March 14, 2005

The University Challenge Game

As you know, University Challenge consists of two teams from different universities competing against each other in a general knowledge quiz, chaired by the impatient and acerbic Jeremy Paxman.
You may not be aware that in fact there are three teams, and the third team is you, at home on your sofa, watching University Challenge religiously every Monday, as everyone does.
The deal is that the teams on the telly score ten points for each main question, and if they get a question right, they can go on to score five points each for three bonus questions. They lose five points for interrupting a question. They can only confer on the bonus questions.
If the home team has one or two players:
The team at home gets ten points for every question they get right, including bonus questions; and they are allowed to answer the bonus questions even if they didn’t get the main question right.
Each member of the home team is allowed to give an answer, but if all members give the right answer, the team will still only score ten points.
If the home team has more than two players:
Play as for one or two players, but only score five points for bonus questions.
This scoring system has been rigorously calibrated and is proven to be fair and equitable, taking account of the fact that the home team has been out of the educational system for quite some time, and their brain is cluttered up with more important things like doing laundry and working for a living.
Last Monday, this particular home team was unusually good, trouncing University College Oxford (135 points) and Jesus Cambridge (165 points) with a masterful score of 260. Tonight we hope to go through to the quarter finals.


7 thoughts on “The University Challenge Game

  1. Oh I am so pleased it’s not just us.
    (OK we don’t actually score. But we do watch it absolutely religiously; it was the only programme I considered having videoed and sent out while we were away and it is the only thing we tape if we are going to be out. And instead of scoring you get to choose whether to go ‘yes!’ or just look quietly smug when you get one right.)

  2. We’re not sad enough to tape it when we’re going to be out. Okay, I understand that sad, in this context, is all relative.
    We wus robbed tonight, btw: Edinburgh 75 – Team Uborka 210 – Balliol Oxford 215.

    Karen on March 14, 2005
  3. Edinburgh were rubbish. But we know they only select their team from people who are into student politics (we assume, anyway. We both went to Edinburgh and were never asked to be in the team.) so what do you expect?
    It is worth taping just to see Jezza being so scathing when they get some finicky obscure arty literary thing wrong yet so amazed when, for example, they know what DNA is. Tsk, non-scientists.

  4. Have you read?
    Very funny..
    And why are working mornings like Paxman. You get up and leisurely work your way through the usual routines, getting faster and faster as the end of your preparations approaches. Why not start fast and maintain the pace?

  5. Or the variant = MSN university challenge for those times when your usual team mate is not at home (can’t play home university challenge on your own). Requires fast typing but it’s worth it.

  6. Thanks for the tip, Mr D – I’ve wishlisted it!

    Karen on March 15, 2005
  7. I am fascinated by the review that says Bought this book as I had to go into hospital, and I bought it in the gift shop in the hospital itself as I had forgotten my bag!
    I am wondering in what circumstances one has to go into hospital yet is well enough to go shopping in the bookshop and forgets one’s bag. Isn’t it a bit like going on holiday, and getting there and thinking “Dang, I forgot to bring any luggage…”

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