Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Quiz Answers - Set #2

I truly am disorganised these days, as I've realised I've not yet put my answers on here to my 2nd quiz set from 3 weeks ago! Sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Quiz Set 2 - Answers

Quiz Answers - Set #4

Apologies for the delay in posting these, but here are the answers to my 4th quiz set. 

Quiz Set 4 - Answers

Monday, 27 March 2017

Weekly Round-Up W/E 24/03/2017

Quiz #54 - Monday 20th March, Kings Arms Dalbeattie (K)

I've got to be honest, I nearly didn't go to this quiz. It was my first of the week, as the Turf's host was on holiday; a shame, as I'd have had family providing me with a team! That meant a 3-day break from quizzing that almost became 4, as I was very tired from the busiest day of the year in my day job. This is also the one quiz I'd ever drop, if I ever decide I'm doing too many, but the reasons aren't relevant to this post. I decided that I likely couldn't relax effectively at home anyway, so I found myself where I belong, in the pub with a glass of water in my hand.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Quiz Questions - Set #5

Quiz Set 5 - Questions

Round 1: General Knowledge

1. What is unusual about the Manx Cat from the Isle of Man?
2. What was the name of the snail in the children’s TV show The Magic Roundabout?
3. Sacred Heart Hospital is the primary location for which medical comedy-drama?
4. Abel and Cain were the first two children of Adam and Eve. Who was their third son?
5. Fred “The Shred” Goodwin is a disgraced figure in which sector, whose knighthood for services to that industry was annulled in 2012? Bonus point if you can name the company with which he is most famously associated, having been its CEO between 2001 and 2009?
6. Larry the Bird, which resembles a mountain bluebird and is named for a basketball player, is the logo for which famous company?
7. Which unlikely country was invited into the Eurovision Song Contest for the 60th anniversary in 2015, and has been invited back in 2016 and 2017 as part of what seems to be an ongoing arrangement?
8. The Gruber Brothers, Colonel Stuart and Thomas Gabriel are among the primary antagonists in which film franchise?
9. The Penny Farthing was an early form of which mode of transport?
10. The Mao Mao Uprising took place in the 1950s in which country?

Round 2: Sport and Games

1. In which race do the competitors not cross the finish line?
2. FIDE is the governing body for which sport or game?
3. In which sport do competitors only find out the score after its over?
4. Which game of chance is the most physically demanding for the losing participant?
5. Name either of the two players involved in the longest ever professional tennis match. It was 11 hours long and took place at Wimbledon in 2010.
6. In which sport do teams from the USA and Europe compete for the Weber Cup?
7. The 1956 Summer Olympics were held in Melbourne. But as Australian quarantine laws wouldn’t allow horses to be imported into the country, in which country were the equestrian events held?
8. Which international Rugby Union team is known as the Pumas?
9. Which Chinese game, typically played with 144 pieces, originated in the Qing dynasty and is popular today in solitaire and multiplayer forms?
10. In 1994, which British tennis player became the first ever to be disqualified from Wimbledon after hitting a ball girl with a shot? It was in a doubles match, and a bonus point will be given if you can name his partner, who was not involved in the incident. 

Round 3: Connections

1. Which medical discovery is usually credited to Wilhelm Röntgen in 1895?
2. Which game is often apocryphally said to have been referred to by Mark Twain as “A good walk spoiled”?
3. Which dance, which premiered in 1914, is said to have been named for the vaudeville actor who popularised it?
4. In the UK, this foodstuff is known as butter beans. What are they called in the US?
5. At which Berlin Wall crossing, the famous booth of which is now in the Allied Museum in Berlin did 18 year old Peter Fechter die in 1962?
6. Which Canadian province is the largest in the country by area?
7. Which 1942 biographical musical film about George Cohan stars James Cagney and Joan Leslie?
8. Which Ford car, produced between 1982 and 1993, was a replacement to the Ford Cortina?
9. Which Shakespeare play, one of three to be set in Verona, was first made into a film in 1936 by George Cukor?
10. Finally, what connects all of the above answers?

