Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Book of the Week - The Thirties by Juliet Gardener

Reviving this feature for a one off as I am currently engrossed in this stunning work by Juliet Gardener. Published in 2010 this mammoth book tells the tale of the 30's in a lively, vibrant and informative way. Starting with the Paisley cinema disaster in 1929 and ending with the outbreak of war this covers everything you need to know about the decade that is often overlooked. Full of information, usual titbits and info that could well come up in a local quiz this is well worth your time!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Rounds that ruin quizzes?

Does anyone have any real pet hates at local quizzes where one type of round can ruin your night?

I know a fair few local quizzers who take things as serious as it gets and refuse to partake in picture rounds so find quizzes without them and various other quizzes are not interested in anything with any gimmicks or gimmicky rounds. So what are yours? Are there any quizzes you avoid because of a certain round?

One of my top ones relating to the local area is music rounds. Now I do not mind this at all usually I am fairly strong in this area and it gives my team mate, who is not a quizzer at all, something to have a go at. However, at one local quiz I attend on a Thursday there are two rounds of identifying music. This makes up 20 points in total with ten songs and a point for title and artist. The rest of the quiz, including the picture round, is only worth 35 points so you are looking at 20/55 relating to music. Considering the music is rather obscure and catered towards the "old working mens clubs" audience it rules us out of contention. We love the atmosphere, people and questions in the quiz, just a shame about these two obscure music rounds.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Quick update.....

As you may have noticed I have not been updating TQA for the past few days mainly due to the fact that I have had a few issues going on. Regular readers may be aware that I am in the process of redundancy and am loosing my job at the end of the month. I had an interview this week for a role that will, if I get it, be a huge step up for me so I have taken time to prepare for that. I am returning as of today but quiz action has been thin on the ground this week as my usual quiz nights have had to turn into early nights in preparation for interviews!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Is an answer right, when the question is wrong??

Quizmasters can often get questions and answers wrong, its bound to happen at some point in their delivery of quizzes for a wide number of reasons and the mistakes can be excused, but the way in which the quizmaster handles them cannot.

This point comes from an occurrence at the quiz on  question was asked at the local quiz on Sunday. It began "Which British Female Singer..............."

We like some other teams clearly did not know the answers so like all quiz questions which we don't know we formulated a guess.......The way to do this obviously is to use the information "British Female singer". So we listed the ones we knew could be likely answers and came up with one.

The answers was..........Katy Perry who is of course American.

Everyone who put Katy Perry was marked right, everyone else was marked incorrect. When the answer was issued a few teams raised the obvious objection to which the question master replied....."yes but most teams got it anyway...............".

Surely the question should be null and void? Maybe if he didn't wrongly say she was British we would have come to that answer and then we would have got a fair question. Instead people who wrongly though Perry was British were awarded the point and in a very tight quiz this could make all the difference.

So even though the question was wrong the points won on the answer stayed and given the fact the quiz was won by one point, a tie for second and one team behind in third that one point mattered!

What are your opinions on this or similar question mistakes?

Monday, 8 August 2011

University Challenge - Round 1 - Episode 6 - August 8th

A whitewashing this week Im afraid! Bath got off to a good start but faded quickly and by the time Paxman patronized them with the score at 130-25 at the half way point it was all over. Christchurch Oxford were marvelous throughout and look to be another strong team. Some great buzzes from all with Scratcherd showing some great knowledge and a wide range of input from Hine too. Racing to 200 and growing on and on it was becoming a tad embarrassing for Bath but they were beat by a few good team and made a nice turn around near the end!

Some very strong teams lining up this year indeed!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Quick Sunday Update

Just one little mention today and its relating to Facebook..........

Theres a little game on there called City Challenge where you have to locate various location on various maps. Really good test of knowledge and if you have a few friends who use it the score challenge gets quite fun.

Feel free to add me to facebook. Daniel Fullard or

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Quiz Masters Mates!

I had the experience this week of attending a quiz at a local pub in which I witnessed the worst example of a quizmaster helping his mates and guiding them towards what he thought would be a win. Although we were never in contention for the win this soured the whole evening for me as he allowed them to cheat without questioning them, asked them openly if they missed any and gave them the answer and was surprised when they did not win!

Most quizzes I attend are ran by gentleman of an older variety but the quizmaster at this quiz in question was maybe 26 at most. The table who were obviously his friends were a similar age. For the whole hour of quizzing they sat and openly cheated. You could see phone reflections on the table, a member got up for a toilet or smoke break every two minutes coming back with an answer and they even got given an answer off the quiz master. Laughably, they did not even win and even the quizmaster was shocked. All that cheating effort wasted. Shame.

Does this happen often? Obviously the quizmaster in most venues is known and has friends in there but have you any examples of worse scenarios when a quizmaster has aided his chums to victory?

Friday, 5 August 2011

The Chase Audition

After a number of applications to various shows I have my first positive feedback through from The Chase and they have invited me to an audition early next month! Obviously, I am looking forward to it very much. Has anyone been to an audition for the show before as I would really be keen to find out the process? Also any general hints and tips for auditions in general would be appreciated as this is my first one!

