Thursday, April 19, 2012

The winner takes it (almost) all.

Last night was expats quiz night and despite there being only 13 of us it was sufficient for 6 teams.  Among us regulars the make up of the teams is fairly fluid, husbands and wives rarely partner one another and everyone wants to team up with the mine of trivia that is Emma.

Jason and I both failed to get on team Emma and sulked in the corner together.

The first round was general knowledge and we started with a true or false question;
- The Easter bunny is the creation of U.S. chocolate manufacturers.
We hadn't a clue, we did however have a lucky coin (or rather an unlucky coin as we decided at the end of the quiz when it became apparent that it had got most of the T/F questions wrong, either that or we were just reading its answers wrongly). We decided this wasn't true, and we were right.

Another question from the 1st round was;
- What is a cornucopia?
a) a book defining varieties of grains?
b) a filled decorative horn symbolising abundance?
c) a virulent affliction of the feet?
d) the collective noun for Barry Manilow singles?
We both knew the answer to this one, Jason from a computer game he used to be addicted to and me from the Hunger Games trilogy of books.

We got all the first round right, although we weren't sure at the time.

The 2nd round was all about food and drink and was the trickiest for us.
- Eclaires are made from choux pastry, true or false?
The coin came into play and let us down.
- The main ingredient of gazpacho is what?
After debating the colour of gazpacho, green or red? We went with tomatoes, another right answer.
- Which cocktail was invented at the Raffles Hotel?
As Jason is originally from Singapore he had to get this answer right, or be refused entry the next time he tries to fly home.
- Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of what sticking to the roof of your mouth?
We hadn't a clue, I wanted to put cheese, and Jason for some barmy reason wanted to put octopus. We were both wrong, it's peanut butter.

The 3rd set of questions was introduced as a palindromic musical round - in other words an ABBA fest, the quiz could not get any more fun!
We had to name the song titles, too easy, the only one that caused us any deliberation was 'Lay all your love on me', while Emma's team had them all from the first bar of music played!  It must be said that the hardest part of this round was singing along silently (so as to be sure of the title of course) when all you really wanted to do was sing at the top of your voice and pretend to be Agnetha in sparkly blue knicker bockers and white knee high platform boots.

The 4th round was all about leading men, a gift of a round, with answers of Colin Firth, Sean Connery, Matt Damon, Dustin Hoffman and Harrison Ford - some of my favourite bits of eye candy, throw in George Clooney, Robert Pattinson, Zac Effron and Brad Pitt and we'd have had the whole sweetie shop!

The final round was more general knowledge.
- On the leaves of which tree does the silkworm feed?
Much as I love silk, I hadn't a clue, although as soon as Jason dredged up the answer from the back of his grey matter I knew it was right - the Mulberry tree of course.
- True or false, if he becomes king, Prince William will be the first British monarch to be a direct descendent of all the British monarchs since William the Conqueror.
We put our faith in the coin because despite me being able to answer Jason's question of when was William the Conqueror (1066, I was so smug to be able to answer a historical date query, after all, the remembering of dates is exactly why I gave up history at the age of 14) and then Jason declaring there was no way the answer could be true, we still weren't confident enough not to have the coin to blame if necessary. Clever coin, got that one right.

The very final question was a beauty.
- How many tourists stay at the historic Hotel de Ville in Paris every year?
We paused and then I remembered. The Hotel de Ville is the town hall and not an actual hotel.

The way the answers are laid out in an empty grid and then the results come in a random manner means that there are always prizes for the first row of correct answers, the first 4 corners and then the most correct.

After a shakey start in round one we'd possibly done OK and we were lucky with the way the answers came out too. We were the first to get a line of correct answers and then two answers later we got 4 corners. We even managed to get the most correct answers, but so did Emma and we went to a tie break, which we lost, probably a good job, nobody likes it when one team sweeps the board and takes all the prizes.

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