Friday, 22 August 2014

Handout Pet Hates

Going over some old ground here, I know. Last night’s quiz in the rugby club was my first one this month, and very enjoyable it was. However, and I’ve said this before on many occasions, I just don’t really like picture handouts. Howard, who produced last night’s quiz, often does other things instead of picture handouts, and I give him full credit for this. Still, last night he announced that he had been intending to do a dingbats handout (it says yes to me) but since Brian had done one the week before he had put this to one side in favour of pictures. Groan. Yeah, alright, I know full well that the vast majority of people who play in the quiz really like a picture handout and prefer it to any other kind, and a significant number might even say it’s their favourite part of the quiz. Don’t get me wrong – it’s my turn as QM next Thursday, and I shall definitely be using a picture handout – give the people what they want. So as I say, I know I’m in a very small minority who don’t like them.  Still, it is what it is, and there’s not a lot I can do to change it.

Now, as I say, when the handout comes round at the start of the quiz, my heart always sinks when I see that there are photographs on it. And my heart sinks even further when I see that there are a significant number of photographs of celebrities when they were kids or babies. I mean, I find it difficult enough to identify straightforward photos of famous people as they are today. Well, last night’s handout was made up entirely of photos of slebs as kids and babies. Granted, a significant number of them have done the rounds before, as it were, but then even some of them I couldn’t remember. Well, that’s just me. I also find that I really struggle with young women – I’ll rephrase that – I find it difficult to tell one twenty-thirty something film/TV/pop star from another. Oh, and premier league footballers , can’t do them either. Or cricketers. Oh, let’s just go the whole hog here – when it comes to photos, unless they are kings and queens, significant historical figures, pre twentieth century writers, or famous buildings, I’m a bit pants. Am I alone in this? What are other people’s pet hates in quiz handouts, I wonder?


Will Jones said...

Anagrams that are wrong are annoying, as it's easy for the QM to check.

Not a big fan of distorted pictures or the inability of some setters to preserve the aspect ratio of a picture.

I once set a country outline question where the country was England (without the rest of the UK) rotated 270 degrees from normal (East to the top). It caught out a surprising number of top players.

DanielFullard said...

Hi Dave

The quiz I go to on a Thursday Night has the best questions in the area....but the worst picture round. My problem isn't with the pictures themselves (hold the line) but that fact there are 20 points available. The quiz has a 20 question GK Round, 20 Pictures, 10 Trivial Pursuit Questions and a themes round of 10 (say 80s music or British History etc).....That means a third of the quiz is based on pictures.

This annoys me for a few reasons

1) It favours bigger teams. Due to the nature of the round with celebs, sports stars, old musicians, TV presenters etc it is obvious the bigger teams have an advantage. Hence my team of 2 (usually me and my non-quizzer partner) are competing with teams of up to 8. Of course some teams realise this and have started bringing younger players to play just the one round....who usually then migrate to the pool table when the GK restarts. We often win every GK round but because the pictures are worth so much its hard to win the quiz without a great picture round. Annoying.

2) Obscure pictures....In my view a picture round should consist of people you are "likely to know" or "have heard of". I don't mind at all when I see someone, know who it is but can't get the name. For instance...a few weeks okay I had the presenter Ellie Harrison to identify. I knew who she was, what she did and her area of expertise.....but couldn't drag the name out. That I don't mind. However when half the pub don't even know the person after being told it doesn't bode well.

DanielFullard said...

Before I moved actually I discovered one quiz with a decent idea....

They gave you two handouts. One was pictures of people and one was say...flags, famous landmarks, logos, book covers etc.

You submitted both but only the highest score counted. Good idea I thought :)

The same quiz also did two music rounds where you got one music round that covered 60s/70s and one that covered 80s/90s but one this you had to decide which you THOUGHT you had done better one and only submit one.

Ben Dutton said...

I produce a picture handout once a week, and I know my punters love the celeb faces ones (in fact, they think it's the best part of the quiz), but like you, I can't abide a celeb picture round (I fail to recognise myself sometimes, so why I should know some Channel 298 presenter I don't know!).

So I shake my picture round up. Flags, country outlines, cryptic clues, list questions etc. But each time I do, the request comes back for "celeb pics next week please."

Saying that, I did a 'identify the chocolate bar' round using just a letter from each bar's wrapper as clue, and its proved my most popular picture round yet!

Adam "Addy" Lewis said...

I'm with you Dave, picture rounds are not fun. Especially since I've just started quizzing again and doing it solo, meaning I have no other point of reference or partner with other interests who might get the celebrity ones.

A quiz I've been going to does a picture round and sometimes gives some sort of clue as to who it is. With some, it just says "Name him/her" - other times, "Name this *profession*".

