Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sunday Sun Note....

For my fellow north-east readers, in case you have not seen it already each week the local paper "Sunday Sun" has a decent pub quiz style set of questions in it which always get my brain awake on a Sunday Morning. Always a good set of questions, typical pub quiz style and a bit of entertainment for a lazy Sunday morning.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

North East Quiz Nights - Update

A few days ago I posted of my intention to amass a database of North East Quiz Nights to enable anyone in the north east looking for a quiz to have a simple, easy to use site where they can hunt down what quiz is on when and maybe a review or two so they know what to expect.

The response so far has been good with a thanks to Clive Dunning who has been in touch about a big quiz in October with a £300 prize fund to take place at the Buffs club Stockton. I will certainly post more details as and when I can and will be trying to attend this. Thanks Clive!

Also Anthony Gold from the Sunderland Echo Quiz League has been in tough. I have emailed Anthony on a previous occasion and the league is something I am definitely interested in playing in. For now though check out the website at if you are interested in.


Just lastly, as I continue to work on my database of Pub Quiz in the North East, I will add odds and ends on this blog for anyone looking for a quiz night. I have reviews of various quizzes local to me all across this blog but some short sharp reviews just to keep you going....

Moorcock, Peterlee (Sunday Nights) - 20 Pictures, 40 Questions and a Jackpot. A well attended quiz hosted by Bob Garrigan (?) who has been doing quizzes in this area for a long time. good range of questions plus a free hot buffet! Decent cash prizes!

Southside Social Club, Easington Village (Tuesday Nights)- 60 questions, free entry and pint cheque prizes. Nice mix of general knowledge questions and a good turn out.

Chaplins, Sunderland (Thursday Nights) - Ran by a friend of mine, a quiz I will attend weekly when my driving is sorted. Great turn out, good mix of questions, wipeout rounds, cash prizes and a jackpot.

If anyone wants to get in touch with information on other North East Quizzes Please do!

New BBC Series Seeking Contestants

Not sure if this is a new show or a new series but a BBC daytime show called Breakway is seeking contestants. Nick Hancock looks set to host and very little is said about it on the BBC website but a pretty standard application form is there.

My application is in!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Pub Quiz Machine Guide - Part 3

Its been a while since I made an entry into my series looking at the pub quiz machine located in most bars around the country. I have reviewed Battleships and Eliminator thus far and today will have a quick review of another common game. The 1 vs 100 pub quiz machine version!

Anyone who has seen the show on tv, which I rather enjoy, knows the basic premise of this. Its you the player vs one hundred people. You are given multiple choice questions (3 options), if you get it right you stay on the game and whoever gets it wrong out of the 100 is eliminated so 1 vs 100 quickly becomes 1 vs 73, 1 vs 43 etc etc. If you get down to and defeat the 100 you go into a money game where you have to eliminate all the pairs of amounts and whatever is left at the end you win!

So how hard is it and how likely are you to win anything on the pub quiz machine for your 50p?

It starts off very easy and anyone with a basic general knowledge will get to 1 vs 60 easily. Its then the game goes one of two ways. The questions doe get genuinely well written, some of the finest on the whole machine. You have 2 Dodge’s to play with meaning you can avoid the question whilst still making progress and also a Double which means you can use one of your answers to take away double the normal amount.

The stopper questions as usual are the ones to get you and they are bad here! I got a question along the lines of,  “How much, after tax did Steve Mcmanaman earn in January 1999? A. £242,050 B)  £243, 100 C) £244, 400. Pure guess work, only if you have taken the Dodges to this stage will you have a chance. Sometimes though the machine wants you to win and gives you tough questions (but gettable) between 1 vs 60 and 1vs 30 and then ease you home with some easy one’s! Its tough to call!

Overall a fun game with a horrible tendency to rob you!

Fix watch

-          When you double you will always get 4 eliminations

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Call for North East Quiz Nights!

I am currently working on a Quiz website that is going to act as a listings page for Quizzes in the North-East. There are one or two out there at the moment that give you an idea of quiz nights in the north east but I have found them to be out of date, inaccurate and not very detailed.
So my current plans is to spend a few weeks researching pub quizzes in the north east and devise a weekly calendar of course labelling what. I aim for this site to also eventually include reviews but initially I am just looking for the names, locations and times of pub’s in the North East Area (covering anywhere in Tyne and Wear, Teeside and County Durham) which hold a quiz night.
I am not relying on other websites, even pub websites as these are often wrong but will simply be relying on quizzes I attend around the region, other people’s input and any venues I speak to.
So if anyone has any information of quiz nights they actually know still run please email me at with information on venues, times and anything else such as format and prizes if you wish but as long as I have a Venue and a time then Ill publish it online.

A New Member of the "Chase" team and looking for contestants!

Thanks to for this report but the latest news from one of my favourite shows, The Chase, is that a new member of the cast has been chosen. Regular face on the quiz scene Paul Sinha has been chosen to join the Chase.

The Chase is also looking for contestants. I think I will apply is the site. A very simple form!

"Marking up".......again!

I mentioned briefly earlier in the week how my team mates have said they would rather not attend the usual quiz on a Sunday Night as they are sick and tired of the "marking up" used by the Quizmaster to keep the quiz close. As discussed earlier I can see why a quizmaster would do this, mainly to encourage re-attendance, but I have found marking up in this case is having the opposite effect.

It has happened every week no matter if you are only a few points off the lead or always know extra ticks will be on there. This week for instance we came 6th out of the 11 teams in play, 2 points away from 2nd and 2 points away from 11th. We had on our sheet 3 extra ticks for obvious wrong answers he failed to mark wrong. This just isn't him missing or being a bad marker, he does it on purpose to most teams.

What this means is for people like us, who just want a fair quiz, a fair score and a fair placing...we have no idea where we have come in reality. Yes 6th was our final placing but because he marks in two rounds there is no way he can be consistent. what if he marks a team up in round one who suddenly has a stormer and goes on to win the prizes? Either way it has taken some of the enjoyment out of the quiz.

As I mentioned before I have no problems coming last, especially in quizzes where there is just two of us against much larger teams, but all I ask for is a fair placing and a genuine score. The fixated idea the quizmaster has of marking up therefore is, and not just in our case, driving people away.

Nevermind. Rant over :)

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Tuesday Night Quizzing....Lack of Wednesday!

Well, it was off to the Southside Social Club, Easington Village last night after discovering the quiz last week and rather than just the two of us we ended up with a team of 6 this week. We ended in a tiebreak for second (which we lost) but were happy with the score and the quiz was enjoyed by all.

Some problems arose though mainly the 5 questions on the Troggs and the 4 questions on The Mallard. Due to this knowledge gap in all our team members we lost out on around 12 points as bonuses were awarded on certain questions. Again, the quizmaster did a similar thing last week asking about Creedance Clearwater Revival  so I assume this is a habit.

Straight away I have spotted that, although a great quiz, themes have been popping up....American State Capitals, Capital Cities, German State Capitals and most populous cities in certain American States. improving my knowledge of these will help us massivley in this quiz.

But other than the repetition the quiz was varied, fun and I definitely learned a thing or two so well worth a trip out and my Tuesday Night Quizzing home will remain Southside Social Club.


Wednesday is still in the middle of a drought in this neck of the woods with no quizzes near by. It's the perfect night for us too as my other half is off the next day and its good to get out in the middle of week but I am not to have that particular pleasure. If anyone knows of any good quizzes in the local North East area let me know as if I know there is a good quiz further away I will travel!

Quiz Book Recommendations #1 - The Pub League Quiz Book 1

(Sorry about the terrible image, struggled to find one online that wasn't microscopic)

When it comes to Quiz books I am, it must be said, an obsessive. Every time I see a quiz book I haven't got I have to add it to my collection, hence why I try avoid ebay and amazon searches for them! I would dread to think the amount of money I have spend on them in recent years but its all been worth it as I love nothing more than dipping into a good quiz book and testing myself and learning something new. Over the next few weeks I am going to have a look at some of my favorites to give readers an idea of the best ones out there and ones to keep an eye out for.

The first in this series is the excellent Pub League Quiz Book 1.

This edition was published in 1988 (when I was merely 3) and can be picked up easily on ebay and I think I paid no more than £1 for it. Its issued by the QuizMasters of Great Britain and contains a section of actual questions from the National Pub Quiz League itself.

The Book opens with what it calls 5 Family Quizzes. These are intended to be played in some sort of came and you get scoring charts to copy if needed and a brief set of rules but you can just as easily use the book on your own. Each quiz has 200 questions broken down into pages of 20 each on subjects including pot luck, sports, entertainment, science, the UK and geography. In each page there are 7 easy questions, 7 medium questions and 6 it consider hard. This gives a nice balance and a nice mix to the proceedings and will test most quizzers. I have definitely learnt a lot from this book and the questions are so well written its clear time has been taken putting the whole thing together.

Perhaps the section that interested me most was the back section which has a 9  actual Pub Quiz League sets of questions in them. With various rounds, individual questions and a split into questions for each team its well put together and gives you a flavor of the Pub Quiz League, albeit in 1988, but the questions aren't dated at all
as current affairs has been avoided.

All in all this is an excellent little book full of great questions. Puts some modern day titles to shame!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Quiz Ramblings

Just a few odds and ends from this weekend and coming week.

- Attended the usual Sunday Night Quiz at the Moorcock in Peterlee. The quizmaster returned to the usual anti-cheat round (not that he class it this) involving naming cars based on cryptic clues. This meant the mobile phone team did not get the win this week. It was a good set of questions this week, really tough but his "marking up" of papers to make the quiz close at the half way stage is starting to annoy and some of my team mates have refused to go back and want to find a new Sunday Quiz.

 - Oh and a bit of smug satisfaction in the fact I was the only one to get a certain question right in the whole pub....on Cher of all things.

- I must have been on a different planet when the first series of Celebrity Eggheads went to air as I have no memory of this at all so will be tuning in it that this week. Its showing at 6.30pm on BBC2 just after the current Series 9 repeats.

- In case I haven't mentioned it before for fans of Eggheads CJ has a lively Twitter account!/cjdemooi

University Challenge - Round 1 - Episode 4 - July 25th

The current series of University Challenge continued last night with two cities competing who I have vested interests in. Belfast is a city I have visited on several occasions and always found it to be friendly and welcoming, but my support was for the local side Newcastle and didn't they do well?

Form the off it was clear Newcastle had the edge and once they started to build a lead there was no stopping them. 235-80 is a very impressive score and we are seeing some strong teams this year. Newcastle have a really strong team, the captain (Helena Turner) was very decisive and took the lead in answering questions without time consuming conference if she knew it. Ben Dunbar also deserves credit for a stellar performance.

And what more can you ask for than a round on Eurovision! How dare Paxman insult the holy grail.......:)

Monday, 25 July 2011

Quiz Pet Hates #3

A small pet hate for the day to continue my series of Quiz Pet Hates.....Quizmasters who ask questions based on their own personal interests!
One certain quiz I attend, the guy running is obviously a massive Creedance Clearwater Revival Fan and thus questions arise each week regarding that band. Another one is clearly a massive admirer of Doctor Who so sure enough each week Doctor Who questions emerge.
Clearly, quizmasters need to separate what their personal interests are in the sake of a good quiz. This isn’t a special subject round of Mastermind, its the pub quiz and when some quiz masters fail to recognise that, its another of my pet hates!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

TV Review - In It To Win It - Saturday 23rd July

One of the quiz shows which I tend to catch on a Saturday Night, if I am in, is the latest Lottery show whichever that may be. At the moment we have Dale Winton's In It To Win It, which is perhaps one of the longest running Lottery shows (I will have to look that up!).

I am sure most people reading this have caught the show before so I wont explain how it works but new for this series I believe is the ability to play along at home via the red button (no prizes, just a score at the end).

Anyway, last nights show was the usual fare with quite a low total being earned at £30,000. I thought the questions were very easy last night and had a few more decent quizzers been on the line up the total would have been much higher.

Bringing me to my main point, as with most prime time quiz shows these days, In It To Win It obviously does not want knowledgeable players in the line up. That is no disrespect to anyone who has been on the show but given the standard of questions last night I firmly believe a decent quizzer could have sat through the entire show, provided they got the luck of getting into the winners row, and answered every question right. Having only 3 multiple choices plus a basic set of questions would play right into the hands of experience quizzers to be able to win big money.

But of course the producers want better television and in this case they got what they wanted with not much prize money actually given away, plenty of Red Zone Action and every contestant with a chance at Winners Row.

Personally even though this is a good source of light entertainment for a Saturday Night I would love to see a version in this format with decent questions, no choices and good quiz players. The Format is good, but the execution could be way better!

Quiz Questions - Architecture Quiz

Well for todays quiz I’m going to have a bit of an Architectural Theme……Answers as usual to your yourself, in comment box or to

  1. Name the famous architect who designed the town plan for Chandigarh, India?
  2. In 1851 Joseph Paxton designed which building for the Great Exhibition?
  3. Name the school of architecture founded by Walter Gropius in 1919?
  4. Which Prize, often known as “architectures nobel” began in 1979 and has been issued annual ever since to a living architect for  their lifetime of achievement?
  5. Which building this week, constructed for an event to be held in London next year, was announced as the front runner for the Stirling Prize?
  6. Who was the main architect behind the Great London Plan of 1944 to rebuild the city after the war?
  7. John Fowler and whom worked together to complete both the Forth Rail Bridge and London Underground System?
  8. Which architect and landscape gardener earned the nickname “Capability” due to his stock reply that every garden he worked on had “excellent capabilities”?
  9. Which American Architect is often referred to as the Father of Modernism and he Father of the Skyscraper?
  10. Which Scottish Architect was responsible for the Caledonian Canal?
  11. What was the nationality of the architect who designed the Sydney Opera House?
  12. Coventry Cathedral was designed by whom?
  13. What is a Campanile?
  14. Brunel built which of his Bridges over the Tamra?
  15. And finally……..The Albert Memorial and St Pancreas Station were built by whom?

Next week Ill choose a different theme but hope you enjoy this weeks Architecture Quiz!

Help settle a debate.........

Hopefully someone out there will take my side in a quiz related debate I have been having with a friend.
This is what occurred........
At the local quiz a question was asked....What is the state capital of Hawaii? This was around question 15 of a 60 question quiz. Then around question 46.....What is the most populous city in Hawaii?
My friends first thought was.....that is lazy quiz writing. I begged to differ. Yes, the research into that question could have been taken from the same sentence in a reference book or indeed on Wikipedia but that doesn’t make it lazy quiz writing. In fact I think its a nifty little ploy.
I was quizzing without team mates to bounce answers off on this occasion but if I had this would have made a good debate. In my head I was thinking Honolulu must be the right answers, I was scratching my brain to think of other Hawaiian cities I knew. Was it a trick question? Could two answers be the same? It gets you thinking and that is why I think rather than being a lazy peice of quiz writing it was a good idea.  

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Quiz Answers...

Here are the answers from the set of questions I issued on Wednesday.......More to come soon.

1.                  Brazil
2.                  3 Minutes
3.                  Honolulu
4.                  Black Pig
5.                  Family Guy
6.                  Southampton, Northampton, West Ham, West Brom, Southend, Preston North End
7.                  Brooklyn
8.                  Addis Abada
9.                  Belguim
10.              Grasmere
11.              Oddjob
12.              Thumbelina
13.              Da vinci Airport
14.              Taverna
15.              Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
16.              Nixon
17.              Endeavour
18.              Hair
19.              New York
20.              Nicola Kidman

Friday Night Quiz....too good to be true!

Darn it!

The quiz I intended to attend last night as the first Friday Night quiz, and only one, I am aware of around my area did not happen due to it being a charity night and the quiz being pushed back into the middle of the Bingo which usually means in the case of local areas, 15 questions where most people dont play and use the time to refill pints before the bingo restarts! I did venture out though attending a local band playing at The Moorcock in Peterlee (my home on Sunday for quizzing). Just a quick shout to the band, 101, who were actually excellent.

So the search for new homes on Friday, Saturday and now Wednesday continues!

Quiz Pet Hates #2

Depending on where and how you quiz you may never have noticed this before but I am sure anyone quizzing for any length of time has noticed it, perhaps not happening to them, but to others.......and what I am talking about is “The Pitying Quizmaster”. A situation in which the quizmaster will in someway aid a team who he knows, or thinks, are going to fair badly for some reason.
My personal example’s are typical ones. I am 25 and my girlfriend is 22 (I hope I have her age right!), see picture to the left on the top of the blog. Although we do play with other team members on a regular basis, most of the time it boils down to me and her. So we walk into the quiz, especially new ones, as usually the youngest team and the smallest one. In most quizmasters this brings out a few simple reactions......

a)      They sometimes will not even offer us a quiz paper assuming we are not there for the quiz. It surprises me that even quizzes we go to  every week, or every other week, do this. New quizmasters always have the same reaction and try to downplay our efforts.

b)      Coming round in the interval suggesting answers,, asking us if we have “any blanks” on the sheet or in some strange way, apologising to us.....”Sorry about the 60’s questions?” for example.

c)       Marking up....which is my pet hate and something I intend to post about separately as it grinds me so much.

And the same thing always tends to happen near the end, especially at new quizzes. If someone else is marking they will say something like “Very good considering there is only the two of you” or if its a pitying quizmaster he may say “It was hard tonight, its tough with just two”.
 Now really I am quizzing alone as my girlfriend isn’t into quizzing at all, but imagine I did go alone, the pitying would surely increase!
I can see why the Quizmaster does this. Part of his “job” is to ensure that the quiz is popular, so to do this he/she needs to set about making everyone feel welcome to encourage them back the following week. But why so many quizmasters take pity on us and offer us help and feel the need to comment about certain issues is beyond me. I am obviously there for the quiz, my pens are on the desk, I am eyeing up the quizmaster as he hands the sheets out and my entrance money is on the desk.
Don’t get me wrong, I like some chat with the quizmaster, talking about the quiz and general chit chat but when the quizmaster does his “rounds” and simply pities us....thats a pet hate!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Another New Quiz for Thursdays....

As I have mentioned in various other posts I am currently looking for new quizzes in the local area and this week found out that Peterlee Catholic Club hosted a regular quiz night each Thursday. It was a pleasant evening so myself and my other half took a leisurely 30 minute walk up to the venue in the hope I had found a new home, or at least an alternative one, for my quizzing needs on a Thursday night.

Its been years since I have been in the Peterlee Catholic Club and certainly have never been in the upstairs room where the quiz is played before but the impressions were good. Very smartly decorated with a nice atmosphere, friendly service and there were around 9 teams (other than us it was at least 5 per team) playing so it was a decent turnout. For anyone who is local the quiz starts at 9pm and took around an hour and a half to complete.

The format is quite simple. 10 picture questions open the quiz followed by 5 General Knowledge, 5 Current Affairs and 5 Sports Questions. There is no easing in here, the question are all teasing and in some case quite tough so we had to be on the ball straight away. 

Following this there were 5 questions on identifying Singers and Songs from pieces of music and straight after the break there was another 5. That means 20 points in a quiz out of 55 are music tracks. I don't so much mind these, and it certainly gives a bit of variation to the quiz, but due to me being 25 and my girlfriend being 22 some of the music we just have no clue so we struggled a little bit picking up very few points. It was fun still though as there were a few songs we spent a while thinking about and ended up getting, and rounds like this give my other half, who isnt into normal quizzing, something to get her teeth into.

The round ends with 5 General Knowledge and 5 Sports questions and that is the end of the main quiz. The Peterlee Catholic Club also hold a Jackpot question for no extra cost with a small cash prize although last nights was  very hard being based on knowing what was the first cruiser class to be fitted with anti torpedo missles! Hasten to say I could not even pout together a decent guess and the Jackpot was not won.

In the end we came a respectable 7th out of 9 teams which considering team size and the music round I was happy with. I got all the questions I should be getting and it was a good quiz.

All in this seems to have been a very very good week for finding new Quizzes to add to my weekly rounds. there is some competition on a Thursday Night around here, by far the most popular quiz night other than Sunday, but the quiz at the Peterlee Catholic Club is likely to be my home for the next few weeks for Thursday Night Quzzing! 

A well run, friendly and welcoming quiz!

If you overhear an answer..................

Now, when it comes to quizzing I am a bit of a purist I suppose like most quizzers. In the quiz room I do not like receiving any help from anyone outside the team, hate when quizmasters give out answers and cannot abide cheating. However, what happens when you hear an answer or are told an answer that you simply cannot avoid hearing? Do you put it down?

Now, I will give you the scenario I was in last night. The venue was the Southside Social Club and it was the break after 25 questions. I knew at this point, from talking to the locals that it was a tough quiz to win and being only really myself (my girlfriend was with me but she isn't into quizzing at all!) I knew I did not have a hope of winning. I walked to the bar to get a mid quiz pint when I heard this....

----To Barman "That Creedence Clearwater Revival'll be Bad Moon rising won't it?".....

Now, the guy asking the question was not playing the quiz. Earlier a question had come up asking for the name of Creedence Clearwater Revival's first number one record (I think). I honestly did not know exposing a huge blackspot in my knowledge, the song is way before my time and I just have never been interested in the band so it never has been in my mind. I could not even guess because of my lack of knowledge of the band. 

But suddenly thanks to the bloke at the bar, I had heard the answer, or an answer, which I could  not avoid. Do I go back and put it down or do I simply stick to my guns and ignore it? What would you do in this scenario?

What I choose to do was ignore it. I wanted a fair score and a fair placing in the rankings and I would never have said Bad Moon rising in a million years and being the first time at Southside Social Club in Easington Village I wanted to see where I genuinely would have come. To me hearing that answer was akin to going on my phone and finding the name of Captain Pughwash's creator which was another question I didn't know. I wouldn't consider using the phone ever so I decided not to use the answer I had heard. 

What would others do in that situation? 

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Friday Quiz Found But Wednesday Disappears !

Imagine my delight if you will this week when after months of trying I found a Quiz that runs on a Friday night. Easington Colliery Club host a quiz at 9pm, I have no idea of format, prizes or indeed difficulty but a quiz on a Friday night is so rare around these parts it has to be worth a shout.
So there I was, happy I now had 6 nights of quizzing I could potentially attend (with vast options on Thursdays and Sundays) when all of a sudden, Wednesday has vanished! Southside Social Club is my new home for Tuesdays, the usual Moorcock in Peterlee will remain my Sunday home with varied quizzes in between but now I am left without any quiz action on a Wednesday.
Is this normal? I assumed Wednesday Nights would be ideal quiz nights for pub’s, middle of the week droughts et al.  But a local pub has just cancelled its quiz and there is nothing within 20 miles at least of here and due to bad bus services and the expense of taxi’s I am left with no real options on a Wednesday night, so its time to hunt down some quizzing action for a midweek fix!
Saturday remains quizless too!

Friday and Saturday Night Quizzing

Do many fellow quizzers attend quizzes on Friday and Saturday nights??

Its a question I have been meaning to ask on a wider scale for some time but have never got round to it. In my ideal week I would love to attend a quiz every night and there are definitely certain weekends where the Sunday cannot come soon enough, and I crave a quiz on a Friday or Saturday evening. I am just interested to see if other quizzers get the chance to do so?

There are very very few if any around my local area and it would involve a decent travel to the nearest one, although I am not confident it still runs. A fellow friend of mine told me there are only two quizzes in the whole county on a Saturday Night and both are hardcore but both seem to have either shut, or simply I cant confirm whether it still runs save for actually taking the 30 minute trip to find out.

It is of course obvious why this happens....quizzes are used to help bring in trade on nights when trade is usually slow. For many pubs these days, particularly in this area, they live and die by their takings on a Friday and Saturday Night so do all they can to get the regular drinkers in who will spend the night pouring all sorts of drinks and shorts down their necks and keep the tills rolling. On the opposite of this, Quizzes tend not to bring in bigger spenders and whereas is a two hour quiz a team may have just two pints each, on a night out a group of friends will consume far more with just a bit of music and dancing.

Even the older, more traditional social clubs arent interested round here. People are prepared to sit in silence and play bingo on a Friday and Saturday, take part in key draws and such like and in the club I am a member off the weekend entertainment is a pub singer, break fro bingo and key draw, rounded off by the singer but for most people the bingo is key. Surely if people are prepared to play Bingo at 9.30pm on a Saturday night, then there is a market for quizzes.

 Surely in bigger cities there are quizzes ran on weekends? I am interested to know other peoples experiences. Sunday and Thursday are the biggest quiz nights in these parts, and there are still ample quizzes Monday-Wednesday but the only chance of quiz action on a weekend is the take-all-your-money quiz machines located in every single pub around this area.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Return of Quiz Questions

I am going to start to place a series of Quiz Questions up on TQA again on a weekly basis. Feel free to either answer them to yourself, email me at or post answers in the comments. Either way hope you enjoy these....

  1. In terms of size, what is the largest country in the Southern Hemisphere?
  2. What is the maximum length of a song allowed for it to be eligible for the Eurovision Song Contest?
  3. What is the state capital of Hawaii?
  4. What was the name of Captain Pugwash’s ship?
  5. In which animated TV show would you find the Griffin family?
  6. Name the six clubs in the English Football League (Top 4 Divisions) to have a direction in their name (North, East, South or West)?
  7. What is the Christian name of David Beckhams first son?
  8. Name the capital city of Ethiopia?

  1. From which country does the drink Stella Artois originate? 
  2. Dove Cottage, the home of William Wordsworth, is in which village? 
  3. In the Bond film Goldfinger, what was the name of Goldfinger's bodyguard?
  4. In the Hans Christian Andersen story, which little girl was found inside the petals of a flower?
  5. What is the name of Italy's largest airport, situated in Rome?
  6. What is the Greek word for restaurant?
  7. What does AIDS, as in the disease, stand for?
  8. Which American President withdrew American troops from Vietnam?
  9. What was the name of Captain Cook's famous ship?
  10. What is a rhinoceros' horn made of?
  11. Which city became the capital of the USA in 1788?
  12. Who, upon splitting with her partner said, "At least I can wear high heels now."? 

Quizzing - New Quiz - Found a new home for Tuesday Nights.....

Well, as always when a quiz is on the horizon, I was in a very good mood yesterday and even more so as the quiz we were attending last night was one I have been meaning to attend for some time. It was at the Southside Social Club in Easington Village. Here is a link to the street view of the place on google as I cannot for the life of me find a picture of it online....

Southside Social Club

Anyway the funny thing about this quiz is that I am a member of the club, have been going for years and my family have been members there for longer than I have been born. But it just so happens with the quiz being quite late on a Tuesday and Easington being the next village away from me I have never got round to going.

But alas last night we gave it a go and I must say, it was right up my street!

The quiz takes a simple format. 60 General Knowledge questions.....making it one of the few round here not to use pictures and/or music. There is no entry fee, thus the prizes are a quite reasonable 10 pint cheques, followed by 6 and 4 with a couple for the team in second off last.  It starts around 9.15 pm for anyone in the local are wishing to go and the quizmaster, who according to the sheet is John, does a good job of just getting through the questions. The pace is good, there is not too much sitting around waiting for the next set or a massive interval inbetweeen...its just a quick fire general knowledge quiz!

How about the questions then? Well it covered last night a range of areas from current affairs and history to usual quiz fodder such as American State Capitals and Capital Cities. There is a nice range of questions, one or two with bonus points and towards the end there are questions worth 2,3,4 and 5 points which last night were things such as 5 countries with the highest Jewish Population, first 4 novels by Rushdie etc etc. Really good mix.

I thoroughly enjoyed this quiz and Southside Social Club was busier than I imagined  showing it must be in a good state. The only one minor complaint I have about it, and its very minor as I found this to be a superb quiz, was the fact the opening 5 questions are too easy and he seemed to give away another 6-7 points to make sure teams got a score of some sort. For instance...."Which Global conflict took place between 1939-45?" and "Which newspaper shut recently mind hacking allegations?". Plus just as a matter of personal taste, there were three question on Captain Pugwash which is a bit overkill. Easy questions gets the quiz started I suppose but its only a minor gripe as in all this was an excellent quiz and I shall be returning to the Southside Social Club in Easington Village on a weekly basis for a quiz fix!

Which Questions Give You Most Satisfaction?

Now, don't ask me how, but a conversation I was having yesterday turned into a discussion on the various types of quiz questions out there and I was asked "So what question do you get the most pleasure out of?" and it really got me thinking so I thought I would open it up to readers.

In a normal quiz I see a few options for getting questions right........

a) An easy question. You just knew, pure and simple. Did not require thinking.
b) A hard question that few seem to know, but you do instantly.
c) A guess whether using educated guesses or not, a question you didn't know but managed to guess.
d) A question you argue with over a team mate, your answer gets the nod and you get it right.
e) A question you spend time trying to recall and mulling over and eventually get it at the last second.

Now obviously the definition of "easy" and "hard" is very loose indeed but I hope you get my point. My friend claimed the only questions that gave him any sort of "buzz" these days was questions he didn't know but was able to make educated guesses at. I saw his point to a certain extent and I must admit although I generally hate guessing, if I make a solid educated guess at a question using some form of logic and it turns out to be right, the it does give me more satisfaction than a question I just know! Don't ask me why but when the question master is going through the answer, the ones I know are right seem to have little impact but the ones I have made a good educated guess at always have me a bit excited to know if I am right!

However I take little pleasure from complete guesses being right so that category comes half and half for me.

I am not the sort either to argue with a team mate for more than is necessary over a question. Obviously both team mates, if arguing over an answer, have some logic behind it. I know a lot of people, and have played with a lot of people in teams, who are only there to prove they are better than team mates. Little care is given to the overall result as long as the team knows who is the best. Not my style at all.

Knowing a hard question is always satisfying. Having your long hard reading and studying work rewarded by a question that only you and a few others know is a good feeling and if you are keen on winning then its a point gained so even better.

However, the questions I prefer to get right and the ones that give me the most satisfaction are the ones which I have to rack my brains and really think about it get. The ones that may not come straight away but require a level of deducing, elimination and thought. Getting a question right after a few minutes thinking for me gives far more satisfaction that the ones that I know off the top of my head.

Thoughts of others? Is a right answer the same for you either way or do you take more pleasure in certain ones?

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Questions that haunt you!

As dedicated quiz players there will be a vast range of questions we have all heard over the years time after time, its a staple of the obsession we all have! But do you seem to find that one particular question haunts you for a short period and you can't escape it? A purely random question that seems to pop up on every tv show you watch, every book you read and every crossword you try?

I go through these phases all the time and at the moment questions relating to the quote "A Little Learning is a dangerous thing" by Alexander Pope has cropped up so many times its getting scary.

Getting work as a Quizmaster..............

I am very keen to have a stab at being a Quizmaster. As a tutor/teacher I have the confidence to it and the experience of attending quizzes to carry out a quiz. The hard part is finding the work.....most pubs around this area either........

a) Have a long term Quiz Master they will never replace
b) Have tried and failed to get a quiz night running
c) Don'g believe a quiz night will work

I really don't know where to start bar phoning up/visiting pubs and asking around. I have sent a letter off to a local pub (which actually has no phone or email) as I know the owner is opening another pub around the corner and I have asked about a quiz night, but otherwise I am stuck so any help would be nice!

Update - New Look, Work News and Quiz Tour Plans

Any regular readers of the site will have noticed a new look to TQA blog. I really was not liking the black look so had a fiddle round and got a basic template in place to make it lighter and hopefully more readable to anyone browsing, Ill probably fiddle with it again within the next few weeks as I'm never happy!

Work wise and it isn't looking too great as redundancy looms. I am frantically searching  for another post at the moment as my redundancy date is the back end of August/early September. Ill be sad to leave the company and obviously the financial implications will hit home hard should I fail to find another role before that. I have thus began to watch my spending a little more and although it hasn't hit my quizzing yet it may in the not so distant future.

I shall soon have my driving licence and with that in mine I am planning to do a 3 month or so quiz tour (I was going to say Quiz Trip!) around the local area. I have some money aside and providing I can find work after this job ends I aim to visit as many north east quizzes in a short a period as possible so anyone from the area especially keep an eye out for that to find new quizzes. I still also intend to carry out my Quiz North East site with diaries, reviews and information solely on the North East Scene but until work is sorted I dont want to start that.


Monday, 18 July 2011

University Challenge - Round 1 - Episode 3

A cracking game tonight between Oxford and Cambridge, finishing with only a ten point difference between the the two teams. Certainly two of the strongest contenders on the series so far and I expect both to go very far. Cao and Janes made an excellent pairing and drove their team to success with some great quiz playing!

Again questions about areas local to me arise....last week my home town of Peterlee got a mention and this week the local town of Middlesborough had a few questions...............I was myself surprised I got the Transporter bridge question correct as I convinced myself it had another name and that the Transporter Bridger was just our local term.

Full expect both of these teams to go quite far!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

More Quiz Trippers.....Kevin's Facebook

Another contestant voicing their opinion online of the show Quiz Trippers

Quiz Trippers - Blog from one of the Trippers

Some very interesting comments about the Quiz Trippers show from one of those taking part

A Positive Side Effect from Quiz Trippers!

Although Quiz Trippers has not been received very fondly by all there has been on noticeable occurrence that has happened in my local area this week.......a rise in attendance of local quizzes with more than one person claiming Quiz Trippers got them back into the pub quiz scene! Could this be a positive effect of the show that perhaps we didn’t think about before hand?

Example.....A warm Thursday night, usually the weather and the fact that the quiz is not very well advertised usually means a poor attendance of maybe 6-7 teams. This week....packed! There were around 13-14 teams in play. Of course this cannot all be attributed to Quiz Trippers however I heard these comments....

At the bar  - “The Wife has been watching that new quizzy thing on channel 4 and she fancied trying one for herself”

In a team next to us – “We haven’t been down here for years, but we have been watching quiz trippers and its put us right in the mood again”

Those quotes are around about what was said but you get my point. Quiz Trippers could therefore bring in a wave of new players, improve competition and the quality of quizzing and help pub quizzing through this difficult time.

If it has any positive effect on the quiz scene in terms of people taking part at all, then that surely can only be a good thing!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Quiz Trippers 4

Well, the Quiz Tripper journey continued with the weeks fourth quiz....this time “the best quizmaster in the world” or something else was claimed. Tensions mounted, Laurens improve died a death and her cringe worthy joke of being a man was believed by Jen and Aud......but more to the point how was the quizzing?

The team faired badly this week coming 7th but as Kevin stated this was mostly a 50/50 quiz with anagrams etc and only a smidgen of general knowledge, not my cup of tea but still fun to watch.

And I continue to enjoy Quiz Trippers for what is is!

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire - Live Special! - Tonight 9pm

With the normal series of WWTBAM now seemingly dead in the water, Tarrant returns for another of these irregular charity specials. This airs tonight (Friday 15th July) on ITV 1 at 9pm.

The focus is very much on the idea of, as the title suggest, the start of the school holidays. Celebs will appear with their teenage children to win money for charity so I expect they will cover a more obvious mix of generations in the questioning.

In whatever format its always good to see some new WWTBAM episodes

New Quiz Excitement !

I have mentioned before that quiz day always brings an extra spring in my step. Having the quiz to look forward to in the evening makes the day pass quicker and gives me something to look forward too, which is especially pertinent in this time when I face redundancy in just under 8 weeks time.

But there is one type of quiz that gets me more excited......a new quiz!

After the plans have been made to attend a quiz we have never been to before, the excitement builds even earlier than normal. What type of quiz will this be? Whats the standard? Wondering if that nights new quiz is going to become a regular haunt and will that one jackpot question come out you actually know and can qalk away with a pricely sum?

