Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Derren Brown - "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.

Anyone have any thoughts on the episode?

Friday, 21 June 2013

CIU Quiz

Last night I played in the North-East heat of the CIU Quiz. It was held at Lemington Social Club in Newcastle and there were around 13 teams competing. It was my first time in the CIU quiz and the hope was to get to qualify for the National Final in September

The quiz involves teams of 4 and I was playing with fellow members of the Sunderland Echo Quiz League. The Gosforth Empire seem to have won this event before, and the National Final itself, so they were the main opposition as well as another team from Sunderland (fellow league members) and a team from Teeside with Brain of Britain Semi-Finalist Clive Dunning (who beat everyone in the room who played against him at the World Championships recently).

The format of the quiz was quite simple, a number of rounds of questions with the sheet handed in after every 10 to allow marking and updates on scores. A picture round of 20 questions (worth 10 points I think), a Who Am I Gamble round and a written round of 10 questions. Plenty to be getting stuck into. That is not to mention the lists round!

It went well in the first round scoring 9 points, only failing to know what county River Cottage is set in. The questions seemed straightforward and even though I certainly did not know them all the experience quizzers in the team gave us a solid start.

Round 2 was the list round....and in one of those quizzing coincidences a subject I had been writing questions about for the app I mentioned earlier in the week came up....Formula 1. We had to list the 9 drivers who had won back to back World Championships. We were given the clue they were not British. Fangio, Ascari, Vettel, Schumacher, Hakkinen came to mind straight away. After some discussion Brabham was added followed by Prost. Alonso took a while to get and after throwing a few names in the hat we settled on Fittipaldi. Only that last answer was wrong (we missed Senna) giving us a score of 8 and putting us right in contention.

The third round was Tv and Film and despite doing some work on Oscar Winners, Jeremy Irons victory escaped me. As did the film in which Robert De Niro plays Jimmy Noodles (despite being given the first letter!...O). I was hoping to do better in this round, only adding one answer which the team didn't suggest, and we managed 6 overall giving us work to do.

Pictures came next and I was glad to see some Eurovision related pictures (these acts score nul points for which country) and two of the team mates took over her and stormed through the round. We failed to identify a gnome painted by Lilly Allen but a very strong round put us in the mix.

It got even better as a strong Sport Round (dragging Zinardi out) saw us creep into second place. By this point we knew we had 3 points lead on the team in 4th meaning we were inching closer to qualification. The printed round was a great team effort and we managed to get the Who am I? on the 2nd clue for 4 points.

It was always going to be close after the way we came storming through the second half and we managed second place on 57 points just behind the winners Gosforth Empire on 58 and just ahead of our fellow friends from Sunderland.

So that means we have qualified for the National Final in September in Derby which I am very much looking forward to! The whole event was a great night, good questions, a great format, a nice venue and a good result for us!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Stumble Inn - Quiz

I noticed on Facebook this week that The Stumble Inn Pub in Sunderland were pushing a number of quizzes they have started to hold throughout the week. Usually my Wednesday nights are taken up with league matches so noticing that the venue was hosting a "Pop/Music and Entertainment" quiz last night, I decided to try it out. 

For those in the area The Stumble Inn is about a 5 minute walk from Sunderland city centre on Chester Road. It is a nice little pub, a fine selection of ales, well decorated and very welcoming. As well as Wednesday Quiz Nights they are hosting a GK Quiz on a Sunday, Buskers on  a Thursday and live bands on a Saturday. Plenty going on!

But I was there for the quiz and it kicked off at 8.30 with around 6 teams. Not a bad showing if this quiz, is as I suspect, rather new. It opens with a picture round where stills were shown from TV's and Movies and you simply had to name the programme or film. Nice range of pictures and some toughies (relied on team mates knowing Robins Nest and until the last second had confused Man about the House with Bless this House). 

There were 4 rounds of 10 questions with a music round thrown in the middle. The first few rounds were a nice simple set of questions, dropped one point by confusing Gaelic Football player numbers (schoolboy error!).The Music round would have been tough but one team member is something of an expert (not a quizzer as such just a man who knows a heck of a lot of songs!). Throw in half time nibbles, a prize for getting the anagram out of the artists in the music round and there is plenty happening.

The last two rounds became more difficult with a very tough film round (Naming the character in Catch me if you can played by Leonardo Di Caprio being one I couldn't even guess at). It finished off with Pot Luck and we managed to win by a decent amount.

Above all it was an enjoyable quiz and I will certainly be trying the GK quiz out here on Sunday.

Worth a look! 

Monday, 17 June 2013

Updates: Question Writing, Eggheads, and False Accusations

Well, I have had a very very busy week this week setting questions for a new mobile app (I think) that should be coming out soon. Don't get me wrong, I have not made the app but was contacted by a company who are paying a fair rate for questions I think.

My initial reaction when offered the job was hesitancy. Primarily because I have set questions in the past and emailed them off, never to hear from the company again. But this time I was offered part payment up front and 2 weeks later I am writing questions every night and being paid the next morning so all is well on that front! Sadly, there are some dodgy people.....

