Friday, August 31, 2007

This week's Secret Theme rounds

Can you figure out the themes in each group of 10 answers that link each group of otherwise unrelated trivia questions? Solutions will be posted later this week.

Ray's:

1) Aside from the elaborate seal at its center, what are the only two colors on Haiti's flag?
2) According to popular historical legend, what was the name of Paul Revere's horse on his famous midnight ride?
3) What's the brand name of Wrigley's cinnamon gum?
4) What was the Apollo 11 command module's name? (The Eagle landed on the moon; I want to know the orbiting module.)
5) Richard "Night Train" Lane was a Pro-Bowl defensive back who set the NFL record with 14 interceptions in a season in 1952. Which team did he play for?
6) What song was a #1 hit as an original for Tommy James & The Shondells in 1969, then a #9 hit as a cover for Joan Jett in 1982?
7) What animal is the mascot for the University of Missouri's teams?
8) What's the title of the Pennsylvania state song (as of 1990)?
9) What 1995 Disney movie about a rag-tag kids' sports team starred Steve Guttenberg and Olivia d'Abo?
10) What detective was created by Herman Cyril ("Sapper") McNeile in 1920?

... and what theme links the answers?

Frank's:

1) What 1987 film won both the Best Picture and Best Director Oscars?
2) What's the only world capital named after a ship?
3) What vocal group consisted of Bob Shane, Dave Guard and Nick Reynolds?
4) In what movie does a ship named the Venture visit Skull Island?
5) Who is former MLB pitcher Randy Moffitt's much more famous sister? No, she's not known by the name "Moffitt..."
6) In the original (1962) film The Manchurian Candidate, what card sends Laurence Harvey's character into a suggestable trance?
7) What was the name of Blackbeard's pirate ship?
8) On June 18, 1815, a man named Arthur Wellsley played a major role in changing world history. By what name do we know him better?
9) What California band had their only Top 40 hit (#5) in 1966 with the single "Psychotic Reaction"?
10) Who was the only person in the 20th century to have a country named after them while still alive?

... and what theme links the answers?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Is SLORC prowling the web?

Last week's Secret Theme round had a question about Burma Shave, one of the more imaginatively advertised products in American history.

As I do every week, I included that question and answer in my post of those rounds. Shortly after I did, my visitation log recorded a visit from Burma/Myanmar, which is interesting to say the least. The product had little to do with the country in a cultural sense, the name derived from the fact that some of the oils used in making it were imported from Burma.

I imagine that one of two things drove a person in Burma to have a gander at this blog. One possibility is that some poor soul stuck in the highly repressive military-controlled nation wanted some truth about what's happening there and found their way to a computer, typed in "Burma," and found some white dork wearing a top hat with a question mark. The other is that a member of SLORC, the State Law and Order Restoration Council, is prowling the web looking for what we undesirable westerners have to say about the poxy regime. "Burma" was the older name for the country, but SLORC prefers "Myanmar," thus any reference to Burma on a blog must be immediately suspect. Either way the visitor was surely disappointed. First confused, then disappointed...

For more on democracy movements in Burma, check out this site or this one. "Go Team Internet, Beat State!"

Sunday, August 26, 2007

That Charles Taze Russell question

In the Unreasonably Difficult round at Frank's this past week, I asked what religious sect was founded by Charles Taze Russell in Pennsylvania in 1870.

I expected the answer Jehovah's Witnesses, which perhaps one team answered correctly. Most teams answered Seventh Day Adventists. After announcing the answer I was loudly denounced by at least one person, who felt the need to shout "You're wrong, Chris, you're wrong!" He wanted no part of betting me $100 on that one, though. I make that offer when people challenge the answers, I believe 3 times now, and no one ever takes me up on it. That's a shame, as I'd be a bit richer if they did.

First off, the SDAs were founded in the 1830s-1860s (formally in 1863) in upstate New York in the ashes of the Millerite movement. In fact their origins can be traced to an insane mass delusional event called the Great Disappointment of 1844. No Russell, no PA, no 1870.

Russell, however, was a separate nut who founded what's now known as the Jehovah's Witnesses in Pittsburgh in 1870. They were originally known as "Bible Students," and after a schism in the group shortly before 1920 the folks loyal to what they saw as the teachings of Russell adopted the "Jehovah's Witness" moniker.

Huzzah. I have a feeling that no one will be shouting "I'm wrong, Chris, I'm wrong!" this coming Wednesday. Funny how that works.

UPDATE: It appears that some of Russell's early followers confusingly were Seventh Adventists (which only makes that answer more chronologically incorrect), and that the JWs are claiming a founding date of either 1872 or "early 1870s" in their own lit. My initial reference does read 1870.

Quiz qurse qontinues; Trotter cut from Birds

A few weeks ago at Frank's I had my first Crossword round. The clue for 19 Across was a 7 letter word for "EAGLE, OR HORSE?" with the answer TROTTER. Obviously horses are trotters and Jeremiah Trotter was a Philadelphia Eagle. Was, that is, until he was an answer to one of my questions. You can check out his personal site here.

