Monday, 31 July 2017

Sunderland Echo Quiz League

Congratulations to Newbottle WMC who were crowned Champions of the Sunderland Echo Quiz League at the Presentation Night last week. The new season begins this week with the knockout trophy.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Quiz Night Review - The Dun Cow, Sunderland

Quiz Night Review - The Dun Cow, Sunderland
Image result for dun cow sunderland
Thursday Nights
One of the members of the Sunderland Quiz League, let me know last week that he was restarting the quiz in the Dun Cow, one of Sunderland's best and most historic pubs so sure enough I was there for opening night on Thursday. The Dun Cow itself has changed hands on an almost annual basis in the last decade and quiz nights have come and gone. With the current quizmaster at the helm, there is never going to be a doubt about the quality of the quiz itself......
Indeed opening night was ram packed. Although a small pub, all of the tables were still full by 7.30am with around 8-9 teams (and around 40 people) taking part. The quiz begins at 8pm on the dot and is finished by 10pm to fit in with the show times at the nearby Empire Theatre.
The quiz begins with a varied music round of 5 questions, followed by a round of 10 questions which were 5 multiple choice questions and 5 on TV and Film. The papers are then collected in to be marked whilst the teams do a picture round, which last night was cryptic pictures of book titles. I prefer quizzes in which answer sheets are collected in after rounds and score updates are given so that's always a bonus.
Following the picture round there was a further two rounds of 20 questions with a 5 question connection element, questions on sport and then a very testing last round of 10 GK questions. Throw into the mix a True or False game for an extra prize and it is a very busy night at the Dun Cow Quiz!
In all, the strength of the quiz is the quality of the questions. Written and researched with care and effort made to produce interesting questions, unique questions and questions that really made me think....I certainly felt my brain had had a workout after the end of the final GK Round!
A superb quiz, and my new home for a Thursday Night!

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Quiz Book Suggestion

I may have recommended this before, but it is certainly worth a second mention. Written by Mastermind Champion Gavin Fuller, this is a great challenging Quiz Book with plenty of good questions to get stuck into, a simple to use format and a great range of subjects!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Mastermind and Only Connect

Just in case you missed it in your TV guides, both Mastermind and Only Connect return tonight for new series. (Only Connect, according to their Facebook page, is eventually going back to Mondays early next year)

Friday, 21 July 2017

Quiz Night Review - The Keel Row, Seaton Delaval

Image result for keel row seaton delvael
The Keel Row, Seaton Delaval
Thursday Nights
For the second time this week, I found myself trying a new quiz of the first time. The Keel Row is a very popular pub in Seaton Delaval, and after a lovely meal in there last night, we settled down for the quiz at 9pm. The pub was very full, I couldn't see many spare seats. However, it is very much a night of two halves....
The actual quiz was very enjoyable. There was 15 questions picture round with a nice variety of pictures including maps of US State Capitals (identify the state) and an overall theme of Donald Trump (pictures of him meeting world leaders and people speaking at an anti Trump Rally). What I liked about this was that it didn't form part of the main quiz itself and was instead a separate contest for a bottle of wine.
The main quiz consists of 40 questions, a tad short if you ask me, but the quality was there. Plenty to thing about, plenty of debate amongst myself and my long-suffering-quiz-hostage other half and questions we both could think about. Nice mixture! At this point I was very optimistic that I had found another fun quiz night to add to the diary. Throw in a couple of bonus rounds to win free pints and I was a very happy punter at this point.
Image result for keel row seaton delvael
A brief glance at my watch indicated in it was 9.50pm....
Then the wait began. It was a good 45 minutes before anything further happened. Not only does this give ample opportunity to cheat (the venue was large with basically 3 separate areas and the quiz master tucked in the corner....however I do not believe there was cheating going on! but you always risk it with a 45 minute gap)....but it was a tad dull. My preference for quiz nights is to be kept busy, not just sitting waiting around. It was a "swap and mark" quiz which prolonged things even more as the questions were read out in a very slow manner. An hour and ten minutes after the quiz had ended the scores were read out......
So as I said, a quiz of two halves. Good picture round, great questions and nice pace in the first half but what will put me off going back is that 70 minute wait to get the results. (There is a jackpot at the end which we stayed for - under heavy protest from my other half).
I suggested in the car on the way home, this would have been a better night had we left after the questions and either asked for the answers to take away or simply googled to see what we had right or wrong.

"If most people have put it, I will give you the point...."

Now, usually I don't get annoyed by these things but instead concentrate on just enjoying the quiz. When a quizmaster is wrong the two options are usually "Ill only accept the answer on the sheet" or they give in when they are shown the correct answer on google.

