Wednesday, 30 May 2012

World Quizzing Championships....

As I mentioned earlier in the week I am off to the WQC (World Quizzing Championships) at the Edinburgh venue this weekend. I posted the subjects in a previous post and I had intended to revise certain areas I had little knowledge on.

I have since decided against this. I know for a fact I am going to struggle big time on Saturday, probably scoring low across the board and failing to make it out of the bottom few who are at the venue. I accept this, I am young, still learning a lot and this is my first major quizzing event. I am looking forward to the day and the result is not that important to me yet.....

It will be a great test of knowledge, a good pointer of where I need to brush up and the level I need to get to to be able to do well at these events. I think it will take a few months after WQC for some to take up the Quiz circuit on a monthly basis but where better place to start. I have bought the questions from previous GP's and compared myself on the rankings and performed way better than I imagined but my next main aim is to start league quizzing seriously.

I look forward to meeting any quizzers attending the venue and good luck to anyone taking part. My next blog entry will be after the quiz so Ill have some views and opinions then!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Cheats and more cheats....Beware Rant

I have ranted about this on previous occasions but again one of my favourite local quizzes has sadly descended into something of a farce when it comes to victory and placings. Its starting to ruin what has always been a cracking and busy quiz night and the annoying thing is EVERYONE including the Quizmaster knows whats happening but is powerless to act.

There are a few factors here.....One simple fact is that the pub is set out in a very odd way whereby the quiz is played in both the bar and the lounge. The quiz master is in the bar and has a speaker in the lounge so they hear them. Thus no staff see the lounge during the quiz. And guess where the cheaters sit??

What also contributes is the mere fact that there are about 8-10 20-something studenty types every week who make up the team. Now, if they played fair they may be able to stake a claim for victory given the team size but they have been seen cheating time after time and like I said the quizmaster is fully aware. In his own words though "what can I do??".

He is in a very awkward position. In a quiz with maybe 10 teams, with an average of 4 per team you are looking at 40 players and then the 8 in the cheating team, so for arguments sake say 48 people per quiz night. If he does anything to annoy the big team and they leave the quiz then that's a sixth of the nights audience lost.

Approaches that could be made include, making everyone sit in the bar and lounge but neither is big enough so this would reduce attendance. Refusing to accept their paper, disqualifying them etc risks driving them away....and they are big drinkers so much more vital to the pub than my team of two economically. Its a red tooth "mark your own" (with the tear off sheet) quiz as well so he cannot even mark them down.

I don't envy his position at all and until the 8 start driving away the other 40+ en masse nothing will be done about it. If it was a home grown quiz he could introduce speed rounds etc but the red tooth format is very very cheat friendly.

Last night our score of 46 was an honest one, higher than usual due to there being a Eurovision round for both the Top 5 list questions which is my specialist subject and a good chain on the Trivia Trail.....the winning team scored 55 and seemingly got 5 of the "hard to cheat" pictures wrong meaning a full house on the questions. Even the quizmaster made a joke in the bar that Google had won the quiz and they had been seen on phones all night but no action taken.

I am sure this is not an isolated case but it is a shame as this could be a good competitive quiz if one team were not taking the spoils unfairly week after week

Thursday, 24 May 2012

World Quiz Championships - All Signed Up

I mentioned a few weeks ago that the 2012 World Quiz Championships will have a venue in Edinburgh as well as Lichfield and tons of venues across the globe. Thankfully things have fell in my favour and I am now able to attend on Saturday June 2nd north of the border! Having the WQC Scottish venue has helped me massively as its a mere hour or so from Sunderland and not so costly as heading South.

I know full well I am going to have a very lowly placing in the run of things and my expectations are indeed low, but that does not stop me being very excited about taking part. It will be great experience for me as a young quizzer and give me an idea of the level I need to raise my game too. 

The categories are below.....

