Monday, March 25, 2013


Five President's Cup in Six Seasons: Not Bad

Well, let's just say if a certain programme wasn't filming this weekend, then things might have been a bit different, or different enough.

Thankfully, we didn't fluff fings to fluffing hell, thus retaining our trophy, when a couple of seasonal blips - one of my idiotic making; another of question luck gone wrong - threatened to derail a smooth path to victory.

But a hearty well done to The Sinnerman for coming out on top on the 2-point average table. I've been bested by a fine and hard-working competitor. If that sounds like I'm taking the piss that's because everything I write nowadays seems to gleam with a sarcastic twisted post-Barley hue. Thus, I wish to point out that I'm being insanely sincere when I heap all that praise on my former Sussex teammate. Then thoughts like "The wind hums Tony Manero" come creeping in ... mwa-mwa.

Anyway, straight to the friendly. Not my most polished effort; formed of unused scrags and unnecessary sentences resultant from deciding to write it at about 11.30am. So I ended up finishing it during the reading of the first friendly; just about.

Score was 30-47 to Sussex; Sussex going first. Unanswered questions Xed and answers separated.

President's Cup Friendly 24/3/2013

1 Isaac Asimov defined the 'milliHelen' as the amount of beauty sufficient to launch what? 
One ship
2 Founded in 1472, as a pawn shop, the Monte dei Paschi di Siena in Italy is believed to be the world's oldest surviving what?
3 Painted in 1907, Club Night is the first of which American painter's boxing canvasses? He is the current subject of a Royal Academy exhibition.
George Bellows
4 Which Huddersfield-born poet published the 1992 collection Kid?
Simon Armitage
5 The Wadsworth Atheneum is the oldest public art museum in which country? 
USA - located in Hartford, Connecticut
6 Ending up in hospital, the England rugby union prop Colin Smart became famous when he downed a bottle of what substance after a 1982 match against France?
7 Which English experimentalist writer is best known for nine novels he wrote between 1926 and 1952, four of them having the single word titles Loving, Doing, Living and Nothing?
8 Which double Oscar-winner is the daughter of the author of Notes to my Mother-in-Law and How Many Camels are There in Holland??

1 Which 1992 Roy Lichtenstein work is the only quotation of another painting that he did of an interior - his work having the same three-word title of the van Gogh original?
2 Built in 1618, the Teatro Farnese is a Baroque-style theatre in which city in Emilia-Romagna?
3 Starring the Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal as an advertising exec, the 2012 Chilean film NO centres on the 1988 plebiscite to retain the presidency of which man?
Augusto Pinochet
4 The Holy Ampulla or Sainte Ampoule was a glass vial used to anoint the kings of which country from 1131 to 1774?
5 Flown in 1853, the first manned glider was built by which 'Father of British aeronautics'?
George Cayley
6 In 1811, Thomas Manning became the first English national to speak with which religious figure?
Dalai Lama
7 Whenever it is moved, which holy book must be accompanied by five Khalsa Sikhs? It is taken into a separate room at night, and must always be treated with respect and with clean hands.
Guru Granth Sahib / Adi Granth
8 Nominated for the Carbuncle Cup, the Neptune Development at Mann Island is in which English city?

1. Which 1987 film - the reason why he did not collect his first Oscar - was Michael Caine referring to when he said: "I have never seen it, but by all accounts it it terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific"?
2 Which fictional character's broadcasting career began as chief DJ of Radio Smile at St Luke's Hospital in Norwich? He then replaced Peter Flint as the presenter of Scout About.
Alan Partridge
3 Which Goodness Gracious Me actress co-wrote the book for the musical Bombay Dreams
Meera Syal
4 Which English winner of the 1947 Nobel Prize for chemistry for his work on plant dyestuffs and alkaloids, shared his first and surname with a former Brain of Britain host?
Robert Robinson
5 The Italian shoe brand Geox once confirmed that they sent six pairs of maroon loafers per year to which religious figure?
Pope John-Paul II
6 The General Dynamics F-111 strike aircraft is known by the name of which burrowing African mammal?
7 An inflatable nicknamed 'Algie' is famously associated with which rock band? 
Pink Floyd
8 What was the only Squeeze single sung by lyricist Chris Difford?
Cool for Cats

