Fingers on buzzers, starter for 10

Mr Metzer

Mr Metzer

A Jewish student is hoping that his knowledge of Agamemnon and Lucy the skeleton in a nailbiting first round of University Challenge will be enough to secure his team a place in the next stage of the contest.

Jonathan Metzer, 19, was part of the Worcester College, Oxford team, but despite achieving a score of 180 points they were beaten - by just ten points - by their Cambridge opponents.

However, under the University Challenge rules the four highest-scoring losing teams continue in the contest.

The former Haberdashers' Aske's pupil and Bnei Akiva member, who is reading classics, applied to take part soon after starting university.

Jonathan, from Willesden Green, said he was delighted to answer correctly the first question about Archimedes and his bath.

"It was a really good start," he said. "But I knew before that the others were very strong and that we'd have to do well to beat them." A regular at Oxford JSoc's Friday Night dinners, Jonathan said the experience had been exciting but passed by very quickly. He said host Jeremy Paxman did not live up to his intimidating reputation. "He was a nice guy," he said. "He's not like what you see on Newsnight."

Last updated: 2:46pm, July 21 2011