Sunday, 17 September 2017

Weekly Roundup, W/E 15/09/2017

Lest I fall even further still behind with this blog, I'm going to power on with my latest roundup. This one ought to be a bit shorter, as it's 4 quizzes rather than 6. Have to say, I'm glad to have finally finished the last one as it was kinda hanging over me, due to the inevitable length. Enough chitchat, let's find out what happened this week.

Quiz #163 - Sunday 10th September, Turf Tavern, Carlisle

Strategic Overview

I've got to be honest, this quiz was a mess from start to finish, I'm just going to say that from the outset. I managed to unfortunately waste the whole of last weekend, my planned very productive time simply not happening at all. Partially it was the weight of everything I had to do pushing me down, partially it was just laziness. Partially it was an unfortunate addiction to Cookie Clicker that I'd picked up again, that idiotic online game. When I got back from this quiz, I deleted it and all links to it, which made me feel better.

The point is, I went to this quiz having basically not left the house all weekend, and so I was feeling spacey, disorientated and generally uncomfortable. Others could see it too, that I just wasn't myself, and it felt awful. I wasn't in the right frame of mind for quizzing, but hey, I had to give it a go. As it happens, J now knows of this blog, and has formally given me permission to use his actual name. So, Jack it is. He was with me, and at the last minute JDCS turned up as opposition. I'm going to try and speed through this ASAP as I'm disinclined to linger on this write-off.

The Quiz

There's not much to say about the pictures and current events rounds unless they go notably well or badly. The pictures were the usual car crash of 3, but we recovered a bit with 7 on the current events. The first list wanted the first 5 Dr Who actors, for which we really needed M, who would have known them all instantly. We got 2, both coming from my recent quiz question asking for the third. The other list was the largest world ports in terms of freight, and we went totally the wrong way on this, unfortunately going against the Middle East for a mere 1. 3/10 on the lists...poor.

Alpha Links is usually a happier place for us, and it would have been again if I'd been thinking straight. M being here would definitely have helped a lot, but he wasn't and we got 5. Oncology as the cancer did I miss that? The connection round, in fairness, we had no chance on. Auf Wierdersehn Pet characters, and neither of us had ever seen the show. That meant we only got 1 and had to be grateful for it.

This made the wipeout round all important, yet we couldn't risk anything as we did last week either. Having finally found my feet a bit at the last minute, I gave a couple of good answers to give us a solid 6.


Not for the first time recently here, there was some pretty blatant cheating going on, and it was reasonably obvious that first place were achieved on that basis - that was a hard enough quiz that beating JDCS's 37 just didn't seem right. Nothing provable of course, but the host is aware of the possibility. Fortunately, that team aren't there very often. We were way back on 25, and I can only hold my hands up and apologise to Jack, with an assurance that I'll do better next time. Of course, I'm not long back from next time, so he already knows whether I lived up to that or not, but the rest of you will find out in next week's review. I'm sure the tension is already unbearable...

Anyway, yesterday I came very, very close to falling into the same trap of retreating away from the world, and I think the lesson is that visual media is too distracting when I'm trying to work, even if it's quiz shows (as it was yesterday) rather than films (as it was last week). I've learned that one, which is why I've put them all off in order to write my blog. I do feel better than I did, especially since I got that sizable post written last night.

Hopefully this can just be ignored in the grand scheme of things. Bad nights happen sometimes; I'm over it.

Result: 25/55 (45.46%), 5th/6

Quiz #164 - Monday 11th September, Kings Arms, Dalbeattie (K)

Strategic Overview

The scheduling is a bit off with the Dalbeattie quiz now, and I'm not sure when my own next quiz is happening! I planned to write it this weekend but have focussed on the blog instead. I'll try and do it during the week, then. Anyway, K was hosting tonight, and I was with the two-man version of BTAS. J from Carlisle was going to join us but couldn't. Bit of a shame that, as he's much better on sport than the rest of us! All the usuals were there, including a guest team or two, though the Stooges were absent. Unfortunately, there were a group of laddish guys there who have been there before and who always insist on being allowed to compete as a team of 5 or 6. I was oh so grateful they skipped my last quiz. More on them later, unfortunately. 

