Celtic Nations 2015: prelude

April 25, 2015 in Celtics, Quizzes

CardiffThe third Celtic Nations quizzing championships kicks off this morning in Cardiff.  I am in place and raring to go!

As it happens, I won’t get to start competing straight away at 10am as a match between Wales and Scotland is the opening event.  A few of us on the Irish team will still be in action, so to speak, as we function as quiz-masters for three simultaneous matches between the two nations’ A, B and C teams.  We also provide the questions: in this instance, myself and Lorcan Duff combining for this first set of the weekend.

Following that, here’s the timetable for the rest of the day:

11am – 1pm Individual Quiz
1pm – 2pm <Lunch Break>
2pm – 4pm Team Quiz
4pm – 6pm Pairs Quiz
6:30pm – 7:30pm Ireland v Scotland A, B, C
7:30pm – 8:30pm Ireland v Wales A, B, C
8:30pm – 15 to 1 Tournament

That’s a lot of quizzing!  :-)

If you’d like more info during the day, check out the event’s Facebook page.  I’m sure it will be updated as events progress.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a report on how the Irish quizzers got on today.

Primary school quiz answers

April 8, 2015 in Quizzes

It’s been over a week since I posted the few questions from the quiz I wrote in aid of a local primary school, so you’ve had plenty of time to give them a go.

Hit the ‘Read more…’ to see how you got on.

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Primary school quiz

April 1, 2015 in Quizzes

school-testOne year on from the quiz I hosted in aid of the local primary school, I was again invited to provide the questions for 2015’s event. The school staff also asked me to host once again but, alas, due to family reasons I couldn’t.

After being impressed with the number of school children who attended last year’s quiz, I decided to make this year’s questions a bit more child-friendly. I have since been told that this worked out well as there were even more kids in attendance this year!

However, in amongst questions about nursery rhyme characters, medieval history and ‘make and do’, I also endeavoured to place at least one (if not two) tough questions in each round – to keep adult teams interested.

Hopefully that worked out and I wasn’t being cursed by the all-grown-ups teams in the room…

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Back to work answers

March 16, 2015 in IQO, Quizzes

Answers time.  Hope these ones didn’t prove too challenging!

Before that, please pause for a moment and consider this tweet:

That’s right, the IQO Irish Open is taking place this Saturday (March 21st).  It’s the premier quiz event both created and run by the IQO.  It takes place at ‘HQ’, the Addison Lodge in Dublin, and I will be there.  Come on in and we can have a chat… and a quiz!

Now, on to those answers…

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Back to work

March 7, 2015 in Quizzes

LL-Cool-JOn Friday night I took part in my first tablequiz since last June and, since that was the novelty event that is the Ballyhaunis Inter-pub, it’s probably fair to say it was my first proper TQ in over a year. I know, weird.

The quiz was in aid of the local primary school.  A friend suggested I take part and I thought “Why not?”

My initial problem was to gather a team. It’s been a while and, frankly, life has changed a lot in the intervening period. My father-in-law would have been up for taking part in times gone by, if he was needed, but alas we lost him, suddenly, on February 16th. I try not to get too personal on the blog, as you know, with a notable exception. I miss him terribly; he was as good as a second father to me for the over 20 years-or-so I’ve been hanging around his house. Last year, claiming he needed to do something to fill the days following his retirement, he acted as site engineer/foreman/hod carrier for the renovation of our house. Indeed, on the day he died, he was out at our still-feels-new house, helping us to finally make a start at doing something with our garden. Still, however I feel personally, I am endevouring to be there and do my best for Ev, Mrs TQ.net as she goes through the experience I know so well from last year.

Bizarrely enough, she decided to actually accompany me to the quiz, as a means of getting out and about. I think it’s only the third time she’s ever gone to a quiz with me! Along with our friend Ger, we were also joined by a man called Joe, who hails from Kiltimagh and had been brought along to the quiz by his wife. It turned out they had a group of five, so Joe was the man who pulled the short straw and had to declare himself available for any team that needed a fourth.

Come the end of the night, we had done very well. We finished on an impressive 94/100, albeit that wasn’t good enough to win. We finished third behind ‘C U There’, a team made up of staff from the local Credit Union, who finished on a wonderful 96 points.

The two point gap is important as one of our six incorrect answers was possibly the worst wrong answer in the history of quizzing! I kid you not. You will be laughing shortly when you have a read through the list.

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Stuff I just can’t remember

January 28, 2015 in Thoughts

pulling-your-hair-outFor the first few years of this site’s existence its modus operandi was to be a repository (for me, mostly) of questions I had gotten wrong at quizzes.  If I went to the bother of writing them down, not only would it give me content for a website but it should also reinforce the correct answers, hammering them into my brain for future use.

