their title as cup holders in the League’s knockout competition against The Weaver who have held the cup on several previous occasions.

It was a very thrilling contest showing a remarkable breadth of knowledge by both teams – the questions can be seen here. The Rams stole a slender lead in the first set of 20 questions and clung to it for the rest of the contest.  Full results will be shown in News and Views shortly along with all other details.

It was also to be the first presentation of the highly coveted  Nine-Banded Armadillo trophy to the team that offered the worst question in the season.

Perhaps some explanation is due for the appearance of the trophy; Nick had mentioned to an artist friend that he was looking for a cup, [armadillo%255B3%255D.jpg]scroll, plaque or whatever to use as the trophy and thought no more about it. The next time they met his friend gave him the framed picture of an armadillo (not sure how many bands are shown!) wrongly labelled as the nine striped armadillo and because of the way the backing has been applied it can only be hung upside down!! All of which seems appropriate!!!!

The winner was chosen from four that the Lemmings had picked out with all present having a vote – Bob arranged the vote and introduced the winners with typical humour pointedly remarking that the result was not spiteful because the winning team had beaten us into second place in the League.

Yes it was the Robin Hood that had enlightened us all with the fact that cucumber time is the quiet period for tailors!!

One dissenting voice was that insufficient attention had been paid to the time and effort put in by another team to win the award (it was a joke!)

The Lemmings’ sister team were worthy winners on a very pleasant evening in the newly refurbished Weaver that now has an outside seating area and as before the staff were very pleasant and accommodating. The next event will be the AGM and Plate final when the Lemmings will meet old friends the Park Taverners.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

17th March–The Final Countdown


The last week of the season was a little disappointing for the Lemmings as they had been due to play The Wharf who were still unable to get a team together.

However, being creatures of habit the Lemmings gathered in the Waters Green Tavern as they have done every Tuesday throughout the season and over a glass or two of the wonderful real ales and cider looked back on a season that all agreed was most enjoyable – perhaps the best.

Whilst guaranteed of promotion, it had not been an easy ride and in the four games that were lost none had been a close thing; the first defeat was to the Park Taverners who won by 25 points; but this was small beer compared to the Robin Hood game who left the Lemmings trailing with a difference of 80! Next came the Nags Head with a creditable difference of 35 followed closely by the Plough Horntails with 29. All games played with good humour and victory well deserved. The Lemmings’ victories on the other hand were usually by a few points.

A new feature had been introduced this year with the Nine-Banded Armadillo troIMGphy for the worst question of the year – at the Cup Final on 21st April the Lemmings will introduce what they consider the worst three questions and the winner will be decided by general vote.

Finally the Lemmings will be celebrating their promotion on 11th July with a party at Nick’s – there will be wine and real ale, authentic Indian food, musicians, singing and laughter – this will provide an opportunity to say farewell and good luck to old friends, and to socialise with the A League teams. Any teams/individuals interested please contact Nick and full details will be sent out later.

Thanks all for a great season

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

10th March–Away to the Plough Horntails


Sadly the Wharf have advised that they will not be able to get a team to play in the last two games of the season – we very much hope that their problems are resolved by the start of the next season.

The Wharf were due to play the Robin Hood this week and the Lemmings next week – coincidentally both teams striving for top place although both guaranteed of promotion. This then was tforum3o be the Lemmings’ last game of the season, and whilst Rosie could not make it, Ruby came along to give support.

The Plough closed down last year and both quiz teams moved to the Bate Hall; it has since reopened under new management and the Horntails returned to their old haunt. The spectral green light in which the exterior was bathed has been replaced with bright white light whilst behind the bar was a young couple who were very pleasant and we wish them every success.

The questions had been set by the Dolphin Dragons and the Specialist rounds came as something of a shock to the Lemmings who ended content shock dylanthem with just 46 points, only Tomo managing to get into double figures. The Horntails scored a magnificent 71 leaving the Lemmings 25 points adrift.

The Lemmings did rather better in the General Knowledge with a respectable 73 but still another four points behind the Horntails who racked up 77.

Final score 148 to 119 to the Horntails.

Individual scores were Bob 9/6, Wendy 9/21, Nick 3/12 and Tomo 15/12 with 7/11 conferred points and 3/11 pass-overs; the Horntails picked up 9/12 pass-overs.

