Saturday, 10 February 2018

Weekly Roundup - Week 6, W/E 09/02/2018

Pub Quiz Results

Quiz #18 - Sunday 4th February, Turf Tavern, Carlisle (Team: 4)

Round 1: Pictures (people, mixture), 7/10
Round 2: Current events, 7/10
Round 3: Top 5 test cricket nations, 4/5
Round 4: Top grossing films of 1980's, 4/5
Round 5: Alpha Links, 10/10
Round 6: Hidden link connection, 3/5
Round 7: Wipeout (general knowledge), 6/10

Total Score: 41/55 (74.55%), 1st/6

Quiz #19 - Monday 5th February, Kings Arms, Dalbeattie (Team: 4, Host: G)

Round 1: General knowledge, 15/15
Round 2: History, 12/15
Round 3: Music - lyrics, 13/15
Round 4: Flags of the EU, 17/20
Round 5: "In what year?", 12/15
Round 6: Food and drink, 14/15

Total Score: 83/95 (76%), 1st/unknown

Quiz #20 - Tuesday 6th February, Queen of the South, Dumfries (Team: 5)

Round 1: General knowledge, 8/10
Round 2: Sport, 4/10
Round 3: Dingbats, 13/15
Round 4: History, 3/10
Round 5: Played music, 11/15

Total Score: 39/60 (65), 1st/7

Quiz #21 - Wednesday 7th February, Granary, Dumfries (Team: 5)

Round 1: Sport, 9/10
Round 2: Films - 2000's, 5/10
Round 3: Music - 1990's, 6/10
Round 4: Riddles, 10/10
Round 5: General knowledge, 10/10

Total Score: 40/50 (80%), 1st/7

Quiz #22 - Thursday 8th February, Anchor Hotel, Kippford (Team: 5)

Round 1: General knowledge, 6/8
Round 2: Famous people, 6/8
Round 3: Answers start "arm" or "leg", 8/8
Round 4: Film & TV, 5/8
Round 5: Pictures - website logos, 8/8
Round 6: The UK

Total Score: 47/56 (83.93%), 1st/8

Quiz #23 - Friday 9th February, Grapes, Springholm (Team: 1)

Round 1: General knowledge, 56/65
Round 2: Sport, 6/15
Round 3: History, 9/15

Total Score: 71/90 (78.89%), 1st/3

Overall Weekly Score: 321/411 (78.10%)

Total Monthly Score - January: 722/1057 (68.31%)
Month-to-Date - February: 418/527 (79.32%)
1140/1584 (71.97%)

General Update

Another week has flown by, and as I sit here in my home office typing this at lunchtime on Saturday, I'm fighting hard the urge to just collapse on the couch and put the work aside. As large as my workload is, I really don't expect to do anything much after this blog today, but this itself does need to be done. I want to keep a regular schedule with this thing in case I happen to find myself some readers, plus its important to have these records here, especially if I manage to lose my notebook with my scores in it. 

I really can't hide the feeling of triumph coursing through me after this week, though I'm going to try and keep the analysis fair. Let's face it, though - it's hard to even nitpick with these results.

Pub Quizzes

After a 2 week break, the Carlisle quiz was back on, and Jack and I were jolined for it by the host's parents, whom I've met once before. Lovely people, and greatly appreciated company for the quiz. Both our main rivals were there, with the teachers being at full strength (5) but only two of BEEST present. Still, they are always a formidable team and proved so again.

This was not an easy quiz, but we worked well together, and took a cautious approach to the Wipeout round. Cautious enough that I actually talked us out of going for a right answer, but it proved the same one that BEEST wiped out on. It was unlucky for them as there were 3 answers they actually had but didn't go for, so they could have had 9. The teachers also wiped out, believing the carotid artery to be in the heart, presumably thinking of "cardio". I feel for them, as we've wiped out on far worse answers than that before. Now I can't remember here if there was a tiebreaker for 2nd or not but I believe there was and that we'd have won that even if there had been a tie, so it looks like we had it whatever happened. Amazing result, perfect start to the week.

