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In today’s Western People

January 28, 2014 in Culture


For readers who don’t live in Mayo, please click on the ‘Read the rest…’ link to see an article on yours truly, and After the Fact, written by Cróna Esler for today’s Western People newspaper.

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Game, set, penalty shootout, match?

November 25, 2013 in Quizzes

tennis-ball-netStrangely it seems, the more involved in international championships I get, the less I take part in table quizzes. Of course, by that I mean the less I take part in table quizzes, as a contestant. I’ve been involved in loads of quizzes over this calendar year but as a question setter and quizmaster.

So last Friday night’s Claremorris Tennis Club table quiz was a nice opportunity to ‘get back in the game’ as it were. I attended on the invite of Andrew, one of the captains on my radio quiz show, After the Fact. To complete the team, he had lined up Lorraine, his nemesis on ATF and his own brother Paul.

The quiz was down for 9pm so, of course, it didn’t start until around half-past. After that though, the quizmistress ran a pretty tight ship, moving through each round quickly, getting the answer sheets collected and getting on the next one. Other quiz hosts please take note!
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Tickets! Get your answers

September 24, 2013 in Quizzes

dejectedSo, the ticket hunt is over for another year and the Mayo footballer’s wait for the senior All-Ireland title will last at least another 12 months.

I don’t actually know if my team-mates from last Wednesday evening managed to get their hands on those precious pieces of paper. I haven’t seen them since. If they did, at least they got to see the Mayo minor team win that championship for the first time in almost 30 years.

And it was a sunny day too, which was nice.

Right, that’s all I’m going to say about it. Now, it’s time for the answers to the questions I posed in last week’s post.
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Tickets! Get your tickets!

September 20, 2013 in Culture, Quizzes

may-fan-ticketWorking where I do, it has been near impossible this week to find a conversation that didn’t include the word “tickets” being mentioned. As in “Any sign of a ticket?” or “I have a fella looking out for a ticket for me in Longford.” Yes, it’s an inescapable fact: Mayo will play in this weekend’s All-Ireland Football final and people round here want to go.

This explains why, on Wednesday evening: (a) your Roscommon correspondent ended up with two ticket-starved Mayo fans (and a Galway man) at a quiz in Castlebar, and (b) around 120 other people did too. The quiz was organised by Cairde Mhaigh Eo, the Mayo supporters’ club, and the star prize was two tickets to the big game for the winning team. Just two tickets? Yes. As a matter of fact, they had four tickets but the other two were only up-for-grabs via the night’s raffle.

The quiz took place in the Bosh bar in Mayo’s county town and was, on the whole, a very well-run event. Upon paying their entry fee, each team received a clear plastic folder which contained their answer book, their table number and, generously for the forgetful, a pen.

The flipside though was a couple of very annoying questions. Here are two from the first round:

  • In what year was the Berlin Wall finally demolished?
  • Which artist is commonly believed to have designed the uniform of the Swiss Guards?

Come on now, “commonly believed”? Why would anyone include those words in a question? Surely, it’s facts we’re after not hearsay? What if the quiz happened to have in attendance an expert in the field of Renaissance art who disputes the given answer (Michaelangelo, by the way) and thinks, in fact, that Piermatteo d’Amelia designed the uniform? Arguments this way lie…

The other question was even worse. Their answer, 1990, gave rise to howls of derision. The quizmistress came back on the microphone and reiterated “We did say finally demolished.” However, three of our four team have been to Berlin and, as recently as this March, seen that some of the wall still stands. So, surely, it has never been “finally” demolished, if you’re going to be pedantic about it!
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Guess who’s back answers (bonus track)

October 13, 2012 in Gilligan's, Quizzes

Below you will find the answers to the questions I posed in yesterday’s post, Guess who’s back.

I’m getting them posted today for two reasons.  Firstly, myself and Mrs Tablequiz are off to the Irish Blog Awards tonight so, you’d never know, I may need to do another post tomorrow. 😉 Then again, I probably won’t but I intend having a good night in any event!

