And so my quizzing year begins! I had an interesting realisation today. See, I style myself, the "quizzing ronin". I'm a mercenary who travels to quizzes in search of adventure and glory. But that's not really a ronin, not as such. The more accurate term for such a person is "Musha Shugyō". These people travelled Japan doing exactly that, only obviously not quizzing. They're the Japanese equivalent of the European knight-errant, which term seems more pretentious and less applicable to me as courtly love is not something I seek.
I came across the term as I wanted to clarify that I meant knight errant when completing an application form for a quiz show. I felt that describing myself as a "mercenary" would give off the wrong impression. Especially as that word carries negative implications of greed and opportunism. In fact, I'm very loyal to whatever team may take me, and I seek adventure and glory, not profit. Musha Shugyō is not a catchy term though, or one that most will have heard of or understand. "Ronin" is better known and soumds better than mercenary, and less pretentious than knight-errant. So I think I'm good as I am. Interesting, all the same.
With that aside over, and it is now the third time I've posted it, having also spoken on Twitter and Facebook of the same, time for the week's three quizzes.
The year started at the Ship Inn, with three of the team present. One of the team is staying away from the quiz for now, and her partner could not make it. Would those numbers affect us? Would a new year mean an easier or shorter quiz? The answers to those are "Possibly, no and no".
It was a low scoring first few rounds, and we unfortunately never got going. 2 on some tricky general knowledge was followed by 4 on great buildings and the dreaded 0 on transport, leaving us bottom of the heap on 6/30 after round 3. The high score was only 12 though, so we were still in it. We actually demonstrated very good knowledge in consideration of our answers on all three rounds, and were unlucky, I think. Our guesses just didn't play out and we edged the wrong side of the correct answer more than once. Frustrating, but not shameful in the circumstances.
The pictures were brainteasers - lateral thinking akin to but not exactly dingbats. Our 10 from 12 lifted us from the bottom, but then came a dual specialist round. Probably it was the first and last we'll see from the Newbridge Caravan Park, and it was two rounds because they changed their mind after the quiz two weeks ago. So we had 5 questions on Dalmellington and 5 on DC comics in the 1970s and 1980s. Yes, it's that sort of quiz! We had nothing at all on either, though we weren't the only ones.
Without our music specialist we could be forgiven for struggling on the last, but in truth even I'd have managed at least 20 of the 30 points here, and between us we got 25. That improved the overall percentage, at least. Not the start to the year we'd hoped for, but it can always get better!
Result: 41/82 (50%), joint 4th place/6.
The Granary quiz returned the next day, and it was just my usual partner for this one. This will be a short summary as there's not much to say. The entire quiz was on 2016, 5 rounds of 10 general questions (plus a few bonuses in one of them) about things that happened then. We performed solidly throughout, falling just short of a team of 8 people in the process.
As with Tuesday, there were fewer teams than usual, which can be put down to the time of year. Thursday would be the same. That's about all I can say really!
Result: 30/54 (55.56%), 3rd/8
Rumours had circulated that the Kippford quiz wasn't on this week, which unfortunately spread to my whole team, none of whom turned up. Fortunately, I was able to join a nearby team. I'm not sure if they usually have only 5 people, or if one wasn't there, but I was grateful for the opportunity all the same.
Now one of the hazards of joining a new team is knowing how far it's okay to exert your knowledge. It's not cool to be pushy when you're a guest, but at the same time, there's no point in holding back if you genuinely do know a correct answer. The first round gave 3 scenarios: one in which I argued for the incorrect answer, though in fairness I was not alone in this. The second, I argued for an improbable answer, and pushed for it, but turned out to be right. The third one I also suspected was right, but decided against pushing it, based on two uncertainties. Alone, I'd have said it, but three out of 8 questions was too many to exert my authority on, as a guest.
That's teamwork, and I don't begrudge losing that point, because of what going for it, or trying to, would have meant. We had 5 in 8 in total. TV presenters gave us 7, the lost point coming because we weren't sure whether the QM's had strictly said TV or not. Desert Island Discs turned out to be the other. The inevitable 2016 round turned out to be 8 questions I'd already heard the night before, though annoyingly I couldn't remember one of them. Sequels to books looked reasonably promising, and I impressed again by getting the To Kill A Mockingbird prequel, Go Set A Watchman, on our way to our 3rd straight 7.
Pictures this time was ordinary dingbats, though with a TV theme, and it was our joker. 7 came relatively easily, but the last really perplexed us, until at the death someone noticed that SLPOASCTE was "Lost in Space". The full 16 was highly welcome and certainly vindicated our choice. The last round was cryptic bands, and here only the first eluded us. Our 4th 7/8 of the night on what was a high scoring night, for all but one team, who I think was a barmaid answering when not serving.
Our win was considered one of the best they'd ever seen, though I recall going slightly better last year once. It was brilliant, and I showed something of what I'm capable of. Next week I'll be back with my usual team, but I'll be somewhat amused if there's fight for my services! Bring it on!
Result: 49/56 (87.5%), 1st/7
Overall, it was a week that started slowly and improved. Expect nothing of results at the Ship Inn and you'll never be disappointed, though we can certainly do better than we did. The Granary was a solid performance in an unvaried quiz, and the Anchor was the scene of excellence. Certainly the right order for the results, so bring on next week, which sees the Dalbeattie campaign begin and the return of the Grapes quiz on Friday. First 5 quiz week to come - I'm excited!
Total Result: 120/192 (62.5%)