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University Challenge: Downing vs. St Edmund’s

August 24, 2010

Another relatively low-scoring game this week: Downing College, Cambridge, beat St Edmund’s Hall, Oxford, by 160 points to 95. Neither team was especially incompetent; the main factor lowering the scoring rate was that both were slow. Spending a couple of minutes checking your working on the bastardly maths questions/word puzzles is all very well, but that delay will come back to get you when you’re losing with five minutes to go . . .

Downing fielded four guys (Maths, Electrochemistry, Law, Natural Sciences) and St Edmund’s three guys and a girl (History, PPE x2, Chemistry). Neither side had an arts student, which might’ve helped – neither team got the answer to the question about a form of dialogue where characters speak alternate lines of verse (it’s called stichomythia – ten points for me.) Proof of how much of my trivia knowledge is derived from reading completely unrelated literary material popped up in two other questions: one asked about an edible plant that grows on rocks and cliff faces, another about a flower known by its region of origin and colour (I paraphrase.) The first is samphire, the second is African violet, and I only know that because there’s a reference to samphire in King Lear (in the cliff scene, natch) and African violets are mentioned in some Agatha Christie book.

My total score for the show was 260, 235 without un-started bonuses, including 15 starters.

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