They don’t do a medal for fourth, do they?

November 21, 2010 in Quizzes, Rehab

John’s away this week, so Mike here to give a brief account of Friday’s All-Ireland Table Quiz final.

I’m sure Eamonn Coghlan could tell it in an interviewer’s face when the question approaches: “Tell us about when you finished fourth in the Olympics”. Gentleman that he is, he no doubt responds with a smile and a query: “Are you referring to the 1500 meters in 1976 or the 5000 meters in 1980?” Fourth place stings. Fifth? Sound. “You were off the pace. It wasn’t your day.” Sixth? “Ah, sure you tried your best?” This gentle intro has no doubt informed you that John, Dave, Shelly and I finished fourth on Friday night. Chronological order be damned: stick the important fact up front. If the scoreboard is to be believed, we’re the best quiz team in Galway (West of the Shannon, even), but we were pipped to the cash prizes. More about that in a while.

First up, it was an enjoyable quiz, with Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh pretty much an ideal quizmaster. How he managed to connect a question about the Indian Ocean (and many more besides) to a random bit of GAA trivia was quite an achievement. Such tangents have not been seen since Bugs Bunny missed that left turn at Albuquerque and ended up in ancient Rome. It was a fairly brisk ten rounds of six questions, all posted up on the big screen: a presentation tool that we’d recommend for every big quiz, especially when hosting duties are delegated to Mumblor the Magnificient. The standard of questions was pretty high, as the few we missed should suggest, as were the contestants. I don’t recall at what stage I looked at the scoreboard – again, very professionally done and often updated – but there were 23 teams within three points of the leaders!

As for our own performance, well ordinarily we’d have been delighted. Some great “gets”, very solid scoring aside from one round, and some individual specialist subjects – sport, film and science in particular – came to the fore. We were consistently a point or two adrift from the leaders going into round eight, “Name the Year”. I’m not averse to the format – Michael Cahill on 2FM regularly does a phone-in quiz on that very subject, but crucially gives you several pieces of trivia about the year in question. We’d only one to go on. And, as can often be the way when numbers are involved, there is no reward whatsoever for being a digit out. A measly two relegated us to joint fifth, and a 5,6 finish only compounded the anguish by pushing us into fourth. Fortunately, we were two points behind the joint 2nd place finishers and three behind the winners – if it had been a solitary point, recriminations would have no doubt kicked in 😉  Fair play to the winners of the €4,000 first prize, ‘Don’t Ask Us’ from Waterford.  Photos will follow tomorrow.

Anyway, the ones we missed:

Picture Round


  1. Who was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer prior to George Osborne?
  2. Name Simon Cowell’s fianceé?
  3. Who currently has an album out called ‘Butterfly’?
  4. What is the official name for the clock tower containing ‘Big Ben‘?
  5. What is the name of the island chain whose ownership is disputed between Russia and Japan?
  6. What is the Ishihara Test used to detect?
  7. And a string of years to finish: What year was… the Flight of the Earls?
  8. … Ryanair founded?
  9. … Erskine Childers elected President of Ireland?
  10. … Elton John born?

Maddeningly, two of the correct answers for the years were mentioned, but in a case like that – and bearing John’s story of a former team-mate’s absolute certainty – it’s difficult to really argue that your inkling/gut feeling/year that popped into your head first is any more valid that any others.

Anyway, enough of that for now.

Update 1: check out some photos from the night.

Update 2: answers are here.

2 responses to They don’t do a medal for fourth, do they?

  1. Hi. Remember being at this quiz. Thought a team from Clare won it with a team from kerry second. Unless it was the 2009 one I recall.

    We were representing Laois. Came in around seventh or eighth if I recall correctly.

    • I’d say you must be thinking of the 2009 quiz Pat. Mike wrote this report the day after the quiz so it’s definitely accurate as regards the winners.

      Kerry and Dublin were joint-second. Literally. After two playoff rounds they couldn’t be split so they agreed to pool second and third prizes and divide them evenly.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.