Thursday, November 15, 2018

13th November–home to the Park Taverners


Always a pleasure to meet up with the Park Taverners, friends over many years.

Once again the Lemmings were playing at home and were hoping for a change in their fortunes not having won a game this season.

We very much liked the Specialist questions which showed a lot of imagination, including one round with each answer beginning with the letter O (although the Lemmings shamefully failed to get One Flew Over the Cuckopos Nest – as did the visitors!). Image result for one flew over the cuckoo's nest movieNevertheless the Lemmings continued with their previous form and at the end of the Specialist were trailing with 47 to the visitors’ 65 – a deficit of 18!!

The General Knowledge questions were also very good - and somehow stirred the Lemmings into action as they finished with 102 to the visitors’ 81 scraping home by 3 with 149 to146. It must be said this was due in no small part to Tomo’s remarkable 45 and a solid performance by Bob with 36.

Individual scores were Bob 12/24, Becky 0/9, Nick 3/18 and Tomo 18/27 conferred points 10/16 with pass-overs 4/8. The park collected 6/2 pass-overs.

A most enjoyable evening so many thanks to the Park Taverners, to question master Phil and to Brian and Stephen for a splendid selection of sandwiches to round off the evening.

The Lemmings are question masters (among others) for the next two weeks and will next play on 4th December.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

30th October–First Round of the Knockouts


For this first round of the knockout competitions the Lemmings were playing at home against the Sutton Club, a team that has spent many years playing in the League; not only were they met with a blazing fire and a fine selection of ales, but there was a very special welcome as playing for them was Wendy, formerly a stalwart of the Lemmings and who is still sadly missed.

The questions had been set by the Nags Head and British Flag and covered a wide variety of subjects. In the first round (20 questions ) the Lemmings held a slender lead with 13 to 10 – quite a comfort after the serious beatings they had suffered so far!

Round 2 however the visitors came bouncing back finishing with 11 points to the Lemmings’ 7 – they had stolen the lead.

Bloodied but unbowed the Lemmings stormed into the third round with 21 to the visitors’ 12 a satisfying lead of 8.Image result for bloodied but unbowed

The Sutton Cub then rallied to take round 4 with 14 to the Lemmings’ 13 – catching up!

In the fifth round they were even better with 12 to the Lemmings’ 7 – a lot now hung on the final round as the visitors were just 2 points behind with 59.

Could the Lemmings cling on for their first win of the season? No!!! – They were consistent with earlier games scoring only 8 to the Sutton Club’s 13 losing the game with 69 to the visitors’ 72.

No complaints, the questions were fine, it was a very friendly atmosphere with lots of jokes and banter and Alastair the question master did an excellent job. Maybe the Lemmings should mug up on horse racing!

A tasty selection of sandwiches and lots of hugs and kisses for Wendy rounded off a very pleasant evening

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

23rd October–Away to the Harrington Academicals


The Lemmings got off to a messy start when five people turned up expecting to play, and once Image result for lonely walk homeagain Sunil wended his weary way home alone. The Academicals already have three in the top ten scorers and surprisingly the Lemmings having lost every game so far have two, Bob and Tomo. Should be a close game.

Seems ages since the Lemmings last played at the Harrington with fondImage result for harrington arms gawsworth memories of the late Mrs Bailey the former landlady who ruled the pub with a rod of iron and and an even stronger sharp tongue. Tomo has more poignant memories as when he asked the questions there last season Adum from our sister team fell and broke his foot struggling on with the game in agony!!

We thought the questions were very good and imaginative, with a very different round on isles and islands of the UK and a picture round on bald-headed men (with verbal descriptions for the visually impaired!!). Even so at the end of the Specialist the Lemmings were trailing with 45 to the home team’s 64 – but they’ve made up such a deficit several times in the past.

In the General Knowledge each of the Lemmings scored better but it was not enough and they lost by 107 to 75 making the final score 171 to 120.

So, nothing if not consistent,  the Lemmings went down with another huge deficit and seem to be a reflection of the town’s football team who lost 5-0 to Northampton on the night (although they have had one win!!!).

So, looking forward to the Cup/Plate competition next week when we play the Sutton Club and perhaps a change of fortunes.

Individual scores were Bob 15/18,  Becky3/12, Nick 6/6. Tomo 9/18, Conferred 6/15, pass-overs 2/6 and the Academicals picked up 9/8

The meeting was rounded off with a selection of tasty sandwiches from the current landlord – many thanks to the landlord, to the Academicals and to the question master from the Plough Horntails.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

16th October Home to the Rushton Diamonds


Image may contain: people sitting, drink, table and indoorIt was a pleasure to meet these old rivals again and they received a warm welcome to the Tavern. A glowing fire had been lit, there was the usual excellent choice of real ales and no distractions from other games or competitions – a perfect setting for an evening of gentle banter and quizzing.