The evening was rounded off with tasty sandwiches – many thanks to the new landlords, to the Horntails and the questionmaster Grenville from the Bate.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

3rd March–Question Masters and Setters


Before any of the games started the disappointing news came through that The Wharf were unable to put out a team and the Cock-A-2 won the game by default. We all hope that the Wharf’s current problems will soon be overcome and we will see them back in action before the end of the season.

Nick was asking the questions at the Nags Head who were playing the Plough Horntails, two wise and experienced teams and it was a very pleasant and relaxed evening

The scores in the Specialist were generally very low, and Nick began to explain that although the Lemmings had vetted the questions (heforum was interrupted at this stage by the Plough asking who did the vetting? The dog??) the Brewers had not taken much notice.One question in particular created some discussion – Q8 in the Squares round – the given answer was Canada (which is true) but so is South Africa, also in the Commonwealth.

At the end of the Specialist, the Plough Horntails had 32 points and the Nags Head 52 – a lead they steadily built on to win by 147 to 112.

An excellent supper was provided by the Nags of chips, chicken nuggets and onion rings – many thanks to the landlord and to the two competing teams who made Nick’s job so much easier.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

24th February - Home to the Bate Taverners


The Lemmings were facing the Bate in the second leg of the League games – at the last battle the Lemmings scraped through by a very narrow margin so they knew it would not be an easy game. The Bate are old friends through their various manifestations from the Cricket Club and however close it was going to be a fun-filled night.

Wendy had recovered sufficiently to take part but Rosie had decided to stay in and watch the Manchester City and Barcelona game on TV.

The questions had been set by the Knot Know-alls and included some interesting ideas including fashion, the eye and even cake. A couple of questions however led to some discussion: both Bob and Nick felt the answer to GK47 was Gluck but the given answer is correct – Monteverdi’s opera L’Orfeo was written 155 years before Gluck’s. More contentious was Q3 in A Piece of Cake – not only was the bible quote rather obscure (certainly not as well known as Pete Seeger’s  version!) but to expect someone to know that it comes from Ecclesiastes and thereby get the answer Eccles led to immediate nomination for the Nine-Banded Armadillo trophy.

At the end of the Specialist rounds the Bate had slipped ahead by one point with 52 to 51 – not going well!! But the Lemmings recovered their composure in the General Knowledge and slowly built up a lead finishing with 75 points to the Bate’s 60 – final score 126 to 112 in the Lemmings’ favour.

Special mention must be made of the questionmaster from the Cock-A-2 – not only did he have to contend with the usual noise generated by the ladies’ darts competition but the Tavern was invaded by a party from a neighbouring pub making it very difficult to hear the questions – not the QM’s fault at all and he handled the problem with good grace and skill.

Individual scores were Bob 9/15, Wendy 15/21, Nick 6/9 and Tomo 12/15; conferred points were 5/7 with 4/8 pass-overs – the Bate picked up 7/9 pass-overs.

Manchester City lost 2-1 – Rosie’s reaction is not known at the moment.

Brian then supplied an excellent cheeseboard with delicious French baguettes and chutneys to round off the evening – many thanks Brian, the Bate and the unflappable questionmaster.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

17th Feb Plate Semi-Final


This was the Lemmings’ third game against the Nag’s Head, the previous League games having been close run things and this was to be no exception. The questions had been set by the Church House Bollington and Ox-Fford C that were very fairly balanced but perhaps had more TV and children’s literature questions than the Lemming prefer – but Tomo did very well on these nevertheless.

A further problem was that Wendy could not play having injured herself decorating the house (we had warned that  suspending all her Quiz League trophies from the ceiling could lead to catastrophe) but Tony stepped into the breach and played his first game for the Lemmings bringing his science background for added strength.

Each set of 20 questions was very hotly contested, the first two narrowly going to the Nags with 17/15 and 14/13; the third set however went the Lemmings’ way with 17 to 14 giving level scores of 45 at the half-way stage. The next two seemed to be benefitting the Lemmings who crept ahead with 16/10 and 15/11; but the final round changed all that with the Nags thrashing the Lemmings 20 to 11 – a very narrow escape as this left the Lemmings with just a one point victory of 87 to 86.

