Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas

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All that is left to say is I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! Thanks as always for reading, and here is to a great festive period. I will be back in 2017 and I hope the New Year is a good one for all!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

North East Quiz Nights: The Dun Cow, Sunderland

Image result for the dun cow sunderland 
Venue: The Dun Cow, Sunderland
Time/Date: Sundays from 8pm

 The Dun Cow is another one of the superb Real Ale pubs in Sunderland. Located next to the Sunderland Empire Theatre it is a local gem, and the Quiz Night runs each Sunday from around 8pm. It is run by the same Sunderland Echo Quiz League player who takes charge of the Ship Isis Quiz Night on a Monday (See previous review).

It is essentially the same format with pictures, music and 30 general knowledge questions as well as a chance to win beer vouchers. In fact, reading it back, many of the comments I made about the Ship Isis quiz apply here. Its well thought out, every question is interesting and I certainly take something away from it. There is no cheating, fine ales and a good atmosphere.

I am told that when the upstairs of the pub, which was once a restaurant, returns to being part of the pub, the quiz will be moved upstairs which will make it even better, but either way, for good quality questions, there are no better quiz nights in the city centre on a Sunday!

Current North East Quiz Nights Rankings -
1. The Plough, Cramlington - Wednesdays
2. The Ship Isis, Sunderland - Mondays
3. Fitzgeralds, Sunderland - Thursdays
4. The Dun Cow, Sunderland - Sundays
5. The Plough Music Quiz, Cramlington - Sundays
6. The Blagdon Arms, Cramlington - Tuesdays
7. The Willow Farm, Cramlington - Tuesdays
8. The Lambton Worm, Sunderland - Sundays

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Quiz Reference Book of the Year

Coming out late in the year is irrelevant. There can only be one contender for this, and that has to be the Seventh Edition of Trevor Montague's A-Z of Everything. I think most quizzers will already be aware of this book, and many of you will have 7 editions, but with 1300 pages of quizzing gold this is worthy of a place on any bookshelf.

For anyone new to the world of quizzing, this is a perfect place to start. Another monumental effort by Trevor and an update well worthy of the £26 asking price.

Side Note:

I just wanted to add an honourable mention somewhere to a superb book released by Alan Connor this year. Entitled "The Joy of Quiz" it really is worth your time, giving good coverage to the hobby.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

North East Quiz Nights: The Plough Music Quiz, Cramlington

Image result for the plogh cramlington
Venue: The Plough Music Quiz, Cramlington
Time/Date: Sundays from 8pm

Unless I have not been looking hard enough, there are not a great deal of choices when it comes to Music Quizzes in the North East. I attended one a number of years ago which was so niche that it put me off for a while, but when I noticed that the same venue that hosts my favourite pub quiz of the week, The Plough in Cramlington, also hosts a Sunday Night music quiz, I decided to give it a go.....and certainly didn't regret it.

This is another superb quiz night in a superb venue. As mentioned in the last review, The Plough is located in the "Village" part of Cramlington and serves a superb selection of ales. There are around 10 teams in attendance most weeks for the Music Quiz and on the whole it is superb!

The night starts off with a picture round, that doesn't try to be too clever and gives you a good shot at doing well. A general knowledge round of 10 questions follows which are usually fairly gettable. In fact, it is pitched well as my usual non-quizzer girlfriend was able to clean up on the modern questions, on which other teams noticeably struggled.

The music round followed which involved twenty intro's...1 point for artist and 1 for track and there was a great range of tracks. Plenty I kicked myself on, plenty of songs I was pleased to get and again, plenty for non-quizzers who are being dragged along......This round though is one of my only two little bugbears with the quiz itself. This round is worth 40 points in all....The rest of the rounds barring the Who Am I? round is out of 40 meaning over half the points are available here. I understand it is a music quiz, but giving 1/2 a point for each would seem more balanced. Either way, that's just me being picky....great fun!

Another picture round follows which the quizmistresses varies.....recently it has been name the drummer, anagrams and Before They Were Famous before a second General Knowledge round. The music general knowledge questions were fun, gettable and well put together to cover a mix of era's so certainly no complaints there.

Now, before I go into this last bit, don't get me wrong, I loved this quiz. Its fun to play and certainly nothing will stop me re-attending but there is a Who Am I? round at the end of the quiz that is worth up to 25 points. It is staggered with clues from 25-20-15-10-5.....meaning there can be a huge turnaround in the last round. So you could win every round yet loose the quiz on this final one. I have been lucky in that my guesses have turned out right, for example, this week elevating us from 6th to 3rd but I can imagine there is going to be a week were a lead turns into a lowly finish based on a bad guess/going in too late.

But I guess that's the way it rolls.....

Overall though, a fantastic quiz, I would recommend it very highly and its so refreshing to have a music quiz of this quality in the area!


Current North East Quiz Nights Rankings -
1. The Plough, Cramlington - Wednesdays
2. The Ship Isis, Sunderland - Mondays
3. Fitzgeralds, Sunderland - Thursdays
4. The Plough Music Quiz, Cramlington - Sundays
5. The Blagdon Arms, Cramlington - Tuesdays
6. The Willow Farm, Cramlington - Tuesdays
7. The Lambton Worm, Sunderland - Sundays

Friday, 16 December 2016

Quiz Book of the Year

I often find it easy listing which Quiz Book I have enjoyed the most from the previous twelve months but this year there is a toss up between three very good books indeed.

