Wednesday, February 03, 2016

2nd February–Local Derby

The Lemmings were playing the Rams who had the home advantage but the Lemmings got there early and grabbed the favoured home team table in an attempt to psychologically distract the Rams; this failed very badly as at one stage it looked as though both teams would be sitting at the same table!! Eventually the Lemmings slunk to the fireside table with their tails between their legs. But there was more to come!! The start of the quiz was then delayed because there was no sign of Bob – the Lambs and question Master Andrew graciously agreed to a delay (second moral victory) and after 10 minutes Nick received a phone call from Bob who was looking for us in the Robin Hood high in the hills above Macclesfield; further time was allowed but eventually the Lemmings offered to start conferring Bob’s questions until he arrived (fortunately he only missed one, didn’t know it, the others didn’t either and nor did the Rams so nothing was lost).

The questions themselves were certainly different (a marked lack of soccer questions except for a picture of a lady footballer) and quite testing, particularly the Specialist reflected in the individual scores below – even so at the end of the Specialist the Lemmings had a lead of 16 with 48 to 32.

The General Knowledge however showed a marked turn in the Lemmings’ fortunes but only one was disputed (Nick on the Ho Chi Min question – he was wrong but the question should have stipulated North Vietnam) and the Rams clawed back 10 points with 76 to the Lemmings’ 66. Even so, the Lemmings took the game with a narrow victory of 6 – 114 to 108.

Individual scores were Bob 9/21, Wendy 6/3, Nick 6/3, Tomo 9/18 conferred 12/10 pass-overs 6/10; the Rams collected 6/11 pass-overs

The evening finished with an excellent soup from Brian with fresh crusty baguette slices - much appreciated by all - thank you Brian, Andrew and the Rams for a good hujoured game.


AAD said...

Thought I would get my defence (and, in some cases, plea for mitigation) in as quickly as possible. There was another football strip involved – the garish Chelsea 1990s away strip which was not, I believe, worn by either David Mellor or Antonia da Sancha – just in case anyone was thinking that Alan L had achieved regulatory capture.
A - Apologies for the coloured paper – didn’t ask for it and my normally cordial relationship with my reprographics technician deteriorated to the point where I was told to “cut them out yourself” – done with limited skill. I talked the colours through, but appreciate that not all QMs would have seen the white originals. B - Vetting – no real case for the defence here – we had to do a bit of impromptu work at the Ox-fford and a generally educative experience (primarily Haydn-driven) has led me to realise that Berkeley never was Ivy League and Jane Grey did survive into early 1554. C - Difficulty – when the two Ox-ffords offer 8 blank gazes, you know you have pushed things too far. I (I wrote the Specialists and had little input into the GK) will hold up my hands re: Keats, Hannah Arendt and Jan Hus (I like Prague too much and there is a time when gender representation probably shouldn’t be a priority). That neither hit 150 overall suggests that we may have generally pitched a bit too high at times. DMA was a low point in the GKs. The most charitable comment at the end was that “time and thought had been expended” – but that could be said about the Final Solution.
On the other hand, I’m going to defend: 1)“Teenage Kicks” – I didn’t set this as a “Red Dwarf” provocation – and I kept in questions that my form knew universally and I felt gave teams “a chance” (I also changed the description of Ashton Kutcher as “peng” to “heartthrob” to make life easier – yes teenagers don’t use that word any more). The Ox-ffords only fell on Rob Kardashian (name and shame anyone who got it, Mark!) – with Caroline of the “C” coming to the fore. If there was a bit of a lesson, it is that the age range of the MQL is probably somewhere between 25-75 and every single one of us has been around in the last 5 years. That is not the case with the 1960s and 1970s and some of the material asked about this period really hasn’t stood the test of time. 2)PPE – Arendt aside, I went for the very well-known and tried to give a lot of info (possibly too much at times) – Alice and Mark seemed comfy enough (not sure that is a good yardstick). I will live and learn..
A big final note on the atmosphere at the Ox-fford – physically freezing, but otherwise very cosy – two teams in a tight but very good-humoured battle (one that has probably confirmed the league winners). The frequent chats and drinks breaks meant for a late night, but one that was very enjoyable and topped off by a fantastic pie and an excellent selection of chilled beer (any beer conoisseurs should ignore the hand pulls and gaze upwards in this pub). They weren’t going to let my questions spoil their night and that rebounded very well on me. Cheers guys.

Alan Levitt said...

Difficult to be too charitable after last night's questions - particularly the specialist set, but we'll put it down to it being a first attempt. Some points to consider - when showing outlines of countries some idea of scale is essential and an idea of adjacent oceans, seas, etc would have been helpful. The runners up round was a decent idea but why have 4 from recent elections? 2 and 2 on a different subject would have been preferable.Teenage Kicks round was a bad idea. Not many teenagers take part in the league! Some of the Sport identification pics were really tough. The GK questions were a real mixed bag. You've already alluded to the DMA one. Picking an obscure word for a type of animal to be identified is not to be recommended. Also, I don't think a coconut is technically a nut. That all said, most of the GK round was quite acceptable, shame about the Specialist

AAD said...

Thanks Alan, fair comment and constructive throughout. I know that Tony (who QM'd at the Oak) is in agreement with a lot of the above. In an ideal world, the kind of advice offered above and by Alice last night would have been issued by the vetters.

The colour issue is bothering me - I made a call (Friday end of work) whether to accept the salmon paper I had been given (without request), or to start again. I called wrong and went home. What I have realised (a bit like the chip in the slate hearth that I caused and my wife sees every time she enters the room) that when you know what you are looking for, it is easy to see. When you know that Godolphin race in light blue, the picture looks definitely light blue....When you don't know what you are looking for, you are knackered.

