Friday, 29 June 2012

Tipping Point

A new quiz show starts this week, Monday in fact, at 5pm in ITV. I have seen very little about the show other than the fact it is hosted by Ben Shephard. There is going to be 20 episodes in this first series and Tipping Point focuses around some sort of coin machine (like the 2p ones at the Arcade).

Either way its a new quiz show so Ill give it a fair chance when it starts on ITV at 5pm on Monday. Anyone know much else?

Book Recommendation

The London Encyclopaedia is one of those reference books that turn a quick fact check into a 40 minute trove of information. Brushing up on knowledge of the capital was key to me a few weeks back and after getting this book my knowledge has improved dramatically. Its well written, full of useful information quizzing wise but also just a darn interesting trove of goodies!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Picture Quiz Revision

Rather than recommend a site, for a change, I am asking for help from any readers here!

Basically I am looking to improve my quizzing in picture rounds. What happens every single week at one quiz is we let ourselves down on the "20 question" picture. In a 60 point quiz this makes it hard to recover if we have a bad week!

It is not that I am terrible at these rounds. On some occasions Ill score maximum marks but there are always weeks every month when I struggle.

Unlike normal rounds it is hard to go away and revise picture quizzes. Of course I read several papers per day and my other half reads celeb mags so I get the chance to keep up to date with the "in celebrities" of the moment but what I am hoping to find is a website with a ton of picture quizzes I can use to test myself more regularly.

Does anyone know of any useful tools for this or any more tips on how to improve on these rounds?

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 - Scam?

I know a few readers and fellow quizzers got involved in this online game last week. ran a week long tournament for some pretty high stakes money given it was online. You basically answered questions and the players with the most points qualified for one of the prize positions (although you could "invite" wingmen to play who would score points for you too). The top prize was £1,000 with prizes descending from that down to about 50th place.

 It was a good little game to be truthful, all ran through facebook accounts but sadly it seems like one of two things has happened...

1) It is a scam for details. The site looking very professional and it was all so well done I have doubts it was a pure scam. Some people are reporting they have been asked for bank details which is the worrying aspect and everyone has been asked for an address for the cheque to be issued. I won a small prize but am not expecting anything to come from it.

2) What I think has actually happened is the people in charge have not gained the business they hoped and folded it. The site has gone totally, the tournament ended on Sunday night and by Monday morning the site said just "gameshow" in black and white. We all got emails saying where we had finished and what prize we won.

But basically the site worked by enticing you with three free plays and then charging to play. I think the organisers hoped that the high prizes, the competitive leaderboards and frankly the enjoyable game/questions would push people forward into buying credits. From what I gather most people seem to have used their free credits and then settled for their score. With so few players taking part the majority of players were in prize slots there was no incentive to buy credits.

A bit of research from a few more "in the know" about the internet than me shows that there is nothing overly suspicious in the sites registration details so I definitely think the second of the two options above has occurred.

It is a shame as a site like that could really work if they could find a way to make money without charging per play.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Team Size Restrictions

I had a little rant yesterday about large teams etc and this obviously has raised the issue of whether team size restrictions are appropriate for a pub quiz. I am purely talking about pub quizzing here as obviously in any serious, competitive quiz restrictions on the size of teams goes without saying.

I have had a similar conversation with a quizmaster before and his general idea I guess was the logical one. Restrictions on team size will always be counter productive in a pub quiz. The only argument I could muster was that large teams may put people off playing in smaller teams and larger teams winning everything would drive punters away.

The quizmaster in return raised valid point. First off he pointed out I was looking at it from a "quizzers" angle whereas 90% of the players in the pub where there purely for the social aspect. His job is obviously to get the quiz busy, keep the players coming in and buying drinks.

He then gave me a situation...."If I restrict the team size to 4, what if 5 friends turn up? Do I tell one he cannot play?". Obviously risking the whole team pulling out and loosing vital trade. I could not really give a good answer back. His role is obviously to attract not repel custom and pleasing the many certainly is better than pleasing the few in this case.