The Telegraph Pub Quiz Book

Written by Gavin Fuller (who I believe is still the youngest Mastermind Champion?) this book collates 200 quizzes of 20 questions each from the Telegraph each week. A superb collection that I througholy enjoyed working through and each quiz taught me a number of things. Very little filler, some great questions and a good way to get your head round all those chestnuts that come up time and time again

The Mammoth Football Quiz Book

This seemed to slip under the radar a little when it was released this year. The title is rather offputting, but simply put, this is one of the most fun quiz books out there. The questions must have taken years to write as each one is crafted with thought and effort. I consider myself a good sports quizzer, and even better if its football, but every page had me thinking and kicking myself. When the first page of a quiz book has you racking your brains, and those brains are still being racked to the last, then you know its worthwhile. Don't let the title put you off!

The Times Quiz Book

This came out rather late in the year so at the time of writing I am only 30% our so through it. But when a quiz book is released by the European and World Quizzing Champion Olav Bjortmont you would be foolish to ignore it. Little more needs to be said other than quizzers of any level or interest will have fun with this title

Thursday, 15 December 2016

North East Quiz Nights - The Ship Isis, Sunderland

Venue: The Ship Isis, Sunderland
Time/Date: Mondays from 8.30pm

The Ship Isis is one of the finest pubs in Sunderland. Great venue, fantastic ale and always a friendly atmosphere. Their quiz night runs each Monday and is one of the finest in the city.

It is put together by a player in the Sunderland Echo Quiz League so the questions are always well thought out and of a good standard. The night kicks off with a picture round and a music round, with the quizmaster often jigging things around to break from the norm. For example, when I last attended the picture round was of songwriters....the music round then involved identifying which of the faces wrote which of the songs. So for example...the picture was Billy Bragg and then during the music round he played Kirtsy MacColl's version of "A New England" and you had to attach the picture to the song. Great stuff!

The general knowledge questions are fun, interesting and challenging and with a jackpot round thrown in there are plenty of prizes to be won. Food is provided at the interval with games of Card bingo to add to the winning potential.

All in all, an excellent quiz night which I would highly recommend and that I aim to attend much more of in 2017.....even if it means quizzing alone! Great questions, great format and no visible cheating.....pretty much everything you need in a quiz night!

Current North East Quiz Nights Rankings -
1. The Plough, Cramlington - Wednesdays
2. The Ship Isis, Sunderland - Mondays
3. Fitzgeralds, Sunderland - Thursdays
4. The Blagdon Arms, Cramlington - Tuesdays
5. The Willow Farm, Cramlington - Tuesdays
6. The Lambton Worm, Sunderland - Sundays

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Quiz Event of the Year: Redfest

Its getting close to the end of the year so I thought I would add together a few posts of what I have enjoyed most in the World of Quiz this year. And I will start of with my favourite Quiz Event of the Year, which this year, by a country mile, was Redfest.

Occurring in November 2016 at Bramwall Lane in Sheffield, the event was put together by Redtooth as a three day celebration of Quiz, Darts and Poker. With a fantastic range of entertainment, plenty of beer, a great location.....oh and of course superb team, individual and keypad quizzes it was a very memorable weekend.

You can read my full recap and thoughts of the event HERE and safe to say I will be first in line when tickets for the 2017 event go on sale.

A credit to all involved and hopefully, a regular addition to the annual calendar.

Honourable mentions go to -

Brunton Shield - The Sunderland/North East vs Scotland event is always an annual treat

Quiz in the North - Continues to grow and grow, with a huge diversity in setters and always enjoyable

Lightspeed Quiz - Monthly buzzer action with a great crowd and superbly high standard

Monday, 12 December 2016

North East Quiz Nights - Blagdon Arms, Cramlington

Image result for blagdon arms cramlington

Venue: The Blagdon Arms, Cramlington
Time/Date: Tuesdays from 8.30pm

If you are wondering why my North East Quiz Night reviews are focusing on Cramlington and Sunderland that is because, I live in Sunderland and my other half lives in Cramlington. I do intend to widen the scope soon once I have exhausted these two areas but anyway....

In the part of Cramlington considered the "Village", The Blagdon Arms hosts a quiz each Tuesday night at around 8.30pm. There usually tend to be 5-10 teams involved and it seems to be once of those quizzes where everybody knows everyone else, so its a very friendly atmosphere.

The format is fun, starting off with a picture round that doesn't just involve peoples places....outlines of flags, maps, film posters and all sorts have featured in recent weeks so it makes a nice change. There is also a music round which I am finding increasingly rare and its well pitched with 10 songs from a mixture of eras.

There are 5 rounds of questions with a loose theme (10 questions per round) and a Who Am I? round (You know the sort...starts with hard clues and works it's way down). There is a joker available to play (which you can do after the round for a change) and a jackpot questions.

It all flows well, a good range of teams and stiff competition and it all makes for a very good quiz night. There have been some terrific questions over the weeks I have been attending and I can't really fault it.

