Category Archives: Dr Paul’s Blog

Tonight at Newsroom – £20,000 to be won

Edinburgh’s richest pub quiz is at the Newsroom on Thursday nights.

staff at Newsroom, Lethi St, Edinburgh
Awesome Newsroom Bar Staff

9m start

Free to enter.

Prizes that even ELTON JOHN would do the quiz for.


Last week we had mental health nurses, a couple from Southampton, some heavy smokers and a backroom full of Belgian and Danish women of draft age.

What fruits this week?

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

The Italian Job

I picked up a little job writing questions about the Italian national football team, the Azzuri.

Naturally, the first flush of research has resulted in several hours wasted invested looking at old-school football porn on the internet like this:

I’ll get round to actually writing some quesitons as soon as Arie Haan scores that 40-yarder…

On The Air With Cuddly Dudley

I was broadcasting a wee quiz on Leith FM today on Alan “Cuddly” Dudley’s show. I did a wee Spring quiz just after the news at 3pm.

Leith FM rocks hard. It’s a PROPER local radio station with actual people on it instead of ‘local’ radio which is owned and programmed from afar.

leith fmHave a listen on 98.8FM and if you’re nowhere near Leith you can listen online.

Mind you, I’m in Newington and we can pick them up just fine and I believe you can get the signal right over in Fife.

Here are some of the questions I asked:

  1. In the U.K. which is the only Bank Holiday that cannot fall on a Monday?
  2. Which famous musical includes the song ‘Younger Than Springtime’?
  3. Which race has the longer course: The University Boat Race (Cambridge and Oxford) or The Grand National?
  4. In which English county can you find Cooper’s Hill, famous for the crazy Spring tradition of chasing a cheese down a hill?
  5. On April Fool’s day, what animal do French children try to pin to each others’ back?
  6. Within 5 feet, how tall was the world’s largest Easter Egg, constructed in 2005 by the Belgian company Guylian?

Drawing Contest – Dinosaur With A Job

Monday at the Reverie saw another drawing contest instead of the old jokes round.

This time the challenge was to draw a dinosaur with a job.

Here’s what we got:

This nearly won. It’s a brontosaurus working in a pub, serving a very drunk T-Rex and was handed in by QUIZ TEAM AGUILERA

This was by PEDRO ALANIA and I thought it was pretty good – a cleaner dinosaur. Another close contender.

dinosaurthis was the dserved winner, excellent use of colour and I particularly like how the children are plainly terrified by their very protector. A huge and deadly T Rex is a great choice to be a lollipop lady. Nice hiring, the council.

This one is paeleontologist dinosaur. Ironic as fuck. Not a winner.

The team that won had this as back up. It could have won on its own.

This was the entry from Easy Lionel. Not bad but maybe not enough bling.

And I liked this but the judge (Mark) was having none of it.

Sorry to some of the others – I managed to lose the kissogram one and the builder one and maybe a few  others but take it easy, eh? It’s just the quiz!

The Chase Audition

The Chase, ITVLast Sunday I was in Glasgow to audition for The Chase, which piloted on ITV 1 last year and is back this year for a full series.

Unfortunately the audition clashed with Old Firm day, so although I got a whole table to myself at Waverley, the train filled up at Haymarket with a herd of tattooed fellers who spent the rest of the hour growling “We Arra Peepel” and bragging about how late they were out last night.

I’ve been to a few of these quiz show auditions now and a fairly standard procedure is emerging which involves two parts:

  • Personality: You talk about yourself in an attempt to prove you are NOT REALLY REALLY BORING
  • Quizzing: You prove you can actually answer  a question or two.

This time the talk-about-yourself bit was a straightforward 2-minutes speech from each punter as we moved around the semi-circle of 9 hopefuls.

auditioning for The Chase
Waiting to hear who's got the nod

Talking about how great you are to the panel of 3 production staff, eight potential rivals all in two minutes is rather like a super-condensed job interview. Here’s a tip: don’t go for this if you’re the kind of person likely to go to pieces.

To add to the pressure, first up was Brian from Edinburgh pub quiz legends THE DUDE ABIDES who had co-incidentally shown up on the same day. I already knew Brian is a top quizzer but I did not know that he’s got loads of stories to tell, including a border incident in war-torn Sierra Leone. Brian nailed his 2 minutes, filling it up with rat-a-tat nuggets of real interest, leaving me in no doubt that there would be a big green tick beside his name and wondering how to follow it.

