Thursday, 5 April 2012

Quizzing according to Gilbert

Here’s a quote for you . “As all good teachers have found, it is much better to find out how much people know than how much they don’t know.” I found it in an old quiz book I recently added to my collection. It’s the Gilbert Harding Question book – published in 1956. If you don’t recognize the name, Gilbert Harding was a TV personality from the 1950s, particularly known for his irascible appearences on “What’s My Line” which earned him the soubriquet ‘The Rudest Man in Britain’. Heaven alone knows what they would have made of Simon Cowell in those days, yet I digress. Going back to the quote, isn’t that something that’s worth bearing in mind when you’re putting a quiz together? Not that I’m saying one should make a quiz entirely out of easily answerable old chestnuts, but I do think that although you might not win, and you shouldn’t have been able to answer every question, at least you should be able to come away from a pub quiz feeling pleased with something that you’ve known.

I say this perhaps as something of a self-justification for the fact that I’ve played in two quizzes so far this week and haven’t won either of them, and I go into tonight’s quiz in the rugby club very much as second favourite. As I said in my last post, Mum and Tony were with us over the weekend so I didn’t go to the Dyffryn Arms on Sunday. So on Monday night, bearing in mind that I’m not in work this week, I made the trek over to Pill Harriers in Newport, and played in Trevor Parry’s Monday night quiz for the first time this week. You can’t beat a quiz by a good , experienced hand who knows question setting inside out, and Monday night’s was just such a quiz. We came joint second, although if you took the handicaps out of the equation we won, but they were part of the equation, so there’s no point going on about it. Good quiz , and a really enjoyable evening.

On Tuesday night my son Mike and his partner Ceri turned up out of the blue. Ceri has just got a new job, and so they’ve bought a car. Mike told us that they were going to a quiz in Cardiff on the way home – did I fancy joining them ? Silly question ! This was in a place called The Wharf. The place was packed out – full range of ages, but lots of younger people, including some friends of my middle daughter’s , who are currently studying with them at UWIC. They informed us that Mark Labbett – the Chase – had played and won last week. The quiz itself comprised of 20 general knowledge questions, 20 pictures, 16 songs, which needed both title and artist to be identified – and 20 more general knowledge. The music did for us a little – we dropped about 3 points on the rest of the quiz, but were beaten by half a point. Was the winning team’s performance kosher – no phone cheating ? No idea, so without proof to the contrary , let’s say that it was. But even then, as we came away I couldn’t help being pleased with myself for knowing the 1960s TV series in which Bruce Lee had a regular role. Which pretty much goes along with what I said earlier – if you can come away feeling pleased with yourself for something that you’ve known, then the question master really isn’t doing a bad job at all.

Back to the rugby club tonight. My team are always second favourites at the moment, because with the team Lemurs can now put out they’ve got just too much firepower. Oh, we still beat them from time to time, but it’s something like a 7 – 3 or an 8 – 2 out of ten split in their favour. However, then again tonight the QM is Reg. I’ve mentioned Reg before . He’s our resident malaprop ( although if I’m honest I think he’s been exaggerating it for comic effect in recent years). Reg is a keen fan of recycling when it comes to questions, and his quiz often comes down to remembering what answer he gave last time he asked the question – which on many occasions is the last time that he was QM. So you never know – there could well be an upset tonight. Watch this space.

BTW - Bruce Lee had a regular role in a show called The Green Hornet

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