As such, this week I was able to work out "Name this golfer". It looked like a man in his 50s, a recent picture, and he was wearing a Saltire cap. That pretty much narrowed it down to two people from my almost non-existent knowledge of golf, and since I have a vague idea of what Colin Montgomerie looks like, my guess of Paul Lawrie proved correct.

The only other I got right on this week's round was "Name the organisation this is the emblem of?". Due to the Cyrillic writing on it and the row of tiny flags of eastern European countries (USSR, Poland, Romania, etc), I could tell it was the Warsaw Pact without specifically recognising the emblem.

Those sort of picture rounds are good because applied knowledge can allow the answers to be worked out. I only know at best half a dozen soap actors and as many footballers though so I'll never get those. I appreciate that they're what bring in the punters though, as they're pretty much specialist subjects for some more casual quizzers.

Will G said...

I've always hated picture quizzes, and I'm quite glad it's not just me.

delilahcat said...

I also hate picture rounds, as I don't know any footballers, cricketers, rugby players (I don't like team sports),politicians, models and pop singers. And I can't distinguish between blonde actresses called Jessica.

Londinius said...

"And I can't distinguish between blonde actresses called Jessica"

LOL - I cannot think of a pithier summation of my beef with picture quizzes! You are a lady after my own heart.

Hi Dan - yes, I hadn't even thought about the unfair weighting that picture quizzes sometimes get. Thankfully in the club's Thursday nighter, if there are 6 teams, then the team that wins the pictures gets 6 points, the second place 5 and so on, which at least is a better way of doing it IMHO. I like the two handouts idea as well - more for your money that way too.

Thanks for all of your comments, and I think that , while it's dangerous to make generalisations, it does tend to show that for many of us who go to a quiz in order to put our knowledge to the test we probably don't like sleb picture rounds because they don't really do that. Which is maybe why they are so popular with everyone else.

At the end of the day, as I've said before, my philosophy when compiling a quiz is that my aim is to try to give the greatest number of people the best evening's entertainment that I can, and much as I don't like it, that means giving them a sleb picture quiz.

Gavin Tillman said...

Hate picture quizzes too, but like the variations with flags, chocolate bars, emblems etc especially where there is a way of figuring out the answer. I try and make m own quizzes entertaining, but rarely set a picture round myself. Definitely prefer dingbats, ditloits etc

Unknown said...

Hmmm, I seem to be in a minority here, I enjoy picture quizzes, probably because I'm quite good at them (not to be too self-aggrandising, but there you go).

Dan makes the best point: In my view a picture round should consist of people you are "likely to know" or "have heard of".

Londinius said...

Hi Ian C
I'm not criticising you, or anyone else who enjoys picture handouts. I'm honest enough to admit that if I was any good at them I'd probably enjoy them a bit more too. Trouble is, even when I have heard of a lot of the people in the handouts, I still can't recognise them!

Londinius said...

Oh and going back to Will's comment - how on Earth can anyone ever recognise the distorted face pictures? We play every other week in a Redtooth quiz which has one distorted face in the picture round, and while I never recognise them, my daughter Jess and my son Mike always recognise them. What is that all about?

delilahcat said...

It's the way certain brains work Dave - I have a friend who can recognise faces however disguised they are (as long as she knows them in the first place of course!) whereas even when you tell me that it's Ian Botham in a ginger wig, or Joanna Lumley made up to look like a 90 year old man, I simply can'[t see it!!

Londinius said...

Hi Diane,
Last night, at a quiz in the White Horse in Coychurch at least the picture handout was a Redtooth. I took the handout, and didn't let Jess see it for a few minutes. I just couldn't see who the distorted face was. I gave up, showed it to Jess. She took one look and said instantly "Myleene Klass". She was right too. It makes you want to spit. Mind you, that was the one point that we won by.

Gavin Tillman said...

One thing I dislike more than pictures is scrambled pictures. What's a redtooth?

Londinius said...

Hi Gavin

Redtooth is a company, the biggest supplier of pub quizzes in the UK. On its website it claims to currently supply over 3000 pubs, and to produce 23 different quizzes each week. If you have played in a range of different quizzes in different pubs over a period of time, you’ll have played in a Redtooth quiz. I’ve upset the people at Redtooth with my comments in the past, judging by a rather intemperate comment left on a post a few years ago. At the time I found the Redtooth quizzes I had played in were unnecessarily gimmicky, boring and unsatisfying. For the last 12 months or so I’ve been playing in a Redtooth quiz every other Sunday night, and I have to say it is far less gimmicky, and rewards knowledge far more than past Redtooth quizzes.