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And the Oscar goes to…

February 25, 2013 in Interactive

borgnine_with_oscarIn the first of two posts today, I will do my best to honour last night’s Academy Award ceremony.  Not that I’ve seen them yet.  Ever since the BBC lost the rights to Sky Movies on this side of the Atlantic, I’ve had to make do with the edited highlights programme on RTÉ the following night.  Without even looking at the TV schedules, I am fairly confident that this will be all I’ll see again this year.

Sorry, rant over.  Back to quizzing.  This post features a selection of the questions I asked at The King’s Head movie quiz earlier this month.

Furthermore, this post also marks a comeback for the site’s interactive quizzes – which I have to admit I pretty much forgot about for the last few months.  Anyway, you can once again have a go and see where it puts you on the rankings table.  Be sure and login first though, if you want your score to be recorded.

Right, without further ado, click on the ‘Read the rest…’ link to see the questions.

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Spooky stuff

October 31, 2012 in Interactive, Quizzes

Happy Hallowe’en everyone! On Monday night, I got in to the spirit of the season a few days early as I hosted a quiz all about this most frightening of festivals.

It was the second of the Autumnal series of quizzes in The King’s Head bar in Galway and a fun crowd turned up.  About half of them came in fancy dress which was lovely as it definitely added to the atmosphere.  The other tables, I’m reliably informed, “didn’t get the memo”. 🙂

There was also a contest for the best team name.  There were some strong, Halloween-based contenders for this title such as Hex Factor, The Tell-tale Fart, Brain Dead and, probably my favourite, Stephen King’s Head.  However, the winner was none of these.  It was also a name that had nothing to do with Halloween.  The winners, by acclamation during the half-time score announcement, were “We’re only here because we haven’t got a Saorview box.”

The questions did, however, have a Hallowe’en slant.  I’ve included a selection for you to try at the end of the post.  There’s also a picture round and an audio one too.  I hope you realise how spoiled you are. 😉

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Head of the class

September 26, 2012 in Interactive, Quizzes

The first of the Autumnal series of quizzes, in aid of Liam’s Wheels, took place in The King’s Head, in Galway, on Monday night last.

It was all put together in under a week, as we decided we’d need to have the first quiz take place in September.  Linked in to this decision was the theme I’d chosen for the questions: Back to school.  It’s still topical now.  Next month, not so much.

The short-notice also affected the promotion of the event by the King’s Head staff but, in spite of my own fears, a very impressive crowd of 26 tables turned up!

The quiz itself flew by, with the final results being announced at the unusually early time of 11.05pm.  I think the audience appreciated the unusual nature of the questions but I must put my hand up and admit that I got one wrong.  It was pointed out to me almost instantly and, as it had been in the round before the break, we were able to rectify the scoreboard before the second half begun.  No harm done, therefore, but it was still very embarassing as it must be several years since I last let a wrong answer stray under my radar.  For the record, turtles are reptiles, not amphibians. 🙁

If you’d like to have a go at the questions, and try out one of the night’s picture rounds, click the Read the rest… link.

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Post-Olympics good news glow

August 14, 2012 in Housekeeping, Interactive

Welcome back all. Or rather, welcome back to myself, as I’ve returned from my holidays on the lovely Iveragh Peninsula.  And it was lovely, the weather was fine.  Alas, the tv reception wasn’t so good so I missed a lot of the Olympics.  Still, that gave me the excuse to actually go outside and enjoy the scenery.

I’ve returned to a couple of pieces of good news. Firstly, this site right here has been long-listed for the 2012 Irish Blog Awards!  Thanks so much to all of you who took the time to send in a nomination.

Secondly, we now have a date for the IQO‘s first provincial Quiz Grand Prix.  It will take place in The Clarendon Bar, Derry, on Saturday 29th September.  I’ll have more info for you on the event as they get decided on.  Right now, I can say that there will be singles and team quizzes and that all are welcome!  I’ll keep you all up-to-date here on the site over the next few weeks.

In other news, this year’s European Quizzing Championships will take place in Tartu, Estonia, from the 9th to 11th of November.  If you’d like to find out more about the event check out  Again, there’ll be more info here, as we get closer to the event.

Finally, in the wake of the brilliant 2012 Summer Olympics in London, I’ve created a little Olympics-themed quiz for you all to try out.  It’ll get your brains back into action as the Quizpocalypse comes to an end.  Roll on September! Click ‘Read the rest…’ to do the quiz.