I'm going to stick by my countries - clearly detaching from the surrounds made things much harder - but that is why I opted for China and Germany. Obviously the shape of Slovenia, Venezuela would have been out of order, hence I made sure the flag was there to help (or not, thanks to the colour).

The elections - I knew that I had done enough art/culture elsewhere so wanted to steer clear. Yes, election overkill accepted.

Teenage Kicks - my thoughts are outlined above. I didn't expect it to be easy, or universally popular, or one where the teams who do well generally would outscore those who don't. There are going to be a fair few quizzers with teenage (grand)kids who might have picked up some knowledge. If I talked to my Dad a bit more, similarly, some of the tougher questions about now obscure aspects of life before 1978 might have given me half a chance (Qs in the past about Catweazle's toad and "The Golden Shot" were the ones that sent me over the edge). I rejected an awful lot of suggestions that I knew would be impenetrable to all and the familiarity with YOLO shown by most of the two teams I QMd gives me a shred of vindication. Possibly such questions should be scattered (very) sparingly around the GKs.

A final word of apology - many of you have clearly suffered at my hands, but player 4 (First-Second) seemed to get, on calm reflection, a particularly raw deal.

Anonymous said...

This was the worst set of Specialist Questions ever!

Lord Flame said...

It was obvious that a lot of thought had gone into the setting of the questions - unfortunately too many impossibly obscure questions got through, A comment made at our quiz was "I've had more fun at the dentist"
The Geography round didn't help with 2 very easy questions, 2 guessable and 4 that nobody had even an intelligent guess at. Among chess players there is a theory that misery of losing outweighs the pleasure of winning and the number of unanswered questions created an atmosphere of gallows humour.
Our youth correspondent knew the answer to most of the Teenage Kicks round - with the notable exception of Kashardian - but our opponents hadn't got a clue about any of them. A bit like the Red Dwarf round when I was QM and one player knew all the answers and nobody else knew any of them
The GK mixed the impossibly obscure with the trivially easy - but I was glad to be asked about amalgam again after getting what kind of creature was a dugite. I believe a kolinsky is a close relative of the 9 banded armadillo, and surely qualifies for nomination.
On a number of occasions, the QM said "If anyone gets that, I'll show my bare backside in Burton's window)
Going through the questions afterwards, there was a very good quiz in there which needed a stronger hand with vetting (or vetters being listened to) Amusing but obscure questions could have been asked as supplementaries.
A school report could possibly read:
Must try less hard

AAD said...

A last apology.

Visited the Waters Green to, amongst other reasons, see just how unpopular the questions were.

My comment re; the Park Taverners seemed to have encouraged them to deduct a few points from the specialists . It was intended as a gentle joke to a team that set generally very good questions (see QSL last year) but do have an uncanny knack of finding my seat with the most nostalgic of nostalgia-trip questions. I will take my -10 (which, if I'm informed correctly is still 263 above the lowest ever mark given) with a smile and hopefully let the matter rest there - please don't feel the need to set a retaliation round or two.

Those making promises of public nudity should tread very carefully whilst some of the quizzers that I handled on Tuesday night are in town. Peter McBride (on the day that he was unveiled as the new "Milk Tray Man") also managed to get 7 of his 8 specialists.

AAD said...

"Among chess players there is a theory that misery of losing outweighs the pleasure of winning and the number of unanswered questions created an atmosphere of gallows humour."

Looks like Lord Flame knows his Schopenhauer...

MW said...

Arthur Schopenhauer was a dab hand at eliminating irrational hopes and expectations, a technique I later adopted as my life’s work during my first marriage. Happily (a word I only used to use infrequently), things have picked up a lot since then, although there were occasional hints of a minor blip every now and again on Tuesday evening.

Actually, that is a little unfair!

Some of the questions on Tuesday were very tough indeed, but some were very easy too. Most crucially, I think they were evenly balanced to both sides, which is the hardest part of the whole business of setting questions in our format.

We played the Ox-fford ‘C’ who had been unstoppable up to that point, and sadly, they remain so! We lost 148 – 140 which is relatively close, but I don’t think anything would have been different had we had their questions and vice versa, so a good job done there.

I haven’t yet seen the other results or scores beyond what has been posted here and it will be interesting to see what scores both sets get. The Robin are in their 5th year of being in the Quiz League but this is only the second time they’ve ever had to set Specialist questions and the first time they’ve ever had to do both Specialist and GK together. It does take a remarkably long time to do this and get things suitably vetted and most of us would benefit from starting to set questions earlier than I suspect we do.

An awful lot of thought had gone into the Specialist rounds and an awful lot of thought had to go into trying to answer them – not an easy task on the night at the Ox-fford as the central heating boiler had packed up, so most people were sat in their coats freezing to death.

This was not the best scenario in which to be asked an eye-bleeding question about matters Kardashian, but we did remarkably well between both teams on that round, which my 16 year-old daughter later thought remarkably easy!

I will report in due course if anyone got a “3” for Rob Kardashian and probably take a good look at the Granadilla / Nariyal / Dugite / Kolinsky ones in the GK too. Let us not forget that the Robin are defending the Nine-Banded Armadillo Trophy!

In summary, a tough week but with some very good questions in there which would have been improved with a bit more vetting etc, but they were evenly balanced which is surely the “holy grail” of success in this activity.

AAD said...

I thought that I gave Laurence every chance with "A Nariyal is what type of coconut?" - remember not to count his 3 for the sup!

Neptune said...

Given that one of the issues facing all quiz leagues is declining participation, largely due to a lack of younger players, the setter is to be commended for his attempts to reverse this trend. Perhaps some of his 6th formers might even be tempted to form a team if we could guarantee the occasional round on videogames/internet memes/Geordie shore...

Criticism of the geography round also seems misplaced. All 8 questions were correctly answered in our B league fixture.