Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Sport Relief 2012 Quiz! Entry....

On many occasions over the past few years I have devised quizzes to coincide with various Charity Events, namely Comic Relief, Children in Need etc, and in the past have raised quite a lot of money for charity. 

This year however I have decided to use The Quiz Addict Blog as a platform to raise even more money, this time, with Sport Relief in mind. 

Sport Relief 2012 takes place next month and the advertising push as already begun with various bits and bobs going on.

To raise money for Sport Relief I have spent some time devising a very testing, hopefully very fun and enjoyable quiz for anyone to take part in.

The cost of entering the quiz is a mere £3 made payable via paypal to Every single penny donated for the quiz will go to Sport Relief and there will also be some prizes for the winner which I am trying to sort out now. You will be emailed the quiz and given the email address to return it to. There will be a winner and leaderboard posted online. 

The quiz contains all variety of rounds with the main focus being on general knowledge and I have tried to incorporate as many anti-cheat measures as possible.

It is all for charity and I have put some time and effort into making sure the quiz is fun so please if you can spare it enter the quiz and hopefully I can raise a decent amount for Sports Relief 2012!

Quiz Book Recommendation

The Book of Pub Quizzes - Wordsworth

I came across this by accident when searching for some new Reference Books and have to say its one of the most enjoyable quiz books I have ever used. Wordsworth have a budget range of reference works available that are ideal for quizzers looking to raise and cement knowledge, covering all sorts of subjects.  But hidden away in this collection is this Quiz Book.

This is going to appeal to quizzers of all natures and is aimed I would say more at people with an above average general knowledge. Very few questions are gimmies here and even the rounds where the first letter is given is full of well written questions. There are plenty of questions to choose from and at £3.99 its a bargain considering how much fun you will have with this.

Here is a link to buy the book on Amazon otherwise it can be bought for the same price directly from Wordsworth.......

For anyone interested the World Quizzing Championships now have a new home. It can be found Here. You can view results, the latest news and of course try some sample questions. Worth a look!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Brain of Britain - Semi Final 4

Brain of Britain - Semi Final

 Brain of Britain reached the last semi final in the latest edition with one more place up for grabs in the final. The grand final will be taking place next Monday at 3pm and I am very much looking forward to it!

This week’s episode

Ian Banks
Roman De Bowski
Rob Merrill
Andrew Newton

And here we go…….I remember De Bowski dominating his first round match so had him down as the one to watch.  

The opening round started with Merrill taking a bonus and a double of his own to take an early lead joint with Roman De Bowski but there were scores logged all over the board giving a good start to what I thought was going to be a close contest. De Bowski picked up the lad stealing a bonus on the location of University but failed on his own question. Merrill secured an impressive 5 in a row scoring the bonus, a great start to the semi showing vast knowledge. Rob Merrill had made himself the one to beat. A 5 point lead two rounds in shows how crucial a good run can be in this contest!

Merrill got a bonus straight away in the next round, De Bowski kept the pressure up with the lead still being five. Newton and Banks were fading although yet again another bonus point run could tilt the balance either way. De Bowksi got a Beatles music question but did not now The Overlanders topped the chart with a cover of “Michelle”, Merrill did, another point gained. In this sort of form he was looking very hard to catch. As the second half of the contest got underway something special would be needed to stop him getting to the final.

De Bowski though was hot on the chase, 4 behind Merrill after the next round. Newton and Banks would probably need a double helping of bonus runs to win the semi-final from this point so it was down to De Bowksi vs Merrill.  After another round with points across the board De Bowski had now cut the gap to 3. Game on!

De Bowski missed his own question not knowing an Octar measured cloud cover, Merrill knew it, and then knew A Day at the Races preceded A Night at the Opera to re-open his 5 point lead. A crucial round for Merrill as we entered the last round. De Bowski would need a 5-run to win it from here!

De Bowski showed promise, getting the first two of his run right but failed, as did all the Brains, on knowing PRN on a prescription meant Take When Required. That signalled the end as De Bowski now could not catch the leader. Rob Merrill had his questions scoring another point and Newton finished the semi final off.

Rob Merrill - 20
Rob De Bowski - 16
Andrew Neeson - 7
Ian Banks – 4

Congratulations to Robert Merrill who moves into next weeks final, Roman De Bowski played well but just could not keep up with Merrill who for me, is now the favourite to take the crown!

Cleverdicks - Episode 1 Review

Cleverdicks finally started its run last night on Sky Atlantic. In all I enjoyed the show, there were some negatives but I think Cleverdicks is well worth watching and could grow into being on the best quiz shows on tv if a few of the issues are ironed out!

The first round involves each contestant facing 2 minutes of questions worth up to 5 points each. 5 clues are on offer, the more clues you take the less points. There is no punishment for guessing though which takes the edge of things as it means when you get a round such as “A Tennis Player” it can become a guessing spree on each clue. The questions in this round are well written though and enjoyable to play along with at home.

In terms of this episode, David Stainer, who you may have seen on only connect or know from the UK Quiz circuit, lead the way after the first round, way ahead of his rivals. His score of 44 included 25 points from getting the answers from one clue which was fantastic going, he stated it was “inspired guesswork”.

The second round sees Cleverdicks change into a buzzer quiz, testing a different sort of skill than the first round. The contestant with the lowest score from round one was eliminated, this being Susan, leaving three to compete in the second round.  It’s a simple buzz and bonus format where a successful buzz leads to 3 bonus questions. The one problem I had before this round even started was that there was seemingly no reward for first round performance as the scores were reset. So despite David Stainer clearly ahead after round one, it was now all down to buzzing ability. The questions to buzz in on are similar to the first round with 5 clues, but revert to normal questions for the bonuses. There is no punishment for buzzing in with a wrong answer though meaning if you get it wrong you can buzz again which does seem a bit odd. Again though it does revert to guessing as contestants soon realised if they didn’t buzz in with a guess someone else would. Especially as unlike University Challenge the bonus questions are opened to the others if answered wrong.

