Okay, I'm a couple of weeks behind with my weekly roundups, and frankly time seems to be flying forward at a ridiculous speed. Yet I need to do these to ensure my records are up to date, as they're critical to my stats. I might unfortunately be missing some of the detail here due to having forgotten things over time, but let's see how it goes, starting with the last 6-quiz week I'll be doing in this area until the autumn.
Quiz #75 - Sunday 16th April, Turf Tavern, Carlisle
My increasingly-frequent partner for this quiz, M, wasn't here this week due to work, but I was able to eventually summon up the courage to ask to join two others. They had been there the week before, and M knew them as regulars when he ran the quiz. They have another couple who typically join them, but who were on holiday this week. They seemed nice - quiet and extremely intelligent.
Typically, I don't do well on pictures or current events, but we had 8 of the former and 7 of the latter. We knew one of the other pictures as a Coronation Stret actor, and the other as a rapper, but couldn't find the names. The top 5 lists were geography and music; the former wanted the largest 5 countries by population beginning with B, and the latter, the 5 young male X-Factor winners. We seemed to be thinking more by area than population, but three were obvious and we got another. We were more familiar with the earlier X-Factor winners and got 4, missing a more recent one.
Alpha Links was almost too easy with a team like this, and we eased to all 10. Okay so one was a guess and we weren't certain on the phrasing of another, but we had the right area and we knew the rest. The connection was a bit out of left-field - things that have degrees. A clever guess by one of the team, though again we missed one of the answers. We knew to err on the side of caution in the wipeout round and stuck to the 6 we knew. It was enough, as we had won!
It was a high scoring quiz, and we just edged above the rest. The QM was delighted, and so was I. With their other halves back, this couple could dominate this quiz once again. To have been with them for but an evening is an honour.
Result: 43/55 (78.19%), 1st/9
Quiz #76 - Monday 17th April, Kings Arms, Dalbeattie (G)
I have a feeling that G will be a regular host of this quiz, now that A has definitely stopped, though time will tell as to how it all works out. G does a good quiz though, not that sitting alone in an exposed part of the room made me feel that great.
I started in solidly average faship with 8/15 on GK, though I did better with 12/15 on his typical "AKA" round. I could have had the "what is it" on the 1st clue, but waited until the 3rd to answer "hippo"; the "where" could similarly have been had on the 2nd before I waited again on the third. I eventually ended the quiz by reversing that and coming in too early for the who. Asi es la vida.
Between all this came a disastrous anagrams round; I lacked for teammates and time, and only managed 3. Islands and mountains was an interesting geography round, and I gave some solid answers on my way to an 8. The final round was initials, and I do like those. My 12 was a just reward.
Overall, it was a mixed effort. I was disappointed, but did seem to impress the team I was sitting beside. I've have worse solo efforts, to be fair.
Result: 49/90 (54.44%), unknown (outwith top 3)/10
Quiz 77 - Tuesday 18th April, Ship Inn, Dumfries
The Ship Inn quiz was undertaken this week with the unexpected aide of L, my friend from the Granary. She's better than the rest of us on football, and she thought she could help. We have tried persuading her she's a great aide generally, but her policy is that she'll appear if she thinks she can help on the specialist round. Fair enugh.
We started in abysmal style, joint last after 2 on GK. Even by this quiz's standards that's not great, with the leaders being on a comparatively impressive 5. Catchphrases of famous people was much better, our 9 putting us midtable. I thought we'd done better than we had on history, but we missed a couple of bonus points. That still left us tied 2nd at the half way point.
The pictures were dingbats again, and this time they were a bit kinder than in recent outings, as we managed 14/18. That football was tricky indeed, but our 6 was actually proportionately better than we had on the history! Music was to follow, and we were 1 point behind the leaders. I can't actually remember which team that was I'm afraid, but it made no difference, as we failed to overcome them. In fact, the deficit increased a point by the end. Still, 2nd in this quiz is no mean feat, as it's the hardest that I do, and I'm ultimately pretty happy with it all.
