Sunday, 31 March 2013

Deal or No Deal - 25th-31st March

So, here we go with my final weekly DoND summary. And what a week to go out on.

Monday 25th: Shan
Winnings: £100
Opened the box
Highest offer: £5,000 (17-box)
Box value: £100

A virtually unavoidable trainwreck. The only notable thing here being Shan becoming only the fourth player to have the worst possible second round (a 1 in 680 chance).

Tuesday 26th: Tommy
Winnings: £45,000
Dealt at: 5-box
Highest offer: £45,000 (5-box)
Box value: £20,000

This was much better. Tommy was a very entertaining player, and was also a song writer, who performed two songs during the show. The offers went well up in generosity after Tommy's sister revealed he was after the £250,000. Ultimately, he made the right call to stop chasing the Jackpot. A great result from a great game.

Wednesday 27th: Jen
Winnings: £45,000
Dealt at: 5-box
Highest offer: £170,000 (2-box)
Box value: £100,000 (hypo-swapped for £250,000)

A second consecutive £45,000 win, but the reaction couldn't be more different. Jen's £45,000 offer was a lot less generous than Tommy's, and the nightmare proveout just made matters worse for the poor girl, especially as she'd had the exact same final pair when she played the DoND board game for the first time! But £45,000 is a great win, no matter what the circumstances.

Thursday 28th: Dave
Winnings: £18,000
Dealt at: 2-box
Highest offer: £18,000 (2-box)
Box value: £50,000

A good result from a fairly low tariff game, even though there was more in the box. Not a lot more to say about this one.

Friday 29th: Betsy
Winnings: £26,000
Dealt at: 5-box
Highest offer: £26,000 (5-box)
Box value: £1

Betsy was a memorable player, who was both very lively, and very emotional. After an accidental NO DEAL at 8-box, her decision to deal when she did was sensible, both for the board, and for her. And it was undeniably vindicated.

Sunday 31st: Wai Ling
Winnings: £27,500
Dealt at: 2-box
Highest offer: £27,500 (2-box)
Box value: £250

Another highly emotional game, and amazing to get £27,500 out of a game that had been so unlucky early on. The Banker needs to learn to offer (statistically) decent offers even on weak boards, as lowballing early on has backfired on him many a time, including quite a few times this month.

But that's a minor quibble in, what has been, a great week for the show, with the highest overall payout for a long time. And it's perhaps fitting that I finish my weekly summaries with such a good week. DoND will be back at the end of next month, with a summary of all the major games of that month.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Third Degree: Week 1: Anglia Ruskin

So, here goes my first attempt to get some new stuff on here. Some may recall I posted about this show last week. It fills in the space previously occupied by Brain of Britain until Counterpoint starts. Steve Punt hosts, as three university students take on three of their lecturers, or 'dons', in a series of quizzes.

The first show of the third series came from Anglia Ruskin University, in Cambridge. The students were:
Jake Lowery, studying Film Studies and Creative Writing
Sam Matty, studying Social Work
Jeffrey Benton, studying Graphic Design

And the dons were:
Dr Nina Lupren (Film Studies)
Peter Scoufield (Social Work)
Will Hill (Graphic Design)

The first round sees each team get given questions, with the other team being offered a bonus if they don't know it. The teams generally did quite well in this round, with only one question not being answered by the team it was initially given to. At the end of the round, the Dons led 11-8.

We then got the first of the specialist round, where one student, and their respective don, being given a series of questions. If a don doesn't get the answer, the student can get a bonus, but the dons cannot answer dropped student questions.

The next round was a list round, where the teams had to give as many answers on a specified subject in 30 seconds. If they get eight, they get a bonus. The dons managed five on 'men or women who have been in space', while the students got four on 'rivers of the World longer than 2000km'; the students were soon restricted to naming British rivers, none of which were right. The Dons now led by 18-14.

After the second specialist round, we moved on to 'Highbrow-Lowbrow'. In this round, all six players are given a key word, and must decide whether to answer the Highbrow question, or the Lowbrow one. The catch is, the question they reject goes to their opposite number for a bonus. Students get two points for a correct highbrow answer and one for a lowbrow one; for the dons, it's the other way around. This round usually takes up most of the show, and is the most interesting round of the show. This week, only two players opted for the two-pointer question, meaning it was mostly one-pointers. After this round, the Dons led by 28-19.