Architecture, Fine art, Museums, Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, World cultures
Ballet, Classical music, Film Music, Jazz & World Music, Opera, Pop music, Radio, Television
Civilisations, Current Affairs, Exploration, Famous People, History
Costume, Design, Fashion, Food & Drink, Handicrafts, Health & Fitness, Human Body, New Age beliefs, Products & Brands, Tourism
Comic strips, Comic books, Graphic novels, Film, Language, Literature
Exact sciences (Chemistry, Physics etc.), Fauna, Flora, Social sciences
Sport & Games
Games, Sports, Hobbies & Pastimes, Records & achievements (in context of genre)
Cities, Human Geography, Physical Geography, Inventions, Space, Technology, Transport

The way the WQC seems to work is that you complete a paper on each of the main subjects and your lowest score is taken away meaning 7 papers count. Having this list has been handy as it means I can do some pre WQC studying. Not that Im expecting to gain any points doing this but it will give a focus to my reading for the next fortnight or so and also give me a good grounding in subjects for future use. There is not a great deal I can do in two weeks but for subjects such as "Graphic Novels" which I know virtually nothing about it will introduce me to subjects I am going to need to scratch up on.

It would be great to hear from others going to the event and here is hoping I just don't embarrass myself too much.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A year of The Quiz Addict

It seemed to escape my attention yesterday but it has indeed been a year since I start The Quiz Addict blog and it has flown over. A lot has happened in the last year in my personal life from redundancy, to a house move and various other bits and bobs. I have really enjoyed posting (despite the blip in autumn) and it has been great sharing my views, setting questions and getting responses from others on quizzing issues!

Thanks to everyone who has read, posted and viewed the blog and here is hoping I am still as keen this time next year!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Mastermind Audition

I was not intending on applying to Mastermind until, as the saying goes, I was a bit older and a bit wiser but after enjoying the series this year I thought there was no harm in trying. Today was my audition process at the Copthorne Hotel in Newcastle.

I was in front of three people, who I assume are the production team and the whole process took around 20 minutes. They went through the format of the show (24 heats etc) and rules regarding specialist subjects. I did not actually know some of these rules before hand such as not being allowed to have a specialist subject that is related to your profession  or that you have published work on. Either way it did not effect me and I was ready for my GK questions.

20 were asked in all with no clue as to how you were doing or right answers given. They were a mixed bunch, some of which I remember being asked in the series this year. All in all a balanced set and I got all the questions right I should have got right and did not really have a clue one or two of them but I was pre-warned that "toughies" were coming.

After this there was a brief chat about specialist subjects, I was asked if I could expand a few and one was changed a little bit to make it a wider field but in essence all my subjects remained the same. A quick photo later and it was all over.

The production team were very friendly and it was a simple, relaxed process. I have a 4 week wait or so to find out if I have made it to the first round of shows. I did enjoy my Mastermind audition and have my fingers crossed for a positive call back!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

University Challenge Documentary

I am not sure where or when this was first broadcast but I found "I won University Challenge" on Youtube by accident. It is in three parts and once I started watching the first part I was hooked.

Saturday Quiz

15 questions to have a crack at today! Hope you enjoy and as usual answers in the comment box.

  1. Which sport was Henry VIII alleged to have been playing when he was informed about he execution of Anne Boleyn?

  1. “At the Piano” and “The White Girl” were paintings by which artist?

  1. Bud Flanagan famously sang the theme song of which 60’s/70’s BBC sitcom?

  1. In the late 1860’s Wimbledon, now best known as a Tennis venue, was first used as a venue for which sport?

  1. In The Dictator, currently showing at UK cinemas, Sacha Baron Coen plays the role of the leader of which fictional African state?