Result: 60/90 (66.67%), 2nd/7
Quiz 78 - Wednesday 19th April, Granary, Dumfries
The Granary quiz celebrated its 5th anniversary this week, and it was hyped up for quite a while beforehand. We knew it would be special, and there was an incredible 25 teams present. Several were longstanding teams who had not been present for quite a while, such as the Xylophone Playing Honey Badgers with whom I have an old rivalry. That's because I work with a couple of them, and used to routinely finish above them as a solo player, before they bolstered their team with a seriously good additional player. It was good to see them back, as they stopped regularly coming a while back.
For our part, we were 3's Company again rather than 2's Company! Our third can't usually make it, and admittedly tends to come more for the company rather than the contributions, but it was great o see her all the same.
So, with that out of the way, it was a brutal quiz. It started on seasonal events - putting in order various groups of events that happen through the year. Not one of our guesses paid off, guttingly, and we were stuck with 2. Round 2 was no better - a double helping of sport. Long story short, just 6/20.
Another doubler ended the quiz, this time mercifully GK. It gave us a chance for redemption, and we took it - 16/20, terrific by our standards there. That left us in a typical position, comfortably midtable. Anything less would have been almost inappropriate in the circumstances! Happy birthday quiz! Here's to many more!
Result: 24/50 (48%), joint 10th/25
Quiz #79 - Thursday 20th April, Anchor Hotel, Kippford
The Anchor quiz doesn't usually last as long as this, so it was time to make the most of the quizzes we had left. The Motley Crew returned, but this time the guy I'd had friction with wasn't among them. I can't deny it, it made for a slightly more comfortable atmosphere. And that's all I'll say. I could have actually joined the Disciples again, but my first loyalty is always to the MC here. Having chosen badly on the joker last week, I didn't want to make a decision, though not for the first time, "once bitten, twice shy" let the other in to choose GK. Never. Again.
It proved a bad choice too, as we were left with just 8/16. Food and Drink immediately proved it would have been the better choice, as we got 7. Birth places of famous people is always a risky one. We missed a trap or two - Mel Gibson is actually American - but fell into others and had 5. Film & TV bars and pubs gave us the same score. Dingbats though was perfect - 8, relatively easily! I was disappointed to only manage 5 on groups of names though; unfortunately none of us recognised the missing member in some of the groups.
That left us disappointingly midtable in a busy quiz, but even with the right joker, we still wouldn't have won. A pleasant evening all the same, and we still had another chance to add to the prize fund next week.
Result: 38/56 (67.86%), 8th/15
Quiz #80 - Friday 21st April, Grapes Hotel, Springholm
Once more into the breach for the week, and it was a hybrid team at the Grapes. I was with I of the Damned United, with whom I'd won a month previously, and D and M of the KPD group. Frequent cohort L was with other people this week. We started in phenomenal style, laying down a true statement of intent - 10 on GK. That is a real rarity, I have to say. We didn't follow it so well though, with 4 on an interesting round on answers linked by different sizes - Thin Lizzy, etc.
We reversed this in the second set, missing out on 3 of the first 4 on GK, but we recovered to 6. Red White and Blue linked the next set, and we were only denied a full house by mixing up the colours of the cats eyes on the left side of the motorway. 9 though left us sitting comfortably, however.
Set 3 was the nadir of our evening - says a lot when 13/20 counts as a nadir at this quiz. 7 on GK was followed by an unusual round on the countryside. I nearly missed "Caprine" as referring to goats, and we did miss a few others, but this wasn't too worrying, as the other teams appeared to be struggling slightly, that we could tell.
The final sets were a slight improvement. GK was again solid with a 7, that being a useful score on these rounds. The now-standard connections round was great though, as we got the connection - Mints - within a pair of questions. We missed a couple, but 8 was still a very good score.
That left the final round, and we knew we were in with a shout. We started very well, getting the first 7, then fizzled out. That was no issue though, as we had won, and by 10 points! Our GK scores are what really stood out here - three 7s, a 6 and a 10. That's as solid as I can ever remember seeing, though my more detailed analysis, when it comes, will tell more. By any standards, this was an exceptional result. Terrific end to the week.
Result: 64/90 (71.11%), 1st/unknown
Week in Summation
What can I say, this week was all about the start and end. Two terrific wins that reflect heavyweight quizzing performances. I had strong teams to be fair, but definitely played my own part. It was a great week generally really though, with that 2nd at the Ship Inn and our 16/20 in the Granary being notable in their own rights. Overall - very happy indeed.
Total Result: 278/431 (64.5%)