We then had the third specialist round, before the final round, which is a straight buzzer round: one point for a correct answer, minus one for an incorrect interruption, and no bonuses are allowed.

The end result saw the Dons win 35-28. A good performance by the students, but not quite enough. The dons generally run away with it in 'Highbrow-Lowbrow', as they can answer the lowbrow questions better than the students can the highbrow.

I hope this review wasn't too complicated. It should run better next week, without the explaining of the rules.

Monday, 25 March 2013

University Challenge: Elimination Quarter-Final 2: Pembroke vs King's

Phew! I feel absolutely drained after tonight's match! My Dad certainly knows when to show up at my flat and watch the matches with me. Last time he did this, it was UCL's huge recovery win over Bangor. 'Nuff said!

Pembroke College Cambridge comfortably defeated Lancaster and Bath early on, but lost to St George's in a dour first quarter-final. They remained:
Robert Scanes, from North London, studying Natural Sciences
Emily Maw, from Oxford, studying Maths
Captain: Tom Foxall, from Birmingham, studying Classics
Jemima Hodkinson, from Portsmouth, studying Natural Sciences

King's College Cambridge also lost to St George's, but in the first round; they survived as highest scoring losers, and subsequently defeated Homerton and Warwick, before losing to New College last time. They were still:
Curtis Gallant, from North London, studying Classics
Amber Ace, from Perthshire, studying Classics
Captain: Fran Middleton, from Chorleywood in Hertfordshire, studying Classics
James Gratrex, from Leeds, studying Physics

So, two Cambridge teams, both very likeable sides. I'd normally be impartial. But not with LAM and OW reader James 'jim360' Gratrex on the show. King's had my full support tonight.

At first, King's got off to a storming start, with Pembroke's contributions being confined to penalties. Two successive starters went unanswered, both of which I got the answer to. The first picture round saw Pembroke get their first action of the game, but they still trailed by 45-5.

Throughout the second phase, King's continued their impressive run on the buzzer, with Pembroke's contribution being confined to a third penalty, reducing their score to zero. Just before the music round, Paxo told them there was plenty of time left, the surest sign that you're in trouble. The music starter went to James, and King's now led by 115-0.

Pembroke finally managed to get a second starter, and began to pull their way back into the match, getting the starters comfortably, and shutting King's out on the buzzer. By the second picture round, they had reduced the gap to 135-80, and were well back in the hunt.

And the Pembroke momentum continued. Two more penalties were incurred, but they were both very swiftly cancelled out by starters. Soon, the gap, which had by 135 at one point, was down to just twenty-five points! Could Pembroke pull off one of the biggest shock comeback victories of all time?

Fran Middleton thought otherwise, taking a much needed starter for King's, and giving them a bit of breathing space. But Pembroke weren't going to let them get away, and kept the pressure on them with more starters. With barely any time to go, the gap was just fifteen points! A very topical starter, on the most common papal name, was dropped by both teams. And the gong! King's had it, 150-135!

What a match! Very well done James and co, for another gripping match, and another deserved victory! But very hard lines to Pembroke, who so nearly pulled it off, and, as Paxo said, may well have done it had they got off to a better start. Robert Scanes got five starters, one more than our man James got for King's. James and co managed 10 bonuses out of 30; Pembroke made 12 bonuses out of 30, but five penalties was what cost them the match.

Next week's match: Manchester vs St George's. Which points to a very interesting match up between Bangor and King's, with Adam P. vs James G., the week after!

Tune back in tomorrow for my review of the first new episode of the Third Degree. 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Deal or No Deal - 18th-24th March (with Jonathan Ross celebrity special)

So, the penultimate of my weekly DoND summaries. With the bonus of this evening's celebrity game.

Monday 18th: Joey
Winnings: £11,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £36,000 (2-box)
Box value: £100,000

Unfortunate result from a sensible call. Not much more to say here.

Tuesday 19th: Pepe
Winnings: £18,000
Dealt at: 5-box
Highest offer: £18,000 (5-box)
Box value: £50,000

Ditto to above.

Wednesday 20th: Rachel
Winnings: £26,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £30,000 (2-box)
Box value: £50,000

A third consecutive Power 5 underselling. All three games were made watchable by the players themselves. Rachel had built up quite a relationship with the Banker on Twitter in the run-up to her game though.

