APPLAUSE Christmas University Challenge. Asking the questions, Jeremy Paxman. Hello, tonight we play the fifth of the first round matches in this festive series for distinguished and decorative alumni of some of the UK’s leading universities and university colleges. With the winning scores so far ranging from 235 to 160, both tonight’s teams will have worked out that winning with a total of 210 points will guarantee them a place in the semifinal. A score of less than that could also put them through depending on the strength of the competition. Cambridge plays Oxford tonight. Trinity Hall, Cambridge was founded shortly after the Black Death and has a reputation in law and in sporting prowess. Appropriately, their first team member won gold in both the Beijing and London Olympics. And holds the world record in the men’s coxless fours. With him, a former professional cyclist who won silver in the time trial at Beijing, was the 2010 time trial world champion and is now focused on other equally demanding challenges. Their captain has twice appeared on Granta’s list of the Best Young British Novelists. And he’s won the magnificent Golden Hatchet Award for entertaining negative reviews. And their fourth member is a stage, radio and television actor who’ll be instantly recognised by millions of Doctor Who fans as Strax, happily appearing tonight without having had to spend four hours in the make-up chair. Let’s meet the Trinity team. I’m Tom James and I graduated from engineering in 2007. I competed for GB Rowing for ten years and now I work in management consultancy. I’m Emma Pooley, I graduated in 2005 in engineering and I’m a former cyclist and professional triathlete. And their captain. I’m Adam Mars-Jones, I graduated in English in 1976 and I’m a novelist and critic. I’m Dan Starkey, I graduated in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic in 1999 and I’m now an actor. APPLAUSE Balliol College, Oxford was founded in 1263 and boasts prime ministers, Nobel laureates and philosophers among its alumni. But none more distinguished than a biologist who worked on deciphering the human genome and who’s recently stored all of Shakespeare’s sonnets on a piece of artificial DNA. An achievement that’s baffling on so many levels. A writer and journalist who has works on Ovid, ancient Greece and Roman Britain to her credit. With a book about the BBC in the pipeline. Their captain won his parliamentary seat back in 1973 and spent 11 years as deputy leader of the Lib Dems. And their fourth member is an award-winning journalist whose career as a foreign correspondent has covered 15 different countries. Let’s meet the Balliol team. I’m Ewan Birney, I graduated in 1996 and I’m associate director of the European Bioinformatics Institute, near Cambridge. I’m Charlotte Higgins, I graduated in 1994 and I’m a journalist writing for The Guardian. And their captain. I’m Alan Beith, I graduated in 1964 became a lecturer in politics at Newcastle University and then was elected Liberal member of parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed in 1973 and it’s been my job ever since. I’m Roger Cohen, I graduated in 1977 and I’m now a columnist for The New York Times. APPLAUSE OK, you must all know the rules. It’s just the usual reminder that starters are worth ten points and bonuses are 15 points. Right, fingers on the buzzers, here’s the first starter for ten. Depicting a family Christmas in a typical English home with the action including arguments, fighting, attempted infidelity and a shooting, the play Seasons Greetings is… BELL RINGS – Alan Ayckbourn.
– Is by Alan Ayckbourn, you’re right. The first set of bonuses, Trinity Hall, are on Christmas songs and carols. Firstly, its melody dating back to the 16th century, Welsh carol Nos Galan. Which Christmas song was given its English lyrics by the Scottish musician Thomas Oliphant in the 19th century? Its refrain of “Fa, la, la, la, la” also occurs in the original. – Deck The Halls.
– Yeah. – Deck The Halls… With boughs of holly.
– Deck The Halls is correct. With lyrics by the US cleric Edmund Sears and music arranged by Arthur Sullivan, which Carol first appeared in 1850? It describes the hearing of “that glorious song of old.” – It Came Upon The Midnight Clear.
– Correct. And finally, written by the US cleric John Henry Hopkins, which carol was first published in 1863 and is also known as The Quest Of The Magi? We Three Kings? – We Three Kings.
– Correct. Ten points for this. The combinations of a newt-like amphibian and an early 19th-century governor of Massachusetts form which pejorative word referring to the manipulation of electoral districts in one party’s… BELL RINGS – Gerrymandering.
– Correct. Your bonuses this time, Trinity Hall, are on newspapers. Printed in the shape of a diamond and often cited as the first of its kind, what did the Liverpool-born Arthur Wynne devise for the fun section of the New York World newspaper on December 21, 1913? – Crossword.