Current North East Quiz Nights Rankings -
1. The Plough, Cramlington - Wednesdays
2. Fitzgeralds, Sunderland - Thursdays
3. The Blagdon Arms, Cramlington - Tuesdays
4. The Willow Farm, Cramlington - Tuesdays
5. The Lambton Worm, Sunderland - Sundays

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Only Connect - Contestant Call

Victoria Coren Mitchell
Only Connect are currently looking for teams and individuals for their next series. The link to apply is HERE
I can't recommend the show highly enough. Of the broadcast quizzes I have been involved in, this has been the best experience all round, the team are great, the venue is great and its a show well worth doing. It has been doing so well since it moved to BBC 2, often the second most watched show on the channel after the beast that is University Challenge, so why not give it a go!
I am just waiting the time when they allow teams from our series back on and I will certainly be re-appyling

Saturday, 10 December 2016

North East Quiz Nights - Lambton Worm (Wetherspoons), Sunderland

Venue: The Lambton Worm (Wetherspoons), Sunderland
Time/Date: Sundays from 7pm
I have never been to a good pub quiz in a Wetherspoons pub but this perhaps the closest I have come. The Lambton Worm is located in Sunderland City Centre and like all Wetherspoons is always busy. I initially went down for this quiz many weeks ago, and seeing no one in the designated area decided to sample the real ales instead. I returned the next week and low and behold the area was empty again apart from one team, but it appeared that the quizmaster was setting up.
We joined and it turned into a two team quiz.....picture round, 60 questions, 2 jackpots....over in 38 minutes!!!
Good points - The easiest £50 I have ever won in quiz, some decent questions and meant I still had time to walk up the road to another quiz
Bad points - Rushed, uninterested quizmaster and no answers given out.
I find it hard to judge this quiz as part of me liked the fact that they just rattled through the quiz, making me think on the spot but even though £50 was won (as well as two £5 bar vouchers) and there were some good questions. But they had clearly bought them in/printed them off and the barman who had the task of doing the quiz seemed to be in a rush. But not giving the answers out and only giving the scores is a tad unforgivable!
Maybe with more teams, they will spend more time on it but as I said above, I have never been to a well attended/good quiz in a Wetherspoons and don't expect to anytime soon!

Current North East Quiz Nights Rankings -
1. The Plough, Cramlington - Wednesdays
2. Fitzgeralds, Sunderland - Thursdays
3. The Willow Farm, Cramlington - Tuesdays
4. The Lambton Worm, Sunderland - Sundays

Friday, 9 December 2016

New Edition of "The A-Z of Everything"

I am sure many quizzers reading this own at least one version of Trevor Montague's A-Z of Everything, an essential reference work that is now in its Seventh Edition. The scope of the book and the effort that must have been put in to produce it doesn't bare thinking about, and with 1300 pages of quizzing gold, it is well worth the asking price. I was only aware of the release of the 7th Edition today due to noticing it on Trevor Montague's Facebook pace, but my order was placed straight away and see below for a link to Amazon.

Thursday, 8 December 2016


I was put off Speed Quizzing some years ago, when I attended a rather badly run event in a local pub. The questions were all either family fortunes type or nearest the pin guessy games which kind of turned me off this style of quizzing. The other fact was simply that there were not many Speed Quizzes at all in the local area. However, recently a quiz host who plays in the Sunderland League, told me she was going to turn her quiz night into a Speed Quiz. I was unable to get a team, so headed down on my lonesome to try it out.....and enjoyed it massively!

Image result for speed quizzing
Speed quizzing involves using your mobile phone as a keypad. No pens, no paper and no cheating is the motto and that is essentially how it works. It is very easy to set up...a quick download of the app, log in with a team name and you are up and running. I imagine it is easier for the host too and more fun for the players as you get instant feedback on the answers and ongoing totals.
The rounds varied from numbers, multiple choice, picture rounds and pressing the first letter of the answer. When the questions are done well, as they were at the quiz I went to, it is very fun. In the right hands, Speed Quizzing is a unique, engaging and fun experience! I keep using the word fun a lot, but in all honesty (and this is coming from someone who averages 4-5 quiz nights a week), I had so much fun at this Speed Quiz!
There was a buzzer round (in which you were the only one to answer if you buzzed first and the other teams decided to agree or disagree), a jackpot nearest the pin round and a music round was due for inclusion but didn't happen. All very fun!
The one thing I would say, there is an advantage to playing alone or in small teams in this kind of thing. Each question is 10 points with a bonus 5 for the fastest player. So for example, when a picture round showed Michael Chang I was able to buzz, hit "M" and get the bonus. Someone playing with me would have had little chance to see the picture and I am assuming in some cases the reverse would happen. I managed to come second overall, but a lot of that was due to the advantage I had of playing alone.
There were a few grumbles in the pub, mainly perhaps from those used to cheating their way to victory, but I hope to see it more regularly!
What are your thoughts on Speed Quizzing? Ever tried it? Do you think it could be the answer to stopping cheats?
Note: For those in the area it is Chesters in Sunderland that are running Speed Quizzing. I believe Tuesday 13th December is the next one but will try and post up when I know for sure

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

North East Quiz Nights - The Plough, Cramlington

Image result for the plough cramlington

Venue: The Plough, Cramlington
Time/Date: Wednesdays from 8.30pm

I am going to kick off this review of the pub quiz that takes place at The Plough in Cramlington each Wednesday by saying one is going to take some beating. This is by far and away my favourite quiz I attend at present, and the only shame is that it falls on a Wednesday night, the same night as the Sunderland echo quiz league so I don't get to play in it anywhere near as much as I like.