Thursday 21st: Jainaba
Winnings: £40,000
Dealt at: 5-box
Highest offer: £78,100 (2-box)
Box value: £250,000

Great game, with a likeable player, and a sensible deal that did not deserve that proveout. And great to see a Power 5 win too; they are rather rare nowadays.

Friday 22nd: Kerrie
Winnings: £31,000
Dealt at: 2-box
Highest offer: £31,000 (2-box)
Box value: £5,000

Much needed Banker spanking after the week prior. And quite a tense game as well.

Saturday 23rd: Mike
Winnings: 10p
Opened the box
Highest offer: £1,000 (11-box)
Box value: 10p

When your highest offer is £1,000, you know you've had a horrendously unlucky game. Mike took it very well though.

Sunday 24th: Jonathan Ross (celebrity special)
Winnings (for charity): £20,000
Dealt at: 5-box
Highest offer: £20,000 (5-box)
Box value: £250

Only watched this from 8-box onwards, but a good enough result. £20,000 was a poor offer statistically, but you can't argue with a Banker spanking. A good result.

So tune in next week for my final weekly DoND summary, before my switch to monthlies.

Monday, 18 March 2013

University Challenge: Qualification Quarter-Final 2: St George's vs New College

Well, amidst the rather cold and snowy atmosphere that has engulfed the city at the moment, we had a serious match on our hands here. The winners would join U.C.L. in the semis. Both teams had had impressive runs to this stage, so there wasn't much between them on paper.

St George's narrowly defeated James G. and co from King's College Cambridge in the first round, way back in July, before more comprehensively defeating Lancaster in Round 2, and Pembroke College Cambridge in the preliminaries, showing good buzzer and bonus work along the way. They were still:
Shashank Sivaji, from Southend-on-Sea, studying Medicine 
Alexander Suebsaeng, from London, studying Medicine
Captain: Rebecca Smoker, from County Kildare, studying Medicine
Sam Mindel, from London, studying Medicine

New College Oxford convincingly defeated two very good teams from Homerton College Cambridge and York early on, before they too defeated James and co in the preliminaries, albeit after falling silent in the closing minutes, as Paxo reminded us. They remained:
Remi Beecroft, from Letchworth in Hertfordshire, studying Psychology and Philosophy
India Lenon, from London, studying Classics
Captain: Andy Hood, from Wasperton in Warwickshire, studying PPE
Tom Cappleman, from Bracknell, studying Maths

So, on paper, very little between these two fine teams, with St George's better bonus showing in the preliminaries putting them ahead slightly.

The hitherto impressive Alexander Suebsaeng quickly got St George's off the mark. The equally hitherto impressive Tom Cappleman did likewise for New College. But an early interruption from Andy Hood allowed St George's to gather a brief momentum spurt. After the first picture round, on £5 coins, and what they commemorated, St George's were ahead by 40-10.

So far, then, neither side was really managing to gather a convincing head of steam. New College fought back, but weren't having a great deal of luck on the bonuses. One bonus asked for a common product obtained from trees; after much deliberation, Andy Hood replied 'wood', which got some laughter, and some predictable sarcasm from Paxo!

St George's also seemed to be having trouble with the bonuses, which contrasts greatly to their good showing on them earlier in the series. New College eventually managed a full set, on personal pronouns, which gave them a narrow lead. The music round, on ballets based on fairy tales (one of which, Prokofiev's Cinderella, I got because I've heard it on the show twice before!), saw St George's get their first full set of the night, and reclaim the lead by 80-60.

A set of bonuses on mathematical matrixes saw Sam Mindel reduced to laughter as he tried to answer them! New College then slowly began to claw away at the deficit, getting a row of starters, but no bonuses following. The second picture round, on authors who declined honours, saw New College narrowly claim the lead by 105-95.

Into the final stretch of play, it was still very much up for grabs. The sides exchanged starters, with New College just maintaining a slender lead. Then, with three minutes left, New College began to put their feet down, with a late run of starters. Though the bonuses, again, didn't fall well for them, the starters alone were enough to win them the match. At the gong, New College won by 160-110.

So, New College reach the semis, as widely expected, but not as comprehensively as some may have predicted at the start of the quarters. Tom Cappleman, again, gave a good buzzer showing, getting seven starters, but the side managed just 9 bonuses out of 34 (with one penalty), which may well prove costly in the semis. Alexander Suebsaeng led the way for St George's, getting three starters, and the side managed 8 bonuses out of 21, which, again, is quite low given their previous good showing. And the draw may well throw them against Bangor next, which would most certainly be an interesting match.