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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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A local quiz for local people

May 8, 2012 in Interactive, Quizzes

Friday night’s quizzing adventure took me to the town of Kilmaine in Mayo, along with friend Ger.  Due to a miscommunication regarding a funeral, that was our team.  But that’s a story for another day.

My wife’s people hail from Kilmaine and their name is Murphy.  That’s all I knew about Kilmaine before Friday night – the place is full of Murphys.  My lack of knowledge of other facts pertinent to Kilmaine would prove costly before the night was out though.

Firstly, we struggled to find the quiz.  “Where’s it on?” I asked Ger, as we arrived in the town.

“Murphy’s” he said.  That sounded plausible.

So, into Murphy’s Bar we went, only to find the place practically empty, just two patrons, the barman and the Late Late Show on in the corner.

“Is there a quiz on here tonight?” we asked.

“No.  It’s in the other Murphy’s – up the street there.”

Anyway, when we eventually found it, the quiz itself consisted of five rounds of 20 questions.  This is a nice idea, it certainly speeds the quiz up.  However, when one of those rounds is a ‘local’ round, it doubles the pain for those who live outside of five miles from the venue. Why publicize the quiz to the ‘outside world’ if you’re going to rig it in favour of your friends?

Some of the questions in this local round were beauts. Here’s a few I jotted down (Hint: the answer to at least one of these is Murphy):

  • What does the name Kilmaine mean?
  • When was the Kilmaine GAA club founded?
  • What team did they play in their first ever match?
  • Who went in goal for the girls’ U-15 soccer team when they won the Mayo title via a penalty shoot-out this year?
  • Who played the postman in the recent production of the play The Real McCoy in Kilmaine parish hall?
  • Who won this year’s Kilmaine Strictly Come Dancing?
  • Which bog is being cleaned this weekend as part of Kilmaine’s Tidy Towns?

Oh yes, a question starting with the words “which bog…”

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Something tasty

April 10, 2012 in Interactive, Quizzes

The first-ever Galway Food Festival came to an end last night with a quiz, hosted by yours truly, in The King’s Head, on High Street.

What a great night! Everything worked, the crowd were lovely (and copious – there were 31 tables!) and the questions hit the right standard (the winning score was 88/100). The King’s Head itself is a great venue for a quiz as its large screen is visible from both floors and the front of the bar can be curtained off, so as to allow non-quizzers to revel away without bothering everyone else.

I was only given one brief when asked to create a quiz for a food festival: make it general enough that the chefs aren’t guaranteed to win. Well, I didn’t quite manage that as the winning team, the Bronze Turkeys, was made up of the staff from The Kitchen, the restaurant in the Galway City Museum. They were delighted with their achievement and told me that they intend to display the Galway Crystal trophy* in the restaurant for the coming year!

To decrease the inherent advantage of food experts, I included a music round (where the song titles included a food term), a round featuring the posters from 10 films which have food in their titles and a round featuring 10 uniquely shaped bottles.  You can see the last two at the end of this post.

However, to boost up the foodies, I did include an interactive round in which each team received a plate with five small bun cases.  Within each case was a seed, herb or spice and the teams had five minutes to identify the substances.  Everyone seemed to love that and most teams got all five correct!  Obviously, I won’t be including this round here on the site. 🙂

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That’s entertainment

March 9, 2012 in Interactive, Movies, Quizzes

At quite short notice we discovered that the monthly movie quiz in Kelly’s Bar, Galway, was going ahead last Monday.  The people who run the quiz seem to put great stock in keeping in contact with their regulars.  For example, we’re encouraged to put down a contact email for the team on our answer books.  However, something definitely went wrong last weekend as the word didn’t get out until Monday afternoon that the quiz was going ahead.  And that was on their Facebook wall which, thankfully, one of our number happened to check.

While I’m on the topic of communication, this quiz also fell foul of one of my personal bugbears.  The score. To whit, what is it? How are we getting on? They announced the score on just two occasions: half-time and full-time.  At half-time, two teams were way out in front (on 37 and 36 out of 40) and we were leading the peloton on 32.  We continued as we had been, safe in the knowledge that surely we were too far behind to win and we’d hopefully hang on to third.  Yet when the final scores were announced we’d come in second – two points ahead of third and just two points behind the winners. If only we’d known we were in the hunt!

They’re not the worst, mind you.  Last Friday night I attended a quiz in Claremorris Golf Club where the score wasn’t called out for the entire night! My team finished on 84/100 and hadn’t a clue if that was a good, bad or indifferent score.  We came fourth, if you’re interested, with the teams above us finishing on 86, 89 and 91 points.

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