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On top of the Hill

November 20, 2015 in Quizzes

Redhills-quiz-adI had the good fortune to be asked to join a team featuring three other IQO quizzers last week, for an attempt at the Redhills GAA Club quiz in Cavan. We’d have to have been regarded as favourites, given that the four of us (me, Dan, Kevin and Mark) are all currently ranked in the top 10 of the IQO rankings. So it played out, albeit it was a close-run thing.

The quiz itself took place in the Hotel Kilmore and featured 24 tables facing 10 rounds of general knowledge questions. Well, nine rounds of GK, with a picture round just before the interval.

The quizmaster welcomed us all and spent about five minutes doing something very novel. He explained “the rules”. Most of these were common sense (“No mobile phones”) but some went above and beyond the norm. Firstly, regarding the phones. I’ve been at quizzes before (indeed, I’ve hosted some) where phones had to be put out on the table/in a basket. Here, they provided each team with a large, brown envelope in which our phones had to be deposited and sealed. Yes, sealed. Good job no-one needed to get in contact with me urgently…

Furthermore, he also told us that they answers had to be spelled correctly. Now, that was an annoyance. I’ve always agreed with IQA in their opinion that spelling doesn’t matter so long as it’s clear you know the answer. Spelling can matter, for instance the difference between Burton and Bruton, but in most cases the order of the letters isn’t essential to get across that, yes, you do know the answer. However, once that rule was expressed it tends to put one on edge.

When the questioning began, it did so with brutal force. Clearly the organisers decided we’d all have to really perform here to win the main prize. The opening question was “The use of which device is prohibited in Switzerland on a Sunday?” Whilst we didn’t actually get this one*, unbelievably we did mention the correct answer in our discussions! The first round was one of the tougher ones in the quiz. In fact, at 7/10, it was our joint-lowest scoring round during the quiz.
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Back to work

March 7, 2015 in Quizzes

LL-Cool-JOn Friday night I took part in my first tablequiz since last June and, since that was the novelty event that is the Ballyhaunis Inter-pub, it’s probably fair to say it was my first proper TQ in over a year. I know, weird.

The quiz was in aid of the local primary school.  A friend suggested I take part and I thought “Why not?”

My initial problem was to gather a team. It’s been a while and, frankly, life has changed a lot in the intervening period. My father-in-law would have been up for taking part in times gone by, if he was needed, but alas we lost him, suddenly, on February 16th. I try not to get too personal on the blog, as you know, with a notable exception. I miss him terribly; he was as good as a second father to me for the over 20 years-or-so I’ve been hanging around his house. Last year, claiming he needed to do something to fill the days following his retirement, he acted as site engineer/foreman/hod carrier for the renovation of our house. Indeed, on the day he died, he was out at our still-feels-new house, helping us to finally make a start at doing something with our garden. Still, however I feel personally, I am endevouring to be there and do my best for Ev, Mrs TQ.net as she goes through the experience I know so well from last year.

Bizarrely enough, she decided to actually accompany me to the quiz, as a means of getting out and about. I think it’s only the third time she’s ever gone to a quiz with me! Along with our friend Ger, we were also joined by a man called Joe, who hails from Kiltimagh and had been brought along to the quiz by his wife. It turned out they had a group of five, so Joe was the man who pulled the short straw and had to declare himself available for any team that needed a fourth.

Come the end of the night, we had done very well. We finished on an impressive 94/100, albeit that wasn’t good enough to win. We finished third behind ‘C U There’, a team made up of staff from the local Credit Union, who finished on a wonderful 96 points.

The two point gap is important as one of our six incorrect answers was possibly the worst wrong answer in the history of quizzing! I kid you not. You will be laughing shortly when you have a read through the list.

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(Formerly) upcoming quiz answers

March 12, 2014 in Quizzes

2014 Irish OpenRightyo, this post will include the answers to the questions I posted last Friday. Before we get to them though, I will report on some quizzing I’ve done in the interim.

I’ve been to two quizzes since and I hope you’ll forgive me but I’m going to step out of order to cover them.  The more recent of the two took place in Dublin on Saturday last. The first Irish Quiz Open was held in the IQO‘s home venue, the Addison Lodge. In truth this was a continuation of our first such Open, which took place in March 2013. However, that inaugural event was called the ‘Dublin Open’. We’re aiming higher than that now…

Three of our members Derek Cray, John Groarke and Colm O’Sullivan took charge of preparing the question set for the main event, the individual Open, and I think they did a great job. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring home my question paper when the day was done so I can’t pick you out a few choice examples of their work. I’ll see if I can sort that out in a later post.