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Weekly Round-Up W/E 17/03/2017

Quiz #49 - Sunday 12th March, Turf Tavern Carlisle

After 3 weeks of 6 quizzes, I've got Friday "off", as I will every 2nd Friday going forward, as I'll not be back to Haugh of Urr until the Summer. The occasional break will probably be appreciated, as there have been times in the run of 18 quizzes in 20 days that ended last Friday that I've been a bit...frazzled! I still did 5 this week though, and that started, as always, with the Turf.

I've got to say, I'm coming to really like that place. It's a light-hearted quiz with jokes, banter and a friendly host whom I get on well, as I do with his friends who also play. In fact, it's been suggested that our knowledge set go together pretty well, and we're looking at potentially doing a quiz together at some point in the future - at a different venue, of course.

He seemed to be better at this week's pictures than I was; they were the hardest set yet, and I managed only 1 - Serena Williams. Tennis isn't a bad sport for a speciality when it comes to quizzes, even if football would be better. Better knowledge of the latter would have gained me an extra point on current events, which was little better of a round, as my lacklustre 4 attests to.

Still, if I'd started badly, it was only going to get worse from there. If there's one thing I really hate doing in quizzes, it's getting 0 in a round. Even a token 1 point makes me feel a lot better, but in rounds 3 and 4, I couldn't even get that. This quiz counts them as two halves of the same round, but for my stats they are separate. The first half was about songs by the Police. I can name a couple of Sting solo songs, but not his band. Cricketers who have scored 200 in 1-day internationals was the second half, and I forgot the only name on the list I'd even heard of, Tendulkar. I did name 5 cricketers, at least.

This put even more pressure than usual on Alpha Links...and I couldn't live up to it. 5. The connections round was a bit more fun, as I knew the second answer was Firefox, which could only mean the connection was internet browsers. I wasn't the only team to give the 4th answer as "Chrome" before the question was even asked, but at least one team failed to score anything here. I missed the first question because I forgot about the ancient Navigator. Still, things were looking up, right in time for...the risky round.

Wipeout started decently, as I had the first 3. Okay let's shorten this - I had 8 of them, and I was relatively sure on them. The other two were both 50-50s, and by that I mean we were given two options. I had an decent idea of which was the right answer, too. Gambling meant potentially getting 7 points, including the 5 bonus ones, and becoming a legend at the quiz. Not only would the bonus have been won for the first time, but by a soloist! Did I have that kind of courage? The cost was 8 points, and I knew I was really struggling, even if not just how badly. I decided against it, though I'd have been right both times.

I'd have come 2nd if I'd gone for it - I was 5th because I didn't. I'd have been last if I'd gotten one wrong, but only by 2 points. Do I regret it? In a way, because I'd have gone down in a blaze of glory if I'd been wrong and gained a place in the history of the quiz because I'd have been right. But I'd also have an early contender for "lowest score of the year". 40% is pretty bad, but it's not awful in the context of this quiz. There were no right or wrong answers here, and I think either option had its justification. I'll take that as a start to the week.

Result: 22/55 (40%) 5th/8

Quiz #50 - Monday 13th March, King's Arms, Dalbeattie (A)

My 50th quiz of the year! Already! Wow. Well, I'll wax lyrical on that in another blog post, this one is about the business at hand. We were out of our usual room because of renovations, and the dining room we were shifted to was very tight for space. I didn't need much though, as I was alone.

We started and ended with GK, as A tends to do, and I could have done better in the first, I think. 6.5 is respectable, however, which about sums up the night. I scored solidly throughout the quiz, showing why I'm a force to be reckoned with when backed up by a couple of able colleagues to cover the gaps in my knowledge and a few specific weaknesses. I've demonstrated that at this quiz a few times now, but on this night, I was alone and my score was restricted accordingly.

I couldn't help but feel that it was the sort of quiz I write, in the sense that there were a number of quizzing chestnuts in there, and ones I'd heard recently at other quizzes. It's certainly not identical in style to my own, but I can understand the thought processes.

After the first GK followed generalised rounds on history, arts & literature, geography, and film & TV. I scored 5, 6, 7 and 7 respectively, though ended with my lowest score of the evening, 4. At least one team apparently got 0 on the last round though, and it was pretty tough. I was a decent way away from the winners at the close, but not last, and I did actually edge out some-time winners No Kan Do, with whom I've quizzed. So not a bad night, by any means!