1. Due to the huge amounts of Fentanyl that are being synthesised across the border in Russia, which EU country has the highest number of per capita drug fatalities anywhere in Europe?
2 A map of the island of Unst is believed to have inspired the map of which fictional location in an eponymous 19th century novel - the author having been a visitor with family ties?
Treasure Island
3 Which name for a lady's maid or female attendant comes from a Carmelite woman, the wife of Nabal (and later of King David) in the Old Testament, who impressed David with her humility and helpfulness?
4 Premiered at Aix-en-Provence in 2012, Written on Skin is the first full-length opera by which British composer?
George Benjamin
5 The murder weapons in Cluedo are typically made of what unfinished alloy?
6 Which famous woman was a postulant in Nonnberg Abbey, near Salzburg, after World War One?
Maria Augusta Kutschera / Maria Augusta von Trapp
7 After the fall of Troy, Cassandra was awarded to which king - who has been played on film by Sean Connery and Brian Cox?
8 Narrated by Scheherazade in the Arabian Nights, The Three Apples is believed to be the earliest known example of what type of story?

1. What is the highest human vocal register, extending approximately from middle C to the second A above?
2 Which actor, born Cyril Louis Goldbert in Marseille in 1933, lost £3000 thanks to a confidence trick carried out by his former secretary, Jeremy Dallas-Cope and a male model, Anthony O'Donoghue?
Peter Wyngarde
3 The 1935 film The Dictator and the 2012 film A Very Royal Affair both depict the tragic affair that which Danish king's English wife Carolina Matilda had with the physician Johann Struensee?
4 In which TV soap do regulars often visit The Dog in the Pond pub?
5 Who was inspired by Kiyoo Wadati's 1928 paper on shallow and deep earthquakes to first use an eponymous invention in 1935, having developed it with Beno Gutenberg?
Charles Francis Richter magnitude scale
6 Deliberately misspelled to avoid accidental mutation to a shorter word, which four-letter computing term was coined by Werner Buchholz in 1956, during the early design phase for the IBM Stretch computer?
7 Ulm's Lion Man, the world's earliest figurative sculpture at around 40,000 years old, was carved from which organic material?
Mammoth ivory
8 Which aviation pioneer designed and flew the world's first multi-engine fixed-wing aircraft, the Russky Vityaz, in 1913, and the first airliner, Ilya Muromets, in 1914?
Igor Sikorsky

1 Which American did Virginia Wade defeat 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in the semi-final of the Wimbledon singles tournament that she won in 1977?
Chris Evert
2 Named after a Biblical King of Salem, the Melchizedek is a wine bottle size that contains how many standard (750ml) wine bottles?
3 The largest Scrabble tournament in the world, the Brand's International Crossword Game King's Cup is held in which Asian country?
4 Which US movie star wrote the short story Propeller One-Way Night Coach, a tale featuring his favourite pastime, flying planes?
John Travolta
5 Which surname links a star of Stand by Me and The Goonies, and a US composer who died in 1987, having written Dirge: In Memory of Thomas Wolfe, Intersection 1, and The Turfan Fragments?
Corey/Morton Feldman
6 What is the six-digit postcode/postal code used for Father Christmas?
Royal Mail: SAN TA1 / Canadian: H0H 0H0
7 The ZE postcode area is also known by the name of which Scottish island capital?
8 In which US state were the Battles of Saratoga fought between September 19 and October 7, 1777?
New York