– Correct. The Observer newspaper has included an advanced cryptic crossword in which the setter’s names are linked to leading figures of the Spanish Inquisition. The paper’s first setter, Edward Powys Mathers, began setting in 1926 under what pseudonym? – Torquemada.
– Correct. Launched in 1986, which national daily newspaper features crosswords by Quixote, Dac and Phi, among others? – The Independent.
– Correct. 10 points for this. A pale blue, toxic gas at room temperature, which allotrope of oxygen filters ultraviolet radiation in the stratosphere? BUZZER – Ozone.
– Ozone is correct. These bonuses are on solid geometry, Balliol. Assuming the Earth to be a perfect sphere, Father Christmas must travel along which geometric configuration in order to minimise the distance travelled between any two locations? – Great circle.
– I nominate Ewan. – Great circle.
– Great circle is correct. Secondly, the Earth is more accurately modelled as which type of surface? Defined in Cartesian coordinates by the equation X squared over A, plus Y squared over B, plus Z squared over C, all equal to one. Polar coordinates. – Polar coordinates.
– No, it’s an ellipsoid. And finally, all planar curves, defined by a quadratic equation in two variables, can be obtained as the intersection of a plane with which three-dimensional shape? A sphere. – A sphere.
– No, it’s a cone. Right, we’re going to take a picture round. For your picture starter, you’ll see the first four bars of the main vocal line of a well-known carol. As given in The New Oxford Book Of Carols. For 10 points, name the carol. BUZZER Silent Night. Silent Night is correct, yes. Right, your picture bonuses are on the opening bars of three more carols as they appear in The New Oxford Book Of Carols. And again, in each case, I simply want the title. Firstly, for five. – Good King Wenceslas.
– Correct. Secondly. Tannenbaum. O Tannenbaum. Correct, O Christmas Tree, yes, as we know it. And finally. THEY HUM Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Correct, well done. Right, 10 points for this. “Get stewed, books are a load of crap.” Is the final line of a study of… BELL RINGS Thespian verse. – No, wrong.
– No, I’m afraid you can lose five points. A poem by which English poet, novelist and essayist, who died in Hull in 1985? BUZZER – Philip Larkin.
– Yes, of course. Right, 15 points for these bonuses. They’re on paintings that include self portraits. What title is usually given to the fresco, painted between 1536 and 1541, at which it has been suggested that the face of the artist appears on the flayed skin of St Bartholomew? The work covers the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. – Raphael?
– Is it? I think… We’re conferring. Is it Raphael or is it Michelangelo? – Sistine Chapel.
– We’ll go for Michelangelo. What’s the picture called? The Flight Of… I don’t know, I think, The Flight Of…. No, it’s The Last Judgment. Secondly, for 5 points, born around 1431, which artist painted The Presentation At The Temple? It shows the virgin and the child, Joseph, a priest and two figures often suggested to be the artist and his wife as spectators in the background? – I don’t know.
– No, we’ll pass.
– No. That’s by Mantegna and finally, born in the 1260s, which artist is thought to have included an unflattering and diminutive self-portrait in a fresco in the church of Santa Croce in Florence? Fra Angelico. – I nominate Higgins.
– Fra Angelico? No, it’s Giotto. 10 points for this. Which Mongol leader established the Yuan dynasty in southern China in about 1270? A grandson of Genghis Khan, he initially established his residence and capital… BUZZER Chama Lin? No, I’m afraid you lose 5 points. He initially established his residence and capital at Shangdu, the name sometimes being anglicised as Xanadu? BELL RINGS – Kublai Khan.
– Correct. APPLAUSE That gives you the lead again and your bonuses are on alcohol and public disturbances. Associated with the festive season, what drink gives its name to the riot at West Point Military Academy in the hours leading up to Christmas Day 1826 after cadets had smuggled alcohol into the premises? – Gin?
– My guess would be eggnog.
– Whiskey, whiskey. Would it be mulled…? Whiskey. Whiskey or gin. I’d say eggnog because they love it but you think whiskey. Smuggled in, it’s got to be something strong and… – Whiskey we’re saying.
– No, it was the Eggnog Riot, bad luck. Secondly, The Whiskey Rebellion occurred in Western Pennsylvania after the treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton enacted a federal liquor test. Which president ordered troops to quell it? – What was the date again?
– 1845. THEY WHISPER – No.
– No, sorry.
– That was George Washington in 1794. And finally, 19 years after the Mutiny on the Bounty, the Rum Rebellion of 1808 deposed William Bligh, the governor of which colony now an Australian state? – Australia… Tasmania?