Either comment box or email to

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Wednesday Night Quiz Found - Disappointing

If you read this blog regularly you will have noticed that I have been hunting for a Wednesday Night Quiz for some time. This week I found one, you can imagine my delight, at the Black Bull, Peterlee (Old Shotton really) and we headed up their last night for a bite to eat and then the quiz. Sadly, this is unlikely to become a part of my weekly routine.

The Black Bull, Peterlee is a chain of the Sizzling range of pubs so its mainly about the food. Its changed hands over the years but seems to be going steady in its current guise. No where inside the pub though, outside or anywhere does it advertise the quiz! In fact the website states quiz night is Monday and Tuesday when in actual fact only after phoning do you find out its Wednesday. I should have known from this things would not go well.

The quiz starts just after 9 and as soon as the answer sheets came round I saw the name Redtooth. Believe it or not in my many years of quizzing this was the first Redtooth quiz I have encountered. At this point I was looking forward to seeing what this brand had to offer.

Round 1 was pictures with 8 famous famous, one face related to guessing a year and an object. I did fairly okay on this as it was a tough call and at this point we were probably in contention. We remained in contention after a tricky current affairs round but started to slip in the Top 5 round after mistakes on pub names and men to walk on the moon. The Trivia round only managed to claw us back 4 points and we scored poorly in connections and the Wipeout round. We were not last by any means but thats related to one of my issues. I did not mind the questions and there were probably 8-10 teams but the whole quiz was not a positive experience.

Now issues with the Black Bull Quiz in Peterlee - 

1) Slow Paced - The quizmaster takes longer than is necessary between questions leaving you twiddling your thumbs for a few minutes. This was my main annoyance in the entire quiz, it just seemed to last forever. Why he felt the need to pause so long is beyond me? He had a good delivery of questions but the time in between just drove me to borderline boredom. Never seen anything like that and this of course encourages......

2) Rampant Cheating - Despite a heavy warning at the start cheating was rife on one table, who I gathered were not only the quizmasters friends but also the usual winners. One person would get up to the toilet or to go to the smoking area after every few minutes, come back and whisper to the writer an answer. Not even being shy about it. Phone's were seen all around the table. The layout of the room does not help as with being a food-first based place there are partitions, walls and rails all over meaning cheating could be easily done and you can only ever see another 3-4 teams max at anyone time. Even the quizmaster can only see half of all teams playing. If people want to cheat fair enough, I am at the stage where I am testing my knowledge and playing to raise my experience, but it does sour the occasions

3) Quizmaster and friends - I am going to do a separate entry for this but the large table of cheats also happened to be the quiz masters friends who he helped after every round. All around 25-27 maybe. Clearly he wanted them to win and was shocked when he did not.

4) No placings - You mark your own sheet handing a tear off in, then he simply comes round to find the winner. He doesnt tell you your placing, doesnt remember your score and simply announces the winner. So after sitting through that whole boredom of waiting as he paused for 3 minutes per questions, I did not even have the pleasure of finding out how well I had done. Due to the way the venue is I only heard the table of cheats had a good few points more, I was 3 behind a team of quiz regulars who I see elsewhere and a beat a few teams comfortably. But the whole not known ruined it.  

5) Racing through answers - And to top it all off he simply raced through the answers meaning it was hard to soak up any new information learnt.

So all in all the Black Bull, Peterlee (Old Shotton) quiz is poor, with a terrible, annoying slow pace, ample room for cheating and generally if this was the first quiz you went to it may put you off for a very long time.

Such a shame as I am desperate to find a Wednesday Night Quality Quiz! 

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

"Learning" for quizzes! Where does your quiz knowledge come from?

This point was raised in the comments of another post I had made and it has got me thinking. Do you, or have you, as a quiz player learnt bodies of information purely for the purpose of quizzing? What is your style of learning information? Do you learn new information from reference books etc or do you rely on what you encounter on a daily basis? Where does your quiz knowledge actually come from? Hopefully some readers will reply to this as I would be interested in having a chat about it.

So lets start with my main question............Do you actually learn information specifically for quizzes?

Although I have a genuinely natural curiosity anyway, I do learn information for quizzing purposes. I am not ashamed to say it, I would never deny it and I enjoy it. I love learning new information, facts, events and anything and everything I come across. To have my quizzes as the end goal of this is the icing on the cake. Sure enough, if pub quizzes did not exist, my reading, tv viewing and attention to the weeks news would be far far different.

I have a wide library at home of reference books which I have bought, in 99% of cases, purely for quiz purposes. Yes I enjoy reading them anyway but the main reason I find myself reading certain books are to spruce up my quizzing knowledge. Certain subject areas that I do not have any real interest in, I find myself reading about to get some basic knowledge into my head. Encyclopedias, Atlases, books such as A-z of Everything, Quiz Companions, Almancs....all there to boost my quiz knowledge.

And that's not counting the thousands of quiz questions residing in the literally hundreds of quiz books of my shelf. 

Some may consider this sad or pointless, but its a hobby and I am not ashamed of it. I througholy enjoy it, coming in from work grabbing a nice cup of tea and sifting through a few quiz questions, learning a few facts and heading to a quiz on an evening.

