Friday, 9 October 2009

One of those weeks.

In my defence, I never really planned such a heavy quiz week as this last one has been. As originally planned, this week would have just consisted of a trip to the Duke of Wellington in Cowbridge on Tuesday night, and my turn as quiz master in Aberavon Rugby club on Thursday night. Nothing too taxing there.

On Monday, though, we made a return to Newport, to Trevor’s quiz in the Pill Harriers Rugby Club. Its been a good three weeks since we last played there, not, I hasten to add for any reason other than illness and work. My good friend Alan was feeling OK, and Barry fancied it as well. I didn’t need to be persuaded either. It was a good quiz. In fact all of the quizzes I’ve been to this week have been very enjoyable. We managed to give the handicapper a good run for his money this week, drawing for second place with a team who’d had a five point head start, and finishing one point behind the winners, who’d been given an 8 point head start. My favourite question of the night was on the handout. I have to say this, you get two handouts in Newport – Round Two which is a pictures handout, and Round Four which is a multiple question handout, and is a work of joy , and often , of genius . On the multiples handout this week we were asked for the ten countries with the smallest populations. Helpfully we were given the initials of each. Having become a devotee of, I greatly enjoyed this one. By the way, if you haven’t checked it out yet, sporcle is great fun. But be warned, it is addictive, and it absolutely devours spare time.

On Tuesday evening John and I returned to the Duke of Wellington. They’re a really nice crowd down there, and seemed to have forgiven us for scoring 100% on the last one we attended a fortnight ago. Thankfully the Lucky Seven was apparently won last week, so at least the money is getting shared around a bit. It’s a good little quiz as I’ve said before. We had most of them right, but amongst those we missed was the Guess the Year question.
“In which year did Eric Cantona do his famous karate kick at a member of the crowd in a game against Crystal Palace ?” You can probably appreciate the discussion this engendered . - I know that it was after the season of Ferguson’s first double, in 1994. But was it at the tail end of 94, or early 95 ? - We plumped for the end of 94, but were a year out, 95 being the right answer.

Let me go back to Monday night. It was at the end of the evening that Trevor called me over, and invited me to the Mega Quiz on Wednesday. I really wanted to play, but that’s the kind of thing I wouldn’t take Mary for granted about. Thankfully she agreed, and you can read all about the quiz in my previous post.

Last night, then, last quiz before Sunday, and it was my quiz for the Rugby Club. I hope that people enjoyed it. Sometimes its difficult to tell, after all, the good people who make up the regulars in the quiz there would never be rude to you. This was a connections quiz, I tend to do these for about one in every three quizzes I make. In its basic form it works like this. Each round comprises of 10 questions, 6 of which will be normal GK questions. However three of the questions will have answers which can be connected in some fashion, and the last question asks what the connection actually is. This one none of the teams managed to answer last night : -
When he became King, which name ( name and regnal number needed ) did the Prince Regent take ?
Who invented logarithms ?
Name the British artist, with no arms, and shortened legs, who received the MBE in 2003 .
What is the connection between your last three answers ?

Now, if you’re really tuned in you might get it from the first two. However for me it’s the third one that is the clincher, and unfortunately none of the teams knew the answer to the third one. For the record, the answers are : -
King George IV
(John) Napier
Alison Lapper

The connection ? All have had statues on plinths in Trafalgar Square. George IV and General Napier’s are permanent, while the statue “Alison Lapper Pregnant “ occupied the 4th plinth for some time. By way of an aside – Havelock is the other permanent one. Also by way of an aside, General Napier made one of the best, most educated puns I have ever heard. On the conclusion of a successful campaign in the sub-continent, he sent the war office the one word telegram
which even my schoolboy latin enables me to know means “ I have sinned ( Sind ! )” Oh well, please yourselves.

Please believe me when I say that a week like this really is the exception rather than the rule. If I wasn’t virtually teetotal then I couldn’t do it at all. Very early on in my career ( teaching or quiz, take your pick ) I realized that for me, alcohol on a school night is just a no-no. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against it, but if I even just have the one I find it can make me just that tiny bit more tired the next day. That’s why I don’t drink at the quiz. Sometimes I’d like to, but I just can’t. It works like this. I won’t have a drink on a school night. Well, during term time that leaves me with Friday and Saturday evenings. When I never go to a quiz.

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