I was next and my contribution was unprepared and therefore felt a bit meandering and woolly. I tried a few funnies but wasn’t really getting the laughs. The panel had asked us to mention evidence of risk-taking in our lives so I told them about the time I was Naked Elvis.

This appeared to get no reaction and at this point I was wondering if I had fucked up. And that was my two minutes.

The rest of the group included an extremely bubbly woman from Fife, a woman from Nigeria who now lives in Glasgow, a big friendly bald bloke, a Glasgow cabbie who once won a car on Real Radio, a copper who had previously won £50k on 1 vs 100, a self-employed woman from Helensburgh, a student-y bloke and a full-time mum (“the hardest job in the world – and the least paid”).

The quizzy part of the audition involved filling in a sheet, exam style. No talking! I felt good with the questions and I knew that some others didn’t – the extremely bubbly woman kept screaming that she didn’t know any of the answers. No talking!

Also, I know that Brian knows more or less everything but when we were chatting afterwards he revealed that he didn’t know which Sesame Street muppet lives in a bin.

There followed a slightly ludicrous game of outburst/scattergories which involved a lot of shouting and a final episode where we mimicked the final part of The Chase by answering questions “as a team”. In reality, this was me and Brian taking turns to shout out the answers. This was filmed as well and I suppose they were looking to see how confident and how quick you could be.

I understand that at most contestant auditions, they will send you away and let you know later. However, on this occasion, the prodcution team told us on the day if we had been successful.

waiting to  hear
Expectancy and Fear: waiting to hear...

We all filed back to the other room and had about five minutes to guess what was going to happen before the woman came through and told us who had got through. Six of the nine got through and I thoguht this did not include me  but my name was the last one. Phew.

This means I am on a shortlist of 240, from which they will need 160 contestants so from here I’ve got a 2/3 chance to get on the show.

Yvonne, the very very bubbly woman was not picked. I thought they would take her because she was so bright and bubbly but it looks like the trivia knocked her out. She thoguht she scored maybe one or two out of twenty on the quiz and the drama in The Chase depends largely on how close the contestants can run The Chaser. It was a shame because she’d be great on-screen. I think she said she’d been on Golden Balls. That seems about right. She should apply for Deal or No Deal.

The full-time mum also didn’t make it and she seemed pretty aggrieved. I don’t know what her trivia was like but perhaps the chatty bit let her down as she was determined in insisting that her life was not as interesting as the others – perhaps not a great tactic. Also, maybe the full-time-mum-hardest-job-in-the-world thing didn’t strike a chord with the all-female panel who are obviously “career types”.

Anyway – the hardest and worst-paid job in the world would be in some kind of chemicals factory in Western China?

The Jenny Ha’s Fag Break

Jenny Ha’s has a lot going for it. The staff are friendly. You can always geta beer. The banter is slightly weird sometimes, but that’s all part of the fun.

But one of the unique faceets of the pub on quiz night is the

Jenny Ha’s Fag Break!

Not many pub quizzes have their own dedicated fag break but Jenny’s does. If you’re a smoker, its the ideal opportunity to catch up with friends and take a break from the fact that you just did quite badly on the music round.

Check it out:

Fag break time at Jenny Ha'sOf course, thanks to the smoking ban you can also enjoy the break if you are a non-smoker. It really is the best of both worlds!

How The Other Half Live: Serious Quizzing for Serious Quizzers

Thanks to Brian from THE DUDE ABIDES who sent me some papers from last year’s quizzing Grand Prix in Cardiff.

What the hell is a quiz “Grand Prix”? Does it smell of petrol and involve small bikinis? Well, beyond the gentle life of pub quiz, real quiz-heads like to regularly get together up and down the country for some serious, tough, hard, difficult and tricky quiz action.

Brian told me that at events like these you will regularly meet various Eggheads and the brains from The Chase and so on.

When it comes to the quizzing, it makes the old Dr Paul stuff look like a piss in the park which of course, it is.

There is no news so far on whether these quiz events end in a dance-off.

Meanwhile, here’s one of the sets of questions. Brian sent me the papers on Sport, Entertainment, Physical World, Civilisation, and Art & Culture but this is the paper I did best on: Lifestyle where I scored a mammoth 17 out of 30.

