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.

This being K's quiz, I knew there would be plenty of tricks and twists, but I wasn't facing them alone; one of No Kan Do's roster had a brother and sister-in-law in town, whom I joined. The three of us started adequately enough with 14 on GK, though I honestly wasn't expecting victory; the standard is too high here for non-established teams to penetrate easily. 

Round 5 was given to us at this point, as it was 25 cryptic hit songs, and we had until the end of when Round 5 would usually be to work on it. This was quite helpful, as it took a while for us to get most of them. There were a few obvious ones, but the rest took time. Regular readers know full well how bad I am on music, but we ended up with a respectable 20/25. I've got to say, this is the first time in quite a while that K's glacial pace wasn't a problem for me, as we were never left without something to work on.

Rounds 2-4 came before the end of that music, and the first of those was simply about entertainment, which gave us 10/15. My record of joining teams that struggle on sport continued as we only managed 7/15 this time. Then came a true or false round. Now these rounds don't always have a pattern, but I was on the lookout nonetheless, and quickly established that we were certain about a couple of adjacent pairs that alternated true and false. Taking this as a baseline, the three of us were confident enough that this was true for all 15. I posited this to Big Tam's, who were sitting behind us, and they suggested I'd been spending too much time around them as they couldn't see a pattern. Fortunately, I was right and we had a full house.

The last round, unfortunately, was Family Fortunes. Don't worry, I'm not going to rant about it! My feelings on such rounds have been made clear before - I'm not a fan. So I'll skip to the end, we got 38/50, and I don't know what the round did to the final scores. The teams who took the money - Big Tam's among them - probably did earn it in the earlier rounds, however. Shame that it ended like that, but I don't regret going; it was more productive than my evening would have been otherwise! 

Result: 104/140 (74.29%), unknown/unknown

Quiz #55 - Tuesday 21st March, Ship Inn Dumfries

I was surprised to learn, ahead of this quiz, that my whole team would be there. Any of them being there has been uncommon the last few weeks, let alone all 4. It was good to see them all, to be sure. 

We started well enough, with 5 on GK that left us mid-table, but that's pretty standard. History is a relatively rare round, but the sort that serves me well, as our 8 attested to, though we missed out on several extra points by not knowing any of the children of Henry VII. Yeah, that's the difficulty here! Science and Nature was tougher still, as we only got 5, but this was enough to move us into the lead by half a point.

We stayed there after the picture round, which would have been a lot harder if not for the team member who has been here least often lately. I'll be honest, I didn't really see much of it, as she got almost all of them, but it was half each of two faces, put together. A third person, unpictured, linked them. Half a point was given for each of the pictures, and a full point for the link person. We had them all except one link, and at that only because we picked the wrong shared husband.

The specialist round was animals, which led to names. Crude cat jokes, that's all I'm saying. We did pretty well with 7, which left the increasingly difficult music round. We managed 19, which unfortunately meant our half point lead going into the round was reversed into a half point deficit, leaving us 2nd. One of the team wasn't happy about that, being sure a couple of songs were given incorrectly, but I honestly couldn't say. It was agonising to be so close to the win and yet so far, but a strong performance all the same. Hopefully we will have the full team again soon - ideally next week, since my friend from the Granary will be joining us! In terms of the final score, by the way, I'm not sure where the Facebook page for this event gets 101 questions from. I had it pegged at 92, and I'm not sure there were that many extra bonus points between the two, so I'll use my own calculations.

Result: 61/92 (66.3%), 2nd/9

Quiz #56 - Wednesday 22nd March, Granary Dumfries

It was truly back to normal for the Granary this week, as the standard "5 rounds of 10 questions" format returned. Well, almost, as the last round was 20. By now I'd realised that it was winning this quiz on 1st February that started my "losing streak", which was now approaching 40 quizzes with no win. This would be a nice place to break it, but sport wasn't promising for an opener. We battled to 5 though, which to be honest, I'll usually take - even if that is below my baseline 60% generally.

Next was a round of answers linked by the word "Big". It was fairly tame, I thought, with most of them being eminently gettable. My delay in posting this means a curiosity over one of the answers can now be explained as a random guess gone weirdly right. It was the location of the treasure in the film Its A Mad Mad Mad World, which is under the Big W. I put "big palm tree" and was given it right - because the W is actually made of palm trees. Given trees were a common enough answer to be specifically decried when the answers were read out, this was fortunate! It meant we had 9, which set us up for a hidden link connections round. Oh, I do love these, but despite being certain of half the answers, the connection itself eluded us. I decided there was only one possible subject for one of the answers, a football question with a club as the answer, and blindly went for it. It was right, too, though I don't think knowing it would have added more than one to our 7.

So, we were going okay, but only tend to score averagely on GK rounds. This one started well, with the first 5 coming to us in short order. As did most of the rest, as it happened, with 16/20 being very good indeed. This was definitely one of our better scores at this quiz, even though the usual suspects were way in front of us. I expected no less, and I'm not concerned.

Result: 37/50 (74%), 6th/16

Quiz #57 - Thursday 23rd March, The Anchor Kippford

The Motley Crew's extended absence from this quiz has continued, and the Disciples were again all present and correct, so I was looking like doing this one alone before the opportunity presented itself to join the owners again. This time though, they had some friends with them, and we split into two teams. I was unable to cajole their son into joining our part of the team, which was a shame because his knowledge syncs with mine quite well.