As usual, the game was spent in good spirits despite the tension of the narrow differences in the scores and was rounded off with Brian’s home-cooked sandwiches – many thanks to the question master from the Church House, to the Nags team and of course to Brian.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

10th February–Home to the Park Taverners


“Revenge is a dish best served cold”

Yes, on this bitterly cold evening in the heavy frozen fog that has clung to the town for some days two mighty teams came face to face to settle a long-outstanding debt. On 30th September Altrincham Town FC beat Macclesfield Town FC 1-0 and the Silkmen were out for revenge.

On the same evening, in the warm and welcoming Waters Green Tavern old friends met for a friendly, fun-filled evening of questions and answers in the Macclesfield Pub Quiz League – the Park Taverners were facing the WG Lemmings for the second leg of the season’s competition. In November the Park Taverners had thrashed the Lemmings who were hoping that this would not be repeated.

The questions covered a wide range of subjects from nicknames to aeronautics and were very well received. Some puzzled looks met with the answer to the General Knowledge 16 to which charity must be at least as accurate as philanthropy – probably better. One question in particular gave rise to some discussion (History Q8) but neither team noticed that the year given was 1715, the First Jacobite Rebellion that got no further than Preston and certainly not Derby. The General Knowledge Q75 also had the Lemmings floundering but all became clear with an enchanting dance-like movement from Shauna, so beguiling that she was asked to repeat it.

Mention must also be made of Juliet the question master from the Nags Head whose strict control over time set a standard for all question masters – and a warning to notorious time-wasters.

At the end of the Specialist, the Lemmings had stolen a lead of 65 to 33 but it must be said that the visitors were without Graham who is their highest scorer.

The Lemmings’ good fortune continued into the General Knowledge that they won with 103 to 83 giving a final score of 168 to 116.

Individual scores were Bob 15/18, Wendy 15/24, Nick 6/15 and Tomo 12/24; conferred points were 8/12 with 9/10 pass-overs whilst the visitors collected 4/7 pass-overs.

Oh and Macc won the football 2-1!

The evening was rounded off with a magnificent pork pie and sandwiches – many thanks to Brian, to Juliet and to our old friends the Park Taverners for a fun and well-fought game.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

3rd February–Bloody But Unbowed


“Bewitched, battered and bewildered …” still reeling from what must be one of the heaviest defeats in the history of the Macclesfield Pub Quiz League the Lemmings gathered in the Waters Green Tavern to lick their wounds and face an uncertain future.

We were up against the Cock-A-2 who are also in the tight bunch at the top of the B League and always a difficult team to beat.

The questions had been set by The Dolphin, and fortunately they played to the strengths of the Lemmings as a team (hence the large number of conferred points);  the Specialist included a round on hats (surely a first!!) a very original round on eponymous characters and a picture round of film classics. The General Knowledge questions ranged from Greek and Roman mythology to poetry and art via science and the Old testament. Very challenging and most enjoyable.

At the end of the Specialist the Lemmings had begun to regain their confidence with a slight lead of 64 to 55, and then built on this  taking the General Knowledge with 84 to 59. Final score 148 to 114.

Individual scores were Bob 12/24, Wendy 15/9, Nick 9/15, Tomo 15/6 conferred points were 7/20 with pass-overs 6/10. The visitors picked up 7/6.

A very pleasant game with laughter and good humour under the benevolent eye of the question master Pat from the Plough Horntails rounded off with a selection of Brian’s home-cooked beef and pork sandwiches along with cheese sandwiches and salad.

Many thanks to the Cock-A-2, to Brian and to the questionmaster Pat

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

27th January–Away To The Robin Hood


“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce” – thus has Karl Marx been misquoted … and yet!!!
We had played the Robin Hood at home last October and suffered a bruising defeat by 30 points. 30 points!!! We couldn’t let that happen again.

Nick was again determined to improve his recent shabby form and Tomo and Bob were second and third in the individual merits respectively whilst Wendy has maintained consistency throughout the season – bring it on!!!

The Robin is a welcoming pub nestling in the hills above Macclesfield that was serving Wainwright’s ale in good form – the team are good-natured and fun-loving and the Lemmings were looking forward to a keen closely-fought game.

The questions had been set by the Wharf and the Harrington B and John from the Wharf officiated as question master. Let the games begin!!