Oh, and I must add that the connections round was frustrating as I knew they were from a song, which turned out to be the Beach Boys's Kokomo, but I couldn't string together more than the basic riff of the song, and thus neither the band nor title. So close yet so far, which would have been really annoying if it had cost us, I think!

Monday saw G hosting, and I wasn't wholly expecting his team, True Blue, to be there given 2 of them are getting married...right now, as I type this. They did appear though and I joined the remaining 3 of them. To be honest, we really did dominate this quiz from the start. We barely paused for breath until question 13 on GK and picked up the last 3 in short order as well.

In general, this was a far harder quiz than our score made it look. Identifying flags of the EU involved some inspired guesses (some more educated than others) and while half the given dates in R5 were extremely obvious, the others were very much toss-ups. We played extremely well for our score, with the Tourists and Dipsticks sharing 3rd place with 75 and the Hasbeens claiming 2nd on 76. It's the 2nd week in a row I've won with True Blue and I'll try to make it a hattrick at the venue next week when BTAS return.

The Tuesday quiz was a new one, first ever, at the QOS. It's resurrection of the old Ship Inn quiz that you may remember from last year's blog posts, and I've been involved with organising it. In fact, I'll be hosting the last Tuesday of every month, starting this month. The other host is a guy who worked behind the bar at the Ship, and now the supervisor here. We've resolved to make it a fairer quiz than the Ship was, while sticking to the same general format. We also managed to rustle up some of the old crowd to come along, with the Pharmacists among them, and some part of the NCP, whom I joined. I had options I suppose, but wanted to join people whom (a) I recognised from before and (b) would be good on music. That I did. hence our score, the music being reduced now to 15 questions.

It was a fantastic opening evening to the quiz, the 7 teams being a great opening attendance, and the quiz itself working very well. The questions were tough but fair, and the only criticism I could make is that there were a few numbers/date based questions that wanted exact answers. Asking for the decade or giving a range might be better, and I've relayed that back to the host. If that's the worst I can say of it after 1 night, then you're doing very well, and I'm discerning enough to spot any issues. I'd be going back whether hosting or not, I must say, as I really enjoyed this.

As to our performance, we edged ahead of the Toffees (who sometimes do the Granary quiz and used to be Ship regulars) in the first round by 2 points and maintained that lead throughout, finishing up the same 2 points ahead of them. Very close, but exhilarating for that, and a lot of fun. I really can't wait to host now, I honestly think my nerves are about gone...for now.

Wednesday saw the return of A, L's friend from last week, and she was very welcome back. We all get on well and form a coherent, balanced team, though she may not be along every week. Fair enough. It was a quiet night, with only 7 teams, and our only key rivals present being the Roofrax, who finished with a disappointing 19. Thinking about it, I think there was as one-off quiz elsewhere that may have stolen some of the regulars away.

We dominated throughout, clearly. Thanks to a combined team effort, but led by Jack, we got 9 on sport, with a couple of tricky rounds requiring us to give the year of a given named film and album title (we also had the artist name with the latter). We could have had a couple more than we did, and we feared that may have cost us, but we stormed to the last 20 points to put ourselves in a convincing position. I grew up on riddles, though again M and A both supplied a genius answer. I saw a few of the GK questions coming, having heard them elsewhere and also admittedly being familiar with the website where the host here gets a number of his questions from. I'd never cheat of course, but I have been spending time on that website, especially as the Anchor hosts use the same one. 

Some may have ethical qualms over that, but I put a lot of time and effort into preparing for quizzes generally, and I can't see anything wrong with studying material that I know is likely to come up, as long as my phone is away whilst the quiz is in progress. Which it always is; I abhor cheating.

Anyway, that was an emphatic win, with 2nd place having 26/50, but we suspect that with certain other teams present it would have been far closer. You can only play the teams present on the night, however, and the £25 voucher was greatly appreciated.

