Saturday, 16 October 2010

A Double Stint Down The Club

I feel that I’ve been neglecting you recently, and I’m sorry. Yes, I know I’ve kept up the reviews of the top shows, but LAM isn’t just about the shows, much as I enjoy them. For every hour that I spend watching quiz shows during the work, I reckon that I probably spend at least three taking part in quizzes. Or writing them.

Which is as good a place as any to start. I’ve told you about the Thursday night quiz at the Aberavon Rugby club before. I’ve been either playing in the Thursday night quiz at the club, or setting it for the last 15 years, and I reckon that the number I’ve missed in that time is still probably a lot less than my age, and most of those have been family holidays. Brian, who takes overall charge of the arrangements for the quiz, and I set the majority of the quizzes between us, although pretty much anyone can do it if they volunteer, and there is a small hard core of regulars who each do a handful of quizzes during the year. Brian has been away for couple of weeks. He’ll be back this Thursday, but he returns earlier in the day, so he’s not got time to prepare a quiz. All of which chaff is a pretty long winded way of saying that I was question master last Thursday, and I’ll be question master again this coming Thursday, since nobody else has volunteered in the interim.

I’ve done a two week stint before, although never a three week one, and it does present a question master with some interestingly tricky problems to solve.For one thing, as a matter of pride if you set the quiz two weeks running, on the second week you want to do something which is clearly different from the first week. That’s been easy enough to achieve. Every third quiz or so that I set for the quiz I use a connections gimmick in each round. You know how it works. Three or four questions in each round will all have answers which are connected, and so the next question is to ask what the connection is. Here’s one set from last week : -

1) Which word can mean a sideboard with shelves, or a theatrical stagehand involved with costumes ?
2) Which 2002 Walt Disney animated movie concerns aliens landing in Hawaii ?
3) Aries, Leo and Sagittarius – are they earth, fire , air or water signs ?
4) What is the connection between your last three answers ?

Answers : -

2) Lilo and STITCH
4) CROSS –

Its an old gimmick. All I can take credit for is the fact that I was the first question master to use it in the club. I first experienced it in an open quiz set by Geoff Evans during my first season playing in the lamented Neath Quiz League. This week it’s a straight quiz – well, almost. I’ve spent half of each round creating a quiz evening from the 50s and 60s – although I know that there probably never was such a thing back then.. I know that its unfair to ask all the questions from this era - on entertainment, sport and current affairs, for example. However at least half of the questions in each round have been taken from my growing collection of veteran quiz books. Hopefully it will give us something different, but not too different.
I’ll come clean, too. You may have read my recent post about dropped clangers, where I admitted that I’m playing for a team in the Bridgend Quiz League, and I am trying to work on learning some stuff in my weakest areas. Well, I will confess to recycling some of this stuff I’ve been learning in the last week or two in last weeks quiz, and again in the quiz I’ve finished putting together today. I will also confess to using a few of the questions from the 2 league matches we’ve played so far into both of the quizzes I’ve put together. Its not something any one should ever feel the need to apologise for. Recycling your own and other people’s questions is a perfectly respectable practice, and its all part of the cross fertilization by which a question ‘does the rounds’.

Mind you, there are times when you can overdo it. I remember a good few years ago attending a social quiz, where almost all of the questions were lifted directly from the same quiz I had produced for the league in Neath about a month earlier ! Likewise, I used to play in one league on a Sunday night, and a different league on the Monday. The same setter was producing the questions for both, and on one occasion had used many of the same questions in both. I stress that this has not happened in Bridgend, and to be honest, this is plain to anyone who sees the number of sitters I’ve been dropping in the league so far! Seriously, I’m loving it though. It’s a different kind of competition , playing in a league, and I’ve really missed it.

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