Hello everyone! I'm back, at last! Part of the reason I really try to keep my reviews up to date is because when I'm trying to recall what happened on a given night, I use the blog. The notes I keep in my notebook aren't really enough, especially because I'm generally trying to be social and secretively writing stuff down in that way is pretty much the opposite. My memory can't easily stretch back far enough to cover more than a week or so of quizzes, but hey, that's what I've got to go on for the last few weeks.
With this one, I actually started writing it but didn't complete it. It was a 5-quiz week, and that's a big time commitment in itself, plus I managed to lose a couple of the quiz sheets so I found myself writing it out of order. The longer I delay completing this though, the worse my problem gets, so let's start from the top and see what I can get through!
By way of an overview, it looks like I was targeting at least one win from the 5 quizzes I was doing, so let's start there.
Quiz #167 - Sunday 17th September, Turf Tavern, Carlisle
This was one of the ones I skipped over on my first go at this blog post, as I not only misplaced the sheet but actually hadn't copied the scores into my book! That presented an issue as I've been religious about getting my scores as close to perfectly accurately recorded as possible. Fortunately I found it eventually, so we're all good.
My team was myself and Jack, who has allowed me to use his name in this blog, as I said last time. J and C were absent but the DS of that team were there. I don't know any of the others, though there is a team there I ought to try and formally meet. More on that later!
Last week having been a carcrash due to my being out of sorts, I really hoped for better this time around. I resolved to go into the quiz in a better frame of mind, and duly, I was more upbeat, so that's a good start.
When I have positive feelings going into a quiz like this, picture rounds are a good way to deflate them. In truth picture rounds are never really going to go well for the two of us, and we were restricted to 5, having only gotten 1 of the first 6! Current events was significantly better for us as we stormed to 9 on a round that also hasn't gone well for us in the past.
I find that this quiz can so often hinge on how well the top 5 lists fall for us, and food and drink was not a great starter for two young men who can't cook. Jamie Oliver has a book on 5 ingredient recipes, and so here we were asked for the ingredients of apple crumble. The 5 most basic ingredients of a dish I understand to be basically apples and dough. We got all 5 and celebrated with undeserved exhilaration. We know the basics of dough, after some discussion! By all means, slam your head against the nearest wall (as long as you don't hold me accountable for the damage to either head or wall). The other list was all Jack, since it was football - players who have scored more than 125 Premier League goals, and I think it meant non-British specifically. We got 3, and I'll leave it there.
Of course we didn't know it yet, but we were doing pretty well really! Alpha Links is a round that lets me finally flex by GK muscles, and I duly did so for 7 The connections round started badly as we missed the first two, but the last two confirmed words followed or preceded by "elbow" was the link, so we got 3.
Wipeout remained, and we started solidly with the first 6, then left a couple, before getting the last two. I don't recall the questions but I don't think there was anything too speculative there; I usually note it if there was, so we had an excellent 8 for a strong finish.
A strong finish indeed, as we got what I believe is our highest score as a pair - 40! I am very, very pleased with that. It wasn't enough to win, but with DS coming a distant 3rd with 34, it was just fine for 2nd! The winners were the team I mentioned above that I ought to meet, as they're making a bit of a name for themselves. They talked themselves out of the right answer to the question of the river that flows through Washington, wiping out with Mississippi instead of going, as we did, with Ptomac. They had to go for it though as they had the other 9, so would have gotten 57 if they'd listened to one of their number. 42 still wasn't a tally we were beating though, so well done for that!
For our part, this was a great start to the week, and a fantastic example of how important positive thinking really is.
Result: 40/55 (72.73%), 2nd/6
Quiz #168 - Monday 18th September, Kings Arms, Dalbeattie (G)
Monday means the 13 or so mile journey south west towards the coast, and the former quarry town of Dalbeattie. G from True Blue was hosting, which opened immediate potential team options, but it proved unnecessary to ask them, as BTAS were only two people again, and they're my default team really. His quizzes seem to have taken some inspiration from my own, and certainly have the basic format of 6 rounds of 15 questions, on which I've settled. He praised me for some reason as the night began, suggesting that word of my exploits has spread, though this probably has to do with helping his own team to a storming win a fortnight ago when S hosted. A lovely start, all the same! All the usual regulars were present, including the returning Stooges.
We started with GK and it was an interesting, varied round. We really shouldn't have missed out on the Mexican dish enchilada, and sadly didn't quite get to the key aspect of a question about a Canadian sport for ice hockey, but we did get the other 13 for a strong start. Round 2 was explicitly borrowed from my own quiz - Alpha Links! Though G called it Alphabetically Speaking, he did acknowledge me as the inspiration. He even inadvertently took one of my planned questions! The sequence ran U to I, and we worked it out pretty quickly, along with most of the answers. I say "most" but it should have been "all" but for putting Vespa rather than Vesta for the Roman goddess of the hearth. The scribe hadn't even realised the mistake until we got our answers back. Unfortunate, and I was left hoping it wouldn't cost us later, though we did at least have the other 14 right.