1In ancient Greece, a 'palestra' was a public place for training and practice in what?
Wrestling / accept: Athletics
2 In a recent episode of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson unveiled the world's tiniest car. A punning take-off on the Peel P50, what is its letter-number designation?
3 In 924, Athelstan was elected King of Wessex and Mercia on the death of which man? 
Edward the Elder
4 Sir Henry Newbolt wrote a ballad, with the words "And she's fading down the river", featuring the title subject of which JMW Turner painting?
The Fighting Téméraire
5 Named after an East Yorkshire town, the Bridlington Agreement governs the transfer of membership between which organisations, to prevent poaching each other's members?
Trade unions
6 Ugenia Lavender is the title character in a series of children's novels - as in Ugenia Lavender and the Burning Pants - by which former Spice Girl?
Geri Halliwell
7 Thierry Omeyer of France in 2008, Filip Jicha of Czech Republic (2010) and Henning Fritz of Germany (2004) were all past World Players of the Year in which Olympic team sport?
8 Which NFL team completed a perfect season in 1972, winning their 14 regular season games and  three post-season games, resulting in a 17-0 record?
Miami Dolphins

1 Derived from the Greek word for 'seen', which term describes photographic memory?
2 Which British golfer is at 15th= in the all time most LPGA major championship wins list, with four titles?
Laura Davies (2 LPGAs, 1 US Open, 1 Du Maurier Classic - the Canadian Major)
3 Shiraz and Esfahan are former capitals of which country? 
Iran / Persia
4 In 2012, which leader of Equatorial Guinea announced his ambition to move 200,000 people to the future capital city of Oyala by 2020?
5 Which English architect designed the Viceroy's House at New Delhi in 1913; the Britannic House, Finsbury Circus; and 1922's Midland Bank Piccadilly branch in the style of Wren?
Edwin Landseer Lutyens
6 Who received his 48th Oscar nomination for his work on the film Lincoln?
John Williams
7 In 1999, who became the first American female to win at Italy's Trofeo Topolino, a competition for skiers aged under 14?
Lindsey Vonn
8 Which brother of Napoleon was the eldest surviving son of Charles and Marie Bonaparte and was King of Naples and Sicily, as well as Spain?





R1 7. Henry Green
R1 8. Emma Thompson
R3 1. Jaws IV: The Revenge
R3 6. Aardvark
R4 5. Pewter
R4 8. Detective story
R5 3. Christian VII
R6 2. 40
R7 2. P45
R8 4. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago - I think should have accepted Kathryn's 'Nguema', though he is always referred to as President Obiang

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Prez Cup R9: Exclamation Mark Warning

It's Gonna Go Down to The Wire...

... and I don't wanna end up way down in the hole (because I woke up too late to go to Cambridge, because I was doing EQC revision, regrets, I've had at least two)

Beat Piccadilly 54-41, complete with bonus point! Nice. Therefore, Match 10, against Westminster (booo-hisssss) is that unicorn of quiz league play: a league match that really matters; a final in all but name.

We'll be humming Queen/Bowie collaborations and mopping our brows in sweaty anticipation. Unless, bien sur, I've totally banjaxed the permutations and calculations by forgetting that there's this team called Cambridge, right?

In other news: We - the Broken Hearts, aka the Evil Empire of former Real Madrid Yankee 'dominance', if you happen to have overheard what other teams said about us at the last EQC and read the remarks of  various gentlemen on the internets - won the Charity Night for the first time ever! BOOM!!!

Awesome exclamations aside, we cried salt tears because we love inspired sports commentary become oft-referenced cliche, and I so very nearly succeeded in avoiding being caught on camera (left early due to tummy trouble/hid behind people) - I don't want the digital demon to catch my soul! But yeah, we were awesome - no time for false modesty - we put the field to the sword. Ha ha! Using, nay wielding, as would The Freakin' Kurgan, a big, seven-pointed sword *diabolical cackling gradually rising in volume*.