The Plough is located in the "village" part of Cramlington and is a Sir John Fitzgeralds pub with a fine selection of ales. The quiz takes place each Wednesday from 8.30pm and is very well attended with at least 10 teams there every week.

There are six rounds to the quiz with a picture round included. This kicks off the night with 20 pictures to identify worth half a point each. This works for me way better than similar rounds which offer a point each as it means even a disastrous picture round doesn't set you back too much.

The remaining 5 rounds are different every week, something I appreciate as you never quite know what you are getting. In recent weeks we have had the usual TV, Geography, Answer begins with "S", name it, its been in there. Ten questions each round with a perfect mix of easy, medium and hard.

There is also a joker to use which you have to play in advance, adding an extra challenge to the night. I am currently on a 5 week streak of playing my joker on my lowest scoring round, which I don't think I could do again if I of these times I will get it right!

My favourite round recently has been the handout round and this could be anything from album covers and song titles to lists of famous ships and you having to put the captains in. The quizmaster makes a real effort to make this fun and it shows.

Add to the mix the chance to win drinks in two "nearest-the-pin" rounds and an ongoing, but guessable, jackpot and you have a great quiz. There is no evident cheating and its a well paced, fun enjoyable night.

Competition is good and the scores are always close and above all else the questions are well pitched. I will continue doing my North East Quiz Nights series for some time yet, but it may be hard to find a quiz night that betters this!

N.B. The Plough also run a Music Quiz on Sundays so stay tuned for my review of that!

North East Quiz Nights rankings -
1. The Plough, Cramlington - Wednesdays
2. Fitzgeralds, Sunderland - Thursdays
3. The Willow Farm, Cramlington - Tuesdays

Thursday, 1 December 2016

BBC 4 Quizzing Documentary

The BBC showed a superb documentary last night "How Quizzing Got Cool" which was a lot better than I was expecting. Covering everything for TV Quizzing, the professionals, Quiz leagues etc it is certainly well worth watching if you are interested in Quizzing (which I assume by reading this you are!). And around 45 minutes in a little screen shot pops up of a certain blog...

Here is the link to the show on the iplayer -  Click Here

Monday, 28 November 2016


10 questions to test yourself with this morning...

1.       The TV Series  “Call The Midwife” is based on the books of which British nurse and musician?


2.       The ‘Pharmaceutical Paintings’ are the first in the series of “Spot” paintings by which famous artist?


3.       Which Italian novelist is best known for his work “The Tartar Steppe”, the story of Giovanni Drogo and his life spent guarding the Bastiani Forest?


4.       Known as the sea swallow due to its slender shape as they swoop over water, which bird has the longest migration pattern known in the animal kingdom?


5.       Which Hindu Goddess is often portrayed standing or dancing on her consort, Shiva, who lies clam and prostate beneath her?


6.       Which Battle of 1859 was fought 12 miles outside of Milan between France and Austria, occurring during the second Italian War of Independence, in which the French under Napoleon III scored a decisive victory?


7.       The island of Cred and Krk and the largest in which sea?


8.       Also known as the “Goat-Antelope”, what is the national animal of Bhutan?



9.       Which British motor racing driver is the only man to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels?


10.   Who wrote the novel  “Gentleman Prefer Blondes”. Published in 1925 which Edith Wharton called it the “Great American Novel”?




1.       Jennifer Worth

2.       Damien Hirst

3.       Dino Buzzati

4.       Artic Tern (Sterna Paradisaea)

5.       Kali

6.       Magenta

7.       Adriatic Sea

8.       Takin

9.       John Surtees

10.   Anita Loos

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Book Suggestion

My final book suggestion for the month. Another quiz title which I have been working on over the past few weeks. This time its the Telegraph Quiz Book written by Mastermind Champion (and still the youngest ever champion I believe) Gavin Fuller.

Again, around 4000 questions are included, with each set finely balanced to include some easy ones to get you going, going all the way up to questions that will test even the most seasoned players.

Friday, 18 November 2016

RedFest 2016



Last weekend at Bramall Lane, Sheffield RedTooth launched what I hope will be an annual event to combine all their major avenues....Poker, Darts and of course Quizzing! Before I go into detail, I would just like to start off by saying the event was easily the most fun I have quizzing and a credit to all involved!

I arrived late on the Friday Night so only caught the end of The Chasers vs Eggheads special contest (Jenny Ryan, Paul Sinha and Shaun Wallace vs Kevin Ashman, Barry Simmons and Dave Rainford) in a buzzer quiz. I think, in terms of the quizzing events, this was the most popular event of the weekend and seemed to go down a treat. The Chaser's won and then it was into the bar for a Late Night Show involving Paul Sinha's superb stand up and Jenny Ryan on the Ukelele. A fun fact too fun as I found myself rolling into bed at 3am with a quiz the next morning.

When you get up for breakfast as see the British Quizzing Champion tucking into a Full English, then you know it could be a tough day and the room was filled with around 20 teams for the team quiz with £2600 worth of prizes up for grabs. Firstly, I must say a huge thanks to Tom Mead, Sam Roberts and Colin Daffern for allowing me to make up the numbers in their team otherwise I wouldn't have had chance to take part!