It's just plain ol' bad news being the answer to one of my questions. Sometimes it ends in death, other high-profile people such as Trotter get off easier, merely being cut from the team they hoped to retire with very late in training camp. I tried making Dick Cheney the answer in two questions, one at each venue, a couple of weeks back, with no results thus far. If only I could focus these energies ...

Answers to last week's Secret Theme rounds

Ray's:

The theme was simply countries.

1) What male grooming product was famously advertised via rhyming highway signs throughout the country in the period 1925-1963? Burma Shave

2) What 1982 single by A Flock of Seagulls reached their highest chart position in the US, at #9? "I Ran (So Far Away)"

3) What dish common on American Chinese restaurant menus consists of thin rice noodles, curry sauce, chicken, pork, shrimp and veggies? Singapore mei fun a.k.a. Singapore noodle

4) Who was the 1985 NBA Rookie of the Year? Michael Jordan

5) What was the last Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union (1870)? Georgia
6) What centrally located Parisian park is known by locals by the nickname "Luco"? Jardin du Luxembourg

7) What 2005 animated film featured the voice talents of David Schwimmer, Chris Rock and Ben Stiller? Madagascar

8) What unusually political song was the first US Top 40 single for the band Wings, in 1972? "Give Ireland Back to the Irish"

9) What British duo had 7 Top 40 songs in the US in the years 1964-1966, the best-selling being "A Summer Song"? Chad & Jeremy

10) What French author wrote "My Friend's Book" and "Penguin
Island"? Anatole France

Frank's:

Each of these answers contains a surname of signers of the Declaration of Indepedence.

1) What New Jersey Network-produced show debuted in 1974, ran on and off for decades, and featured puppets named Bones Boy, Oogie and Cuppy? The Uncle Floyd Show
2) What beloved children's TV character was portrayed 1976-1982 by Will Lee? When Lee died in 1982, the character was killed off as well. Mr. Hooper
3) What brand of American beer was known as Koch's Lager from the 1860s through the 1950s, when it was renamed its current brand name? Samuel Adams, himself a signer
4) What Canadian rock band features vocalist Geddy Lee? Rush

5) What TV show, which ran on different networks in the US 1988-1994, had the theme song "Having an Average Weekend" by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet? Kids in the Hall

6) Who was married to the pop star Madonna 1985-1989? Sean Penn

7) What CBS drama ran from 1972-1981, and was based upon the 1963 movie Spencer's Mountain? The Waltons

8) Who has been the 9-Lives cat food mascot since 1968? Morris the Cat

9) Whose family homestead became Arlington National Cemetery following the American Civil War? Robert E. Lee; in this case the answer is even a relative of two signers.

10) What eastern Guatemalan town is unusual for its English name and English-speaking population? Livingston

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Group W wins; Sofa Kingdom finishes third in first Frank's loss

Group W took full advantage of the Music of the 1960s Subject Round - an impressive 9 of 10 correct - to send the Wunderkinder team Sofa Kingdom (7-1) to their first defeat at Frank's. Veteran team Off the Wallers also did well in the round which helped put them in a strong second. Is this a blip in the fabric of the universe, or a New World Order? Tune in next week to find out.

W happens to look a lot lot like the Mod Squad when photographed following a '60s-themed quiz victory. Kudos to Kenya, who arrived after two rounds were finished and still scored an 84. Your scores:

Beautiful Gold: Group W 137
So-So Silver: Off the Wallers 120
Shameful, Shameful Bronze: Sofa Kingdom 116

Also-rans:

Daddy Works Out! 88
Kenya* 84
Flat Beer 74
Hot Slices of Dough 69
Bad Newz Quizzerz 60
Vick-timizers* 57

* team arrived late &/or quit

The Buster Hymen Experience wins again at Ray's

The ringer of The Buster Hymens, the team who notched the highest score ever at Ray's couple of weeks ago, returned with a local friend and won again, this time with a mere mortal score in a small field at Ray's. I forgot to take the victory photo, thus I post the least offensive image that Google Images would give me...

I'm hoping that it was August and the pouring rain keeping folks away and that we can have a larger crowd this week.

Beautiful Gold: The Buster Hymen Experience 135
So-So Silver: Cosine of Four Less Two 106
Shameful, Shameful Bronze: 3 Blondes* 58

* team arrived late

Friday, August 24, 2007

This week's Secret Theme rounds

Can you figure out the themes in each group of 10 answers that link each group of otherwise unrelated trivia questions? Solutions will be posted later this week.

Ray's:

1) What male grooming product was famously advertised via rhyming highway signs throughout the country in the period 1925-1963?
2) What 1982 single by A Flock of Seagulls reached their highest chart position in the US, at #9?
3) What dish common on American Chinese restaurant menus consists of thin rice noodles, curry sauce, chicken, pork, shrimp and veggies?
4) Who was the 1985 NBA Rookie of the Year?
5) What was the last Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union (1870)?
6) What centrally located Parisian park is known by locals by the nickname "Luco"?
7) What 2005 animated film featured the voice talents of David Schwimmer, Chris Rock and Ben Stiller?
8) What unusually political song was the first US Top 40 single for the band Wings, in 1972?
9) What British duo had 7 Top 40 songs in the US in the years 1964-1966, the best-selling being "A Summer Song"?
10) What French author wrote "My Friend's Book" and "Penguin Island"?