Still the two things that stick in my mind; two things being minor errors now insanely amplified in the mind: a) not pushing for Pat Jennings hard enough (I call it one of my 'Albery Coward' moments, because I like inventing lingo that only means something to me and only me, and maybe myself, if myself was a fortunate fellow), and b) putting Chinese GOLDEN Salamander, instead of Chinese GIANT Salamander. If you don't get largest species/amphibians right, then by lord, sir, you have a big fat jiffy bag of baby dookie for grey brainy matter - and that's an example of high standards that is (I'm in an anti-grammar mood).

Back to Today (the Westminster-baiting will appear in another post/s; two words for ya: MIND GAMES. We must crush them. We must retain our P-Cup. It's our P-Cup. We will grind them into particles that be dustier than dust; like the wispiest dust mites farts you can imagine. After we have wrought our fury and, maybe, yielded a dazzling GK display, Westminster will have been so thoroughly West-MINCED-errrrrrd??? that their annihilated remains will barely exist at a subatomic level. Ahem. I see that I've just jumped the gun on the MIND GAMES there. Victory or Deaaaa...second place!).

Dialling down the crazy. Wrote a friendly. It played out 37-35 to Sussex at the time. But. But but but. A Glasgow kiss of a butt to my skillz as a question-creator: I refused 2009-2010 UC alumnus Tom Speller's correct answer of Princess Peach, and now believe that I owe the Piccadilly team a point. Darn differing Japanese/American names. Darn them to heck and back again.

But, looky here, it wouldn't matter so much if the game had not come down to the last question in the pick-a-question-number mode. And lo, the format imparted the justice of randomness and other malarkey that I'm mixing up with Harvey Dent's Two-Face rant-a-thons about the fairness in chaos and chance in The Dark Knight.

So, Random Picking from Question One to Eight = The Balance We Crave in Question Sets. Ergo, Random Question Picking PWNs Question Pairs. It's the future.

Ah, is that an embarrassing comeuppance I see coming at me? As if I were prime, verdant Amazonian rainforest, and Hubris was a mean-looking gang of chainsaw-wielding Brazilian cattle farmers looking to desertify my ass.

Practical note: I'm X-ing unanswered Qs and putting the solutions to those blighters at the bottom, because it seemed to work really well last time.

President's Cup Friendly 10/3/2013

1 Which actress, born in 1931, is the only Hispanic performer to have achieved the EGOT - i.e. won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award?
2 Which series of epic fantasy novels includes the books A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords and A Dance with Dragons?
A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE or [accept, yeah, why not?] GAME OF THRONES
3 Nicknamed the 'Hitman', which WWF wrestler was the victim of the 1997 'Montreal Screwjob' when he was beaten by Shawn Michaels in his last match before joining World Championship Wrestling (WCW)?
4 Last year saw the first English-language publication of The Tragedy of Mister Morn, written when its author was aged about 24, and the only play (verse drama) by which Russian novelist?
5 Which Earl's wife, Edwina, died in 1960 in North Borneo while on tour as Superintendent-in-Chief of the St John Ambulance Brigade?
6 Which (former?) trust - founded by Philip and Jeanne Wayre in 1971 - closed its captive breeding centre at Earsham in Suffolk, having realised its aim of repopulating local rivers with its namesake creatures?
7 Which occultist wrote detective stories about the mystic crime-solver Simon Iff during a 1916-17 visit to New Orleans mostly because he was nearly bankrupt?
8 The 1654 Portrait of Jan Six and 1629's Judas Returning the 30 Pieces of Silver, are two of the most important/valuable Old Master paintings still in private hands. Who painted both of them?

