Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Books of the Month

January has been a busy month but I have managed to get through a few excellent book titles that I wanted to mention.

The first is Jonathan Eigg's recent biography "Ali".  As a huge boxing fan, and knowing in the past the sheer amount of Ali based questions I have got wrong, I thought it might help me quizzing wise but also the book has rave reviews. Simply put, this is one of the finest biographies, and most enjoyable non-fiction books, I have read in years. I am struggling to think of a biography I have enjoyed more. Yes, it has been useful for the quizzing purposes mentioned above, but even without that and even if you know everything about Ali already, I am sure than anyone who enjoys a good biography will enjoy this...

Another great biography I have just finished is Robert Capa: Blood and Champagne. An easy to read concise and straight forward account of Capa's live from the people who knew him and spent time with him. From the travels around wars, to the high profile acquaintances and the founding of Magnum, this kept me engaged throughout.

Finally, "Symbols: A Universal Language" by Joseph Piercy, is a short (under 2 hours in all) book covering a range of symbols we see everyday and looking at where they came from and providing interesting facts that have helped me devise a great number of questions. Although some of the book you will already know about (the origins of the Bluetooth symbol) for example, there is a ton of other information about symbols you will see every day that may be news to you...

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Moneyball - Contestant Call

The BBC are currently looking for contestants for a new show called Moneyball. Details are scant but the end game seems to be answering General Knowledge questions as the money ball drops.
Some of the team have been answering to comments on Facebook and the only downside for some people reading this, is that they aren't looking to cast people who have been on TV in the last 6 months or are due to be on in the next 6 months. That rules me out but for anyone who is eligible follow the link here

Monday, 29 January 2018

Book Suggestion

Any quizzer will know that no matter where you live in the UK, the stations on the London Underground tend to be a popular selection for question topics amongst quiz masters. It is always something I have struggled with but late last year I came across this cracking book which focuses not only on the Underground, put also on other transport facts about London. Easy to read, set out well and giving some great facts that will be useful to players and setters alike. And of course, it covers the basics of the stations, lines and all those "Which is the only station that...." type questions that I tend to struggle with.

Well worth a look.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Quiz Review

Image result for bank street kitchen
Bank Street Bar
Sunday Nights 8pm
I found myself up in Glasgow for a few days recently, more on that to come, and was invited by a friend to join them for a Pub Quiz in Bank Street Bar in the City Centre. For one reason or another, mainly due to the usual quizzes I attend being cancelled, this was my first actual pub quiz of the year.
The quiz begins at 8pm with a limit of 6 players per team. It was standing room only with around 15 teams taking part. Each round is broken down into subjects (the basics...TV, Film, Sport, General Knowledge, Music etc etc) with 5 questions in all but the Current Affairs round. However, each round is worth 10 points and many of the questions are for multiple points. Throw in a picture round and a music audio round and that gives you a very well put together quiz night.
You can always tell going to any new quiz, whether the person putting together the questions is a quizzer or not, and it is obvious from the high quality involved here that a quizzer is behind it! The questions were pitched at the right level, unique and interesting without a reliance on chestnuts or lazy writing. Superb selection of questions!
If you happen to find yourself in Glasgow on a Sunday Night, then head over to the Bank Street Bar. Only downside for me is I won't get to play again!

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Quiz League Set

As promised, the second set from this weeks Quiz League....

Questions B

Round 1                                                                                                                        

1.       Voted into his sports Hall of Fame in 1958 and the subject of a 2003 Hollywood movie, who died in 1947 aged 14 as a result of a heart attack?
2.       What is the worlds southernmost landlocked country?
3.       Who was the first boxer, representing Great Britain, to win an Olympic gold medal in the Super Heavyweight Division?
Audley Harrison
4.       Which singer has announced he is planning a musical film set in Ipswich?
Ed Sheeran


Round 2

1.       What was the nickname of the London building that won the 2015 Carbuncle Award as the country's worst new building?  
The Walkie Talkie
2.       Born Tony Beke, whose recent Christmas album contains  what the Sunday Times described as a bizarre version of the Arctic Monkeys' I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor?   
Anton Du Beke
3.       Which Premier League team's manager (as of last week) is a former American international?
4.       Which Stanley Kubrick film is based on a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray and tells the tale of a fictional 18th Century Irish Rogue?
Barry Lyndon

Round 3

1.       Sharing a name with the size of a champagne bottle, what is the name of the seminal photographic group founded by Henri-Cartier Bresson and Robert Capa?
2.       The Prime Minister famously had a glass eye after a rugby injury but what was the nickname of the Gordon Brown, who played  at lock on three Lions tours and once punched his opposite number so hard his glass eye fell out? 
Broon frae Troon (accept "from")
3.       Gammeltorv is the name of the oldest square at the heart of which European Capital City?
4.       The High Roller, the largest Ferris Wheel in the world, can be found in which city?
Las Vegas








