Sunday, 31 August 2014

This Week I Didn't Know....

Again, I little selection of some the of my failings in various quizzes this week. The Picture round was again a bit of a damp squib with most teams scoring 18/20 (as always there were a couple of totally obscure ones). We scored 15/20 and it will have been the three below that most people would have picked up that I missed....

Picture Round


Well this was a funny one.......Without giving too much way if you are trying to get this one yourself, I always struggle telling these new "reality stars" apart. The day after the quiz I would have indeed got this however as this guy became something of a humorous news story this week!


Should have got this! Sport is usually my strongest subject whatever the type of quiz.....but the picture we saw was only a face so didn't even have the badge, or a shirt colour to go off.


Apparently, in the realms of daytime TV, the guy who fronts this show is all the rage. Never seen him,never heard of the show until last week and couldn't even muster a sensible guess.


1. James Argent
2. Peter Osgood
3. Judge Rinder


1. Who played opposite Twiggy in the film The Boy Friend?

Now....even though I consider myself to be rather okay on films, I had not even heard of this movie so was in purely guessing terms. Not even close. Should I have heard of this film? Only one team of 14 got it right.

2. Which female artist is currently at No.7 in the UK album charts with an album called A Perfect Contradiction?

Shame I hadn't paid attention to that weeks charts as this was by a singer I quite like.

3. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch is to voice which popular character in one of the two Jungle Book films entering production?

Totally passed me by this news story and although guessable, my guess was wrong.

4. The port of Ullapool, in the Scottish highlands, lies on which loch?

British Geography is one of my weakest areas. Couldn't come up with a sensible guess that sounded right.


1. Christopher Gable
2. Paloma Faith
3. Shere Khan
4. Loch Broom

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Mastermind Heat 3

Another close heat this week. After last week's tie break there was little again to choose between the contestant. Former Finalist Les Morrell was a face I recognised straight away. Susan Sworn was a familiar face too having reached the Semi Final on a previous occasion. Indeed she bossed the specialist subject and left herself very little to do in the GK round to progress but just couldn't make it.

The GK sets were nicely balanced this week in my view. Always a subjective issue, but I found I scored evenly across them.

Final Placings

Chris Grandison - 26
Susan Sworn - 25
Jeremy Renals - 25
Les Morrell-24

So congratulations to Chris Grandison on a fine win. Could well be a name to watch in the Semi's! Les Morrell mentions on Facebook his whole round was disturbed due to a mess up on the Yoga question by Humprheys which threw his round off. Edit: See Dsvid Clark's comment in the box below.

 Either way, it was a good enjoyable heat.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Mastermind Standings

Prior to tomorrow nights episode here is a quick look at how this series is shaping up. Still not confirmed whether or not to qualify as a high scoring runner up you need to finish second hence the inclusion of the (2nd).

Mark Eaves - 30 (Q)
Paula Keaveney - 21 (Q)
Gareth Kingston - 28 (2nd)
Alice Mennel - 26
Howard Towner - 23
Cliff Morgan - 21 (2nd)
Tim Allison - 19
Stephen Peter - 17

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Sunderland Echo Quiz League - Gowan Scott Knockout Week 4

Results for this week -

A much needed win this week. Sometimes, as a quizzer, you just have one of those nights and this week happened to be mine. A great selection of questions, more modern than usual, with Greek Mythology, 1990s political scandals and other such areas in which I am usually strong resulted in a great win for Museum Vaults. Hopefully we can build on that next week.

The other results panned in such a way that it leaves the league very open indeed. Each team plays 7 matches with the top 4 qualifying and as you can see from the below table every team has a chance of making it to the Semi Finals.

Next Week the Fixtures are -

Newbottle vs The Isis
Museum Vaults vs Hastings Hill
Penshaw vs Chaplins

Monday, 25 August 2014

Week in Quizzing

Mastermind, Univeristy Challenge, Only Connect back on the 1st September...a nice time of year for TV quizzing. It was good to see The Link given a second series this week with applications now open via the BBC website. In the array of new shows that have been thrown at us this year not a great deal has impressed, but The Link was pretty enjoyable when it aired earlier in the year and it will be good to see it back (my mission now is it find a partner before the 12th to make an application)

Speaking of TV quiz shoes, Two Tribes, fronted by Richard Osman, began on BBC One this week. After 5 episodes I have found this to be quite enjoyable. Fast paced, good range of questions and, more importantly, it isn't dragged out! See review earlier in the week for more information, or perhaps better, head over to Iplayer now and catch up on the weeks worth of episodes.


