Saturday, 9 July 2011

The Oldest of Old Chestnuts ?

I had something of a thought provoking discussion with a colleague at work yesterday. The topic of discussion amongst a few of us was the demise of the News of The World. By way of a digression, my favourite headline about this story was the Telegraph’s “Goodbye Cruel World”. However, as I say , we were discussing the story, and the question came up,
“How long has it been published ? “ or words to that effect. Without passing through my conscious mind on the way the answer leapt from my memory to my lips –
“168 years.”
Alright, the regulars in the staffroom are used to my quiz eccentricities now, but a colleague asked whether I had stuck that particular tidbit of knowledge into my brain for quizzes. To which I replied, of course, bearing in mind that its bound to be asked somewhere in the next few days. We talked a little more about ‘doing the papers’ and other things you can learn for a quiz. Then she asked that thought provoking question –
“Well, which question would you say comes up most often in quizzes ? “

That stopped me in my tracks. After all, we could all name a list of topics that recur often in quizzes. We could even probably name some of the questions that recur most often within those topics. But the single question most often asked in quizzes ? I suspect that its not a question which can ever have a definitive answer. All we can do is suggest some of those questions which recur regularly in quizzes. I don’t say for one minute that its asked more often than any other question, but one which has been doing the rounds since I started quizzing, and would make me significantly richer than I am now – not difficult – if I was paid a fiver for every time I’ve ever been asked it would be : -
What is the nickname of the Gravelly Hill Interchange ?
Yet there are doubtless tons of others – many of which probably come up a lot more often. So I’m throwing this question out to everyone – in your opinion, which are the oldest chestnuts, the quiz questions which seem to get asked ad nauseam ? The ones which you are just thoroughly sick of, and wouldn't mind if you were never asked them again ? Over to you.


Will Jones said...

"Who was born Maurice Micklewhite?" and variants thereof is pretty popular.

DanielFullard said...

Questions about US States seem to bug me throughout.....Largest? Smallest? Most Populous? etc and such like

Londinius said...

Hi Will, Hi Daniel

Oh blimey yes - Maurice Micklewhite - not a lot of people DON'T know that !

As for the US States, one of the ones I always seem to get asked is the state capital of Florida - for some reason round our way that one seems particularly popular, more so than the other 49.

Aaron said...

Which is the largest country in Africa (by area)? (via @QuizQuizQuiz).

It's not often an old chestnut becomes unedible, so to speak!

Londinius said...

Hi Aaron

You have actually just asked one of my questions for my next quiz in Aberavon rugby club ! Its really begging to be asked now isn't it - cue teams up and down the country frantically asking themselves - does the QM KNOW that South Sudan has become an independent country , thus reducing the area of Sudan considerably ? -
So the old chestnut may well become a brand new chestnut !


QuizMasterBlaster said...

The 4 Presidents on Mt Rushmore