Sunday, 28 October 2012

Tinkering with the format

I’m a bit of a tinkerer. The regular teams at the rugby club on a Thursday evening are always happy if you provide an honest, decent general knowledge quiz with no frills, no gimmicks, just a decent wide range of questions, with something that everyone can answer during the evening, but also with some questions which might catch out even the best teams. I try to oblige with this sort of thing at least 2 out of every three times that I’m the question master. As for the other time, well the connections set always goes down well. You know how it works. You ask three questions in a given round, all of which are seemingly unconnected, and then the next question is “What’s the connection between your last three answers ?”Just for the hell of it, I’ll give you an example : -

1. Jeff Banks and Selina Scott were the co presenters of which BBC fashion show of the 90s ?
2. Which Elvis Presley song from the film G.I. Blues was based on the german folk song ‘Muss I Denn ‘ ?
3. The game of Subbuteo took its name from the latin name for a species of hawk . Which one ?
4. What is the connection between your last three answers ?


1. The CLOTHES Show
2.WOODEN Heart

A connections quiz is usually well received. So much so that although I never invented the idea ( I had it from Geoff Evans in the late lamented Neath Quiz League ) I introduced it to the club, and now several of the other QMs use the format from time to time.

Well, as I say, I am a tinkerer, and I just can’t leave well alone sometimes. I once tried a What Comes Fourth ? type connection in each round, which had a mixed reception. Then for last week’s quiz I used another variation on a theme. Whereas normally in each round in a connections quiz I’d use a four question connection ( the 4th being what’s the connection ? ) and 6 unconnected questions, on Thursday night each round consisted of two five part connections. Here’s the twist, though. Both connections in each round were themselves connected. So for example in a round where the answers to the first four questions could all be either preceded or followed by the word Dry, then the answers to the next four questions could all be preceded or followed by the word Wet. Partly it was curiosity on my part as to just how well such a quiz would go down in the club – and the answer is that reactions were mixed. Some seemed to quite like it, others not so much. Partly it was to see if this would mean more than one team scoring 100% for the whole evening. Only one team got close, Rob’s team, but they dropped a point or two on the second round, despite full houses on 7 of the 8. Partly, too, it was to enable me to say at the end “If you’ve enjoyed this quiz, then these are just a handful of the questions in my new kindle Connections quiz book.", in what I will admit is nothing less than another shameless plug. Did it work ? Well, on the evidence of the last couple of days , to use the words of John Thompson’s long haired bearded scientist character ( Dr. Denzil Dexter or something like that ) from the much missed Fast Show – results were disappointing.

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