Round 3 was Numbers, and as I was planning a similar round for my own next quiz, I was concerned about both the format and questions, but neither matched my own round, which is now written (obviously, that quiz having taken place a month ago) but wasn't at the time. It was simply questions to which the answer was a number, with the possible answers helpfully listed at the bottom. We knew most of them and worked out the rest from the possibilities; I'm not being so kind as to give those. One guess aside, we were confident, and got the full house we should have had last round.
Round 4 was about famous dogs, since he did famous cats last time, though he admitted he was struggling with questions since he asked about as obscure a beast as the dog of Odysseus by the end. We missed that and the first Blue Peter dog but got the others. We had the same score on the penultimate round, famous quotations.
That left translations of foreign words, where we had to give the word from the definition. I've been planning a very similar round, so this was unfortunately timed, especially as it turned out that I was going to use several of these answers in it. We were even given the first letter though, so the plus side of this is that we knew all of them pretty much instantly. That was unfortunate from G's perspective, but suited us quite well!
Not a bad round in the bunch here, with two full houses and no more than 2 points dropped in any round. We expected it would be a high scoring round, and it was, but especially for us. We dominated start to finish and thoroughly deserved our win. 3rd place was 75.5, 2nd was 77, but our 83 stands above. I don't mean to sound boastful in the slightest, but I do honestly think we earned this. Great quiz, great result.
Result: 83/90 (92.22%), 1st/unknown
Quiz #169 - Wednesday 20th September, Granary, Dumfries
I learned on Monday night that I was to host the next quiz, and having not started writing it yet at the time, I decided to take a night off this week. Whether it was Tuesday or Thursday depended on whether my team would be attending the Ship Inn, which they weren't, so that was the quiz I missed. Admittedly I may have ended up going on Thursday anyway, but we'll never know.
Anyway, it meant my next quiz was the Granary. This week, M from the Roof Rax rejoined his own team, but he surprisingly indicated he may join us again in future. He's welcome any time! Sporting Quizbon were also present, though the Wee Beasties missed it again. That family team were there too, and they were all up against myself and L, among the 13 teams in total.
For the third week in a row, there was a handout and it was a truncated quiz. It's unusual that it happens so often, I must admit, and it's not my overall preference. Still, the handout was only 20 questions this week, so there were 3 rounds. That handout was TV catchphrases - instant doom for us. We managed to put a guess in for all of them, though sadly none of them came off. I really should have known more of these than I did, but alas, we were restricted to 6.
TV followed by...music. Great! This clearly wasn't shaping up to be our week, and any momentum I'd built up from my strong results on Sunday and Monday was gone. We needed to give the artist when given 10 strong selling albums of 2017. L's providence there, though by her own admittance, she doesn't buy music as much as she used to, which has hurt her on the subject. I was utterly hopeless here, so I'll say that she got 4 rather than that we did.
There followed 20 GK to finish, and the host distinguished here that it was "easy" GK. The host's definition of easy and everyone else's are known not to be the same based on experience, but then the host is not himself a quizzer. I was up for the challenge of matching our recent scores without M's help, given our common score of 12. They should have all come easily, and to be fair, most did - we got the first 10. A couple of mistakes slipped in though, and we were stuck with 17. Still though, that's a fantastic GK score for just the two of us, and in fairness, mostly just me.
It meant our score became a lot more respectable, and it meant we were selected for the Killer Question. This is a random draw made at the end of each night from the teams who don't win. In general, placing somewhere in the middle seems to make your selection more likely, since a paper is physically chosen from the pack.
As to that question...well, in the main quiz, we finished in the middle, though actually tied with SQ which is fantastic. The students of Universally Challenged beat us both by 4, doubtless because of the music. Their GK skills have massively improved in the two years they've been coming, too. The family team were third, leaving the Roof Rax and another team announced as the top two. The Roof Rax are quite a loud group, and were sure that they had won it, starting the celebrations before it was announced. This was unfortunate, as they were only 2nd - much to the delight of SQ. I have a feeling that this is because of SQ's attempts to recruit M, though L was less than impressed with what she saw as an unsporting (heh!) response. I didn't have an issue with it, in truth.
On the subject of the Killer Question - we won! It was about India, which immediately made my heart sink, but I went the right way with Mumbai for the most populated city to claim the £125 bar voucher! Amazing! More than makes up for the quiz itself.
Result: 27/50 (54%), joint 6th/13
Quiz #170 - Thursday 21st September, Masonic Arms, Kirkcudbright
Okay, so I decided to go to the Masonic Arms anyway and make it a 5 quiz week, as I'd done well so far and wanted to keep that going. Now I need to hunt for the quiz sheet...darn it, I can't find it! That's annoying! I'll go by my notes for now, and edit this if I ever find it. Oh for the love of...it was underneath my chair. Seriously, I start tearing my house apart and it's there? Facepalm.
Anyway, moving on...I joined a local team whom I've joined before. Its most vocal member is a kindly, intelligent and incredibly sarcastic man in his 70s. I like this guy a lot, and may end up kinda like him myself if I ever reach that age. The opposition were the the usual crowd as far as I could tell.
