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.

17 comments:

Alan a'Dale said...

Q1) Is it memory or magnanimity that means that Nick only mentions the actual result when the Lemmings lose. For those who didn't read between the lines, congrats to the Lemmings on overcoming the Robin last week.

A rather similar night up in Rainow. Operation "Get back on track by beating the league champions (the Ox-fford" did not run according to plan. Our captain rested himself (presumably to avoid psychological scarring ahead of more winnable encounters), the trail of wheelie bins blocking Hurdsfield Road (and the small matter of Mark making sure that other fixtures went ahead) did successfully delay the opponents, but we wimped out of claiming a walkover as the clock ticked by. Finally, the cocaine and prostitutes available to the quizmaster if he could fiddle the scores sufficiently were quickly jettisoned when he turned up with his wife.

After 14 rounds the Robin had manfully kept the margin down to 17 points, but - rather like a non-league outfit operating on a training plan of beer and cigarettes against a Premier League outfit in the FA cup, the last few minutes became somewhat one-sided and the Ox-fford claimed a 172-127 victory. The author had one of his decent nights and (I think this supports Nick's views about imbalanced questions), found himself coming out of a head-to-head battle with the erstwhile league secretary (me on Q3, him Q4 etc. etc.) rather less bloodied than I had expected. A major contribution to the result was the efforts of Mr. Conferred and his less popular sibling - quite simply, questions passed between sides in the style of one-way traffic - not helped by reflex responses such as "willow" before waiting to process the word "stumps". Our general perception of the questions (both Specialist and GK) was mildly positive, although envious of the holiday destinations of the Harrington B. The money round was answered quite well by both sides. The pedant would point out that "purple-sprouting" is all one type of broccoli.

So, our first mauling of the year and, as billed, the Ox-fford played the role of cheerful and friendly executioners (aided and abetted by a genial QM) before they headed off into an inhospitable night. It may be some years before they return and I will offer them with one of the few things we know that they seemingly do not - Rainow + November + a pair of shorts = lunacy. I wish them well for their title defence - to paraphrase Sir Alex, their neighbours seem to be getting a bit noisy.

MW said...

A very entertaining night was had at the Robin Hood on Tuesday and many thanks are due to the Merry Men themselves and the staff of the pub, who were all most hospitable. This was our first ever game against the Robin, a very good team who have done extremely well since they joined the League just 4 years ago.

They didn't have such big televisions (or any televisions at all, I think) the last time I was in the premises, but we were able to track the progress of England v France with the sound off during our encounter.

Evidence of our remote rural location soon presented itself though as the man behind the bar was following the game "live" on his mobile phone, which seemed a good 5 minutes behind the TV coverage! Mobile phone signals are a "hit and miss" affair here, rather like they are at the Royal Oak.

We enjoyed the questions overall, albeit I couldn't answer as many of my own as I might have liked. An excellent start seemed to beckon with my first question, "How many bones are there in the human..." when sadly, the last word "body?" that I was expecting was replaced with the word "face?"! A quick examination of my face didn't reveal the correct answer, or perhaps it's just my face that has 20 bones...

Further blind alleys on my part loomed in the Specialists with the "Strictly" question, my lack of church spire awareness and I never liked Marathon bars even when they were called that - whenever that was...

The GK questions were generally good too, although I tried (and failed) to think of a particular bit of the Bay of Bengal where the Ganges emerges, which turned out not to be the brightest of ideas. I remembered sometime during Wednesday afternoon that I had once seen the film "It Happened One Night", but sadly this was well outside the 15 seconds allowed! Janet Street-Porter, Lala Anderson and the second highest mountain in Africa all did for me as well, along with others...

As Alan says, lots of "conferring" did the trick on the night and very, very few questions went unanswered at all, only 2 or 3, I think, mentioned by Dave and Pat, our excellent QM and scorer.

We'll look forward to welcoming the Hood to the newly redecorated Ox-fford in 2016, although they'll be there playing the currently unstoppable Ox-fford 'C' in January before we see them again.

Anonymous said...

Q54 produced an interesting debate as to whether or not The Archers is a soap. (There was no reference to televison in the question.) If so, a more correct answer is Peggy Woolley, played by June Spencer since 1950. This goes along with the scandalous ommision the other week of Scruff the dog from the victims of the Ambridge flood.

It also seems rather doubtful that garlic Allium Sativum (OK, I looked that up) is a member of the lily family.

Anonymous said...

About the balance: I vetted this lot and was very concerned with the lack of subject balance originally (one position would have had 4 out of the first 5 general knowledge questions on history), for example. I fed this back, and it was amended.

The difficulty balance is trickier, for 2 reasons, Firstly, how do I know, for example,what is an easy or difficult question in the realm of finance, cars, the X factor and so on ,that I know nothing about? I did spread the vetting round my team, so we had a wider set of knowledge, and I suggested removing the one on Cameron's age entirely, but it got a mere 1 yr leeway...

Secondly, we have been told not to put the questions in pairs, so one on tudor history is not followed by one on, say Stuart, or even more, tudor history. I often set questions in pairs and then disperse them through the quiz, so thet run the risk of appearing next to an easier/harder one, whereas by the end of the evening there has been, you might say, an evening out (pun alert!)of difficulty.