My second hesitation was whether or not it would become a chore. I work full time 5 days a week and I did not want to take on board something that was going to seem like an extra chore. The questions were in batches of 500 on various subjects (So far Golf, World Cup Football, Classic Rock, Ancient Rome, World War 1 etc) which I feared may get a little boring but far from it. I have learned quite a lot doing it, its been good digging in the reference books (especially the ones I haven't used much). The questions need to be multiple choice which I found the hardest part as I wanted to put realistic choices but after a few hours I was flying through them. I also wanted to do a good job which means avoiding Who Won the US Masters in 1998, Who Won the Us Masters in 1999 etc type of questions so admittedly towards the end of the golf ones it was getting hard.

I will keep you updated about the app as having set questions myself and seen some of the other setters work it is going to a very good one indeed. I think the problem you get with many apps, especially free ones, is lazy and boring questions without any feasible multiple choice options to make you think. This should be different


Regarding my Eggheads episode it still looks like it will be around December. I have lost track whether the episodes on this week are repeats or not (and the TV guides aren't usually helpful) but last word I had when asking the producer on Twitter was December. Although why I am looking forward to it I do not know...


With the Sunderland League season still a few weeks away I have been back at my usual Wednesday Quiz. Its a nice pub, a good quiz but since a team of us started going we have won 7 weeks out of the 8 we have played in. Of course its not the winning that counts (who am I kidding??) but it appears we have upset a team of regulars. Out of the 10-12 teams that play we are usually a couple of points ahead of a team in second place who are dozens of points ahead of everyone else. I get the impression, and in fact I know, that they used to win every week before we arrive.

This has lead to snide comments and they have added what they think is a funny "google" to their team name. Every week when scores are read out and papers are handed in there is always something said which annoys me in the sense that it ignores the fact that we are winning fairly. I don't want to get into a rant about this again but perhaps their whole idea is to force us out or get us removed? Rather sad.


And finally, I should be playing my first match in the CIU quiz this week with all being well. I assume a few of you will know what the CIU Quiz is, which is a tad more than I know at present, but it appears to be a national team quiz with heats all across the country and a grand final at the conclusion. The Sunderland Echo League are entering a few times and having seen some sets of questions it should be a very fun night indeed!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

History in An Hour Series: Kindle

Since getting my Kindle at Christmas it has had a great deal of use indeed! One series I have very much been getting into is the History in An Hour Series which are on sale on the Kindle store for a mere 99p. The books do what they say on the tin really and provide a good overview of aspects History in a book designed to be read in an hour.

Of course the areas they cover are broad and cover the sort of fields that you might already have great knowledge in but nevertheless they are excellent for revision and I certainly learnt a lot from using them!

Some of my favourites so far....

Lightspeed Quiz: York 30th June 2013

Taken from the Lightspeed Quiz page on Facebook.....(Posted by Steve Kidd)

This is the next event in the  LightSpeed Quiz season which I have been posting videos of lately. Very much enjoyed my first foray into Buzzing Quiz and I will be there in York on the 30th June for another go!

"Great News: Sunday the 30th we are at The Graduate, right next to the Lendal Bridge, smack dab between York Railway Station (c 500m) and York Minster (c 300m), across the road from the Museum and 20 yards from The River Ouse.
Now: there is no pub car parking, but on-street will cost you a couple of quid if you can find it, but York has a bangin' Park and ride service with busses every ten minutes. Rawcliffe Bar Park and Ride on the ring road will take you to a stop outside the pub

So: We have a world heritage site, great transport, one of the best museums in the country over the road and the awesome Railway museum around the corner, overseen by the finest example of Gothic Architecture this side of the River Rhine, in our own little corner with a beer garden and....

BEER IS £2.09 A PINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never has a statement demanded 20 exclamation marks."

Email me if you have any questions and Ill pass it on to Steve.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Here is the final video from the LightSpeed Event in Newcastle a few weeks ago. This time it is me asking the questions. Even though it was my first buzzer quiz I did a set of questions based on some research into what makes a good Buzzer question and I think they seemed to go down well. Certainly produced a tight game.

Well done to Mike on the overall win!

Details of next event in York to follow.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Kings Arms Sunday Quiz Sunderland

The Kings Arms is located in Deptford, just a 5 minute walk away from Sunderland city centre. Its a great little pub full of character boasting one of the finest selections of real ale in the region.

Every Sunday it hosts a quiz and this week I returned for the first time in a good few months. The quiz itself is quite unique to the area in the sense that it is a table quiz. In other words you collect a paper from the bar at any time from 5pm and have all night to fill it in. You can check back the following week for results. 50 questions over a select few categories with a picture/image round at the end.

The questions are of pretty good standard, there is a nice atmosphere in the bar and certainly when I was there between 5pm and 7pm there was no visible signs of cheating and in all its well worth a trip down. The choice of real ale on offer sometimes distracts me from the quiz though!

My Quiz Books

Both of the Quiz Books I have written as of late are still available on the Amazon Kindle Store. I enjoyed the whole process of self publishing and have received some great feedback so I am well underway with some follow ups. You don't need a Kindle to read them either as they can be downloaded onto any laptop, PC or smartphone.