The morning element of the team quiz involved 3 rounds of General Knowledge, a music round, a picture round and a theme round (questions related to blue) and provided a stern tests. The idea being that the top half of the teams would compete for the big money and first prize, and the second half would play for lesser money in the plate. A good way to work thing in my opinion and indeed it did work very well. We qualified in third and headed into the afternoon session....

The format in the afternoon mimicked the morning, and we got off to a good start being in a three way tie for second at half time. Dropping only two points in the second half of the quiz (failing to identify a Hot Chip song) we knew we must have had a chance of second. Indeed, a team containing Paul Sinha took victory (by what in the end was 3 points) and we were left in a 2-eay tie for second with a very strong team containing British Quiz Champion Nic Paul and a wave of top quizzers. We decided to negate the Tiebreak and split the £1000 prize money.

A really enjoyable day, good company and a good selection of questions, with a result that we can be very proud of considering some of the teams in the room. The night was capped off with a more informal buzzer quiz, followed by another late night in the bar.

The Sunday was the individual quiz, which was 10 rounds of 30 questions over the course of two sessions. The questions were presented in a Pub Quiz style and were more Pub Quiz style than other organised events which was a refreshing change. In fact, even though my result was awful (which was what I expected given the calibre of players in the room) I enjoyed this individual quiz more than many individual quizzes I have done over the years. At least, with the questions I got wrong I had at least heard of the answers!! Fun questions, a great format, good company and again a great end to the day! I sneaked a second place in the Picture Round to add a little more winnings to the pot too!


Congratulations go to Nic Paul on a superb win and credit to all involved at RedTooth for a fantastic weekend!

I cannot speak highly enough of the event and, after an announcement made towards the end of the weekend, roll on Redfest 2017!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Book Suggestion

Another book I have been working my way through lately has been "The Joy of Quiz" by Alan Connor. Alan works on Only Connect and you may have heard him on radio, or read in various newspapers, his promotion of this title. After reading the book over the last week, I would highly recommend it no matter how serious you take your quizzing. From the story of Trivial Pursuit to a look at the modern quizzing scene it covers everything. (See link below)

In addition, if you like the above title, then one book definetly worth reading (and available for pennies from Amazon) is the "Brain Men" book from Marcus Berkmann.  Another great look into the "serious" side of quizzing written in a very entertaining manner..

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Round Britian Quiz

Just a brief mention if you haven't had chance to look at the listings, but one of my favourite quizzes returned to the air recently. Round Britain Quiz! A unique format, almost always brutally challenging and this year containing Paul Sinha from the Chase.

You can download the questions and play along too, which is always a nifty feature.

Broadcast Mondays on Radio 4 and obviously available on Iplayer thereafter. (HERE)

Friday, 11 November 2016

North East Quiz Nights - Fitzgeralds, Sunderland

Image result for fitzgeralds  sunderland

Venue: Fitzgeralds, Sunderland
Time/Date: Thursdays at 8.30pm
In the next in my series of posts reviewing Quiz Nights in the North East, I move onto to one of my favourites.
Fitzgeralds is one of the most popular traditional pubs in Sunderland, serving a wide range of ales and has had an established quiz night for as long as I remember. The venue is located in the heart of Sunderland City Centre and a dedicated room is used for the quiz. The questions are written by a dedicated setter (always good!).
The quiz varies in terms of popularity, for example in the last two weeks we were competing with 4 teams one week and 11 the next, but its a good, regular crowd and cheating is not evident.
The format involves an initial 20 question hand out which you are given half an hour to do. The questions are quite challenging for pub-quiz level and always give you something to think about. The highest score is never more than 16-17 on average with the lowest teams on average getting 10-11. I for one, like being given the time to look at and think about the questions, which is one reason I find this quiz so much fun!
The only negative aspect I have, is what comes next and that's the picture round. 20 pictures to identify. Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy picture rounds but the quiz tends to be out of 62-65 points, and having 20 of those on pictures means this round usually determines the winners. The scores can vary massively, for example one week I thought I had done well getting 12 (average score around probably 13-14) and when the scores were read out discovered trams have hit 18 and 19. That's pictures for you!
A trivial pursuit round follows which is read out as a normal pub quiz. 2 questions from each of the categories on a Trivial Pursuit Card (although Art and Literature has recently been scrapped in favour of having a TV pair and Film Pair).
The final round is 10 questions on a given subject.....recent subjects include Horror Films (for Halloween), Tv Sitcoms, Crime and Punishment, Chemistry. Usually contains 3-4 gimmies and 6 to get your head around. The score tends to be low for these final two rounds giving a chance to catch up.
The pub pays out a lot of prizes throughout the night with a cash prize for the winner, 2 x pint tokens for the round winners and there is also a jackpot every round with a further 2 x beer tokens available so usually every team leaves with something.
All in all this is one of my favourite quiz nights in the region. The only criticism I would have is that starting at 9pm and finishing at 11pm, it could do with another round or two added but that's a minor criticism on the whole. A very good quiz all round and one I would recommend if you are ever in Sunderland and seeking a quiz!
As mentioned, my aim with this series of posts is to build up a selection of reviews and information on Quiz Nights in the North East. It's very annoying trying to find a quiz night online and hopefully these posts will give people keen on quizzing a little more information.
I am also ranking the quiz nights as I go, and will contain an updated rank at the end of each review.
At Present -
1. Fitzgeralds, Sunderland - Thursdays
2. The Willow Farm, Cramlington - Tuesdays

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Sunderland Echo Quiz League Sets

Long time readers will know that I have been playing in the Sunderland Echo Quiz League for around 4 years now, and whilst every season the standard of questions is high, they have never really been made available online until now. (Other than my sets I post up here)

Anyway, the good news is that the questions are now available online and can be found HERE. The League is played each Wednesday and the questions usually appear shortly after.