The Quiz

GK started us off, as is pretty typical of K's quizzes, and we acquitted ourselves well with 15/20. From there we moved onto a round about children and babies...well with one of our team being a former midwife, there was no contest as to whose answers we'd be taking! It was multiple choice, and a few of them were pretty tricky. We got 6/10 but I suspect many teams did worse than that. With K's "true or false" rounds you've always got to be on the look out for patterns. I honestly don't think there was one as such this time, though I spent a great deal of time looking. Regardless, we actually did know most of the answers, and got 12/15.

Picture clues to films followed, and I had most of these easily. A full Moon and golfer Colin Montgomerie apparently meant The Full Monty; bit obscure I thought, but some teams had it. We didn't, but no big deal. Sport came next, and oh, if only J had been with us. He wasn't, and we hit the post a few times unfortunately. Typically, our guesses just didn't fall and we only had 9/15. That left played music, which also isn't BTAS's best subject, and obviously I was little help. I did get a couple, but probably ought to have had a couple more, in truth.

Now I did say I was going to come back to those drunken idiots, and I don't have anything politer to say about them than that. They were very stereotypically...laddish, I suppose, and not a good fit for the quiz. Much as I'm an inclusive person, this is a sedate, quiet quiz and they were being loud and obnoxious throughout. Often, they just wouldn't shut up, and it took a lot of effort for me not to go over and tell them to do so. Unfortunately, they're becoming semi-regular; if they ever appear at one of my quizzes, I'll not let them quiz as a 5-some, that's for darn sure. They greatly affected the atmosphere of the night, and that's very disappointing.


We felt we'd had a bit of a 'mare, in truth, no thanks to those last two rounds which undid the solid scoring from early on. Marking True Blue's scores wasn't helping that as we knew they'd consistently beaten us, round 2 aside. In truth we weren't all that far away, actually, with our 60 only 3 points adrift of the Tourists in 3rd and 1 more behind True Blue themselves, who had 64 point and 2nd place for their efforts. First went to the Muppets on 69, so well done to them. They don't often win, but they do have their moments and are a talented team. Well done to them, better luck next time for us!

Result: 60/87 (68.97%), unknown (outwith top 3)/unknown

 Quiz #165 - Tuesday 12th September, Ship Inn, Dumfries

Strategic Overview

I must admit, I gave serious consideration to not going to the Ship Inn this week, due to how much I had to do. My team were going though, and that meant, so was I. The start time has been moved back half an hour, which finally resolves the timing issues so long as it actually finishes near 10, so I'm happy about that. It also means I finally have enough time to eat before I head out, meaning no more Chinese food in the pub. Shame for the takeaway, but good news for my health and wallet!

It was everyone save R tonight, so 5 of us, with the NCP being back to 2 teams including M and their man R together. There were only 5 teams present tonight, though the football may have been a factor in that. The football was certainly a factor in our being unable to hear much of anything during the quiz. On the face of it, the subjects themselves sounded okay, with history and film/TV being decent enough for me. So there we are.

The Quiz

Another week, another brutal GK round in which no one really threatens to set the scoreboard alight. The scores are a bit of a mess this week I must admit, but I've got them recorded as best I can, even if they're not 100% accurate. I believe we got only 2 on GK, which put us joint last. History followed, and these were actually good questions, albeit challenging ones. I'm annoyed that I struggled as badly as I did, since these were things I really ought to know in order to progress to the higher quizzing echelons that I aspire to. We only got 3.5, and were now tied with 3 other teams in 2nd, the only other score being 8. Film and TV suited us no better, our 3 seeing us drop to 4th.

Here I'm really unsure of what happened with the scores. As I've got it, there were 18 Dingbats and we got 16. I'm not sure either is correct but that's what I'm keeping it as, putting us 2nd, 3.5 behind the NCP.