The choice of joker round is often a contentious subject at this quiz, and I tried to stay out of the discussion because nothing looked obviously good. I did suggest not going for GK, but it was what we went for at the behest of the owner. It proved our worst round of the night as well, as we only got 4/8 for 8/16, though I could say little as I'd not been able to offer a better choice.

The next round would have been just that, however, as we managed 7 on food and drink. A round on famous Barbaras we tried to prep for in the moments we had, and successfully named 5. These all came up, as did one whose last name we tried to recall before the round started and failed. 

So far, so...average, but we were by no means out of this yet. Fictional towns and places was next, and my relative youth means I'm going to be familiar with New New York from Futurama and Sunnydale from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, both of which inevitably turn up in these rounds. Another 4 on top of those was definitely what we needed, and we went better than that on the pictures, with a full house on fictional cats. Most of them were easy enough to get, which I should have seen coming after a similar round on dogs a few weeks ago and suggested it for the joker round. It was only a last minute moment of inspiration that gave us Snagglepuss, but it was very helpful.

The last round was the human body, and our 7 is much better than I usually get on such rounds. Helpfully, one of the questions was one of my own from last week! I love it when that happens. It meant we tied for 2nd, 4 points behind the winners. Turns out we could have done nothing at all about that, as even if we'd picked the picture round for our joker, we would only have tied for 1st. We were all pleased with our score, and with the evening generally. I may never see most of them again, but as I told them, part of the the fun of this is getting to meet and quiz with different people.

Result: 41/56 (73.21%) joint 2nd/5

Quiz #58 - Friday 24th March, The Grapes Springholm

I never know quite what the makeup of the teams will be at the Grapes, and the rosters shuffled slightly from the usual this week. The couple I usually join were absent, meaning the team Our Big Chance didn't exist. The other person in the standard team was there, but joined others. I was with The Damned United, which appears to refer to two people specifically - two very intelligent people who are even less tied to a specific team than I am. I've joined them before, but they've been with the Teddy Bears the last couple of quizzes, and have helped them to storming victories. Our 4th was the QM's son, who doesn't seem to get to do the quiz very often but relishes every chance he gets. He's good, too, and I fancied we had a solid team between all of us.

We set to proving that right away, but unfortunately missed the first 3 on GK. The first - Britain's smallest city - was essentially a 50/50 that I didn't trust my own instincts on. We salvaged the round for 5 though. The first specialist round was the first line of hit songs. Sounds okay, for people unlike me who like music, but this is the round that set most team back significantly. I only had two, but the others gave us another 6. 13 is fair-middling in this quiz normally, but it was above the team we were marking, so I was happy enough; there was time for better scores.

And the next set delivered us exactly that, with 17! These were still not easy, and our 8 on GK required excellent knowledge, which we provided between all 4 of us. The second specialist was a special for this quiz, words beginning "Ant" or "Dec". Knowing you'd find decanters in a tantalus gave me the first one, I knew Antilles for the 5th, and corrected one of the others to write "decamp" rather than "decant" for the 8th. We also had 6 more, the only missing one being the gameshow Decimate. We were looking pretty good so far.

Again, we missed the first three on GK, and again, we could have had at least one, but again, it didn't matter as we got the last 4 for another 5. My Simpsons knowledge got me the Guys and Dolls question, and between us we recognised the writer of Bambi. The question of the only anagram of "English" has now come up at every quiz I do, I think, in the last couple of months and I had it very early. The third specialist was famous thirds, and these were hard. The third US president (Jefferson), and the third longest river in the world (Yangtze) were both definitely missable, and we were restricted to 8 ourselves.

Continuing the pattern of the GKs, we got the first 3 of the penultimate set, though this was to be our poorest round of the evening as we only got 1 more of the other 7. Couple we should have had but a rare case of being totally unable to even guess one too. The last round was a connection, and we started solidly by identifying 3 given daughters as those of the eponymous King Lear. Cards immediately came into my head, but it would be a while before we could confirm that as the correct connection (it was) as we were mislead by an 80s sitcom we ultimately didn't get. 6 more did come to us, but we were concerned that we had lost ground by only scoring 11 between the two rounds here.

The final GK loomed, and we were told 6 points separated 2 teams. It stood to reason we were one of them, and perhaps thought we might be ahead by that margin. It was still catchable, however. I was reasonably confident not every team would know Jean Claude Juncker's name for the first one, which was potentially a good start, but no two consecutive answers fell to us. Fortunately, the others did, giving us 5, which is generally credible in the last round.

All of us knew we had performed pretty well in what seemed to be a harder quiz than last time; our 59 was testament to that. But none of us would ever have guessed that we would have won - by 14 points! Days later I'm still amazed; the score was less than any of us achieved last time around (I had 61, the Damned United had 70 as part of the Teddy Bears, our 4th didn't play) but it was serious challenge that we each rose to.

Result: 59/90 (65.56%), 1st/5

Week in Summation

Well, the week certainly ended fantastically well! After an exhausting week, doubtless to be one of several in a row, I was really pleased to end my winless streak, and in such emphatic style. It was a really good week generally, though, with a full house team on Tuesday and one of our best ever scores on Wednesday (certainly over 50 questions). I'm starting to wilt under the combined pressures of all these quizzes, writing my own, doing these round-ups, the need to get my spreadsheet finally updated, and all that's going on in real life, but I'm still enjoying what I do, and I'll not stop until that stops. 

One way or another, I'll find a way to balance it all, I hope! Looking forward to another week of quizzing ahead (which has already started, as of my writing this) in which I'll hopefully be able to build on Friday's success.

Total Result: 302/428 (70.56%)

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