Saturday, 6 September 2008

Name A Hairy Dog

Here we are. almost a full week into September, and its only now I can get around to posting. This is mostly because I am back at work. School opened for the staff on Monday, and the kids on Tuesday. I may be deluding myself, but I don't remember ever being back on the first day of September before.

So the quizzing has suffered a bit . I've only been to two quizzes this week. Monday night in Newport was one of those rare occasions when the whole team seems to gel perfectly. We didn't drop any points at all in the first 2 rounds, and only dropped 6 the whole evening, overturning some pretty hefty head starts to win. The only argument we had resulted in us changing a wrong answer for a right one.

Thursday, on the other hand was a different kettle of fish. Amateur night, in fact. The question master does a quiz a few times a year, and he is, not to put too fine a point on it, rather poor. This is not to say that he people don't like it when he does the quiz. They do, but its more for the entertainment value he has, than for any inherent value int he quiz. He's a bit of a Malaprop, and once set the whole club off laughing when he claimed that the stretch of water between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight is called the SOLVENT.

I don't mind questions that I don't know the answer to, in fact I quite like to hear something that I don't know, which I might be asked in another quiz. I don't mind questions that require a fair amount of deduction to enable you to use what you do know to figure out what you don't know. What I don't like is a question which requires you to guess what the question master is thinking of. On Thursday night we had this one : -

"Which old english word meant a clumsy or ill mannered youth ?"

There are a couple of serious flaws in this question. Firstly, as I pointed out to him, he didn't mean old english at all- since that was pretty much a different language. Secondly, as I also pointed out to him , there are several old words in english that mean this - eg - hooligan, yahoo, lout and oaf to name but two. He himself had 'hobbledyhoy'. When I pointed this out to him, his answer was one of the stock answers of the incompetent, and dare I say it, morally bankrupt quizmasters you find

"Ah, well, I want the one I've got written down here."

Guesses play an important part in any quiz, I admit. But questions that have nothing to do with actually knowing things, that can only be guessed, don't.

We did win, as it happens, so this rant is not sour grapes. The fact that he got a much bigger round of applause at the end of the quiz than we regular questionmasters ever get there - now THAT is sour grapes.

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