It's weird that I've already done basically a large post that covers the sort of random nonsense that serves as the preambles I write for these roundups, as it leaves me with basically nothing to say in these opening lines.
Quiz #148 - Sunday 13th August, Turf Tavern, Carlisle
That being the case, lets just get on with it. It's not as if my posts need any extra padding, after all! After missing one quiz and it not being on last week, it was back to normal at the Turf. I was surprised to see M present, as he'd indicated that work would preclude his presence for a while. We joined J & A, who have both expressed an interest in coming along to the Granary (J has already done so of course, but A has not). There were 9 teams by the end of the quiz, JDSS not being among them. A window of opportunity? Perhaps...
Well, not if the picture round was to typify the quiz, as we only got 4. As I've said, this no longer concerns me as I just won't know these; not something to beat myself up over. The current events is usually a little better, albeit not great, but this week was even worse with 3. To some extent I'll explain this by virtue of the quiz being the one from the week that was missed, meaning we'd have seen some of the stories covered but forgotten them already. A poor start, not that we necessarily knew it at that point of course, but still nothing to worry about.
The two lists amusingly presented us with subjects that were poisoned fruit, in that they looked like they should have suited me but quickly exposed themselves as being far harder than they might look and definitely not strong for me. The first was James Bond - couldn't be better! Except that it was the worst films as rated on review aggregating site Rotten Tomatoes. Now my knowledge of these films made a couple of them obvious - The Man With The Golden Gun and A View To A Kill, but unfortunately Licence to Kill was low down in terms of box office receipts rather than critical appraisal. Instead I should have looked to the sort of film that would have been well received by audiences but less so by critics. In other words, the Brosnan era, the latter 3 of which made the list.
The other list was Scottish football, specifically the last 5 non-Old Firm teams to win the league. I'm an Aberdeen native and I know they were dominant in the '80s, and that both Dundee teams had their time in the spotlight around that time and slightly earlier. Hearts were the more likely of the Edinburgh teams to make the list, but we picked both instead of going for Kilmarnock as the other. This took us back to the '50s, so to be fair we were going back a ways for these.
To clarify, we had 6/10 in total going into Alpha Links, which is usually happier hunting grounds for us. So it proved, thanks to a strong performance from us all, for the most part. I added that qualifier because I gave the answer which has annoyed me more than any other recently - Ethiopia instead of Eritea as the country with the capital Asmara. To be fair, they're right next door to each other, but I jumped too fast and didn't think it through. Very annoying, and if it cost us the win, I'd have really been peeved. It happens though, and I'm over it. I've done far worse before and will in future too, to be fair. We got 7 in total, for an even 50% so far.
The connections round was an interesting one. The answers contained the surnames of famous golfers, and we got the full 5. So to the wipeout round, and it was okay for us. None of the others had heard of tog as the measurement of thickness for duvets, but I had that, as well as the classic question about the disappeared Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. Between the rest of us we had 6 in total, having thankfully decided against going with what M thought was a sure thing about a car advert that turned out to be wrong. Caution is the best watchword in these rounds.
Ultimately we knew were were 1 point behind the team we were marking, but that didn't make a difference anyway. Our 31 was good enough only for 4th, well behind the winning 43. Now that's a suspiciously high score, and the 2nd placed 35 looked unlikely as well. No one is making any specific allegations, of course, and there's no proof in any case, but to be clear, I'm not just saying this out of sour grapes at the result. I hope my readers realise I'd never do that.
I'm not even disappointed at the result; 31 is a fine score and we got what points we could. The first two rounds aren't a concern to me, and I'm taking the positives from the rest of it. A solid, albeit unremarkable, start to the week.
Result: 31/55 (56.36%), 4th/9
Quiz #149 - Monday 14th August, Kings Arms, Dalbeattie (G)
I had my suspicions going into Monday's quiz that I might have the chance to join BTAS again, and indeed that proved the case. I'll be doing so again this week, albeit only one of them I think. That will be interesting, especially given the...unique nature of P's quizzes that we'll be facing then. I must remember to brush up on the African geography I'm expecting...I digress. This was G's quiz, a straight forward 6 rounds of 15 questions, none of the sheets for which I've still got unfortunately.
We started solidly with 13/15 on GK. I had to wonder how a certain new team of young people were getting on, one of whom I'm sure I used to work with. We made eye contact a few times, though didn't speak, and there did seem to be a sort of mutual recognition. They had joined up with a group of guys whose first appearance was, unfortunately, my last quiz. Not the best one for anyone to be doing as their first, unfortunately. The combined team made 6, which bothered me, though G himself didn't say anything and neither did anyone else. Fair enough, and as long as they didn't win then I guess it was okay. They didn't, so I suppose it is.
Right, moving on, a round on drinks followed the GK, and we got a full house of 15 here. Film & TV fell quite well also as we got 14, though it perhaps should have been 13. See, the Stooges were marking our paper, and they're notoriously strict. As we have done before, we claimed an answer they had given as outright wrong. I'll play "let's sit on the fence" on this one, as there was a case to be made for either approach. We somewhat got them back in the Geography round that followed anyway, seeking official confirmation on an answer that I wasn't sure could be accepted. I'd have given a half, but G said it was wrong and I'm not sorry about it. For our part, we had 11, and seemed to be well behind the Stooges at this point.
