Saturday, 19 June 2010

Quiz Hangovers - New Show Idea - Another Chase Record

You’ll probably have experienced ‘quiz hangover’ syndrome at some time or other, even if you’ve never quite thought of it in those particular terms. By which I mean the experience of putting in a really good performance in a good quiz , and then finding that you’re totally out with the washing in the very next quiz you play in. Well, if you read my last post you’ll know that I was part of a team that had a really good evening in Monday night’s CIU regionals. So much so that I was still mentally patting myself on the back by the time Thursday’s quiz at the rugby club came round, which can be absolutely fatal.

Thankfully it wasn’t fatal this time, a lot of which had to do with the fact that Robert, one of my team mates on Monday night, couldn’t play , leaving his team rather shorthanded. The quiz itself eased our passage too, being what I like to think of as a ‘Brian Special’. Brian is the organiser of the Thursday night quiz at the rugby club, as I think I must have mentioned before. He’s a very good all-round quizzer himself, although only now on a social basis, but he’s a great question master too. Every quiz he produces is good, but every now and again he’ll put in a real belter. Well, either that or every now and again we’ll be particularly tuned into his wavelength as a team, and when that happens, the result is a Brian Special. You know that you’re going to have a good night when you’re picking off the answers before the question has even been completely read out. We had quite a few like that.

The best we managed on Thursday night was picking off one of the questions from the first two words of the question. Here, you try it : -
Egon Ronay . . .
The answer is at the bottom of this post.
Of course, its not completely unheard of to be able to pick off an answer from just one word. For example –
Triskaivedakatriaphobia . . . ( not sure if its spelt correctly, but you get the drift )
The – phobia – suffix makes it obvious that its about a fear of something, so however the rest of the question is worded, in most cases its going to be asking you just what it is the fear of .

Without wishing to brag, there are times we have picked up an answer before ANY of the words of the question have been asked . I should stress that none of us possess ESP to the best of our knowledge, and it only happens in very particular circumstances, namely , as part of a set of connections. For example, we might be asked :-
Who played the female lead in The Mask, with Jim Carrey ? ( CAMERON Diaz)
Which Ivy League University was founded in Warren, Rhode Island in 1765 ? (BROWN)
Then its very tempting to take a flyer and predict that the next answer will be Eric BLAIR ( question – what was the real name of writer George Orwell ? ) Of course, you’ll come unstuck if the question actually is one that requires the answer Linda Blair, or The Blair Witch Project etc. , but then that’s all part of the fun of the game. The connection of course being the last three Prime Ministers of the UK.

Do you know, I think that I feel a quiz show idea coming on . Do you remember Name that Tune – I think Tom O’Connor presented it at one time, but doubtless there were others. Two contestants had to conduct a sort of dutch auction, to see who was prepared to identify a tune from the lowest number of notes. For notes, read words of a question. So our host ( Dale, Nick, Dermot, Jeremy delete where applicable ) would announce that the next category is , for example, world capital cities . Contestant one offers to answer in 10 words, the opponent in 9, and so on , until poor contestant 2 is committed to doing it in 1 word. The host gives him his one word, which is – “Ulaan” Contestant 2 is delighted, and answers Mongolia. So we face a second question from the same category – world capital cities. This time its contestant 1 who bids down to 1 word, and is licking his chops in anticipation as the host gives him his one word –
“Which “. Unfair, I know, but then cruel is in vogue at the moment. Personally, I think the concept has legs. If any production companies out there happen to be interested, well, you know where to contact me.

Egon Ronay - answer Hungary ( question - Egon Ronay was born in which country )
Triskaivedakatriaphobia - answer - fear of the number 13


On a more serious note, one quiz show format which is working very well at the moment is The Chase, IMHO. Yeah, alright, the Chasers are friends, but get over it. Watch the Final Chase in any of the shows, even the ones which aren’t all that close, and I’d be very surprised if it doesn’t get your competitive juices flowing. This week again saw records created , unless I’m very much mistaken. On Thursday’s show a fine quizzer called Angela, aided and abetted by a gentleman whose name escapes me for the moment, set a staggering total of 28. OK, with the two point start they were given that’s equivalent to mark’s successful chase of 26, but even so it’s a hell of a performance. As it happens Mark was in the Chaser’s chair again for this one. With less than a minute gone he was halfway there, but a wrong answer saw him pushed back one, and another wrong answer put him behind the clock. Then he had one of those questions where the anticipation of the answer can actually let you down. Hearing “Who wrote ‘The Girl With .. . . “ Mark leapt at Steigg Larsson , anticipating “ the Dragon Tattoo “ , while the question was completed with “ A pearl Earring “. On such small things . As it was, once he built up a full head of steam he got mighty close. Is 27 the highest unsuccessful chase so far ? Probably . As it was, it was very nice to see Mark pay tribute to the quality of his opposition. This time of year seems to bring with it a dearth of what for me would be ‘appointment TV ‘ quizzes, so the show has filled a nice gap.

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