Friday, 12 September 2014

So Farewell then, CIU Quiz tournaments (or is it au revoir?)

The CIU final on Sunday 7th September was somewhat bittersweet this year. For one thing it was the first time for several years that question setter and all round good egg Dave Cornish wasn’t present, although he had set another cracker of a quiz for us. Dave, if you’re reading this, thanks. I especially loved the flags round, more of which later. It wasn’t just Dave’s absence, though, which was enough in itself, but the whole question mark hanging over the future of the quiz. Dransfield’s sponsorship of the event has come to an end now – and very generous they have been in sponsoring the quiz for quite a number of years now – and it’s not certain now whether there will be another CIU event next year. We can but hope.

Still, there was plenty to cheer the heart on Sunday as it was. Due to the accustomed absence of George from our team, we drafted in a new member, Chris. Chris, if you’re reading this, it was a pleasure to travel with you on Sunday. Oh yes, travel. You may recall that I, er, took a wrong turning on the motorway last year, arriving very late, just in time for the quiz after everything had been eaten. Oh, you may laugh, and to be fair many of you did when I saw you on Sunday, but in the words of Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet”, he jests at scars, who never felt a wound. Well, I went so far as to actually plan a route this time, rather than pointing the car in the vague general direction of Derby and trusting to luck. With the result that we were there in plenty of time. No chilli con carne this time, but a good chicken and vegetable curry instead, and so, as Lord Sugar might put it, I was an ‘appy barnny’. Nice to speak to a few people I’ve known through the blog, or from their telly appearences, but haven’t actually met face to face before, in particular Clive Dunning. Great to meet you Clive – keep in touch.

Oh, I have to write about the quiz do I? Well, look, it’s like this. There was nothing wrong with the quiz at all. Our performance in it, well, no, that wasn’t so brilliant. Basically we just couldn’t get to grips with round one. The nature of the quiz and the standard of competition is that if you have a bad round, you’re not going to be on the podium. Well, that’s the way it goes. Still, allowing for the fact that we were simply playing for position after that, there was still much to enjoy. The first handout round asked us to name the 10 biggest countries by area whose flags are just two colours. Loved it. We had 14 on the table, and the 10 right answers were all among them – 8 of which we did actually write down. Now, I don’t think that was a very bad performance on that round. Not so good on the picture round I’m afraid, but then you know me and pictures.

Yes, alright, we knew it wasn’t going to be our afternoon at all when we scored a full house on the TV and Film round, only to find that so did a lot of other teams, and we were a long way out on the tie break to decide who’d pick up the prize for it. Still, you have to applaud the winners. They do say that class will out. Multiple winners Maesglas A were runners up, once again letting us beat them in the regional, then going on to do considerably better than us at the National. In fact, we’ve never outscored them at the National. However even they couldn’t hold off the fabulous Ashford Road team from Swindon, who last won in 2012, I think. Great performance.

No, there are worse ways to spend a Sunday in early September, and we can only hope that it continues in some way next year. A massive thank you to Dave for the questions, and also to the Alvaston and Crewton club who looked after us so well, but especially to Chris Brewis, who has worked so hard over the years to keep this great event going. Thanks Chris. 

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