... and what theme links the 10 answers?

Frank's:

1) What New Jersey Network-produced show debuted in 1974, ran on and off for decades, and featured puppets named Bones Boy, Oogie and Cuppy?
2) What beloved children's TV character was portrayed 1976-1982 by Will Lee? When Lee died in 1982, the character was killed off as well.
3) What brand of American beer was known as Koch's Lager from the 1860s through the 1950s, when it was renamed its current brand name?
4) What Canadian rock band features vocalist Geddy Lee?
5) What TV show, which ran on different networks in the US 1988-1994, had the theme song "Having an Average Weekend" by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet?
6) Who was married to the pop star Madonna 1985-1989?
7) What CBS drama ran from 1972-1981, and was based upon the 1963 movie Spencer's Mountain?
8) Who has been the 9-Lives cat food mascot since 1968?
9) Whose family homestead became Arlington National Cemetery following the American Civil War?
10) What eastern Guatemalan town is unusual for its English name and English-speaking population?

... and what theme links the 10 answers?

Next week's two new quizzes

Be sure to stop by for the last summer quizzes of the year. School will be back in session in September, and that can only mean tougher competition when those annoying smart people start showing up in bars again. Grab the low-hanging fruit!

Tuesday, August 28, 9pm
Ray's Happy Birthday Bar
1200 E. Passyunk Ave.
(near 9th & Federal Sts.)
Subject Round: DICTATORS

Wednesday, August 29, 9pm
Dirty Frank's
13th & Pine Sts.
Subject Round: NO LONGER ON THE MAP

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

Every once in a while I come across a website great enough to take its place in the pantheon of Handy Links for Trivia Geeks, at right (you might have to scroll up or down a bit dependent upon what day you're reading this). A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods from Visual-Literacy.org is just such a site.

You need never confuse your Concept Maps and Histograms again. Huzzah!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Answers to last week's Secret Theme rounds

For the first time, the two Secret Themes were related. This will rarely if ever happen in future. In fact it's completely pointless unless you play both nights, which no one did. If there's any general complaint it's that I don't ask enough pop culture. It doesn't get much more pop-trivial than this. As always, the links provided are a fantastic way to learnjoy yourself.

Ray's:


The theme was nicknames given by New York to her himbos in the first season of I Love New York. Nicknames follow the slash.

1) What 1984 movie starred Michael Douglas as Jack T. Colton? Romancing the Stone / Romance
2) What 1989 action/comedy paired Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell? Tango & Cash / Tango
3) What blues guitarist introduced his influential solo style (it had an impact on rock'n'roll) in his 1942 recording "Mean Old World"? T-Bone Walker / T-Bone
4) What Caribbean island has been known in previous centuries as Boriken and San Juan Bautista? Puerto Rico / Rico
5) Owing to a ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States, to which state does most of Ellis Island belong? New Jersey / Jersey
6) The first NBA franchise in Florida began play in 1988; which one would that be? Miami Heat / Heat
7) What's the Virgo birthstone? Onyx (or sardonyx..?)*** / Onyx
8) Which character did Peter Sellers portray in the 1979 movie Being There (there are two related acceptable answers for the character's name)? Chance the Gardener, a.k.a. Chauncey Gardiner / Chance
9) What was the first American city with a subway? Boston /Mr. Boston
10) Who played lead guitar in the band KISS? Ace Frehley / Ace

Frank's:

The theme was nicknames given by Flavor Flav to his bimbos in the first season of Flavor of Love. Nicknames follow the slash.

1) What famous painter wrote a play titled Desire Caught by the Tail? It was awful, and therefore performed only three times; actors included Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. Pablo Picasso / Picasso
2) Which of the original 13 American colonies was established last? Georgia / Georgia
3) The band Oasis originally named themselves after a Beatles B-side. Name that song. "Rain" / Rain
4) What's the only US state to host the Winter Olympics twice? New York; in fact both times at Lake Placid (link to a YouTube "Miracle on Ice" live call), 1932 and 1980 / New York
5) Finish the Jonathon Swift quote: "It was a bold man who first... ate an oyster." / Red Oyster
6) Who does Linus van Pelt wait for each Halloween? The Great Pumpkin / Punkin
7) What Australian actor/director was born Greg Pead, and legally changed his name to what we know him as now in 1980? Yahoo Serious / Serious
8) Who is Kate Hudson's famous mother? Goldie Hawn / Goldie
9) The longest-running American public service ad campaign has featured the same fictional character since 1944. Name the character. Smokey Bear / Smokey
10) What 1994 award-winning Steve James documentary tracks the lives of two young men, William Gates and Arthur Agee? Hoop Dreams / Hoopz

*** Want to be seriously confused? Throw the words "birthstone" and "onyx" into Google! I found at least I have two almanacs which disagree on the matter as well - I based the question in the first I referenced, not knowing at the time that there's no board of standards for these things. That's not including the added confusion of "ancient" and "modern" lists, "zodiac stones," "sun stones," etc. It seems a hard thing to pin down, especially as this is "woo-woo" belief and no Actual Science - but a lot of marketing - is involved. One of the teams at Ray's challenged me on this last week and I believe I have to credit them with at least part of the 5 points on the question in the next quiz they arrive at. The one thing I can say in my defense is that "Onyx" is the only birthstone which fits the New York/Himbo theme.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Two all-new quizzes this week!