A new quiz blog has began HERE. Seemingly produced by a quizmaster it contains various questions and discussion points on quizzing. Well worth a read!


Revision time this week has been spent with a few books I picked up over the weekend. Both are going to feature in an extended post I am going to make next week but for now here are the links if you want to check them out yourself....

The Penguin Book of Fights, Feuds and Heartfelt Hatreds: An Anthology of Antipathy is a cracking collection of tales of fall outs and rivalries between famous people. Ranging from politicians to writers to celebrities it has some great question-setting material but above all else is such an enjoyable read. Particularity at the price you can get it for on Amazon (see link above)

These 1001 series of books are great material for learning and picking up key quizzing information. This book, which I am almost finished working through, has paid dividends over the past year. Whether its been quiz leagues, World Championships or Pub Quizzes, working my way through this title has resulted in a heck of a lot of extra points. £20 is pricey but it is worth every single penny!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Mastermind 2014/2015 - Episode 2

Mastermind 2014/2015  - Heat 2

I found this week's episode of Mastermind to a very odd one indeed. Congratulations to Paula Keaveney on winning via a Tiebreak and making it to the next round.
I found the GK in this episode to be much tougher than last week. Of course it is all based on personal opinion but the fact that the winning score this week is lower than the 4th place score last week may testify this.
I had a feeling when the third contestant came to the seat for the GK round that we were heading to a tiebreak due to timings and sure enough we got one! I really enjoy the Mastermind tiebreaks and they are quite rare things. The last one I remember was 2 series ago (involving last weeks runner up Gareth Kingston). With 2 correct answers to 1 Paula Keaveney sailed through.
A lot of familiar faces this week.....leads to the question (as raised by David Clark on LAM)...just what is the reapplication policy now. I was under the impression it was a 2 year wait?
Anyway here were the final scores from Heat 2.

Paula Keaveney - 21 (Q)
Cliff Morgan - 21 (2nd)
Tim Allison - 19
Stephen Peter - 17

Mastermind Wiki Challenge Week 3

Thankfully, it looks like Mastermind is back to normal scheduling after the stop/start opening to this series. Episode 3 airs on Friday and the subjects will be - 

The Short Stories of Edgar Allen Poe 
Our Friends in the North
Richard the Lionheart
Bobby Moore

A nice range. I have never seen Our Friends in the North so won't probably bother with that one but certainly will be keen to test knowledge on the other subjects.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Only Connect Series 10

You may have seen the trailers being aired, quite frequently, on the BBC lately but in case you have missed it Only Connect returns for Series 10 on the 1st September 2014. The show will now air on BBC Two so it will be interesting to see how this affects the setting and difficulty of the programme which at times last season risked venturing into the "unenjoyably obscure".

Friday, 22 August 2014

This Week I Didn't Know...

Picture Rounds


This picture makes it a little easier than the one I encountered this week as I didn't see anything other than the face and the top of the collar. Seeing the strip in this manner would have probably lead to a correct guess but based on face alone, this was a bit of toughie. One of the quizzes I attend particularity likes Championship footballers for some reason.


Similar picture to this presented to us. A million and one names ran through my head for this, and without giving the answer away for those of you trying to come up with yourself, I must of thought of every front man apart from....


Annoying! Annoying! Annoying!....I watch Modern Family (which is a great show by the way!) and I knew Sofia was her first name, wrote it down straight away expecting the surname to come.....45 minutes later it still hadn't. Used the old Alphabet tricks etc but nothing.


1. Jordan Rhodes
2. Bonn Scott
3. Sofia Vergara


1. How many stories did each of the World Trade Towers have?

Not the greatest quiz this one and I simply have never even came across this before. I had a feeling I had heard a report about a floor 102 on a 9/11 Documentary some time ago so knew it must be higher than that. Went for 140

2. Shrub Hill is a railway station in which Cathedral City?

Again the name meant nothing. The amount of rail/underground questions I get wrong is higher than it should be and despite doing a little work on this I had not even heard of Shrub Hill. I knew a few cities it wasn't (i.e. Durham) but in terms of what it actually was, my guess was not even close.

3. Silvovitz is made from which Fruit?

Ah Food and Drink defeating me again. Never heard of go to answer on questions like this is Pears!

4. What was the first novel ever written on a typewriter?

Is this a chestnut? As soon as I heard it I thought it was but then my mind was blank on an answer. Pretty duff question and I have yet to research the answer but the answer he was looking for is below.

