Belfast Telegraph

University Challenge: It's a non-starter for 10 as QUB quizzers have 'one of those off days'


It was a battle of minds, but sadly four of the brightest brains from Queen's University Belfast were no match for their opponents in the quarter-finals of University Challenge last night.

Despite a promising start, QUB lost to Southampton by 290 points to 90 in the contest.

Team captain Joseph Greenwood called it a bad day at the office.

The famous BBC quiz show hosted by Jeremy Paxman pits teams of students from universities across the UK against each other as they answer questions on various subjects in a bid to win the University Challenge trophy.

But despite last night's defeat it's not the end for team QUB. They can go through if they win two out of three quarter-finals. Of two so far, they have won one, lost one.

Joseph Greenwood, Suzanne Cobain, Gareth Gamble and Alexander Green have proven able contestants, but last night Southampton dominated the competition.

They buzzed in to answer at lightning speed and demonstrated an impressive command of topics such as psychology, music and literature.

Mr Greenwood, an Irish Theatre PhD student at Queen's, admitted: "It was just one of those off days to be honest.

"Definitely, there is an element of luck but we were all a bit hesitant and unwilling to buzz in early as we had done in the first two matches."

He added: "There were quite a few questions which I knew but was waiting too long for Jeremy to give more of the question.

"Southampton were very on form that day and we were quite unlucky to meet them on an occasion where they were quite confident."

Queen's third match will be against a team from Cambridge.

Joseph said his team took part in quizzes in preparation for matches.

"This time, because of work commitments I didn't have that kind of space to prepare, which partly contributed to why my brain didn't seem to be working quite as well as it should have done," he confessed.

Team-mate, medicine student Gareth Gamble, added: "After our previous victory, we were the underdogs, so being one of the eight teams in the quarter-finals is a great achievement.

"To be on the team and to make it through to the televised rounds and to be on the quiz with Jeremy Paxman –it's a great experience."

This is the second time Queen's University has made the quarter-finals – in 1997 the squad were knocked out by series winners, Magdalen College, Oxford.

The 1981 team was more successful – they won the title.


1 The Straits of Mackinac separate the upper and lower peninsulas of which US state?

2 North and South Carolina had been administered as a single colony until they were separated during the reign of which British monarch?

3 Which strait separates Italy from the toe of Sicily?

4 What is the smallest perfect number?

5 What name was adopted by groups of artists in the 1890s who broke away from the academies in various cities including Munich, Berlin and Vienna?


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