If you are living in the Sunderland area, and are interested in playing in the League, then please pop me an email to and I will put you in touch with the relevant person :)

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Book Suggestion

Released this week, I have been working my way through the new quiz book from Olav Bjortomt (European Quiz Champion) which is a real treat. If you read The Times you will have noticed his quizzes appearing in there, and they are always a cut above other newspaper quizzes.

This book is well worth investing in (see link below) and with around 4000 questions will keep you going for some time. Already learned quite a lot and I am barely a fifth of the way through!

Monday, 3 October 2016

North East Quiz Nights - Willow Farm, Cramlington

Venue: Willow Farm, Cramlington
Time/Date: Tuesdays at 8.30pm
This is the first in a series of posts that focuses on Pub Quiz nights in the North East area. I have often found it frustrating trying to hunt down new quizzes, turning up only to find that they have been cancelled and getting any sort of information about the quiz itself. So over the next few months I am aiming to attend several quizzes in the region and post up reviews and information on the quizzes in region.
For the past three Tuesdays I have been attending the quiz night at the Willow Farm Pub in Cramlington. The first week we attended the quiz was a "Back to School" theme so I hesitated in posting up a review at that point as I wasn't sure it was representative of the quiz.
In all of the quiz nights I have attended recently in the North East, this is one of the best attended with regularly twenty teams or more. It is a rather large pub so there is always room for everybody and plenty of prizes are given away. It is a mixed crowd with students, families and what I would call "Typical Quiz Folk".
The format of the quiz involves a Picture Round, 10 Current Affairs, Music Round and an Alphabet Round of General Knowledge, There is also a round where pictures are stuck to the bar (logos etc) and you have to get up and identify them and a "Who am I?" round with increasingly easy clues with up to 10 point available if you hand it in early enough! My favourite round is the formation round of 10 questions where the quiz master tells you the weekly formation (e.g. 4,4,1,1) and then the questions are worth that many points. So the first questions if 4 points, second question 4 points etc etc. It all moves along at a rapid pace with marking done by bar staff so you are never left sitting!
Between each round there are also games including Darts, Spin the Wheel and a Pointless round. Not my cup of tea, other than the Pointless round, but they go down very well and there are plenty of prizes to be won.
When I come to devise a list of top ten North East Quiz Nights, unfortunately, this won't feature. In truth, the only reason I attend this quiz is due to a) its proximity to my partners house and b) the fact my partner enjoys this more than the straight up GK styles of quizzes.
The main problems are that the quiz is very easy meaning that there is very little to get your teeth into. Most questions are either chestnuts, £500 WWTBAM level or obscure. The news round often includes minute details of news stories (this weeks was the number of dogs put down in 2016! - to the nearest 5). I learn the odd thing or too, largely about new movies which he tends to cover a lot but generally, there is very little to really make you think.
But, who am I to judge, the quiz is always packed, people clearly enjoy it and there is a lot of prizes to be won. If you are looking for a fast paced, active quiz night mixed with games and the chance to win lots of prizes including Beer, Meal vouchers and TV's, then this is ideal for you. If you want a test of General Knowledge, good questions and a more straight up quiz, then this is perhaps best avoided.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Buzzer Set - Football Grounds Special

As promised, my set from Lightspeed quiz last Saturday. 40 buzzer questions that all contain the name of an English football ground in the answer...

This is the international vehicle registration code for Macedonia, it is also the initials of a 21st century Governor of the Bank of England, the initials of the co-founder of the band who had hit albums with “Making Movies” and “Love Over Gold” and the initials of a video game series featuring characters such as Sub Zero, Scorpion and Johnny Cage?


MK (Stadium MK – MK Dons)


This company was founded in Milan in 1872 and produces clothing, watches and eyewear alongside the products it is perhaps most famous for. It is also famous for an annual publication that regularly features the world’s top actresses and fashion models. It often the often uses the slogan “Power is nothing without control” and is the worlds fifth largest manufacturer of tyres. It sponsors a championship clubs football ground due to the fact that its factory is located in Burton Upon Trent. Name this company?


Pirelli (Pirelli Stadium – Burton)

Named after the river on which it is located, this city is the third most populous city in its  country with a population of around 2.3 million.  Cyclone Wanda caused an infamous flood here in 1974, it hosted games at the 1987 Rugby World Cup, was home to the Bee Gees during their formative years and is the capital of the Australian state of Queensland.


Brisbane (Brisbane Road – Leyton Orient)


Born in 1981, this Academy Award Winner, was still in high school when she played the mother of a pair of famous movie characters on screen for the first time. She has played leading roles in movie versions of works by Alan Moore and Stan Lee, and had her breakthrough aged just 13 playing a character called Mathilda. She won her Academy award for playing Nina Sayers, and also won a Golden Globe for her role in “Closer”. Name this Israeli Born actress, who played Padme Amidala in the Star Wars series and won her only Academy Award to date for her role in Black Swan?


