Gilligan’s happy island

November 3, 2010 in Gilligan's, Quizzes

Last night I chanced upon a surprising delight: Tuesday Quiz Night in Gilligan’s Pub, Claremorris, Co. Mayo.

My buddy Ger saw this simple poster earlier in the week and, presuming the organisers meant to say “table quiz”, he got a team together. However, when we arrived we were soon enlightened as to the error in this assumption.

Up-and-running since God was a boy (“around 20 years”), this event allows those folks so inclined as to want a quizzing ‘fix’ so sate this need every Tuesday night from October to May. To take part though, you need to be aware of the rules:

  • No prearranged teams. All competitor’s names are put into a hat and drawn randomly.
  • Tables exchange answer sheets with their neighbours for the purposes of correction.
  • Entry fee: €3 per person. Prize: €10 per person.
  • There is a rota for the role of weekly quizmaster with everyone expected to have a go at writing and reading the questions at least once during the year.

This all sounded quite cool to me.  Ger’s wife Breda, on the other hand, wasn’t so keen. Not being a big quiz-head, she must have only come along at hubby’s request. While she claimed to not mind us seeing her sitting there not answering any of the questions, she didn’t want total strangers to know that she was only there, she reckoned, to make up numbers. A solution was arrived at though when the lady in charge on the night overheard the debate and said that, as we were all “newbies”, she could just put Ger and Breda’s names into the hat together. Thus they were guaranteed to be on the same team.  Problem solved.

My own team, Kathleen, Michael and Ken, were experienced attendees.  Eileen even informed me that she makes a point of coming in early every week so she can be sure of getting her preferred table. It was in the corner, by the open fire, so I could see why she liked it!

Last night’s questions were set (and asked) by a lady called Bernie.  The mathematically challenged would possibly have struggled to get their heads around the eight rounds of 11 questions with a final picture round worth 12 points.  Still, her questions were entertaining and well-researched*.

Without a (large) prize to play for, I’m glad to say that correcting by swapping with your neighbours worked well.  There was no rancor or zealous competitiveness – in fact several calls of “well done” were exchanged after teams scored highly.  This was truly a fun quiz in a friendly atmosphere.

My happiness at finding the event was increased even further at the end when my debut turned out to be a successful one.  Our team, ‘Showery’, finished on 89 points, six ahead of our nearest rivals.

The questions we missed:

  1. ‘New Holland’ was the original name given to what country?
  2. In motor racing, what flag is waved to inform a driver that they must pull over and be overtaken by the car behind?
  3. How many bones are there in the adult human body?
  4. In what part of the orchestra would you find the Cor Anglais?
  5. The Nobel Prizes are awarded at a ceremony on December 10 each year. Why this date?
  6. Name the disease which causes inflammation in the brain and spinal membranes.
  7. How many countries in the world have names (in English) starting with the letter J?
  8. How many European countries (apart from the UK) use Greenwich Mean Time*?
  9. How many men have been married to Elizabeth Taylor?

Picture round; Name the country that issued each coin:

I’ve just realised I’ve lost one of the questions we got wrong. There should have been 10 of them as I know we got 11/12 in the picture round. Hopefully, you’ll forgive me.

Update: metallurgy-based answers here.

* This question was actually called out as “How many countries (apart from the UK)…” thus ignoring those in Africa that use GMT. Since the lower figure is the one that was sought, I’ve changed the question here.

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