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A quiz to get you through the holidays

December 26, 2011 in Quizzes

Belated Christmas wishes to all the site’s readers.  I hope you had a lovely day and didn’t eat too much!

The blog’s Chinese correspondent, Kieran, pointed me in the direction of a quiz billed as the “world’s hardest”.  It was published on The Guardian’s website on December 22.

Secondary school students on the Isle of Man are obviously very knowledgeable – generally.

From the Guardian website:

Pupils at King William’s college on the Isle of Man have been tormented by its annual general knowledge quiz since 1905. Until 1999, the quiz was compulsory, with 300 pupils aged between 11 and 18 having to answer the 100 cryptic questions in a set time – the average score being two.

So, do you think you can beat a score of two? I glanced through it and I think I’ve got about five but they are cryptic and the answers won’t be announced until the middle of January so even I will have to wait and see.

Check it out at: www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2011/dec/22/king-williams-college-quiz-2011

Update: answers now available at www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2012/jan/12/king-williams-college-quiz-answers

Don’t work… too hard: answers

October 22, 2011 in Quizzes

Some breaking news: the low scores earned by the teams on Monday night last mustn’t have deterred me, as I have agreed to be the quiz master once again, on Friday night next (October 28) in Warde’s Pub, Claremorris.  The quiz starts at 8.30pm and you’re all invited! See the calendar for more details.

Anyway, back to the post.  Here are the answers to the (quite difficult, I admit) questions posted in yesterday’s Don’t work… too hard.

I wrote a bit about the concept of ‘quiz knowledge’ yesterday.  To flesh this out a little more, my point is that all knowledge is (or should be) valid.  It’s just a case of a situation arising where the more (shall we say) ‘obscure’ bit of your knowledge become useful.  But… shouldn’t the probability of any particular question coming up be identical across all fields? *

It isn’t. I knew almost nothing in the Popular Culture round below but that has never really mattered before.  99% of the time, in Irish table quizzes, questions like these never, ever, come up.  Is that ‘right’?

Consider the flip side: you might know someone who would do very well in the round being discussed but, if you asked them, would tell you that they are “terrible” at table quizzes and never take part in them. Surely there’s a flaw here?

By which I mean: is there a flaw in the way most Irish table quizzes are created? Do question setters, perhaps, consider their potential crowd and then design a quiz to suit them more than to really test them? Probably not consciously but almost certainly.  To take it further, is there a vernacular in the Irish table quiz world? Could the spectrum of knowledge tested at table quizzes be considered a ‘specialist subject‘ in-and-of itself?

This is a disquieting notion.

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Don’t work… too hard

October 20, 2011 in Quizzes

Question: How do you know the quiz you’ve (partially) written was too hard?

Answer: When the winning table scores 49/100.

That’s right, just 49%. And there was a playoff.

The night before its students decided to abandon Rag Week, NUI Galway played host to yours truly on the microphone, calling out questions in the back room of the College Bar.  I created three of the rounds used on the night (one of which you can see below).  The others were created by the members of my regular team so it was a rare occasion in that all four of us were at the top table, with the others collecting and correcting at various times.

Knowledge, or what one could consider ‘useful (quiz) knowledge’, is subjective and differs from person to person.  Even with my own abilities, this quiz featured a round I would have scored 2/10 in.  Of course, I’ve also included that for you to have a go.

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Today’s news today

October 17, 2011 in Housekeeping, Podcast, Quizzes

Good morning everyone.  Here’s a short post to invite anyone in the Galway area to come along to the Comedy Soc quiz which is taking place tonight in the NUI Galway College Bar.  It kicks off at 7.30pm (or thereabouts) and will feature questions written by myself and some of the team that will be representing Ireland in the European Quizzing Championship in Bruges next month.  I may even be MC for the night but that isn’t definite yet.

So come one, come all.   First prize is €200 and the night will also feature a raffle and, as the poster proudly proclaims, free food!  Admission is €20 for a table of four.

Few other things: