Monday, 28 July 2014

Week in Quizzing


Although most the week has been spent unpacking (mainly books) there has been plenty of time for other bits and bobs. The CIU Quiz North East Heat took place on Wednesday and I headed through to Lemmington in Newcastle, with the same team who had placed 3rd at the national finals last year, so hopes were high. I will be doing a separate post about the event later but suffice to say for now things did not work out as planned.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The World Cup and Commonwealth Games have been merely a distraction as I await the return of the Sunderland Echo Quiz League :). The presentation night, with the annual pairs competition takes place this week. I very much enjoyed the pairs last year, the first time indeed I had quizzed in such a competition. Of course, often I quiz in a twosome but I very much enjoyed the pairs contest and hope to do a tad better this year!

Ashbrooke will also receive their winners trophy after winning the league last year. In two season I have played the league I think a different team has won all of the 4 competitions I have taken part in which bodes well for the diversity of the league I guess!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have spent a lot of the week setting for the upcoming knockout contest that precedes the Sunderland Echo Quiz League actually. Over the summer I have been cobbling together odd pairs of questions here and there only to find when I drew up my list, I had over 160 questions (only 48 needed) so the weekend was spent narrowing it down for the set to be used on 6th August. I will of course post up the set once the games have been played.

I find setting to be a very enjoyable part of being in a Quiz League. I never thought prior to joining the League I would say that, but I would love to set League questions on a more permanent and regular basis.

One of my favourite quizzing memories of last year was setting, and presenting, a full set of questions to the League which produced 3 close games. Fingers crossed for this set.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am still on the lookout for quizzes in South Shields to attend. I have not quite had time to hunt around the pubs as of yet but a friend who works at Red Tooth has given me some ideas of local pubs hosting quiz nights. If anyone local knows any good quiz nights within South Shields...please let me know.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Around the World in Quiz Shows #3 - The Chase USA

The Chase USA

Currently in its third season on the Game Show Network in the USA, The Chase has been a big hit since it crossed the pond. Above is the first episode of the second season (not a great deal of choice on Youtube).

I don't need to explain to you the rules of The Chase. The USA version remains the same as the original UK version with a number of minor exceptions.

1) There are only 3 players. The episodes are not shorter but there is much more chit chat and the pace of the whole show seems a tad slower. They have dropped a lot of the dramatic music, the "alarm" that rings when the player or chaser has given an answer is gone and the whole thing feels a lot less intense than the UK version.

2) Presence of the Chaser. Mark is there from the off and stays there throughout. No coming and going. I like this idea. Coupled with the visible audience and the whole "in the pit" feel of the show it gives a different feel and increases the whole "duel" element, which is of course central to the show. Mark is much more animated and more of a "deal" is made about him, if you get my drift. 

3) Cash Builder. Each question is worth $5,000 meaning there is more money at stake in this version (even taking into account conversion rates). The questions are well pitched throughout.

4) The show has a different feel to it, as mentioned above and GSN have thrown in the usual "hyping up" and "coming up trailers" which often, in the episodes I have seen, gives spoilers away. 

5) Final Chase. Time isn't wasted by saying the names of the contestants who have buzzed in. I suppose that gives the contestants a little more time in the full scale of things than in the UK version.

Overall, despite the slower pace and loss of the intensity of the UK version this is, at the core, the same Chase we know and love. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Around the World in Quiz Shows #2 - Millionaire Hot Seat (Australia)


Millionaire Hot Seat (Australia)

Millionaire Hot Seat is the second show in the series I am currently putting together for the Blog looking at various quiz shows around the world. Currently on air Down Under is Millionaire Hot Seat, a variation on the obvious....


The game involves a circle of players with one in the Hot Seat. They are not working together and instead are playing for a solo win. The first player sits in the seat and the game beings with the usual range of "gimmie" questions for easy money.

When the first player hits a question they don't know on Millionaire Hot Seat they can pass and in comes the next player in the circle. They cannot pass on the question the previous player passed on and thus must have a guess. Any incorrect answer and that player is eliminated! As the correct answers keep coming the money keeps building. Traditional WWTBAM money scoring starting out at £100 and ending up 15 questions later with $250,000.

The pace is fast and the questions are against a timer so there is little time to breath after the initial chats when the new contestants emerge. One thing I am learning though is that Australian TV is insane in terms of advert breaks so if you are following these series on You Tube be prepared for Aussie ads! I did try and find edited versions for the links but gave up!

So who wins this came of Millionaire musical chairs? Whoever is in the hotseat and gives the final correct answer of the show. 


My general opinion is that Millionaire Hot Seat is a fun show putting a new twist on an tried and tested theme. In the episodes I have seen there is a tactical element as people pass in the hope of coming back in the seat later when the money is bigger. It gives every episode a different feel and every game a different path. The questions soon get harder as the big money comes so there is plenty to get stuck in and I must admit to enjoying Millionaire Hot Seat very much indeed!

Another big money game show in Australian. With Million Dollar Minute reviewed last week and Millionaire Hot Seat this week, it seems Australian quizzers have plenty of big money shows to aim for!

Any thoughts on Millionaire Hot Seat?

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Ten For Tuesday

Ten Pub Quiz Questions to keep you going for Tuesday...


1. Xena Hughes, daughter of former Manchester United striker Mark Hughes, is due to represent Wales in which sport at the upcoming Commonwealth Games?

2. Under what name has Natasha Khan released her latest album "The Haunted Man"?

3. Melanza is the Italian name for what food?

4. The name of which type of pasta translates from Italian as "Big Tubes" or "Pipes"?

5. Zalando, the largest European online specialist fashion company, is based in which country?

6. Who wrote the bestseller "Chocolat", later adapted into a famous movie? Her latest title is "The Gospel of Loki"

7.Name the photographer who has been dubbed "Mary Poppins with a Camera" after a large collection of her works were discovered this week turning her into something of a posthumous icon?

8. Sally Pearson won a Gold Medal for Australia in the 2012 Olympics in what Athletics Event?

9. "The Fault in Our Stars" has been a major success at UK Box Offices recently....but can you name the author of book on which the film is based?

10. Who quit International football after captaining Germany to victory in the 2014 Fifa World Cup?



Answers

1. Hockey
2. Bat For Lashes
3. Aubergine
4. Cannelloni
5. Germany
6. Joanne Harris
7.Vivian Maier
8. 110m Hurdles
9. John Green
10. Phillip Lahm

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Week in Quizzing

I may have mentioned previously that I have spent much of the weekend moving home. Not as stressful as a full move as I have simply moved around 20 minutes down the road and into my girlfriends flat. After spending 2 years living in Sunderland, a time which I have enjoyed very much, it is onwards to South Shields. I will thus be spending some time over the next few weeks searching for local quizzes so if anyone is from the area, or knows of any good quizzes, let me know!
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Transporting my book collection was by far the trickiest task of the venture. Faced with constant questions of  -
 
 
“Do you really need this one”?
 
”Isn’t this World History Book the same as that World History Book?”
 
”I am sure I have just seen three copies of this Pears Cyclopedia somewhere else?”
 
 
But no, despite the added trips and the back breaking effort, I managed to not part with a single book. Result!
 
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
I have managed to keep revision going strong this week. As strange as this sounds, my new moves means more commuting time, and as I am currently using public transport, this means more reading time.  One book which has kept my attention is Thomas Penn’s excellent The Winter King. A Gripping fact-heavy, highly readable account of a fascinating period in British History. Follow the link below for more information – HERE
 
 
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
I have also been ramping up my Shakespeare knowledge as, despite feeling confident enough with it since I first started taking up quizzing seriously, I have been getting an awful lot of questions wrong on the subject as of late. To vary things up a bit I have been turning to a mixture of texts and film adaptations and must recommend this excellent star-studded adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. Click HERE for further informtion.
 
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
The week ahead sees the North East Heat of the CIU Quiz. If you recall, last year we made it through the heat in second place and managed to come third in the Final. With a team containing Kevin Ashman coming only second it was some achievement. I will once again be on a team with local players from the Sunderland Echo Quiz League (including Brain of Britain semi finalist Dave Taylor) so fingers crossed we can qualify again. In opposition will be teams including former national champions Gosforth Empire and a team led by current Mastermind Clive Dunning. Should be a great night!
 
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
Current Applications Pending:
 
 
Fifteen to One (Anyone who applied had word yet?)
 
The Edge (I think this may be filming soon so I can cross that off…)
 
Pointless (Still keeping my fingers crossed)
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Have a good week!!!!

Current Affairs Questions

A selection of questions on the news of the past week to test your knowledge ready for that pesky current affairs round that lies just around the corner....

Answers just below.


1. Najib Razak, much in the news this week, is the Prime Minister of which country?

2. Which American TV series may be forced to change its title in the UK after losing a court case this week?

3. Found on most high streets and in most villages across the country, a branch of what opened in St James Church this week?

4. It was announced that which British Actor will take over from Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear?

5. Which former World Leader is currently involved in a trial which the press are dubbing "Rubygate"?

6. Typhoon Rammasun struck which country this week?

7. Who became the youngest female to ever be appointed a cabinet position this week in David Cameron's reshuffle?

8. Which 2012 Olympic Champion gave birth to a son, Reggie, this week?

9. Which former dictator is suing the makes of Call of Duty: Black Ops?

10. Released this week, "Age of Extinction" is the latest film in which series?

11. Who became Mrs.Fernandez-Versini?

12. The Tip of which Monarchs beard was sold at auction for £1,600?

13. Which multi-ward winner, real name Elly Jackson, released her second album - Trouble In Paradise?


Answers

1. Malaysia
2. Glee
3. The Post Office
4.Ben Whishaw
5. Silvio Berlusconi
6. China
7. Liz Truss
8. Jessica Ennis Hill
9. Manuel Noriega
10. Transformers
11.Cheryl Cole/Tweedy (Cheryl from Girls Aloud)
12. Charles I
13. La Roux

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Around the World in Quiz Shows #1 - Million Dollar Minute (Australia)


Million Dollar Minute 


Million Dollar Minute is an Australian Game Show that I heard of recently and decided to hunt it down on Youtube….ah, the wonders of the Internet!

Hunting down the show has given me an idea for a new feature on the blog looking at gameshows from around the world and what better place to start than with Million Dollar Minute.

Million Dollar Minute began in 2013 and as the name suggests is a big money quiz show. Three contestants begin, as you can see in the above episode, on the buzzer for points. The winner of round 1 is made a cash offer for their points which they can choose to keep or sell. A nice little touch. The questions I have seen in the episodes so far have been pretty enjoyable in the first rounds and that in itself is enough to keep me coming back to Million Dollar Minute.

The second round is called Snapshot and begins with faded pictures after a question is asked . First to buzz gets the money or points…..contestants can choose the money for their pockets or the points to aid towards winning the round. Makes a good tactical element.

It is straight back to questions on the buzzer and points building after that with Million Dollar Minute offering cash for points at the end of the round.  By this point around $10k has been given away in most of the episodes I have watched without any of the contenders having to leave the show nor give up their chase of the big prize. Certainly a worthwhile game show in terms of financial incentives!

After a double point round, and more offers of cash, the player with the most points gets to play The Million Dollar Minute for $20,000. The Million Dollar Minute consists of a series of multiple choice questions. The contestant needs to simply answer 5 questions within the minute to win the money. Of course these questions are a little trickier than previous rounds and with only 2 seconds per question it puts the player under pressure. The player is not aware, in fact nor is the viewer, if the answers given are correct until the minute is up.

If the $20,000 has been won and the 5 questions have been answered, then the player gets a tough choice….take the $20,000 and go home, or play on for a chance at a Million! But staying on involves coming back to the show again and again and again with the prize money rising each time. I think it is around 7-8 shows a player would need to win to take the $1 Million. A Tough ask!

Overall I think Million Dollar Minute Is a fun gameshow with a good range of questions, nice mix of rounds. It rattles along at a fast pace (as you will see in the above video it is mainly the adverts that drag on!) and plenty of questions to get stuck into.  I enjoyed it and will certainly try and catch a few episodes online as and when I can.


Any thoughts on Million Dollar Minute?