But what can be done about the team sizes? The one time I have had a massive team of 8 we split into two teams of 5 and the added "friendly" competition made it much more enjoyable. Maybe an idea for quizmasters to encourage?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Teasers for Sunday

I am trying to fill the nervous hours before kick off tonight with anything I can so here are a few teasers from my note book....(Sorry for the sport focus)

1.  Who scored the first headed goal in a World Cup Final?

2. Who is the current host of the Channel 4 show Countdown?

3. Next week marks an anniversary since the publication of the first Harry Potter book. is this is 10th, 15th or 20th anniversary?

4. Which former Northern Ireland football captain died this week?

5. Which F1 driver holds the record of most ever Pole Positions (68)?

6. And sticking with Formula 1, in which city is this weekends European Grand Prix taking place?

7. The Tour De France starts next week. Who holds the record for the most stage wins at the event?

8. Which football team was the focus of the 1998 BBC documentary "Premier Passions"?

9. In which British city would you find the Discovery Museum, the Life Centre and the Laing Art Gallery?

10. True of False. This years Eurovision winner "Loreen" entered the Top 5 of the UK singles chart with her winning track "Euphoria"?

Team Size

One problem I have always had in terms of quizzing is I have never been able to find a settled team to play with week in week out. In all honesty the majority of people I play with are not too serious or keen about quizzing, that is not to say they don't give plentiful answers. So usually the quiz night consists of myself and my other half playing together.

We play in a few quizzes where they are "huge" and I mean "huge" teams. Anything upwards of 10 and not surprisingly the big teams are always in the top two positions. The fact that such big teams makes it harder for us to win does not bother me, I am still learning and gaining experience so not winning every week does not concern me. But the team of 10 who only play when there is a large number of them really puzzles me and annoys me in some ways. 

I am not overly concerned with winning as I said but for us and other teams it would be nice to think we had a "chance". The team have quizzed before with 4-5 players and came about half way but at full strength they are hard to beat (made harder by a quiz in which 20 of the 60 points on offer are from pictures.....a round where more players helps incredibly).

Now I do not want to turn this into a rant about big teams or sound bitter in anyway, I hope I made that clear. I just cannot seem to work out the logic as to why someone would want to play in such a large team and what pleasure they get. If in such a big team surely most questions more than one player will know the answers.....I would feel like I was not contributing. I would not like such a big team even if it meant guaranteed victory every week. But that is just my preference!

I could maybe understand if the prize was big but it isn't. Even a win in every round and tiebreak bonuses would not cover their costs. 

I know I should not pick on this one team in particular as for all I know it could be a family who only get one chance a week to socialise and use that time to quiz but this leads me on to a post I will consider tomorrow.....should team sizes be limited?

Friday, 22 June 2012

Jackpot Success - Suspicions

Well for the first time in quite a while we managed to walk away with a jackpot win last night. The pub in question usually offers a £100 jackpot but it is rarely won, however this week they had decided to have a "guess the year" jackpot where a spot on guess would gain £100 and if this did not happen there would be prizes for £50, £30 and £20 for the closest three.

The question came up and I was sure I knew it...."In what year did Dick Whittington die?. It was one of those rare occasions in the jackpot where I actually roughly knew the answers. With only 60 seconds to think I decided a strange tactic. I knew roughly it was around the early 1420's so went for one guess just below and one guess just above what I thought it was. I was not being greedy by buying two guesses but did steamroller my other halfs efforts when I knew the question was gettable.

Sure enough the answer I had in my head was right but did the tactic pay off? Third place.....wasn't us the £20 went to the next table. £ other halfs name was read out. £50.....Mine! Quite a sweep.

But you can guess what happened next..........

Groans....head shakes...tuts...mimics of phones being tapped....."It shouldnt be allowed having two from the same table". This is very ironic as I suggested at the start it should be one guess per team as the team of 10 who had quite rightly taken pleasure in trumping everyone in the quiz mathematically had more chance of winning than a team of two. But alas the top two prizes to us.