The results in this weeks episode were a reversal of the first round and David Stainer was eliminated which I found quite unfair given how much he had dominated round one. He was clearly only a split second behind in most of the buzzes and because he had not been given any reward for such a lead after round one he found himself eliminated leaving Steve vs Rob to play for a place in the final.

The third round is a head to head battle between the final two. It is turn based with no clues. A wrong answer adds a triangle to your stack, the higher the stack the worse it is for you as once a descending white line hits your stack you are out. You can remove the Triangles by getting questions right. I enjoyed this round probably more than the others, just straight up fast paced general knowledge questions.

Rob took a lead and moved towards the final of Cleverdicks. I suppose for viewers one positive aspect here is even a four point lead can be turned out very quickly so it keeps things open but that wasn’t to happen here. The white line collided with Steve’s stack and he was out. A great effort and a round I really enjoyed.

The final involves questions falling onto the board. The questions only drop off the screen when they are right, a wrong answer and the questions start to stack. If the list touches the descending white line you are out, if you survive 2 minutes you win! A nice format but again promotes guesswork which is not necessarily a bad thing but does detract from things a little. Two life lines are given for questions to drop off the board. Rob stuttered on a few and the white line caught up with him with around 30 seconds to go. This is going to be a difficult final game to win! The winner does return next time though for another chance with a rolling £1,000 jackpot.

One thing I did not like was the opening banter between Anne and the contestants. “I’m a Cleverdick because….” Made me cringe a little and all credit to the contestants they did the best they could with the bad line. Also at an hour, 45 minutes discounting breaks, it did seem a bit long and if you cut out the pointless chit chat then you could easily get this show into a more concise 30 minutes.

What about Anne Widdicombe as a host? She seems to have taken a lot of stick online about this first episode but I did not find her too bad. The most annoying parts of the hosting were not her fault at all and she is new to this so give her credit where it is due. I certainly didn’t think her presenting got in the way of my enjoyment of the show but I still do not like the banter between rounds. Apparently she gets better as the series goes on or so I am told by people who have appeared on latter episodes.

All in all I did enjoy Cleverdicks and will continue to watch this show. There are a few issues such as the balancing of points in the second round, the lack of reward  coming from the first round and the reward for guessing. Additionally as mentioned I am not keen on the banter between rounds and it makes the show feel overlong in parts. Despite this though the questions are well written, its great to see top class quizzing on TV and I really hope the show is a success!

Cleverdicks gets a thumbs up from me!

University Challenge - Quarter Final

UCL vs Baliol

Well the final quarter final of the 10-match round concluded last night with a close contest. Two teams who in other years may have been contenders but both faced a sudden death match last night. Jamie Karran has been one of the characters of the show so far this year and he lead his team to victory as UCL make the Semi Final. Congratulations!

The first Semi Final airs next week in what should be a very exciting contest.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Cleverdicks Starts Tonight!

Its been much anticipated for a while but finally the Anne Widdecombe fronted quiz show Cleverdicks airs tonight on Sky Atlantic for a double episode at 7pm. Not too much detail on how it works yet but it is bound to be worth a watch as contestants seem to have been chosen based on their quizzing skills rather than anything else. Some famous faces from the quizzing world will be appearing. I look forward to hearing feedback on this!

Here's a quick interview with Ann discussing the show.........

Mastermind Wikipedia Challenge Results

For the second week in a row I carried out what I referred to as the Mastermind Challenge which involves spending about 15-20 minutes reading up on each specialist subjects Wikipedia page. Here is how I got on.....

Thomas Jefferson Hogg
Prior to reading the Wikipedia page on this I had very little knowledge on Hogg and in fact maybe would have only scored 1 if any. However, the Wikipedia page was very helpful on this occasion for a good few questions. Thankfully a few of the questions required more in depth knowledge but still I found this one of the easiest of the night based on the Wikipedia research.
Score: 7

The Diggers

Made an error here and read about the 17th Century Diggers rather than the 60's San Francisco Based group. I have virtually no knowledge of them btu did pick up from my reading on the 17th Century Diggers that there had been a 60's group based in San Francisco so at least got 1.
Score: 1

The life and short stories of Raymond Carver

With the Wikipedia page being a bit short on Carver I managed ten minutes or so browsing other websites. Again I had very little knowledge of Carver so the one or two I may have got turned into a five. A similar set to the first.
Score: 5

Luton Town FC from 1965

Plenty to get stuck into on Wikipedia here and it showed with a lot of the questions I had expected coming up early on and a few made guessable by what I had read on Wikipedia. Even though I am a keen football fan I would have only got two here I think without the cramming session and was pleased to turn it into six.
Score: 6

The Human Body

Shamefully skipped over this reading only a few bits and bobs prior to the show. I got a little bit distracted too by the contestant crumbling in the chair but I clearly do not know as much as I thought I did about the Human Body and limped to a 4. 
Score: 4

The Life and Work of James Brindley

Not much on Wikipedia so I had looked around a few other sites about Brindley. A few basic questions on there but generally a harder set in terms of this challenge.
Score: 4

The Soviet Space Programme

Surprised myself here as this was the subject I probably spent least time on other than the Human Body and managed 8. I think quite a bot of this score may have been to do with the previous knowledge I have of this subject but I do think most of the questions I got right had been on the Wikipedia page so serious study of that could have equalled or bettered the 8 I got.
Score: 8

TV Career of Victoria Wood

Found this one tough, never been a fan of Wood other than casually viewing Dinnerladies. Its not that I dislike her in anyway, merely I have not sat down and watched much of her work. I did forget about Housewife, 49 before reading the Wikipedia page but it was not a great deal of help here. The questions went into some detail meaning the Wikipedia revision was here nor there.
Score: 2

All in all then what I will say is that I found again on a few subjects there can be a good base set of points earned a few categories but the detailed knowledge required of certain works, tv shows and lives simply does not appear on Wikipedia. I was more disappointed last week that the Wikipedia Challenge had went so well but this week has restored my faith somewhat.

