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Pedantic answers

February 8, 2012 in Movies, Quizzes

Since I got my waffle out of the way yesterday, straight to the answers 😉

Congratulations again to the winners who scored an impressive 71/80. The next movie quiz was announced for 5th March.

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Pedantic, moi?

February 7, 2012 in Movies, Quizzes

Correcting quizzes is essentially a thankless task. Writing questions is fun. Hosting is fun (though less so for the audience if your host-with-the-most persona is a git). Marking sheets and totting up scores is free of any such glamour. All you need is a red pen and a bit of cop-on. Which brings me neatly to the pedantry at this week’s quiz.

What constitutes a right answer is a long-standing bugbear of mine. Most quizzes accept surnames without firstnames, though some penalise for incorrect attempts at both (a bit harsh, but you’re usually forewarned). Phonetic answers are usually acccepted, unless you’re asked to spell Schwarzenegger or similar. In my book though, what’s crucial is whether the stem of the answer is in place. In movie quizzes, that identifier may distinguish a movie from another entry in a franchise, or a movie with a similar title. However, I’d challenge whether denying us a point in the last movie quiz for identifying the poster for The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is truly in the spirit of quizzing. Surely we gave the pertinent information? Likewise for giving Bella’s full name from Twilight series as Bella Swann (as in the Wiki entry) as they only accepted Isabella. Pendantic or what?!

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Now that the dust has settled

November 28, 2011 in Quizzes

Guest blog from Mike

Though John’s covered our participation in the European Quizzing Championships in Brussels thoroughly (and then some), I thought it might be of interest to share our observations on different quizzing styles/cultures and what have you. It was a fairly different kettle of fish there, to be honest. I was glad to find a Wiki entry on Belgian Quizzing to refresh my memory somewhat this morning.

First up, the venues. Irish pub quizzes are as they say on the tin. They traditionally start at 8-for-9pm Irish time, and often run on quiet nights (football-free, usually) to bring a crowd that might otherwise stay at home. Since the longer a quiz goes on the more drinks that are served, we’ve experienced quizzes run at glacial pace, with unnecessarily long breaks. But I digress. Drink is intrinsic to the experience, in short. You can choose not to drink, or else get nominated as the designated driver, but  a pint or two certainly helps the night go by. Although Belgian beer is quite delicious, their quiz scene is typically focused around school halls or other indoor sports venues – dry venues, in other words. Every Saturday afternoon, we were told, were the norm, with quiz results monitored and competitors ranked (check out John’s Audioboo from the venue for more). A 500-team ranking ladder suggests a highly-organised sport, rather than the ramshackle ‘let’s hold a fundraiser… how about a quiz?’ tradition here.

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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!

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Front Door: Series 3, Episode 2

April 21, 2009 in Quizzes

Actually season 4, but since we sat one out it hardly counts ;)

Actually season 4, but since we sat one out it hardly counts 😉

With John away again, it’s Mike filling in here with another guest blog.

People like to win. Leaving aside the “doing it for the craic” losers – yeah, right – we all love to win something, sometimes. Table quiz, office sweepstake, race to the elevator, whatever. If there’s a sense of superiority on the table, all the better. Call me an old romantic, but the nature of winning is almost equally important to me. As a Liverpool fan, I see both sides of the win/loss chasm on a regular basis, from lucky wins to games thrown away or lost to some cynical cheating. Now, a part of me just wants to win, no matter what, but I try to keep my baser instincts under wraps.

Which is why I’m so cheered at the thought of serious competition in this quizzing series. Sure, a nice easy run-in to the grand prize of €500 would be nice and all, but having to earn it, as it were, is doubly rewarding. Tonight was a case in point. Firstly, we started a point behind overall – you may remember that particular tale – so we’d a point to prove. We’d borrowed Michael Lang as an able sub since John was doing his husbandly duties and came up against no shortage of surprises. Firstly, the questions were good. Not just “good by the Front Door’s standards” but genuinely varied and challenging. They’d the usual hallmarks of being composed mere hours – maybe even minutes – beforehand but were a vast improvement on previous quizzes.

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Blow-in Quizzers answers

March 3, 2009 in Quizzes

Answers from yesterday’s guest blog. We won, as we do, by a decent margin. Only once can I recall less helpful teammates though, back in college with two drunkies. Read the rest of this entry →

Guest blog: Blow-in Quizzers

March 1, 2009 in Quizzes

A welcoming bar out westBlow-ins get fierce reactions around our parts. They arouse suspicion are are frequently loathed on sight for being nothing more than strangers. On the flipside, I’ve worn that banner in the past as well: representing a Gort pub in the Galway heats of a national quiz for instance.

The one that particularly springs to mind dates from the early nineties when quizzing was hugely popular in the west. SBB and his wife used to set the questions, and to this day I don’t recall better. Anyways, Dad & I were on a team which won a big – about 45 teams – quiz in Carraroe. On our way out, the organisers of a quiz the following week invited us back to Lettermullen or Lettermore… Lettersomething anyhow. He seemed friendly enough, so we agreed.

Cue the following week where we landed in a small village pub in the middle of nowhere. Yer man, of course, wasn’t there and we could hardly explain what brought us out to the islands that wintry night. With banjos playing in our ears we squeaked a win (good idea or not, us Coynes don’t play for 2nd!) and promptly skedaddled out of there, plaques in hand.

Which is a roundabout way to introduce Friday night’s quiz. Shelly and I were invited by the organizer’s girlfriend who’d been humiliated by her last place finish last time. Sold to us as a charity quiz, it was actually a social club event. Sorta beneath us, said he loftily, like bringing ringers onto the Springfield Isotopes. Regardless, the questions were quite well written, wherever they were sourced from. Here are a selection on ones we remember.

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