Sunday, 21 April 2013

16/04/13: the UK's highest-numbered motorway is the half-mile M898 in Renfrewshire, Scotland

The attendees
1) The statistician
2) The doctor
3) The programmer

The ones that got away
1) What flower is also known by the name 'heart's ease'?
2) In what year was The Abyss released?
3) Which two motorways cross just north of Bristol?
4) Ditloid: 1 P I A P
5) What Jim Henson show first appeared on UK television screens in 1976?
6) Anagram: HAD NAILS ONLY (clue: actress)
7) Identify the film from this quote: "I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I'm with you."
8) Which Dickens novel features a malicious moneylender named Quilp?
9) In which county is Newmarket racecourse: Suffolk or Cambridgeshire?
10) Whose 1971 album was titled 'Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy'?
11) Which UK drama featured Dennis Waterman playing Terry McCann?
12) Swansea City were formerly known as Swansea what? Town, Miners, Academicals or Athletics?
13) Where did the England cricket team play their first Test match?

The answers

The excuses
1) This question prompted heated discussion, with theories ranging from the scientific "something that stops your heart, so foxglove?" to the rather optimistic "maybe it's a flower that, y'know, makes you go 'aaaah'". Still, it's a good opportunity to revise the language of flowers, where pansies are associated with 'thought'.

2) Like last week, we didn't actually know the film, having misidentified a still as being from Hollow Man. On the plus side, had this been a GCSE in pub quizzing, we would have got the follow-through mark for having 'correctly' guessed 2000.

3) If I didn't know better I'd say our quizmaster doesn't like us. Another week, another motorway question, but at least we got half marks on this one thanks to my GCSE in geography teaching me about the M4 corridor.

4) Groan. At least it sounded like no-one else in the pub got this one either. We went for the almost-plausible 1 Pig in a Poke.

5) While my teammates both immediately suggested the correct answer, I hypothesized that the 'other' option (Sesame Street) would make it a much more interesting question. My bad. (Although this Wikipedia article tells the rather interesting story of initial reactions to Sesame Street on these shores, and is worth a read.)

6) After nearly nine months of attending this quiz, we were finally defeated by its anagram question. It was arguably only a matter of time given their tendency to be about film stars, but we had all at least heard of this one. It probably didn't help that there were a lot of false friends in here (I was particularly taken with my guess of Allison Handy).

7) Time for another round of "wow, I didn't realize that song was written for that film".

8) I have often wondered whether questions of the form "which Dickens novel..." constitute the quiz topic where the ratio of expected knowledge to actual knowledge is at its highest. I don't know anyone who has read more than a couple, let alone professing to liking them, and yet they occupy a higher status in the quizzing curriculum than the equally inexplicable US State capitals.

9) Or, indeed, horse racing. Quite a tricky question, though, as Newmarket is a mere 12 miles from Cambridge and located in the slightly odd bit of Suffolk that sticks out to the west.

10) If you've never seen the famous Abbot and Cotsello version of "Who's on First?", it's well worth a watch. Keep your eye (well, ear) out for a nice bit of trivia: only one fielding position isn't given a name.

11) From one 'before our time' pop culture question to another. Did you know that there was a short-lived remake in 2009 starring Shane Richie? Me neither.

12) Caught out again by trying to meta-game: "Surely you wouldn't bother asking this if it was just 'Town'?"...

13) There's a wonderful little fact behind this question (which is presumably common knowledge in the cricketing world). The first officially recognized Test was between England and Australia in 1877, which Australia won by 45 runs. 100 years later the two teams (although presumably with different members) played a one-off match to mark the occasion. The result? Australia won by 45 runs.

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