Well done to all the winners though from this weeks show!

Move Week...

Sorry for the lack of updates over the weekend and the absence of the Sunday Connect Quiz. Normal service will resume as quickly as possible. This week is, eventually, the week I am moving so if posts are a bit short that will be why.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Mastermind Wikipedia Challenge.....Again

If you read my post earlier in the week I mentioned a little challenge I know a few people have been taking part in relating to Mastermind. David Clark has over at LAM and the idea behind it is basically seeing whether or not a quick revision/learning of the specialist subjects using their Wikipedia page (or in a short spell of say 15 minutes online) can give you a competitive score. I was shocked at my own results last week, especially the Kate Bush round, and of course a little disappointed that I could score so well for so little input of time.

So tonight the challenge will be carried out again and I hope some fellow readers will take part. All you need to do is like I say take about 10-15 minutes to read through the Wikipedia page, see what sticks and how many points you can convert that into in the Mastermind rounds.

Tonight's subjects, remember its a double episode again -

Thomas Jefferson Hogg
The Diggers
The life and short stories of Raymond Carver
Luton Town FC from 1965

The Human Body
The Life and Work of James Brindley
The Soviet Space Programme
TV Career of Victoria Wood

Good luck!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

New Quiz Blog

For anyone who follows Brain of Britain you may recall the name Rob Hannah, a runner up back in 2010. He has started a new blog Quizzlepuzzles which is well worth a look. The links is HERE

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Brain of Britain - Semi Final 3

Brain of Britain - Semi Final 3

With the final close in sight it was time yesterday for the third Semi Final in this years Brain  of Britain contest. Despite some criticism of the format, which seems, to surface every year I still find this one of the most enjoyable quiz programmes around especially when it gets to this stage. So with a final place up for grabs this weeks contenders were....

Michael Frankel
Alan Hay
Rob Milnes
Richard Peterson

Well with a  few good performances in the first round between them this was going to be a tight one. Rob Milnes was my prediction at the start of the contest. The standard was high in the first round with plenty of scoring which is always a great way to start a Brain of Britain round. Frankely managed to pick up a double and a double set of bonus to take the lead early on with Milnes just one behind. Only Alan Hay was yet to score but this changed quickly in the next round as Hay picked up a bonus and showed knowledge of the Beatles "Hards Day Night" film to get him of the mark. I did not know the origin of the word bikini, Richard Peterson did but failed on a Comic Book question which Hay scooped up knowing the real identity of Captain Marvel. Milnes and Frankel now lead with 5 each with Hay and Peterson on 3.

Frankel knew the real meanings of Antigua and Barbuda (Gold and Bearded) to keep his constant scoring going. Hay faced a question on the death of two US Presidents on the same day, Jefferson and John Adams being the answer which Milnes scooped up. He then knew that the Rings of Saturn were founded by Hoy, leading to a opera based music question which even though I am a fan of opera I always find very tough. Milnes knew the voice on display and was now fully settled in his stride...maybe my curse of predicting a  winner was finally at at end. Milnes moved on to keep scoring but did not know the creator of Perry Mason (Erle Stanley Gardner). Milnes had now taken a lead with a slight cushion. A great start and this was turning into the best Semi Final yet.

After Beat the Brains the contest resumed, things began to take a familiar pattern.Rob picked up a good bonus remembering that The Moves's Flowers in the Rain was the first song to be played on Radio 1. He had now built up a lead of 6 giving a comfy cushion. It would take something special to take this. Frankel started his onslaught well be lost a bonus to Milnes which kept him well ahead. Surprising one of the Brains failed on an easy Star Wars question. Either way the lead was now 8 with Milnes in control. Milnes extended this lead further taking a 9 point cushion. Milnes never looked liked loosing it, scopped up a few bonuses and was home and dry well before the last round. 

Final Standings

Rob Milnes - 20
Richard Peterson - 11
Michael Frankel - 9
Alan Hay - 6

Co congratulations go to Rob Milnes who so far in my eyes remains the front runner for this years Brain of Britain title and with the final in touching distance it won't be long before we find out!

University Challenge - Quarter Final

University Challenge Quarter Final

Clare College, Cambridge vs University of Manchester

Well, what more can you say about this match other than it being an utterly gripping Quarter Final. First it went one way then it went the other, a great battle and one of the most enjoyable episodes of University Challenge in recent months. The show is always entertaining but when you get such a close battle going to the wire it is hard to beat.

I struggled to call this one before hand, Manchester I have seen as one of the favourites for the show in the last week but Clare have dangerous players in the likes of Janes and Cao. Burke though had lead Manchester well so far and with a place at the Semi Final at stake everyone needed to be on form. The one criticism I will have of Burke, and one which cost the team a few times on this occasion, was that he tends to but in with answers too quickly or without consultation, even sometimes ignoring right answers from team mates. There was one occasion last night when Kelly was sure of an answer but Burke when with his own to cost the team points. With a game this tight it was lucky for Burke that it didnt come back to bite him on the back. If Manchester are to be contenders they need to erase this quickly!

Its sad to see the end of Clare as they have provided some great entertainment in recent weeks, especially Janes over eager buzzing this week which even brought a smile from Paxman. A good side you faced tough Quarter Final opposition otherwise they may have went further.

As the scores started to hit 220 it became neck and neck, buzz matched by buzz....tie after tie. 250-250 with only a minute or so to go, Manchester got the buzz and a ten point lead but failed to make it crucial despite Burke's rather arrogant slouch in his chair.....the buzzer was back in play but Clare couldn't make the break through and before you knew it Manchester were back in control and at this point is was over. 270-250, one of the most enjoyable games of University Challenge I remember seeing.

