Monday, November 16, 2009

Prez Cup Doodahs

On Any Alternate Sunday

There was a time when match reports filled this blog. Looking back on them I wonder if that was a good idea. Sometimes I got the feeling that it was a bit like telling a bunch of strangers what you dreamt last night, meaning it was a bloody waste of writing time ("Write a dream, lose a reader" - Doris Lessing), though, admittedly, rather than the constant, necessary self-laceration, my diatribes about question-setting prejudices might have amused match participants and fellow league quizzers. Or at least, years down the road, everyone has a knowing smirky giggle when the words "BREWERY", "BRITISH BIRDS" and so on pop up in conversation within my earshot.

And they did get formulaic in that I'd go: "Blah blah blah, I can't believe I got that wrong!, I suck at those questions, blah blah, score, oh that was funny, funny peculiar, blah, me being craptastic again, blah blah, random score update, if I hear that question again I will become homicidal, blah blah, what is the setter's major malfunction?, blah-dee-blah-feeling slightly blue-blah, why did we lose? please tell me why. Oh yeah, the final score. Almost forgot."

So. Yesterday saw the fourth President's Cup game of this season. We played against Oxford. Most of the set seemed to have been inspired by current affairs. That lighthouse pair got the tumbleweed wind blowing through. Four detective novelist creator questions - a bit much. Damnit, I should have said the right to bear arms for the US Amendement Q. A bit low scoring this, but it picked up towards the end. Blah blah blah. I kinda miss breweries when they're not there. That may be a demented lie. We won 43-21. I got my lowest score of the PCup season so far -15! - disgraceful.

And that is that. Three wins, one loss. Not doing too badly.

The Friendly
I wrote a quasi-friendly. In that, I imitated Nic and just asked the players to pick a number from 1 to 8 for each of the eight rounds (admittedly, the number fours on each got the Hobson's choice, but that is that and that's just the way it is). This was because the task of picking paired questions (and Jack & Jolenes, rather than dreaded Jack & Jill duos) seemed too onerous to me when I was setting it the day before. In other words, I was lazy and was distracted by silly things.

The final score? 37-37. So you see, the random picking question number format balances everything out. That's the scientific proof right there: Thirty-seven all. You better believe it.

Pointless/unanswered questions are bolded up (just to be different)

Randomised Friendly Action 15/11/09

Round 1
1 Dolly the Sheep was cloned at which animal sciences research institute, near Edinburgh, in 1996?
Roslin Institute
2 Derived from the French for 'pounded' / 'ground gold', what term describes applying finely ground gold in a mercury amalgam to bronze objects?
3 The Bye Plot was a conspiracy to kidnap which king and force him to repeal anti-Catholic legislation?
James I
4 Which 1970 rock musical includes the songs 'Everything's Alright' and 'I Don't Know How to Love Him'?
Jesus Christ Superstar
5 Discovered in 1974, the Caloris Basin is a large impact crater on which plant in our Solar System?
6 Who played sex-mad Timothy Lea in the 1970s Confessions films?
Robin Askwith
7 A statue of the Battle of Britain hero, Sir Keith Park, now occupies the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square. Park was born in which country?
New Zealand
8 Which DVD region code is used in every European country except for Russia, Ukraine and Belarus?

Round 2
1 Which French Huguenot ironworker produced the screens and grilles of St. Paul's Cathedral for Sir Christopher Wren?
Jean Tijou
2 Which English cathedral was reputedly the tallest building in the world from 1300 until 1549 when its central spire collapsed?
Lincoln Cathedral
3 Which two-time World Cross Country champion married Mike Pieterse in 1989?
Zola Budd
4 Issued from 1849 to 1967, which British coin was known as a "two bob bit"?
5 Known by the code CDG, what is the world's second busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic?
Charles de Gaulle
6 Founded in 1997, the company KooGa specialises in making clothing for which sport?
7 Which English rock musician released the 1995 album Stanley Road?
Paul Weller
8 Which Premier League football club have played at the Britannia Stadium since 1997?
Stoke City

Round 3
1 Located on the planet Mars, what is the tallest known volcano and mountain in the Solar System?
Olympus Mons / Mount Olympus
2 What is the smallest German-speaking country in the world?
3 Which film director returned to the stage when his play Two Thousand Years opened at the National Theatre in 2005?
Mike Leigh
4 Characterised by dark fabric and contrasting (usually white) collars and cuffs, which 1940s dress style is named after an Oscar-winning role played by Ginger Rogers?
Kitty Foyle
5 What name links a French porcelain manufacture and a 1920 treaty between the Ottoman Empire and Allies?
6 What number is signified by the word MIX in Roman numerals?
7 Give one of the forenames, apart from the first, of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
Antony or Richard or Louis
8 Which European country gave women the vote at a federal level on February 7, 1971?
Switzerland - but they didn't get the vote in cantonal elections until 1990