History followed, and it was easily the hardest round of the night. That was reflected in our score, a mere 9 that threatened to be really damaging in a quiz that was likely to be close. We did little better on the Science & Nature that ended the quiz, with 10. That left us out of the money, though somehow only 1.5 behind the 3rd placed Stooges. Not sure how that happened, as I know we regained some ground near the end, but not that much. Another storming win by the Tourists was no surprise, with their 79.5/90 being nothing we could touch. Fair play, it was still a decent performance that happened not to be rewarded.
Result: 72/90 (80%), unknown (outwith top 3)/unknown
Quiz #150 - Wednesday 16th August, Granary, Dumfries
Another quizzing milestone! 229 days into the year and I'm doing my 150th quiz. That's one every 4.5 days, though my rate has fallen slightly in the last few weeks. With the Grapes quiz ending and my being more willing than I once was to occsaionally miss one, that's likely to continue. It's not a numbers game, of course, but I'm a happy functional addict and I still want to do as many as I reasonably can. I've already covered in my last post why I didn't go to the Tuesday quiz, but another part of that was the milestone, as I felt I had a better chance of marking it in style at the Granary.
It was expected that the Killer Question jackpot would have to go tonight, as it was up to £150. A nice way to mark the milestone! We were joined for the occasion by C, making us the original Three's Company. Unfortunately, the night itself didn't live up to these expectations, and ended up a far more muted affair than expected.
Part of the reason was doubtless the torrential downpour that greeted us all on the way to the quiz. I still walked in, madman that I am, but I was rewarded for not taking the car because the rain was largely off by the time the quiz was over. Upshot is, there were far fewer teams than expected. Sporting Quizbon were among the absentees, though one of the Pharmacists from the Ship Inn was there. I didn't recognise her friends though, and I don't know her name.
There was also the small issue of the jackpot actually rolling over until next week, as it was only £125 rather than the £150 that triggers drawing it until it goes. I thought the numbers might have been a factor, but there were 12 teams so that wouldn't have been it.
The biggest issue was the questions. Make no mistake, I'm not criticising, but this was straight up the hardest quiz I've ever done at this venue with only one exception - the 90 question Christmas music car crash last year. It was more music to start, that being the first of only 2 rounds, for a 45 question quiz. That format has been seen before, it's no huge surprise.
We were given a list of 25 musicians, and had to give their instruments. I'll be honest, we were all clueless. Completely. I knew exactly 3 of them, and spent much of the round reassuring C & L that this round had nothing to do with the admitted gulf in class between myself and them. No, it really was that hard and I suspected most of the other teams would struggle too. We were stuck with putting random guesses for many of them. At least 15 of them, I'd say, with only a couple of others being remotely educated. I should have known two or three others, but did get 2 guesses right in addition to the 3 I knew, for 6 in total. Not a great return.
The other round was surely going to be a bit better? International sport...that would be a "no", then. These weren't even just normal sport questions, they were seriously hard, even by the standards of the subject and the quiz. We had to wait 5 or 6 questions before we had anything to make a decent go at, and only managed 6 in total from the 20. I don't think we could have done much better though, in truth.
So we got 11/45, that's the bottom line. A milestone quiz proved one of, if not the, worst result of the year. Capping it all, the killer question went today, on a kind question about the number of letters in the Greek alphabet (24). I honestly thought it would have been a deliberately hard question in order to force a roll over next week. I'm fairly certain the host has done exactly that before, though granted the lucky winner did seem to be guessing.
Ultimately I've got nothing to be disappointed about or ashamed of here. The questions didn't fall well, but on these subjects, none of us stood a chance. "None of us" extending to the whole quiz, actually, with only 2 teams getting above 20 points. 25 is the lowest winning score I've seen in a long time, though our placing was dismal even by the standards of others. We weren't last though, nor even 2nd last. And we got to double figures, which didn't look likely for much of the quiz. Positives, there's always positives.
Result: 11/45 (24.44%)
Week in Summation
I'm starting to get more comfortable with the notion that I really have changed, after QuizFest. Look at the tone of the last couple of weeks reviews, and you can see me responding more positively to results that have been pretty diabolical. The reasons behind the scores, that's the key, both to better well-being and indeed to my improved understanding of my own performance. Which will lead, in turn, to actually improving my performance itself!
Again this week, the results themselves left something to be desired, and the last of them is likely to be among the worst scores of the year, but with two of my worst subjects being the only ones there, there was nothing I could do.
Honestly, I feel calm and, dare I say it, relaxed, about it all. I'd still like to see better, but I've no reason to be concerned. Next week, I'll likely be focussing on my own quiz too, so the ones I play will take a backseat. Unless, of course, I succeed in getting mine completed this weekend. Now that's an added motivation if ever there was one...
P.S. 1.10am this goes online. That's good enough for me, considering I started it from scratch just a few hours ago!
Total Result: 114/190 (60%)