Next week: Pembroke vs King's, with the losers heading home (good luck James and co!) 

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Deal or No Deal - 11th-17th March

OK, I've made the decision to stop doing my weekly DoND summaries at the end of this month, and do one big summary of the major games at the end of every month. It's part of my attempts to get some different stuff on here, rather than purely UC and DoND.

This week, though, deserves a full summary. What a week!

Monday 11th: Pete
Winnings: £7,950
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £67,000 (2-box)
Box value: £250,000

Oh dear, poor old Pete. He was oh so unlucky to bring the Jackpot to the table, then wipe out all the other big sums while keeping the bottom four, meaning the offers weren't going to rise hugely. And under the circumstances, his decision to deal was by no means a bad one. Alas, it does mean he has broken the record for the lowest the £250,000 has been sold for, usurping Katie Chipchase's record of £8,000 from last July. Poor chap.

And then came Cheltenham, which took up most of Channel 4 for the week, and forced DoND back into it's old running length of 50 minutes. Unfortunately, on Tuesday, inclement weather meant Cheltenham overran, and DoND was pulled at short notice! The solution: move all the shows back a day, and slot the Friday show in on Saturday lunchtime. Simples! 'squeak!'

Wednesday 13th: Kristian
Winnings: £15,000
Opened the box
Highest offer: £7,250 (11-box)
Box value: £15,000

Well, this was well worth the wait! The first Banker spanking from a box win since Scott won £50,000 last August! Although, to be fair, Kristian was probably forced to go all the way by the boxes, which didn't fall for him throughout. But a very welcome result nonetheless.

Thursday 14th: Kia
Winnings: £5,000
Opened the box
Highest offer: £15,000 (17-box)
Box value: £5,000

A pretty tense game, here. The gambles Kia took were calculated, no where near reckless, and £5,000 was a decent result. Under the circumstances, it's hard to tell whether she was always going to go all the way, or if she was just chasing her first offer. We'll likely never know.

Friday 15th: Alan
Winnings: £12,000
Dealt at: 5-box
Highest offer: £18,500 (2-box)
Box value: £50,000

Alan was a lively character, and he was full of anecdotes, which caused lots of humour whenever he seemed to begin a long one! His decision to deal was very reasonable, and it was a shame that it didn't work out, but he gave us a good enough game, which is all we can really ask for.

Saturday 16th: Lyanne
Winnings: £13,013
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £62,062 (2-box)
Box value: £50,000

It's a shame that Lyanne's show got moved from it's Friday slot to Saturday lunchtime, but that's the wya things go sometimes. Her deal was perfectly understandable, and it's a shame that the proveout went so badly wrong, leaving £50,000 and £75,000 to the end.

Sunday 17th: Amy
Winnings: £28,000
Dealt at: 2-box
Highest offer: £28,000 (2-box)
Box value: 50p

One of the most surprising Banker spankings of all time! Especially given that the board was weak half way through. Whether Amy was gambling on her own accord, or whether the events of the past week were on her mind, we'll likely never know. But it paid off spectacularly! And, given how emotional she was getting during the final round, it's a good thing it did.

Overall, a very eventful week for the show! Maybe there is some merit in these weekly summaries after all. Will decide for sure whether to discontinue these later on.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Third Degree to return 25th March

For those who haven't heard it before, the Third Degree is an excellent Radio 4 quiz show, presented by the Now Show's Steve Punt.

Each week, Steve visits a different British university, and the quiz pits a team of three students against a team of three lecturers, or 'dons' as they are known, in seven rounds of quizzing. The three dons teach the subjects the three students are studying.

Of the seven rounds, three are 'specialist' rounds, with the student facing the don teaching their subject in a round of straight questions. Each are asked about three questions each; if the dons drop a question, the students are offered it for a bonus, but the dons aren't allowed this for student droppages.

The other rounds include a round of each team getting alternative questions, which opens the show, a round requiring the teams to name as many answers as they can within a period of time (for example, how many fruits can you name in 30 seconds), and the final round is a straight buzz-off between the two teams.

But the highlight of the show is 'Highbrow-Lowbrow', in which all six players are given a key word (for example, yellow, or tree), and that key word has two questions, one highbrow, the other lowbrow. The player must chose which they want to attempt. The catch is, the question they reject, their opposite number has to answer. If that sounds complicated, you probably need to hear it for real to understand it properly.

