Chasing perfection … or a joke?

August 27, 2010 in Quizzes

At around 6pm last evening I received a text inviting me to a quiz in The Corner Bar, Ballyhaunis, at 9.30pm.  Assuming this was a standard table quiz, I happily agreed to take part.

However, I had presumed incorrectly.  When I arrived, it became apparent that I’d actually accepted an invite to be on the Corner Bar team for the “sixth annual” Ballyhaunis Inter-Pub Quiz.

Eleven pubs took part in last night’s quiz, in which the questions were called out over the radio (via the local Community Access frequency).  At the end of each round, the competing pubs had to send a representative up the street to the solicitor’s office where the correctors were based. Thankfully it wasn’t raining!

The quiz kicked off at 9.55pm (or “9.30 Irish time”!) and ran until just after midnight. Not being based in a single venue presented the organisers with some further challenges.  How to run a raffle for instance? They solved this by sending out two representatives, who visited each pub in turn with a fan of white envelopes. You paid your money, picked an envelope, opened it and, there and then, you knew if you’d won anything. Alas, all I got was a “funny” joke*. 🙂

Another problem was, of course, how to prevent cheating. For this they had no real solution, apart from appealing to our sense of honour.  Did it work? I can’t say. We didn’t cheat in our pub and finished on 88/100. Did this put us in contention? Not a hope! The winners finished on 99! Closely followed by a team on 98 and third place on 97!  Perhaps Ballyhaunis is full of quizzing geniuses (genii?) – who knows? But this night now occupies a place of significance in my quizzing life as the closest I’ve ever been to seeing a team achieve 100%.

Knowing from early on that we weren’t going to be in the running, we had a good bit of craic bantering out the answers in our bar.  It turned out that one of the guys there was a savant for solving anagrams, for instance. I’m not sure if he knew he had a talent for this beforehand!  Also, the discussion regarding what Marilyn Monroe wore to bed was illuminating, if unprintable…

Here are the questions that trumped us:

  1. In the song ‘My Darling Clementine’, how does Clementine die?
  2. Which book of the Bible has the shortest title?
  3. What is the most westerly county in the United Kingdom?
  4. By the end of the song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, how many gifts has the song-writer received?
  5. The fictional character Oliver Mellors is better known by what title?
  6. The year 1961 reads the same upside-down. This will not happen again until what year?
  7. Who played Mindy in the TV series ‘Mork and Mindy’?
  8. Larry Mullen has played the drums in two famous bands. U2 are one of them, what is the other?
  9. Name the character played by Jack Lord in ‘Hawaii Five-O’.
  10. Riddle: What is better than God, worse than the Devil, the poor have it, the rich need it and if you eat it, you die?
  11. Which Cork senior footballer holds the record for the most number of inter-county appearances for that county?
  12. Name the third son of Adam and Eve.

There was also a picture round:

Bonus questions (we got them right, but I liked them):

  1. ‘Daily Wine Deals’ in an anagram of which actor’s name?
  2. In 1976 Bohemian Rhapsody was knocked off the British No. 1 spot by a song whose title featured in the Bohemian Rhapsody itself. Name the second song.
  3. If James is five, Gordon is four, Henry is three and Edward is two – who is number one?
  4. February is the shortest month of the year, clearly, but what is the longest?

Give them a go.

Update: answers here.

* An American lawyer asked “Paddy, why is it that whenever you ask an Irishman a question, he answers with another question?”   “Who told you that?” asked Paddy.

4 responses to Chasing perfection … or a joke?

  1. OK I know a few, Clementine drowned, Pam Dauber was Mindy, the answer to the riddle is nothing. We had the bible question before too. It’s Job.

  2. The question about the 12 Days is open to interpretation. Are the gifts repeated each day or no? The simplest answer is just 12!. The more complex is 12! + 11! + …. + 1

    The year answer is 6009, although, it could be argued that 2112 or 5005 fit the bill under certain circumstances.

  3. As for the longest month, that’s only so long as you’re not in Arizona or one of those places where they don’t believe in that sort of thing.

    • Your comments have merit, John. I’d be fairly certain though that the Arizona view wasn’t considered when these questions were being written. 😉

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