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University Challenge: Edinburgh vs. Jesus

September 22, 2010

Caught Monday’s episode tonight. Even Paxman had to admit that it was a curbstomp of embarrassing proportions, with Jesus College, Oxford mustering a feeble 35 against the University of Edinburgh’s 335. Edinburgh didn’t bring a particularly balanced team – two medics, a chemist and an environmental economist seemed somewhat science-heavy – but nevertheless put in a storming performance.

I scored 245, 170 without unstartered bonuses. Weirdly enough, the only round I scored full marks on was the one about trees in Spenser’s Faerie Queene, all of which were guesses. Evidently Spenser has a knack for describing a tree.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2010 4:51 pm

    I got all the trees too! Spenser was a clever chap.

    Paxman’s turning a bit mean in his old age. I thought that girl was going to cry after he sneered at her. Maybe he’s getting weary of being the UC host after all these years.

  2. September 24, 2010 12:11 am

    It must be hard to be patient with each new lot of contestants – when you’ve hosted a game almost 500 times (31 shows a year since 1994 = 496) it’s probably easy to forget that not everybody knows how it works. He’s been particularly harsh on rule-infringers this season, as well.

    He has a tendency to patronise the female contestants, as well. I don’t think he realises he’s doing it, but he seems to slip into that superior “I’m Jeremy Paxman, let me tell you exactly how wrong you are” manner slightly more often with women. (Particularly to the Newnham team – the Cambridge women’s college – in this series and the last.)

    But it’s part of a pattern of general crankiness, as you say – it’s not as if he’s unfailingly polite to the men. Wonder if/when he’ll retire? And who they’ll get to replace him?

  3. knightofthedropdowntable permalink*
    September 24, 2010 12:20 am

    I just mentioned the time last year when he made a ridiculous comment about how both teams might have done better if Newnham (all female) had got the feminist critics questions and St Andrews (all male) got the African football ones.

    I was also irked last night when, after two questions about theatres, he muttered “that’s in London” in the sense that everyone should know that. I’m sorry, Mr Paxman, but not all of us come from London – most of us, in fact (I’m told it’s 85% of the UK population, and while 15% is a lot for one city, it’s far from being everyone).

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