Questions B


Round 4

1.       Which impressionist was the first person to impersonate the Queen on TV but fearful of reprisals changed her name to the Duchess of Brenda?
Stanley Baxter
2.       The name of which style of cooking in Japanese cuisine literally means “Glazed Roast”?
3.       The Classic FM Radio show “High Score” plays music taken from what?
Video Games
4.       The Italian cities of Genoa and Livorno have a coastline on which sea?
Ligurian Sea


Round 5

1.       Which bank, still in business today, issued the first UK credit Card in 1969?
2.       Which female author is the only person to win a Booker Prize and an Oscar. The Booker Prize was won in the 1970s with both of her Oscars coming in the 1980s?
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
3.       Musicians Brian Jones, Gustav Holst and Wurzel from Motörhead were all born in which spa town?
4.       Barci the cockerel features in the logo of which restaurant chain?


Round 6

1.       Based on passenger numbers, which was the UK’s busiest railway station in 2017 outside of London?
Birmingham New Street
2.       The late Fats  Domino's eight children all shared the same initial as himself. What is it?
   A (for Antoine)
3.       The city of Ragusa on the Adriatic changed its name to what in 1918?
4.       Detroit is situated where the Detroit River leaves which lake?
Lake St Clair







1.       Played by Dan Stevens, who is the subject of the 2017 film “The Man Who invented Christmas”?                                                                                                Charles Dickens

2.       Featuring a protagonist named Harry, “Only Time Will Tell” is the first novel in which series of books?     The Clifton Chronciles


3.       Which drink, launched in 1901, is currently being hoarded in Scotland due to the announced change in recipe in response to the upcoming introduction of Sugar Tax?

Irn Bru



Friday, 26 January 2018

Latest set for the Sunderland Quiz League

Here is the latest set I wrote, with the help of league organiser Chris Brewis, for the Sunderland Echo League quiz this week. As always, its worth mentioning that this is a team based quiz so the questions tend to be a little more testing than quiz leagues with an individual focus...Set B to follow tomorrow

Sunderland Echo Quiz League


Set by Chesters

Questions A

Round 1                                                                                                                        

1.       Actors Tom Conti, Gerard Butler and singer Gerry Rafferty were all born in which town, which to the amazement of some was on the shortlist to be Britain's City of Culture 2021?
2.       Which Premier League team's manager (as of last week) is a former international for the Republic of Ireland?
Brighton and Hove Albion (London-born Chris Hughton)
3.       Which actress was certainly being serious when she told tales of her marital woes in her autobiography entitled “A Paper Life”?
Tatum O Neal
4.       If you travelled directly south from any point of Majorca, which would be the first country you would hit?


Round 2

1.       Ed Sheeran's mother was called Imogen after his grandmother's friend, who was director of the Aldeburgh Festival for 20 years and the daughter of which English composer? 
Gustav Holst
2.       Airing on BBC 1 from 1979 to 1981 for 21 episodes, and revived for a one off special in 2007, which sitcom takes its title loosely from a quote from “Hamlet”?
To the Manor Born
3.       Taking its first paying passengers in 2008, when it was the largest of its kind in the world, what is the Singapore Flyer?
A Ferris Wheel
4.       The Australian city of Cairns has a coastline on which sea?
Coral Sea


Round 3

1.       In 2015, who became the first boxer to have won both an Olympic Gold Medal for Team GB and a Professional world title?
James De Gale
2.       In 1986, what became was the first daily newspaper in the UK to be printed in colour?
3.       In 1993, Rachel Whiteread became the first woman to win which annual award?
Turner Prize
4.       The city of Hue was the capital of which country between 1902 and 1945?








Questions A


Round 4

1.       Which band's final  British appearance was a Christmas benefit concert for the children of striking firemen in Huddersfield in December 1977 ?
The Sex Pistols
2.       The Tartan Giraffe Ball will be staged in Kelso on Friday (January 26)in honour of which sportsman? 
Doddie Weir
3.       Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded which American city?  
4.       An extension to which  London building inspired the naming of the Carbuncle Awards?  
The National Gallery


Round 5

1.    Based on passenger numbers, which was the busiest railway station in the UK in 2017?
London Waterloo
2.       What animal appears on the logo of Bacardi?
3.       'Yerba Buena' was the original name of which North American bay city, later given another Spanish name?
San Francisco
4.       Paul McCartney is the only person to have UK Number 1 singles as part of a five piece, a four piece, a threesome, a duet and as a solo artist. But which song was his only solo number 1 single, occurring in 1984?
Pipes of Peace


Round 6

1.       Which street in London, that appears on the Monopoly board, takes its name from a croquet like game played in the 17th Century?
Pall Mall
2.       Sharing her name with a famous character from the world of Opera, what was the first name of the only daughter of General Franco who died in December 2017?
3.       Canada's Thousand Islands Sauce originated on islands in which body of water?
The St Lawrence River
4.       Which former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom had a brother called Austen who served as a Foreign Secretary and won the 1925 Nobel Peace Prize?
Neville Chamberlain