It is one down side, major downside to quizzing I am finding. We have been regulars now for weeks, but money into the jackpot every week to build up and despite being the smallest team by far we play fairly and honestly every week.

It wasn't a very pleasant win as some of the other regulars felt narked the same table had won the top two prizes and it made me feel really awkward which it shouldn't. I know in other quizzes I play in any big winners of the jackpot/bingo games etc gets a well done and a smile.

It is becoming a recurring theme that anything our team or two does that results in any win whether that be the quiz, a pint cheque from winning the round or the jackpot its the same accusation of cheating and foul play.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Book Recommendation - Bumper Pub League Quiz Book

My recommended book this week is, for a change, a quiz book and this is one of the finest books in my ever growing collection. The Bumper Pub League Quiz Book is chocked full of questions of "quiz league" standard meaning they are tougher than a lot of the usual pub-quiz style question books out there.

Each set of questions contains sets for a Team A and Team B with individual rounds and a "drinks round" so what you get is a unique format. it also gives you some idea, if you are considering entering a league, of the style of questions and formats you may face.

This is a bumper edition so you get great value for money with all the various quizzes within and it will test every corner of your knowledge. There are no old chestnuts, no repetition and no filler, just a range of top quality quiz questions.

Well worth adding to your collection and here is a link to purchase the book on Amazon if you are interested.....

Monday, 18 June 2012

BBC shows looking for contestants

Well this seems to be a recurring theme this week of me mentioning TV shows on the hunt for players. A couple of BBC shows though are on the lookout for contestants for upcoming shows...


Both have decent formats and I would love to appear on either so if anyone is interested head over to

Sunday, 17 June 2012

QU12 - What happened to it?

I notice on Youtube there are a lot of videos of events ran by a company called QU12. They tend to feature major players on the UK Quiz scene and I have enjoyed watching them. But I cannot seem to find anything online as to what happened to this company and why they seemed to cause controversy on the UK quizzing scene. If anyone could inform me that would be much appreciated?

EDIT: I have been in touch with Steven Kidd, the chief behind QU12 and he has given me some more information. I do not however feel it is my place to share these details.

Useful Revision Site

Just a quick update today regarding books. You may or may not have heard of the Quiz Bowl scene in America. They have a useful little section here to allow players to revise key subjects which I have found very helpful indeed.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Contestant Call


I have received an email regarding a new quiz show coming to ITV. I will copy and paste the blurb below in case anyone is interested

Dear Sirs / Madams,

I hope you can help me. I’m an Associate Producer at 12 Yard Productions, and we are looking for contestants for the brand new ITV quiz show provisionally entitled “Don’t Blow the Inheritance!” I very much hope you will be able to be of assistance. Below I have put together some additional information.

‘Don’t Blow the Inheritance’ is an exciting new quiz show where two person teams, made up of generations of the same family, must make it through a series of knock out general knowledge rounds to build up their Inheritance Prize Fund and make it through to the final.

Parents (grandparents, aunts and uncles) battle to build the Inheritance Prize Fund up with thousands of pounds ready to pass on to the next generation. However, the younger generation team mate can only take the Inheritance Prize Fund home if they don’t “blow it all” at the end of the game!

It’s down to the younger generation to answer the final questions correctly so they can keep the cash rather than blowing all of mum, dad or granny’s hard work!

We are on the look out for fun and lively personalities who would like to take part in the programme. We will be holding nationwide auditions over the next few weeks. Any help you can provide us in spreading the word about our search for potential contestants would be very much appreciated. I have attached a flyer in the hope that you could circulate it to people on your mailing list or amongst colleagues, friends and family who may be interested in appearing on the show and possibly winning themselves some money.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any more information or if indeed you would like an application form yourself.

Thank you for all your help.

Kind regards,""

Robin & the Don’t Blow the Inheritance Production Team

For more details and how to apply email us today at

All applicants must be 18 years of age or over and be currently resident and living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Applications are subject to the terms and conditions in the application form.

Brain of Britain Applications Open

just a quick update to let readers know that applications for the upcoming Brain of Britain series are being accepted.