I encountered something different at a recent quiz. The round was based on pictures of bands and with it all being 90's - present I scooped up 15/15....or so I thought. It was one of these "swap with another team and mark" rounds and our paper came back with 14/15. A picture that was clearly Radiohead was announced as being Manic Street Preachers....I was bit worried that it wasn't contested so with us two being in a head to head race with a team of 10 for first place, I politely told the Quizmaster it was 100% Radiohead (not necessarily begging for the point but just pointing it out).

To which he said...."If most people have put it, I will give you the point".


So, if I happen to be one of only a few teams to know it, or the only one!, then I am not going to have my correct answer given whereas it everyone proves you wrong I'll get a point! Can't see the logic in that response.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Dun Cow, Sunderland - New Quiz Night

One of Sunderland's finest pubs, The Dun Cow, is re-launching its quiz night on Thursday with a start at 8pm. It is ran by a member of the local quiz league who hosts a fantastic quiz on a Monday at the Ship Isis. Should be a great night!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Quiz Night Review - The Cooper Rose, Sunderland

Image result for cooper rose sunderland
The Cooper Rose, Sunderland
Monday Nights - 8.30 - 10.30
This was advertised as an Interactive Quiz so turning up to The Cooper Rose, I had no idea what to expect. I had messaged the pub before hand to check the quiz was still running (as in the past my experience with Wetherspoons Pubs has been a bit hit and miss). He told me there was 40 teams every week and told me all I needed was a pen...
As soon as he said the quiz was 40 teams, and knowing the venue is a huge Wetherspoons over 2 floors, I knew it was going to be a google fest....and I was right.
The quiz is one of the "Great Big Quiz" presentations that is played in a lot of pubs around the country. Using a projector the questions are read out and displayed on screen. Some rounds involve the screen alone but its all about the presentation.
The format is 7 rounds of ten which seemingly is the same every week (TV and Film, Sport, Famous Faces, Logos, Music, General Knowledge and a Mystery Round). The Famous Faces was particularly brutal last night which I enjoyed until they began "When they were young...." style pictures. The Logo round is as you would imagine and the Music round is worth double the points of other rounds as you need to identify track and artist. So in other words, you get 40 actual quiz questions and 3 rounds of picture or audio.
The questions themselves were a mixed bag. The TV round as painfully straight forward, and I imagine everyone in the pub felt the same but the Sports and GK rounds were littered with some good questions in amongst the chestnuts.
Not a "bad" night as such and the pub was packed, easily the busiest pub quiz in Sunderland and he wasn't exaggerating about having 40 teams!. It is popular and clearly people were enjoying themselves....but if you are reading this blog, then you wouldn't have been one of those people.
The crowd was very young and tended to be massive teams of 8-12 people and the one thing they had in common? All their faces were lit up with the glow of their Smart phones. The cheating was rife and it means that there is no competitive element at all. I expected the cheating but it was far worse than I expected.
For brushing up on chestnuts, a decent music round and a quick and pacey quiz night it serves a purpose.  The quizmaster actually presents from BEHIND the big screen and despite some half-baked warning on the screen nothing is done to combat cheating. But then again, with a pub with 40 teams and maybe 200-250 people playing, you can see why the boat doesn't want to be rocked!
I may go back for the questions and I think its quiz my other half will like, I definitely learned a thing or two, but to even consider trying to win without Google/Shazaam  (top prize is £25) is futile.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

New Quiz Night in Sunderland

In the past few months there seems to be a huge array of new quiz nights in Sunderland and one of which is in one of the Wetherspoons in the city centre have announced new quiz nights which have just launched, or are launching soon...

William Jamieson - Thursday Nights (From August 3rd) - Pub Quiz

Coming next month is a new quiz in another oft he several Wetherspoons in Sunderland - The William Jamieson. Very little detail so far, but they are mentioning themed quizzes once every month to accompany the standard pub quizzes. First of which will be Harry Potter. When enquiring about the quiz itself I was told they had a member of the bar staff doing previous experience of Wetherspoons plus Bar staff quiz masters is not great, but hopefully this time I will be proven wrong!

Monday, 17 July 2017

Quiz League Sets

I have been trawling through my laptop sorting out my files and came across some older Leagues sets I produced for the Sunderland Echo Quiz League. This set was written and used in about 2012, may be a little off on that, so be careful if using any of these questions as they may have went out of date since then!