Its not my way to "dislike" somebody but there is a certain arrogance to Manchester that does not sit well with me but I wish them all the luck in the future and they are certainly a bunch of knowledgeable chaps!

Final Quarter Final next week!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Mastermind Wikipedia Challenge........

The whole issue of whether or not it was possible to get a good score on a Mastermind Specialist Subject by just reading through the Wikipedia page for that relevant subject a few hours before. I was surprised at the result!

I did not get enough time to read up on all eight subjects prior to the double header on Friday and even the ones I did read I did not give as much time as I would have liked. Anyway to cut a long story short the first subject was Kate Bush. Prior to the challenge I did not know a great deal about her other than the one album I own. Obviously I knew she was the first woman to have a self penned song at the top of the chart and new the main singles and first number 1 etc but for a specialist round I felt I would barely get over half a dozen.

So I spent maybe 15-20 minutes reading through the Wikipedia page and as I was only paying half attention. I didnt make notes and just tried committing key facts to memory. The round started and straight away I could see a pattern......the first five questions or so could all have been answered by knowing the first paragraph of the Wikipedia page! Indeed as the round went on every question just about had cropped up on Wikipedia. I managed a score of 10 and I know the ones I got wrong I could have got correct had I noted down the facts from Wikipedia. I was I must say a little bit disappointed! I am by no means going to get into an argument about the nature of the current Mastermind's specialist round but suffice to say that one round said a lot to me!

A similar trend continued in the other rounds...I already knew a bit about the Franco Prussian War so my score of 6 was aided only slightly by Wikipedia, Passenger Liners was a little bit trickier to learn and I managed 2 points on this both coming from Wikipedia. Fellini films was last and even though this was not on the scale of the Bush round, I still managed 7 points with only one of those points not coming from my wikipedia swotting up.

Obviously the wider the subject and the more vague the area, the harder this will be as proved by the Passenger Liners round but two rounds on pop stars and film makers showed that it can be done!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Pod Quiz 361

Just a quick post to to let any readers know that the latest episode of Pod Quiz, which is free to download, is available HERE. Well worth a look and if you want to know more about the series check my earlier blogposts. I always enjoy this and 361 is another great episode!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Quiz "Supergran" appears on 3 quiz shows in two weeks!

The Daily Mail Online have been running a piece this week about a TV contestant who appeared on three BBC TV shows in a week. Pat Baker, who they have dubbed "supergran", was on Mastermind, Pointless and Perfection. Although she won nothing all credit to her for giving it a go. A few people online have moaned and complained that this has all been a bit "underhand" but many people appear on a range of quiz shows, but Pat Baker just happened to have the coincidence of all hers airing in 2 weeks.

Link Here

What kind of team player are you?

Unfortunately it is rare that I get to quiz in decent size teams, by this I mean 9 times out 10 its me attending the quiz with a partner who does not care for the questions as long as he/she is getting a pint and a bit chat. So usually I am playing alone. When I quiz alone I am decisive, not afraid to go with my gut feeling and clear. However my whole quizzing tactics change for the worse when in a team! Does anyone else feel this happens?

My decisive nature goes, I bow to the peer pressure of the team and it always always costs us. Typical example a few weeks ago…..”Who is the only player to have scored in Merseyside, Manchester and Glasgow Derbies?”….straight away I piped up with the answer of Andrei Kanchelskis. One of those questions I knew, and don’t know how I knew. I went to write the answer down but the team started to doubt and raised the issue of Bellamy. The team agreed on Bellamy, apart from me, but rather than standing my ground backed down….Bellamy was wrote down, the answer was of course Kanchelskis .

Is it the fear of being wrong when others are right that drives me to back down so easily? I don’t know but it makes me wonder why I do it in a quiz situation when everywhere else Im decisive and firm. Certainly something I have to improve upon when I soon start playing quiz leagues!

How do others perform in team quizzes? I have played with all sorts of people….people who will argue every answer and suggest alternatives even to obvious ones, people who think every question is a trick one, those who will go in the huff if we don’t take their answer because we know its wrong. Team quizzes create all sorts of dynamics but I for one fall into the all too familiar trap of being the one to back down even though most of the time I answer I forfeit is the right one.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Sunday Connect 7 Quiz #5 Answers

1.     Judith Chalmers (Judith Keppel)
2.       Ted Hughes (Chris Hughes)
3.       Robbie Fowler (Daphne Fowler)
4.       Kevin McAllister (Kevin Ashman)
5.       Mel Gibson (Pat Gibson)
6.       Rita Simmons (Barry Simmons)
7.       CJ Parker (CJ De Mooi)

   The connection this week......all members of the Eggheads Team!

Quiz Question Requests

I have had a few request this weeks for either quizzes or links to sites which sell quiz questions. I am working on a directory site and may be able to provide the odd set of questions my self in the future but for now I would urge anyone who is looking to buy pub quiz questions or looking for sites that sell good quiz questions at good rates to try Pubsquiz -

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Brain of Britain - Semi Final 2

Brain of Britain - Semi Final 2

The second semi final of Brain of Britain took place with another place in the prestigious final up for grabs

Hamish Cameron
Ian Clark
Angus Douglas
Brendan O'Connor

All had performed very well in the first round and this was going to be a very tough Semi Final to win indeed. I had Hamish Cameron as the favourite but would not be surprised to see any of the others stroll to the final. The first round surely was a sign of things to come with everybody scoring and the pattern continued throughout the early rounds. Ian Clark took a slight lead but Hamish Cameron was hot on his tail but as with all rounds in this quiz, a good run of 5 could give someone command. However, this was not to happen and Hamish Cameron and tied for the lead....7-7 with Ian Clark trailed by Douglas and O'Connor on 4 each.