Usually, the dons win. In the two six episode series we've had so far, the students have only won one game, with students from Warwick University, including UC alumni Sumukh Kaul and James Wheatley, triumphing over the dons by an eleven point margin. The students have lost all the other eleven episodes, except for the students of Stirling University, who managed a draw.

Overall, I've enjoyed the first two series of the show, and hopefully the third will be just as interesting. It begins on March 25th at 3pm, in the slot soon to be vacated by Brain of Britain, with a repeat on Saturday nights at 11pm. I hope to provide a short summary every week, in an attempt to get more stuff going on on this blog.

Monday, 11 March 2013

University Challenge: Elimination Quarter-Final 1: Imperial vs Bangor

Well, last week, we saw two teams fighting for the first semi-final place. This week, we saw two teams fighting to avoid being the first quarter-finalists to leave the contest.

Imperial College London comfortably defeated Jesus College Cambridge and Bristol early on, but lost an OK match to Manchester in the preliminaries. They remained:
Pietro Aronica, from Brescia in Italy, studying Biochemistry
Dominic Cottrell, from London, studying Medicine
Captain: Martin Evans, from Oxfordshire, studying Pharmacology
Henry Guille, from Cranbrook in Kent, studying Material Science

Bangor narrowly defeated St Andrews and tournament favourites Durham in the early stages, before losing to U.C.L. in the preliminaries, despite holding the lead early on. They continued to be represented by:
Adam Pearce, from Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan, studying Translation Studies
Mark Stevens, from Widnes in Cheshire, studying Environmental Science
Captain: Nina Grant, from Enfield in London, studying French and Linguistics
Simon Tomlinson, from Manchester, studying Neuropsychology

Naturally, Bangor had the mutual support from me tonight, due to Adam 'Welshguy' Pearce and Nina 'pocketmouse' Grant being kind enough to post on here before. But, there wasn't much between these teams on paper, so it should have been a close match.

The two sides started off evenly splitting the starters, with Bangor's better showing on the bonuses edging them ahead slightly. After the first picture round, it was 45-all. Tellingly, though, it had only taken Bangor two starters to reach that total, while Imperial had taken three.

This impressive form continued when Adam P. took the next starter, and the side swept the board on all the bonuses. A great starter followed about a chief executive's weight in gold, which neither side got, much to Paxo's amusement! The music round was on types of jazz, including acid jazz; the mention of this amused me, as this frequently comes up as a category in the Pointless final, but is never chosen! Bangor now had a narrow lead of 80-75.

At this stage, neither side really had much in terms of momentum. Imperial briefly snuck into the lead, but Bangor swiftly reclaimed it. If I recall correctly, Adam remarked of an earlier match that his team's tactics on maths starters were to answer 0 or 1; unfortunately, his side didn't do that on a starter when that would've worked! The second picture round was on French queen consorts; surely, I wasn't the only one expecting Marie Antoinette to be the final bonus before the first one had been asked!

At this stage, Bangor led by 130-90. Imperial could still take it with a few good buzzes; Henry Guille tried a quick one on the next starter, but quickly realised he was wrong, and shouted 'NO!', prompting groans all round, before promptly collapsing onto the desk, where he remained for much of the rest of the match. Poor lad.

Even when his side got back into the match, poor Mr Guille just sat quietly during the bonuses, saying nothing. The final minutes saw Bangor stretch out their lead into a pretty impressive scoreline. And, for the first time, the Welsh side broke the 200 barrier. At the gong, Bangor won by 210-120.

A very impressive performance there from Bangor, who certainly have plenty of potential left in them. But poor Imperial; they did maybe get slightly lucky in their first and second round draws, and clearly couldn't handle being against a stronger team on the buzzer. It's a shame to see them go. Martin Evans got four for Imperial, as did our man Adam and the ever impressive Simon Tomlinson for Bangor. Imperial managed 10 bonuses out of 22, while Bangor got a very good (for this stage) 22 bonuses out 33. There were two penalties each. Well done Adam and co, and best of luck for next time!

Next week's match: St George's vs New College, with the winners going through to the semis. Should be a good match, that one.

Only Connect briefly returned tonight for a Comic Relief special. Some good play from the celebs involved, and some light hearted banter from Victoria Coren, whose husband Mr David Mitchell was on one of the teams! He took the jokes she made of him in his usual well way.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Deal or No Deal - 4th-10th March

Well, there hasn't been much memorable stuff this week in terms of gameplay this week, with most of the memorable stuff coming from the banter, but some good games nonetheless.