Natalie Portman (Portman Road – Ipswich Town)



Which Pulitzer Prize winning composer has written operas dealing with subject matters including Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Projects as well as the visit of Richard Nixon to China in 1972?


John ADAMS (Adams Park – Wycombe)


This word literally means “lacking in courage” making it an odd title for a football ground. As well as being a local government district in North Yorkshire, this word is also the surname of the 2015 host of the TV show “Beat the Brain” and the film director who died in 2015, most known for his work in the horror genre?

Wes Craven (Craven Cottage – Fulham)


In several Universities in the United Kingdom this term is used for a the head of faculty. In the Church of England this term is used for the chief resident cleric of a Cathedral. What is the four letter term that gets its name for the Latin for “Leader of Ten”?


Dean (Dean Court – Bournemouth)


Name this 2015 animated film by Dreamworks in which Rihanna provides the voice of Tip and Jim Parsons provides the voice of Oh. It is a four letter title that is also the title of a Top 10 single by Westlife written by Michael Buble and it is where ET wanted to phone. What is this word?


Home (Home Park – Plymouth)


Which online gambling company, established by Denise Coates in 2001, is the largest private employer in Stoke, giving the stadium there its current name?


Bet365 (Bet365 Stadium – Stoke City)


This novel was published in 1976 with an acclaimed TV series following a year later which was then remade in 2016.  Subtitled “The Saga of An American Family” name this novel which tells the story of a young man captured in the Gambia named Kunta Kinte?


Roots (Roots Hall – Southend United)


This name is shared by a mythical creature and the main family in an animated TV Series.  The mythical creature has the body and tail of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle and the animated family in question can be found living at Spooner Street in Rhode Island.

Griffin  (Griffin Park  - Brentford)



In the childrens TV show “Arthur”  these initials are the name by which his younger sister is known, they are also the initials of the author of “Gangsta Granny” and  the star of the 2012 movie “Flight. What initials am I looking for ?


DW  (DW Stadium – Wigan)


This three letter word can refer to an ancient Pharaoh of Egypt, a unit of textile measurement, the nickname of the home stadium of the Detroit Lions, the name of a famous soap character who was killed only to return 14 years later, the place where Daniel is cast in the Bible and a place where you may find a fox of a badger living?


Den (The Den – Millwall)


Born in Scotland in 1938, this politician first entered Parliament in 1970 serving in the cabinet of James Callaghan.  He served as Shadow Chancellor between 1987 and 1992.  In 1994, he passed away aged 55, after he suffered a fatal heart attack following a speech at the Park Lane Hotel in London. Name this figure who at the time of his death was the Leader of the Labour Party?


John Smith (John Smiths Stadium – Huddersfield)


In Commerce, what name is given to a business or manufacturing  industry carried out in people’s homes? The word I am looking for is also the name of a pie made with minced beef with a crust of mashed potato.


Cottage (Craven Cottage – Fulham)


This 1981 film was written as a reaction to the Watergate Scandal. It is set in near future 1997, a time in which a crime ridden United States has turned Manhattan Island into a maximum security prison. Kurt Russell is given 24 hours to find the President of the United States, played by Doinald Pleasance. Name this 1981 John Carpenter movie which spawned a later sequel, Escape from LA?

Escape from New York (New York Stadium – Rotherham)


Announcing his retirement shortly after due to the death of his team mate Peter Collin, who was the first man from the United Kingdom to be crowned Formula 1 World Champion?

Mike Hawthorn (The Hawthorns – West Brom)


Founded in 1850, this is one of the 30 companies on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It began life in the mail industry before moving into the sector for which is its now better known.  Its logo, adopted in 1958, is a Centurion and its most famous advertising slogan is perhaps “Don’t Leave Home Without Them” for its range of Travelers Cheques. Name this multinational financial service corporation who are perhaps best known for their range of Credit Cards?


American Express (Amex – Brighton)


This Merseyside band first rose to fame in the early 2000s with their self titled debut album, followed up “Magic and Medicine” in 2003 with their seventh album “Distance Inbetween” released in March this year.. Fronted by James Skelly  the most notable songs by this band include “Dreaming of You”, “Don’t Think Youre The First” and “In the Morning”.  Name this band who also share their name with a high street UK bookmaker?


The Coral (The Coral Windows Stadium – Valley Parade – Bradford)


This TV show first aired in 1995 and marked its 500th episode in 2009. The Sun, Brylcream and Yorkie have all sponsored this programme which airs on Saturday Mornings. Things you would associate with this show including the Kung Fun Academy, Unbelievable Tekkers, Team Mates,  the Crossbar Challenge and the Car Park game. Name this show of which Helen Chamberlain is the longest serving presenter?

Soccer AM (Soccer AM Stadium – Basingstoke)


This is the name of a river in Northern Spain. It is also the name of a mythical people of Sri Lanka and a city in Romania.  In Hinduism, this word means heavenly or Divine and the Romans gave this name to the city we now know as a Chester. What four letter word am I referring to?

Deva (Deva Stadium – Chester)


Combining the  first name of the TV presenter, who, in 2001, was accused of being racist after putting the Welsh people in Room 101 with the surname of the actress who played Abraham Lincolns wife in the Stephen Spielberg movie “Lincoln” gives you the name of which English Football Ground?