This has backfired before as I have mentioned when you walk into a new quiz and win.....I have had accusations of cheating, comments about my age (25) and "bloody students" remarks even though I have been a student for 4 years. 

Sure there will be looks here and there, regular winners will give you a wild west type look down to check out their new competition and the dangers of sitting in the regular players seats are more prone, but nevertheless the anticipation of walking into a new quiz and taking part is second to none.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Quiz Trippers 3

Into the third show and probably the easiest quiz of the week for the team. There seemed to be more quizzing action in this episode than the other two of the week and I am still enjoying this.

This episode saw the team in Dundee at a Student Quiz of sorts and the questions seemed to be much easier than previous weeks reflected by the fact that not only was I getting most right, but the Quiz Trippers were too. It was a close call and the Trippers managed to get into another tie break. Which resulted in a ……paper aeroplane race?

Now the first think people will suggest is that this was staged for the camera, however at my Student Quizzes the same thing would happen. Tie Breaks would be silly things so maybe it wasn’t staged as such but it sure did make for convenient television. I never liked the idea of a quiz ending in a random challenge but nevertheless it was something different.

Aud and Lauren are starting to grate a little but luckily the show focused more on the quiz last night.

I know a lot of “serious” quizzers are suggesting this is a whole load of rubbish but pure and simply, it is what was to be expected. Anyone expecting anything different from a teatime channel 4 show was kidding themselves. Its light hearted entertainment based around quizzing. It was never going to be “Eggheads-on-tour”, it was never going to be Mastermind type intellectual wise but it doesn’t pretend to be.

I will be watching for sure as the weeks go on!

QuizMaster Pet Hates!

As much as I, am most readers of this blog, love quizzes there are a few strong pet hates I have when it comes to quiz night and one of my biggest one is when the quizmaster "gives the answer away".  Now this can only happen with a certain type of question. Ill you give my latest example....

Question - Which fictional TV character comes from the planet Gallifrey? (Cue a sigh in the quiz crowd)

Now straight off I knew this, answer was down on the paper before the sigh from the larger older teams had stopped. The quiz master should have left it there but he didn't....................

"Its easier than it sounds......" he said before moving onto to saying...."I like watching him on Saturdays on the BBC"..........(Pause)..."although I used to like the old ones better than since they brought it back a few years ago"

Now, this I must say annoyed me. As I have said before I am not one of these ultra-competitive, win at all costs type of quiz player but I like a fair quiz and to me this isnt fair. The quizmaster clearly knew that over half the room did not like the question and did not know the answer.....but giving them clues was really frustrating for me. First off, I knew the answer which made it a bit worse but secondly this was the only question of the night in which he did this.....questions I didnt know did not result in a  massive sigh from me.

So basically for the 70% at least in the room who had no idea of the name of the character afetr his clues they know knew it was

a) A Male
b) On BBC
c) On Saturday
d) It used to be on tv but was brought back recently

That leaves of course only one show it could be....................Most teams ended up getting it.

So my pet hate number 1 is clues for questions when they shouldn't be needed!

Any other quizzers have pet hates?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Quiz Trippers Episode 2

Thank goodness for Channel 4 +1! After a session in the gym and a mistake involving my Sky Plus I had to scramble to catch this on the digital channel last night!

After a positive start on Monday the show moved on tot a better episode for its second show. All round I really enjoyed this edition and am really finding this series to be fun, enjoyable and interesting. Although the tensions between Lauren and Aud is a bit annoying and a bit "Big Brother" esque, it doesn't ruin the core of this episode which was a straight down the line pub quiz. After last night I was hoping for more questions and we got them and the team started to show their worth in most cases.

A simple quiz compared to last nights but a good one none the less. Quiz Trippers is indeed starting to be far better than I was anticipating! 

Monday, 11 July 2011

Quiz Trippers Episode 1

Well, after all the talk and the largely negative response the show had gained before coming to air, Channel 4's new teatime dose of reality began tonight in the form of Quiz Trippers!

I actually found the show to be quite enjoyable, light hearted, cheeky, "reality" and cheesy entertainment that is good for tea time viewing. All the quips and style is there for the successful and enjoyable Come Dine With Me show and Channel 4 have used the "If it aint broke.......just repackage it" approach to formula!

The quizzing side of things could prove interesting. I didn't expect too many actual questions and answers but I think we got a fair whack on this first show and the show had just the right balance. I think its going to be very interesting seeing all these weird and wonderful quizzes ran across the country, and although I certainly think there was an element of this quiz being, well not "fixed", but "styled" to suit the show it was still a fun part of the show.

The contestants have not made an impression on me yet but again with it being a key TV slot and a show intended to be more humorous than serious, it makes me wonder how actually "serious" these folks are about their quizzes. Obviously Kevin is having been on Mastermind and 15-to-1 but some of the others seem to have been chosen for various other reasons other than their ability to contribute to a quiz team!

Overall though this show was pretty much everything I was expecting and I think it has gotten off to a good solid start!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

TQA is still here.............

For anyone just new to the sit or wondering where the frequent updates have gone, as you may have read below I am facing troublesome times on the work front so havent had the time to get this updated. I will be back on a regular basis from this post forward......