5. Who wrote the autobiography "Wishful Drinking"?

These types of questions usually lead to me developing a list of possible candidates. The word drinking let to a whole range of answers being suggested and without knowing its hard to work this one out through guess work.


1. 110
2. Worcester
3. Plums
4. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
5. Carrie Fisher

Despite this the picture round and question round alone would have gave us victory. In fact one of the above answers would have given us a chance at the tiebreaker but a pretty disastrous music round led to a 2nd place finish. Listening to "Sounds of the Sixties" every week on BBC Radio 2 still hasn't paid off.

The Link - Recommissioned

It looks as though the green light as been given for a second series of The Link. They have put out a contestant call with the below copied and pasted from the BBC website. I rather liked the first series so tempted to give this a go.....just need to find a partner!

The Link

| BBC One
The Link
We're looking for teams of two, for a battle of wits in a race to break the links and bank enough money to stay in the game.
Is your Dad's general knowledge competition winning? Do you have a friend with a strategy to stay ahead of the game? Can you and your work mate think fast and win the prize money? If you and a potential team mate think you have what it takes, get in touch now!
The Link is produced for the BBC by STV Productions.

To apply

Age limit: Applicants must be 18 years of age and over.
Please only send one completed application form for both contestants in the team.
Application form: Download and complete the The Link application form (Word, 230KB).
The Link
Pacific Quay
G51 1PQ
Closing date: 12 September 2014
The information you provide will be collected and compiled by a third party (as set out in the show information), for the purposes of assessing whether you are a suitable contributor for this show. It might also be used for developing and producing the show and any associated website content, programme, publicity, promotion and/or distribution materials. Please note that the third party may share your details with the BBC if it is necessary for the purposes of the production. They will not store or use your details for any other purpose unless they obtain your consent to do so. For more information about the use of your personal data by a specific production company, please contact them directly. For more information about how the BBC uses your data, please see our Privacy and Cookies Policy.

Mastermind Standings

A regular feature to keep track of what is happening in the latest series of Mastermind on BBC Two. After the episode two weeks ago here are the current placings. I am not yet sure how the 6-runners up places work (i.e. whether its the 6 highest scoring players across the board or the 6 highest scoring 2nd place players). I am for now working on the assumption is the 6 highest scoring players altogether.

Mark Eaves - 30 (Q)
Gareth Kingston - 28 (2nd)
Alice Mennel - 26
Howard Towner - 23

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Two Tribes

Two Tribes - BBC

Fronted by Pointless' Richard Osman, Two Tribes the latest BBC daytime quiz show that began airing this week. I remember the contestant call going out for this a few months ago, and may indeed have linked to it on the blog, but the basic premise is that two teams compete against other over rounds of questions. The team differs in each round depending on whether they have answered Yes or No to some pre-show questions about themselves. The whole Yes/No element is really nothing but a side story to give the quiz a structure so perhaps, if you're a bit dubious about watching Two Tribes, ignore that factor.

The main quiz is very very fast paced with rounds of 60 seconds of quick fire questions. Each player faces individual questions in turn, if they fail to answer it passes to the next person and if every team member fails to answer it, their run ends. The team with the most questions correctly answered in 60 seconds, or when they universally fail to answer one, wins the round.

The loosing team face it out on the buzzer with one person eliminated per round. The final see's two players compete head to head. Each is given 60 seconds to protect with every correct answer passing play to the other person. Whoever runs out of time first loses with the prize for the winner being £1000 to spend on something specific (thus far travel, theatre tickets etc have been some of of the prizes)


- Apart from the odd bits of chat, it is fast paced with plenty of questions fired at the players

- Richard Osman makes a rather good host alone

- A nice range of questions, particularity towards the latter stages

- It is 30 minutes long and hence doesn't feel dragged out


- A tad too easy and some may find the earlier rounds a little dull because of this

- Cut out the chat about the Yes/No questions and add another round in. 4 vs 3 at the start seems a little unfair in the format

All in all thought the BBC have done a good job with Two Tribes. A large proportion of the quizzes thrown at us lately across the mainstream channels have been dull (The 21st Question), overly long (The 21st Question) and very unenjoyable (The 21st Question).

Two Tribes is definitely something I will be sticking with courtesy of the iplayer and will be looking out for Series 2 applications!

What are your thoughts?

Sunderland Echo Quiz League - Gowan Scott Trophy Week 3

The third week of the Sunderland Echo Quiz League's Gowan Scott Memorial Trophy took place last night. For a variety of reason I was unable to make our match so cannot comment on the questions but the results were as follows....