Anfield (Liverpool)


This 1980s new wave band got their name from the surname of their lead singer. Formed in Coventry in 1984 they released their debut album “Steps in Time” that year. They had two top ten hits in their short tenure the second of which was “Alone without You” but the most famous was “Love and Pride” which reached number 2 in January 1985. Name this band?


King (King Power Stadium  - Leicester)


In 2010, this cities council failed in their application to have the entire city designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.  It is home to the largest Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe and city lies at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss. Name this city which is also home to the National Railway museum?


York (York Street– Boston)


For a price of $4.4 billion dollars, what was the name of the company who recently purchased Formula 1 ?

Liberty Media (Liberty Stadium – Swansea)




This is the name of the 11th Studio Album by the Beatles released in 1969.  It contains the George Harrison songs “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun”. Name this album which feature the famous cover of the Beatles crossing  zebra crossing?


Abbey Road (Abbey Stadium – Cambridge United)



This singer was the first British female solo singer to sell 1 million copies of a Single in the UK. . Born in 1988, her mother was the lead singer of the band Soul II Soul . She has released further singles of her own with the likes of Pitbull, Flo Rida and Neyo. She appeared briefly as a judge on the X Factor, a show in which she won in 2008. Name this singer who had the 2008 Xmas number one with Hallelujah?


Alexandra Burke (Alexandra Stadium – Crewe)



This footballer is one of only 6 players to have played for Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough during his career. He is also a member of the FIFA Century Club having played over 100 times for his country. He was on the loosing side in both the 1998 and 1999 FA Cup Finals which two of his 354 appearances for Newcastle where he spent the majority of his career. Name this Goalkeeper who earned 134 caps for the Republic of Ireland?


Shay Given (The Shay – Halifax)


This word describes one of the seven deadly sins. It is also the title of a 2014 British film starring Billy Nighy and Imelda Staunton. In 1984 U2 released a song with this title which was the lead single from their “Unforgettable Fire Album”. What is this 5 letter word that is also the collective name for a group of Lions?


Pride (Pride Park – Derby County)





Nicknamed “The Garden State”,  this state is home to the countries second largest city and is the second most populous state overall… Australia. Name this Australian state of which Melbourne is the Capital?


Victoria (Victoria Park – Hartlepool)


Founded in the 1410, this is the third oldest University in the English speaking world. Containing St Marys College, United College and St Leonard College this University is located in Fife and was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge amongst others?

St Andrews (St Andrews – Birmingham)



These two words are part of the fifth most popular name for a pub in Great Britain. They are also contained in the name of a famous collection of stories by Arthur C Clarke. One of the words is the archaic name for a mature stag and the other is a colour. It was the personal badge for the Richard II. What two words am I looking for? It is the name of a stadium that is home to a Champions League team this year, but Champions League Football isn’t played there!

White Hart (White Hart Lane – Tottenham Hotspur)


This athlete successful defended his track and field title at the 2016 Rio Olympics after first winning Gold at London 2012. He is the current world record holder in his event and is married to the bronze medallist from the Rio 2016 Womens Heptathlon. Name this individual who took the world record from Roman Sebrle in the Decathlon?


Ashton Eaton (Ashton Gate – Bristol City)


 Located near the border of California and Nevada, what are is the lowest, driest and hottest area in North Amierca?


Death Valley (Valley – Charlton)

This was the largest ocean liner in the world for two periods during the 1910s, interrupted only by the slightly larger Titanic. In contracts with its sister ships, which also included the Brtiannic, this ship had a long career service earning the nickname old reliable when acting as a troopship during the first world war. Name this lead ship of the White Star Line’s famous trio of ocean liners? The stadium in question is hosting Premier League football for the first time in 2016, with West Ham United moving in!


RMS Olympic (Olympic Stadium)


This TV programmed first aired in the USA in 1973 and featured an organisation called the Office of Strategic Investigations. It was based on a novel by Martin Caldin and aired until 1978. The character of Oscar Wildman opened each show with the words “Gentleman, we have the technology, we have the capability, we can rebuild him. Name this show in which Lee Majors played colonel Steven Austin?

Six Million Dollar Man (Sixfields – Northampton)


What name is shared by a town in Lincolnshire, the first name of the founder of Singapore and the largest city in the US State of Conneticuit?

Stamford (Stamford Bridge – Chelsea)


This sports venue is the second oldest of its kind in England. It was the first venue to host an Ashes test match in England and is the  ground at which Shane Warne delivered his “Ball of the Century” and Jim Laker took the first ten wicket haul in a single innings by a English bowler in 1956. Name this cricket venue that is home to Lancashire Cricket Club?


Old Trafford (Old Trafford - Manchester United)



This Graham Green novel was published in 1940. It tells the story of a Roman Catholic Priest living in the Mexican state of tobacco in 1930s at a time when the Mexican Government was attempting to supress the Catholic Church. It was adapted by director John Ford into the 1940s film “The Fugitive” and its title refers to a phrase usually heard at the end of the Lord Prayer. Name this book?

The Power and the Glory (King Power Stadium – Leicester)



I am looking for the name of a Song. It was a UK number 1 hit 1980 and the second and final number for its singer. It tells the tale of a man called Tommy who finally overcomes his reputation to stand up for his woman when she is attacked by the Gatlin boys. Name this single by Kenny Rogers that was number 1  for 2 weeks in February 1980?


Coward of the County (County Ground – Swindon)