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EQC: A good day 1 for Ireland

November 7, 2015 in EQC

Day one at the 2015 European Quizzing Championships was an undeniable success for Ireland.  At its end, the Irish team stand guaranteed of their highest finish yet in the weekend’s main event, the Nations Cup.

Their 58 points in the opening event, the Nations Cup table quiz, saw Team Ireland finish in sixth place. This qualified them for a playoff against the auld enemy (that’d be Scotland) for the right to take part in tomorrow’s 5th/6th place final.  In a tight match, they emerged victorious by 40 points to 38!

Ireland now faces the host nation tomorrow, knowing that they are guaranteed a record finish for an Irish team – the previous best was 8th.  The Netherlands themselves finished 8th in the table quiz but then went on to surprise 5th place France in their semi-final.

Team Ireland: Kevin Jones, Lorcan Duff, David Lea and Mark Henry.

Team Ireland: Kevin Jones, Lorcan Duff, David Lea and Mark Henry.

Yours truly also took part in the opening table quiz, on a hastily-formed Aspirational Cup team alongside two Scots and a Latvian (the only one here this weekend, alas). Our team, Erasmusbrugh, was in a different league altogether – we scored a pretty disapointing 38, for a 20th place finish. However, under a new system introduced last year in Bucharest, the top 24 teams now get to face the knockout question set. Rather than finding separate rooms (and indeed hosts) for all these quizzes, this new system sees all teams back in the main hall, facing the questions in a table quiz fashion.

Once again, we were way back on what Team Ireland achieved. However, our 24 points was enough to defeat our head-to-head competitors, Levon and the Stokers, in the much-coveted 19th/20th playoff. 🙂

Erasmusbrugh: Mark Rae, Uldis Adsalons, Neil McCaskill and myself.

Erasmusbrugh: Mark Rae, Uldis Adsalons, Neil McCaskill and myself.

The night then concluded with a fun quiz hosted by a very funny Dutch lady, from the hosting committee. I’m sorry to say I have forgotten her name but, if I find it out today sometime, I will amend the article.

She presented the quiz in the ‘Dutch’ style, which reminded me nothing so much as school excercise books! One round featured answers where we were already provided with the initial letter and also told how many letters the word included. For another, she provided a list of colours in advance of the questions, telling us that each answer would involve at least one of these. I subbed in for David Lea on the Irish table for this one. We had a good bit of craic but finished down the running, somewhere around 8th place.

This morning sees the day kick off with the Individual quiz qualifier at 9.30am. I’ll report back on how we all got on if I get a free moment around lunchtime. If you’re impatient, keep an eye on the IQO Facebook page, as it will also be getting updates throughout the day. Finally, stats fans can check out the official EQC results page.

This could be Rotterdam…

November 6, 2015 in EQC

dutch-windmillThis year’s European Quizzing Championships will kick off this afternoon in Rotterdam.  You can find out more about it via the following link: www.europeanquizzingchampionships.com.

After taking a year off last year, I am currently en route to this year’s event.  (Aside: thank you Dublin Airport and your free wifi.)  Ireland are sending a five-person team this year: David Lea, Kevin Jones, Lorcan Duff, Mark Henry and myself.

Guess who’s fifth-ranked out of the group? Yes, ’tis me.  That means I obviously won’t be a member of the Nations Cup team (aside: #coybig!) but I will still get to take part in all the events.

Here’s the weekend’s quizzing schedule:

FRIDAY
16:15 National Teams and Aspirational Cup qualifying
20:30 National Teams and Aspirational Cup semi-finals, and placings matches
22:45 Fun Dutch Quiz

SATURDAY
9:30 Individual Quiz (part 1)
13:30 Individual Quiz final
15:00 Aspirational Cup final and final round of placing matches
19:30 Club Team championship
23:00 Hot 100

SUNDAY
10:00 Pairs Championship
14:00 National Teams final

Stay tuned to the blog here for my reports on each of the events and how the Irish team got on.

Answer from Delighted with a fifth place

September 7, 2015 in Quizzes

Sophie_Tucker_-_1930

Meet Sophie Tucker

Here are the answers to the post I put up way back last week sometime.

Thanks to my dad, my aunt Louise and my cousin Michelle for making it such an enjoyable 80% of a quiz.  If only we’d been there for (crazy idea!) the start of round one…

Weren’t the dingbats quite difficult? When you do a lot of quizzes, you tend to see this type of round a lot and, as with cryptic crosswords, you learn how to do them. In this case though, we struggled badly and, if I recall, only scored 4/10. I met a man ‘up the town’ a day or two later who’d also done the quiz. The dingbats were the first thing he wanted to talk about. “We were sure we had four,” he said. “Turned out we only got one of them.”

Also, can’t say I’d ever heard of Sophie Tucker. Even when the answer was announced, I was none the wiser. It’s an answer I’ll remember for ever more though!

We did much better in the cars and cities round, scoring 9/10 in both. Car 7 and city 8 got us – even though we tried several cities with that particlar ending!

Answers after the click…

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How to be delighted with a fifth place finish

August 28, 2015 in Quizzes

fifth-placeThis site is almost dormant, I know.  However, this state of blogging hibernation isn’t due to me failing to transcribe quizzes and turn them in to articles.  No, I haven’t been selfishly holding on to quiz info and experiences and not sharing them with you.

Instead, I must admit, the blog is a faithful representation of the amount of quizzes I have done in the last year.  To summarise: not very many.