Secondly, I spotted a nice little quiz on The Journal this morning.  It features 10 lines from Irish literature (or poetry) and you simply have to identify the author and the title of the work.  I surprised myself by getting 7 of the 10 right.  You can have a go at:

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Guess who’s back

October 12, 2012 in Gilligan's, Quizzes

October is here and, right one cue, the Tuesday night quiz at Gilligan’s, Claremorris, started up again on Tuesday last.

Truth be told though, it was due to start the week before but such was the low turnout (I was part of that problem, alas) that it was postponed for seven days.  This Tuesday the crowd was nothing to write home about either but, with 11 people, we were able to press on albeit with only three tables taking part.  Let’s hope that numbers pick up during the weeks ahead.  Certainly for next week, when yours truly is, at short-notice, due to be quiz master. 😉

My own team-of-three suffered the ignominy of being in joint-first at half-time before collapsing over the second section to finish third.  Yes, that is third out of three!  Our final score of 83 was four behind second place and a further point behind the eventual winners.  Winners who themselves had been ‘last’ at half-time!

Our terrible finish was tempered by going out on a high.  We scored a perfect 12 in the picture round – in spite of the fact that at least three of them were educated guesses.  Quite well-educated, as it turned out..!

You can check the pictures out after the jump, along with the questions that cost us dearly. Go on, give them a go.

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Our Lady of Perpetual Controversy

July 17, 2012 in Quizzes

The Blessed Sinéad O’Connor?

Last Friday night, the same team who were in action the previous Tuesday turned up in Brickens, Co Mayo, for a quiz which turned into a most unintentionally entertaining evening.

For a start, the night was in aid of the local grotto.  Now, as quizzers, we’ve been around and seen a few things but this cause was a first for all of us.  Apparently, the local parish have just constructed a grotto in the grounds of their church.  This quiz was presumably to raise funds to repay the (surely not very large) costs of its construction.

The quiz was true to its principals, featuring several questions on the bible and one phrased thusly:

“Which lady has had more statues contructed in her honour that any other?”

We scored a point on that one, in spite of the fact that our answer, Mary, wasn’t technically the same as the one the quiz master called out: “The Blessed Virgin”!

Speaking of the quiz master, he struggled all night with the power of the microphone.  Most of the time you couldn’t hear him very clearly but at least you could figure out what he was saying.  On two occasions though, the microphone failed entirely and a substitute piece of equipment had to be found! To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, once was unfortunate, twice… you can fill in the rest yourself.

The quiz featured eight rounds of 10 questions and a picture round of 12.  When the final scores were announced we were surprised to find ourselves out of the places on 77 points, eight behind the winners.  This didn’t seem right to us but we weren’t sure, the poor sound quality during the night leading to a situation where at least four answers hadn’t been heard by anyone on our table.  Still, we thought we were somewhere in the mid-80s.

So, up I ventured, wondering if I could have a look at the score sheet.  I quickly added up our scores and found that we had actually scored 87 points.  The scorekeeper had simply failed to carry the ten somewhere.

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A local quiz… answers

May 10, 2012 in Quizzes

Below you will find the answers to the picture questions I published in A local quiz for local people.

Before that though, I just want to highlight a question from last Friday that I didn’t think of on Tuesday.  It could be the worst question I’ve ever heard, in terms of phrasing anyway.  Here it is:

“Who did Enda Kenny climb Croagh Patrick with last weekend?”

Do you know the answer? As it happens, we actually got a point for this one but only by getting inside the brains of the question setter to figure out who they were on about. I think we would have been within our rights to have answered John O’Mahoney, Michael Ring, John Delaney, Mayo Rose Dervla Kenny or any one of the several hundred people who climbed the mountain on Saturday, April 28th.  However, the answer they sought was Giovanni Trapattoni.

Now, on with the answers.

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