  1. James Figg is often Credited with setting up the first club for what sport?

  1. What Sport has the nickname of “The Roaring Game”?

  1. Who invented the vulcanisation of rubber process?

  1. Polly James and Nerys Hughes starred in which Carla Line Sitcom?

  1. In 1907, Brooklands was the first purpose built type of what sports venue?

  1. Which famous brother of a member of the Beatles was in the band The Scaffold?

  1. Name the fictional law enforcement agency in the TV sho wThe Professionals?

  1. Mollie King is a singer in which girl group?

  1. Who was the first team to win the football European Championships on two occasions?

  1. A Poll by the UN this week named where as the wettest country in the world based on annual rainfall?

Friday, 18 May 2012


I mentioned last week I had been to the Fritzgeralds quiz in Sunderland for the first time. The regular quizmaster was off that night but the usual quizmaster was back last night and the quiz lived up the previous week. Easily the best pub quiz in Sunderland I have been to so far. Competitive, good questions and a good atmosphere.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Just to keep the brain ticking over, here are a selection of 10 movie based questions (all really from a specific period) with a very loose connection. Answers in the comment box.

1.       Which film directors most celebrated work includes “On The Town”, “Bedazzled”  and “Singing in the Rain”?

2.       Where were Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers “Flying down to….” In 1933?

3.       In “Anchors Away” Gene Kelly partakes in a very famous dance sequence with a cartoon mouse. What is the name of that mouse?

4.       Arguably Fred Astaire’s most famous dance routine, entitled “You’re All The World to Me”, in which he defies gravity by dancing on the walls and ceiling features in what film?

5.       In which film does Gene Kelly play Don Lockwood?

6.       What movie, starring Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn and James Coburn amongst others,  was released in 1963 only 2 weeks after the Kennedy assassination (forcing the word assassination to be dubbed from the film twice) and has been called “the best Hitchcock film that Hitchcock never made”?

7.       Who was due to play the lead role in Easter Parade, until a broken ankle incurred during a game of Volleyball forced him to pull out, paving the way for Fred Astaire to take up the role?

8.       The song “Tammy” from Tammy and the Bachelor reached number one in the US music charts in 1957. Who sang the song?

9.       Who made her film debut in “Adams Rib” as Beryl?

10.   Who was Adolph Green’s famous writing partner,  together with whom they produced some of the most beloved Hollywood musicals?

When the Quizmaster helps....

Now, I have raised this issue before on TQA and it has come to light again at a quiz night I have started to attend. The quiz night other than one issue is fine.....that issue being the way in which prior to collecting the sheets in the Quizmaster does the rounds and gives answers out.

I know this goes on a lot and I know why Quizmasters do it, but for me it is ruining what could be a great quiz. There is a huge difference between giving a friendly clue and blatantly giving answers.

Without meaning to sound offensive to anyone, I do not look like the kind of person who would be good at quizzes. Me and my other half are the usual pairing to go to quizzes and the fact that a) we are younger than most entrants and b) there is only two of us means we tend to get help even if we don't want it. The quizmaster never looks at the right answers to give an assessment at how a team has performed, he just looks at the blanks and provides help. This is a terrible way to do things and against the logic I assume he is using to make sure everyone has a decent score.

My problem I guess is I take quizzes too seriously, as I assume anyone reading this blog does. Thats not a bad thing but it does mean we are at odds with others in the pub who don't. I don't mind getting things wrong as long as I can learn from it and Id rather get no points than score points from the quizmasters help. Last night for instance, the Trivia Trail (where the answers begins with the last letter of the last answer) was tricky and I messed question 5 up which set my trail off on the wrong path. I would rather take the wrong path and get an honest score than have the quizmaster tell me what is wrong and what the right answer is.

Other than that a few good questions last night...I messed up on a Star Trek question in naming the characters based on positions held in the TNG crew (confusing Jordi and Data) and also did not realise Roy Hodgson and Mark Hughes were some of the richest managers in the Premier League. A Bugs Life too came up to the fore and caught me out with a question about the enemies in the film. Either way I don't mind getting questions like this wrong as it allows me to go away and learn.

But I guess thats the end of my least I have found one quiz in the area that is run properly. Now I just need some more.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

New blockbusters.....Views

Episode one of the All-New Blockbusters on Challenge TV aired last night and I thought writing this post would be easy but I find that I have very little opinion on the show. I am not sure what I was expecting to be fair but the fact the show has not changed at all makes it hard to form an opinion.