– Yeah, could be Tasmania. Tasmania. No, it’s New South Wales. 10 points for this. Merging the names of the dog in the Magic Roundabout with that of the furry bear in Rainbow gives an approximation of what term in computing? It denotes a small device that connects to a computer, for example… BUZZER Dongle. Dongle is right, yes. APPLAUSE Right, these bonuses could give you the lead again they’re on a stage play. Quote – “Shakespeare in a play brought in a number of men saying “they had suffered shipwreck in Bohemia when there is no sea near “by some hundred miles.” This was one of Ben Jonson’s quibbles about which of Shakespeare’s plays? – Tempest?
– No, no, no, no. – Winter’s Tale.
– Correct. Act three, scene three of The Winter’s Tale contains the well-known stage direction “Exit pursued by a bear.” Which of the play’s characters is the bear’s quarry? The bloke, the young man. The young man whose name we can’t remember. Sebastian or something. No, no, no, I can’t remember. – Sebastian.
– No, it’s Antigonus. And finally, the name of which character in The Winter’s Tale is derived from the Latin for ‘lost’? – It’s Perdita.
– Perdita. – Correct.
– APPLAUSE Right, we’re going to play the music round. Your music starts and you’ll hear a piece of popular music. 10 points if you can tell me the artist singing. # I’m dreaming… # BUZZER Bing Crosby. Nope, you can hear a little more, Trinity Hall. # Of a white Christmas… # You may not confer! # Just like the ones I used to know # Where the tree tops… # BELL RINGS Nat King Cole? No, that was Dean Martin. So music bonuses coming up shortly when someone gets to start a question. Right, 10 points at stake for this. Which architect’s practice designed the Rosenthal Center For Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, the Glasgow Riverside Museum Of Transport… BUZZER – Zaha Hadid.
– Correct, yes. APPLAUSE Well, you heard Dean Martin there singing about the pleasures of Christmas, happily unaware that he would die on Christmas Day 1995. For your bonuses, three more pieces of music featuring people for whom Christmas Day would be their last. First, who’s this singing? She died in 2008. # I’m just an old-fashioned girl with an old-fashioned mind # Not sophisticated I’m the plain and simple kind # I want an old-fashioned house with an old-fashioned fence # And an old-fashioned… # – Eartha Kitt.
– BUZZER – Sorry.
– That is Eartha Kitt, yes. Secondly, I want either the name of the band performing this song or the band member who wrote it. He died on Christmas Day 1998. # Yeah, said it’s all right I won’t forget # All the times I’ve waited patiently for you # And you’ll do just what you choose to do # And I will be alone again tonight, my dear. # A guess. No? Sorry, we pass on that. That was Love performing there and it was written by Bryan MacLean. It was Alone Again Or. Finally, I want the name of the artist performing this song who died in 2006. # One, two, three, four! # Get up, get on up Get up, get on up… # – James Brown.
– James Brown. # Stay on the scene… # – I nominate Ewan.
– James Brown. James Brown is correct, – do you know the name of the song?
– APPLAUSE – Get On Up.
– Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine. AUDIENCE LAUGHS Right, 10 points for this. The name of which English county links a protector of England during the reign of Edward VI, an author whose works include short stories set in Malaya and Borneo and a large neoclassical building on the Strand… BELL RINGS – Somerset?
– Somerset is right, yes. APPLAUSE Bonuses, Trinity Hall, we’re on Egypt. What name is given to the central square in Cairo that in recent years has been the site of popular protests against Presidents Mubarak and Morsi. – Tahrir.
– Tahrir is correct. Which Egyptian was Director General of the International Atomic Agency from 1997 to 2009 before becoming active in domestic politics having launched the Constitution Party in 2012? – Mohamed ElBaradei.
– Nominate Starkey. – Mohamed ElBaradei.
– Correct. Which organisation was founded in Egypt in 1928 and suppressed by the government for many years? Its members included President Mohammad Morsi, who was overthrown in 2013? – The Muslim Brotherhood.
– APPLAUSE 10 points for this starter question. Listen carefully, then answer promptly. Well-known people who are unusually callipygian are eligible for the Rear Of The Year award. Give the dictionary spelling of the word callipygian. BELL RINGS C-A-L-L-P-Y-G-E-A-N. No, anyone want to buzz from Balliol? BUZZER C-A-L-L-I-P-Y-G-E-A-N. No, it’s I-A-N, you missed out the first ‘I’ as well. Right, so we’re going to take another starter question now. The cephalothorax and pygidium are the three segments of which group of extinct fossil arthropods that appeared during the Cambrian period? BELL RINGS – Trilobites.