At the halfway stage it seemed to be turning into a two way battle for the spot in the Brain of Britain final. Ian Clark missed his own chance but picked up a bonus in the next round to move into a one point lead, still the game rested on a knife edge. Ian Clark and Hamish Cameron were soon level and matching each other stride for stride. 10-10 into the final round.

Hamish Cameron managed one on his run to put pressure on Clark and Clark responded levelling the scores again and took the lead on a Cape of Good Hope Question. 12-11 and Cameron needed a bonus....he had his chance but missed a science question. All was resting on the final bonus, Brendan O'Connor did not know a YMCA question, Cameron did. 12-12. A close contest and one of the most exciting episodes of the series. I knew it would be close but was not expecting a tiebreak.

The tiebreak works with one question on the buzzer....The question related to a Gold Stripe on army uniforms, Ian Clark knew it meant that the solider had been wounded in action and won the tiebreak. Hamish was very unlucky to loose this and neither deserved too loose. Ian moves into the final and thus far is the favourite in my eyes. Roll on next week!

Ian Clark - 12 (Winner on tiebreak)
Hamish Cameron - 12
Angus Douglas - 6
Brendan O'Connor - 6

University Challenge - Quarter Final

University Challenge - Quarter Final 

Baliol, Oxford


Homerton Cambridge

Paxman reminded us just before this contest got underway that these two sides had met before in the first round with only a five point different. As the competition reaches its latter stages both had a loss behind them and a further loss here would send them out of the competition. There was a lot to play for!

Baliol ended up taking the victory with the narrow margin of 170-145. The contest was close throughout and I think the producers had racked up the question difficulty to separate two close teams. I would be surprised to see Baliol win the series but they will give any team a good run for their money!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Pod Quiz 360

Pod Quiz 360

I linked last week to the excellent PodQuiz Podcast Here or on itunes. The latest episode was released as per usual on Friday and it is another good one this week. A kind mention to The Quiz Addict included but the highlight of this weeks show is definitely the prize round which always throws harder questions at listeners. The prizes are t-shirts and badges but its the taking part that counts and there are some tricky questions this week.

Sunday Connect 7 Quiz #5

Sorry this is coming at you almost a day late but preparing for my move is really eating into my time. Nevertheless as usual have a crack at these seven questions and try and guess the link between them

1. Born in Manchester in 1936, name the TV presenter most famous for fronting "Wish You Were Here?" in the 70's and 80's as well as "Come Dancing" for the BBC in the early 60's?

2. Name the poet who served as Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death in 1998?

3. Scoring 128 times for Liverpool in League Football, who is the fourth highest scorer in the history of the Premier League? Born in 1975 this individual was capped 26 times for England, scoring 7 goals.

4. What was the name of the character played by Macaulay Culkin in the Home Alone movies?

5. Who was the star of "We Were Soliders", also taking a lead role in "Signs"?

6. The niece of Alan Sugar and former pop star, what is the name of the actress who plays Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders?

7. Which Baywatch character does Borat travel across American to find in the film "Borat"?

And all I need now is the connection....

Sunday, 12 February 2012


I did not think moving a small flat would take so much doing but hence the reason why there was not a great deal of updates over the weekend. Initially I was expecting to move last weekend but that was not to be and I am waiting now till March. The Quiz League will have to wait.....

Just a quick mention to apologise for any readers who were looking for a report on this weeks double helping of Mastermind. Two good episodes and another double header to look forward to this week, but I simply did not find time to write up the report this week. Suffice to say well done to Quiz veteran Gary Grant in a storming win in his opening round match. A contender for the title for sure!

This week as I said see's the Mastermind double header on Friday, the continuation of the University Challenge Quarter Finals on Monday, The Exit List coming to the end of its run and of course the second Brain of Britain Semi Final so a busy week all round!

I am also still on the the look out for anyone who wants to produce a set of questions or guest blog posts for the site and I am still busy working on my online database of North East quizzes so if anyone is aware of any I would love as much information as possible The site will be up and running in about 8 weeks times after I have had chance to rate and attend some of the Sunderland quizzes myself!

Thanks and have a good week!


Help Us with Our New Quiz Format
And We Will Send You The Finished Quiz For FREE are preparing a new "Our Survey Said"/Family Fortunes quiz format and need your assistance in creating the questions. In return for your help we will send you a copy of the finished quiz.

Simply answer the questions on our website here with the answer that first comes to mind, and when we have compiled all the responses and prepared the quiz/quizzes we will send you a copy for free to thank you for your contribution. Important: Email details forwarded on will be used only for the purposes of sending a copy of the quiz, when available, and will not be used for further marketing, or passed to third parties.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Fun and "easy" quiz???

I have a few local pubs and clubs on my Facebook and one in particular, mentioning no names, issued the following status update.......

"Join us on Thursday Night for a night of fun. An up to date Karaoke followed by an Easy Quiz at 9pm"

This struck me as rather odd. Why on earth would you advertise a quiz as being easy? Is it to tempt people to turn up? Obviously it is.....but why would someone turn up to an Easy Quiz? Are the people in question suggesting that there is an audience out there who would turn up to a quiz as long as it was "easy". I have never met such a person.

The general quiz audience in this area is older folk and at 26 I am always the youngest quizzer in the room at 90% of quizzes. Rarely do you see teams full of under-30's. I don't know if this is the case elsewhere but living in a small town that is what I am limited to at the moment. But every quiz I know of is well contested, well pitched and people certainly do not want it "easy".

By advertising it as an "easy" quiz it may put the normal quiz crowd off. There is a decent jackpot prize at the venue which may entice people in, and indeed being a Thursday Night there is not much quiz competition in the area, but labelling it in such a way to me puts off a normal quiz crowd. Why have a quiz if you are going to advertise it in a way that labels it in such a fashion that it potentially drives people away. I have been to the quiz in question before and a) it was not easy (I dare say the toughest picture round I have faced) and b) although the pub was full less than 50% of people were playing. So unless there has been a radical change, which I doubt as it is the same host, the quiz being advertised as "easy" isn't so.