Tuesday, August 21, 9pm
Ray's Happy Birthday Bar
1200 E. Passyunk Ave.
(near 9th & Federal Sts.)
Subject Round: MUSIC OF THE 1970s

Wednesday, August 22, 9pm
Dirty Frank's
13th & Pine Sts.
Subject Round: MUSIC OF THE 1960s

Last week's Secret Theme rounds

Can you figure out the themes in each group of 10 answers that link each group of otherwise unrelated trivia questions? Solutions will be posted later this week.

Ray's:

1) What 1984 movie starred Michael Douglas as Jack T. Colton?
2) What 1989 action/comedy paired Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell?
3) What blues guitarist introduced his influential solo style (it had an impact on rock'n'roll) in his 1942 recording "Mean Old World"?
4) What Caribbean island has been known in previous centuries as Boriken and San Juan Bautista?
5) Owing to a ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States, to which state does most of Ellis Island belong?
6) The first NBA franchise in Florida began play in 1988; which one would that be?
7) What's the Virgo birthstone?
8) Which character did Peter Sellers portray in the 1979 movie Being There (there are two related acceptable answers for the character's name)?
9) What was the first American city with a subway?
10) Who played lead guitar in the band KISS?

... and what's the theme running through the 10 answers?

Frank's:

1) What famous painter wrote a play titled Desire Caught by the Tail? It was awful, and therefore performed only three times; actors included Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre.
2) Which of the original 13 American colonies was established last?
3) The band Oasis originally named themselves after a Beatles B-side. Name that song.
4) What's the only US state to host the Winter Olympics twice?
5) Finish the Jonathon Swift quote: "It was a bold man who first..."
6) Who does Linus van Pelt wait for each Halloween?
7) What Australian actor/director was born Greg Pead, and legally changed his name to what we know him as now in 1980?
8) Who is Kate Hudson's famous mother?
9) The longest-running American public service ad campaign has featured the same fictional character since 1944. Name the character.
10) What 1994 award-winning Steve James documentary tracks the lives of two young men, William Gates and Arthur Agee?

... and what's the theme running through the 10 answers?

Sofa Kingdom nips Group W in OT thriller; still undefeated at Frank's

In an all-time classic, Sofa Kingdom went into the last round with a 6-point lead on Group W, the team most likely to eventually beat them. W answered one more than SK correctly in the final round, setting up an overtime tiebreaker.

The tiebreaking question was for each team to guess closest to the year in which the Indianapolis 500 was first run. Kingdom wrote 1908 and Group W went with 1924. The exact year was 1911, putting SK far closer and giving them a perfect 7-0 record at Frank's... although this one was even closer than last week's win. Will next week be Group W's turn to shine..?


Beautiful Gold: Sofa Kingdom 169 (OT)
So-So Silver: Group W 168 (OT)
Shameful, Shameful Bronze: The Reincarnation of Paul Revere's Horse 121

Also-rans:

I Love Isabelle 105
Daddy Works Out! 92
Piece of Piss Conspiracy 85
Team Angie 75
I'm Not Wearing Pants 61
Shoe 58
Really, Really Late* 6

* only appeared for last round

Don't forget to get your Dirty Frank's picnic tix! Details at: Annual Dirty Frank's picnic on August 26

Phil Rizzuto's Money Hole wins easily at Ray's

Hey folks, can we do something about the low turnout at Ray's? Specifically, can I do something? The room is perfect, the prizes improving, the management friendly and you can play the quiz while watching the Phils on a new widescreen TV. I feel like we lost the momentum built before I went on vacation.

Phil Rizzuto's Money Hole has a funny team name based partially in local '80s UHF TV ads and partially, I assume, mocking Johnny Gloryhole. They had a leisurely win on Tuesday, but I have a feeling that the competition won't let them off the hook that easily in future. I forgot to bring the camera, thus I have depicted the winning team, three males, as the non-Iggy Stooges. Scores follow.

Beautiful Gold: Phil Rizzuto's Money Hole 113
So-So Silver: Kisses for Kittens 97
Shameful, Shameful Bronze: Johnny Gloryhole 93

Monday, August 13, 2007

Guinness Book alert: Oldest known human dead

No one saw that coming, eh? I imagine trying to keep track of the world's oldest person is like trying to build an ice castle in the Sahara. There's probably a full-time position over at Guinness just tracking this.

Yone Minagawa was 114.

The Push

My friend Sherone Rabinovitz has a new movie out, it's called The Push, and you should see it sometime. So says the Schuylkill Gallery website:"On August 15, 2007 at 7:30pm, in conjunction with the opening of “Pure Faith”, the Schuylkill Gallery in partnership with the Consulate General of Israel in Philadelphia and Bayit Israeli, will sponsor the Philadelphia premiere of The Push by Israeli Writer/Director Sherone Rabinovitz. The Push follows an ordinary young professional stuck in a mundane 9-5 corporate job, who has the night of his life when he’s lured down a Spiritual Rabbit Hole by a group of underground guerilla artists. "The Push" (2006), won two separate production grants and is schedule to hit the film-festival circuit in the Fall of 2007. Open forum with Sherone Rabinovitz prior to viewing. Light refreshments will be served. View the trailer at www.thepushmovie.com"

3510 Scotts Lane, Space 3112, Philadelphia PA 19129
Phone: 215.287.9963

Yes, I actually know someone who made a movie. A real one, with sound and everything. Don't let the Israeli consulate thing put you off; the film is in English as opposed to Throat-Clearing Language. Now, I really shouldn't be, er... pushing something that'd make you late for my quiz, but maybe you're coming out Tuesday night to Ray's and would find this a nice Wednesday diversion.