Simon Mayo is on hosting duties and although he did not do a bad job, he did really add anything to the show and he has big boots to fill. The only major difference this time round is that the contestants are adults not merely restricted to students. This does not really change the game much though.

The questions are a mixed bag as with the old series but there were a dozen or so really decent ones in there that will keep me watching. The Gold Run has not changed and remains entertaining and Blockbusters in general is still Blockbusters.

All credit to Challenge for trying to bring back a game-show classic back, but I cannot see Blockbusters being much of a hit for them. It will always get a curiosity viewing for old fans and quiz show buffs, but in the fast paced world of todays TV Blockbusters needed to be reinvented and Challenge have failed to do that.

I do hope it does well and makes it to a second series so I can apply again :) but they could have done so much more with it.

Mastermind Article

An interesting article on the Mastermind winner Gary Grant from The Scotsman today HERE

Monday, 14 May 2012

New Series of Blockbusters starts tonight!

Just a quick reminder that the new series of Blockbusters presented by Simon Mayo starts tonight at 8pm on Challenge. I am quite open minded about this one and am hoping it will prove to be a hit. I applied to be on this series and they left me an answer phone message about an audition but I could never get back in touch with them so if it does prove to be a hit maybe I will have a try the second series.

Either way, it will be interesting to see what they do with the series.

New BBC Show looking for contestants...

I occasionally glance at the BBC's Be On A Show Page and noticed they are advertising HERE for a pilot for a new quiz show. The only information about the show is what I have pasted underneath. Might be worth a try....

"Are you a confident, out-going individual with a good level of general knowledge? Could you take on our challenge?"

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Saturday Quiz

After a few days without any quiz questions posted up here, try these 15 out of size. Answers in comment box as usual.

1. What Italian phrase/word, which translates as "in the church style", means a performance of polyphonic musical work by unaccompanied voices?

2. Hui-ing was the capital of which Chinese dynasty which ruled from 1122-1234?

3. What type of knowledge translates in English as "from what is before"?

4. Name this city. A favourite of Charlemagne with the Roman name of Aquisgranium this city was the site of the majority of the crownings of German Kings between the period 936 to the 16th Century?

5. The Ring Canal and Westeinder Lake are found in which country?

6. The Saynatsalo Town Hall is said to epitomize the work of which European 20th Century Architect?

7. The African Ant Bear is an alternative name for which animal?

8. What is the name of the longest River that is contained entirely within Switzerland?

9. Which Biblical figure, according to Numbers 20, died aged 123 on top of Mount Hor?

10. Which Basbeall Hall of Famer broke Babe Ruth all time batting record for home runs in 1974 when he hits his 715th run whilst playing for the Atlanta Braves?

11. Who designed the 376ft Arcelor Mittal Orbit tower?

12. Which film recently broke the US Box Office Opening Weekend record taking over $200 million dollars?

13. US TV giant Fox have ordered a pilot of what UK quiz show?

14. Who composed the Opera "Salome"?

15. Which film, currently showing at UK cinemas, is the eight collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton?

Friday, 11 May 2012

Mastermind Final

Well, the Grand Final of Mastermind 2012 has just ended and congratulations go to the new champion Gary Grant! Tonight's contenders were -

Gary Grant
Andy Tucker
Maya Davis
David Love
Nick Reed
Mark Wyatt

I had a feeling we could be in for a very close final tonight and Mark Wyatt was the one to kick things off with Turner as his subject. A very solid 15 set a good benchmark for the final. Maya Davis struggled with the wide subject of Alchemy and her score of 6 ruled her out of contention. David Love took Tom Lehrer and scored a good 14 and when Nick Reed, who I saw as a potential outsider for the crown came home with 12 for the Diggers, it looked like a close final was indeed on the cards. Gary Grant however romped in with a stunning 19 on Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises to put himself firmly in control. Andy Tucker was fancied by many to take the title and needed something close to Gary's score to be a contender. Andy managed 14 on the history of Azerbaijan.

