University Challenge – Christmas 2014 E01 Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford vs The University of Warwick

University Challenge – Christmas 2014 E01 Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford vs The University of Warwick

October 12, 2019 13 By Stanley Isaacs


APPLAUSE Christmas University Challenge. Asking the questions, Jeremy Paxman. Hello. In keeping with the Christmas tradition as we see it, we’re applying the seasonal nutcracker not to students but to alumni of some of the UK’s leading universities and university colleges. 14 institutions are competing in this special series, which starts tonight. Each of them is represented by a team of former students who, since graduating, have gone on to make their mark in what is sometimes called “The Real World”. – LAUGHTER
– They’re here tonight to compete merely for the honour of competing, the dream of being series champions and the lure of celebrating with a plate of pigs in blankets and a glass of ginger wine in the green room when the whole beastly thing’s over. Now, the team from Lady Margaret Hall are representing what was Oxford’s first college to be founded exclusively for women students, although it’s admitted men since the 1970s. Its motto is “Souvent me Souviens,” or “I remember often.” Well, we’ll see. And they’ve got two writers on their team – one has produced bestselling fiction for children and adults, such as Wolf Brother and Dark Matter, and the other, besides writing novels, is a critic, journalist and librettist. Their captain has worked for the financial Times and the Washington Post and is now a news presenter. And their fourth member is an actor whose roles have included Hamlet and Richard II for the RSC, Anthony Blunt and Ted Heath on television and one of the great villains of modern times, Jeffrey Skilling in the stage play Enron. But let’s ask them to introduce themselves in the time-honoured fashion. Hello. My name’s Michelle Paver and I graduated from LMH in 1983 with a degree in biochemistry. And I’m now a novelist. I’m Philip Hensher. I graduated from LMH with a degree in English in 1986. I’m now a novelist and Professor Of Creative Writing at the University of Bath Spa. And this is their captain. I’m Cathy Newman. I graduated in English from LMH in 1995 and I now present Channel 4 News. Hello, I’m Samuel West. I left LMH in 1988 with a degree in English. And I am now an actor and sometimes a director. APPLAUSE Well, the University of Warwick was one of many to receive its Royal Charter in the 1960s and, as its name suggests, it’s located on the outskirts of Coventry. Their first team member started his career with the Greater London Council and is now one of the Government’s most senior civil servants. He is joined by the award-winning author of works such as What A Carve Up! and The Rotters’ Club. Their captain’s website tells us, with pleasing candour, that he spends most of his time on holiday, pretending to work. And their fourth member holds an office dating back to 1634 and the reign of Charles I. Let’s meet them. Hello, I’m Bob Kerslake and I graduated in mathematics in 1976. I’m now Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government. Hello, I’m Jonathan Coe. I got my PhD From Warwick in 1986 and now I write novels. And this is their captain. Hello, I’m Simon Calder and I graduated in maths in 1978 from Warwick University, so I’m a bit perplexed to find that I’m now travel correspondent at the Independent. LAUGHTER Hello, I’m Simon Bailey. I graduated in 1976 in English and European literature and I’m now Keeper Of The Archives at the University of Oxford. APPLAUSE Now, there being 14 teams, there are seven first-round matches but only the four winning teams with the highest scores will go through to the next stage. So my advice to you all tonight is to get through as many questions as you possibly can. Rules are the same as ever – 10 points for starters, 15 for bonuses. Starters are solo efforts. Bonuses are team efforts. And here’s your first starter for 10. Quote, “I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. “Mother took me to see him in a department store “and he asked for my autograph.” These words are attributed to which…? – Shirley Temple.
– Correct. APPLAUSE So you get the first set of bonuses, LMH. They’re on French wine in the words of the website wineanorak.com. In each case, listen to the extract and name the broad French region to which it refers. Firstly, “The home of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir “but a total minefield for consumers. “It’s heart, known as the Cote d’Or, “is a narrow band of gently-sloping hillside.” – Charentes?
– What? – The Charentes.
– Charentes. – Try the Charentes.
– Charentes? – The Charentes.
– The Charentes? The Charentes? No, it’s Burgundy. And secondly, “A pretty region, just south of Burgundy. “At their best, these are fun, joy-filled wines for early drinking.” – Beaujolais?
– Beaujolais? You sure?
– Yeah. Beaujolais? – Beaujolais.
– Correct. Finally, “Are you rich? “Then you might like to explore the world’s most famous wine region. “It’s hard work finding an interesting wine from here “that costs less than a tenner.” – Champagne.
– Champagne. – Champagne?
