After such a memorable week to begin May, it was always going to be hard to top that. But that's the kind of challenge I see as as a great opportunity, so read on to see if I was good for it. I'll try and spend less time wrting this update, however, as I still have another to come this weekend.
Quiz #91 - Sunday 7th May, Turf Tavern, Carlisle
My occasional teammate here, M, has been absent recently due to work, but fortunately I wasn't required to do the quiz alone as J and another friend of his, A, were happy to accept my company, along with another friend of theirs whose name I don't know. He's not a regular at the quiz, but the other two are. I was hoping that I could do for J what he did for me at the Granary, and supply a win that would have been my 2nd here too. J has won the quiz many times, however.
We started as I usually do alone, with a mere 3 on pictures, but recovered with 8 on current events. One of the ones we missed in the latter was a 50/50, to be fair. A 50/50 going against us also cost us a point in the cricket-based first of the top 5 lists, which was frustrating. It was one of those rounds you could do well on simply by guessing major cricket-playing countries, however - more later on that.
The other top 5 list wanted the Best Picture Oscar winners for the last 5 years. We were relatively confident but managed to get not a one! Frustratingly, we got this year's winner's name only half right, and named other big films that unfortunately didn't win. I may never score 0 on my best subject the rest of this year, actually. Hopefully will!
The second half of the quiz is usually better for me, and so it proved on Alpha Links and Connections: 8 and 5 respectively. Yet another 50/50 betrayed me, this time a country beginning with Z, but it was a good round otherwise. The connection was playing cards, and it was a team effort to get it. A rare music get for me saw me recognise (eventually) the opening line of Motorhead's Ace of Spades, with J getting the Sacramento Kings for a basketball question. Good little set, there!
The most significant aspect of the Wipeout round was the time and effort I put into deciphering the Roman numerals MCDXLIV, which of course has all the numerals in it - it's 1444, and J promised me a drink if I got it right. I had to buy the whole team a drink if I was wrong, but thankfully I was accurate. We played the round cautiously otherwise, sticking to and getting 4.
Ultimately, we came 3rd, 2 points behind 2nd but 11 behind the winner - a guy on his own! It was one of the guys I actually won the quiz with, whose team was unexpectedly not there. He knew nothing about cricket but got all 5 by guessing the right countries. A phenomenal performance that left me feeling somewhat deflated because it was a reality check to me. Take nothing away from him - he was incredible. But it's a level I aspire to be at and simply am not. I'll have to earn that though, so the hard work must go on to get there!
Result: 32/55 (58.18%), 3rd/6
Quiz #92 - Monday 8th May, Kings Arms, Dalbeattie (S)
Another new host for this week's Dalbeattie quiz, and I'd later learn that she is a potential regular. That's definitely not a bad thing in my book, as this was a very enjoyable little quiz. I was doing it alone, but no matter. It was on this night that I got confirmation of something very special - the next week (so last Monday as of the writing of this entry), I would be hosting the quiz! My very first live quiz! I'll cover that in a separate entry, so stay tuned. For now, let's look at S's quiz.
It was a quiz of ups and downs, to be sure. My luck seemed to vary enormously, though this does reflect my knowledge of the subjects to be fair, so it was not unreasonable. Also of note is that the questions were all read out at this quiz, rather than being given as handouts. That's not unheard of but it is rare, and thus changd the dynamics slightly.
The first round was a tricky bit of GK. My 4 felt pretty lacklustre, and could have been 6 had I note assumed two potential correct answers were too obvious. Remember - it's usually Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monroe. The next two were much better. We started with a hidden link connection, which scared me because I had such a round planned for my own quiz, and that it was TV was worse. Luckily, it was Friends, so not what I used. I missed the first one but got the other 9. It was all main character names except for the artist Rembrandt, who named the band who did the theme song. Good round!
Next was space, and there were a few classic questions in there - classic but missable, like the speed of light and the Apollo 11 astronaut who didn't walk on the moon (Michael Collins). I particularly liked the last question, which wanted reason why one of the original 6 astronauts in the International Space Station was the odd one out. It was because the other 5 named the Tracy brothers in Thunderbirds.
After this, I fell down on questions where the answers were girls names. Only 4 came to me. A strong geography round was more like it, and my 8 ensured I'd be over the 50% point at the close. I've finally started remembering things like Lake Baikal as the largest freshwater lake in the world, which is good to see.
The last round was hopeless for me. It was a good round - two people with a shared name - but I could only manage the two with a James Bond connection. One was Bond himself (he was named for an ornithologist) and the other was Jane Seymour, who played a Bond girl. I ended up 5 points away from the money, but I know I wasn't last. I was praised for my solo efforts by another team, too, though I was quick to point out that I'm nowhere near as good as I want to be. I'd love to do another quiz from this host though, so I hope she returns!