Last week's Secret Themes

Ray's:
As always, the links below have been selected for maximum entermation and infotainment. The Ray's theme last week was varieties of rose.

1) What's the Latin word for "Scotland"? Caledonia
2) In 1964 a band called The Rivieras had their only hit, which went to #5 on the US pop charts. Name it. "California Sun"
3) What English word is taken from the Tongan word for "forbidden"? Taboo
4) What's the word which represents "T" in the NATO radio phoenetic alphabet? tango
5) What Christmas-related treat is said to have been invented by a choirmaster in Cologne, Germany in 1670? The candy cane
6) In Spanish the word is terremoto; what is it in English? Earthquake
7) What fictional character has a famous statue in Copenhagen's harbor? The Little Mermaid
8) During the Vietnam War, American soldiers had a hit song-derived nickname for the AC-47 and AC-130 combat aircraft owing to what they did to the Vietnamese countryside. Name the song and you have the nickname. "Puff the Magic Dragon"
9) What song was almost cut from the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz owing to early screening complaints that it slowed the pace of the movie? "Over the Rainbow"
10) What 1982 Toto song won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year? "Rosanna"

Frank's:


Last week's Secret Theme was Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals. I gave 6 of the 8 points for any less specific answer related to Broadway.

1) What classic film tracks the decline of actress Norma Desmond?
Sunset Boulevard / musical had same title
2) What American humorist was killed in a 1935 plane crash?
Will Rogers / Will Rogers Follies
3) What major Manhattan thoroughfare became heavily developed and subsequently famous because it linked the passenger shipping lines to Midtown?
42nd Street / musical had same title
4) What Charles Dickens novel was published posthumously despite being unfinished?
The Mystery of Edwin Drood / musical had same title
5) What high-grossing 2004 film starred Jim Caviezel?
6) What 1974 #1 song for John Denver features the line "You fill up my senses, like a night in the forest"?
7) What's the French word for "grape?"
Raisin / musical had same title
8) What track on The Beatles' "White Album" (actual title: The Beatles) is an example of musique concrete?
"Revolution 9 "/ Nine
9) In what body of water do you find the Society Islands?South Pacific / musical had same title
10) What well-known Sherlock Holmes story involves a plot to dig a tunnel and commit a bank robbery, as opposed to the usual murder?
Broadway and flower varieties - is this developing into a He-Man butch quiz or what?!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Poll: What's the best Beatles album? Why?

Just curious as to what people think the best Beatles album is, and why they think that. I'm also curious to see if I can engender a culture of posting on this darn thing.

You can chime in below in the Comments section, I'll post the results in a week or so. If we can get some argument and reasoning going, all the better. And remember that you're entitled to your own opinion, just not your own facts...

Welcome 3,000th visitor!

The site has now had over 3,000 visitors from a total of at least 60 countries! The most recent was Croatia; Dobar den!

Three announcements

#1 - I encourage you to leave & read Comments on any post of the site. All of them are open for unmoderated commenting, but hardly anyone ever seems interested. Don't I post anything controversial enough..?

#2 -
Be sure to visit the QuizMaster Chris Online Store. Seriously. I have a variety of T-shirts, sweats, tote bage, even a thong for sale. It's like pledge week on PBS, only without the annoying delays and Dr. Who mugs.

#3 - I've added a "Newsreel" feature to the lowest rung of the features on the right-hand blog column. It's set to display clickable online news stories featuring the words "strange, odd, bizarre, unusual." Your guess is as good as mine as to what will appear. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

This week's two new quizzes

A new week brings two new great quizzes:

Tuesday, August 14, 9pm
Ray's Happy Birthday Bar
1200 E. Passyunk Ave.
(near 9th & Federal Sts.)
Subject Round: PENNSYLVANIA

Wednesday, August 15, 9pm
Dirty Frank's
13th & Pine Sts.
Subject Round: GREECE IS THE WORD


Just a side editorial: How fitting was it for Georgie W. to phone Barry Bonds on breaking the Hank Aaron record? The man who cheated his way into the White House in 2000 suggests that we not judge too harshly the guy who juiced up on Human Growth Hormone to cheat his way passed Aaron. What a sucky time to be an American.

Friday, August 10, 2007

This week's Secret Theme rounds

These two sets of 10 harder-than-average trivia questions each have a theme running through their answers. Try to answer the questions, then guess the themes! Answers to be posted in a few days.