– No, it’s Bordeaux.
– Oh. 10 points for this. What common adjective links non-profit-making institutions for small savings and life insurance, the bombs that Sir John Betjeman willed to fall on the town of Slough…? – Friendly.
– Friendly is correct, yes. APPLAUSE You get the second set of bonuses, Lady Margaret Hall. They’re on authors. In each case, I simply need the two-letter surname of the following. Firstly… The Redundancy Of Courage is a 1991 work by which Hong Kong-born novelist? Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, it is set in the fictitious country of Danu in south-east Asia. Mo. Timothy Mo is correct. Which Israeli author wrote the 1968 novel My Michael, about the marriage of a young woman in Jerusalem in the 1950s? I don’t know this. – No.
– Sure? Make a guess? – No.
– Pass. That’s Amos Oz. And, finally, the farcical play Accidental Death Of An Anarchist is a work by which Italian radical? He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997. Fo. Dario Fo is correct. – 10 points for this.
– APPLAUSE Born Sophie Friederike Auguste, Princess of Anhalt-Zerbst in Stettin in 1729, who married Peter III of Russia in 1745 and was proclaimed…? – Catherine The Great.
– Correct. APPLAUSE These bonuses are on plants, Lady Margaret Hall. Parasitic on several species of trees, what is the common name for the species Viscum album? – Mistletoe.
– Are we sure? Album is white, so… – Mistletoe.
– Correct. Secondly, a parasitic tree that produces yellow-orange flowers in winter, Nuytsia floribunda has what common three-word name after the Commonwealth country where it originates? (Floribunda, um… I know this.) I know this. Floribunda. Er… – Not Fiji, is it?
– No, it’s fourth. – THEY LAUGH
– No idea, don’t know. Let’s have an answer, please. Sorry, pass. It’s the Australian Christmas tree. And, finally, Tristerix aphyllus is a mistletoe known to grow on two species of what flowering plant, associated with arid climates? – It’s not a cactus, is it?
– Possibly. Good guess. Cactus? Shall we do a cactus? Flowering plant, arid climates. – Cactus?
– Correct! APPLAUSE We’re going to take a picture round now. For your starter you’ll see a verse of a Christmas carol as found in the New Oxford Book Of Carols. However, it’s the slightly less familiar second verse and most of the words have been hidden. Ten points for the name of the carol, please. – Once In Royal David’s City?
– It is, let’s see the whole thing. Well done. OK, so you get the picture bonuses. Following on from Once In Royal David’s City, they are three more carols for you to identify from a perhaps less familiar verse. Again, you’ll see only the first and final words of each line. Firstly, for five. It’s glad tidings and joy, isn’t it? – Oh, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen?
– Yes. – Sure?
– HE HUMS Go on. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Correct, here’s the full thing. There we are. And, secondly. O Come All Ye Faithful. – O Come All Ye Faithful, do we think?
– Is it? Peace to men on Earth… Christ was born of Mary and… They watch a wondering love. Little Town Of Bethlehem? OK, Little Town Of Bethlehem. Correct, we’ll see the whole thing. And, finally, can you identify this one, please? The camel, we must remember the camel. HUMMING No, actually, do you know what, I’m not sure I know. Come on, let’s have it, please. – Anything?
– Once In Royal David’s City. No idea. Once In Royal… I don’t think it is. We’ve already had that. It’s In The Bleak Midwinter. We’ll see the whole thing. Warwick, there’s still plenty of time to get going and you may get away with not having to sing, as well. Ten points for this, listen carefully, answer as soon your name is called. At a Christmas dinner with five guests, what is the minimum number of crackers required if every guest is to pull at least one cracker? Four? LMH, one of you buzz. You may not confer, one of you can buzz. Six? No, it’s three. So, ten points for this starter question. What five-letter word denotes an individual member of a priestly caste of ancient Persia? When pluralised it becomes a term for those from the East who brought gifts to the infant… Magi? No. ..who brought gifts to the infant Jesus. I’m going to have to take five points off because you interrupted, too. Oh, come along! LAUGHTER King. No, its Magus, of which Cathy gave you the plural, Magi. Right, another starter question, then, ten points for this. Which sport links the 1909 work Stag At Sharkey’s by the US realist painter..? – Boxing.
– Correct, well done. APPLAUSE Your bonuses, this time, Lady Margaret Hall, are on prime numbers. In which novel are the chapters numbered with sequential prime numbers because the main character thinks that prime numbers are what is left after you’ve taken all the patterns away? – Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time.
