Monday, 24 July 2017

University Challenge 2017-18: Round 1: Match 2: Trinity vs Bristol

Evening all. On we roll with the second week of Twitter's favourite prime time quiz show. At least, at the moment; plans were announced this week to bring The Weakest Link back for a one off Children in Need special, which, if well received, could lead to a run of celeb specials next year. Anne Robinson would return as host. Anyway, we'll deal with that later. For now, on with tonight's show...

Trinity College Cambridge has something of a reputation on UC, having won it three times, once under Bambi, and twice under Paxo. Founded in 1546 by Henry VIII, alumni include science pioneer Sir Isaac Newton, Joey Essex lookalike Eddie Redmayne (thanks Pointless!) and BBC loyalist Mel Giedroyc. It last sent a team to UC three series back, who went out in the group stage. This year's foursome were:
Matthew Kingston, from Greenisland in County Antrim, studying Physics
Owen Petrie, from Glan Clwyd in North Wales, studying Applied Maths
Captain: Maya Bear, from North London, studying English
Rahul Dev, from Chiswick in London, studying History

Bristol University dates back to 1909, founded by the Fry family of chocolate entrepreneurs and the Wills tobacconists. Alumni include 'comedians' Simon Pegg and David Walliams and writer David Nicholls of the excellent 'Starter for Ten'. It has regularly sent decent teams to UC; last year's team reached the group stage, going out after a great contest. This year's quartet hoping to better that were:
Oliver Bowes, from Market Harborough, studying Music
Kirsty Biggs, from Southampton, studying Maths
Captain: Sam Hosegood, from Bedford, studying Chemical Physics
Dom Hewett, from Stroud, studying English

Off we set again then, and Bristol struck first with Mr Hewett doing the honours. Nothing came of the resultant bonuses, though, and five were then lost to the first Pedantic Penalty (of what I hope will be not many) of the series; Trinity took the points, and bonuses on fictional dogs provided two correct answers. Miss Biggs then recouped Bristol's lost points, and their first correct bonus put the sides level. Mr Hosegood then gave his side the lead, with just the one bonus, on cricket, coming this time. The first picture round, on toilet signs in various languages (yes, really) went to Trinity, who took one bonus, which tied the scores at 35-each.

Mr Bowes then made sure all four Bristolians already had at least one starter under their belts, but an amusing bonus set on potatoes in art provided nothing more. Another starter to the Avonsiders resulted in no accompanying bonuses again. Trinity, by contrast, took the next starter, and got all three bonuses on the coalition government (remember when we had those?) of Lloyd George, giving them the lead. They didn't seem to be getting as many starters as Bristol, but they were getting more bonuses right when they did.

The music starter saw Mr Bowes identify Mozart's horn concerto in E flat, Kochel rating 495 (thanks Flanders and Swann!); the bonuses, on pieces predominately featuring horns, gave Bristol a much needed full bonus set, and a lead of 80-60. Another penalty, a proper one this time, then lost them five, but Trinity couldn't pick up this time. Mr Hosegood recouped his side's losses, and another full bonus set took them into three figures, and suggested they'd turned a corner on the bonus front. Or maybe not, as they got nothing from their next set. Mr Hosegood was on a roll now though, taking a third starter in a row, and bonuses on King Zog of Albania gave them one right answer, same as their next set got them.

The second picture round, on political cartoons by James Gillray, went to Bristol, who took two bonuses, giving them a lead of 160-60, and within sight of victory. Mr Hewett all but put them over the line by taking the next starter; though just the one bonus came again, and when Mr Hosegood took the next starter, that was game over. A full bonus set confirmed this.

An odd starter asked which country's name appears in that of words meaning 'underwater diving' and 'to keep eggs warm'; Mr Bowes knew it to be 'Cuba', 'SCUBA' and 'Incubate' being the words. Two bonuses came. Mr Petrie broke Trinity's silence finally, and they took two bonuses on five letter words ending in 'I'. Both sides missed the next starter, Trinity took the next, but one bonus meant they fell short of three figures. Bristol took the final starter, and that was the gong; they won 230-95.

A slow match that picked up somewhat in the second half as Bristol pulled away. Unlucky Trinity, who did perfectly OK and I suspect would've fared better against another team, but well done on a fair effort. Well done Bristol though on an excellent first performance, and very best of luck in the second round.

The stats: Mr Hosegood was by far the best buzzer of the night, with seven to his name, while Messrs Petrie and Dev took two each for Trinity. On the bonuses, Trinity converted a respectable 9 out of 15, while Bristol managed 18 out of 42 (with two penalties), suggesting they won the match on, what dxdtdemon termed last series, 'starter defence'; still, increase that bonus rate a bit, and you've got a decent outfit there.

Next week's match: Southampton vs Cardiff

Only Connect returns on Friday at 8:30, and will stay there until the end of the year at least. If I decide to review this series, I will do the first episode either Sunday or next Tuesday.

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