It just baffled me a little bit that in order to make the quiz more popular they decide to advertise is using the word easy. For me that has had the opposite effect!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Interview with Mark Labbett

Here is a link to a youtube video of a recent radio interview with Mark Labbett of "The Chase" fame. I always like listening to seasoned quizzers talking about their quizzing history and I enjoyed this....

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Sunday Connect 7 Quiz #4 Answers

Well folks here are the answers to Sundays Connections quiz…..

The connect was that they are all actors who have played Sherlock Holmes…

1.       Basil (Basil Rathbone?
2.       Cook Islands (Peter Cook)
3.       Tom Baker (Tom Baker)
4.       Debbie Rowe (Nicholas Rowe)
5.       Brett Lee (Jeremy Brett)
6.       Robert Downey Jr (Robert Downey Jr)
7.       Benedict XVI (Benedict Cumberbatch)

University Challenge - Quarter Final

University Challenge - Quarter Final 

Clare Cambridge vs Pembroke Cambridge

Clare, Cambridge
Chris Cao
Daniel Janes
Jonathan Burley
Jonathan Foxwell

Pembroke, Cambridge
Edward Bankes
Ben Pugh
Bibeck Mukherjee
Imogen Gold

Both these teams had previously been victorious in a their first Quarter Final match of University Challenge and thus the winner here would progress to the semi final's. Both teams had shown to be very strong in previous contests so this was likely to be close.

But as with last week it seemed to be going into a one way stroll as Pembroke opened a lead of 145 points before Clare had scored. Again, another Quarter final in which goods team work was winning through and it was not simply a case of relying on one player who is superb on the buzzer. The whole Pembroke team was chipping in with answers with Ben Pugh again showing outstanding form and Mukherjee leading with example. It looked oh so comfortable.

Clare were not finished though and began to get their act together. Although no where near as prolific as in previous rounds Daniel Janes seemed to wake up and brought his team a good haul of points which kicked Cao and Foxwell into action. They brought the score back to 200-85 with 5 minutes to go before a wave of buzzing had set up a frantic finish and before long 210-180. Cao buzzed but failed in the answer and when Pembroke took the next 15 points it was all over. 250-175 it finished and a hard fought battle towards the end. Truly a match of two halves but I full expect to see both of these sides in the Semi Finals!

Brain of Britain - Semi Final 1

Brain of Britain - Semi Final 1

After weeks of heats, the Semi Finals of the prestigious Brain of Britain contest on Radio 4 began with a interesting contest.

Austin Mcquaid
Dennis Muchmore
Frank Potter
Ray Ward

After relatively similar first round scores this was likely to be a close Semi Final and I really could not pick a winner. I was hoping for a close. high scoring contest and it seemed to start that way as everybody picked up points early on, always good to see in a Semi Final. It continued this way throughout much of the opening rounds and no one was taking a big lead with a lot of points being scored on bonuses. Ray Ward did began to open up a lead and at the half way stage was two ahead with 8 points.

After the usual beat the Brain's the contest continued as it became clear this could go right to the wire. Frank Potter moved up a gear and he and Ray Ward began to move away from the others with the latter leading 10 points to 8. One good run though and anyone could take a place in the final. It did not happen and the bitty scoring continued with Potter vs Ward being the main focus. 

Indeed scoring in the second half did not flow as freely as all and points were hard to come by as Ray Ward only managed 5 to build on his lead in the closing rounds but that was enough and with 13 points moves into the Brain of Britain final. Frank Potter looked dangerous towards the end but just could not put that vital run together and with all due respect Muchmore and Mcquaid never really got going. Either way congratulations to all for making the Semi Final and to Ray Ward for earning his seat in the Grand Final in just a months time.

Final standings
Ray Ward - 13
Frank Potter - 10
Dennis Muchmore - 6
Austin Mcquaid - 5

Monday, 6 February 2012

The British Quiz Association are trialling a new element to their monthly meets this year in what they are calling the Hot 100 quiz. It is linked to the new World Quizzing Rankings premise and basically the site explains it better than I can. The British Quiz Association have very kindly made the Hot 100 questions available free to download and I had some good fun doing these. If you have a try at them let me know how you got on.

You can download the Hot 100 answers and questions Here

Guest Blog Post

Jason  Hanrahan from over at kindly sent over the following thoughts on Pub Quiz cheating and anti-cheat measures to stop Phone cheats ruining pub quizzing to discuss on the blog.....

Is the Smart Phone Killing the Pub Quiz?

So you are at your local pub quiz night, and the quiz master is in full flow. The latest question
is a tough one, and the members of you team are all in disagreement. As you put heads
together to come up with an answer you spot some guy on the next table with a smug look on
his face and an iPhone in his hand. The problem is that as mobile phone technology
advances, and people can access information at the touch of a few buttons, then the
temptation to cheat to win the local pub quiz is ever increasing. And if one team can do it,
then why shouldn’t you all get in on the act?

Whatever happened to the British sense of “fair play” and “good sportsmanship”? It seems
that in the heady atmosphere of the pub quiz, when the booze is free flowing, where team
rivalries run large, and teams strive to be the most knowledgeable, the idea of cheating by
using mobile phones has become more and more commonplace. With only a few points
making the difference between claiming victory and bragging rights, the availability of the
whole internet of information on a smart phone, can be a boon to those otherwise struggling
with trivia.

But surely this ruins the spirit of the quiz, that people pit their brains, memory and intellect
against the barrage of questions thrown out by the quiz host. And not all information surfers
are made equal – some may not have phones, some only have text messaging, whereas
others have instant access to Google and Wikipedia. How fair is it to those who cannot cheat
on a level playing field?

