It was Alwyn’s quiz last night at the club. Now, I would be the first to agree that you should always treat someone who is good enough to spend their own time putting a quiz together for other people’s enjoyment with respect, especially if they receive no other remuneration for their efforts than a couple of pints. However I am also honest enough to admit that there are question masters I would argue with, and question masters I wouldn’t. Alwyn I wouldn’t argue with, even if I did think some of his answers were wrong. Not that I felt so last night. I certainly didn't spot any obvious wrong'uns.
I did get annoyed at one point, but I was annoyed with myself more than anything else. Alwyn had produced a connections quiz, and this was one of the connection sets.
Which is the furthest planet from the Sun in the solar system?
Who was portrayed on the tails side of an old penny until 1971?
Who was the son of Atreus, and the brother of Menelaus?
What is the connection between your last three answers?
Now, I’m sure you know the answers to the first three questions : -
Neptune ( almost every question master now knows that Pluto is a Dwarf Planet)
As for a connection, though, I have to say that we were stumped. So, this is where technique comes into play. One way of tackling a connections question when you can’t see the connection is just going on random word association, and so we sat there going “Britannia – Britannia Building Society – HMS Britannia”. I said, just off the top of my head , “HMS Agamemnon was Nelson’s favourite ship.” Why did I say this? When I was researching my family history I came upon a 4x great grandfather who was press ganged onto the Agamemnon’s sister ship HMS Belliqueux. The Agamemnon was a lot more famous, and there's a lot more about it on the internest so I ended up finding a lot about the Agamemnon while I was researching the Belliqueux. However we couldn’t think of a famous HMS Neptune and so I forgot all about it. What did we end up with for an answer? Some nonsense I came up with about Neptune holding a trident, and Britannia holding a trident. The answer – well, I’m guessing that Alwyn received several teams which had just put HMS/ Royal Navy ships as the answer, since he apologized, but said that the only answer he would accept was that they were all ships of Nelson’s Navy. I could conceivably have had that! Mind you, in my opinion that was an obscure connection which probably should have been made easier by including a question like, for the sake of argument – Nike was the Greek Goddess of what? – Victory.
As my late friend Allan used to say – the best question you can be asked is the one where you say – damn, I should have known that – but you don’t.