Wednesday, 28 April 2010

When is a cougar not a cougar ?

A good quiz in Cowbridge last night.The format of the quiz is 7 rounds of ten questions each. The first and last rounds are pure general knowledge. Rounds 2 – 6 are all themed rounds, and one of these has to be nominated to be each team’s joker round, for which each correct answer is worth double points. Round Two was designated “Cats and Dogs”. We did have half a mind to nominate this as the joker round, but decided that it was too unpredictable to be the safest bet, and so plumped for something else. Good job too. We failed ignominiously on these two : -
Who had a cat called Mr. Bigglesworth ?
What was the name of the ship’s cat in the film “Alien” ?

OK – the first one s well known, but its not one I recall being asked in many quizzes I’ve ever been to, but the second . . . for me it’s a real ‘hang your head in shame for not being able to remember the answer ‘ question.

There was one other question in the same round where we failed to score , which was this –
What is the other name for a mountain lion ?
We put down ‘cougar’ – as I was sure that I remembered some old Walt Disney true life adventure film which referred to a big cat as both throughout the same show. You can imagine my displeasure when the answer was announced as ‘puma’. Actually, I say displeasure, but that’s a little bit unfair. My first thought was along the lines of, hang on a minute, I’ve heard that before too, I’m sure, a puma IS a mountain lion. Which was followed immediately by the thought – but its ALSO a cougar. It wasn’t just John and I who thought so either, as several teams queried cougar, but the QM was in best ‘if its not on my answer sheet you’re not having it’ mood, and who shall really blame him too much for that.

Still, I did some digging when I got home , and found out that both puma and cougar are alternative names for the mountain lion. Just one of those things – a question which allows only one correct answer when there are in fact more than one. Funnily enough one of my ‘wrong’uns’ which I named and shamed in my “The Question Master Is Always Right” series a year or more ago also made a return last night in the final general knowledge round – namely
“Which was the first cartoon to feature Mickey Mouse ? “Yes, I know that you all know that the correct answer to the question is “Plane Crazy”, and I know that you all know that the answer you have to put down on your sheet is “Steamboat Willie” because that’s the answer the question master is going to have down on his. And he did.

I mention this only in passing, since I’m not trying to slag off what was an enjoyable quiz and a good evening. The lasting thing for me from the evening though was not the sense of satisfaction at providing some useful answers dredged up from the memory – eg , the surname of Eric The Eel, and the other European island which also has a threelegged emblem, no. It’s the frustration of not being able to remember the name of the ship’s cat in Alien. Who’d be a quizzer ?

Answers to questions given above : -
Mr. Bigglesworth belongs to Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies
The ship’s cat in Alien is called Jones
Eric the Eel’s surname is Moussambani
Sicily also has a threelegged emblem


Unknown said...

Ugh, what an unfortunate question about the mountain lion! Most Americans would be completely flummoxed as to what to answer, as they are commonly also called pumas, catamounts, and even panthers. (A bit of a regional thing.) You'd just have to pick one out of the air and hope for the best.

Londinius said...

Hi Nancy !

Thanks for dropping by. I guess the question is just one of those things. I don't know for certain, but I think that the landlord buys the quiz in, in which case he is at the mercy of the setter, and if the setter is doing it for cash, then he probably should know better. As you say, its a hit and hope thing.