Par for the course

December 12, 2009 in Quizzes

Smaller rural pubs can be good locations for quizzes.  The ‘locals’ are often so excited at the prospect of a rare influx of ‘outsiders’ that they decide to get involved too, leading to that rarest of things, 100% involvement.

However, there are drawbacks. Firstly, the bar itself might not be a great shape for a quiz. Secondly, the ‘outsiders’ are both loved and hated – loved for coming along and swelling the numbers, hated for their potential to walk away with some prizes.  The fear of someone strange pocketing the first place winnings invariably leads to ‘local’ questions. It can all get a bit Royston Vasey.

Last night my new quizzing scene contact, Ger, invited me along to a fund-raising quiz for the Claremorris Golf Club, in Killeens’ Pub.  This night out exhibited all of the above features!

In fact, it exceeded them.  The quiz itself didn’t kick-off until 10pm. It was scheduled for 9.30pm but, of course, one has to factor in ‘Irish Time’!  Why had it been scheduled for 9.30pm? So that everyone could watch the Munster v Perpignan rugby match on the bar’s sole television.

Our team consisted of myself, Ger and a work colleague of his called Tom.  That would have been it if a random guy called Fergal hadn’t walked in the front door, beside which we were seated, and asked if we needed a fourth. It was a bit like being asked to dance at a disco. “Why? Are you looking to take part, yourself?” we wondered. Eventually negotiations ceased and he sat down. 🙂

Our biggest problem was hearing the questions.  The bar is shaped like a capital L, with out front door berth being at the furthest point away from the quiz mistress as it was possible to be. She was using an amplifier, but unfortunately whoever had set it up had just placed the two speakers right beside her.

At half-way we were miles off the pace. Our 42/50 didn’t seem too bad to us. That was before it was announced that the leaders were on an amazing 48/50, and we were only in joint fourth.

By the end though, we’d made up some ground and came in joint-second, on 82/100. This was something of a surprise in itself, as I had counted our score as 80 points.  However, as almost always seems to be the way with quizzes of this size, there had been a few controversial answers so maybe we had been given points for these. It didn’t make much difference really though, as we were told that we were officially the third-placed team (following a countback) and they were only giving out prizes for first and second.  We were still a fair distance behind the winners, who finished on 88 points.

Ah well.

As usual, here are the questions we got wrong for you to have a go at:

  1. Which blooming Christmas plant originated in Mexico?
  2. Which Irish rugby star opened the new Claremorris Tennis Club building?
  3. In the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, how many pipers are piping?
  4. Which is the largest of the Canary Islands?
  5. What colour is Melanite?
  6. How many pounds (lbs) does a gallon of water weigh?
  7. A person born on June 21 belongs to which star sign?
  8. What is the name of the book recently released about the House of Prayer in Achill?
  9. Who was recently awarded Mayo GAA footballer of the year?
  10. Who did boxer Matthew Macklin defeat in the National Stadium last weekend?
  11. “How many Wimbledon titles did Martina Navratilova win?”
  12. What is the name of singer Mary Coughlan’s recently released book?
  13. In which country can you find Lake Disappointment?
  14. What is St Nicholas the patron saint of?
  15. Which is the largest of the US states?
  16. Name the two people who qualified for the final of The Apprentice on TV3.

(I’ve put #11 in quotes, as that was the way it was called out on the night. You can probably guess the problems it caused!)

Now, here’s the picture round.  Be prepared for possibly the worst photocopying ever seen.

Good luck with these.

Update: answers here.

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