The Lemmings were in buoyant mood as after the sound thrashing last week things could only get better.They had suffered heavily losing by 28 points and were confident they would never see such a deficit again.

However they got off to a very slow start, Sunil leading the field with 9 Bob and Tomo separating him from Nick’s 0!! And at the end of the Specialist rounds the Lemmings were trailing with 33 to the Diamonds’ 66, already a greater difference than last week’s entire game!!Image result for cartoon is this a record 

The Lemmings do not usually like to complain about the questions and in fact the questions themselves were OK. But the Lemmings did feel strongly that there was much imbalance on the evening – had they started with second in the Specialist they felt sure they would have achieved a much better result, a feeling that is supported with a glance at the scores below. But, to be fair, when we questioned other teams they had not noticed any imbalance.

The Lemmings did however have one stroke of luck when Sunil was asked to say what is the Prdsall Chord which he had recently visited with Nick on a historical walk about the birth of the railways.SONY DSC

Whilst the Lemmings fared better in the General Knowledge rounds they still lost by 71 to 97 and the inevitable question is raised – is this a record?

Despite the deflating run of play, it was still a very pleasant evening with a lot of friendly banter, good humour and a joke from Bob that may have been heard before.

Individual scores were Bob 6/21 Sunil 9/12 Nick 0/15 Tomo 3/21 Conferred 13/10 with 2/2 pass-overs – the Diamonds collected 9/11 pass-overs.

All the questions and results are (or soon will be) available here 

The evening was rounded off with a very tasty selection of sandwiches along with a large bowl of Brian’s real twice-cooked chips – many thanks Brian, the Diamonds and the question master.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Home to the British Flag 9th October


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

27th March The Final Countdown


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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 22, 2018

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


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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

13th March – An Evening of two ‘alves


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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Thursday, March 08, 2018

6th March–Back at the Harrington


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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Defiant Despite Everything

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 15, 2018

13th February Away to the Nags Head


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

6th February–Robin Hood A Broadside Ballad


Image result for winterOn a bitterly cold night the Lemmings welcomed the Robin Hood team who had braved the wind and snow in Rainow to reach the Tavern. Whilst the Robin Hood pub has had some ups and downs recently it is a real community pub nestled in the village of Rainow in the Peak District as can be seen from the strength in depth of the quiz team.

It was a very pleasant evening and the question masters from the Harrington kept the game rolling along at a good pace despite the beer breaks – we were finished b y 9.30!!

The questions had been set by the Harrington and one question in particular seemed to surprise everyone – the maximum width in yards of a football pitch – one hundred yards, although accurate, Image result for football pitch dimensionsseemed far too much. We thought they were pretty good and marked them quite highly although two rounds in particular would favour older players – one with questions from the Vimto book of knowledge (although Nick scored his only Specialist 3 in that round) and children’s literature. At the end of the Specialist the Lemmings had a nose in front with 51 to 46.

The General Knowledge questions were set by the Park Timers and rolled along pleasantly with no clear indication of which team was ahead – in fact the Robin Hood came out on top with 98 to 93 making the game a draw with 144 each.

Individual scores were Bob 6/21, Sunil 12/18, Nick 3/12 and Tomo 12/15; conferred points were 15/17 with pass-overs 5/10 whilst the visitors picked up 4/7 pass-overs.Sunil obviously hit his stride with the best score of the team on the night.

The evening ended with a fine selection of sandwiches – many thanks to Brian  to the question masters and to the visitors for a very pleasant game and evening.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

30th January


Again no game for the Lemmings but Nick and Sunil sat through most of the Specialist questions – quite difficult.

Main reason for posting is to offer a forum for anyone who wishes to comment.

Also see Brian’s comment on 16th January asking that anonymous comments be disallowed – I am in agreement with this – no need to be intrusive but some indication of which team you play for and perhaps initials or first name should be shown is all that should be required – permissions have been change please let us know if there is a problem

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

23rd January Cup/Plate Semi Finals


Although the Lemmings had already been eliminated from the knockout competitions they were called upon to provide one question master and Nick was fortunate to preside at the Waters Green Tavern for the game between the Rams and the Sutton Mutton. He was also very lucky to have Becky come along to see her first knockout game and more importantly to watch over his clumsy attempts to fill in the scoresheet.
An unexpected pleasure was to see Adum again still on crutches and in plaster but this time with a festive sock to keep his toes warm.
From the chair it did seem that the questions were very imbalanced and it will be interesting to see comments by some of the other players below. Nevertheless both teams played with good humour and the Rams now move on to the the semifinals although the Sutton Mutton played a spirited game particularly as they were having to play with only three following a team member's sudden admission to see a consultant.