Popping an email to will get you a form.

Closing date is 6th July

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

New Year Quizzing Resolutions.....Mid-Year Report

At the start of the year I set myself a string of resolutions and goals in terms of my quizzing. With it being just about half way through the year I think I might head back to that post and see how I am getting on.

A very simple one to start off with, simply attend more quizzes.
Certainly this has happened since my move to Sunderland and not only are there more, but generally the quality is better.

Get on a TV show
Still trying. With an audition for Mastermind behind me, of which I am still awaiting the result and forms completed for Perfection, Brain of Britain, The Chase and Breakway hopefully something will come up!

Join a Quiz League.
Still ongoing but very hopeful of joining in the upcoming season.

Regardless of anything else I really desire to attend an even through the British Quizzing Association.
My main resolution and I have achieved that this past month via attendance at the WQC! Well worth the trip!

Keeping on learning
Well I have converted a room in my new flat to a nice new study so this is going from strength to strength all the time!

So far so good! Enjoying things at the minute and hopeful for a call back from Mastermind..........

Monday, 11 June 2012

Book Recommendation

Since taking up quizzing more seriously I have had to work on my weak areas (more on this in a future post) and one subject area is Science. Always been my weakness from school all the way to now (although it was not my lowest score at the WQC surprisingly). Anyway I just want to recommend a Science Book that is out there that may help anyone in a similar position, or indeed anyone with an interest in Science.

I have found this title "Why does E=Mc2?" to be easy to read, well explained and made a subject I usually struggle to read extensively on exciting.

Here is a link for the book on Amazon and it certainly is worth a look!

Jesse Honey - World Quiz Champion

All the results seem to be in now and it has been confirmed that former Mastermind Champion Jesse Honey has been crowned the 2012 World Quizzing Champion. With a stunning score of 186 Jesse takes the crown from Pat Gibson (Eggheads)!

The World Quizzing Championships were such an enjoyable event this year I would urge anyone to have a crack next year!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

When less is more.....

Thursday Night was a horrible rainy night. The kind of night when it is best to stay indoors with a warm mug of tea and the television. But I don't let a minor thing such as a torrential downpour put me off quizzing. So, looking like I had just stepped out of the shower I walked into the usual pub for the quiz and it was rather empty. I was expecting this for two reasons a) the rain and b) Coldplay were playing the Stadium of Light to which pretty much everyone I knew went to!

By the start time there were only 5 usual 2 person team, a couple of teams of 4 and a massive team of 8. Now usually I am all for "the more the better" in terms of quiz attendance and love nothing more than the quizzes being crowded. Also, for the future of the quiz in this particular pub its nice to see it full. Obviously, low attendances every week would not be good but what happened on Thursday was I had one of, if not the, most enjoyable quiz night in a long time!

With there being only a few teams everyone seemed more relaxed, there was more between rounds banter than usual (sheets are handed in after every round), discussion of answers and general chat between the teams which doesn't occur when its usually busy. Also, the players knew who each team was so there was a friendly rivalry going on and it was just a good atmosphere all round. Hence the title of the post...less is more! The pub even offered extra prizes (although the bottles of Stout it offered were probably being given away as they could not sell them) and everyone seemed to win one of the many "free pint" tiebreakers.

An all round excellent night and it would be nice to have such a more "social able" quiz on a regular basis!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

WQC Write up and Sample Questions

An article has appeared HERE with a brief write up of the Edinburgh event on Saturday and also a selection of the questions used in the afternoon Scottish Team Championship/Max Thomson Cup to have a go at!

Bank Holiday Quiz

Here a few teasers for Bank Holiday Tuesday to get stuck into. Answers in the comment box.

1. Football. Who is England's all time leading goal scorer in European Championship Finals matches?

2. Who was the only country to finish behind the UK in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest Final?

3. What was the name of the winner of this years Apprentice who also shares his name with a famous male pop star?

4. What are the two middle names of Elizabeth II?

5. Which is the only group to have two singles within the Top 10 best-selling singles in UK Chart History?

6. Despite reigning for 60 years Queen Elizabeth II is not the worlds longest reigning Monarch.  The King who rules which country holds this title having ruled for 65 years?