This left Gary with a 4 point lead after the first round, a lot to ask given the calibre of quizzing on show. It already looked as if we had a winner in waiting.

Scores after Specialist Round

Gary Grant - 19
Mark Wyatt - 15
Andy Tucker - 14
David Love - 14
Nick Reed - 12
Maya Davis - 6

So for the final time in the series it was time for the long walks to seats for the final General Knowledge rounds.

To be fair Maya Davis probably knew as she approached the chair that her chances of being crowned Mastermind this year were over. She has proven her skills in getting to the final but perhaps the wide subject choice let her down on this occasion but her general knowledge certainly didn't claiming 14 points on a very hard set to reach a total of 20.

Nick Reed I had down in my preview as a potential outsider for the crown, however his SS round had not been as consistent as the previous rounds and he was left with an uphill struggle. Nick seemed to struggle early on and did not really recover. Again it was a very hard set of questions and probably combined with the pressure of the final and the nervy start probably played a factor in the score of 8. Still a good score on the set given but that also brought his total to 20. A fantastic achievement on getting to the final and certainly if Nick takes part in future series he could go all the way.

David Love was next and posted  cracking score of 14 on what I thought was the hardest set of the night. This gave him a total of 28 and a real target for all to beat. Only Gary Grants extraordinary 19 put what would have been a commanding total into some doubt. Still David Love has been superb throughout the series and if he should return he will certainly be a contender.

Andy Tucker was much fancied before hand and settled straight into his round firing off speedy answers and getting into a groove. The difficult set proved manageable as he raced to a score of 16, taking the lead with a score of 30, a great total. Again it was only due to the 19 score by Gary that this total looked to be a few points short of being a real target. Still, Andy Tucker is a fantastic quizzer and has proven it throughout the series.

Mark Wyatt had a chance to post a target of his own but after a good 15 in the first round managed only four points on the General Knowledge. It didnt appear to be an unusually difficult set nor did Mark Wyatt seem too phased about the occasion, it perhaps was just one of those occasions when they questions don't fall right.

Gary Grant strode to the seat next, knowing a score of 12 would take the victory. It always seemed likely and bar a huge meltdown Gary was odds on favourite. The flying start to the round meant the result was never in doubt. Gary raced to 16 for the round, the joint highest of the night, and bringing his total up to 35. A score that is always likely to take a Mastermind Final whatever the year and a fantastic performance. A thoroughly deserving champion of what has been another hugely enjoyable series.

The Quiz Addict: Quiz Trek #11

Quiz Trek #11

Fitzgeralds, Sunderland

Onwards and very much upwards on the latest quiz on my Quiz Trek this year. Fitzgerald's lies in the centre of Sunderland and is a traditional real ale pub. Holding the quiz on a Thursday has rules it out of my plans for the past few weeks since moving here due to the quiz a friend of mine runs just around the corner, but last night I gave it a try and this has instantly become my favourite quiz.

First of all the setting is perfect. The quiz takes place in its own room, there was no signs of any cheating and its a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The beer is not half bad either!

The usual quizmaster was apparently absent this week but the stand in did a fine job. The opening round was 15 general knowledge questions. There were a good mix of easy ones, logical questions and toughies. This was one of the few quizzes whereby you hand your sheet in after every round which I liked so you get a rough idea how you are doing. The competition is fierce in here (with only two of us) and with some big teams we found ourselves mid table after the opening round mainly due to my error on a table tennis service questions.

As the first round is being marked the picture round kicks in and its 20 faces. Again the perfect balance of "people I should know", easy ones and faces you just cannot put names to. We struggled on 5 of the pictures here but had a good round. For some reason although we got told the scores we were not given a cumulative total of where we were but we clawed our way back up.

Round 3 was 6 questions on Film and 6 on Music. Ill be kicking myself all week for not knowing the name of Drew Barrymores character in E.T. and it was a tough round indeed. One team managed 10 but our 8 was enough to be second in the round. Great questions!