And, as if often seen on Pointless, if you know either a lot, or very little about a subject, it is difficult to judge its difficulty. Subjects are easier to balance.

That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! Remember this in Feb when our Q's come up...
Liz H. Dolphin Dragons


AAD said...

My remedial anatomy lesson on the face has revealed that the 14 involved excludes the frontal cranium. As such, only the lower part of our eye sockets are part of our "face". This certainly doesn't chime with common-sense, perhaps this is how Mark has found his additional 6 bones.

Alan Levitt said...

Can I ask who it was that decided questions should not be put in pairs and for what reason was this advice given? It's always seemed clear to me that this is the most consistently fair way of setting questions and the easiest way to ensure balance between the two teams.

AAD said...

Yes, can't really see the problem with pairs, unless the range of possible answers is small (eg: "Which planet....") and then the second team benefits from being able to remove one option (unless the setter uses the same answer twice, which is probably not a great idea). Pairing would certainly achieve topic balance between the teams, but not necessarily difficulty balance.

Alan Levitt said...

Even if the team going second did get an occasional advantage from having had an option removed (and this shouldn't happen with careful setting) then this could be put down to being an advantage of having won the toss and chosen well. Winning the toss is supposed to give some sort of advantage in most sports. Look at cricket for example.

Anonymous said...

I remember this being discussed (possibly at an AGM) and the argument against pairs was that it gave the 2nd team time to prepare and deduce the next question, at the very least work out its type - eg US State Capitals (you start muttering them in conference and so prepare.) I think it was Alice who voiced it, but I may be wrong, and whoever it was got backing from others.
In the last couple of seasons some team went out of their way to state that they had deliberately set paired questions, which implied they felt they were breaking some rule, or at least convention...
As I said above I frequently set questions in pairs, because it is easier, and then go through the faff of splitting them, so that by the end of the quiz, they are balanced, and then get a lot of flak as people don't notice the overall balance, and only see the balance, or lack of it, with the next or previous questions! So no, I have no personal objection to paired questions! And I take Alan's point about the luck of the toss

However it would be good to get a definitive ruling.

Liz Horrocks

Anonymous said...

PS what time is this site on. I do not write comments at 3.28 am! It's 11.28 am here!
Liz

AAD said...

The state capitals question probably stands as a good example of minimal help to the team going 2nd (not easy to rehearse 49 of them in the 25 seconds that should, in theory, be the maximum time passing before I get the question.

However, the Park Taverners' did use last night as a bit of an object lesson in how to set paired questions that don't ensure fairness - Capricorn was an absolute freebie once we knew that one month ahead was Sagittarius and I'm sure I speak for the overall quiz league demographic in saying that name-checking Take That was easier than One Direction and that the largest lake was much easier than the largest reservoir at least the last 4 questions were split between the two teams in opposite directions.

Alan Levitt said...

Interesting question setting last night in the Cup game. Not many teams would have thought to give the two questions in the first 8 about The Apprentice to the same team, or a bit later to give the same team 2 questions about presenters of Dave channel comedy programmes. This could have been a mistake though. After all it's difficult to differentiate between odd and even numbers. It was a bit disappointing that only 26 of the 120 questions were about films/TV/radio though

MW said...

In reply to Alan L's entry about "paired" questions, there is nothing whatsoever in the rules saying you can't set paired questions, indeed I would say it was a good idea if done well with the paired questions separated by some distance and made not too obvious.

When I assembled the Cup Final questions earlier this year (from the questions submitted by all the teams), I tried to pair them up in the interests of balance, but not too obviously so. There were 120 questions as required and each group of 40 had two questions in the same subject area and hopefully of similar difficulty, but they were spread apart. In the first 40, questions 1 and 40 were similar, as were 2 and 39, 3 and 38 and so on.

The second lot of 40 followed the same pattern, so 41 and 80 were similar, 42 and 79, 43 and 78 and so on. The last lot of 40 were the same, i.e. 81 and 120 pair up, 82 and 119 etc.

My guess would be that the various similar questions from last night that went to the same team (e.g the two "Apprentice" / missing band member questions and more) were probably intended to be presented as one for each team at some stage, but something got lost in translation to the final version?

Alan Levitt said...

Just had an idea. Why don't we introduce a rule that another team should look at the questions to check for balance, wrong answers, degree of difficulty, etc? Oh, sorry, that's already supposed to happen. My mistake

Anonymous said...


I take your point Mark, and this is what I try to do, but as I said above, this does not stop a lot of flak coming the way of the QMs, as the teams don't see(can't see, and/or aren't willing to take on trust)the big picture, just that adjacent questions look unbalanced for reason of topic or difficulty. I think the issue is whether it is acceptable to make the pairing obvious, with questions very close together, and if not, why?

Liz H

Anonymous said...

Alan, I checked balance, accuracy etc, even suggested junking one round, but there is a limit as to both what is feasible and as to how much the setters will take. But yes, rigorous vetting, especially concerning balance is needed. As is a friendly spirit amongst the protagonists, who after all, if they nitpick too much are spoiling the atmosphere for everyone. I try to save my complaints to really obvious miscarriages of justice - for example the Apprentice questions on Tuesday!( That must surely have been because a question was taken out, and not replaced)

Liz H

Anonymous said...

Comment above re. my vetting referred to the last League questions, not the cup ones
Liz H