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The USA quiz

November 29, 2012 in Quizzes

Apologies to all who were waiting on my report from the USA quiz I hosted in The King’s Head, Galway, on Monday night last.  I’ve been very busy at work this week, I’m afraid.  This work has born fruit with the launch yesterday of the Claremorris Community Radio iPhone app, which you can download for free on the Apple App Store.  It’ll come in handy on Thursday nights for After the Fact. 🙂

Right, so back to last Monday.  Firstly, I was delighted with the large crowd who turned up.  The main floor of the bar was full – indeed several late-arriving tables had to move upstairs and look down on the stage from the balcony.  As an aside, it’s a bit strange to have quiz-goers looking down on you as you ask the questions…

Most of the crowd were actual American citizens.  Indeed the winning team were a family on holiday from Detroit, Michigan.  Naturally, it shouldn’t be too surprising that people from the country on which the quiz was based would win but it was a close run thing.  I did try to introduce a little randomness to the questions (more on that in a minute) and also added some clues to the questions to aid the Irish people in the room.

I was subject to some light-hearted heckling throughout the night about my pronunciations.  I don’t think I was that bad but one table in particular seemed to have appointed themselves the pronunciation police.  Such examples of heinous error on my part included called the capital of Montana “Heleena” (as opposed to “Hellena”), calling Holyoke as “holly-yoke” (and not “hole-yoke”) and calling the explosive springs in Yellowstone “geezers” (they said it should have been “guy-zers”).  For the last one, I finally decided to test THEM out and asked for a show of hands for the correct form.  It finished about 60/40 for their version but that hardly made me such a language criminal, did it!?

The quiz featured two picture rounds (one about cowboys and one about US sport) and two audio rounds (‘Songs involving America’ and Grammy record of the year winners).  I’ve included one of each after the jump for you to try.

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Next Monday night at The King’s Head

November 23, 2012 in Quizzes

Yes, I’m donning my quizmaster cape once again for a table quiz all about the good ol’ U. S. of A.

It’s taking place on Monday night next in The King’s Head in Galway.  Admission is just €20 for a team of four and all are welcome.

See ya then, y’all!

The Big Question: quizzing for Crumlin Children’s Hospital

November 16, 2012 in Culture, Quizzes

Sile Seoige, at the launch of The Big Question.

Next Thursday, November 22nd, sees the first ever holding of The Big Question, a national fundraising campaign to encourage family, friends, companies, organisations, teams and groups all over Ireland to come together this November and host a table quiz in aid of the Children’s Medical and Research Foundation at Our Lady’s Children Hospital, Crumlin.

It’s an event akin to the National Coffee Morning, in aid of local hospices, except in this case the organisers are looking for people to organise and host table quizzes!

All quiz organisers and the winning team from each quiz will be in with a chance to win a trip for four people to New York City with accommodation provided by Fitzpatrick Hotels. Even if you can’t organise a quiz you can still take part by texting Crumlin to 5700 to show your support with a €2.50 donation.

Children are sick, right now,” Dr. Orla Franklin, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at Our Lady’s Hospital, says.  “Every year 550 children in Ireland have serious congenital heart disease for which surgery is the only option. The National Children’s Heart centre in Crumlin offers a life line to these children and their families. These tough life struggles are happening in cramped and out of date facilities.  This has to change. They get world-class care but they need quality facilities.”

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Breakfast of champions

November 15, 2012 in EQC, Quizzes

I’m always open to guest posts here on the site, especially covering things I missed myself.  My early departure from Tartu meant I didn’t get to take part in the Pairs event or watch the Nations Cup final.  My team-mate Lorcan Duff, on the other hand, managed both of those things.  Here’s his report:

The Pairs event was of a standard slightly harder then the individual quiz, but a lot easier then the four person team quizzes. We were sitting at a table with a Top-10 quizzer Ronny Swiggers, from Belgium, and his partner. We didn’t disgrace ourselves at all, getting a lot of answers the Ronny pair couldn’t answer.

Pat Gibson and Kevin Ashman, neither of whom (amazingly) made the Top 10 individual final, won the event, so our Padraic and Derek chose the right quizzers to be photographed with!

So the fun quizzes did actually take place on Saturday night, but in a different venue. I would have liked to try them out, but instead spent the early morning drinking with members of the Quiz League of London.  They are talking about having a quiz weekend of their own the weekend after the World Quizzing Championships next June, with four or five countries already confirmed, along with eight English regional teams, so that is something we can think about.