Finally the last round was 12 on general knowledge which were harder than the first GK round. These were the ones clearly designed to separate the team and had some cracking questions.

Overall the 39 questions asked were enjoyable, it makes a change around here having a good home-grown quiz rather than a Red Tooth one. There were no gimmicks, no cheating and no help from the quizmaster so the playing field was even. Add to the fact there were "guessy" type tie break questions every round to win free drinks and a snowball jackpot of £100 to play for. All is good!

If you are seeking a quality pub quiz in Sunderland then I would highly recommend the Thursday night quiz in Fitzgeralds!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Mastermind Audition

Well, I have said before that I wanted to wait a few years before applying to Mastermind to avoid the potential for embarrassing myself but I thought why not and send an application of earlier in the year. To my surprise I have been called for an audition on the 22nd May at Newcastle. 20 GK knowledge questions and a chat! Looking forward to it!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Quiz Addict Quiz Trek #10

The Barnes, Tobey Carvery, Sunderland

After a few weeks without a "new" quiz to take part it, I decided to drop my usual haunt this week and attend a quiz a friend had told me about at The Barnes Tobey Carvery, just outside Sunderland city centre. We did not know much about the quiz going into it other than knowing it started at 9pm but being a Tobey Carvery I had a hunch this would be a Red Tooth quiz.

And sure enough I was correct although it was not the format I was used to. This was the Red Tooth "Smart@ass" quiz which is a different format to the usual one I play. Now, unlike a lot of other quizzers, I do not mind the normal Red Tooth Quiz (Current affairs, top 5, trivia trail, connections and wipeout) but I was not too impressed by this format.

Don't get me wrong, it is a nice little pub, very friendly and relaxed, the company was good and it was a decent night, but in terms of the quizzing, I do not think I will be rushing back to Barnes in a hurry. The whole "smart@ass" format seems to be a quiz for people who don't like quizzes.

The first round starts off with pictures, we managed to score highly on this only failing to get Darcy Bussell which surprised me as I had watched a DVD of her tour with Katherine Jenkins just nights earlier. The first round proper was a multiple choice round with three options given to every question including the likes of "How many segments in a Terrys Chocolate Orange?" (20) etc. I did not enjoy this round as generally I find multiple choice questions in pub quizzes a bit dull.

Following this was a "Blockbuster" style round with questions along the lines of "What WT is a slang term for male genitals?" (Wedding Tackle) and "WC = A Famous Berkshire landmark" (Windsor Castle). Very boring and dull round. We were scoring well though but there were a few signs of cheating which, due to the guessy nature of the quiz I didnt mind. Rounding off the first half was a "specialist subject" round which involves 5 questions on one subject (this week being Puppet Shows). This was by far the best round of the night with some tough questions and a nice end to the first half.

A Fun Fortunes round followed. I mentioned a few days ago I like the Red Tooth Fun Fortunes Quiz when its run separately but did not appreciate this round where only the top answer scores points. Following this was an Odd One Out round which had 4 general knowledge questions that would not be out of place in the opening round of Weakest Link.

Up to this point we must have been winning, based on the final scores, but a 10 point questions on Eastenders blew us out of contention.Basically, the last round in this quiz involves you having to come up with a list of 10 things on the subject. You put your most confident answer first as as soon as you get one wrong your score freezes for the round. So if 1,2,3,4 were correct but 5 was wrong you would score five points. We managed to pick up 9 points in this round but mistakenly placed Ronnie Mitchell as our tenth answers (regarding Landlords/Ladies of the Queen ) which cost us 6 points as there were 5 bonuses on offer for a full list.

Regardless we finished just outside the top 3, I assume everyone in the pub picked up maximum 15 on the Eastenders question so no prizes and no free carvery :(

As I said then, the Barnes quiz is well attended, friendly and welcoming. It does not drag on and the quiz master gets it all wrapped up before 10.30pm. For some I imagine the format is ideal and there is enjoyment to be had out of the format, but I assume my opinion is the same as that of most quizzers, it is not the format for us. There are too many guessy parts and the Odd One Out seems to be ruined by obvious questions. The other Red Tooth format as I mentioned is far better and it would definitely put me off attending a quiz if I knew they were using the "Smart@ass" format. 

