Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

image for University Challenge: Saucy Worcester Make The Semis Music, possibly by Elgar (no correspondence from smart arses who can read music will be entered into - ed).

What a sauce! Worcester College, who qualified for the second round by winning the highest-losers' play-offs, are the first team into this year's semi-finals.

Defeat tonight would have been fatal for neither side as teams need to win two quarter-final matches to qualify for the semis, and each already had one win under their belts. And there was a feeling that this led to a lack of urgency - it was quite a slow match.

But Worcester and UCL are likeable teams and we wish UCL every success in their bid to get that second win. Both skippers - Rebecca Gillie and Jamie Karran (what is that he wears round his neck?) respectively - smile and encourage audible discussion. Both sides look like they're enjoying themselves.

The London side built up a lead by the halfway point - they were indeed sharper in the early stages but kept managing to just pick up single bonuses, or none, after the starters they won. They could have done with reading Timon Of Athens, for example.

But it's not how you start, it's how you finish and once Worcester got into their stride they reeled UCL in, took a lead and never surrendered it - though asked three bonuses on East Asian history, they clearly didn't know their China! Boom boom.

Worcester College, Oxford 170, University College, London 120.

*We get letters... The correspondence regarding our allusions to spiciness and sauce in our reviews of matches featuring Worcester college during the current season continues.

Following the letter from Mr Orde Wingate two weeks ago, Mrs Marie-Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, who wishes it to be known that she is no relation the celebrated French artist of the pre- and post-revolutionary periods, ("The surname is a complete accident of marriage") of Bingley, wrote:

"I thought it was a little rude of Mr Wingate to call you a 'bloody idiot.' You may well be a bloody idiot for all I know, Mr Fields, but I don't think there is any need to say so in these august pages.

"Anyway, Mr Wingate's suggestion that you should use allusions to porcelain when referring to Worcester completely ignores the contribution to music made by that most English of composers, Worcester's most famous son, Sir Edward Elgar.

"I'd much rather put The Dream Of Gerontius into my CD player than a Royal Worcester plate any day!"

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

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