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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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Blog awards shortlisting

September 15, 2013 in Culture, Housekeeping

blog_awards_2013_badge_shortlist12 months ago, I had one of the best nights of my year when I attended the Irish Blog Awards in the county town of Kildare.

I had some good news over the weekend as the blog has been shortlisted again this year in two categories! That’s not to say I can book my tickets yet. Unlike the Booker Prize or the Oscars, the blog awards shortlist is actually the second-last step on the selection of finalists for the big night. That list of finalists is due to be published on September 29th.

For the record, the blog has been shortlisted in Best Sport/Recreation and Best Podcast categories. The latter is a nomination for After the Fact, the show I host on Claremorris Community Radio, which is podcast each week.

Finally, the odds on my needing to get out the suit in October are further improved by the fact that Mrs has also been shortlisted. Her fantastic site has made the cut in the Best Science/Education category!

Huzzah, I say!

Quick report on the September GP

September 9, 2013 in IQO

As Chairperson, I got to present Lorcan Duff with his prize for winning the individual quiz.

As Chairperson, I got to present Lorcan Duff with his prize for winning the individual quiz.

A great day was had by all at the IQO‘s September Grand Prix (including the British Quiz Championships) on Saturday.

This was our first link-up with the British Quizzing Association and (the quiz) proved quite a challenge.  The quiz itself is akin to a slightly smaller version of the World Quizzing Championship that takes place each June.  It features two papers, each of which contains three categories.  As I outlined a week or so back, they are Art & Culture, Civilisation, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Physical World and Sport/Games.  Your top five scores are counted with your lowest number being dropped.

Personally, I was a model of consistency, scoring 48 in the first half and 49 in the second.  Thus my gross score was 97 but, following the removal of my lowest (14), the net score that counted was 83.  This was good enough for joint-fourth behind Lorcan Duff, James Andrews and Kevin Jones.  No shame in that at all, I think.  Congrats to all.

Lifestyle seems to be a particular strength for the Irish quizzers as David Lea (quizzing at the UK event) won gold in the category whilst Dan O’Malley, with us in Dublin, won the silver.  Well done men!  You can view the full rankings on the BQA site.

I finished level with the form man of Irish quizzing at the moment, Derek Cray, whose push for a place on the A team for the Europeans may have started just too late.  At this rate though, I predict he willl be a dark horse for the singles in Liverpool.

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Division: not for me

September 2, 2013 in Quiz Show

Division logoA few weeks back I posted an excited notice of an upcoming quiz show which will air on RTÉ this Winter. Yet, after applying and going through an interview, I contacted the show’s production company early last week to ask for my name to be taken off the list of potential contestants.

Why this change of heart? Put simply, Division is reality television crossed with a quiz show.

The show’s format sees an initial 32 strangers entering a studio and drawing a card, which will be either red or blue, from a hat. The red and blue teams, thus formed, go their separate ways and wait for round one’s quiz category to appear. When it is revealed each group has five minutes to decide who will be their representative in a one-v-one quiz on the topic. No-one knows anything about anyone else so, obviously, the producers are hoping for some on-screen banter, self-promotion or maybe even an argument. The sort of thing that’s no doubt referred to as ‘good tv’ in media circles.

By hook or by crook the nominees are selected and they come to the studio centre to face sudden-death questions. Someone will win, someone will lose. The important thing is that, following this outbreak of quizzing, the entire team represented by the loser will be eliminated. Gone, just like that.

The winning team is disbanded and the red and blue cards are used once more to divide the remaining 16 into two teams of eight. Rinse and repeat until you end up with just two survivors and, ultimately, a winner.

Hopefully, just reading that summary will inform you as to why I withdrew. This isn’t really a quiz show. It’s as if one took the ‘Fastest Finger’ round from the start of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and thought “Let’s expand that round, introduce some conflict, and diminish the actual answering of questions”…
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