Monday, 7 May 2012

Quizzers Documentary

I know I have posted this before on the blog but it always worth mentioning for anyone who has not seen it. A short documentary about the world of quizzing featuring a lot of famous faces you will recognise.

Quiz Book Review: Are You Smarter Than a Ten Year Old?

I, like a lot of quizzers I am sure, have amassed a large number of quiz books over the past few years. Some more useful than others. An excellent way to test yourself, identify areas of weaknesses and learn new facts. I did intend to make this a bigger feature of the blog a few months ago but as I work my way through my collection I thought I'd mention on The Quiz Addict how useful I find some of the books.

I really have picked a bad place to start. I will not go into the nerdy way in which I decided this was the book I was going to start with but suffice to say it was a random choice. I picked this up in a closing down sale of a book shop near to me a few months ago for 99p……bad move!

Are You Smarter Than a Ten Year Old? to be fair, is not a bad TV show. The whole idea of the show if you haven’t seen it before is testing adults on subjects on the children’s national curriculum up to the age of ten. The show has all sorts of gimmicks such as helpers etc but more of that another time.

The book to go with the show though is terrible and Are You Smarter Than a Ten Year Old? Is easily the worst quiz book in my collection and by far the most useless. It perhaps is not fair to compare the Are You Smarter Than a Ten Year Old? book to other titles as this is a TV tie in so is very restricted but so much about this book is bad bad bad I am not even giving the usual link to buy it online!

First off there are only 451 questions. Quality is better than quantity but here both are lacking. They are divided in 41 rounds of 11 questions. You work your way up through the money in each round but unlike the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? books there are no other ways to play this such as using lifelines. It’s just four choices for each.

The question writing is so poor and inconsistent. Some of the £250,000 questions are easier than anything else in the book and there is no satisfaction at getting 11 in a row and completing the whole round.  The questions often repeat bits of information and are so obvious it just screams of laziness.

One of the main reasons I buy quiz books is to learn new information and apart from maybe 1 or 2 little bits of information on the Religion questions (a weak point for me) I learnt nothing. It took about  2 hours at most to go through the whole book and I got very little from it.

All in all this is a book best avoided, even as a gift, even for fans of the show it is a book I would not suggest at all is worth your time investing it.

New Blog

Just a quick plug for a new blog which may of interest to any readers. I originally saw the link through David Clarks Life After Mastermind Blog and Jack has posted on there several times about quizzing issues. The link is HERE

Friday, 4 May 2012

Derren Brown's "Trick of Treat" - Quiz Episode

Apologies as I know this aired some time ago, but I have just recently watched the episode of Browns "Trick or Treat" series where he takes, for want of a better description, a bloke called Glen who says he has a bad memory, and trains him to be a quiz champion. (Link to Youtube Video above for anyone who didnt see it, about 22 mins long).

Basically he gets Glen to run his fingers down pages of reference books, without reading them, informing him that this will enter the information into his subconscious which he will be able to recall a week later at the quiz "Night of Champions". He enters the quiz alone and well I won't spoil the ending of it.

Surely this cannot be true and hasnt got the foggiest hope of ever working? My belief has always been that Brown is out to try and see what he can get viewers to believe. Everything he does in my eyes has been a test to see the extent to which people will believe what he does on screen is true. 

Anyone have any thoughts on the episode?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

USA Cash Cab

On one of the Sky Channels (Pick TV) Cash Cab is shown pretty much daily all year round. However, there are two versions of the show and they do not tell them apart in the Listings. It simply says "Cash Cab" so if you are watching it (or recording it as it is on at 5.00am) you have no idea what you are going to get.

Although I do like the British version of the show, I know some people do not. However, the American version is much much better and purely for the fact that the questions are great! They are so well written and put together it makes this feel like an entirely different show despite it being exactly the same in all other aspects. SO if the UK version has put you off, try and catch the US version which seems to be running now on the channel.