See how you do:

  1. What are Lomi-Lomi, Esalen and Shiatsu?
  2. Which American two-time Academy Award-winning actress had great success in the 1980’s with her work-out videos featuring elaborate aerobics routines?
  3. What is the name of the hamburger that is the signature product of the restaurant chain Burger King?
  4. Write the name of ONE of the two chinese exercise systems, originally martial arts, but today best known as a slow motion training activity performed in parks all over the world.
  5. What spanish word refers to any hat with a with a brim, but outside of Spanish-speaking countries is used for a wide-brimmed hat made out of straw?
  6. Where in the body is the muscle Gluteus Maximus found?
  7. What is the brand name of Nestlé’s proprietary espressomaker-system, where they market machines that brew coffee from capsules, available in a wide variety of flavours?
  8. What is the name of the prepared childbirth technique developed in the 1940s and named after the French obstetrician who observed the method during a stay in the Soviet Union, and who started teaching it in the West? It is widely taught in the United States, where many couples take such “classes”. The technique has been altered since the beginning to teach expectant mothers to reduce pain during the labour process.
  9. What is the name of the popular line of fashion dolls that debuted in 2001 and is now a major competitor to Barbie dolls? The dolls are portrayed as teenagers with slim bodies and enlarged heads.
  10. What is mixed with rum and lime to create a Cuba Libre?
  11. What is the name of the 105 carat diamond once the largest in the world, and has belonged to a series of Indian Emperors since the Middle Ages, but is now owned by Queen Elizabeth II as part of the crown jewels?
  12. What is the name of the company who owns the brands Always, Pringles, Pampers and Duracell?
  13. What is the name of the online sales company Amazon’s e-book reader, which in February was released in its second edition?
  14. What is the name of the area in France that is widely known for its quality chicken, the first animal food to receive a AOC-classification?
  15. Which French company is the world’s largest manufacturer of disposable razors, and is also a major producer of other disposable products?
  16. In danger of being confused with the Norwegian Quiz Association, the NQF is an older association and is a promoter of a sewing method where two layers of material are sewn together typically with insulation inbetween, and then joined with other double-layers to create a larger one, such as a bed cover. What is the name of this technique, starting with the letter Q as in NQF?
  17. What Japanese word is a name for the sexual practice that features a woman being ejaculated on by multiple men simultaneously?
  18. Which newspaper in India is the one with the largest circulation amongst English language newspapers in the world?
  19. Which city in the Langhe-area in Piedmont, Italy, is known for its white truffles, that grow in the hilly forest areas that surround the city?
  20. What is the name of this super model, who married quarterback Tom Brady on February 26. 2009?
  21. What is the name of this French actor, the only without English as his first language on Cosmopolitan’s Top 25 list of the world’s most sexy men in 2008? He dated Kylie Minogue for 4 years, until they broke up in 2007.
  22. Which artist starred in the reality-series “The Newlyweds” with her then husband Nich Lachey?
  23. What word refers to the silk-like fabric from the Angora goat? The fibres are notable for their high luster and are stronger than wool.
  24. What is the brand name of the Hasbro toy line consisting of coloured toy ponies, marketed to young girls?
  25. What is the name of the former model and singer, more famous as a groupie, who was Playmate of the month in 1974, and who is the mother of actress Liv Tyler?
  26. Popular in East Europe since the Middle Ages, this low-alcohol beverage is made by the natural fermentation of rye bread, and is now being sold in bottles as a soft drink. After Coca Cola captured large market shares after the fall of communism, local breweries fought back and regained their shares with this drink, which is known under what name?
  27. Ever since the category “Best Make-up” was introduced at the Academy Award in 1982, one man has won the award 6 times, inclusively the first time it was awarded. He was also nominated last year, for the movie “Norbit”. What is the name of this Master make-up artist?
  28. Jelly-extracts from this green succulent plant are used in moisturising products in spite of the lack of scientific foundation for its effect; what is its name?

  1. What is the trademark name of this style of sheepskin boots which has been a fashion since the early 2000’s, and popularised by Australian surfers, who used them to keep warm between surf-legs? They are not trademarked in Australia due to a legal controversy.

  1. What is the name of this model and actress, named the world’s most sexy woman by the magazine FMH in 2008?

I’ll post the answers later…