7. Whom did Leon Czolgosz fatally shoot? 

8. The Panama Canal was originally planned to take route through which country until the eruption of Mount Pelee on Martinque caused a rethink?

9. In 1901 oil was discovered in Spindleton which transformed the fortunes of which US state?

10. Edmund Barton was the first Prime Minister of which nation?

Monday, 4 June 2012

My Day at the World Quizzing Championships

It was an early start on Saturday as I headed North to the Edinburgh venue of the World Quizzing Championships. After leaving home around 5.45am I arrived in Edinburgh just after 8am via train and found the Voodoo Rooms venue pretty easily, an excellent location being so close to the Station. After a bite to eat and morning tea I arrived at the venue again at the start time and began to meet several quizzers I have been in touch with via facebook. I was not sure what to expect with this being my first major quizzing event but I felt at ease from the off as everyone was so welcoming.

The venue was indeed perfect, a very classy building with excellent field and quiz scene regular Brian Pendreigh had put a lot of effort into making the day a success and despite a few no-shows, it was a very enjoyable day all round!

The WQC itself began promptly with 2 sessions in all.....4 papers of 30 questions in each with breaks half way and at the end for marking. To be honest the time flew over and before I knew it the WQC was over. Well, they do say time flies when you are having fun! The questions in the paper really got the brain going, were superbly written and proved very difficult but to be honest, that is what I was expecting but I did not expect to enjoy a quiz so much when I was not scoring highly.

With this being my first major quizzing event I knew I would score low. Although when I do buy the usual GP questions I score better than I would imagine, I knew at the venue I was likely to struggle and on the world stage too. I set myself a target of what I would be happy with and exceeded it so I consider in parts to be more than pleased with my score. There were a lot of experienced quizzers there with years on me who are far far better than I am, so I knew I struggle in comparison but I thought the quiz gave me a good test, gave me some experience of top flight quizzing and certainly surprised me with what I knew.

What happens at such events is that your lowest score gets dropped, and I already had it in my mind that the Science paper would be my discard but I surprised myself by it being my second highest score of the day. Funny how things work out! I also gave a good performance in sport with only 5 scores in the venue bettering mine but I knew this would be my strongest. I struggled badly on the World and History Paper but certainly learnt a lot.

Now I know the standard I know where I need to work on and year by year I hope to raise my performance. Due mainly to finances, I won't be able to make it to all the GP's year round but certainly now I have the motivation to attend more.

What followed the main quiz was the Max Thomson Cup/Scottish Team Championship. (Max was a regular Scottish quizzer who sadly passed away recently and Brian who had been a close friend has organised this as a very fitting tribute to a keen quizzer). Me and my other half were placed in a team with two very friendly quizzers. My initial fear was that I would not be able to contribute to the team with such high level quizzers involved but once things got running the two part quiz was one of my finest quizzing performances at any level.

Tony Gold ran the first half which involved some tough pictures, music themed rounds  and around 40 questions. We did very well indeed and from my calculations of overall scores were were second in this quiz to the team who won the overall title by only one point (if I would have got the Jubilee and Olympic concerts correct it would have been a tie) but the main thing was the team worked together and everyone was giving good contributions.

The second part of the afternoon was a quiz ran by Colin Crukshanks which involved 21 rounds of between 2-4 questions which you handed in straight away and he marked meaning you got constant feedback. I have never played in such a format before but it worked wonder. You were also given a sheet to mark down how you and other teams were doing. We did well again here.

Brian's team won the event easily but we took a proud joint second place in what was easily the most enjoyable team quiz I have ever been a part of!

All in all the WQC was very enjoyable and as I have said by far and away the most enjoyable quiz I have been a part of. Everyone was friendly, the Voodoo Rooms was a great venue and the quizzing was superb. A big thanks to all organiser and especially those behind the running of a venue in Edinburgh. I hope to make this an annual event!