Monday, 25 July 2011


I apologise in advance, because I know that this whole post is going to sound arrogant.

It’s probably a very immature thing to admit to, but the fact is that in a number of the social quizzes I go to, I do like the feeling of being the top dog in my own backyard as it were. Not so much the rugby club, perhaps. My team does tend to win more quizzes than any other team, but it’s not a case of domination. If Rob and the Lemurs have a full team, then it’s going to be a competitive match, and they win their fair share. Not so the Monday quiz in the Pill Harriers in Newport, either. There’s some good teams that play there every week, and while we win fairly regularly we certainly don’t win more than anyone else. We wouldn’t win all the time even if there were no handicaps either. It’s a competitive quiz.

However there are some other quizzes I go to fairly regularly which I expect to win in the normal course of events. Many of the Sunday night quizzes that we’ve attended in the past few years fall into this category. Now, and here I am beginning to wend my way round to connecting up with the title of this post, when you expect to win a quiz almost as a matter of course, it’s a very short step to beginning to worry that THIS week is going to be the week when you finally lose. This is the week when they will finally discover what your particular quiz kryptonite is.

You’ll know of course that kryptonite is the substance that the writers of the Superman comic strip created when it was becoming difficult to put him into any situation where he could conceivably be in any danger. Without going into long and boring details about the different properties of the different varieties of kryptonite, basically it robs of him of his powers, weakens him, and long enough exposure to it would kill him.

Most quizzers probably have categories of question which they consider to be weaknesses. I certainly do. It’s these subjects that are your quiz kryptonite. All it would take would be for a high proportion of questions on these categories to be injected into an otherwise harmless quiz, and suddenly everyone else would get to see that you’re human after all, and vulnerable. I’ll give you an example. It’s a shame to admit it, but I find cricket a difficult subject. As I think I may have mentioned before, I have nothing against the sport. For example, both the 1981 and the 2005 Ashes series are in my all-time top 10 most enthralling sporting contests. But the fact is that I think my attention span is just too short to be able to immerse myself in it. Lord knows, I do try, but the fact is that cricket facts, and cricket knowledge just don’t seem to stick with me. So if I’m in a quiz, and you want to shove a couple of banana skins underneath my feet, just make with the cricket questions. Now you know.

There are other areas of kryptonite for both John and me as a team, but you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t share them with you now. You never know which question masters might be reading ( and if you are – Hi ! You’re very welcome. ) .

Before we go any further, I’m happy to report that we won last night’s quiz, despite the fact that Rob, his wife Pam, and two quizzing friends made an unexpected appearance. I blame myself – I’ve been going on to him about how good the Sunday night quiz is. So at least we’re still on the pedestal . . . at least until next Sunday, that is.


DanielFullard said...

Well on the issue of "fearing to lose" there is one team at one of the quizzes I attended who do this. They win pretty much each week, sometimes only by one point, but its been a long time since they didnt win.

What they do now is "make excuses" before the quiz in case they loose. So for instance they will have a LOUD conversation at the bar or in the middle of the tables about how "Ive been ill all week so havent seen much news" or "I havent picked up a paper all week". Quite amusing.

My weakness is Science and Animals but I have been improving

Paul Steeples said...

Bloody James bloody Bond films. Why they're considered to be general knowledge, while hundreds of better films aren't, continues to defeat me...

Londinius said...

Hi Daniel

I cringed as I read your comment, only because I could see myself being reflected back at me. The shame of it !

Hi Paul

Makes you wonder, doesn't it. I wouldn't say that its an area of weakness for me - even the ones I haven't seen I can tell you who sang the theme, and who played the villain. Do you a) not even try to take these things in on principle ? b) try to take them in, but they don't stick ? c) take them in anyway but wish you didn't ?

With me and cricket it is very much b - I try to imrove but it just doesn't come off for me. Its forced, and my guess is that is why it doesn't work.


DanielFullard said...

We had a Bond question last week along the lines of which film was the last to feature Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny which recieved a few groans.

Ian said...

James Bond questions do seem to crop up fairly often don't they, maybe it's a case of lazy question setting?

On the whole I have no problem with them, apart from The World Is Not Enough and Tomorrow Never Dies, which I always seem to get in the wrong order, despite a conscious effort on my part.

My personal bete noire would be questions on soaps, I steadfastly refuse to gen up on them...

Paul Steeples said...


I'd say it's a combination of (a) and (b). I've only ever seen two of them at the cinema, and if I try to watch them on the telly, I just get bored and wander off. My point of principle is that there ought to be a far wider set of film questions, and just sticking to Bond (and the occasional Carry On) is just lazy.

redarsedbaboon said...

Harry Bloody Potter.

Other than that, I agree with m'colleague about James Bond and Carry On, though I'm certainly not as allergic as him to the former.

Ray Hamel said...

World geography just dribbles out of my ears. Maybe there's just too much other junk in there and something has to go. :)

Londinius said...

Hi Guys

Redarsedbaboon ( or may I call you . . . red ) Good point about Harry Potter, although questions about the books do tend to be taken almost exclusively from a very limited stock - name of school - name of 4 houses - name of game played on broomsticks to name 3.

Hi Ray

My late friend Alan Coombes always used to say that you get to a certain point where for every new fact you take into you rmemory, some old fact has to fall out to make room.

My problem is that for every new fact I take in, I'm sure I'm losing two or three out the back.


Gruff said...

Paul, I take it that you enjoyed the Bond film pair in last night's QLL Summer League then ;)

doublemm said...
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