Ray's:

1) What's the Latin word for "Scotland"?
2) In 1964 a band called The Rivieras had their only hit, which went to #5 on the US pop charts. Name it.
3) What English word is taken from the Tongan word for "forbidden"?
4) What's the word which represents "T" in the NATO radio phoenetic alphabet?
5) What Christmas-related treat is said to have been invented by a choirmaster in Cologne, Germany in 1670?
6) In Spanish the word is terremoto; what is it in English?
7) What fictional character has a famous statue in Copenhagen's harbor?
8) During the Vietnam War, American soldiers had a hit song-derived nickname for the AC-47 and AC-130 combat aircraft owing to what they did to the Vietnamese countryside. Name the song and you have the nickname.
9) What song was almost cut from the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz owing to early screening complaints that it slowed the pace of the movie?
10) What 1982 Toto song won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year?

... and what's the theme?

Frank's:

1) What classic film tracks the decline of actress Norma Desmond?
2) What American humorist was killed in a 1935 plane crash?
3) What major Manhattan thoroughfare became heavily developed and subsequently famous because it linked the passenger shipping lines to Midtown?
4) What Charles Dickens novel was published posthumously despite being unfinished?
5) What high-grossing 2004 film starred Jim Caviezel?
6) What 1974 #1 song for John Denver features the line "You fill up my senses, like a night in the forest"?
7) What's the French word for "grape?"
8) What track on The Beatles "White Album" (actual title: The Beatles) is an example of musique concrete?
9) In what body of water do you find the Society Islands?
10) What well-known Sherlock Holmes story involves a plot to dig a tunnel and commit a bank robbery, as opposed to the usual murder?

... and what's the theme?

Annual Dirty Frank's picnic on August 26

The annual Dirty Frank's picnic will be Sunday, August 26 11am-7pm at Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park.

It's a great deal; for $15 you can get all the food you can eat and beer you can drink, as well as participate in the Liquid Treasure Hunt, the Adult Pinata, the Three-Legged Race and all of the other fabtastic events. In addition you can even catch a free shuttle to and from the site from Frank's door, these leave at 11am and noon.

See any bartender now to reserve your spot, pony up the $15 and record your name as a participant...

Sofa Kingdom squeezes out win at Frank's

Sofa Kingdom barely nipped Group W in a low-scoring, high-attendance game on the strength of a strong Unreasonably Dificult round. I thought they were going down this week after a disasterous Secret Theme round. Sofa Kingdom are now 6-0 at Frank's! Who shall slay this monster?

Scores:

Beautiful Gold: Sofa Kingdom 152
So-So Silver: Group W 149
Shameful, Shameful Bronze: Lil' Roy Screamed 136

Also-rans:

Sexual Chocolate & the Drunk Indian Girl 121
Why Did You Bring Me Here? 118
Daddy Works Out 75
Nicole Richtie's Anorexic Baby 74
Classified Documents 70
Stockholm Skanks* 65
Azzwipes* 53
Murphy's Law* 27
Inkpad Minus Mike* 16

* indicates team arrived late &/or quit

The Buster Hymens rock Ray's

One Philadelphian and two visiting Floridians collectively known as The Buster Hymens scored a Ray's all-time high 180 points this past Tuesday. I might, based in this, have to reassess my opinion of Florida as an intellectual entity. Amazingiy they weren't even interested in the possibility of liquid prize; they just ceded that right to second-place winners Kisses for Kittens!, who seemed to me to declare a bold new attitude with the addition of an exclamation point in the team name.

I believe the 71-point margin of victory to be the largest at either venue.

Scores:

Beautiful Gold: The Buster Hymens 180
So-So Silver: Kisses for Kittens! 109
Shameful, Shameful Bronze: The Jag-Offs 107

Also-ran:

Lemon Yellow Thunder 96

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Answers to last week's Secret Theme rounds

Ray's:

The theme was former Philadelphia Eagles players. The Eagles player's name appears after each answer.

1) What civil rights leader coined the term "Black Power" in a 1967 speech?
Stokely Carmichael, not Malcolm X, who was killed in 1965. / Harold Carmichael
2) Which Pennsylvania county has the highest average household income?
Montgomery County/ Wilbert Montgomery
3) What highly successful 1975 movie is based upon a novel of the same title written by Peter Benchley?
Jaws/ Ron Jaworski
4) According to the classic rock band Cream, where do the shadows run from themselves? In the "White Room,"/ Reggie White
5) What TV advertising slogan is UPS currently using?
"What Can Brown Do for You?" / Jerome Brown
6) What character did Ron Howard play on Happy Days?
Richie Cunningham/ Randall Cunningham
7) Despite popular belief, what drug-related phrase never appears in any of the Sherlock Holmes stories written by creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?
"Quick, Watson, the needle!" (read this excellent article!)/ Mike Quick
8) Who wrote Gone with the Wind?
Margaret Mitchell / Freddie Mitchell
9) What was a large portion of what came to be known as the State of Tennessee known as in the period 1784-1787?
Franklin / Tony Franklin, the 1980 Super Bowl team's barefooted kicker
10) Who published the abolitionist newspaper The North Star?
Frederick Douglass / Hugh Douglas

Frank's:

The theme was squares of the numbers 1-10. I accepted anything including "square numbers."

