Sunday, 12 May 2013

07/05/13: A study of groundhog weather predictions found they do not fare significantly better than chance

The attendees
1) The doctor
2) The programmer

The ones that got away
1) In what year was Groundhog Day released?
2) Which common colour is most similar to the colour Damask?
3) How many paintings did Vincent van Gogh sell in his own lifetime?
4) In which 1993 film did Harrison Ford play Dr. Richard Kimble?
5) Identify the film from this quote: "Now you've got about ten seconds before those guys see you, and when they do they will kill you, you understand? You are about to have a very bad day."
6) The lyrics "And it's just like the ocean under the moon, Well that's the same as the emotion that I get from you" are from which song?
7) Which great train robber escaped from prison in 1965 and fled to Brazil?
8) In what year did the Channel Tunnel open?
9) Anagram: ADVANCE IDOL IRON (clue: famous historical figure)
10) Which city in Lebanon was divided into two by the "Green Line"?

The answers

The excuses
0) You may notice that I ('the statistician') was not present for this one (I was in Seattle, and we've yet to persuade a quizmaster to let one of us 'Skype in') so these excuses are from a slightly different perspective to normal.

1) As always, the film year question proves tricky, although the team's guess of 1988 was more off than usual. Meanwhile, in trying to find an interesting fact about Bill Murray, I stumbled across this quote about his experiences of filming Garfield: The Movie, and it's a pretty good read.

2) It's not entirely clear what was intended with the question here. The implication was that it is a shade of a colour coming as half of a two-pointer which also asked about verdigris. We presume the question referred to the greyish-pink colour of the Damask rose but our answer of pink on the night was marked incorrect. A lesson, I think, in how questions with colours as answers are often dodgy: a pub full of people are unlikely to all agree on what shade something is.

3) One of those questions where you know, because it's being asked in a pub quiz, that the answer is zero or one. Unfortunately they went the wrong way.

4) The team put What Lies Beneath, which was a surprisingly good punt: it stars Harrison Ford playing a doctor, just not one called Richard Kimble.

5) Quite glad I wasn't around for that one as it's my favourite film in the Die Hard series (because how can you not love an action film with lateral thinking puzzles?) and I almost certainly wouldn't have got it either.

6) Apparently the team got as far as identifying the song was by Santana, but couldn't get the title (admittedly hindered primarily by not being able to think of any Santana songs).

7) Finally a question I would have been able to help them with, but included here for the sake of journalistic integrity (or something). To quote directly from the team's post-match report: "We'd lost interest by this point and for some reason put Reggie Kray.". At least he was also a criminal.

8) When I saw this question, my first thought was the correct answer, but then I second-guessed myself because I knew that was the year the National Lottery started. So now we have an easy way to remember both.

9) The team insist that they repeatedly misheard the clue as ADVANCE IDOL ISLAND which unsurprisingly hindered their anagramming slightly. Apparently they still suggested the correct answer at some point, but fairly reasonably weren't convinced by it, and never got around to sticking it down.

10) We finish with another question I'd've been able to help with as, unlike these two, I am able to name one (and only one) city in Lebanon. The only other thing I know about Lebanon is that it's easy to remember what their flag looks like because of its famous cedars.

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