All posts by Dr Paul

Dr Paul is Scotland's busiest quizmaster with experience all over the country. If it's questions and answers - the Doc's yer man.

Chestnuts by Heart

King Henry The Seventh
King Henry the What?

You can’t study for a TV quiz show. Or at least, that’s what I used to think.

Now that I’m actively applying to appear on as many cash quiz-paying quiz shows as I can, I’m watching more of the shows on YouTube and starting to notice certain sets of knowledge which keep coming up.

As a quizmaster of many years myself, I should know this but then I’ve always tended away from mainstream quiz stuff and gone more for material that asks the relative size of various animals’ cocks, and so on.

Anyway, these sets of knowledge, sometimes known as chestnuts, are relied on by quiz writers looking to bulk-out their question databases and are things like:

  • US state capitals
  • The periodic table
  • Succession of English/British monarchy
  • Succession of Conservative Party leaders (other parties too, but the recent chequered nature of the Tories = tricky questions that you think you ought to know)
  • Shakespeare’s plays
  • Classic Horse Races
  • Who wrote which opera

You’re never going to win a competitive quiz on this knowledge alone, you need to have some depth in other areas but in just about every episode of every TV-quiz I’ve watched so far, there is something from one of these lists.

So, I’m thinking: it shouldn’t take too long to rote-learn some of these which won’t guarantee me a million pounds, but should throw me a safety net now and again when I might otherwise be in trouble.

For instance: right now I would be screwed if I got ANY question on the periodic table. I’m just not interested in that stuff.

Q. What element is represented by the chemical symbol Na?

A. I divven’t na

Next job is to find some useful mnemonic devices. So far I found this page for memorising US State Capitals which has some useful ideas:

(Iowa [Des Moines] Picture you borrow some coins. You keep saying to yourself, “I owe dem coins, I owe dem coins.” I + owe = Iowa. Dem + coins = Des Moines.)

And as for the periodic table, there’s always Tom Lehrer:

LEt me know in the comments if you have any other good ways of remembering such lists of info.

Quiztal Maze Win Win But Lose on Capital Question

Quiztal Maze (formerly known as Quiztopher Bigwinz) showed up at the Reverie for only the second time and cemented their credentials with another impressive win

Quiztal Maze

They even managed to win Top Trumps to face the ultimate question but unfortunately for them, the choice of categories was European Geography or Female Darts Players.

They chose European Geography and came up against this bitch:

Q. Which one of these European Capital cities is located furthest North?

A. Berlin

B. Brussels

C. Luxembourg

D. Warsaw

They went for Brussels but that’s the wrong answer. Would you have got it right for £20? No matter, its a £40 rollover for next week.

Apart from all that, Monday’s quiz distinguished by the drawing Barack Obama on a tiger contest.

Jenny’s Winners

For the second week in a row, the laurels belonged to THE DUDE ABIDES and, for the second week in a row they qualified for the ultimate question

And, for the second week in a row – they got the answer wrong so we have a £60 rollover for next week.

This week’s question:

Q. In which form did King Kong first appear?

A. Film

B. Book

C. Theatre Production

D. Radio Play

Brian consulted with the team and they went for Radio Play but that’s not the right answer. Bad luck dudes!

Edinburgh pub quiz team, The Dude Abides
The Dude Abides

Barack Obama Riding A Tiger

Instead of the jokes round on Monday 15th Feb, we decided to have a ‘who can draw a picture of Barack Obama riding a tiger the best’ competition. With the rise of cheating on iphones – this could be the future of Edinburgh pub quizzes!

Here’s some of the work that got handed in:

The first is a jolly, stoned-looking Obama:

Barack Obama riding a tiger

This Obama was quite boyish and we liked the addition of foliage:

My personal favourite was this one which has Barack Obama looking like one of the Bash Street Kids, riding on some kind of nuclear-power Sabre-toothed tiger:

Barack Obama riding a tigerThis tiger is pretty cool, it looks to me like a 1970s tiger, for some reason:

Barack Obama riding a tigerThis next one was actually the winner, chosen as much for the concept as for the execution. See the PTO? that meants you turn over the bit of paper and the rear view of the same tiger (complete with arsehole) is shown. Smart stuff. I forgot to photograph the rear view – dumb stuff.

Barack Obama riding a tigerOne or two entries decided that the best way to depict the fact that the President of The United States is a black man, given a biro, was to colour in Obama’s face as heavily as possible:

Barack Obama riding a tigerSame tactic, but more tigger:

Barack Obama riding a tigerThe next one is the only instance in which the team were so proud of their work that they requested their original to be returned. Everyone else was happy to see their art go in the bin.

Barack Obama riding a tigerThis actually included some half-decent drawing but Obama isn’t really riding the tiger here, more kind of stroking it, so not a winner:

Barack Obama riding a tigerAnd, there’s always one:

Barack Obama riding a tigerThere were some others but they got lost in the wash.

This was the winning team on the drawing who, despite being called Quiz Team Aguilera, seemed to be pretty decent people:

Quiz Team Aguilera

Quizzes Tonight

Only a few hours before tonight’s quizzes. Here’s what you need to know for tonight:

Jenny Ha’s

Start – 7pm #### Jackpot £40 #### Special subject – Scotland In The Movies ####

Reverie

Start – 9pm #### Jackpot £20 #### Special subject – American Cities ####

Pancakes

Of course, it is pancake day tomorrow so for extra focus – we will be having a pancake flipping contest at the Reverie tonight.

Tiger Drawing

If all else fails – there will be a tiger-drawing contest at the Reverie tonight. Suddenly it’s all about SKILLS

See: http://dpquizlive.co.uk/archives/615

CHEAT PHRASE

You don’t get the cheat phrase unless you sign up for the email!

Audition for The Chase

The Chase, ITVMy quest to have a go at every single British quiz show that pays a cash prize has taken another step forward with the news that I’ve got an audition at the end of this month for The Chase.

The show is on ITV 1, is presented by Bradley Walsh and is a variation on the Eggheads theme of beating champion quizzers at their own game, except this time there is only one ‘brain’ instead of five.

Here’s the ending of the first show form last year’s pilot series: The Chaser in this clip is Mark Labbett who once won £32,000 on Millioniare and plainly knows his shit. This is what stands in the way.

So, the quizzing looks pretty hard but it might be one of these things where you can take a good guess at the question setters’ preferences. On Eggheads I would have done well to study at US state capitals, and in this case it might be clever to look at Kings of England.