1) In 1971, the folk-rock duo Brewer & Shipley had their only Top 40 hit with a song that went to #10 on the pop charts. Name it.
"One Toke Over the LIne" / 1 is 1 squared
2) What vocal group, formed in Newark, NJ in 1955, had 30 Top 40 hits in the period 1962-1976?
The Four Seasons / 4 is 2 squared
3) What band's 1989 debut album was titled Pretty Hate Machine?
Nine Inch Nails / 9 is 3 squared
4) What 1984 film stars Molly Ringwold as Sam Baker?
Sixteen Candles / 16 is 4 squared
5) What NFL star has the nickname "The President?"
New Orleans' Reggie Bush, #25 / 25 is 5 squared
6) What Philadelphia Eagles running back played his college ball at Villanova?
Brian Westbrook, #36 / 6 is 36 squared
7) What 1966 novel features the character Oedipa Maas?
The Crying of Lot 49 / 49 is 7 squared
8) What Beatles song makes reference to three children named Vera, Chuck and Dave?
"When I'm Sixty-Four" / 64 is 8 squared
9) What group is Ralph "Sonny" Barger famously associated with?
Hell's Angels; their site explains their use of "81" / 81 is 9 squared
10) In the US you dial "0" for the operator. What number do you dial in Britain?
100 / 100 is 10 squared

Worst... article... ever

Humor me for a moment. Take a look at this article about a monster truck mishap in Illinois. It's an AP piece on Yahoo!'s news site, and is likely going out to newspapers and websites throughout the country as I type this. Notice anything wrong with it? I mean monumentally and repeatedly wrong.

I recall from grade school English that anthropomorphism is the use of animal (animist even, in the root sense of the word) metaphor to get a poetic point across. "The fog comes in on little cat feet..." Nine out of 10 school English anthologies have that Carl Sandburg poem to illustrate the point.

To my knowledge that's supposed to be used in poetic license, which is the polar opposite of the writing that's supposed to be in the news. Therefore the monster truck, unless we're literally to believe that it came to life, did not drive itself. It did not go on a rampage. It does not have free will and can't make a mistake. But you'd never know that from...
"A monster truck performing stunts ... the truck drove over and crushed four cars ... "After its third or fourth attempt of rolling over the cars, and getting back down to the street, it appeared to have lost control and at that point careened off to the left into part of the crowd that was watching the event," said City Manager Mark Biernacki. ... After plowing through the crowd, the truck went through a fence ... after the truck's first few passes ... he didn't see the incident but saw the truck performing stunts beforehand..."

Saw the truck performing stunts?! Now that's a trick I'd like to see! Are we so sensitive now that even after a driver does a series of risky stunts and screws up we have to refer to everything people do in a passive voice, humanity a captive audience on the Planet of the Spirit Trucks? Addendum: the article at that URL has been updated to include a few quotes from at least one eyewitness who refers to the driver as the one responsible for how the truck moves. "The driver" did this, "he" did that. One lone sane man...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Last week's Secret Theme questions

Can you figure out the themes in each group of 10 answers that link each group of otherwise unrelated trivia questions? Solutions will be posted later this week.

Ray's:

1) What civil rights leader coined the term "Black Power" in a 1967 speech?
2) Which Pennsylvania county has the highest average household income?
3) What highly successful 1975 movie is based upon a novel of the same title written by Peter Benchley?
4) According to the classic rock band Cream, where do the shadows run from themselves?
5) What TV advertising slogan is UPS currently using?
6) What character did Ron Howard play on Happy Days?
7) Despite popular belief, what drug-related phrase never appears in any of the Sherlock Holmes stories written by creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?
8) Who wrote Gone with the Wind?
9) What was a large portion of what came to be known as the State of Tennessee known as in the period 1784-1787?
10) Who published the abolitionist newspaper The North Star?

... and what's the theme?

Frank's:

1) In 1971, the folk-rock duo Brewer & Shipley had their only Top 40 hit with a song that went to #10 on the pop charts. Name it.
2) What vocal group, formed in Newark, NJ in 1955, had 30 Top 40 hits in the period 1962-1976?
3) What band's 1989 debut album was titled Pretty Hate Machine?
4) What 1984 film stars Molly Ringwold as Sam Baker?
5) What NFL star has the nickname "The President?"
6) What Philadelphia Eagles running back played his college ball at Villanova?
7) What 1966 novel features the character Oedipa Maas?
8) What Beatles song makes reference to three children named Vera, Chuck and Dave?
9) What group is Ralph "Sonny" Barger famously associated with?
10) In the US you dial "0" for the operator. What number do you dial in Britain?

... and what's the theme?

Group V/W dominates both venues

"V-dub in ze Haus!"
Last Tuesday night, the frequent Frank's champion and dynamic duo Group W made a rare appearance at Ray's, and won impressively, correctly answering all 10 questions of my difficult Baseball-themed Subject round. They only missed one question in the first four rounds of the game combined, and that only because I was a nit-picker in the Speed round about Bermuda not being a fully independent nation. They stumbled by comparison in the final two tough rounds, but still racked up an All-Time Top Ten high score (pictured off on the right-hand column there ->) and held off an impressive array of challengers.