Result: 35.5/60 (59.12%)

Quiz #51 - Tuesday 14th March, Ship Inn Dumfries

I couldn't help but feel a little nervous going into the venue this week, having requested a little fine-tuning to the quiz. I was going in without the Quizlamic Extremists, which meant I'd be joining the Newbridge Caravan Park again - this time quizzing for the first time ever with one of their number, who is, and I mean no disrespect to anyone else, arguably the single best quizzer who attends. Without wishing to blow my own trumpet, I appreciate that there's an argument for myself there though, and I have to say I'd love to challenge certain people 1-1 as a test - him definitely included. He's a chef by trade, which is certainly an advantage when you know a food and drink round is coming!

But that would be round 3. Round 1 was the first litmus test of the quiz's difficulty, and our 4.5 stands as proof that it was as high as ever. I did get a decent answer or two, such as identifying Tony Blair from just his middle names. That left us tied 4th, a rarity for this team. I believe the leaders were one of the regular teams who routinely flout the supposed team size limit of 6. We have been assured that it will be adhered to next team, which is good to know because the winning team were 9-strong this week. There were a couple of new teams too, which is good to see, though they also went above 6 people.

Round 2 was sport, and my record of joining teams who lack a sport specialist continues - again, no disrespect intended to anyone. We only got 3.5 though, which worsened our position. That was more than doubled when food and drink finally came around, and our chef can be thanked for that. I am now getting the impression that it's against the law to not include the question "Where does goulash come from?" in such rounds - and I realise the irony of me joking about that, considering I did the same in my own round.

Dingbats were the pictures, and that has not been a kind round to me lately. These were better, however, and despite a stumble, we restored some pride by getting our answers in first, though our position was still well below 1st. This wasn't something the Caravan Park were used to, though I've been in such positions many times before.

The specialist round, Easter this week, was chosen as it would theoretically be a bit easier than more complex rounds, and it was my specific beef last week. Unfortunately, as the clock ran ever-later, my fears were realised. There were some very challenging questions, such as "How much did the largest ever chocolate bunny weigh?". No options or margin were given. We laboured to 5.5, and this left us 6th - seldom has the NCP been so low in my memory, and while I was hardly hurting the team's score, I wasn't able to propel us to the podium.

30 points are on offer in the music round, and most teams usually score pretty well. We seemed to find it quite tough, which again is rare for this team, but the others apparently found it worse. 19 isn't a great return unless it's me alone, but was enough to put us up to 3rd. Since my last win here, 7 weeks ago, I've come 2nd once and 3rd 6 times. That's quite an impressive record, I don't mind saying!

Still, I can't help but be a little disappointed that the quiz finished so late again, and was so difficult. I love a challenge, but this quiz attracts some strong quizzers and even we are battered into submission on a weekly basis. A little fine-tuning - that's all that is necessary.

Result: 51.5/82 (62.8%), 3rd/9

Quiz #52 - Wednesday 15th March, The Granary Dumfries

It was back to business as usual at the Granary, with the return of the regular host. The guest QM was present, but he was participating this time. Well, I say it was business as usual, but the format did change as it is wont to do on occasion. That's no bad thing, I like the fact that you never know quite what to expect when you turn up! In this case, it was a quiz of two halves, in more ways than one.

Rather than the standard 5 rounds of 10 questions, there were two of 25. Both were language-based, in a sense. The first was cryptic holiday resorts, so clues to various towns and cities that people might go on holiday to, at home and abroad. They were very difficult, especially with only about 15 minutes to answer them all in. It was a slow start for us, but by the end of the round, we were picking them off, albeit primarily by naming holiday resorts and trying to find a match. 10 was never going to put us near the top of the leaderboard, but was better than we were looking at in the first few minutes.

Fortunately, the second half was totally different. I watch Only Connect, and have done for years. The last round of that show is a Missing Vowels round, and I've gotten pretty good at it - clues to given subjects but only the consonants are shown. As I'm sure you can tell, that's what this round was. They were all British sitcoms, too. Now I couldn't have told you a whole lot about quite a few of them, but I knew the names! Every one. Most of them came immediately, a few we worked out between us. As in the last round, naming possible answers and trying to fit them in worked quite well, and we had more than enough time to pick off a couple of stragglers.