– Trilobites is correct, yes. APPLAUSE That gives you the lead and a set of bonuses on insect morphology. Which sensory organs of an insect may be setaceous, filiform, clavate or plumose? – Antenna?
– Antenna. – Antennae.
– Correct. Having defensive and offensive functions, which specific mouthparts are highly developed in insects such as stag beetles and soldier ants? – Mandibles.
– Correct. What term denotes the pores on the thorax and abdomen of insects where trachea open to the outside? – Gills?
– No, it’s not gills. – Sorry.
– Stermata, yeah.
– Stermata. No, they’re spiracles. 10 points for this. This Boy, which won the 2014 Orwell Prize for the year’s best political book is an account of the poverty-stricken childhood – of which Labour…?
– BELL RINGS – Alan Johnson.
– Correct. APPLAUSE These bonuses are on three-letter country codes used by FIFA for participating teams in the 2014 World Cup finals. Firstly, which country’s three-letter code spells a German preposition meaning ‘from’ or ‘out of’? Aus. AUS. Oh, which country? Austria, yeah. – Austria.
– No, it’s Australia. Austria is AUT. Secondly, which country’s three-letter code spells a form of a common French adjective meaning ‘fine’ or ‘beautiful’? – Finland. FIN.
– Belgium? No, FIN is ‘fin’ and that… Finland. – Is there anything…?
– Finland. – No, it’s BEL, Belgium.
– Sorry! And finally, which country’s three-letter code spells a Spanish proposition meaning ‘by’, ‘for’ or ‘because of’? – Por? Portugal?
– Yeah, maybe por. – Was it because of? Por…
– Por favor. Try it, Portugal. – Portugal.
– Portugal, POR is correct, yes. We’re going to take a second picture round. For your picture starter, you’ll see a depiction of a saint with the emblems of his martyrdom. 10 points if you can give me his name, please. BUZZER Sebastian. No, anyone like to buzz from Trinity Hall? BELL RINGS St Lawrence? No, it’s St Stephen, as you can see from the stone by his head. He was stoned to death. So picture bonuses in a moment or two. Another starter question. Fingers on the buzzes, please. In the Cumbric score, or sheep counting system, traditionally used in northern England, what is the product of multiplying tan by tether? BUZZER 50. – No, anybody want buzz from Trinity…?
– BELL RINGS Eight? No, it’s six. It’s two times three, apparently. Why you should be expected to know that…? Right, 10 points for this. In astronomy, what are Orionids… BELL RINGS – Meteor showers.
– Correct, yes. APPLAUSE Right, we’re going to follow the picture starter that no-one got, which was, of course, St Stephen, whose holy day is 26th December. A depiction by Giotto. You’ll see three more saints celebrated close to Christmas according to the Church Of England calendar of holy days. Five points for each you can identify. Firstly, the apostle immediately here to Jesus’ right. – That’s a woman…
– No, on the right of the picture. – That’s The Da Vinci Code.
– So, his right is our left. – Yes.
– It’s not that one. – Mary Magdalene?
– Peter? Oh, sorry, yeah, to his right. Mary Magdalene. That’s not an apostle. – She was, she…
– She’s not an apostle, sorry. So the guy leaning in, then. No, the one at the other side, to the right. Well, he said to Jesus’ right, not our right. – Our right.
– He said Jesus’ right.
– Sorry. I think Jesus is the one in the middle, no? LAUGHTER Special prize for Jesus being the one in the middle. – We’re going to guess an apostle.
– Come on, – let’s have an answer.
– Peter. No, that is St John. You shouldn’t believe The Da Vinci Code, it’s absolute rubbish. Secondly. Oh, that’s not eyes there? That’s… – St Lucy, I think, is the one who…. Oh, no, there was one who’s…
– Lucy? – St Lucy.
– That is St Lucy of Syracuse. And finally, this English saint. Oh, that’s Thomas a Becket. – Thomas a Becket.
– Thomas a Becket, Thomas of Canterbury, yes. 10 points for this. Published in 1848 and subtitled A Tale Of Manchester Life, which novel by Elizabeth Gaskell depicts…? BELL RINGS North And South. No, I’m afraid you lose 5 points. Depicts the lives of unemployed mill hands? Its title character is the daughter of a trade unionist. BUZZER – Mary Barton.