The Anchor is where winning runs go to die at the moment, as I've yet to win there this season. I actually bumped into someone from my team last year after last week's quiz, and after the horrific first night of the season (where the quiz was cancelled last minute because the venue was in meltdown) they've decided not to go back. A shame, especially as circumstances mean that even if they decide to return next year, it won't likely be in the same combination, but we've still got money to spend from last season's accumulated winnings so I'll see them at all at some point in the coming weeks, I think/hope.

Anyway, our team was up to 5 this week with the return of a player C, who has been ill the last few weeks. The usual crew were there but the subjects looked not bad. Round 3, as it happens, was exactly the same round as we had in the Granary on 24th January, only with 2 fewer questions. As it happens, the questions not included were the ones we got wrong the first time around (one of which I'd since worked out the the answer to, the other I hadn't), so we swept to a full house. Remembering those wrong answers is why I didn't want us using it as our joker, however, and so we kept to our usual strategy of putting that on the pictures. Sensible, given that the website theme this week was clearly going to stump others more than us, and we had them all in seconds.

As you can see above, we finally broke our duck and won! By just half a point over Not All There. Amazing. Now I do have to point out that strictly speaking, we came 2nd. See, one of the host's partners plays the quiz, sometimes alone and sometimes with a friend, but doesn't pay any entry fee and isn't eligible for the winnings in case of accusations of collusion or prior access to the quiz (notably not someone anyone has ever accused a Dalbeattie host of, even though all the hosts are players and usually related to someone in the team). She maintains that there is no such unfairness, but respectfully only plays unofficially anyway. She got 48.5, this week. 

This raises a question - does it count that we won the quiz? We got the prize money but she scored more than us. I've been debating it with myself but ultimately, I say yes, we did win. She's not playing officially, and honestly shouldn't have her score read out with the others, I don't think. She can be told afterwards. I'm not suggesting for a second she ever has or would cheat, though accusations of cheating have been levelled against my own teams before (unfairly, of course) so I'm not a huge fan of her overall approach to the quiz. In general. Generally, I don't count her finish for anything as she is an unofficial player, though my stats are somewhat inconsistent as I have included her before. As this affects the actual winner of the quiz though, and in the context of an overall consideration of her unofficial involvement with it all, I think it's best she be excluded. I'm not just saying that for the sake of my winning streak either, especially as we were officially deemed the winners and given the top prize accordingly, so it would actually be somewhat disingenuous to deny that we finished 1st, even if I have unfairly demoted us previously. Might go and have a look back at prior results this year because of that, though we certainly haven't won here so it's ultimately immaterial.

Anyway, moving on! The week concluded at the Grapes, and sadly this may be the last time I go along to it. I've been considering the value of that for a while, as the place is a shell of its former self at best, and as much as I love a quiz, a 30 mile round trip out there isn't worth it anymore. The owner simply reads 100 questions off the internet, the only effort being put in as far as curating goes being to try and include a few from a few different subjects. There's no actual "quiz writing" going on here though, and the round breakdown doesn't reflect the fact that these were fired off with no break.

Again there were only 3 competitors, myself, my old teammate M, and another regular, C. We played off solo, I stormed home, the others tied on 52. It was close at first, actually, but I knew more about sport than M did about history, which sealed a decisive win for me. That's my 3rd in a row there, but the achievement feels diminished because I was only against 2 solo players, neither of whom is anything like as dedicated to quizzing as I am (though M does sometimes do them elsewhere and is far better than she claims she is).

Don't get me wrong, I'm delighted about the result, and this time I'm genuinely really happy with how well I played; I pulled out some fantastic answers, didn't make too many stupid mistakes (only a couple, really) and showed far more confidence in my performance than I would admit to myself. And I do so very much enjoy doing any quiz. But there's far better ways to spend my time than travelling out there for what I could be doing on my own at home, with the same or a similar list of questions. It's less fun to sit at home doing it, and I do appreciate the environs and the company, but I think it's now time to move on. They're going to try combining the quiz with bingo next time, I think, but they won't get more people along. Only 3/4 of the old crowd are going as is, and it seems that part of the reason they're even doing it is because I've made the effort and come along.