We were actually the first team to hand in, which was at my insistence once we'd checked thoroughly, because I've never done it at this quiz and wanted the personal ego boost. Hey, I'm human! We did indeed have all 25, having not fallen for the trap that some did of putting Bird instead of Bread, which gave us a very nice score of 35. It was well down the leaderboard, with Sporting Quizbon only dropping 4 points in the entire quiz, but I'll take that score at the Granary every time.

Result: 35/50(70%), 9th/14

Quiz #53 - Thursday 16th March, Anchor Hotel Kippford

I really can't claim that the Motley Crew are my usual team at the Anchor, unfortunately, as they've only been once I think in 2017, twice at the most. Still, this quiz will come to an end until November in about a month, and I'll quiz with whomever I can until it does. Often, this has meant the Disciples, but they had a full complement, so I again joined the owners, albeit this time they lacked their son so we were only three.

There was a fair bit of pressure on me at this quiz, albeit most of it was in jest. That said, I do seem to have a bit of a reputation there, at least among certain people, and I did want to do my best to live up to it. We started pretty well, too, with 6 on GK. I had the opportunity to press my answers at least, which is the benefit of a smaller team - I struggled in that on Tuesday..

Science and tech is a risky subject for a joker round, and my team weren't keen at all. I was inclined to agree, based on past experience, despite personally being pretty okay on it overall (I think...must get those stats updated!). As it happens, we had them all! The questions fell pretty handily for me, and I got to show off a bit by writing "Hubble" as soon as the question asked "Which telescope..." because it was never going to be anything else. The rest of the question proved it, but still, some questions have very predictable answers, in spite of many theoretically possible ones.

So this was a good start, but I was much less confident about the next 3 rounds. TV catchphrases was also pretty reasonable, and we scored 6. Famous people though, made us less comfortable and we only got 4. The picture round was even worse, and I'd been dreading it since the start as I'm awful at getting celebrities these days - never mind when they were younger. I spotted the Rory McIlroy trap to get Andy Murray, but we had only one other. Nothing to be done about that, but we scored more points in the first two rounds than those 3, so I was right to be concerned.

Our joker round was the last, "Around the UK", in the hope that two of us might have been able to combine our knowledge to get some points. And we did - but only 4. Half the questions started "Which English county..." which gave us no chance. It was always a risk, but so would science and tech have been - I've chosen it as my joker when playing solo and scored just 2/8, so knowingly disadvantaging the whole team on the off-chance wouldn't have felt great.

We ended up 2nd last, but in a high scoring quiz - our score has won before. You needed broad entertainment knowledge here for rounds 3-5, and that was where we fell down, as well as in our joker selection. Not the best end to the week, though I couldn't help but notice that the Disciples fell out of the podium as well, where they'd been the last 3 weeks when I'd been with them. Oh well, as I'm constantly saying - there's always next week!

Result: 34/56 (60.71%), 7th/8

Week in Summation

It's actually been a pretty good week, all things considered. My attention has been very much divided due to other things going on in my life, but I've kept attending and scored decently. My consistent run at the Ship Inn continues, I proved my proficiency at language based rounds at the Granary, and only narrowly missed out on a chance at glory at the Turf, so there's definite positives to look back on, and few outright negatives really.

This time last year, results like this would have probably looked very good indeed, so the fact that they're not spectacular shows my improvement. I'll keep working at it, and try and improve further. I always knew it would happen gradually, my efforts being planned for the longer-term. I've a consistent run of podiums to my credit at least, so even my defeats are nothing to be ashamed of. The Turf quiz isn't on next week, so I need to find another to start my next 6 day run. Who knows what will happen there!

Total Result: 178/303 (58.75%)

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Quiz Questions - Set #4

Technically it's now Thursday as it's a couple of minutes after midnight, but as I suggested a few weeks ago, Wednesday is now the day I'll be posting my weekly quiz sets. Weekly Round-Ups will still be at the weekend, and answers are still available at any time on request. Good luck!

