Monday, 27 September 2010

Wales Blog Awards

Yes, dear readers, this very blog was nominated in two categories of the Wales Blog Awards, in the Lifestyle and Best Writing Categories. Alas, we haven't made it onto the shortlist in either category, but then that's the way it goes. Still, many congratulations to all those blogs that did make it, and the very best of luck to all.


Unknown said...

Very well done on the nominations!

My other half saw you as an unused phone-a-friend on Millionaire tonight and couldn't believe that the contestant didn't choose you. We were wondering, did you know the answer?

Londinius said...

Hi Nancy - how are you doing ?

There was a good reason why Richard didn't choose me. We'd discussed tactics beforehand, and John is one of the people whom I'd choose myself to answer a Geography question, and so he was our designated Geographer. Ironically in my youth I was a bit of a railways nut, and so I would have gone for Iceland. Whether I would have been confident enough to advise Richard to go for it is entirely another question though.


Unknown said...

Hi Dave,

Following on from where Nancy left off, congratulations on the nominations. Your blog is one of the most informative, updated and enjoyable reads out there.

Quick question I have been desperate to ask; as a novice quizzer myself, what are the best methodologies you would advise for swotting up?

I know different things work for different people, I'm quite a fan of list making myself, but can you offer any tips?


Londinius said...

Hello David

Thanks for your kind words. Lists are without doubt very useful. I believe that answering the most difficult questions is great, but answering the bread and butter stuff correctly the majority of the time is what brings wins.

I was lucky - I have a retentive memory, and have been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching quiz shows on TV. So when I started playing in quizzes I was already pretty decent. Also early in my quiz career I got into a very good league team with some very good quizzers who'd been doing it for years, and the things I learned from them about quizzes have stood me in good stead ever since.

Still some of the things which have helped me develop as a quizzer have been : -

* If you're already swotting up now, then you're already ahead of many, many quizzers. There was a time when any good league quizzer around our way would know what he/she had to learn to be competitive during the season. You don't see that kind of attitude so much here now. Don't be discouraged if a particular thing you've learned doesn't pay immediate dividends. It will pay off eventually, and the great thing is it will keep paying off.

* Playing in a range of diferent quizzes regularly. Winning or losing doesn't matter at the stage you're at. Think of it as training. You'll see patterns start to emerge , similar questions recurring. Pub quizzes, league quizzes, the more experience you get, the more you'll learn the kind of stuff you'll need to know.

* Make a ruthless inventory of your knowledge. Work out what are your best subjects and what are your weakest subjects. So for example if you're already great on History then there's not a lot of point spending time working on it, if you're terrible on Geography for example. If you're going to put the time and effort in, then you want it to have the maxium benefit.

* You can find some good advice in Dave Cornish's book "How to Win Quizzes". Published by Rightway it might be out of print now, but you can get a copy from Amazon Used and New.

* Read a quality newspaper every day.

* I like to write out things I need to remember as questions - with the question on one side of a flashcard, and the answer on another. I use these for quickfire testing. It helps facts to stick.

* Write your own quizzes. There may be a pub or club near you where they'd be absolutely delighted for someone else to take a turn as quiz master. Even if there's not , having to research and write questions for a quiz cannot fail to help you expand your own knowledge and ability.

* Above all else, while you continue to enjoy working for your quizzes, then that's great. However if it becomes a chore, then that is the time to stop.

I wish you every success in your quiz career, but more importantly than that I wish you as much enjoyment from it as I have had and continue to have from mine



Unknown said...

Thank you Dave for your speedy response. Much appreciated. Lots of great little titbits in there to work into my regime and I've ordered the Cornish book.

Your second asterisk is something I need to take on board. Other than the usual pub leagues, I have participated in two TV quizzes and really disappointed myself. Combo of lack of preparation and nerves.

I've been struggling to find a set structure of learning that is both effective and practical. I guess, for me at least, quizzing is rather like darts. There doesn't seem to be much out there addressing how to elevate one's self from a mere novice to a seasoned practitioner. Obviously talent plays its part, but poorly honed graft, in my experience, can be counterproductive.

Most other sports/mind-sports have oodles of best practice/etiquette resources but quizzing seems to be a bit thin on the ground.

I think I'll pop down the pub tomorrow and offer to write a quiz as well. A good excuse to have a pint or two on a Friday if nothing else!

Keep up the great blogging work and thanks once again for your time and the advice.


Another Anne said...

Play lots of Sporcle.

Also learn lots of mnemonics (you can invent your own) and think up word-association images.

Trevor Montague books are your friends here too.

Londinius said...

Hi Anne , Hi David

David, Anne is quite right that will help you improve. However I did hesitate to recommend it myself since it is SO addictive !



Unknown said...

You guys are good! :)

Thanks for all the tips Anne and Dave. Fingers crossed it'll pay off one day!

Kind Regards,