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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Table quiz hits Hollywood

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uykl2z_7N_0]

A big thank you to my US correspondent, John Cosgrove, for bringing this trailer to my attention. It’s for an upcoming US film, centred on the member of a table quiz team.  It’s called Answer This!

Check it out.  It looks a bit rom-commy but there’s bound to be some good questions in it! 😉

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Something to pass the time (9)

Throughout the Spring I did some part-time work for a local newspaper.  For two of the weeks I was helping out, the paper’s crossword compiler was on holiday and I offered my services.

The first week, things didn’t go so well.  I messed up and forgot to include one of the clues. Oops!  Still two readers did manage to complete the crossword up to that clue.  One of them even had a guess at what the missing word was!

The second week things went much better and, as there’s nothing going on in the world of quizzing right now, I’m going to attach the grid and clues onto this post.  Click the ‘Continue…’ to give them a go.

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My own copy of a Peter Murphy quiz book

The death occurred on Friday last of Peter Murphy.  He was 88.  Some remember him as the the host of Landmark, RTÉ‘s farming programme, which ran from the 1960s to the 1980s.  Others remember him as the host of Cross Country Quiz, a county-versus-county quiz on Irish TV.  Yet more will have one of his 14 published quiz books on their shelves.  But, for me, he was the man who compiled the Quizword in the Sunday Independent for the past 20 years.

Quizword, a crossword whose clues are trivia questions, is a shared passion for me, my mother and, on the other side of the fence, my father-in-law.  Every Sunday for the past indefinable number of years, I have assisted one with its completion and then done my best to give gentle hints to the other later on in the day.  I can only hope that the ‘Sindo’ will keep it going but the worry persists that, even if they do, it will never be the same.

Peter Murphy only took up creating the Quizword after he had retired from a very active life as both a farming organiser (with Macra na Feirme and the IFA) and TV and radio star.  A noted public speaker in his youth, he became the voice of authority on all things trivia after landing the role as host of Cross Country Quiz, the most popular quiz program on RTÉ, Ireland’s sole TV station at the time.

From that point on, he was always willing to travel the byroads and highways of Ireland, acting as guest quiz master for almost every event that contacted him and asked.

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Irishman John Cosgrove runs Cosgrove Trivia Challenge, a business which is based around the concept of trivia/interaction and entertainment for corporate events, in the USA.   Last year he returned to his Pub Quiz roots, creating a company that has only female hosts, Sassy Lassy Trivia.  I had a chat with him about making a living from quizzes.

John Cosgrove, a native of County Fermanagh, moved to Minneapolis just over 12 years ago.  Within a year he was hosting a monthly quiz in the Irish Pub he worked at.  Since then he has built a business based around hosting quizzes.

So, were you always into quizzing John?

“I wasn’t much into quizzing growing up.  The few experiences I had were fund-raisers for repairs to the local chapel or for the GAA club.  These were rare and the atmosphere was typically stale.  The host was usually one of the local school teachers and that style of classroom atmosphere was not attractive to young fella like myself.  I had a brother who attended a lot of local quizzes and was part of many winning teams as he was the expert on all things sport, which combined with the more intellectual types was a winning team combo.”
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Secret Fortune is a BBC/National Lottery game show that is broadcast on BBC One, on Saturday evenings.  Donegal native Paddy Duffy is a writer, working on the second series of the show.

I’ve written previously about my dream to someday invent the next Who Wants to be a Millionaire (and thus make my fortune).  With this long-standing ambition in place, you’ll guess how excited I was to find out that Paddy Duffy, an old friend and fellow alumnus of the NUI Galway Quiz Society, is currently a question writer on UK quiz show Secret Fortune. I had a little chat with Paddy last week and asked him to tell us all about it.

I admitted to Paddy that I hadn’t been too aware of Secret Fortune. I tend to change channel whenever I hear that a program related to the lottery (any of them) is coming on next. How does it work?

“So, as you do know, it’s in sync in with the National Lottery. People can win anything from £100 to £100,000, with 24 monetary values inside 24 envelopes.”

I interrupted at this point.  This sounds awfully like another, well-known TV show that I hate…

“Well the (prima facie) closeness to Deal Or No Deal is definitely something to be overcome, but the similarity begins and ends with numbers and opening things, thankfully!” (more…)

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Here are the answers to the questions posted yesterday in Kids these days… All of them.

It became the post with the most comments ever on this site so it obviously piqued some interest.  Yes, I know five comments doesn’t exactly put boards.ie under threat but it’s a big deal here.  You’re a quiet bunch.

The questions are pretty impressive.  I got into quizzing when I was in primary school but unfortunately I remained the big fish in a small pond as our school quiz team never actually took part in any competitions! I have one vague but pleasant memory of my mother returning home from a parent-teacher meeting and telling me that, whilst academically I was “doing well”, my teacher had been much more impressed that I’d known the name of  Cardinal Ó Fiaich* in a quiz he’d called out from a newspaper.  It had been about three weeks beforehand but he still remembered it when the P/T meeting came along.  Well, I was about 8 at the time!

Anyway, this is just to illustrate my belief that the quizzing kids of today no doubt got most of these questions right.

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The Irish League of Credit Unions has held a nationwide quiz for primary school teams for the last 20 years.

The quiz takes place over three rounds.  Individual Credit Unions hold a local quiz for the schools in their catchment area with the winners of this going on to take part in the ‘Chapter’ round.  There are 25 credit union chapters in Ireland, regions basically, and the winners and runners-up from these qualify for an All-Ireland final in Dublin in April.  Furthermore, the quiz is divided into two sections: Competition A (for children up to 11 years) and Competition B (children aged 11-13).

This is clearly a very well-run event.  The questions are provided centrally and are preceded by a lengthy foreword advising local quiz masters as to how to carry out their duties:

  • Each question is read out twice
  • All six questions are repeated at the end of each round
  • Answer sheets are to be collected after two minutes
  • The answers to round 1 are given when round 2 has been collected, and so on
  • It is recommended that there should be one corrector per 10 teams
  • When the answer is a person’s name, accept the surname
  • Exact spelling of words is relevant only for spelling questions

Now, that’s a useful list for all quiz masters and organisers, not just those involving primary school children.

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