– Correct, by Mark Haddon. Between 1991 and 2007, which US corporation’s laboratory sponsored a challenge to investigate the difficulty of factoring large numbers into pairs of primes for use in encryption? Bell, or IBM? Was it Bell? – Was it a university?
– No, an American corporation. Bell Telephone? Or IBM. Bell? IBM? – Bell or IBM? I reckon IBM.
– OK. – IBM?
– No, it’s RSA. And, finally, a seven digit prime, what is Jenny’s phone number in the title of a single released in 1981 by the US group Tommy Tutone? No idea. Absolutely no idea. It’s 867-5309. Ten points for this. The cover art for the release in 1984 of Band Aid’s single Do They Know It’s Christmas? was created by which British…? – I’m sorry if you …
– Tracey Emin. No. If you buzz you must answer, I have to fine you five points, I’m sorry. ..was created by which British artist? A montage of different figures, it recalled his earlier work for the album cover of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper. Dear, oh, dear. I was certain you were going to get that. I’m sorry, it’s Peter Blake, as you knew, but never mind. You live to fight again, LMH. So, here we go with another starter question. Toodle-oo, Caribou, A Tale of the Frozen North, is supposedly a work of fiction by which character, himself a fictional creation? An alumnus of the Daisy Hill puppy farm, he first appeared in the 1950s in the comic strips of the cartoonist Charles M Schultz. – Snoopy?
– Yes. APPLAUSE Right, your bonuses are on the sciences and the names of Santa’s reindeer as they appear in the 1823 poem, A Visit From St Nicholas. Firstly, which of Santa’s reindeer shares his name with both a dragonfly common throughout the US and a text entry interface created in 1997 at the Department of Physics in Cambridge? Donner, Blitzen… Blitzen, it’s Blitzen, isn’t it? – Might that be a text interface?
– It sounds like it! Dasher, Prancer… – Blitzen, Donner, what’s the other one?
– Try Blitzen. – Blitzen?
– No, it’s Dasher. Secondly, the name of which reindeer also denotes both an assay technique for measuring damage to DNA and a class of small astronomical objects? I can’t remember… It could be Blitzen. Is it Blitzen or Blitzer? It’s both, in fact. It’s not Blitzen, Blitzen is lightning. Oh, this is a waste of a point. – No idea.
– We really don’t know. It’s Comet. And, finally, which of the reindeer shares his name with both a Roman God and a small moon of Uranus, discovered in 2003 by the Hubble Space Telescope? – Pluto?
– Pluto.
– Is it Pluto? Pluto isn’t a moon. – Yeah, but is it a reindeer?
– No. Neither. No idea. Prancer? Prancer?! Prancer discovered by Hubble?! Uranus’s moons are named after people in Shakespeare. Vulcan? While it’s entertaining to see this expensive education devoted to such high purpose, I think we’d better hurry you. It didn’t cost anything when we went there. It did to the taxpayer. – Vulcan?
– No, it’s Cupid. We’re going to take a music round now. For your music starter you’ll hear a piece of classical music. All you have to do to get ten points is to name the Russian composer. Borodin. It is, Borodin, yes, The Gliding Dance of the Maidens. APPLAUSE So, that roughly translates as “ladies dancing”. For your music bonuses, three more composers bearing gifts of the 12 days of Christmas, in some form, at least. Firstly, the four calling birds are thought to have originated as colly birds, or blackbirds, depicted here by which French composer? Messiaen. You sure? Yeah, definitely. – Is it Debussy?
– No, it’s Messiaen.
– Are you sure? Yeah. – It must be.
– I don’t think it is Messiaen.
– Yeah, it is. – It’s not Faure?
– That must be Messiaen.
– I’m not sure. – I think it’s Messiaen.
– Sure? OK. Messiaen? Yeah, you should have listened to him the first time, yes. Correct. Secondly, a piper piping from which contemporary British composer? James MacMillan. No, that’s from Peter Maxwell Davies, An Orkney Wedding With Sunrise, and, finally, some drummers drumming from which Russian composer? THEY CONFER QUIETLY No, it’s the seventh, Shostakovich. It’s the beginning, actually. Shostakovich? It’s Shostakovich, sixth or seventh. – You’re certain?
– Yeah. Shostakovich. No, that’s by Prokofiev, it’s from Lieutenant Kije. Right, ten points for this. The Christmas oratorio For The Time Being and the poem New Year Letter were among the works of which poet? – Auden.
– Auden is correct, yes. APPLAUSE Right, your bonuses this time, Lady Margaret Hall, are on female warriors. Firstly, for five points, the daughter of Aries and Otrera, Penthesilea, who met her fate at the hands of Achilles, was a queen of which people? – Queen of which people?