Have A Policy – Make It Clear Where You Stand
It is important to be sure that before your quiz starts you state your position and that you have
a policy on mobile phone use. Most commonly it would be that phones should be switched off,
and out of the players immediate area. You should appeal to player’s better nature and sense
of fair play, and ensure that perceived use of phones for cheating be frowned upon. You
might want to declare up front that anyone seen using a phone will be banned, or have x
number of points deducted in the event of a win or draw.

Alternatively you might take a laissez-faire attitude and allow users to check out and research
on the internet. If so, you need to set your questions appropriately to ensure the quiz is still a
challenge of intellect and skill rather than the ability to hit Google for facts.
The Golden Rule

Whatever your stance on the use of mobile devices in your pub quiz, try not to become too
overbearing. Whilst it might be fair do deduct points for cheating, it is no fun and detracts from
the overall pleasure of the evening if you have to evict and bar several teams on suspicion of
using their mobile phones to cheat. Realistically it is almost impossible to prevent cheating
from happening, all you can do is try and instill a sense of fairness, and limit the scope and
opportunity for it to occur.

Remember the golden rule is that your quiz evening should be an entertaining and enjoyable
event. If you fail on this front then people will not come back regularly.

The Quizmaster’s Challenge
The challenge now faced by quiz masters and compilers of pub quiz questions is to create
questions which are not so easy to simply look up on the latest WAP enabled phone.
Consider for example “Family Fortunes” style rounds, where the players have to guess the
top 5 answers in a particular category – with bonus points for guessing the correct top answer
in the category. For example, “We asked 100 people to name a well known astronaut”. The
emphasis is less about what the “correct” answer is, but what the people surveyed might have
said. Depending on the demographics, answers might range from the obvious answers like
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the ridiculous but popular such as Buzz Lightyear!
Alternatively true or false rounds on totally obscure facts might also provide the right level of
challenge. Also questions which rely on an aggregation of information such as "How many
films has Tom Hanks appeared in which won oscars?" will stretch even the most adept
internet nerd.

A skilled quizmaster will be able to rise to the challenge and find questions to test the best
brains rather than the best technology.

Share Your Experiences
So what are your experiences of mobile phone cheating? How do you deal with the issue?
What solution works for your quiz night? I would love to hear from you on this topic so please
feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sunday Connect 7 Quiz #4

Another round of Sunday Connect this week. Simple premise, seven questions and one connection.....

1. What is the common name for the culinary herb 'Ocimum Basilicum', originally from India and prominent particularly in Italian cuisine?

2. Is a picture question. Simply identify whose flag this is?

3. Who played the role of Doctor Who on BBC Television between the years 1974-1981?

4. Who married pop star Michael Jackson on 14th November 1996 in Sydney Australia?

5. Which Australian fast bowler, was the first to take a hat trick in an International 20/20 cricket match?

6. Who was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of the title character in the 1992 film Chaplin?

7. What is the name of the current Pope?

And all I need now is the connection.................

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Podcast Review - Podquiz

I mentioned the excellent PodQuiz podcast a few days ago and the latest edition has just been released so I thought I would give it a quick overview to give anyone who has not discovered James Carter's excellent weekly podcast yet a taste of what it is all about!

This weekly Podcast has been going for nearly seven years now which is a fantastic achievement and indeed all the previous episodes can be downloaded from the website. They are usually released every Friday, not sure on the time but I usually download them around 6pm. It is free to download and you can get it from the Pod Quiz Website or at itunes. Each Podquiz episode lasts around 15 minutes but that includes a 3-4 minute song each episode (usually great unheard of music).

Episode 359 is another fun entry into the series. As always the show opens with a music based round and this time it is four pieces of pop music in which you have to spot the connection. The connection this week is simple but I could only name one of the songs meaning I didnt get the connection until he gave the answers at the end. This round is always fun and there are a variety of different ways he presents the music round to keep it fresh (i.e. mixed songs, backwards songs and Midi versions).

There are then usually 3 themed round of 5 questions each and I really enjoyed this weeks round on Bells and managed 4 of the 5, learning something along the way as I usually do with Podquiz.

James slotted a fun round of Famous Voices in this week as well which had excerpts of interviews with famous people to identify which I found much harder than it sounds! Still another example of the variety that is always inherent here!

The final round was good selection of Literature questions and it rounded off a cracking episode. Podquiz 359 is a good place to start in discovering this podcasting gem!

James clearly puts a lot of effort into producing Podquiz, its well presented with good quality sound and gets straight to the point each week with no padding or filler. For any quizzing fans whatever your interests or abilities this is a very entertaining Quiz related podcast and the best I have heard by a long way.

Mastermind - Episode 11 and 12

Mastermind - Episode 11 and 12

Well last night brought us another double helping of Mastermind and with snow on the way and a big freeze starting to bite it was time for a mug of tea and the black chair.

Heat 11

Final Standings - 

Jonathan Perry - 25
John O Hagan - 24
Elizabeth Hashmi - 18
Craig Rice - 16

The first episode kicked off with a very close run contest indeed. Only two points separated the contenders after the first round and the marked difference in the GK ability of the contestants  was the difference in the split in the final standings.

Jonathan Perry tackled the works of Moir Ogai which I had no clue about but he seemed to lap the questions up. I have no idea how hard or easy these were but one of the specialist rounds in this episode was, sorry to say it, a farce for a Mastermind SS round. It is of course no the fault in anyway of John O'Hagan who proved he was no mug in the GK round, but he had entered the chair with the subject of Clint Eastwood films. This was, not for the first time this series, a terribly easy and "not-at-all-specialist" round of questions that any casual viewer of films could have scored well in. Quizzers with any film knowledge would have cleaned up but the nature of the questions was more akin to opening rounds of Weakest Link than Mastermind!

Craig Rice, a fellow north easterner, did well on the Anglo Zulu War but only managing 5 on the GK round was never going to be enough and Elizabeth Hashmi did well on Eleanor Bowes but again a troubled GK round left her out of contention.

