It wasn't so much about thriving this week at Finn McCool's, more about surviving. The Social Darwinists misread Darwin; he didn't claim that the best members of the species live long enough to pass their genes along, he wrote that those best suited to their environment do. And this particular race went to the relatively swift and the comparatively strong.
Bill & Rena, strangers until this very night, banded together long enough to build a large enough lead in the first 5 rounds that they could coast backward into victory despite getting 9 of the 10 Unreasonably Difficult round questions wrong. Rena was available as she was just downsized; I hope unemployment compensation makes her available for more Finn McCool's quizzes each Tuesday at 9pm. I didn't expect much out of the pair when they opened by writing all of round 1 in the blanks for round 4, but this was before I saw the other teams' answer sheets. Just goes to show you can't judge a book by its cover, not even when the cover has been bound between the third and fourth chapters. This quiz had the lowest winning score and lowest average score of any I've ever done in this format; the team known as Pi holds on to #10 on the All-Time Top Ten list if only for one more day.
The quiz was enlivened by not one but two teams of friendly South Carolinians in town for computer-related consulting. For a moment there I was the one in the room who was talking funny. Curiously their geographic location didn't help with questions about NASCAR, horse racing, New Orleans or college basketball, which I expected them to ace. They did both nail one on a neighboring state, which received a round of boos. Judging by that I'd say the CSA would've had cohesion problems had they won.
Note that Team Booters - I can only assume that this is derived from bootie - fulfilled Randolph's Law whereas the one-man force known as Long Dick Johnson more or less did not, contextually speaking. The frustration continues for the Cosine of Four team, who finish in their highest position ever, but still find the win eluding them. Kudos to Andrew Kennedy for both a spirited one-person run and a gutsy literal interpretation of "put a team name at the top of your paper." A lot of people wouldn't have made that choice. Hope to see all teams again next week, Tuesday at 9pm.
Champs: Bill & Rena 88
So-So Silver: Cosine of Four (-3) 80
Shameful, Shameful Bronze: BCB SSC 78
Long Dick Johnson 68
South Carolina Operators 58
Andrew Kennedy 54
Team Booters 15*
* indicates team arrived late &/or quit
A final thought: if anyone ever asks you how many teeth humans have, it's perfectly acceptable to use your own mouth as a reference.