At the end of the Specialist questions a familiar score appeared – the Robin Hood had 63 whilst the Lemmings had mustered just 33 – another deficit of 30 and we were only half-way through!!! Nick and Wendy remained consistent with scores of 0 and 12 respectively.

But we’ve pulled back before and undaunted the Lemmings launched into the General Knowledge questions – only to find that nothing much changed – in fact it got worse as the home team notched up 101 to the Lemmings 51 – increasing the lead by 50 and an unprecedented victory by 80 points!! 164 to 84!!!

Individual scores were Bob 6/12, Wendy 12/6, Nick 0/9 and Tomo 3/12; conferred points were 10/10 with just 2/2 pass-overs. The home team gathered an impressive 6/16 pass-overs.

No armadillo questions noted (although other teams may do so) and there are no complaints about the questions – in fact we thought they were pretty good – it was the Lemmings answers that were rubbish.

The evening was rounded off with an excellent selection of sandwiches with chips – many thanks to the Robin Hood, the team and to John for his good natured question-mastering.

The Lemmings then set off into the cold dark night deep in thought as they threaded their way back to town.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Plate Quarter Final 20th Back At The British Flag


Once again, the Lemmings were back at the British Flag, this time in the quarter finals of the Plate knockout competition.

Last week’s competition was a very close finish with the Flag staging a very good comeback in the General Knowledge questions – and there are no Specialist rounds in the knockout competitions.

The scene was set on arrival to a chorus of We’ll Meet Again and cries of Deja vu and a very pleasant evening followed, in the same spirit as the previous week.

The light and hoppy beer of the previous week (actually called Hobgoblin but brewed by Robbies, not the Wychwood variety) had been replaced by a ruby red Voodoo Dawn again showing how Robbies are breaking out of the mould.

The questions had been set by the Bate Taverners and the Park Taverners and were very evenly balanced. There were quite a few classical music questions that work to the Lemmings’ strengths but former Prime Ministers’ residences gave rise to much head-scratching.

The Lemmings took two of the first three rounds with narrow margins leading by 56 to 51 at the half-way stage. The next three resulted in one draw and one narrow win for the Lemmings but also a very fortunate round that the Lemmings won by 10 points giving a final score of 116 to 97.

Once again, the game was held in good spirits with jokes and laughter, no nominations for the 9-banded armadillo trophy and another supper of excellent sandwiches. Many thanks to the landlord, the team and to Grenville the question master.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January 13th–Away to the British Flag


imageThis was to be a tough one – the two teams sharing the top spot separated only by over 80 scored points to the Flag’s advantage. At the first meeting the Lemmings had scraped through by five points. Moreover, Nick was out to prove a point bimagey improving on his recent appalling form – he set himself a modest target of reaching double figures – the team held their breath in trepidation. Moreover his son was there to monitor developments – a lot to lose!!

The pub is owned by Robinsons and has held a good reputation for the condition of its beers for many years and this was no exception – in fact there was an excellent hoppy light beer on that we’d not seen before (but have forgotten what it was called!!!). The team are old adversaries and good friends and the evening was spent in good spirits. One question in particular (56 in the General Knowledge) gave Bob the opportunity to tell one of his favourite jokes – that if the cat had been going the other way Percy Shaw would have invented the pencil sharpener.

The questions had been set by the Knot ‘Arf , old friends again, and covered a wide variety of subjects including the latest additions to the Oxford English Dictionary (neologisms)– but in fact the scoring on both sides was very low, and several rounds passed with no or just one 3 being scored. At the end of the specialist rounds, the Lemmings had slipped ahead with 53 to 38 – a lead of 15!! In the General Knowledge, the Flag fared rather better and steadily ate into the Lemmings’ lead  taking those rounds with 78 to 66.

Nick’s ambitions were demolished throughout the evening – usually very cautious and quick to confer, he was determined to score on the night – and threw away valuable points on several occasions leaving his team open-mouthed at his wrong answers – he equalled his personal worst!!

Final score was 119 to 116 in favour of the Lemmings – a very narrow victory that could so easily have gone the other way

Individual points were Bob 9/15, Wendy 9/6, Nick 0/6 and Tomo 18/12; conferred points were 7/16 with 10/11 pass-overs. The Flag collected 7/16 pass-overs.

Finishing with a fine selection of sandwiches many thanks to the landlord and to the team for a very pleasant evening.