Quiz Set 4 - Questions

Round 1: General Knowledge

1.    Marion Robert Morrison is the birth name of which famous actor?
2.    The Opium Wars were fought between which two countries? Half a point for each.
3.    Which guitarist has the nickname “Slowhand”?
4.    What kind of creature (and you don’t need to be specific) is a Shearwater?
5.    What was US president Richard Nixon’s middle name?
6.    All of British entrepreneur Richard Branson’s companies use the company name Virgin, except for one. For one point name either the company, or its primary product.
7.    Which Latin word, in common use in English today, means “things to be done”?
8.    Which is the shortest bone in the human body?
9.    In a standard modern piano, how many keys are there?
10.  In 1955, a woman named Ruth Ellis died in Britain. What was the significance of her death?

Round 2: Film Plots

There’s 17 points on offer here, because I already had this round pre-written. Please identify the film from the plot. A bonus point is on offer for identifying where I got the descriptions for numbers 5 and 10. A lot of swearing has been redacted from 5, as a little clue. The years refer to that of the film’s release in its original country, which may not be one in which English is spoken.

1.    (1998) A brother and sister are sucked into the stereotypically idyllic 50s landscape of an old TV show. But this is a world that thrives on order, and if the newcomers accidentally make changes...
2.    (2004) He's not a gangster, he's a businessman whose commodity happens to be cocaine. Or, in this case, the million ecstasy pills a group of loudmouths somehow stole from some Serbian war criminals.
3.    (1994) A 12 year old girl's life is changed forever when her family is gunned down by corrupt DEA officials. The only place she has to go is next door - the home of a lonesome hitman.
4.    (2008). A rookie assassin botches a hit, so he and his more experienced partner flee the country. Getting mixed up in the bizarre nightlife of a quaint city, the pair ponder the meaning of life and the question of what they're even doing so far from home.
5.    (1977) The one about the space hairdresser and the cowboy. He's got a tinfoil pal and a pedal bin. His father's a robot and he's slept with his sister. Lego. They're all made of Lego.
6.    (1998) Most professional sports are oversaturated and boring. What's required to get the crowds back is a game created by two drunken losers with good shooting accuracy but no athletic ability. The game is a hit but they want to keep it amateur, and big businessmen are determined to fleece it for every penny it's worth...
7.    (2000) 42 teenagers. 3 days. One deserted island. One random weapon or piece of equipment. And one survivor. This wasn't the school trip they thought they were going on. Could you kill your best friend?
8.    (2003). 10 interlinked stories taking place in the month or so before Christmas. A variety of different people crash into and out of relationships. Will the holiday spirit bring people together or tear them apart?
9.    (2011) A heavily armed police unit. A supposedly impenetrable fortress of a building controlled by some of the country's most violent criminals. And no escape except in a body bag for anyone inside, once the covert entry is rumbled...
10.  (1995) The one where there's the cowboy and he's the king of the castle? And then this astronaut shows up and he tries to take over, so the cowboy attempts to murder him, but, instead, the astronaut is taken hostage by, this evil psychopath and the cowboy has to rescue him and then they end up becoming really good friends.
11.  (1980) A paroled convict and his brother attempt to use music to save a Catholic orphanage threatened with closure. They can't possibly fail - they're on a mission from God.
12.  (2009) Conflict looms in the Middle East, and among UK and US politicians, battle lines are being drawn up. Some support the war, some oppose it, but most just want to keep their jobs. Whoever wins the debate - it won't be decided by logic, common sense or competence...
13.  (1999) Barings Bank was one of the oldest and most esteemed in the world. How could it possibly fail? Well, they could try hiring a barrow boy with no interest in things like fair trading or fraud regulations...
14.  (2004). The loveable losers who frequent a gym are about to see it closed down by the brutal owner of a nearby, bigger gym. Can it be saved? Possibly, thanks to one of the regulars who reads "Obscure Sports Quarterly"...
15.  (1993) He's an unemployed divorcee trying to get to his daughter's birthday party. Unfortunately, to do that he'll need to walk most of the way across Los Angeles on foot. He's in a bad mood as is, so the people he meets would do well not to aggravate him further...