– Amazons. – Queen of which people.
– The Amazons.
– The Amazons, yeah? The Amazons? Correct. Secondly, based in present day East Anglia, which tribe in AD 60 revolted against Roman rule under their warrior queen, Boudicca? THEY CONFER QUIETLY – The Iceni? Iceni?
– Iceni?
– Yeah. Iceni? The Iceni. Correct. And finally, Joan of Arc claimed that she was guided by the voices of three saints. – Saint Catherine, Saint Margaret and which other?
– Mmm… THEY WHISPER – Saint Anne? Shall we try that?
– Saint Anne, yeah.
– Saint Anne. No, it was Saint Michael. Ten points for this. To what specific item of clothing was Julian Barnes referring when he distinguished it from art on the grounds that art is not, quote, “designed to give gentle uplift and self-confidence?” BUZZ A bra. Brassiere is correct, yes. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE So you storm away. Here are your bonuses, they’re on sheep. “It’s to be distinguished by a fine tuft of wool on the forehead.” Dating to 1891, these words of Mr WS Harmer of Cirencester appear in an official designation of which breed of sheep, named after an upland area? THEY WHISPER – Brecon, Brecon? Cumbria. He said Welsh, didn’t he?
– Upland. – Yeah, Welsh upland.
– Erm, so, Brecon Beacons or…? I don’t know. – Shall we have an answer, please?
– Er, Brecon or…? Brecon? No, it’s the Cotswolds. Which piebald breed of sheep takes its name from a figure in the Book of Genesis who took speckled and spotted sheep from the herd of his uncle, Laban, and bred them? Erm… I know, erm… THEY CONFER QUIETLY No, we’ll pass on that, shall we? I think we’re going politely to decline answering that one. You’re going to kick yourselves, it’s Jacob sheep, of course. And finally, described as the single most significant sheep breed in the UK today, the Bluefaced is associated with which county of the East Midlands? – Ooh, well.
– That’s Leicestershire. Lincolnshire. Nottinghamshire. – Leicestershire?
– Yeah.
– (Leicestershire.) Not Nottinghamshire? Erm, Leicestershire, yeah? Leicestershire? – Correct.
– Oh! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Right, ten points for this starter question. Listen carefully then answer promptly. “Here is an algorithm for the machine calculation “of complex Fourier series.” Give the dictionary spelling of the word “algorithm” in this sentence. BELL A-L-G-O-R-I-T-H-M. Correct. APPLAUSE Your bonuses this time are on a literary figure, Lady Margaret Hall. In 2014, which Paris-born author became the first French recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature since Jean-Marie Le Clezio in 2008? Patrick Modiano. Patrick Modiano. Correct. Secondly, the initial Nobel citation cited Modiano’s skill in evoking the most ungraspable human destinies of which four-year period of French 20th century history? – The Algerian War of Independence?
– Are you sure?
– Mm, I think so, yeah. – Anyone want to…?
– No, I think that’s right. The Algerian War of Independence. No, it’s the occupation by the Nazis. Published in 1968, what is the title of Modiano’s first novel? It shares its name with the Paris location also known as Place Charles de Gaulle. – Hang on, it shares its name with Place Charles de Gaulle?
– Hmm. What, is that…? That’s not, erm… Arc de Triomphe? – Where is Place Charles de Gaulle?
– No, don’t know.
– Are you sure? Charles de Gaulle. Arc de Triomphe? Could it be Triomphe?! – Sorry, we don’t know.
– It’s Place de l’Etoile. Right, we’re going to take another picture round now. For your picture starter, you’re going to see a painting of a scene from the New Testament. Ten points if you can give me the specific name of the scene depicted. BELL The Annunciation. Correct. APPLAUSE That Annunciation was the work of Giorgio Vasari, now perhaps better known for his Lives of the Artists. Your bonuses are three more depictions of the Annunciation, each by an artist included in the 1568 edition of Vasari’s biographical work. Five points for each you can identify. Firstly, this artist, whom Vasari described as “a man of very pleasant humour, “often playing tricks on his disciples and friends.” – Is it Botticelli?
– Botticelli? – Or Filippo…?
– Are you sure? I thought it was that… – Filippo Lippi.
– It’s not De… – No, no, it’s Italian.
– It’s definitely…
– Yeah. Could it be Filippo Lippi? I think it’s Filippo Lippi. – Filippo Lippi, do we think?
– Yeah.