Almost all the time, it worked.  Then again, that could be down to the way my brain works anyway.

However, within this grouping (let’s call them “John’s wrong answers”) there are several repeat offenders.  Of course, it’s not the question/answer that’s commiting the offence, it’s me, but let’s not be too pedantic.

Why is it that certain facts will not stick?  I presume everyone has some of these and they will vary from brain to brain but here are a few of mine*:

  • Alfred Wegener, the man who proposed the theory of continental drift in 1912.  This man should be as prominent as Charles Darwin but, invariably, I end up searching around with “he’s got a German name, I think” being the best thing I can come up with.
  • Talc is is the softest known mineral and listed as 1 on the Mohs hardness scale.  This actually came up on the Hot 100 recently.  Could I remember it? No, I could not.
  • The headquarters of OPEC is situated in Vienna.  Whilst I know it’s (rather counterintuitively) in Europe, I always seem to plump for Paris or any one of several Swiss cities.
  • Sucre, the real capital of Bolivia (as opposed to La Paz, the seat of government).
  • Dexter and sinister.  I can always remember sinister means left.  Never the ‘right’ answer though…
  • Catherine Howard, then Catherine Parr.  Not the other way round.
  • The various subgroupings within the periodic table.  One of these days…
  • Anything to do with horseracing. That probably isn’t going to change.
  • Finally, Martin Cooper, the inventor of the mobile phone and someone I’ve actually met!  Oh dear.

However, all is not lost.  I know of one or two cases where I have turned it around.  This one is quite stupid but for years, whenever I was asked about what animal is referred to by the word ovine, I would confidently put down pig.  However, ovine refers to sheep.  I eventually kicked this habit but reminding myself that the word porcine exists and that definitely (consider pork, Porky Pig etc.) refers to pigs.  Once I remember that, I know that ovine mustn’t refer to pigs and, my haste to answer paused, I then arrive at sheep.  Hurray!  One point for me.

Feel free to let me know if you have any such ‘blind spots’.

* Obviously, the hope is that writing this article will cure me.

Goodbye Mooney’s Money

January 17, 2015 in Culture

Derek mooneySo, back in December the news broke that Derek Mooney was leaving his mid-afternoon show on RTÉ Radio One.  Since then, Ireland’s cultural commentators have been breathless in following the dominio effect this has caused with Ray D’Arcy leaving Today FM to replace him and Anton Savage, in turn, getting D’Arcy’s old job.

Personally, I’m not too bothered about all this ‘deckchairs on the Titanic’ shuffling of Ireland’s broadcasting cards.  Mooney isn’t actually leaving RTÉ.  He will now be given free reign in his field of choice: nature programming.  So, whilst the show he fronted for the past eight years is gone, he is not.

Gone with it too is a feature which daily raised my ire: Mooney’s Money.  Each day listeners were invited to take their chance and see if they could win “€1,000 of Mooney’s Money”.  The annoying thing for me was that this game purported to be a quiz.  To take part, the listener simply had to call a premium rate number and answer the daily question.  The thing was, the question was always appallingly easy.  Examples come to mind such as “Who is the President of Ireland?” and “Kerry is located in which province?” Even better, they generally gave you two options: one correct, one laughably wrong.

As of now, this compeition’s dedicated web page is still online and features a perfect example.  Have a look here.

Others more knowledgeable in the law than I can explain the exact statute which must be obeyed but my layman’s knowledge tells me that whilst a lottery or raffle needs a specific licence, a game of skill does not.  The ‘skill’ in this case was clearly the knowledge to answer the question but when the question is generally the equivalent of being asked to declare the colour of the sky on a cloudless day surely everyone gets it right?  That being the case, if 100% of the hopeful participants in a game of skill pass ‘the test’ doesn’t that mean that the skill level is set too low?

As a final thought, consider the daily prize of €1,000.  The competition site linked to above informs players that calls would “cost €1.02 (incl VAT) and from a BT landline will cost GBP £1.02″.  The best estimate I can find is that the broadcaster would received between 40 and 50 cent per entry.  So that would mean that competition just needed somewhere in the region of 2,000 to 2,500 entries each day to break even.  In 2013’s JNLR figures, the show had an average of 225,000 listeners.

This sham quiz was probably quite the golden goose for RTÉ.  Let’s wait and see if the debut of the replacement show features a section called “D’Arcy’s Dough”…

Getting back to it

January 13, 2015 in Housekeeping

Ok, it’s time. Happy new year to all.  I will recommence blogging this very week.

brain-is-full