Ashbrooke, last years champions, fell to Hastings Hill who maintain a 100% start to the season. The Prior notched up a second win over Museum Vaults (last seasons finalists and the team I play for) and in the closest game of the night, Penshaw got their first win of the season at The Isis (one of the best pubs in Sunderland it is worth adding).

That leaves the league table very close indeed after 3 games. We have an external setter next week so all teams are in action which should shake up the standings even more. The Top 4 qualify for the Semi Finals once each team ans played every other team once. Here are the current league standings...

Next Weeks fixtures are -

Hastings Hill vs Penshaw
Ashbrooke vs The Prior
The Isis vs Museum Vaults
Chaplins vs Newbottle

If anyone in the area is keen on playing in the league, or indeed entering a team, send me an email to and I will pass on your details to the league chairman

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Contestant Call

From the BBC Website......

The National Lottery: Win Your Wish List

| BBC One
We're looking for fantastic bright, lively couples who have some big dreams and would love to win some big prizes.
The most important thing is that you know each other really well...
Please get in touch for an application form now.
The National Lottery: Win Your Wish List is produced for the BBC by Victory Television.

To apply

Age limit: Applicants must be 18 years of age and over.
Applicants must be resident in the UK.
Phone: 0141 534 7901
Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply.
Closing date: 8 September 2014

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Mastermind Wiki Challenge -Episode 2

Episode 2 of the latest series of Mastermind won't be airing until next week, Friday 22nd August but nevertheless the BBC Website is listing the subjects for that episode. They will be  -

The Thick of It
Eric Clapton
British poetry
TE Lawrence

A mixed range. British Poetry is a large subject and I'll give that a go without any Wiki reading but the others should be fun. The Thick of it is a fantastic show and well worth watching, and having just watched the whole series again on Amazon Prime, it should be fresh in the mind.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Quiz League - Set B

....and here is the second set from the Sunderland Quiz League last week. As mentioned this is a team based quiz and hence up to 6 brains would have been working on each question. 2 points for a correct answer and a bonus point if you were to get a question on a pass-over from the other team. 45 was the highest score with 30 the lowest. Again, I did have a version with corrected grammar which I cannot find so apologies for any errors.

Gowan Scott Memorial Trophy 2014
Set B
Set by Museum Vaults
13th August 2014

Round 1
1.       Which former management accountant took over from the
Owen Patterson as Environment Secretary in the July
2014 Cabinet reshuffle?
Liz Truss
2.       Which 1960s singer was the first female soloist to have three no. 1 hits in the UK? 
Sandie Shaw
3.       After which man, who died in 1953, is the international airport in Donetsk, Ukraine named?
Sergei Prokofiev
4.       Frederic  Henry, Rinaldi and Catherine Barkley are the main characters in which Ernest Hemmingway Novel?
Farewell to Arms

Round 2
1.       Regularly in the news in 2014, Najib Razak is the current Prime Minister of which country?
2.       Which of Shakespeare’s comedies has a heroine named Hero?
Much Ado About Nothing
3.       Which of Henry VIII’s marriages was the shortest?

Anne of Cleves
4.       Born in New York City in 1918 and dying in 1988, which Physicist was the youngest member of the Manhattan Project?
Richard Feynman

Round 3
1.       In which US state is the Joshua Tree National Park?
2.       Which boxer, nicknamed “The Blackpool Rock”, twice challenged for the World Heavyweight Championship, losing to Floyd Patterson in 1959 and to Muhammad Ali in 1966?
Brian London
3.       Which world famous entertainer was shot and killed in 1964  at the age of 33 by Bertha Franklin, the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles?

Sam Cooke
4.       The ancient Phoenician city of Tyre, birthplace of Dido Queen of Carthage, lies in which modern day country?

Round 4
1.       Who was the leader of the USSR when Yuri Gagarin became the first man to go into space?
2.       Only five golfers have won all four current majors in their careers. Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Ben Hogan are four. Who is the other? 
Gene Sarazen
3.       The Chorleywood Process is used in the commercial production of which everyday product?
4.       Which British Band, formed in Birmingham in 1984 by lead singer Roland Gift, topped the US and UK album charts in 1989 with “The Raw and The Cooked”?