Round 4
1 After his recent release by Yorkshire, former England fast(-ish) bowler Matthew Hoggard joined which county on a three-year contract?
2 What fruit gives the liqueur Triple sec its flavour?
3 The ecclesiastical title of "rector" is derived from a Latin word meaning what?
Ruler (rector can also mean "teacher", I think)
4 Which French composer wrote the music for the Papal Anthem, now the official national anthem of The Vatican, in 1869?
Charles Gounod
5 Opened in 1997 by Sonny and Silvia Priest, what is the northernmost brewery in the British Isles? Its name comes from Norse mythology.
Valhalla Brewery (in Baltasound, Unst, Shetland)
6 In October, Norfolk's Chrissie Wellington won which world triathlon championship for the third time?
Ironman world championships
7 Which annual fair is held in Nottingham during the first week of October?
Goose Fair
8 How many grains are there in a pennyweight?

Round 5
1 What name is given to both the currency and an official language of Paraguay?
2 Which American poet, who died in Venice in 1972, wrote the epic poem The Cantos?
Ezra Pound
3 Named after an English county, which period of the Palaeozoic era comes between the Carboniferous and the Silurian?
4 Arnold Schwarzenegger played Douglas Quaid in which 1990 sci-fi film?
Total Recall
5 First broadcast in 1969, which sitcom centred on the employees of the Luxton & District Traction Company?
On the Buses
6 Founded in Florida by Alisa Ianelli in 1983, which restaurant chain is known for its scantily-clad waitresses and orange-lettered owl logo?
7 Sharing its name with a Yorkshire city, what is the largest of the towers in the curtain wall of the Tower of London?
Wakefield Tower
8 Invented in 1919, which weapon had such nicknames as "the Trench Sweeper" and "the Chicago Piano"?
Thompson submachine gun / Tommy Gun

Round 6
1 Thomas the Apostle was also known as "Didymus". What does Didymus mean?
2 Which Manchester United manager was sacked in 1977 after having an affair with the wife of Laurie Brown, a club physiotherapist?
Tommy Docherty
3 Which cut of beef, taken from the shoulder area of the cow above the brisket and ahead of the rib, is sometimes referred to as "braising steak"?
Chuck steak / 7-bone steak
4 Bay leaves come from a shrub that belongs to which family of plants?
Laurel / Lauraceae
5 In the DC Comics universe and on film, Perry White is the editor of which newspaper?
Daily Planet
6 Which theme park is home to the rollercoasters Nemesis Inferno; Stealth; and SAW: The Ride?
Thorpe Park - yes, SAW: The Ride is the rollercoaster version of the Saw films
7 Who is/was the oldest member of the Monty Python line-up?
John Cleese
8 Michael Schumacher made his Formula One debut with which now defunct team at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix?
Jordan (or Jordan-Ford)

Round 7
1 Founded in 1981, what type of business is Foxtons?
Estate agents
2 Which English cricketer's Test career spanned a record 31 years and 310 days?
Wilfred Rhodes
3 The initial officer training establishment of the Royal Navy is located on a hill overlooking which Devon town?
4 Which Whig politician became the first US President never to have held any previous elected office when he won the 1848 presidential election?
Zachary Taylor
5 The "Singapore Declaration of ______ Principles" was issued in 1971 at the conclusion of the first meeting of the heads of government in which organisation?
Commonwealth of Nations (old name: British Commonwealth)
6 The American ventriloquist Shari Lewis is best known as the creator of which sock puppet sheep?
Lamb Chop
7 Which painting was originally exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1821 under the title Landscape: Noon?
The Hay Wain
8 In a 1707 comedy play by George Farquhar, what eponymous plan is hatched by the gentlemen Archer and Aimwell?
The Beaux' Stratagem

Round 8
1 What name links a metallic element with the atomic number 46, a wooden statue of Athena that protected Troy, and a West End theatre owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber?
2 Arline, daughter of Count Arnheim, is the title character of which 1844 opera by the Irish composer Michael William Balfe?
The Bohemian Girl
3 The Frenchman David Douillet is a two-time Olympic champion in which sport?
4 Charles Bronson's character in the spaghetti western Once Upon a Time in the West was named after which musical instrument?
5 Characterised by its black fur, which animal became the world's largest carnivorous marsupial after the extinction of the Thylacine in 1936?
Tasmanian Devil / Sarcophilus harrisii
6 Which passenger died on September 16, 1977 when Gloria Jones drove their purple Mini into a sycamore tree in Barnes, south-west London?
Marc Bolan (born Mark Feld)
7 The home of the Lytton family, which country house in Hertfordshire has hosted several major open air rock concerts since 1974?
Knebworth House
8 Which rugby team won its ever first match when it played against Hartlepool Rovers on December 27, 1890?
Barbarians (or Barbarian F.C.)

The poem On Monsieur's Departure is commonly attributed to which English monarch?
Elizabeth I
Lasting no more than eight weeks, what was the second Parliament of King James I's reign and was named for its ineffectiveness?
Addled Parliament
The coffee drink Mocha takes its name from a Red Sea coastal town in which country?


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