I've had a great past at the Grapes, I've really enjoyed the quizzes there. Now I've won 3 in a row, on my own. There's worse times to call it quits and start doing something else with my Friday evenings. I might try the new format as a one-off, but even at that I might not bother. I don't want to make a big deal of not going back, don't want to announce it, or anything, but I don't think the quiz will last anyway and it now's as good a time as any to let go of the past and quietly let the pub become a pleasant memory.

Oh dear, that's a rather cheerless way to end this section, isn't it! So much for just nitpicking about the negatives! This week was a triumph, that is clear as day, and I did play really really well. That's my ultimate take from every quiz this week.

My Own Quiz

It's not this week, but certainly next week that I'll be hosting in Dalbeattie. My next quiz is almost half written, and I've a good idea what two of the other three rounds will be, so it shouldn't be too much of a hassle to get it done, I hope. I'm still not going to bother doing it today, however, and even tomorrow is in doubt. We'll see what happens.

The Tuesday quiz has now started, of course, and as I say I'm really looking forward to hosting that. It's going to be a blast, and I think it will be great to actually try proper hosting, rather than the decidedly downplayed version that happens in Dalbeattie. Of course, there's more actual quiz writing involved with that, whereas for this I can cannibalise my previous quizzes. I've got a good idea already of what the quiz will look like, so I'm not bothering to specifically write that one yet. I don't need to.

I've also got to say a final word about my 2nd Proxy Pub Quiz, the results of which were finally published on Tuesday, which was a roaring success. 28 teams took part at a distance, I had nothing but great feedback, and I can't wait for the next one. 4 teams scored above 80/90, the winning team 85, so congratulations to them! Please let me know if you'd like to play in the next one!


I've finally gotten my master data spreadsheet up to date! I've not copied it across by venue or subject yet, but the key stats are in as of last night, so it's fully up to date. Hopefully I can maintain it no less often than weekly, going forward, and I can gradually add in the rest of it.

Areas of Study

As noted above, I've been studying known sources used by quiz hosts, and it's proving quite effective. I've been doing it with other websites, too. I also have a fine collection of quiz books for this purpose, and I'm trying to transition more to learning from such questions, rather than the more indepth encyclopedia-style prose I've favoured in the past. In question form, it might stick better.

I've also been writing my own quiz again, of course, and that has given me new information in other areas which I cannot yet speak of. It's still proving good practice, though!

Week In Summation

It's hard to speak too highly about how this week has gone. Start to finish, it's been incredible. 3 consecutive wins was my previous record, and I've gone and doubled it! The quizzes themselves had it all, from the tight drama of Tuesday and Thursday to the emphatic displays of force on Monday and Wednesday. A new, very promising quiz has now started that I'm delighted to be a part of, and if I have played my last in Springholm then I'm leaving on a 3 quiz streak with my head held high.

Of course, a big part of how I feel about the results isn't so much the scores but how I got them, and ultimately I've played really well. Mentally I'm doing a lot better than I have been, and I honestly think that's showing in my quizzing. I've given some fantastic answers this week, and we've really worked well as a team. The last thing I want is to be seen as the dominant force within a team, and if I can pick out a negative, it would be that there were jokes on Wednesday to that effect. We all contribute to every quiz, especially on Wednesday, even though it happened that a lot of the questions suited me particularly well.

I never want to come off as domineering, as it's no fun for anyone to be excluded. I don't think anyone does though, I think we all know that we've played our parts. I can and do quiz alone but I much prefer doing it within a team, especially as I know I'm not good enough (yet) to win alone in most circumstances. Even when I do get to that point, it's still more fun with friends. That's what it's all about, really, the social side is so important. A win is just a bonus.

My winning streak is sure to end soon, probably tomorrow, but I'll try my best every time as always, and keep on having fun which is what truly matters. I can rest up this weekend having done a solid week's work, and having gotten this 6-review summary blog post done today meaning it won't be hanging over me.

Transcendentally good week, I'm truly ecstatic about it. So happy!

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