1 Found on New Zealand's South Island, which bird - Latin name Nestor notabilis - is the world's only alpine parrot?
2 In 1953, which US composer drove his car with a tyre (that Robert Rauschenberg had soaked in paint) along 20 joined sheets of paper on a New York street to create Automobile Tire Print?
3 The Alexander Mosaic, aka The Battle of Issus, dates from c.100 BC and is one of the great masterpieces of ancient Greek art. It was discovered in the House of the Faun in which partially buried city?
4 Robert Chote is the chairman of the independent Treasury watchdog, the OBR. What does OBR stand for?
5 Name any of films in which Don Cheadle used an appalling Cockney accent to play the bomb expert Basher Tarr.
6 Which animated TV series once featured the voice of George Clooney as Sparky the gay dog?
7 The American remake of the TV show Shameless is set in which city - the third most populous in the US?
8 First opening its doors in 1770, which 'Manufacturers of Toiletry Products' to the Queen have English Lavender as the brand's international signature fragrance?

1 The naming of which whisky brand can be traced back to a 15-year-old farm boy taking over a small Kilmarnock grocers in 1820?
2 Launched in 1830, which London dry gin is mentioned in the songs Gin and Juice by Snoop Doggy Dogg, You Know I'm No Good by Amy Winehouse and Johnny 99 by Bruce Springsteen?
3 Which motorcycle company was formed as a bicycle manufacturer by Siegfried Bettmann in Coventry in 1887?
4 Winston Churchill,  David Cameron, Margaret Thatcher and Gordon Brown are characters in which new play by Peter Morgan?
5 Starring alongside Roger Allam and Anthony Head, who plays MJN Air's only Captain, Martin Crieff, in the Radio 4 aeroplane-based sitcom Cabin Pressure?
6 Funded by the company Las Vegas Sands, the Cotai Strip is a land reclamation project in which gambling resort? 
7 Which song was performed by Barbra Streisand at the 2013 Oscars in memory of its composer Marvin Hamlisch?
8 In 1897, which West African country transferred its capital from Aného to Lomé?

1 In a famous TV snog of 1994, who did Margaret Clemence kiss?
BETH JORDACHE (Anna Friel locked pre-watershed Brookside lips with Nicola Stephenson)
2 With four Steinfeld Cups and four Division Championship titles, the Chesapeake Bayhawks are the most successful team in Major League… what? 
LACROSSE - what? You've never heard of the MLL? For shame...
3 The rugby union club London Welsh is based in which city? 
4 Barry Shitpeas and Philomena Cunk are 'talking head' characters in TV review shows presented by which Guardian columnist?
5 The formula of the Harlem Shake online video dance meme was established by five teenagers - known collectively as The Sunny Coast Skate - from which country?
6 In 2011, Clare Waight Keller replaced Hannah MacGibbon as artistic director of which French fashion house? It made her the fourth British woman to do the job in the space of a decade; Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo being the other two.
7 Caral, thought to be the oldest or most ancient city in the Americas, is a Norte Chico civilisation site in which country?
8 Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, held which earldom when he lost his right leg at the Battle of Waterloo? 

1 On August 4th, 1958, whose song Poor Little Fool became the first ever no.1 on the Billboard Hot 100? In the following year, he starred with Dean Martin and John Wayne in Rio Bravo.
2 In which year did the victorious captain Daniel Passarella lift the FIFA World Cup trophy?
3 Which movie starring Al Pacino and John Cazale was inspired by the 1972 Life magazine story The Boys in the Bank by P.F. Kluge?
4 Founded by Nicolas Ruinart, Ruinart has been exclusively producing which drink since 1729, making it the oldest established house of its type?
5 Carbolic acid is also known by which six-letter name?
PHENOL - formula C6 H5OH
6 In 1771, Benjamin West made a nearly identical copy of his own painting of which general's death for George III?
7 2013 is the centenary of the birth of which Polish composer, who dedicated the three-movement Concerto for Orchestra he completed in 1954 to the Warsaw Philharmonic artistic director Witold Rowicki?
8 Which two-word title links the painting regarded as the Cuban artist Wilfredo Lam's 1943 masterpiece; a 1906 novel by Upton Sinclair; and a stadium in Castleford now known as Wheldon Road?

