Friday, 2 May 2014

A Little Variety - The CIU Wales and West of England Regional

You do get more set in your ways as you get older. There is always a tendency to stick to the old adage – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you go from the youngest regular quizzer in the club to the oldest regular quizzer in the club on a Thursday night, then I’d guess that you have pretty wide spread of ages. Nonetheless it is a fact that the majority of regulars are what the French would euphemistically call ‘les dames et les gens d’un certain age’. I should know – I’m one of them. As you get older, you get more set in your ways, and more resistant to change. You know what you like. Or at least you think you do.

So it wasn’t without any though that I decided to put a tweak into last night’s quiz. It is a tweak I’ve used just once before, and the reaction was mixed. I often use connections within the quiz and they’re well established, and for the most part seem to be quite well liked among the punters. Now, a year or two ago I asked a quiz with sets of three questions where each answer was part of a sequence. The fourth question asked them what went next in the sequence. I wouldn’t say it was exactly a flop, but it didn’t seem to go down as well as a normal connections quiz did. I resurrected the idea with a tweak last night. After all, I thought wouldn’t it be annoying if you could work out what the sequence actually was, but didn’t know what came next. So last night I offered a point for being able to say what the sequence actually was, and another bonus point for saying what the next item in the sequence should be. I think it worked Ok too, judging on the informal feedback and the vibe I was picking up during the evening.

Mind you, I don’t think it’s necessarily something you can repeat all that often. It’s a lot easier to come up with connections, than it is to come up with sequences.


I’ve been trying to make my mind up whether I wanted to mention the next item, for risk of seeming as if I’m boasting. If you’ve just thought to yourself – it’s never stopped you in the past, Dave – then cruel though you are, you know me all too well. Last Monday was the annual Wales and West of England CIU regional final. In 2009 and 2010 we won two years in a row, beating multiple national champions Maesglas A on both occasions. Since then, well, a couple of second places, and last year we even had to scrape through to the national finals in Derby in 3rd place. I’ll be honest, that was all I was hoping for on Monday night as well.

The team who beat us into second last year were not actually there on Monday, so that increased our chances. After the first round we had a slight lead, which would have been doubled if I’d had the sense to stick with my first answer on one of the questions. Then the TV and film round, which is usually pretty good for us, saw us take a nosedive. – I think my exact words were – ‘Ere we go again.- But then maybe we had just a little bit of the rub of the green. Asked for 9 venues of past or present Butlins holiday camps we managed 8 of them. The picture handout – so often our Waterloo – proved to be kind, and with a blindingly good round on sport from Barry we were joint leaders. We stayed that way through the final round.

If you’ve never played the CIU quiz before, the last question is a little unusual. You are given up to 5 sets of clues to a personality. For each clue you need, you get one point less, but if you get it on the first clue, then you get a bonus. To cut a long story short, we had it on clue 2, Maesglas A needed 3, and that was enough to see us take an unlikely win.

So thanks to Chris, Dave, Dave and everybody else who had a hand in giving us a great evening on Monday night. See you in Derby at the end of August.

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