Category Archives: Dr Paul’s Blog

Steve Swallow, Jazz Bassman

So I did a bonus round the other week where you had to think of a list of famous people with birds in their name, something like that.

As usual, the criteria for success in the bonus round include choosing answer that everyone has heard of. Examples here would includes Eagle Eye Cherry and Alan Titchmarsh.

People are always raging when no-one has heard of the thing they’ve written down.

In this case the “legend” that none of us give a flying fuck about is someone named “Steve Swallow”.

“Who the fuck is Steve Swallow?” I asked, not unreasonably.

“You don’t know who Steve Swallow is?” gasped the guy.

“No” I replied succinctly, “Who is he?”

“He’s only like the greatest Jazz Bassist…. ever”

“Right. That’s why no one has heard of him. NEXT!”

To be fair to the guy, I promised I would look Steve Swallow up when I got the chance. This was months ago and I’ve had millions of chances, but now I finally got round to looking him up. It’s pretty fucking unimpressive.

So, if you really have two minutes and 35 seconds spare, here’s Steve Swallow and his jazz bass solo:


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Prince Is A Spooky Bastard

When Prince died, just over a year ago, I first heard the news as I turned up for a Thursday quiz at the Argyle Bar.

To my surprise, Prince featured in the picture round that night. Obviously I hadn’t planned it. My quiz scheduling was nothing to do with the death of The Artist.

Prince is Pic 3

Purple Spooks.

Anyway, next thing you know a year has sped by. Prince was never one of my favourites so I hardly ever thought of him or his demies.

But then, exactly one year later (one day out – but still a Thursday) – he turns up again on his death anniversary, again at the Argyle Bar, this time in the music round.

Again, not scheduled deliberately. I’d forgotten all about Prince being dead and I program the music and picture rounds a month ahead anyway.

Pure Purple Heebie Jeebies.

Cool down Prince, ya mad ghost.

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Why Is Craps Called Craps

How come casino dice game is , effectively, called “shits”?

Gus from team Thelma and Louise was asking me this recently when a question about Craps featured in a double-or-bust round at the Safari Lounge.

Craps traces its roots back to an ancient British dice game called Hazard.

According to Mental Floss, the explanation for the name comes from the time that Hazard was imported to the USA, and the roll of double-one (also known as “snake eyes”) was, for some reason, known in the Louisiana area as “crabs”.

Snake Eyes Watching You

“Crabs” transmuted to “Craps” and eventually became the standard name of the American casino staple. This explanation is also favoured by who attribute the “crabs” call to French sailors.

Meanwhile, Wikipedia’s explanation says that the game’s popularity spread from New Orleans, Louisiana where French influence was heavy and this took it’s French name “crapaud” with it as it spread.

Crapaud means toad and refers to the crouched stance of players as the game was originally played by people squatting in the street. On their honkers, as we used to say.

These are the two stories I’ve found so far. The variability and uncertainty lead me believe that I will not be doing questions on the matter any time soon.




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Sunday Pub Quizzes In Edinburgh

Tonight’s quizzes:

6pm – The Persevere. Jackpot £30. Cheat: The picture round includes Princess Eugenie. Definitely the picture round.

8pm – Tolbooth Tavern. Jackpot £30. Cheat: The music round includes John Farnham doing his eighties thing. See video below…

The video tackles war and domestic violence. Hardcore.

But there won’t be any of those things at the quizzes tonight. Just my chat and the prizes and the questions.


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Bad Answers – Gary Glitter, Venice Austria and the Early Early Irish Quiz Birds

I asked “Which city in Italy was the setting for Shakespeare’s play ‘The Taming of the Shrew’?””

Answer given = “Vienna


Teams had to identify Gary Glitter in the picture round.

Popular magician, Gary Glitter.

Answer given: “Siegfried OR Roy”


I asked teams to name the 1986 film starring Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert with a soundtrack by Queen

Answer given: “The Hunt For Red October”


And a nice wee wtf moment at the Newsroom recently. I’m handing out sheets as usual and I come to a a couple who look a little bit sad and disappointed.

The speak in heavy Irish accents: “Yes, yes we’d love to do the quiz but we’re not here tomorrow.”

I explain that the quiz is happening now, not tomorrow. Suddenly they are happy and delighted and take part and have a great time and do really, really badly.

What happens in Ireland? Do you get quiz sheets 24 hours ahead of the actual quiz?