It would be great to hear others approaches to this?

Compared to most dedicated quiz players, I am just really starting out. At 25 years old I feel for my age I have an excellent general knowledge and a wide range of subject areas with an in depth knowledge. But where has this come from so far?

If I have a long hard think about the basis of my strongest areas of general knowledge come from my hobbies. When I was in my teens I had a wide range of interests but it was always sport at the top of my list. Watching sport, reading about it and taking part in it. Even if I never attend a quiz in my life my level of Sports Knowledge would be the same as its a passion and hobby of mine. The only real sport I don't know much about is Horse Racing so it must be said 90% of horse racing knowledge I have comes from quizzes. I do intend one day to learn more about famous winners of races etc but in all my entire sporting knowledge started with me being a dedicated youngster, mad keen about sport and is now scoring me points in the quiz. So that strand of knowledge therefore comes from my own personal interest and is largely unaffected by my quiz addiction.

Two other areas I have always been keen on, and bordering on obsessed with, are films and music. Obviously some eras are stronger than others, pre-50's music is a tough one for me at present but in terms of anything else these are both strong areas based on my own interests. I have though went out to learn more information about this from books and on the internet to build up my knowledge so I would be lying if I said my knowledge in these areas were just from hobbies. For instance, at a recent quiz there were 5 questions on Creedance Clearwater Revival which I scored 0 points from, so sure enough the next day there I was on youtube watching CCR videos and learning more about that era in music. So I guess films and music are two areas I would have had a strong knowledge on anyway but due to being a dedicated quizzer I have a far greater one.

Then I guess I have to think back to my education. Due to holding a degree in History I am strong in particular areas of History, although a 12 module History degree covering narrow areas is not going to make me superb in the subject, it doesn't stop the "Come on you're the one with the History Degree!?" everytime a question arises on the subject. Very rarely though would I actually attribute any of my knowledge to my GCSE or prior days even though I was a straight A student, I do not think much of the information from those days wins me quiz points today.

This post has turned into a bit of a rambling going way of course but Im simply wondering to what level other quizzers learn information for quizzing purposes?

Tuesday Night Quizzing...................Pints make points???

As always last night we headed down to the Southside Social Club in Easington Village for the weekly quiz which is quickly turning into my favourite of the week. Just 60 questions of general knowledge delivered straight. An 8 team turnout was a good showing with some big team sizes and of course attendance hit by it being peak holiday season, as was the case of the quiz master who had a stand in this week. All in all another excellent week of questions with a slow start from us picking up marginally towards the end and narrowly missing out on a prize (all be it 4 pint cheques).

The stand in quizmaster even gave us a shout out "The young couple at the back, first time in" and we are starting  to meet the same faces over and over again which is a plus. The battle in the end was between the two usual teams with a good tiebreak to settle second. A fun night all round as usual with plenty of information soaked up!


On a second note I have started to notice something in my quiz playing that is probably obvious....better performance comes if no booze is involved. i am not a big drinker by any means but I do enjoy the odd pint or two at a quiz. Obviously since my quiz playing has picked up I have had to tone this down otherwise my health would suffer so the last few quizzes I have attended I have stuck to soft drinks and by gosh it seems to have made my recall much better. It may be just luck but I have seemed to have enjoyed the quizzes more without drinking, plus its a heck of a lot cheaper!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

University Challenge - Round 1 - Episode 5 - August 1st

One of the closest games in the series saw a battle between Oxford and Cambridge last night which ended in one of the tightest finishes I remember seeing in the show. I thought Homerton were going to make it back and pip Balliol at the last moment but they were beaten by the clock. Balliol spend a heck of a lot of time conferring but Murray, the captain, played a stormer and if he keeps in top form, given his apparent range of knowledge, they will be tough to beat. However I do feel that if they are chasing down a lead the excessive conferring could cost them.

Homerton will come back and come teams will be hard to beat in the next round but Newcastle are looking strong contenders at this early point of the series.

Another excellent episode with two strong teams.


Disappointed to see the Chase was a repeat last night! I was looking forward to a new series but seemingly this is a repeat of a previous one! Ah well never mind.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Monday Morning Ramblings - The Chase Returns....

Well its the start of another week and my worries continue to build with redundancy pending in a mere matter of 5 weeks time. But nevertheless a few bits and bobs of quiz related information on my mind -

- Last nights quiz at the Moorcock in Peterlee was superb. After a hitty missy affair last week, bob returned to full force and delivered a cracker this week. 14 teams so around 60-80 people on board. Only me and the other half playing (so just me!). Had a good few rounds on pictures and cryptic pictures of Beatles Songs and was heading towards a good total.....the old chestnuts caught me out again though. A 10 point round on animals, my weakest subject bar none, sent us out of contention for any series prizes followed by the usual tough questions on old TV shows and the ending two questions of 4 choices and true and false which we couldn't get right. Still a hugely enjoyable quiz and a fun night!

- Glad to see The Chase Returning tonight on ITV. One of my favourite gameshows so Ill be glued to that this evening. 5.00pm ITV1.