Monday 4th: Phil
Winnings: £11,000
Dealt at: 11-box
Highest offer: £15,000 (14-box)
Box value: 1p

Well, £11,000 wasn't that bad an offer for the board, but it was still surprising to see Phil deal, especially considering it wasn't the peak of the game. As it turns out, though, he dodged a bullet, as the game fell apart afterwards. An interesting game to watch.

Tuesday 5th: Laura
Winnings: £13,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £26,000 (5-box)
Box value: £10,000

Not a bad game. Entertaining in places. Not much to say except unlucky in the proveout to hit the top two one round late.

Wednesday 6th: George
Winnings: £16,000
Dealt at: 5-box
Highest offer: £17,000 (8-box)
Box value: £5

This was a good game. George was a great player; entertaining, while at the same time, focused on the game, and not larking about too much. After dealing £16,000, left with £5 and £35,000 at 2-box, the Banker offered George the chance to give the money back, and try for the £35,000. George declined this opportunity.

Thursday 7th: Marcus
Winnings: £16,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £16,000 (8-box)
Box value: £10,000

Great game, with a very likable contestant, and a thrilling proveout, with the big money waiting until the final box to come out both times. That sort of thing is very annoying in LIVE play, but hilarious in the proveout. Also, the third Thursday in a row where the player has achieved a Banker spanking! And, in all three cases, this has proved to be the only spanking of the week!

Friday 8th: Wanda
Winnings: £16,401
Dealt at: 11-box
Highest offer: £42,000 (5-box)
Box value: £1,000

Wanda was certainly a memorable contestant, though maybe not for the right reasons. Noel engaged in much banter with her in the sixteen prior shows she'd been there for, making her a prime target for a Friday show, which is usually when they bring out the livelier characters. (Giuseppe comes to mind) Her deal was cautious, but, in a game like hers, the gameplay is usually considered second rate to the humour.

Sunday 10th: Hannah
Winnings: £12,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £12,500 (17-box)
Box value: 10p

Pleasant game to end the week. The banter was pleasant, and didn't distract from the game. In fact, Hannah's singing, which the Banker allowed her to do midway through, was very professional indeed. Her deal was a tiny bit on the cautious side, but it paid off, and I doubt she'll care about £500 very much.

So, not a bad week, with some good results, and a run of similar winnings. Next week, the shows from Tuesday to Friday are shorter than usual due to Cheltenham. So, we can look forward to some nice, short, not-much-banter games, we hope!

Monday, 4 March 2013

University Challenge: Qualification Quarter-Final 1: Manchester vs U.C.L.

Well, the preliminaries gave us three average matches, and one truly fascinating one. Now, we got down to business: the winners would go through to the semis, while the runners-up would have to come back and try again. And, on paper, there was not very much between these two fine teams at all.

Manchester got off to a shaky start to the series, only just beating Lincoln College Oxford, but have since made up for that with comfortable enough victories over Magdalen and Imperial. They were still:
David Brice, from Kingston-upon-Thames, studying Economics  
Adam Barr, from Muswell Hill in London, studying Physics with Astrophysics 
Captain: Richard Gilbert, from Warwickshire, studying Linguistics 
Debbie Brown, from Buxton, studying Pain Epidemiology

U.C.L., as James [Gratrex] pointed out, have come through three very different matches to get this far: an easy win over Exeter, a close one over Jesus College Oxford, and a comeback from well behind to beat Bangor comfortably. They also remained the same:
Adam Papaphilippopoulos, from London, studying Philosophy 
Tom Tyszczuk Smith, from Cambridge, studying Medicine 
Captain: Simon Dennis, from London, studying the History and Philosophy of Science 
Tom Parton, from Staffordshire, studying Natural Sciences

U.C.L. got off to shaky start, with a penalty on the very first starter, giving Manchester a head start. But they soon got going, and, throughout the first quarter, things were very even. After the first picture round, a rather complex one on mathematical functions that I couldn't make any sense of at all, U.C.L. led 60-40.

Throughout the second phase of play, U.C.L. began to power away on the buzzer, and soon left Manchester well behind. Unlike the last few weeks, when not many bonuses were being converted, U.C.L. seemed to be doing rather well on them, generally getting at least two on each set. They even managed to answer some of the bonuses before Paxo had finished reading them out!

