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Listen to Play by Ear

March 11, 2016 in Quiz Show

Play-by-Ear-logoAlmost two years after the end of After the Fact, I’m back in the quiz show hosting business.

A few weeks back, we premiered Play by Ear, a weekly music quiz show on Claremorris Community Radio. As before, I will be collating the scores etc on a specially-hewn records page. You can have a look, listen to previous shows and follow the progress of the teams at the following address:

We’re a few weeks in to the series already.  The plan is for each team to have three matches, a lá some big football tournament.  Following that, the top two teams in each group will qualify for semi-finals, followed by a final, obviously.

(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:

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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Well that was a lot of fun

March 4, 2013 in Grand Prix, IQO, Quizzes

dublin-trophy-smThe first Dublin Quiz Open (indeed the first event of its kind in Ireland) took place on Saturday last in Glasnevin. I’m delighted to say that the day exceeded all expectations – both for myself and, I dare say, the organisers.

In total 38 quizzers turned up to The Addison Lodge, the day’s venue and there they got to take part in three different quizzes, spread over six hours. The organisers had done a terrific job of covering all the bases: the stage featured a projector and amplifier, there were trophies to be won and there were several tins of assorted biscuits (aka ‘brain food’) being passed around. It was all pretty sweet!

First up was the International Hot-100, the entry period for this month being open until tonight, if anyone who didn’t make it on Saturday still wants to take part. Anyway, for reasons outlined in the previous sentence, I won’t make any comment on the questions asked etc. Until tomorrow comes, it simply wouldn’t be fair.

The team quiz was the second event of the day. If numbers had been low, the plan was to run this as a pairs event. Thankfully, there was no need for that. What was needed though was a random draw to allocate teams for the many people who came without one (myself being one of these people). The draw put me in a three-man team, with two Dublin quizzers, Michael Connolly and Gary Stephens. Stuck for a team name (what’s new?), we plumped for the two items which had been left on our table in the interval following the Hot-100: Bic Biros and Biscuits.

Throughout the opening rounds we were a model of consistency, never scoring less than 7, never scoring more than 8. When the quiz paused after round #3 for lunch, we were in third place, 3 points off the lead.
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Dublin Quiz Open 2013

February 26, 2013 in Grand Prix, IQO

spire-questionReminder: The inaugural Dublin Quiz Open takes place on Saturday in The Addison Lodge, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.

This is the first of the Irish Quiz Organisation‘s quarterly quiz opens, which will take place in various venues throughout the country, and will feed in to selection for the Irish team for the European Quizzing Championships next November in Liverpool.  The event is, as hopefully the name indicates, open to all and costs just €5 to enter.  The day will feature a morning of inidividual quizzing (including the international Hot-100!) and an afternoon of team quizzing.

Don’t feel as if you need to bring a team with you for the afternoon’s event, by the way.  Teams can (and no doubt will) be created on the day!

The event kicks off at 11am and will go until around 5pm. If you’d like to find out more, please visit the event’s Facebook page here:

I’m going myself.  Hopefully, I’ll see some of you there too.

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The craic table

October 15, 2012 in Culture, Housekeeping came up short at the Irish Blog Awards on Saturday night last.  We were defeated in the Best Popculture category, as I had predicted earlier in the day, by the excellent A Year of Festivals in Ireland.  Seriously, check it out.

The big event took place in the Osprey Hotel in Naas and saw awards being handed out to winners in 28 categories, the presentations being interspersed with the three courses of a lovely meal.  In spite of the whole non-winning thing, myself and Mrs had a great night, thanks majorly to the other nominees who shared our table (Table #9).

In a big picture sense, we were all losers.  Literally, five of the seven of us were nominees so you’d have expected that the chances of at least one award (or vase, in this case) sitting on our table by the end of the night were good.  Alas, none of us got called to the stage.

This was a shame for us of course.  It was also a shame for the organisers as we were ACTUALLY THERE.  By my count seven categories were won by bloggers who, for various reasons I’m sure, hadn’t travelled to Naas.  One particular chap took on the role of phantom collector and, by the end of the night, he was getting cheers every time he appeared!

This wasn’t the only wrinkle the organisers had to deal with.  While the hotel is pretty new, and the rooms were quite swanky, their sound system is awful.  That’s not the organisers’ fault though.  On the flip side, I was a bit disappointed for the winners of the first 10 awards (handed out before the starter course) as they weren’t even asked if they’d like to say a few words.  Presumably some of them must have been annoyed at this as the MC announced at the start of the second 10 awards that winners could now give a speech, if they so chose.  Great for them but those first 10 winners never did get a chance to come back to the stage.

The night’s big winners were Wise Words, winner of four awards including the blue riband Blog of the Year gong (an even bigger vase), and Molly Moo, the winner of three awards.  Our own table of ‘winners’ featured: The World’s Talking, Nessa’s Family Kitchen, Bake for the Border and Greig Houghton Photography (the last two being a high-achieving husband-and-wife).  Ok, we won nothing but I’m claiming an honourary ‘Loudest Table’ prize as even the MC was forced to acknowledge us.  Then again, we were probably louder than she was, due to the crap microphone.

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Ready, set, go!

September 12, 2012 in Grand Prix

It’s nice when I don’t have to put any effort into writing a blog post.  It doesn’t happen too often but today is one such occasion.  Here are the words posted by Irish Quiz Organisation Competitions Officer Paddy Duffy on the IQO Facebook page this morning:

It is my great pleasure to announce that the first inaugural Irish Quiz Grand Prix event is ready to go! On the 29th September we’ll be hosting the Ulster GP in the Clarendon Bar in the heart of Derry City, registration from 11:30am until about 6pm. There’ll be individual events, a groundbreaking knockout-style teams event and even a band on in the adjoining bar afterwards. Registration is £10/€12 and a lunch menu the size of Montana is included. If you’re interested, get thee to and put your name down!

Well, you heard what the man said!

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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