We’ll always have Bruges

November 7, 2011 in EQC

Norway and Finland face-off in the Nations Cup final

Our weekend of quizzing is over and I have returned home from the land of expensive tea*. Tired I may be, but I’m also slightly wiser and delighted to have made a slew of new friends.

Sunday morning offered no respite for those with fragile heads as the Pairs event kicked off at 10am. David and myself entered this ‘Duo quiz’ with one aim in mind – try and break the 40 point barrier that had bedevilled our two previous team performances. Big news: we did it! In fact, we scored 52. :-)

This quiz was more akin to the Individual qualifier than the team quizzes. At the start of each round, we received a sheet with 12 questions.  One of these was usually linked to an audio clip which would be played on the PA. The sheets also included small, black-and-white versions of pictures related to (on average) three or four of the questions. Whilst, these pictures were also displayed on the big screen, I did find it surprising throughout the weekend that, at such a well-organised event, no-one was able to find a colour photocopier for the question sheets.

As I’m now back at home, I will return to traditional form and include some of the questions from this quiz at the end of the post. You better get your game face on though!

The Pairs event didn’t feature a second round.  Pat Gibson and Kevin Ashman, surely the two best quizzers in the world right now, were (unsurprisingly) the winners.  Their score of 80 was three clear of two teams in second place.  You can check out the full list of scores here: www.eqc2011.be/site/teams/4/sort

After lunch, the event the weekend had been leading up to arrived: the final of the Nations Cup. I’d be pretty confident that everyone who was still around was in the hall to watch a marathon knockout quiz between the surprise finalists Norway and Finland.  Whilst the semi-finals had featured a board with 20 categories, the final was based on a board with 30 of them.  Some seemed obvious (‘One hit wonders’, ‘The great war’, ‘Baroque’), others were a touch more cryptic (‘Keys’, ‘Vandalism’ and ‘No sex please”), whilst some were amazingly specific (‘Civilisation IV’ springs to mind here).

The match was the definition of nip-and-tuck. Throughout the quiz, there was never more than six points between them – and this in a quiz where right answers were worth 2 points (first half) and 3 points (second half). At the start of the final round, Norway led by 69 points to 67.  Finland had control of the board and faced the only topic remaining: ‘Wildflowers’. Neither they nor Norway could answer the first quesion correctly. Finland did manage to get the second one right though, so they overtook Norway by a single point. It all came down to the last question. A picture was shown of a blue flower with white speckles. Finland didn’t recognise it so it passed over to Norway who had a final chance to nick the title! Alas, they didn’t give the right answer either, so the title was won by Finland and that single point. It was breathless stuff!

For us, that was the end of the weekend.  It was off to the train station and back to Brussels to stay with our friend Brian. We arrived back in Ireland at lunch time today.

We all had a great weekend.  Even though we didn’t come within an ass’s roar of winning one of the title quizzes, we did enjoy finding out how we measure up. Not bad at all, really.  We’re definitely mid-table. None of us studies for quizzing so we’re happy to be there right now.  In the future, who knows?

Questions from the Pairs Quiz (a mix, to showcase the range of knowledge and difficulty):

  1. What was the two-word nickname of Beatrix Kiddo, aka ‘The Bride’, played by Uma Thurman when she was still part of the ‘Deadly Viper Assassination Squad’ in the Kill Bill movies?
  2. From 2003 until 2006, .cs was the country code top-level domain name for Serbia and Montenegro.  Before 1993 .cs had been the country code top-level domain of another country. Which?
  3. Its neighbouring island is named Blefusco, the capital of the island is Mildendo and it is ruled by an Emperor: Golbasto Momarem Evlame Gurdilo Shefin Mully Ully Gue.  What island are we talking about?
  4. Which progressive rock band (1967 – 1972) recorded three albums and split up before the last, ‘666’, was released? Its lead singer would also have a great solo career.
  5. This alternative name for Northern Italy, derived from the name of its most important river, was sparsley used until 1990 when the separatist Italian political party ‘Lega Nord’ proposed it as the name of an independent Northern Italy.  Which name?
  6. In 1993, the book A Suitable Boy was published, a story that plays in the fictional city of Brahmpur.  With 591,522 words it was the largest book ever published as a single volume in the English language.  It was the second novel of what Indian poet and novelist?
  7. Which French football coach, who celebrated his biggest success in 1984, shares his surname with an eastern Mexican state, a member of the Spanish nobility, a minor planet discovered in 1920 and a county in south-western New Mexico?
  8. Derived from a city in southern France, what is the name of the 2009 third-person video game, for Xbox and PS3, by Platinum Games, known for its time slowdown or ‘Witch Time’?
  9. She has flaming locks of auburn hair, ivory skin and eyes of Emerald green, her smile is like a breath of Spring and her voice is soft like Summer rain.  Whose beauty is beyond compare?
  10. The name of which German philosopher and mathematician (1646 – 1716) appears in tribute in the name of a brand (in two varieties) of German biscuit that is rectangular in shape and has 52 ‘teeth’ around its edge?
  11. At the end of the 16th century, Annibale Carracci was commissioned to decorate it with frescoes, which he spent 11 years completing.  In 1992 it served as one of the locations for a live, real-time, worldwide satellite broadcast of Puccini’s opera Tosca.  Rome’s Palazzo Farnese, which actually featured as a location in Puccini’s original work, is now home to which EU member state’s embassy in Italy?
  12. If both coaches use their full allocation over the course of a regular game, what is the maximum number of ‘time-outs’ in an American Football game (assuming no overtime)?
  13. Although born and raised in Peru and retaining his nationality, residency rules permitted him to play for the USA in the Davis Cup.  1959 was his annus mirablis.  Who was runner-up in the men’s singles final of the US Open, won the men’s singles in the Australian Open, and became the first Latin American to win the Wimbledon’s men’s singles title?
  14. Now giving their name to the airport of Palermo, what was the profession of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who were murdered in 1992?
  15. Which guide book, that was first published by Megadodo Publications, one of the great publishing houses of Ursa Minor, advises its owners never to lose their towel?

Now, put those in your pipe and smoke!

Don’t forget, you can see some photos from the weekend here.

Update: answers here.

* €5 was the dearest. It was nice tea, to be fair, but come on… €5!

2 responses to We’ll always have Bruges

  1. Tough questions!

  2. Demis Roussos!

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