Your starter for ten. . .

JEREMY Paxman may not have been reading the questions, but there were plenty of brains being strained when a junior version of University Challenge rolled into Huntingdon. The 12-year-old pupils from five Huntingdonshire schools were put into teams to bat

JEREMY Paxman may not have been reading the questions, but there were plenty of brains being strained when a junior version of University Challenge rolled into Huntingdon.

The 12-year-old pupils from five Huntingdonshire schools were put into teams to battle against each other in the hope of being victorious at Hinchingbrooke House.

The students - from St Ivo, St Peter's, Sawtry, Hinchingbrooke and Longsands schools - were chosen for their superior general knowledge...and they needed it.

Steve Ellison, deputy head at Hinchingbrooke School, told The Hunts Post: "The questions would have been challenging for much older students, let alone Year 8 pupils.


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"They all did really well and parents in the audience were sometimes amazed by the answers given by these bright 12-year-olds."

However, as with the BBC version of University Challenge, there had to be a winner.

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St Ivo, St Peter's and Longsands all performed well, but were eliminated from the contest following a series of close rounds.

This left Hinchingbrooke and Sawtry to go head to head in the final round.

In the end, Hinchingbrooke's team made up of Andrew Bunting, Sam Bahl, Alex Litherland and Jack Brydon won by a margin of 360 to 190. The prize was a £10 book token for each student.

Lorraine Cunningham, co-ordinator for able, gifted and talented students at Hinchingbrooke School, who organised the event, said: "It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and there are plans to make it an annual occasion."

The Hinchingbrooke team has now set its sights on the national competition that will take place next spring.

It will also give Sawtry, St Peter's, St Ivo and Longsands schools another chance to brush up on their knowledge and test their skills again.

Take the University Challenge

Why not try some of the questions for yourself:

1 Which of the Argonauts:

a) Led the expedition?

b) Earlier in his career, had defeated the Minotaur?

c) Was a musician whose gold-stringed lyre, given by Apollo, no creature could resist?

2 Which African states, all beginning with the letter Z, have capitals called:

a) Harare?

b) Lusaka?

c) Kinshasa?

3

a) What nickname was common to both the 14th century nobleman and child murderer Gilles de Rais, and a fictional murderer of many wives?

b) Which forest was governed by Treebeard?

c) What was the profession of Blackbeard?

4 Which post was each of the following people the first to hold:

a) George Washington?

b) James I and VI?

c) Trygve Lie?

5 What symbol (stating whether upper or lower case) is used in physics for:

a) Acceleration due to gravity?

b) Electrical current?

c) The speed of light?

6 Everyone has heard of David Copperfield. But what is the surname of the following eponymous heroes created by Charles Dickens:

a) Oliver?

b) Nicholas?

c) Martin?

7

a) What did Spirit and Opportunity do in January?

b) What is the name of the British space probe to Mars, which should have landed on Christmas Day but is currently missing?

c) What is the acronym normally used for the US organisation in charge of space exploration?

8

a) What title is given to wardens whose job is to sit anonymously on planes

and tackle terrorists if necessary?

b) Field-Marshal is the highest rank in the army: what is the equivalent in the Navy?

c) Which country proposed the Marshall Plan to help reconstruct Europe after the Second World War?

9 Which Christmas carols have a second verse which begins:

a) The cattle are lowing the baby awakes?

b) God of God, Light of Light?

c) Christ by the highest heav'n adored?

10

a) On which river does Vienna stand?

b) Into which sea does the Danube issue?

c) Who wrote the waltz called The Beautiful Blue Danube?

Answers

1: Jason

2: a) Zimbabwe; b) Zambia; c) Zaire

3: a) Bluebeard; b) Fangorn; c) Pirate

4: a) President of the USA; b)King of both Scotland and England; c) Secretary General if the United Nations.

5: a) g (lower case); b) I (upper case); c) c (lower case)

6: a) Twist; b) Nickleby; c) Chuzzlewit

7: a) Land on Mars (probes); b) Beagle 2; c) NASA

8: a) Sky Marshal; b) Admiral of the Fleet; c) USA

9: a) Away in a manger; b) O Come All Ye Faithful; c) Hark, the Herald Angels Sing

10: a) The Danube; b) The Black Sea; c) Johann Strauss

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