Saturday, 7 July 2012

In the interests of fairness -

- I should probably tell you about this.

My Head of Department, splendid chap that he is, is taking early retirement at the end of this school year, in just 12 days time, no less. So on Thursday 5th he invited all the members of the department, and the form tutors within his year group out to a special meal. Which I was pleased and proud to attend – albeit that it did mean that I would miss the quiz in the rugby club. If you’ve been with LAM for any length of time you’ll know that this quiz is really important to me. It’s not a quiz which I miss if I can possibly avoid it, but this was an exceptionally special occasion.

On Wednesday night, then , I gave my middle daughter Zara a lift back to Cardiff, and knowing that I was going to be in the area I rang my son up and asked if he fancied meeting up , bearing in mind that he only lives a few minutes away from Zara. My son knows me very well, and he asked if I fancied going to a quiz . Silly question - I was already one quiz down on my normal week's quota, so this would hit the spot perfectly. I picked up Mike and his partner Ceri as soon as I dropped off Zara, and we went straight round to the pub. It’s a Toby Carvery – I didn’t actually notice the name of the place, and it had a reasonably well attended, if rather early quiz on a Wednesday night. There was a nice spread of ages amongst the teams, I’m delighted to say that there was no evidence of phone cheating, and the question master made up for what she lacked in terms of polish with a lot of enthusiasm, and a lot of good humour. The only thing was . . . it was a Redtooth quiz.

I say it like this because I have made some comments about Redtooth Quizzes in the past, which seem to have upset the good people at Redtooth a little, going by what one of their question setters once posted on this very blog, and by what I’ve been told by other sources as well. If I recall correctly all I ever said was that in my opinion they are too gimmicky, and I don’t enjoy them very much, but if other people do, then that’s fine and good luck to them. Well, whatever the case, I still pretty much stick by this, but I don’t know, maybe I’m going soft in my old age, but I didn’t mind the quiz too much on Wednesday night. The first round was a set of pictures – thankfully Mike and Ceri took care of most of those, with me supplying Thomas Edison. Then 10 in the news questions. That’s a little much in my opinion, but there we are. Thankfully there was no god-awful Family Fortunes round, and instead we were asked to name the first five presenters of Antiques Roadshow, and the top 5 highest paid sportsmen in the world. We had all the Roadshow presenters, but I couldn’t remember Lebron James, the basketball player for the sportsmen.

After the break there was the Trivia train – which is basically a last letter / first letter round – then the 4 part connection. 4 questions, and identify the connection between part of the answers – you know how it works, I’m sure. Then the last round. The questions were all General Knowledge, but the twist was that you weren’t allowed to get any wrong. You don’t have to answer any of the questions, but if you give any wrong answers, then you get no points for the whole round however many you have answered correctly. We answered 6 correctly – we could have gone safely for 7, but as it was we won by 10 points anyway.

That probably explains why I quite enjoyed the evening. I still think that the quiz was too gimmicky, but at least there was more actual quiz content and it was less of a guessing game than I found in other of their quizzes I played in back in the day. Of course, it helped tremendously that none of the teams resorted to googling the answers. As in any other quiz I reckon that you could have answered the vast majority of the questions correctly if you did. But credit where it’s due, it wasn’t a bad quiz. So does this mean that Faustus is ready to cut a deal with Mephistopheles ? Probably not. It was a good evening, but that had as much to do with getting to spend an evening with Mike and Ceri as it did with the quiz, and it’s unlikely that I’ll become a regular, as much due to the amount of travel involved as anything else.Mind you, we rather blotted our copy book at the end by not wanting to stay for the Play Your Cards Right Game which followed, and asking for the prize money immediately after the quiz so we could go, rather than sticking around until last orders. Not good form at all, I know.


Nic said...

I happened to venture out to a new quiz on Tuesday of this week, and guess what? It also turned out to be a Redtooth quiz. In fact, it was this very same Redtooth quiz, down to the very last question from the sounds of things. The fact that I could have sent a copy of our answers to someone who was going to be playing the same quiz on the very next night is a bit worrying...but anyway, that's beside the point.

I found this quiz to be much too difficult and thus not enjoyable. For your average pub quiz team, I just don't feel like the questions in this quiz are going to be much fun to have a go at. The winners in our particular pub only managed a measly 26/60, which I think kind of speaks for itself.

Another thing I noticed with the quiz was the complete lack of understanding of their own gimmicks. I am of course referring to the Wipeout round. On a round in which teams are being encouraged to gamble for the whole 10 questions in order to get a 5-point bonus, the questions in this particular round are just ridiculous. Nobody in their right mind would attempt to gamble for the bonus, as most teams would only manage a few of the answers.

So Redtooth, if you want the Wipeout round to really be used to good effect, make the questions a little easier, at least in that round. Then teams will face a real decision as to whether to gamble.

Londinius said...

Hi Nic
Thinking about it the points you've made in your comments are probably exactly the reason why I enjoyed it more than any other Redtooth quiz I've ever played in - not a difficult ask, admittedly. I do take your point about the gambling round, though.reckon that in that particular gamble set there were a good 5 stoppers, so your chances of guessing correctly if you gambled on answering all ten were small. As it was a handful of the teams were caught out by the relatively benign "Who scored a hattrick of goals in the Matthews' FA Cup Final ? " A Redtooth setter has posted a comment on this blog before saying that their stated aim is to stop the serious 'professional' teams from winning all the time. Well, quizzes like that one won't do that.