Fine Young Cannibals

Round 5
1.       Which Liverpool born Author, also a Dame, died in 2010? She was nominated 5 times for the Booker Prize for works including  “Master Georgie” and “Every Man for Himself”?
Beryl Bainbridge
2.       Which lake was created when the Hoover Dam was built?
Lake Mead
3.       The song “June is Bustin’ Out all over” comes from which Rodgers and Hammerstein musical?
4.       What is the name of the school that Simon, Jay, Will and Neil attend in the TV series The In-betweeners?
Rudge Park

Round 6
1.       Which politician who was Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1993 to 1997, was three times defeated in Tory leadership elections, in 1997, 2001 and 2005?
Kenneth Clarke
2.       In which film did Sir Michael Caine play the role of Dr Frank Bryant?
Educating Rita
3.       Give a year from the life of composer Antonin Dvorak
4.       Which team did Everton defeat in the final to win the European Cup Winners Cup in 1985?
Rapid Vienna

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Week In Quizzing....

This week I have been reading a great book on Norse Mythology, which is an area of quizzing I need to improve on. This Penguin book is well worth a read and having tried a few books on the subject this is by far the most useful and engaging I have come across.


Wednesday Night involved me being on setting duties for the League so we are back in action next week in an away tie to The Prior. Could really do with a win to boost our chances of making the final again. This weeks league fixtures are -

The Isis vs Penshaw
The Prior vs Museum Vaults
Hastings Hill vs Ashbrooke


If you have an Apple device and are interested in Sports Quizzing then have a look at Sports Quest. A free app released a few months ago. Similar to Quiz Up in many ways, updated often and very fun to play. Has passed a lot of time on my commute lately


If you are in the Liverpool area you may be interested in this. The biggest outdoor Pub quiz! Click HERE for info.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Quiz League Set - A

As promised here are the questions I set for the Sunderland Echo Quiz League last week. Each team gets a different Set and this is Set A. There were winners on both sets, the highest score of the night was 45 and the lowest was 30. Its 2 points for a correct answer and 1 point if received on a bonus (i.e. if other team fails). I did do a version with some grammar fixed but can't seem to find it so apologies for any errors.

Gowan Scott Memorial Trophy 2014
Set A
Set by Museum Vaults
13th August 2014

Round 1
1.       Which politician, who was labour Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1974 to 1979, was twice defeated in Labour leadership elections, in 1976 and 1980?
Denis Healey
2.       The song “People will say we’re in love” comes from which Rodgers and Hammerstein musical?
3.       At the beginning of World War 1 there were only two independent nations in Africa, name either?
Liberia or Ethiopia (Abyssinia)
4.        The first episode of which classic BBC sitcom involves the main character “having a bit of trouble with the coal shed door”?
Some Mothers Do Ave Em

Round 2
1.       British Athlete Holly Bleasedale, is a leading competitor in which event?
Pole Vault
2.       In which Welsh resort, located on Cardigan Bay, was the National Library of Wales opened in 1911?
3.        Which Scottish Author, also a Dame, died in 2006? She was nominated for the booker prize in two occasions for Loitering with Intent and The Public Image.
Muriel Spark
4.       The ABC islands are located in the Netherland Antilles. If A is Aruba and B is Bonaire. What is C?

Round 3
1.       What is the name of the lake created when the Aswan High Dam was built?
Lake Nasser
2.        The Archers is set in which fictional county?
3.       Which nation has topped the medal tables at every Commonwealth Games between 1986-2010?
4.       Which country’s national flag features images of a book, a garden hoe and a Kalashnikov assault rifle with bayonet

Round 4
1.       New York State lies on one side of the Niagara Falls, which Canadian Province lies on the other?
2.       The 'Father of Chicago Blues', McKinley Morganfield is better known by which name? 
Muddy Waters
3.       Paul Pennyfeather, a student at the fictional Scone College, is the protagonist in which Evelyn Waugh novel?
Decline and Fall
4.       Which former corporate solicitor took over from
              Michael Gove as Education Secretary in the July 2014 Cabinet
Nicky Morgan

Round 5
1.       Which boxer, nicknamed “The Leamington Licker”, caused a sensation when he outpointed the legendary “Sugar” Ray Robinson to become World Middleweight Champion in 1951? He lost the return flight 64 days later.
Randolph Turpin
2.       Give a year from the life of composer George Frederic Handel
3.       What is the surname of Carrie in the classic 1970s horror movie?
4.        Golf: At the 2014 US Masters, who became the first Father and Son to play in the tournament at the same time? (Surname only required)

Stadler (Craig and Kevin)

Round 6
1.       After which man who died in 1886 is Budapest’s international airport named?
Franz Liszt
2.       Flourishing between 900BC and 200BC, the Chavin Civilization was based in which Country?
3.       In the Old Testament, what is the name of the second wife of Abraham with whom he fathered Ishmael?
4.       Who became the first female to be appointed to role of Master of the Queens Music in June 2014?
Judith Weir