In It To Win It

It is rare I go on rants but I am sure I can be forgiven for this one. Can someone explain to me how the Saturday Night lottery show, In It To Win it has survived longer than far superior quiz shows? Every other Lottery quiz show has been better devised, more enjoyable and entertaining. Maybe it is just me but I cannot tolerate this show!

The first thing that has annoyed me for years…being 26 I remember watching the first few series of this with my parents when I lived at home…is the “waffle” before answers. Obviously contestants are told to justify answers for a while, rule out ones they know are wrong and generally talk annoyingly for a period before answering.

“What Colour is the Sky?”
“Well Dale, it might be Red Dale but Im not sure. Green I know is wrong Dale because I have seen the Sky before and its not Green. But I am pretty sure it was Blue this morning Dale when I was coming into the studio so my answer is Blue Dale”

I obviously have realised now that this may be to do with the fact that this game can be played at home on the Red Button so gives people a chance but it is still so very very annoying.

My second grievance is the simple fact that out of every single quiz I have seen over the years on TV, and this is not meaning to be snobbish, but this is the lowest calibre of questions and generally have contestants who I cannot understand why they would apply to go on a quiz show!

Do not get me wrong, I would go on the show in a flash as when you see someone answering such a simple question and walking away with £50,000 no one would turn that chance down but it just annoys me that such a bad show has survived longer than far better quizzes!

Rant Over!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

World Quizzing Championships

I have been meaning to attend a British Quiz Association GP ( for some time but it always tends to be that something gets in the way. First of all living in Sunderland means I am fairly out of the way of a lot of the main events I do not drive either and working Monday-Friday means usually expensive train fares are the only way to get there. Also with the recent move etc I have been a little bit pre-occupied!

However, the main event on the whole GP circuit Calendar is the World Quizzing Championships which take place in venues all over the world. Usually the even seems to centre on Lichfield which is quite far away from me but this year it seems a venue in Edinburgh has been added. I will certainly be doing everything to attend, even if it means not leaving the house for a month to get the funds together!

Will anyone else be travelling to the Edinburgh venue for this? All information can be found on (check the forums).

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Mastermind Grand Final Preview 2012

The last of the Semi Finals concluded on Friday and the line up for the Grand Final of Mastermind 2012 is complete. It has been a very entertaining series despite the BBC playing around with the scheduling...including a last minute shift of the final to the 11th May!

Gary Grant seemed the most impressive in the heats. Gary has appeared in the final of Only Connect and plenty of people on the UK quizzing scene will be cheering him on come the final. If I had to make a prediction I would go with Gary and purely because of the fact is a friend on facebook, I will be rooting for him!

Andy Tucker though too has a very strong quizzing background being a finalist on Brain of Britain which is no easy feat by any means. We have seen so many times in this series how “long-winded” questions and an imbalance in sets has played huge roles in deciding the outcomes of episodes and it could well do so in the final. I hope not but the series has attracted some criticism in parts from quizzers so far in both these areas!

Nick Reed has commented on The Quiz Addict before. I did mention at the time of his first round that he had perhaps the easiest SS round (on Football Grounds) I have ever heard on the show. I did not say that in any way to be harsh or discredit his performance and he has since proven his quizzing credentials by some solid GK rounds so well deserves his place in the final. I fully expect him to be in the mix.

Maya Davis enters the final as the only women. It is of course great to see and she proved me wrong in both of her previous wins. I think based on previous shows the GK scores of the other quizzers may prove too high for her but you never know. She has proved me wrong twice already and I wouldn’t put it past her doing it a third time.

Mark Wyatt and David Love too both have shown they are not phased by the chair. Solid scores throughout and impressive quizzing has earned them a place in the final.

Either way it should be a great end to the series. If forced to predict I would go for

1. Gary Grant
2. Nick Reed
3. Andy Tucker

Good luck to all contestants!