Spot the ball-room

September 18, 2011 in Quizzes

I had a definite sense of deja vu on Thursday night when I sat down in the Park Hotel, Kiltimagh, to await the start of quiz in aid of the local GAA club.  We took part in a quiz there last Easter and, as it was available, I sat down at the same table we’d used that night. History was to repeat, in another way, shortly after when the quiz master started speaking and I realised it was the same man who hosted the Karate club quiz last week.

The host was in more ebullient form this time.  He started off by telling us all that first prize was going to be a set of Kiltimagh GAA Club hoodies, whilst the runners-up would be getting a matching set of windbreakers. “No, no – only joking!”  First prize was actually four night’s B&B, sponsored by the venue. (Just like that night last Easter, funnily enough.)

The runners-up were to receive four free tickets to the Mayo county senior football final.  Remembering last year’s dire battle between Ballintubber and Castlebar Mitchells, we wondered if this was also a joke… *

After round 3, we were three points behind the leaders.  Frustratingly, we could never get closer than a two point deficit for the rest of the quiz.  Our final score of 84 was good enough for joint-third, two points behind tables 6 and 15.  Thus, a tie-breaker was needed to separate first and third.  However, at least we got to dodge the county final tickets.

Questions we missed:

  1. True of false: Kerry defeated Mayo by nine points in this year’s All-Ireland football semi-final.
  2. T/F: Cassata is an Italian dessert.
  3. T/F: In Who wants to be a Millionaire?, contestants have to answer 12 questions correctly to win the million.
  4. The Mitchelstown Caves are located in which Irish county? **
  5. Who won the Mercury Music Prize in 2010?
  6. The town of Emly is located in which Irish county?
  7. What type of animal is a Rhodesian Ridgeway?
  8. In Father Ted, what was the name of the ‘Dancing Priest’?
  9. Who is the current Ceann Comhairle of Mayo County Council?
  10. The world’s largest soccer stadium is the Rungrado May Day.  It holds 150,000 people.  In what country can it be found?
  11. Kerry footballer Colm Cooper represents what club?
  12. Who did Charlestown defeat in the 2009 Mayo county senior football final?
  13. Which Dublin theatre was co-founded by Micheál Mac Liommóir and Hilton Edwards?
  14. What is Ireland’s second-smallest county? **

So, had our host changed his style in the space of a week? No, not really. However, at least he had learned his lesson regarding the audio round.  This week he was crystal clear about the fact that he would be calling out the question before playing the audio. On the flip-side he did produce another novel picture round.  Alas, this one was not as excellent as last week’s flags round.

One of my recurring bug bears here on the blog (and in quizzes full stop) is the deliberate introduction of luck. Luck plays a small part in every quiz.  You don’t know an answer but you take an educated guess and sometimes you’re correct.  That’s fine; it represents the ups and downs of life – sometimes you’re lucky, sometimes you’re not.  But I don’t like the quiz featuring a round that can only be successfully negotiated with luck alone.

Whenever I’m feeling particularly harsh, I think of throwing ‘Dingbats’ into this category.  However, I realise that they are a traditional part of the quizzing landscape and, one could argue, that a thorough knowledge of idioma and proverbs does help any team facing 10 of them.  However, I doubt anyone but the photo editor in a national newspaper would have had any know-how to help with the ….

Spot the Ball round:

‘Normal’ picture round:

As I said above, the quiz ended up in a tie for both first and third places.  The organisers came up with a very efficient solution: five more questions were called out and all four teams in these ties were to take part.  We knew that this (good) idea must have been thought up on the spot as there were no more answer sheets available for us to write on!  We hastily grabbed the sheet with our table number on it and wrote our answers on the back of it.


  1. In what year did Ireland host the Ryder Cup?
  2. Which Emma starred in and wrote the screenplay for the film Sense and Sensibility?
  3. A.N. Other question ***
  4. What is normally served from a terrine tureen?
  5. What was the name given to the process of compelling men to join the navy?

Now, they should keep you busy.  I’ll post up the answers on Monday. Update: answers here.


* It wasn’t.

** We got these, but I think they’re good to know for again.

*** Ordinarily I jot down the answers and, upon seeing them the next day (or whenever) remember the question. In this case my method has failed me as all I have down for the answer is “3”. Questions on the back of a postcard…

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