Manchester had soon fallen well behind; David Brice buzzed in early on a starter spelling out a girl's name using the NATO phonetic alphabet, which was rather brave, but it paid off. Manchester also took the music starter, but none of the bonuses; one of the bonuses I knew because I'd heard it on the show before! (That's what you get from watching too many back editions on YouTube!) Manchester had now cut U.C.L.'s lead to 120-70.

U.C.L. then began to surge again, and were beginning to pull out into a really strong lead. After the second picture round, the lead was up to 185-70. But Manchester weren't going to let them run away like that; we saw how they hold their nerve to beat Lincoln in the first round, despite falling well behind. Two successive starters saw them break into three figures, and maybe, just maybe, they could do it again.

But Simon Dennis thought otherwise, as he took his latest starter to pull his side further ahead. His opposite number, Mr Gilbert, hit back straight away, and a full set of bonuses pulled them closer again. The current champs then took a second consecutive starter, and one bonus, which they got by giving the same answer three times (a tactic that does work, occasionally; the last one is usually the most obvious!).

But this was as close as Manchester got, as U.C.L. took the remaining starters, which secured the victory. At the gong, U.C.L. won by 230-150.

Whew, that was a good one! After a few weeks of not many bonuses being got, the teams did much better this week: U.C.L. managed a very good 23 bonuses out of 38 (with one penalty), while Manchester made 14 bonuses out of 24. Simon Dennis was the best buzzer of the night, getting five starters, while Debbie Brown led for Manchester with three. A great game, played very well by both teams. It was U.C.L.'s quicker buzzing that won the game, and they fully deserve to make the semis. So too do Manchester, who have one more chance to make it through, if they win their next match.

Next week's match: Imperial vs Bangor, with the runners-up leaving the contest (good luck Welshguy and pocketmouse!)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Deal or No Deal - 25th February - 3rd March

These DoND summaries have been getting a bit samey lately. I may consider restricting them to occasionally, in the event of something major happening, or a summary of the notable games at the end of every month. In the meantime, we'll stick to this.

Monday 25th: Abbi
Winnings: £8,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £20,000 (5-box)
Box value: £1

Well, this wasn't that spectacular, but, as has been the case as of late, Abbi only went one round too early, which is, apparently, OK. Noel frequently claims that one mistake is fine. Personally, I think it depends on how much more money would have been offered.

Tuesday 26th: Josephine
Winnings: £21,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £72,000 (5-box)
Box value: £750

This was actually a pretty good game. The offers were pretty good, and there was some good humour along the way, although it may not have been to everyone's tastes. Ultimately, Josephine was unlucky to avoid the £250,000 in the proveout.

Wednesday 27th: Charlie
Winnings: £16,000
Dealt at: 3-box extra offer
Highest offer: £26,000 (14-box)
Box value: £750

Well well well. The Banker suspected early on that Charlie was going to go all the way, leading to very generous early offers. But the £250,000 accompanied by two other Power 5 sums going in the third round put pay to that. However, he kept on going for it, turning down some generous offers, before eventually calling it a day when the Banker threw in an extra offer at 3-box. And at least his deal worked out too; would've been bad to see him undersell the box via an extra offer after all that.

Thursday 28th: Woody
Winnings: £15,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £15,000 (8-box)
Box value: £5

Good to end the month with a sensible deal paying off nicely. And some nice aside business as well, with Woody's brass band turning up, and providing a rendition of the DoND theme music.

Friday 1st: Muriel
Winnings: £9,000
Dealt at: 8-box
Highest offer: £22,000 (5-box)
Box value: £10

Again, the players only misses out on their highest offer by one round. The game was enlivened by Muriel's 'lucky' cat mascot, which she didn't consider very lucky. Cue a run of cat puns from the other wingers!

Sunday 3rd: Sammy
Winnings: £25,000
Dealt at: 8-box (for £20,000)
Highest offer: £20,000 (8-box)
Box value: £35,000

Why the extra £5,000? The Banker told Sammy, if she dealt £20,000, he'd give her an extra £5,000 if her partner proposed to her! Which he did, though Sammy's father later objected that he hadn't got his permission first! I don't think Sammy would be too bothered about the £35,000, given that she only missed out on £10,000.

Overall, a good week for the show, with some good tense games, and some good results. More of the same next week please!