I was roused out of my quizzing apathy last weekend by my father, who had noticed that the golf club of which he is a member was going to be a venue for a charity table quiz on Saturday night.  “Sure, you say you’ll come along and I’ll have no trouble finding some others,” he assured me.  In the end, at about 8.30pm on Saturday night, we ‘volunteered’ his visiting sister Louise and her daughter, my cousin Michelle.

Anyway, off we headed for the golf club.  The quiz was down for 9.30pm but himself was certain that ‘Irish time’ would be in play and that our arrival time, 9.50, would be “grand”.   Cue us arriving in to the club bar, to hear the quizmistress recapping the questions from round two.  Doh!

Since we’d come this far (and the quiz was for charity) we decided unanimously to stay and take part regardless.

Thus, you can now see where the post title comes from.  We had a great quiz, finishing on 60/80.  It was good enough for fifth place!  Prior to the last round, we even got a shoutout from the quizmistress who’d noticed that, despite completing two less rounds than everyone else, we were by then in joint-fourth.  Alas, our form slightly deserted us in that last round, and we scored just 6/10.

Still, it wasn’t anywhere near being disappointing enough to take the happy feeling away from our group of Nolans.  For the record, the winning table scored 74/100.

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2015 World Quizzing Champs

June 2, 2015 in Quizzes

2015_world_quizFor more info: www.facebook.com/events/582452458524054/

Celtic Nations 2015 photos

April 28, 2015 in Celtics

Celtic Nations: Day 2

April 27, 2015 in EQC

Team-Ireland-CN2015

Team Ireland. Back: Dave McBryan, Kevin Jones, John Groarke, Dan O’Malley, Hugh Brady, Dave Lea, Paul Philpott. Front: Lorcan Duff, Mark Henry, John Nolan, Derek Cray, Karen Crofton.

Done and done.  Some ambitions fulfilled and others frustrated.  The 2015 Celtic Nations championship is done and dusted.

Our own headline is that Ireland finished second.  Out of three.  This might not seem like that much of an achievement but, trust me, it is.  We are the most recent arrival on the international scene from this part of the world and, in the previous two runnings of this event, finished dead last.  Yes, Scotland won comfortably.  Their strength in depth (as witnessed by their constant rotation of players from the A team right down to the C team fairly demonstrates) is impressive.  However, Wales did beat them in the Euros last time out.

An ambition yet to fulfilled is a personal one.  Since joining this scene I have taken part in nine international matches (EQC 2012, CN 2013 and now CN 2015) and lost them all.  🙁  Of those defeats though, two have been by a single point, one was two points and a yet another was by six or so.  Yesterday morning I had another such slap in the face and the team of myself, Kevin Jones, Hugh Brady and Dan O’Malley conspired to lose after being 11 points ahead with two categories to go.  Our Scottish opponents stole two of our final set (worth 3 points each) and then answered two of their own last category.  And thus, emerged as winners by 45 points to 44.

This was the closest Scotland came to defeat in an international match this weekend.  After dodging this bullet, they went on to claim what chief organiser Gareth Kingston called a ‘blue wash’ and comfortably win the championship.

Congratulations to our A team though, who defeated Wales for the second time shortly afterwards.  This team was made up of the Davids, Lea and McBryan, Lorcan Duff and Hugh Brady, who had stepped up from the B team following that Scottish heartbreak.  It capped off what was a very impressive debut from Hugh, who I hope will continue to join us at events such as this.

Yesterday I promised you the questions from the set created by Lorcan and myself for Saturday morning.  Here it is: Scotland v Wales, set 1.

I’ll be back online later with a selection of photos from the event.  As for now though, excuse me while I go and catch a flight.

Celtic Nations 2015: day 1

April 26, 2015 in Celtics, Quizzes

Gareth Kingston welcomes us to the individual quiz.

Gareth Kingston welcomes us to the individual quiz.

Day 1 of the 2015 Celtic Nations kicked off at 10am and, from then until after 9pm, was full of quizzing.  Personally, it also contained some major disappointments, along with minor triumphs for yours truly.

The day began with the first set of international matches.  These featured the hosts taking on the defending champions Scotland.  As I mentioned yesterday, the way the event works is that for each of the international matches the nation not taking part is in charge of the questions.  Myself and Lorcan Duff wrote this first set of questions (I’ll upload them later, if you’d like to give them a go).  I took charge of the A match, featuring the like of Anne Hegarty (from The Chase) and 2014 Brain of Britain champion Mark Grant, whilst some of my team mates hosted the B, C and even an informal ‘D’ match. I’m glad to say the feedback on our questions was very positive (even the ones which were deemed “a bit hard” for this august group!).  In the A room, Wales got off to a terrible start and never could catch up; Scotland ended up winning by 10 points.

Straight after this match everyone was in action in the weekend’s individual event.  This saw us all taking on a 100-question paper over 75 minutes.  The questions were good, hard, as one would experience at the EQC itself.  To be honest though, I felt the 75 minutes was a tad long.  You know what you know.  At the end, Mark Grant successfully defended his title, comfortably so, as his 79 points total was nine ahead of Scotland’s Rob Hannah.  Ireland’s Mark Henry has been in great form in the Hot 100 lately and he carried this in to the individual quiz, emerging at the top Irish player on 67, which was good enough for fourth overall.  Our new player Hugh Brady had a terrific debut: his score of 62 saw him finish in ninth, just two points behind Dave McBryan and one behind Lorcan.  The top eight players from each nation contibuted points to the overal competition, based on where they finished.  My own 52 points was only good for 21st in the room but it did see me contributing some points to this table.

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