Now here's where this quiz really went wrong. A round on Guiness World Records is perfectly plausible, but the host here did the predictable thing - he played against us, and deliberately chose ridiculously obscure records and wrote unanswerable questions for them. "How big is the largest pizza ever baked, to the nearest metre squared?" was seriously one of them. It's about 1262, if I recall. No margin given, no help of any kind. It's idiotic, and it's frankly an insult to the quizzers. Not a single team got any points at all, and the mocking on Facebook of the losing team tonight was infuriating. This quiz is badly written, I can't phrase it more kindly than that given how long this has gone on for. Very frustrating.

We lacked R for the music this week, but actually somehow did a little better, managing 22 for 43.5 overall, which at least meant the quiz ended on a gratifying note.


Somehow, we ended up finishing 2nd after what was, let's face it, a bit of a farcical night. Perhaps I'd have been better staying home and working, really. The thing is, fundamentally the issues this quiz has means it's just not as enjoyable as it once was. And if you're failing in that regard then you're failing completely. I can handle quizzes that aren't too challengng or which aren't "intellectual" as long as they entertain me. Being brutalised each week by unanswerable questions doesn't entertain me, or anyone else. LearnedLeague, an elite online quiz league I've joined recently, has very difficult questions too, but it's possible to answer them as they're detailed and contain entry points. These ones...don't.

I'm going to keep going to this quiz until at the very earliest the new year, but after that, I don't know. Sooner or later, it might be that I benefit more from keeping Tuesday as a study day. I don't want to stop going to this quiz, I really don't, but it's becoming harder to justify the effort and expense each week. We shall see...

Result: 46.5/88 (52.84%), 2nd/5

Quiz #166 - Wednesday 13th September, Granary, Dumfries

Strategic Overview

Last quiz of the week, and it was one of this venue's shortened quizzes, being a round of 30 and a round of 20. Again, the football was perhaps a factor, though it's equally possible it was just constraints on the host's time. It's not my preferred format, but that's the way it goes. L was with me, of course, and we were joined once again by M. That surprised me, as some of his team were here (he indicated last week that might not be the case). I was very flattered to hear that he'd chosen to join us despite a repeated offer from Sporting Quizbon, who to be fair hardly need any extra help!

The Quiz

The first round was cryptic TV. This was always a risky one, and I honestly thought we knew more of these than we actually did. There were definitely some missed chances, and as expected we had at least heard of all the shows (I think). We had enough time for 25 guesses, though only 17 of those were correct, unfortunately.

The second round was 20 questions on GK, and these we dominated. I've got to say, I was seriously happy with how we did here. We'd let a few chances slip away in the first round, but no such thing was done this time: 19/20, with a good team effort for so many. In fact, the only one we missed was the month in which a race at Ascot takes place, and we were only one month away from a perfect round!


Unfortunately, those misses in the first round proved costly, as we were 2 points away from retaining the title. In fact, we finished 5th, which I don't think reflects our performance. Two teams were tied above us on 37, and two more above them on 38, with SQ winning the tie break among the latter.

Honestly, I've no regrets there. Would have been nice to win a second time in a row, certainly, but in terms of the bigger picture, what mattered was that GK score, and little better could be done there. Superb performance and a very good score overall, make no mistake.

Result: 36/50 (72%), 5th/16

Week in Summation

Well, this was a week in which I started off badly, having lost all my momentum from the previous week, but recovered nicely thereafter. Sunday was a car crash, I don't think anyone will pretend otherwise, and Monday was a typical example of problematic subjects making the win virtually impossible. Tuesday...well I said it all up there, but we did finish 2nd again, so there's that. On Wednesday though, there's lots of positives to take, despite our eventual placing.

As I've already indicated, I haven't made best use of this weekend again either, though the large amount of blogging I've done is something and I do feel better for it. I'm potentially quizzing 6 times this week, and I think one win out of that is a reasonable return to expect. This wasn't my best ever week, obviously, but it wasn't all bad, so I'm okay with it.

Total Score: 167.5/280 (59.82%)

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