Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

image for University Challenge: Oxford Students Serve Up Spicy Dish - Including A Brief Discussion On The Appropriateness Or Otherwise Of A Saucy Metaphor A sauce yesterday.

Two Oxford colleges cooked up a tasty dish for gourmands of University Challenge in a second course match this week.

Worcester College edged out Queen's at the coffee course and duly take their place in the quarter-finals.

We're becoming very familiar with Worcester's likeable foursome of Dave Knapp, Jack Bramhill, Jonathan Metzer and skipper Rebecca Gillie - this is their third appearance this season as they had to qualify for the second round through the first round's highest loser play-offs.

After their play-off match we suggested Worcester were a "sauce too spicy" for their opponents.

Mr HP Heinz, of Norwich, took exception to our allusion, pointing out that: "The sauce to which you allude ... is in fact Worcestershire sauce ... referring to the county, not the city."

Well, you are correct, Mr Heinz, but we should beg the right to journalistic latitude - poetic licence, if you will.

We feel justified, however, in extending the sauce metaphor to this match since both teams were from Oxford and ch├ęz Fields, we are great fans of a certain Baron Pouget de St Victor's Oxford Sauce, which we seem only to be able to obtain exclusively from the local butcher.

This condiment arrives on the palate with a spicier bite than Messrs Lea & Perrin's excellent product - but both are essential requirements of the Fields kitchen cupboards.

It occurs to us that it is one of the great pities of educational history that the founders of Messrs McIlhenney and co never felt their product afforded them the wherewithal to found and sponsor a varsity college of their own. What a delight it would be to be able to report on a University Challenge match featuring Tabasco, Cambridge!

Worcester were always ahead in this match - by halfway, in fact, they looked to be cruising. But Queen's managed to acquire some momementum and with minutes to go, with the score 185-160 in Worcester's favour, Sloman dragged his team to parity with his knowledge of twentieth-century general elections.

But then the excellent Gillie recognised the novel Ivanhoe's sequel, grabbing the last starter. She and her fellows only picked up one of the bonuses on fictional towns, but it was enough and Worcester squeezed home 200-185.

As Jeremy Paxman told Queen's, theirs was terrific effort and they would be "all right in the bar" when the show was screened.

Hear Hear!

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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