The bonus round which started us off was dingbats, which is very much a strong area for me, so I took out most of them largely singlehanded. Truth be told, the rest of them I still can't work out, and I was very happy with ourt 14. The outcome of that round will be discussed below.
The main quiz always starts and ends with GK, and we started as we hoped to continue with a full house. Musical trivia came next, and that offered me nothing - I'd have had 1/5 I think, but thankfully the team knew the other 4. Questions linked by the theme of horses continued our perfect run, though alone I'd have missed Aga Khan, who owns a number of famous ones apparently. Our first lost point came on Geography, and it was a sitter as well! Basically we mixed up the Norwegian and Finnish flags, which is inexcusable even for someone with my vexillogical knowledge. 4 though still meant we were doing quite well.
Our joker round came next, on a round called "What's in a word". Classic questions like the flower that means "lion's tooth" meant we'd chosen quite well, and we only had one slight uncertainty, about the precise term for the brightness of a star. Magnitude it is, magnitude we put, and 10 points were ours.
We also lost one point on the 6th round, and this really annoyed me. The question asked for the planet furthest from the Sun, and the answer given was...Pluto. That has not been true since 2006, and it seriously frustrates me that to this day, QMs are still giving that answer. It's happened at the Granary too, and in spite of every team putting Neptune (at least, as far as I could tell), the host refused to budge on it. The only consolation as I see it is that any team who actually presented a threat would have put the same answer.
So we ended up with 33/35 from the first half. A great start, and better yet, the two highest scores behind us were both 26 without a joker. That meant that we were still 2 points clear even if they did get their jokers in the 2nd half. While not exactly a comfortable cushion, any lead is something.
Round 7 was Science & Nature, and again we could have had a full house. This time, we talked ourselves out of Astronomy as the oldest science, that being a question that depends, I suppose, on one's definition of "science", but it is an accepted answer, so fair enough. We put mathematics, which seemed reasonable.
Round 8 was about the weather and again we only dropped 1 point, before another maximum on British geography in the 9th. Questions about various dates formed round 10, but we struggled here, only picking up 2 for our worst score of the night. Round 11 was food & drink, and only one point was lost again, before we capped the quiz off with another full house on GK.
However well the other teams did, we'd done ourselves proud and we knew it. 4 points in every round but one, joker achieved...yeah, this was commendable. On the bonus round, we actually won, albeit on a tiebreaker. Awesome!
Our tally in the quiz itself was 57...and this also meant we needed a tiebreaker to determine if we'd won. And we had, as we won the other tiebreaker too! A very close run quiz, with the third placed team 2 points back - that being the lead we had after the first half, of course. This was a fantastic result. Very few mistakes, some great answers given, all round this was superb.
Result: 57/65 (main quiz, 87.69%, 1st/unknown after tiebreaker), 14/18 (bonus, 77.78%, 1st/unknown after tiebreaker), 71/83 (combined, 85.54%)
Quiz #171 - Friday 22nd September, The Grapes, Springholm
My last quiz of the week was at The Grapes, my 2nd go at the new version of this quiz. As I probably mentioned last time, I wasn't anywhere near as keen on this version, but it's still worth my going along to. This one still wasn't particularly well attended, so it was 4 teams of 2. I was with M from the KPD. T and R from the KPD split up to join different people, and two of the Teddy Bears were together. By M's own admittance, I'd be doing much of the work here.
In response to comments made last time, this was all GK. 3 rounds, 25, 21 and 31 questions.
There's not a huge amount to say about this quiz, since it was all GK. All three round also had a gimmick, that the first letters of each answers spelled something out. Realising this actually helped us to quite a few answers over the course of the evening. The first round's phrase was "It's a once in a blue moon event" which we got our way to 21/25. This already asserted us over the others, who got 18, 17 and 13.
Round two was a little shorter for the phrase "general knowledge quiz".The phrase definitely helped us on a few, albeit not all, of these, and we got 16. The others had 10, 12 and 9, so we stretched our lead nicely.
Round three's phrase we didn't get because it related to brands of beer sold there. Fortunately that didn't matter much in terms of the questions, as we got 27 of them for technically our best round yet.
The other teams were never going to get close to us on this one, and we won by 6 points. My reaction to that is more muted than it might have been because the unfortunate reality is that this simply isn't as good a quiz as it used to be under the previous owners. It's not aimed at people like me, either, with there being little to really challenge me, meaning I ought to be crushing it. In the future, I'm going to try doing this quiz alone, though T & R between them ought to beat me.
Still, it was a great result, and after our defeat last time because of a music round, I was really happy to score a 3rd win of the week.
Result: 64/77 (83.12%), 1st/4
Week In Summation
Well, this was a brilliant week! There's no two ways about it, this was easily one of the best weeks of the year so far. 3 wins out of 5, 2nd place, and a £125 bonus win. It's seriously hard to do much better than that. Strong performances, great results, a lot of fun to be had into the bargain - yes, this was a winner. No meaningful negatives to lament over, so I'll get this signed off and move onto my next roundup!
Total Result: 291/355 (81.97%)