The Tavern’s ale kept everyone (especially Nick) refreshed and the evening was rounded off with a wide selection of sandwiches – thanks to Brian and to the two teams for making the question master’s job an easy one.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

16th January–The Royal Oak–No Hiding Place


Image result for royal oak rushton spencerThe Lemmings ventured over the border into Staffordshire for the first game of the second half of the League. The Royal Oak has seen some difficult times fairly recently when owned by Marstons but the community and some businesses set up a cooperative and purchased it. It is now a very friendly community pub where dogs and muddy boots are welcome, with an extensive menu and a lively local life – indeed when the Lemmings walked in they came across another quiz taking place! Very friendly staff, decent beers and a warm welcome have completely turned around the fortunes of this real local pub – well done the landlord and the village.

It seems that vetting the questions was something of a problem particularly the specialist rounds where one challenge was rebuffed with the statement that it was not going to change by Image result for crocodileexecutive decision, a phrase probably unknown in the Quiz League before!! Once again despite repeated requests the lazy collective noun question raised its head, this time for crocodiles; and a question about braille was simply wrong and the Lemmings were the wrong team to ask (see blog below for 12th December) – all six dots represent the group for.

At the end of the Specialist the Lemmings had crept ahead with a slender lead of 50 to 47 and were feeling fairly buoyant – but it was misplaced and the home team beat the Lemmings with 80 to 74 taking the game with three points 127 to 124. So unlike Charles II There was no escape for the Lemmngs.

Individual scores were Bob 9/9, Sunil 6/12, Nick 6/12 and Tomo once again breaking the 30 barrier with 9/24; conferred points were 14/10 with 6/7 pass-overs whilst the home team collected 6/13 pass-overs.

It was a most enjoyable evening with Dave the question master controlling proceedings with a light touch rounded off with a fine selection of sandwiches and salad. Many thanks to the home team, to Dave and with very best wishes to the landlord and his team.

The Lemmings now have no game for two weeks that will be spent in silent contemplation and introspection before appearing like Athene fully armed from the head of the god of quizzing (whoever he might be!!!!)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

9th January - THE HALFWAY STAGE


Image result for waters green tavernThe halfway stage and the local derby between the Lemmings and the Rams on the home turf in the Waters Green Tavern. The Rams currently vying for first place with the Nags Head (who have set tonight’s GK questions) with a game in hand. Becky was playing to bring the team to full strength and soon made a name for herself as the team’s number one guesser.

The last blog mentioned Adum’s fall at the Harrington Arms and he turned out for the Rams thisImage result for leg in plaster cast time with his leg encased in plaster after having two plates screwed into his leg – it was a much more serious fall than had been realised – and testimony to Adum’s devotion to the quiz.

The Specialist rounds had been set by the Prince of Wales and whilst there was a lot of meat in the range of questions it was not felt that they were well presented, reflected in the generally low scores by the Lemmings. They started off well with questions about Cheshire celebrities but the standard was not held and there was a narrow escape for an armadillo question with one about how to score more than 147 in snooker – the answer took about 10 minutes to read out but as it was a supplementary we felt it did not qualify. Also one question was thrown out by both teams as it required the answer peat to a type of coal – a supplementary was used instead.

At the end of the Specialist rounds the Rams were a nose ahead with 47 to 42 – not too much to worry about.

General Knowledge were much better balanced and spread but the Lemmings failed to make up the deficit and in fact lost the rounds by 68 to 65 making a final total 115 to 107.

Special mention must be made of Andy Johnson who as question master controlled the game with humour spiced with anecdotes about the vetting process.

individual scores were Bob 12/6, Becky 3/0, Nick 0/18, Tomo 6/9 with conferred 13/20 and 8/12 pass-overs. The Rams collected 2/9 pass-overs.

The game ended with a generous spread on the cheeseboard with baguettes, biscuits and celery with two excellent chutneys and the spirits of the Lemmings had been held up by the superb Ossett beer Nelson Sauvin (New Zealand hop) with Becky opting for the slightly melon-flavoured offering from Mallisons. Thank you Brian for a wonderful spread, Andy for making defeat a pleasurable experience and the Rams for a lively and enjoyable evening.