The individual quiz was ran over two halves, each featuring three sections, each containing 40 questions. We didn’t do a discard section, so all six counted. I was happy with my own performance, averaging in the high 20s (from 40, remember) in each section. When the scores were totted up, I had finished fifth, one lower than last year but bang on my Irish ranking. I was happy with that.

At the top of the board, Lorcan Duff had some daylight between his score and second place. Second was a much closer affair, with Dave McBryan squeaking past Kevin Jones by a single point. Mark Henry (aided by near infinite horse racing knowledge) finished a few ahead of me, in fourth.

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EQC 2013: Photos and sample questions

November 8, 2013 in EQC, Quizzes

The Ireland B team at EQC 2013Last weekend was brilliant and, travel trauma aside, I really enjoyed it – even the quizzing! If you’d like to have a look at a gallery of photos I took, please head on over to the IQO Facebook page and look see. Or, if you’re lazy, here’s the direct link.

I’ve had a few requests for questions from last weekend. Rather than upload an entire quiz etc, I’m actually going to showcase questions from each of the quizzes over the weekend, to give those who missed the tournament a taste of how it went.

And how hard the questions were!

So, here we go. Starting with…

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Answers for everybody in the audience

October 25, 2013 in Quizzes

bundle-eurosHere are the answers to the questions I posted at the start of the week.

Just before I get to them though, I just want to let you know about a massive quiz I’ve just heard of. St. Brigid’s GAA Club will host what they are calling their “First International Sports Quiz” on November 29th in the Hodson Bay Hotel, just outside Athlone. Sports fans will surely be tempted as there is a massive prize fund in place: €6,000 in total!

That’s right, €3,000 for first prize, with second and third ‘only’ getting €2,000 and €1,000. On the flip side, you’d have to be confident about your level of knowledge. The entrance fee is an eye-watering €200 for a table of four.

There’s a bit more info in the quiz calendar. I’ll do a fuller report on this (given that it’s so close to me) when I find out more.

Update: Here is the entry form for the St Brigid’s Quiz. Closing date for entries, November 15th.

Now, on with the answers….
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One for everybody in the audience

October 21, 2013 in Quizzes

ryan-t-toy-showLast Thursday night I hosted a quiz in Claremorris, in aid of the home of my radio show, Claremorris Community Radio.

A modest enough crowd of 12 tables took part and I think all enjoyed themselves.

The winners on the night scored 89/110 and won by three points. Their prize was pretty good: €500 of toy vouchers! That’ll be handy over the next few months. 🙂

Not being a competitor, I haven’t a clue what they missed but here are a selection of questions from the night, along with two picture rounds*.

Questions:

  1. Which Irish guitarist, a former member of The Radiators from Space and The Pogues, died at age 56 on October 8th?
  2. The launch of which British singer/songwriter’s autobiography saw shops across Britain open (as the Irish Times put it “Harry Potter style”) at midnight for potential buyers?
  3. This week the Greek parliament voted to lift the immunity of six politicians from that nation’s far-right political party. What is the name of that party?
  4. Galway won this year’s All-Ireland senior camogie championship. How many times in their history have they lifted the O’Duffy Cup?
  5. Which jockey broke the existing record of 115 wins, set by Mick Kinnane in 1993, when he rode his 116th winner of the flat season in Navan last week?
  6. Which club won this year’s Australian Rules Grand Final on 28th September?
  7. What year? George HW Bush becomes President of the USA; China’s government cracks down on protests in Tiananmen Square in June; Greg Lemond won the Tour de France by just 8 seconds, the narrowest ever margin of victory.
  8. What year? President Erskine Childers dies in office; Turkish forces invade Cyrpus; Jimmy Connors wins the Wimbledon mens singles.
  9. Which Wicklow village’s name is a combination the names of an Irish county and the county town of a different county?
  10. Ballina in county Tipperary is one half of a pair of twin towns, joined by an 18th century stone bridge. What is the name of the town on the other end of this bridge?

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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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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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