The first book is a General Knowledge Quiz Book.

The second is more for anyone really, and I mean really, keen on Eurovision.

Friday, 7 June 2013

The videos from last weekend continue to be uploaded. Not sure quite what went wrong here but the player came is missing. You can still here the questions though and watch (or at least hear) a one-man show!!!

This was a Lightspeed Quiz event, see other posts on this series for further details.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Current Affairs

As promised here a few questions to refresh your mind on some events of the past week. I hope to continue these regularly!

Answers in the comment box....

1. Which internet entrepreneur married his partner, Alexander Lenas this week?

2. Which bank was in the news for controversially appointing ex-MI5 office Jonathan Evans to a Directors position this this week?

3. Which company sponsored Saturdays Epsom Derby?

4. Which British cyclist was forced to withdraw from the Tour De France this week?

5. Which Brazilian did Barcelona pay around £31 million for this week?

6. The Fuel band has been in the news this week after as the latest craze in keep fit. Which company makes it?

7. Which British band played a record breaking gig in the middle of Milan at the Piazza Del Lumo this week attracting over 100,000 fans?

8. Mark Hughes was appointed as the manager of which Premier League Club this week?

9. Which English player was punched by, and then tried to punch, club team-mate Schalk Britts in the Lions opening match against the Barbarians this week?

10. Which gallery, named after a famous artists, was awarded the prize of Museum of the Year this week?

11. In which country are the UEFA Under-21 European Championships taking place which kicked off this week?

12. It was announced this week that the literature prize once know as the Orange Prize will now be renamed after which drink?

13.Who has been appointed the new Children's Laureate?

Lightspeed Quiz Round 3 Game 2

Here is another video from the LightSpeed Quiz event I attended in Newcastle two weekends ago. This is the second round and if you have seen the first video, my first ever go at buzzer quizzing, you will have noticed I struggled a lot. Pretty much the same pattern here. I get a few more answers right and again its not the case of not knowing answers. Again I was just not fast enough but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Getting in first and seeing the difference in the Italian job question (0.19 separating us all) is my personal highlight of this but a great display from Sam Roberts to win. should be another 3 videos coming soon!

I should also say if you are interested in these events check out the website HERE

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

World Quiz Championships - Reflections

As I mentioned earlier in the week I attended the World Quiz Championships on Saturday in Masham. Now that results have been published I can have a little reflection on my own performance.

I scored 82 points over the whole quiz which was enough to land me 65th Place in the overall UK and Ireland standings which words cannot express how happy I am with. Last year was my first major quizzing event at the WQC and I did not even score half that amount and barely beat anyone in the UK. This year I managed to beat other quizzers who usually beat me by about 20-30 points which I am over the moon with.

The general feeling about the World Quiz Championships tends to suggest that it was a hard quiz. I would agree in part but I tend to do better, placing wise, on harder quizzes. Last years World Quiz Championships for instance was considered by some "too" easy but due to my relative lack of experience I miss the "easier" or "chestnut" type questions, of which there were very few at this years World Quiz Championships.

Over the 8 papers I score highest on History and (due to the fact that you "drop" a paper) scored lowest on Science due to not giving it as much time. 1 hour to do 120 questions, something has gotta give! I usually score highest in Sport but it was a tough paper. A couple of daft mistakes (Trent Razor instead of Trent Reznor, Savuka instead of Sanuka, Pirates of the the Caribbean instead of Lego Pirates of the the Caribbean) but overall when I look back at the whole paper there isn't much I feel I should have got.

Pat Gibson of Eggheads/Mastermind/Millionaire fame has won the event as the whole by the looks of things so congratulations to Pat on becoming World Quiz Champion as well as an additional thankyou to the IQA for an enjoyable event!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Current Affairs Quizzes

Due to attending a number of pub quizzes every week and due to the fact that more recent questions are creeping into the BQA's GP's I do a heck of a lot of work every week on Current Affairs. Rather than keep my notes and questions to myself I am going to start putting some up on the blog starting with this set to follow later today. Let me know if you find them useful and Ill continue it throughout.

World Quizzing Championships 2013

Yesterday players from all across the globe (140+ countries I believe) took part in the World Quizzing Championships. I was at the venue in Masham, North Yorkshire. A lovely little village, a nice town hall and a spacious venue to quiz. I understand it was a very difficult (and costly) for many quizzers to attend but there were around 90 people there.

At the present moment I cannot say a great deal about the quiz itself, my score or my performance as due to time differences etc (and the possibility some players are playing today) then we cannot divulge much until after midnight.

The results are coming in for the top players though and the Top 20 is changing constantly although it looks as it Pat Gibson (Eggheads) has won by a few clear points. It is nice to see a diverse Top 20 so far with players from all across the venues (from USA to Estonia!) scoring highly.

It was a tough but enjoyable quiz and once the results are in I will make some more comment. I would love to hear feedback from anyone else who took the quiz, particularity in venues outside the UK!