Round 3: Connections

1.    In 1977, who became the last British female tennis player to win a singles Grand Slam event?
2.    Which author, born on 3rd April 1783, is most famous for writing Rip van Winkle and Sleepy Hollow?
3.    Which wonder of the ancient world was completed in 280BC but destroyed in an earthquake in 226BC?
4.    Henry Jones Junior is the real name of which eponymous film character?
5.    Which herb, sometimes known as wild marjoram, is a flowering plant of the mint family?
6.    Tramar Lacel Dillard is the birth name of which rapper ,singer and songwriter?
7.    Which musical, which opened in 1943 and whose original Broadway run was over 2200 performances, was based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs?
8.    Which dessert, which has hot and cold elements is also known as a Norwegian Omelette?
9.    The cities of Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester are all in which English county?
10.  Finally, what connects all of the above answers?

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Quiz Answers - Set #3

Quiz Set 3 - Answers

Round 1: General Knowledge

1.    The whip, the crack of which is a sonic boom.
2.    The Moon.
3.    Porsche. It was the Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid, made in about 1900. Toyota did make the first widely commercial one at the other end of the century, but theirs wasn’t the first in history.
4.    The Unicorn. Beloved by some Scottish kings, it has appeared on royal arms for centuries.
5.    Dallas, played by Tom Skerrit. Either answer is acceptable.
6.    The 1890s. It was the Home Insurance Building in Chicago, opened in 1894.
7.    0. Moses didn’t build an Ark, Noah did.
8.    Joanne Kathleen. JK Rowling is her pen name, but the J does stand for her first name, and the K comes from her paternal grandmother. Who’s Who lists her as Joanne Kathleen Rowling, and she presented herself under that name when standing before the Leveson Inquiry into the culture and ethics of the British Press. She may not have been born with a middle name, but on that basis she has certainly assumed one, and it’s clear what the K stands for.
9.    5000 – 1.
10.  Tungsten, coming from wolfram, which is its name in many European countries. That word ultimately derives from words meaning “wolf’s froth” in reference to the tin consumed during its extraction. Tungsten itself is simply Swedish for “heavy stone”.

Round 2: Double Answers

In this round, you get two clues to a single answer. I’m only looking for the one word connecting both answers – if it’s a person’s name, I only need the one name, and words like “The” can be ignored. An individual clue may have many answers, but only one will fit the other clue as well.

1.    The Crucible.
2.    Colon.
3.    Goldeneye. Ian Fleming did write Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but he was more famous for writing the James Bond books. The film is named for the house, though its supposedly original plot is essentially a modernisation of that of the novel Goldeneye (the film of Moonraker ironically borrowing comparatively little from its own book).
4.    Hampshire, as in New Hampshire. This one has a habit of coming up in any given round about the USA, over here.
5.    Marathon. I’m not sure it was ever known by this name in the USA, however.
6.    Raleigh, as in South Carolina and Walter.
7.    McGonagall, as in Minerva and William. Rowling named her deputy headmistress for the poet as she liked the name. The lines I quoted are from his most famous poem, The Tay Bridge Disaster.
8.    Nike.
9.    Cardinal, as in the Arizona Cardinals.
10.  Coke, as in Coca-Cola and Cocaine.

Round 3: Connections

1.    Abraham Lincoln. This question was originally worded as “Under which president was slavery abolished?” which meant that technically the answer could be Andrew Johnson. This is because the 13th Amendment, while passed in Congress under Lincoln, wasn’t formally ratified until after Johnson was in power. I rephrased it a few hours after posting the questions after two people answered Johnson. If there was a fit with the connection under both names I’d have left it as it is, but surprisingly I can’t find one. (Abraham (Abe), “Grampa” Simpson)
2.    Patty Hearst (Patty Bouvier)
3.    Troy (Troy McClure)
4.    Riviera (Dr Nick Riviera)
5.    Robert Burns (Mr Burns)
6.    Tom Clancy (Police Chief Clancy Wiggum)
7.    Otto Von Bismarck (Otto Mann, the school bus driver)
8.    The Mona Lisa, which is another obvious answer disguised by a misleadingly tough question (Lisa Simpson)
9.    Ralph Lauren (Ralph Wiggum)
10.  Characters from The Simpsons, as given in brackets.