Result: 35/60 (58.33%), unknown (not last)/9
Quiz #93 - Tuesday 9th May, Ship Inn, Dumfries
I was very nervous going into the Ship Inn quiz as my usual team couldn't make it, and the Caravan Park were a single 6 this week, with both their teams merging. I was faced with the agonising prospect of doing this one alone, but was luckily able to join the Cree West team. This is a team that includes my former counsellor; for those who don't know, I'm not ashamed to admit that I've suffered from anxiety for much of my life, and have received treatment for it. They're nice guys and I'm glad they've been coming, but it was the first time I'd actually joined them. Lucky for me, they were short a few people this week and I could.
We started horrendously, managing just 2 on GK. Typically, this wasn't a disaster in terms of our placing, with 3 teams equalling or failing to, our score, leaving us dead in the middle. Food and drink saw us double that score with 4. Film & TV is usually much better for me (Film itself is my overall best subject) but I made a mistake by admitting it, as I wasn't much help. Our team's oldest representative stood out here, but we still only had 3. Fortunately, we were now in a 3-way tie for 2nd, just half a point off the leaders.
The picture round was dingbats, and the scores greatly improved here. Ours more than most, thankfully, as our 19/24 saw us clear in 2nd. 3rd was 1.5 behind us, but 4th a further 7.5 behind them, so we had now effectively ensured we wouldn't be last, at least. The specialist round this week was a horrible, "2005 Ashes Cricket Series", and on 3 occasions we literally flipped a coin for our answers. 2 of them paid off, and we got 6 in total! Very lucky, and it consolidated our 2nd. One of the Caravan Park loves cricket, effectively ensuring that they'd been given their own subject this week. They got 7, which to me only makes our score more impressive.
The music round did us no favours, but we still got 17/30 in total, and that ensured we finished 2nd by just half a point. The Caravan Park predictably won, in some style by 5 points. I was delighted by how we'd done, though. A brutal quiz, as ever, but another strong result.
Result: 51/94 (54.23%), 2nd/7
Quiz #94 - Wednesday 10th May, Granary, Dumfries
The last quiz of the week was at the Granary, and the missing teams from last week were back. J wasn't, because of work,and I'm not sure when he can next make it. Alas. C was here though, so we were 3's Company rather than 2's Company, but by her own admission she struggles with the sort of questions asked here.
We started with exactly the sort of round I suck at, 90's music (unplayed). I was hoping that C & L would be able to help me out, but in truth they both struggled all night. I have to unfortunately admit, this got frustrating. Clearly, the questions just didn't fall for any of us tonight, and that can't be helped of course, but I was desperate at times for a little assistance that no one was able to provide. As it happened, we managed 6 here, which did include a few from me.
Round 2 was history, normally a strong subject for me but a tough round here meant I only had 4. The others have never been great on history, which is not unreasonable, especially with those sort of questions - though I should have known more. We had the same score on the hidden connection round that followed, not helped by having no clue to the connection, knots. Nothing to be done about that.
We were at least consoled by the possibility of other teams being in the same boat as us, and we hoped that a bit of GK to finish would improve our scores. It was promised to be a little easier, and it actually genuinely did prove to be so. All three of us contributed, though I took the lead. I honestly can't figure how we were given 17 as I thought we missed more than 3, but we might have been close enough to be worth the point perhaps. We certainly were with the expansion of HTTP, where I missed transfer for the 2nd T.
Still, the score was the score and I can't self-correct as I didn't have the marked answer sheet, so I'll have to take it as legitimate. The odd point wouldn't have made any difference anyway, as we finished a clear 2nd! The Roof Rax avenged their defeat last week by swapping places with us to win with 34, with Sporting Quizbon on a surprisingly low (by their standards) 27 to tie 3rd with two others. Our having won the week before was noted, which was nice as it told the teams who didn't witness it that we'd done it. As I said in the last blog, our reputation is definitely increasing. Ultimately, it was a decent result, and that kind of GK round is a good way to end the week.
Result: 31/50 (62%), 2nd/15
Week in Summation
As I said at the start of the post, it was always going to be fairly tricky to come close to such an excellent week as the last. It wasn't just the scores, it was the varied and interesting teams, which were so exciting precisely because they were unusual. That was actually the case this week as well, with two unusual, great teams and a new exciting host in Dalbeattie. Wednesday was a bit of an awkward night, but was saved by a great last round and an even better finish which made our credentials clear.
In truth, I was struggling to remember much of this week before starting to write this post. Worryingly, I hadn't even taken my scores for Sunday off the answer sheet. That suggests a more forgettable week than my commentary actually indicates, and while it lacked the amazing highs of the preceding week, it was still high quality and great fun. Definitely happy about how it went.
Total Result: 149/259 (57.53%)