No scavenger hunt would be complete without ritual humiliation. This year we bring you the University Challenge appearances of our very own judge Martin O\’Leary and fresh from victory with the Boom Squad, Elaine Oliver. Sadly my own is lost in the mists of time – Chris
After 36 hours of exhaustive list-searching, cold ones, adjudication and associated stresses, the judges finally finished scoring all of the teams. The scores are by no means accurate, but barring any major errors, we\’ll take them as final. The teams rank as follows:
- The Boom Squad – 847
- Chang-ed in Development – 709
- Team Rofflecopter – 708
- Cambridge Unnameables – 654
- Steve and the Cake-O-Nauts – 621
- Phase Space and the Wronskians – 510
- Some Assembly Required – 484
- Team Ridiculous – 386
- Pretty David – 372
- The Pirates – 332
- Bazalgette and the Englings – 281
- Boobies Make Me Smile – 276
- The Famous Five – 192
- Hatchets and Flies – 142
We then come to the medals, showcasing the finest talents of this year\’s scavengers in every possible field:
- Gold Medal – The Boom Squad, well and truly deserved after they astounded us with an absurd amount of enthusiasm and effort on day 2. There was nothing they wouldn\’t do to obtain those extra few points, despite being over 100 points ahead in the closing stages.
- Silver Medal – Chang-ed in Development, who started utterly confused over many of the items but learnt quick, weren\’t afraid to embarass themselves and proved the power of international cooperation.
- Bronze Medal – Team Rofflecopter, undoubtedly the team with the finest hats, the finest moustaches and the finest MS Paint skills.
The awards, many continued from last year to save on creative expenditure are as follows:
- String Quartet Award for Musical Flair – Bazalgette and the Englings really have to win this after a sterling live performance in front of a fellow, the Grand Arcade and the judges themselves. Also notable were the Unnameables for their barbershop quartet and Boom Squad for \’Eastenders: The Opera\’.
- Colouring Pencils Award for Artistic Ability – Cambridge Unnameables for actually having a team member with impressive watercolour skills.
- Missing Nobel Prize Award for Scientific Endeavour – Team Rofflecopter were the only team to bring us a large hadron, made of quarks, well, the soft cheese Quark anyway.
- What Dignity? Award for Voluntary Humiliation – Cambridge Unnameables again really clinch this one by arriving at The Granta pub on the first evening and performing Jurassic Park with toys, live-action Pacman and their barbershop quartet in front of a captive bar-staff audience.
- Spin Doctor Award for Outrageous Lying – Mrs Brooks, mother of [T]Will[o] of Phase Space and the Wronskians, for his sick-note claiming that no end of disasters had hit their household. Also notable were Boobies Make Me Smile for saying that they\’d be back on the 2nd day.
- Fabulous Finesse Award for Style – Pretty David for their excellent hats, willingness to dress up, Polish antics and generally being super fun!
- Absolutely Absurd Award for Most Bizarre Event – Chang-ed in Development had a team member who explained at length that her world record was having four nipples, although we only got shown two.
- Hello (Kitty) Celebrity Appearance Award – Angela Merkel quickly became the German chancellor who just couldn\’t say no.. to biscuits.
Finally, a special mention to the judges themselves for surviving two days solid of absolutely mind-boggling activity. It was fun, but truly draining. Never again I say! We\’ll be in contact with certain individuals who will mastermind future events!
We\’re really very sorry that we\’ve ended up taking so long to post a review and the final scores. Mayweek came and went, many of you left for home and then summer (and research of course) absorbed us all. In brief, here are some of the wonderful things we saw in the 2008 hunt.
Fingerpaintings of Angela Merkel (alas, missing) and Margaret Thatcher:
The finest ice sculpture:
A cruet the size, and shape, of a baseball bat and board games, one was giant and one was more, wtf?
A series of unfortunate events involving Sainsbury\’s and underpants, some fine pieces of cinema warning of the dangers of pavement cracks, feeling age beyond our years upon presentation of a gameboy and someone younger than it and discovering that one of the team had a member who was an identical twin:
A host of notes from worried mothers (some more sincere than others), a distinct lack of comb-and-paper movie themes but some excellent stop motion videos and Spielberg films made with toys, or both. Sadly the best entry by far, a stop motion version of Indiana Jones made with Lego is missing from our collection!
Various forms of bread, henge, jigsaws and not what we expected in a cheese guillotine:
Some fine hats, and some finer moustaches:
A frighteningly real reptiloid (although of course, they are real), the glove stretcher and ACTION Benjamin Harrison:
Then we have the precious artifacts of yore:
A strange book club, the sad times and the happy times:
Not enough cocktails but thankfully plenty of cold ones, all that gift wrapping, disproof of bees, the knots, admitting that you were a card-carrying tory, the few pimped out punts, all the gifts, the weapons against horrible creatures, the hundreds of pictures, lies, puns, arguments..
Some astonishing works of pacman who apparently got hungry:
\”And I watched *the whole thing*. And it was nauseating.\”
\”What on earth was that? Rick Astley, whilst I recall his career, is of no particular interest to me.\”