Indeed it was Jonathan Perry who came to the chair last that stole victory from under the nose of O'Hagan both men scoring 3 in the GK round but Perry's showing in the SS round sending him through.

Another close instalment but the Clint Eastwood issue was really grating.

Heat 12

Final Standings -

James Mackenzie - 22
Rob Green - 18
Martin O Gorman - 17
Denise Smith - 16

I have a lot of notable quizzers on Facebook and during this episode, and partly due to the perceived standard on show, it drew a lot of comment about this years Mastermind. Indeed the 22 it took to win the contest here is not a particularly high score and many other contenders who were in tougher heats may be kicking themselves that they were not in this one!

Rob Green had a very easy set of Astronomy questions but a slack GK round in which he missed a few sitters cost him the win on this occasion. Martin O Gorman seemed to stumble on his knowledge of John Updike and did slightly better in the GK round but was never in contention to take the win. Denise Smith picking ten years of the history of Fleetwood Mac also drew some comment but she only made 7.

The winner of this much commented on heat was James Mackenzie who answered well on the Lost Railways of Yorkshire and 9 GK points for victory. Unless he can up the ante in the final round James might find it hard to make it through the Semi's but well played. You can only answer what you know and if that makes you the winner of the heat all the better!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Quizzes in Sunderland and Surrounding Areas....

As I have mentioned more times than enough I moved to Sunderland on Friday and am looking for good quizzes in the area. Obviously I am going to try as many as possible and have put together quite a list already, but if anyone knows any they would recommend then please let me know as I am eager to seek out the best in the area

And for the sake of Derby Day Tomorrow........Haway the Lads!

Site of the Week: PowerPoint Quiz

Powerpoint Quiz is an experience and professional company which offers a unique product, as far as I am aware, to landlords, businesses and corporate events. What you get from Powerpoint Quiz is a multimedia quiz that is so easy to run that anybody even with no previous quiz hosting experience can run it easily and quickly!

The premise is very simple. Each week a quiz will be uploaded, on a Sunday, which you can pay at present £4.99 to download. The usual price is £9.99 but the company are running a promotion at present so even more bang for your buck! In a matter of seconds you will have the quiz ready to carry out. All you need to do is print the relevant answer sheets and away you go. No need for the expense of a Quizmaster which is ideal for venues on a tight budget!

The quiz is aimed to be enjoyed by all and contains various rounds with well researched original questions and rounds to suit those who are good at word games etc.  With the fantastic presentation in each quiz it won't be hard to keep customers coming back for more and encourage them to take part.

The team at Powerpoint Quiz are all very friendly, helpful and keen to make sure your quiz is ran with great success. Whether that be increasing punters in the pub, having staff enjoy a team building session or indeed entertaining at a corporate event, Powerpoint Quiz will do their utmost to ensure you get value for money. Every time I have contacted them they have responded so quickly and efficiently they clearly take pride in customer service,

As always Ill be posting an interview with a leading figure in the company soon so stay tuned for more. 

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Ten for Thursday....

As we near the end of another week and seemingly brace ourselves for a cold snap, here are ten quick questions to get your teeth into.

1. On this day in 1920, the Treaty of Tartu ended the War of Independence in which European Nation?


2. The Ognissanti Madonna, currently on display at the Ufizzi gallery is a work of which early artist?


3. Which Belarusian tennis player rose to the World Number One Ranking this week after victory in the Australian Open?

Victoria Azarenka 

4. Which Premier League Footballer has made over 500 appearances in the Premiership as well as being capped for England whilst at 5 different clubs?

Emile Heskey

5. Which poet, who served as Poet Laureate during World War Two, has works including "The Everlasting Mercy" and "Sea Fever"?

John Masefield 

6. In Pop Music, which female singer who represented the United Kingdom as part of the group Precious at the 1999 Eurovision Song contest in Israel, later went on to join Atomic Kitten after the departure of Kerry Katona?

Jenny Frost

7. Which Woody Allen film involves the main character, played by Allen, waking up 200 years in the future after being cyrogenically frozen only to find himself in a totalitarian state?


8.  Which classic British Comedy, it has been announced this week, will be remade into a US version for American Audiences 8 years after the last episode was aired on UK Television?

Only Fools and Horses

9. In terms of official listening figures, what breakfast show attracts the highest audience each morning netting almost 8.8 million listeners?

Chris Evans Breakfast Show (Radio 2)

10. Which classic author was both a writer for and founder of the British Weekly Literary magazine "All Year Round"?

Charles Dickens

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Exit List - Episode 4

The Exit List - Episode 4

After enjoying the last couple of episodes of The Exit List, ITV's new big budget game show, I am developing something of a mixed bag of opinions on this. I still think it makes for enjoyable prime time viewing and has a great play a long at home element, but I found myself rather bored during the first half of last nights episode and entertained during the latter!

Last nights show featured two female friends who, despite answering two chestnuts wrong, had a cracking performance in the panic rooms (the make or break element of the show) and certainly raised more money than anyone else on the Exit List. After finding the £100,000 room they went for £115,000 in the Exit List but both seemed disappointed at the player who was selected to recall the list. I suppose if you are going on this show you really need to have both players focused and confident in the recall rather than "hoping" it is going to be either or. 

The key to this game surely is remembering the Exit List in some kind of order, whichever way you do it in your mind. Last night this did not seem to happen and when you start scrambling for answers with 5-6 recalls left then you really are in trouble. The team fell five short but as usual the twist was offered....£17,000 was offered in the final twist. And she took it! Obviously a massive risk this week as had she performed the Exit List £115,000 was theirs but the contestants clearly knew each other well and left with £17,000.

As I said, the final run was entertaining last night but the build up to this is getting very dull. The questions were very poor last night, the panic rooms were not much fun and the whole episode and indeed the series so far is starting to go into the realms of dramatic overload. Still, I imagine there are only a couple of these episodes left so I should be able to stick with it that little bit longer.