Questions A

Round 1                                                                                                                        

1.    What was the slogan on the famous poster, used by the Conservatives at the 1979 General Election, showing a queue of people at an Unemployment office?
Labour Isn’t Working
2.    One of Hollywood’s most notorious rivalries, to which actress was Bette Davis referring when she said "She slept with every male star at MGM except Lassie"?
Joan Crawford
3.    Which is the easternmost of the Canary Islands?
4.    Who is the only English Footballer to have scored in the FA Cup Final, the League Cup Final, the Champions League final and the UEFA cup Final?
Steven Gerard


Round 2

1.    What is the common name given to the world’s second largest shark which is a regular visitor to British Coastal waters in the summer months?
Basking Shark
2.    In 2000, Operation Palliser was a large scale intervention by British Forces in the civil war of which West African country?
Sierra Leone
3.    What was the capital city of the Kingdom of Saxony which was in existence between 1806-1918?
4.    Born in 1797, which composers major works include the “Tragic Symphony”, “Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel” and a Fantasy in C known as “The Wanderer”?
Franz Schubert

Round 3

1.    In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and which American politician were the joint winners of the Nobel Peace Prize?
Al Gore
2.    Which Canadian province has shores on four of the five Great Lakes?
3.    Which British singer released UK No 1 album In the ‘Lonely Hour’, and 2014 No 1 singles ‘Money on My Mind’ and ‘Stay With Me’?
Sam Smith
4.    Newmarket racecourse straddles the border of Suffolk and which other county?





Questions A


Round 4

1.    What was the name of the British law brought into play in the early 20th Century to prevent prisoners from going on hunger strike? The law allowed the released of convicted criminals until they had eaten, at which point they would be returned to prison.
Cat and Mouse Act
2.    "In order to make ice, fill the trays with water”  was one of many party tips in the much ridiculed 2013 book "Celebrate" by which "celebrity" author?  (Both names required)
Pippa Middleton
3.    With a name meaning “Rightful King”, which figure was considered as the first Emperor in History and established the capital of his Empire at Akkad?
4.    Two countries share a land border with Ecuador. Colombia is one, what is the other?


Round 5

1.   There are now estimated to more of these in the UK than there are people. The question is -  Nomophobia is a fear related to what?
Mobile Phone
2.    In which African country are the Simien Mountains, noted for their unique wildlife such as the Gelada Baboon and the Walia Ibex,  goat found nowhere else in the world?
3.    Team Europe plays Team America for the Weber Cup in which sport or game?
Ten Pin Bowling
4.    Which musical, first performed off Broadway in 1971, and in London starring Julie Covington and David Essex, is comprised of a series of parables based on the Gospels?

Round 6

1.    In 1976 he famously left Radio 1 after being reprimanded for labelling the Bay City Rollers “Musical Garbage” . Who is the current host of “Sounds of the Seventies” on BBC Radio 2?
Johnnie Walker
2.    Football: In terms of capacity what is currently the smallest ground in the Premier league?
Loftus Road
3.    Which chemical element, a strong, light metal with the atomic number 22 takes its name from the Greek for "First Sons On Earth" ?
4.    What word derived from the Italian for 'charcoal' is used as the name of a creamy pasta sauce usually made with eggs, cheese, black pepper and pork?

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Only Connect Returns - 28th July

Only Connect title.png
Despite loosing its way a little in recent series, Only Connect is still one of the most fun shows on TV and returns on 28th July on BBC Two. Initially, it is in the Friday Night slot, which tended not to work in terms of ratings or my personal enjoyment in the last run, but from Facebook it seems that the show will return to Monday's at some point mid-series. The sooner the better!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

North East Sports Quiz League - Are there many specialist League's out there?

For a number of years I have been debating on joining the North East Sports Quiz League. For a variety of reasons, ranging from the fear of being out of my depth to the fact that the venue are located at least 30 minutes away from me, has put my off but I have finally decided to go ahead and join. Within a few days of enquiring I was set up with a team and look forward to the new season. I will still be out of my depth, but I figure these leagues are not going to around much longer so why not...

It got me thinking, are there many other specialist quiz leagues around the country? A post on facebook led to a few people telling me about Sports Leagues that "used" to exist but I cant seem to see any others?

The website with sample questions can be found HERE

Monday, 10 July 2017

Quiz in the North - Saturday 19th August

The Quiz in North concept, established a few years ago to provide a fun, competitive and enjoyable day for those who like to take quizzing more seriously, is going from strength to strength. I thought I would quickly post up to mention that the next event on Saturday 19th August will be taking place in Middlesbrough. All the details can be found HERE

Just a little info take from the site -

"Quiz in the North is returning to Teesside and gives you the chance to test your wits against some of Britain's top quizzing talent including members of the Eggheads team and Mastermind Champions. There will be two individual quizzes and a team quiz of the team. You won't need to have a team beforehand as they will be decided on the day. The event costs ten pounds and lunch will be included, please pay on the day."        

Always a fun day, always great questions and great company!

If you get stuck on how to take part drop me an email at and Ill put you in touch with the person to talk to :)