1 Which Manchester train station has the three-letter code MCO?
2 Linklaters, Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance are three of the five leading firms that form the so-called 'Magic Circle' in which line of work?
3 Known for their 2011 hit Sexy and I Know It, Redfoo & Sky Blu form which US dance music duo, whose name is formed by the five initials of a vulgar internet slang abbreviation?
LMFAO - Redfoo real name: Stefan Kendal Gordy; his nephew Sky Blu: Skyler Austen Gordy (RedFoo's father is Berry Gordy Jr, THE founder of the Motown record label)
4 For the second year running, who has Forbes magazine named the world's most powerful person?
5 Born Anthony Terrell Smith, which rapper had his two biggest hits - Wild Thing and Funky Cold Medina - in 1989? 
6 First published in Russian (por Rusoj) in 1887, the Unua Libro was the first publication to describe which language?
ESPERANTO - its author being Ludwig Youknowwho
7 Once the official seat of the knights of the Langue of Castille, León and Portugal, the Auberge de Castille now houses the office of which Mediterranean island-nation's Prime Minister?
8 Made by Electrolux, the model V, Luxomatic Z90, Trilobite and the Rapido are/were types of which device?

1 Which British author published his fourth novel, The Looking Glass War, in 1965?
2 In storytelling, if 'analepsis' is the technical term for a flashback, what word is used for a flash-forward?
3 Wörishofer is a type of cork-soled orthopaedic ladies' sandal that is named after Bad Wörishofer, a spa town in which country?
4 In 2012, the 27-year-old Ukrainian, Anna Ushenina, beat Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria on a tie-break, to become the 14th women's world champion in which game?
5 Both a successor and predecessor of Pitt the Younger, the Prime Minister Henry Addington was known as the 1st Viscount... what?
6 Discovered in February of this year, the smallest exoplanet detected to date - Kepler-37b - is in which constellation, whose name is that of the heroine of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy?
7 In 1936, which magazine commissioned what became Walker Evans and James Agee's 1941 book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men as a report on Alabama tenant farmers, though it never published their work?
8 Marni Nixon dubbed which actress's voice in the films The King and I and An Affair to Remember?

1 Which word completes the signature one-liner from the comedic 'King of One-Liners', Henny Youngman: "Take my wife -…"?
2 Which Polish-born US author wrote the novels The Painted Bird, Blind Date and Being There?
3 What was the name of the Duke of Edinburgh's father, a prince of Greece and Denmark who was the seventh child and fourth son of King George I of the Hellenes?  
4 The American general Douglas MacArthur was often seen smoking what type of distinctive pipe? Its 'Authentic & Original' design was created by the Missouri Meerschaum Company (I think).
5 In 1966, the Cohiba cigar brand was created for which man? 
6 In a Jacques-Louis David painting owned by The Met, NYC, the seated figure of Crito reaches out to grasp the thigh of which philosopher as he sits upright in bed and reaches for a cup?
SOCRATES - as in The Death of Socrates
7 Named after the only scientist who studied it before its extinction, which sea cow was the largest species of sirenian to ever have existed? It was wiped out within 27 years of its discovery.
STELLER'S SEA COW - as in Georg Wilhelm Steller
8 Which princess has to be rescued by the titular duo from the villain Bowser (or King Koopa) in the 1985 Nintendo game Super Mario Bros.?
X but not really...


R2 1. KEA
R5 4. CHAMPAGNE - in case, my wording was idiotically confusing, from the Champagne Ruinart website: "Ruinart is the oldest champagne House, founded in 1729."
R8 8. PRINCESS TOADSTOOL later renamed PRINCESS PEACH, so - reiterating my regret at laying big fat error egg in a mere friendly - I should have allowed Piccadilly the one point, giving Sussex a single point win with 37-36 … phew. Make that a provisional phew, because I'm not sure that they should have had two points. And ... oh, who cares?