On the Sunday afternoon the Nations Cup final between England and Finland took place. It was a very high standard, neck and neck most of the way.  England pulled away towards the end, thanks to a slightly stronger history knowledge base.

One of the questions asked for the name of the destructive computer worm in 2000, to which Kevin Ashman answered “Don’t take this the wrong way, Arko, but I Love You!”

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Answers from Tartu

November 12, 2012 in EQC, Quizzes

Here are the answers to the questions I posted during the weekend.

So how do you think you did? Could you keep up with the quizzers at the European Quizzing Championships?

If so, drop me an email and I’ll sort you out for a place on next year’s squad. 🙂

Update: Fancy giving the full Individual Quiz a go? Click here to download the paper (PDF, 5.4 MB).

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Mistakes on a plane?

November 11, 2012 in EQC, Quizzes

Let’s hope not.  I’m writing to you now from about 20,000 feet, or whatever height Ryanair cruise at.  Alas, due to flight schedules, the three of us who departed Dublin at 6am on Friday, Padraic, Derek and myself, are now homeward-bound on Sunday morning.  Only David and Lorcan remain in Tartu to wear the green jersey in the Pairs event.

Day 2 in Tartu (assonance?) was a very busy one for the Irish competitors.  It began at 10am with the Individual Quiz, in the main hall.

You could say each round in that quiz is general knowledge.  You’d be more accurate though if you said each round is completely specific knowledge.  There’s very little general knowledge here.  For example, a question in round 6, asking for the name of the religious depictions of Jesus and the holy family in the Eastern Orthodox Church, stood out like a sore thumb.  It was a bit easy.*

Anyway, I outlined how we got on in yesterday’s post so let’s move on to the afternoon’s exciting event: Ireland’s first foray into knockout quizzing.

After the qualifier round of the Nations Cup, the top eight teams play out semi-finals (as in, 1-4 go for the main title and 5-8 try to get to the Plate final).  Similarly, the top eight teams in the Aspirational Cup (B teams etc and ad-hoc teams) have semi-finals and I actually got to MC one of these on Friday night.

This is a bit of an anomaly but the teams who finished 9th and 10th in the Nations Cup qualifier also get to have a knockout quiz.  This year, these teams were Germany and Ireland. Read the rest of this entry →

Questions from Tartu

November 10, 2012 in EQC, Quizzes

Individual quiz tablemates: Me, Kay, David and Jakob.

Righto. After my snafu earlier with the backspace key, I feel I owe you all some questions.

First, I need to report on how we did in this morning’s Individual Quiz. This event sees us all taking part on our own (the name would imply that, wouldn’t it?!) in eight rounds, the first seven each having 12 questions and the last round featuring 16. There are no themes or category rounds. Each one is mixed-bag/general knowledge/whatever you want to call it.

Table places are assigned based on the number we each have in the bottom-right corner of our name tags. Funnily enough, I ended up at the same table (11) as my colleague on the Irish team, David Fay. There we were joined by Kay from Norway and Jakob from Denmark.

At the end of each round, you simply swap your answer sheet with the person across the table from you, Jakob in my case, and the answers are then called out from the stage. We were all of roughly the same standard which was nice as it meant we did a lot of sympathising with each other after certain rounds. On one occasion, I “top-scored” with 2/12, whilst the others all got 1. Sufficed to say, we had a bit of fun with the whole thing.
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Day 1: To Tartu we go

November 10, 2012 in EQC, Quizzes

The Irish team: Padraic Fanning, John Nolan, Derek Cray, David Fay and Lorcan Duff.

This year’s European Quizzing Championshipsare taking place in Tartu, Estonia. Ireland are respresented at this quiz festival by a team of five people: myself, Drek Cray, Lorcan Duff, Padraic Fanning and David Fay.

Getting to Tartu is a challenge in itself. It’s Estonia’s second city but Estonia isn’t that big a place. Thus, while Tartu does have an airport, it is only serviced by flights from two destinations – Tallinn and Helsinki. I didn’t see the point of flying to Tallinn and then on to Tartu, when Tallinn is all of two hours away by road and, unfortunately, there is no easy way to get from Ireland to Helsinki. Well, certainly no way at times that suited us.

Two of the team arrived in Estonia on Thursday night, staying in Tallinn before making their way to Tartu yesterday morning. Myself, Padraic and Derek were even more efficient. We left Dublin at 6.45am and flew to Riga, the captial of Latvia. Air travel can be a bit mysterious at times. Why does it take practically an hour to fly Dublin-London and it took us just 2 hours and 35 minutes to fly from Dublin to Riga?
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