– Correct. APPLAUSE These bonuses are on seeds, Balliol. Which seeds are ground into a paste to make the Middle Eastern ingredient tahini? – Sesame.
– Sesame. – Sesame.
– Correct. What is the common name of Brassica napus, cultivated for its oil-rich seeds? Some North American varieties are known by the term canola. – Rapeseed.
– Correct. Pepita is a popular name for which seed eaten as a dried snack and thought to have been a staple of Native American diet for thousands of years? – Corn?
– Sweetcorn? – Corn.
– No, it’s pumpkin seeds. There are four and a half minutes to go and 10 points at stake for this. In commemoration of his two immediate predecessors, Albino Luciani took what name when he was elected Pope in 1978? BELL RINGS – Pius XII.
– No. You may not confer. Buzz. If you know, buzz. BUZZER – John Paul…
– John Paul I is correct, yes. Your bonuses are on the names of European cities, Balliol College. The site of the first major battle fought by the British Army in the First World War, which Belgian city is known in Flemish as Bergen? – Bruges?
– Come on. – Bruges.
– No, it’s Mons. The birthplace of the composer Richard Strauss and the director Werner Hertzog, which German city is perhaps confusingly known in Italian as Monaco? – Munich.
– Munich is right. Which European capital has been known in German as Pressburg and in Hungarian as Poson? Bremen. No, it’s Bratislava. 10 points for this. A haem molecule, that’s H-A-E-M, contains an atom of which… BELL RINGS – Iron.
– Iron is correct, yes. APPLAUSE Right, a set of bonuses on astronomy for you, Trinity Hall. Defined officially in 2012 as 149,597,870.7 kilometres, what unit is based on the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun? Parsec? – Solar distance, whatever that is.
– Come on. Parsec, we’ll try. No, it’s an astronomical unit, an AU. Equal to 3.26 light years, what is the distance at which one astronomical unit subtends an angle of one arcsecond? Any advance on parsec? – I reckon it’s the…
– It’s the…? The circumference of the… Distance of the Earth… Doesn’t sound like you know. – We’ll try parsec, again.
– Parsec is correct. Finally, what unit is equivalent to 63,000 astronomical units? – A light year.
– Light years.
– Only one I know. – Light year.
– Light year is correct. 10 points for this. Rodolfo, Marcello and Mimi are among the characters in… BELL RINGS – La Boheme.
– La Boheme is right, yes. Your bonuses, Trinity Hall, are on the films of John Schlesinger. Which 1963 adaptation of a book by Keith Waterhouse starred Tom Courtenay as William Fisher, an undertaker’s clerk given to outrageous fabrications? – Billy Liar.
– Correct. Terence Stamp and Alan Bates appeared in which 1967 adaptation of a novel by Thomas Hardy? – Far From The Madding Crowd.
– Correct. Who played leading roles in both Billy Liar and Far From The Madding Crowd and won an Oscar for her role in Schlesinger’s 1965 film Darling? – Julie Christie.
– Correct. 10 points at stake for this starter question now. Around 300BC, which mathematician proved that the number of primes is infinite? BUZZER Zeno. No, anyone like the buzz from Trinity Hall, quickly? BELL RINGS – Archimedes.
– No, it’s Euclid. Ten points for this. Tuxedo Junction and Chattanooga Choo Choo are among the recordings of which band leader and trombonist… BELL RINGS – Glenn Miller.
– Correct. 15 points at stake for this. They’re on works by siblings, these bonuses. What is the surname of the visual artists Jake and Dinos whose sculptures featured in the Brilliant! and Sensation exhibitions of the 1990s? – Chapman.
– Correct. What surname is shared by George and Weedon, the authors of the comic novel Diary Of A Nobody? Its main character is the clerk Charles Pooter. – Grossmith.
– Correct. Fargo, Blood Simple and Barton Fink are among the films directed by the brothers Joel and… – GONG SOUNDS
– And at the gong… Balliol College, Oxford have 120. Trinity Hall, Cambridge have 195. Bad luck. You’re going to escape, Balliol. But you had some really good answers early on and you were in the lead for part of the contest. Trinity Hall, terrific performance from you, we shall look forward, I think, probably, to seeing you come back as one of the four highest-scoring teams. Yes, you can blame her. Congratulations. I hope we’ll see you again. I hope you can join us next time for another game but until then, it’s goodbye from Balliol College, Oxford. ALL: Goodbye. It’s goodbye from Trinity Hall, Cambridge. ALL: Goodbye. And it’s goodbye from me. Goodbye.