– You think Botticelli? Not sure? Filippo Lippi. No, it’s Botticelli. And secondly this artist, of whom Vasari said, “How bountiful and benign Heaven sometimes shows itself “in showering upon one single person “the infinite riches of its treasures.” – I don’t know.
– Is it Perugino? – Perugino?
– Hmm.
– Perugino. No, it’s Raphael. And finally this artist, who, “in addition to his excellence in art has shown great gentleness, “beautiful breeding and most courteous ways and manners.” – Tintoretto.
– Sure?
– Pretty sure. Tintoretto. No, it’s Titian. Ten points for this. “True literature can exist only where it is created not by diligent “and trustworthy officials, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, “rebels and sceptics.” These are the words of which Russian author, whose novel, We, was an influence on Orwell’s…? BELL Zamyatin. Zamyatin is correct, yes. APPLAUSE These bonuses, Lady Margaret Hall, are on Syria. Over 300km north of Damascus, which major city of Syria was historically regarded as one of the western termini of the Silk Road? – Aleppo?
– I was going to say Aleppo. Could it be Raqqa? Aleppo. Aleppo. Correct. One of the world’s best preserved medieval castles, praised by Lawrence of Arabia for its beauty, which fortress in Syria withstood a siege by Saladin in 1188? – Krak des Chevaliers.
– Yes. Krak des Chevaliers? Correct. Krak des Chevaliers lies 40km to the west of which city, the third largest in Syria? – Homs.
– Homs. Homs is right, there are three minutes to go. Here’s a starter question. Which element was obtained by the French chemist Bernard Courtois in 1811 by heating seaweed ashes with sulphuric acid? – It has the…
– BELL Iodine. Correct. APPLAUSE Right, your bonuses this time, Lady Margaret Hall, are on paraphilias, or atypical forms of sexual attraction. Firstly, “agalmatophilia” is the sexual attraction to what objects, as for example in the myth of Pygmalion? – Statues?
– Yeah?
– Yeah. Statues. Correct. “Dendrophilia” is the attraction to what organic objects? Trees. Correct. “Dacryphilia” is the attraction to what human response? Tickling. Dact, dact…? Fingers. Tickling. No, it’s tears or crying. Ten points for this. Originating in the Netherlands in the 17th century as a treatment for stomach complaints, gin has which berry or seed…? BUZZ Juniper. Juniper is correct. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Right, these bonuses are on works based on the English Civil War and its aftermath. What is the title of the noted painting by William Frederick Yeames showing Parliamentary soldiers interrogating a Cavalier’s son? THEY WHISPER – Can’t remember what it’s called.
– You can’t remember what it’s called? – That’s regrettable.
– LAUGHTER Anybody remember what it’s called? I’ve never heard of it, so I’m not forgetting it. Oh, erm, When Did You Last See Your Father? Correct, yes! APPLAUSE Secondly for five points, set during the Civil War, I Puritani was an opera first produced in Paris in 1835. Who was the composer? – Paris, 1835.
– Well, erm…
– Massenet? – Who?
– Massenet?
– Massenet, possibly. Erm… – We’re going to say Massenet.
– No, it was Bellini. And finally, what is the title of the cult horror film of 1968, in which Vincent Price plays a lawyer supposedly appointed by Parliament to root out forms of sorcery? – Witchfinder General.
– Correct. Ten points for this. Featuring a fictional device called an “orgasmatron,” which Woody Allen film…? BUZZ Sleeper. Correct. APPLAUSE These bonuses are on German art movements. What name denotes a group of German Expressionist artists based in Munich before the First World War, whose members included Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky? – You can give the name in German or English.
– Thank you. LAUGHTER THEY CONFER QUIETLY Or possibly in neither. THEY WHISPER – You’ve got to hurry up!
– I’m going to say Jugendstil, but it’s probably… – FINAL GONG
– Oh, no, it’s the Blue Rider Group. APPLAUSE There was no use not being able to remember things. You obviously suffered from that. You did know most of the answers, and who knows, if we’d gone on for another hour or two, you might have won! – We were very good on orgasms and bras.
– You were very… Some people would say you were shameless. But thank you very much for joining us, Warwick. You didn’t have to do it, it was good fun. Thank you very much. And congratulations to you, LMH, 195 is a terrific score, and if you’re one of the four highest scoring teams, we shall look forward to seeing you in the semi-finals. Thank you very much for joining us, it’s a very convincing victory. I hope you can join us next time for the second of these Christmas quizzes, but until then, it’s goodbye from Warwick University. – ALL: Goodbye.
– It’s goodbye from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. – ALL: Goodbye.
– And it’s goodbye from me. Goodbye. APPLAUSE