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All hail Rick, Ireland’s Mastermind

July 24, 2012 in Mastermind, Quiz Show

Rick O’Shea, winner of ‘Celebrity Mastermind’ on TV3.

Prior to last Sunday night, 2fm DJ Rick O’Shea was already the answer to one table quiz question*.   Now, he is the answer to a second: “Who won the first series of Celebrity Mastermind on TV3?”

Rick emerged victorious from the all-male final, defeating Gavin Duffy, Anton Savage, Alan Shortt and Abie Philbin Bowman, in most cases, by quite a comfortable margin.  His 32 points was eight ahead of second-placed Philbin Bowman.  Ordinarily, I’d post some questions from the show below the fold but, yesterday, beat me to the punch** and did just that.

I enjoyed the article, as I did the final show, but in both cases I do have a little niggle which continues to bother me. The questions were pretty easy, especially in the general knowledge round.  That’s just my opinion of course but I have more experience than most in this area 🙂 and I think I have a sense of the standard of question the Mastermind brand represents.  With that in mind, Gavan Reilly’s assertion in thejournal that had Rick “scored 32 in the final of the 2009 British series, he’d have won…” brought a smile to my face.

Rick is undoubtedly a very clever man (here’s hoping we can convince him to get involved with our IQO acivities), and he could only answer the questions he was asked, but I’d be fairly confident that the finalists in the 2009 series of UK Mastermind would have done quite well with questions such as “What is the capital of Spain?” and “What everyday item, used as a portable rain shelter, was also the title of a 2007 worldwide hit for pop singer Rihanna?”***

As well as the honour of being the first Celebrity Mastermind champion, Rick O’Shea won a crystal trophy (see picture) based on the Salmon of Knowledge and €7,500 for his selected charity, Brainwave Ireland. If you’d like to see how you would have gotten on with the questions he was asked, try them out yourself by clicking here.

You can view the full show via TV3’s 3player.

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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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Dingbats answered

July 16, 2012 in Culture, Quizzes

Wombat: not a dingbat

So, yeah, I was quizzing on Friday night last and I do intend to post an article about it within the next few hours.

However, I don’t want to leave you all hanging on, waiting for the answers to those difficult dingbats I posted at the start of the weekend so that’s what this post is about.

Some of them were quite difficult, although I think that was more to do with the fact that the idiom or saying involved, in my opinion, wasn’t an idiom at all.

From what I can remember, myself and my ad-hoc partner Larry scored around 24/30 and were declared the winners. “Go team!”, as we probably should have said.

So, click on the ‘Read the rest…’ link to see the answers.

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July answers (plus Dingbats in the wild)

July 13, 2012 in Quizzes

The answers to picture round included in Wednesday’s post, Quizzing in July, are included at the end of this post.  Before we get to them though, let me just tell you how I encountered some dingbats in the wild last month.

One Saturday in June I did a coaching course for the sport which takes up most of my non-quizzing time, Handball.  The first task given to us by the course facillitator was the following selection of dingbats.  The group was paired off so the intention was for it to be a getting-to-know-you exercise, I presume.  Give them a go! I’ll post the answers tomorrow.

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Quizzing in July

July 11, 2012 in Interactive, Quizzes

I had to pinch myself last night.  Why?  Well, it was so that I could believe I was at a table quiz during the month of July.

This near-miraculous event took place, fittingly, in the spiritual home of quizzing in Claremorris, Gilligan’s Bar.  The coincidence of the quiz being in Gilligan’s, and on a Tuesday, turned out to be slightly problematic for one or two of the regular Tuesday night crew, who turned up after 10pm. This is perfectly normal behaviour during the Winter months when the weekly Tuesday night quiz invariably doesn’t start until 10.50. However, last night, some of them discovered they were too late and had to sit it out.

Not that we could laugh. Myself and my team-mates Ger, Breda and Andrew arrived just in time to claim the last available table!

Obviously, I don’t need to tell you that the pub was packed, reflecting the support for the community for the Irish Cancer Society. Particularly, it showed the backing being given to the two local lads who are cycling from Malin Head to Mizen Head to raise money for the charity. Fair play.

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The July Hot-100

July 3, 2012 in Quizzes

The busy state of the quiz calendar currently belies the opinion I expressed last month that the Summer would be the quizpocalypse. Well, it is around here. If only I lived in Dublin…

That being so, I will be getting a quiz fix this week as we are now in the July window of the International Hot 100 quiz. This is an official World Quizzing event that anyone can take part in. All you need is a minimum of two people to meet up and take the quiz. You can then correct each others answers and submit them to the International Quizzing Association for inclusion on the ranking list. Scores must be submitted by 10pm on Monday evening next, at 10pm, and entry is €3.75 per person.

You can get your hands on the official questions either via or myself, on