"The best laid plans o mice and men gang aft agley"
As a Doonhamer (person from Dumfries, SW Scotland) it seems appropriate to start this blog post with a quote from Robert Burns, especially as this is just a few days after Burns Night. And because my plan of doing as many as 20 quizzes in January has been torpedoed by 'flu. It's been going around here, and while I'm not normally bad for it, but this particular bug has floored me. Alas.
Still, week before last I did manage 3 quizzes before succumbing, and I did 3 more at the end of this week. Last year I skipped the weeks I didn't review previously, but it would be nice to have a full set this year, so I'll review both weeks.
Monday was the first quiz of the year for A, who's team I'd joined the week before. This time, I joined a different team, who paid my entry fee after my pockets turned up empty - a £5 note was on my driveway when I returned home. Hope I won't be too embarassed tomorrow despite not being able to repay them last week due to my illness!
Now A's quizzes have gotten much easier over the last few months, which I don't say as a criticism, merely an observaton of a stylistic change. Nonetheless, one has to be wary as a brutal round or two can come up from anywhere. That didn't seem to be the case this week, or perhaps we just handled the questions quite well. They're all easy if you know them, and all that.
Round one was the usual general knowledge, and I surprised myself by being the only one to get a music question right. Specifically, I recognised Oasis as the artist behind a given album. That helped us to a solid 8. I do find myself wondering when we will stop seeing rounds on 2016, which tend to get pretty boring after you've done as many as I have, though in fairness this was A's first crack of the whip this year so it's forgiveable that there was such a round. By now I should remember most of the key events that tend to come up in these rounds, but we still missed one or two unfortunately. History is a round I tend to like, and 7 a respectable enough return on it.
The wheels came off in round 4, unfortunately, as we managed a mere 5 on Science & Nature, but my own solid geography knowledge restored our pride with another 7. I'm still convinced that my stats on geography will prove worse than my expectations, but time will tell. More general knowledge brought another 8 points to conclude the quiz.
Ultimately, our efforts fell just a little short - half a mark shy of the prize money. The top teams apparently were some distance from those below, but as only the top 3 scores are announced I can't confirm specifics. A decent result all the same, and one I'd gladly take most weeks in an A quiz.
Result: 43.5/60 (72.5%), 4th/11
The Ship Inn loomed again on Tuesday, and I was fully prepared for another brutal quiz, probably to be won by the Newbridge Caravan Park. No bad thing, as they're great guys and friends of ours, though we have been finishing the wrong side of them rather too often of late for my liking! We were only three of us tonight, but hopefully that would make no difference.
Round 1 showed why I'm recording the scores of other teams in my statistical analysis this year - our 4 looks rubbish until you consider it in the context of a range of 0-5, putting us joint 3rd of the 7 teams, which is much better. A mere 4.5 on food and drink saw us go up to joint 2nd, and we halved the gap on the leaders to half a point. Round 3 was geography, this time not as bad as previous rounds have been at this venue, my own knowledge again helping a lot. After this round, we were in the lead by half a point now, albeit with the more point-heavy rounds to come.
The first of those was the picture round, this time that old chestnut - corporate logos. We had 12 of a fairly tough 15. The specialist round this week was to my knowledge the first ever repeat, as I wasn't aware that repeats were ever allowed. The QM liking the subject helps, I suppose! It was Still Game, and despite having seen some of the show (and owning the DVD boxset), I wasn't familiar enough with it to help much. A new team apparently got 9 here, storming into the lead. They share a name with an unsuccessful Granary team, but I'm not sure if it's the same group or not. Regardless, they were the only team to do well here, leaving us assured of not winning. This was confirmed in the music round, despite a solid 22.5, which meant we ended as we'd begun in joint 3rd. The new team won, and the NCP were dethroned. For now, at least. We'll get back to winning again there, I'm sure. We have to!
Result: 53/87 (60.92%), joint 3rd/7
My expectations of the Granary are that we will come nowhere close to winning, but might get around about half marks. I suspect this quiz is bringing down my average a lot, but it's a tough quiz to do with only one teammate, and it does seem to be somewhat designed with bigger teams in mind. There's no limit on numbers in a team, remember.
Rounds 1 and 4 were a twist on the "People who died last year" type round. The questions were about people who you'd know to have died - but explicitly not the work they were most known for. The extent to which I pay much attention to celebrities is limited enough that I was barely aware of the main work of most of these people, so certainly not their lesser credits. Fortunately, I got to show off my general knowledge between these two rounds, scoring two decent 7s on rounds 2 and 3. I'll always hope for better, but there's always a really hard one or two in there anyway. Full marks on those rounds require serious knowledge - I'm not there yet.
The last round was...unexpected. Not 2016 - but 2017! Events of the past two weeks, so essentially a current affairs round. Average, is all I can say for it.
Our placing was pretty typical really, though the tight spread of scores was unexpected. I'll take that result, however, albeit not every week! Must improve, though I don't think I could have done too much more this time.
Result: 26/50 (52%), 6th/9
I was already ill by Wednesday, and had no chance of making Thursday's quiz. Shame, given recent results there. Also the illness itsef was no fun! It was a respectable week for what it was, though. No results that people will write songs about, but no abject humiliations either. Business as usual, and the kind of week I want to consider a disaster in the context of results by the end of the year. We'll see.
Total Result: 122.5/197 (62.18%)