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Iron Balls

Irn BruSomething I learned at the quiz this week is that Irn Bru burns your balls.

This info comes courtesy of scientific research at a city pub I won’t name. The staff there were having a chat about ideal houses.

One chap, we’ll call him “Giles” stated that, from a birds-eye view, his ideal house would look like a massive cock-and-balls.

The two two balls would be swimming pools: one filled with regular swimming pool water, the other with Irn Bru.

“Would that not sting your balls?” someone asked.

Minutes later, three male staff were filming each other dipping their nuts into cups of Irn Bru. Scientific finding: it burns.

The resulting video is called “Three men, three cups” and as far as I know, it has so far NOT been posted online.

NB: Only paper cups were used. You’re not going to get pubes in your teeth at any of the quiz pubs. Also the experiment took place in a non-public area of the bar.

For cheats and hints to win Dr Paul quizzes in Edinburgh, get the weekly email.

£250 Quiz Jackpot Tonight

7pm – Argyle Bar. Jackpot £30. Cheat: the music round contains Pat Benetar, see video below…

9pm – Newsroom. Jackpot: A mighty £250. Wow. Cheat: The picture round includes a curlew.

It’s not easy to adequately describe the video in a small number of words for this 1983 classic hit, so I quote from one of the comments on youtube:

"A  lovely song about a girl who leaves home to become the head hooker. Only to find herself oppressed in a brothel she calls a love battlefield. She will now have to do the impossible and lead her comrades on a dance off to freedom. Will she succeed? Only her pimp can tell..."

The video is, of course, great. I’d never seen it before but it ticks loads of eighties boxes and is incredibly realistic. I remember the early 1980s and I can tell you kids, life was exactly as portrayed in the video, even in Scotland.


For cheats and hints to win Dr Paul quizzes in Edinburgh, get the weekly email.

Tonight’s Quiz Info

7pm – The Joker & The Thief, Jackpot: £60. Cheat: Music round contains Keri Hilson (see vid below).

9pm – Brass Monkey (Drummond Street), 9pm. Jackpot: £30. Cheat: picture round includes Kasabian

In this song Ms Hilson sings “Don’t hate me cos I’m beautiful”. The comments indicate that several people see this as ’empowering’. I’m really not sure. Like genuinely don’t know.

I’m also not sure if the song is shit or not. I like pop and I like hooks. This song has hooks, this song has over 70 million views on youtube. But I can’t help thinking it’s a bit shit.

Anyway, come to the quiz. CU 2NYT, baybee.

For cheats and hints to win Dr Paul quizzes in Edinburgh, get the weekly email.

Stuff I Learned At The Quiz This Week

Maggie told me at the Joker & The Thief that a man in the USA died from choking on a donut during a donut eating challenge. This turns out to be true.

Detail: The donut was a half-pounder and the man 42 years old. His name was Travis. The prize for eating the donut is that you get the donut for free and you get a badge.

Travis was going great guns but halfway through, choked, started thumping the counter of the shop and then turned blue and collapsed. He died right there in front of a crowd that had just been cheering him on.

The article I read does not detail whether the donut shop sent the badge to his family anyway or, more likely, they would deem the challenge incomplete.

What else?

There was a team at the Safari Lounge last night called “Ornitorrincos“. what’s that? Turns out this is Spanish for “Platypus”.


Another team name at the Brass Monkey led to a surprising discovery. I thought “His Ding-A-Ling’s Up” was something to do with Chuck Berry but it turns out it’s a reference to a 1970s porn musical film titled: Alice In Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy.

I had no idea such a thing existed. The team name refers to a part of the film where the characters restore Humpty Dumpty’s failed erection. Now you know.

For cheats and hints to win Dr Paul quizzes in Edinburgh, get the weekly email.

Bad Answers

Here are some recent bad answers from the quizzes:

1. Pure Steaming Anger

There’s something just so nnnnnrggggh about Paraguay, don’t you find?





fucking paraguay
So Much Anger

2. Hell Dragon

A harmless salamander gets a fancy go-faster makeover and becomes… Hell Dragon!

Actually, a salamander

3. Delboy Error

David/Jason confusion subtracts seriousness from epic Bible story .

Jason and Goliath
I blame Del Boy for this mix-up

Mister Happy, rebranded

The classic Roger Hargreaves character gets the Scottish treatment he so richly does not deserve:


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