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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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Primary school quiz

April 1, 2015 in Quizzes

school-testOne year on from the quiz I hosted in aid of the local primary school, I was again invited to provide the questions for 2015’s event. The school staff also asked me to host once again but, alas, due to family reasons I couldn’t.

After being impressed with the number of school children who attended last year’s quiz, I decided to make this year’s questions a bit more child-friendly. I have since been told that this worked out well as there were even more kids in attendance this year!

However, in amongst questions about nursery rhyme characters, medieval history and ‘make and do’, I also endeavoured to place at least one (if not two) tough questions in each round – to keep adult teams interested.

Hopefully that worked out and I wasn’t being cursed by the all-grown-ups teams in the room…

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Goodbye Mooney’s Money

January 17, 2015 in Culture

Derek mooneySo, back in December the news broke that Derek Mooney was leaving his mid-afternoon show on RTÉ Radio One.  Since then, Ireland’s cultural commentators have been breathless in following the dominio effect this has caused with Ray D’Arcy leaving Today FM to replace him and Anton Savage, in turn, getting D’Arcy’s old job.

Personally, I’m not too bothered about all this ‘deckchairs on the Titanic’ shuffling of Ireland’s broadcasting cards.  Mooney isn’t actually leaving RTÉ.  He will now be given free reign in his field of choice: nature programming.  So, whilst the show he fronted for the past eight years is gone, he is not.

Gone with it too is a feature which daily raised my ire: Mooney’s Money.  Each day listeners were invited to take their chance and see if they could win “€1,000 of Mooney’s Money”.  The annoying thing for me was that this game purported to be a quiz.  To take part, the listener simply had to call a premium rate number and answer the daily question.  The thing was, the question was always appallingly easy.  Examples come to mind such as “Who is the President of Ireland?” and “Kerry is located in which province?” Even better, they generally gave you two options: one correct, one laughably wrong.

As of now, this compeition’s dedicated web page is still online and features a perfect example.  Have a look here.

Others more knowledgeable in the law than I can explain the exact statute which must be obeyed but my layman’s knowledge tells me that whilst a lottery or raffle needs a specific licence, a game of skill does not.  The ‘skill’ in this case was clearly the knowledge to answer the question but when the question is generally the equivalent of being asked to declare the colour of the sky on a cloudless day surely everyone gets it right?  That being the case, if 100% of the hopeful participants in a game of skill pass ‘the test’ doesn’t that mean that the skill level is set too low?

As a final thought, consider the daily prize of €1,000.  The competition site linked to above informs players that calls would “cost €1.02 (incl VAT) and from a BT landline will cost GBP £1.02”.  The best estimate I can find is that the broadcaster would received between 40 and 50 cent per entry.  So that would mean that competition just needed somewhere in the region of 2,000 to 2,500 entries each day to break even.  In 2013’s JNLR figures, the show had an average of 225,000 listeners.

This sham quiz was probably quite the golden goose for RTÉ.  Let’s wait and see if the debut of the replacement show features a section called “D’Arcy’s Dough”…

10-year-old answers

April 9, 2014 in Quizzes

Life is still not what it once was, or should be.  Issues away from quizzing continue to take up my time and, as readers of the blog will have noticed, keep me away from the site.

Sorry about that.

Here, about two weeks after I posted them, are the answers to questions in the Are you smarter than a 10-year-old? post.

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Are you smarter than a 10-year-old?

March 26, 2014 in Quizzes

quiz-greenboardRecently I hosted a table quiz in aid of my local primary school.  “Be sure and don’t make the questions too hard,” the headmaster told me “as there’ll probably be several kids in attendance.”

Seeing as he was also the principal back in my own youth at the same school, I did what I was told.

Seriously though, I don’t think I needed that advice.  It’s part of the quiz master’s job to judge the potential crowd and what sort of questions will both challenge them and be attainable.  Too hard is bad, true.  But so is too easy.  (Here I mention the Ballyhaunis town quiz where the winners got 99 out of 100!)

At the end of this night, the winning team scored 79/100, which I regarded as a pretty good par score.

Would you like to have a go at some of the questions?  Read on so.

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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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Upcoming quiz plans

March 7, 2014 in IQO, Quizzes

identify-the-flagsHi all. I’m afraid my life outside quizzing is still affecting my ability to (find the time to) post articles here on the site.

However, I am still managing to find the time to attend the odd quiz. Things would really be bad if I couldn’t do that.

In fact I have a few events coming up in the next few days. Tonight I will take part in a table quiz in aid of the IHCPT, a children’s charity, which is being held in the Dalton Inn in Claremorris. It’s down for 8pm so come on in too if you’re about.

Tomorrow (Saturday) will see the the IQO host their first big event of 2014. The 2014 Irish Open will take place in The Addison Lodge, Dublin. A full day of quizzing, featuring team, individual and social quizzes, it is open to all and all are welcome. For more information, check out the event page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/232690113582313/.

I’m afraid the Movies Quiz, previously announced for next Monday night in The King’s Head in Galway has been postponed. The next big quiz in the Galway venue will be the third annual Galway Food Festival Quiz, which will take place on the night of the Easter Monday public holiday. I better get preparing.

As it happens, I will be hosting a quiz next week. On Friday next, I’ll be asking the questions at a quiz in aid of the primary school I attended in my youth. That should be fun!

Right, now for a few questions to keep you interested. I was at a quiz (for the school attended by my daughter) on Wednesday night. I just turned up on my own and was recruited by a team of three ladies who had a spare seat at their table.
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Upcoming charity quiz hosted by the IQO

February 7, 2014 in Culture, Quizzes

IQO-table-quiz-poster-III