Scores:

Beautiful Gold: Group W 173
So-So Silver: The Donnas 147
Shameful, Shameful Bronze: Kisses for Kittens 132

Also-rans:

Cosine of Four (-2) 126
P:Cages 106
Team Awesomest: Prepare to Lose 62

While I'm posting Ray's scores, I finally found the scores Deputy Dave left me from the first of the two weeks I was absent...

Beautiful Gold: Johnny Gloryhole 134
So-So Silver: Edward James Almost 101
Shameful, Shameful Bronze: The Other Team 58

It was great to see all of the new faces and a healthy turn-out at Ray's for the first time in a few weeks; let's build upon that momentum! I scored some great new prizes this weekend and am speaking with management there about improviong the bar-derived prizes. Things are good there now and will only grow better.

Dave from Group W returned to Frank's last Wednesday less than 24 hours after he and his better half kicked some serious butt at Ray's.

Beautiful Gold: Group V 176
So-So Silver: Einstein Disguised as Robin Hood 175
Shameful, Shameful Bronze: Richard Head 89

Also-rans:

Cameroon Diaz' Shrimp Taquioto Fiestay 83
Four Horsemen 64
Sicks, Sicks, Sicks 62
Latrobes* 20

* indicates team arrived late &/or quit

With the other half of W out owing to illness, Dave solicited the help of a couple of young female friends and flew under the moniker of Group V. (I took a photo of them which appears to have developed in the form of Pink Lady & Jeff. Go figure.) With Sofa Kingdom absent for the first time in a month, the stage was set for a Clash of Titans between V and Einstein Disguised as Robin Hood. Einstein took a big lead in the early rounds, nailing all 10 Qs in the Secret Theme as well as the theme itself. They had an 11-point lead headed into the Unreasonably Difficult round, meaning that Dave would need to get two more correct than Einstein in the final round to nip the team by a point...

... and that's exactly what happened! I thought EDaRH would cruise to victory when I tallied their 6 correct answers in that toughest of rounds, but Dave dug out a 1 point victory with an incredible 8 of 10 very challenging answers. Both teams rated scores on our All-Time Top Ten list. I'm just sorry Sofa Kingdom couldn't make it; that would've been a classic!

Monday, August 6, 2007

RIP Lee Hazelwood, Tom Snyder...

Via one of the weird music mailing lists I subscribe to, I've just learned the sad but inevitable news that the great Lee Hazelwood has passed. He had been seriously ill for the past few years.

An excellent pop/country writer, singer and producer, it'd be hard to pigeonhole the Hazelwood sound. Lush, haunting arrangements and a booming voice from a small guy. Hazelwood will probably best be remembered for penning Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Were Made for Walkin'." He was one heck of a songwriter, and was in the literally dying breed of professional American songwriters who, in the Woody Guthrie tradition, wrote songs to inspire good people stuck in bad situations, personal or sometimes social. Listen to the excellent album Nancy and Lee when you get the chance. They just don't write 'em like that anymore. Again, literally.

Check out this lyric to "No Train to Stockholm." Check out this arrangement of the original "Some Velvet Morning." You can keep your Dr. Dre, I'm sticking with my old Hazelwood records...

America also lost Tom Snyder in the past week. I think there was something very human and kind in his interview style. They'd never let a joke-cracking, chain-smoking affable conversationalist who actually conversed with his talk show guests on the air these days. Sigh... At least we can enjoy clips such as his great KISS interview (Part 1, Part 2) ... until someone sues YouTube and it disappears. Be sure to see these great clips of the man at work: Hitchcock, Rotten, Manson, Elton John, Lennon, Ali, a young U2, Cheech and Chong... who now do we have that would handle that range well?

Bergman and Antonioni are also gone now; Europe loses two pioneers. The cultural giants die off and leave the rats to pick at the crumbs.

QuizMaster Chris swag now on sale!!!

Unlikely as it seems, I've opened an online store at CafePress.com which will allow you to purchase a number of QuizMasterChris items, including a variety of tee- and sweatshirts, thongs, tote and messenger bags, etc. I'm making that link a permanent feature of the right-hand column of the page for easy future reference.

Thus you may show your support of the quiz and the bars which are kind enough to host these fine events each week. I don't handle the printing nor the shipping, the fine folks at CafePress do. I've used them for other products in the past and have been pleased with their materials and service. Shop early and often!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Two new quizzes this week!

I'm still struggling to get caught up with the site and everything else. Be assured there will be another two all-new quizzes this week, and that the site will be fully updated on Monday evening.

Tuesday, August 7th, 9pm
Ray's Happy Birthday Bar
1200 E. Passyunk Ave. (near 9th & Federal Sts.)
Subject Round: SCIENTISTS


Wednesday, Aug. 8th, 9pm
Dirty Frank's
13th & Pine Sts.
Subject Round: THE SIMPSONS

Friday, August 3, 2007

Sofa Kingdom won 3 weeks in a row at Frank's

Quizzo Bowl III champs and all-around quiz terrors Sofa Kingdom won 3 consecutive weeks at Frank's. As described below, they posted an awesome 180 the night I left for vacation, then came back the next week and topped that with a third best all-time score of 184 in a quiz I wrote and left behind. The third week Deputy Jim wrote his own quiz (I wrote a 6-rounder with the usual rounds but he wanted to try his own thing with that). I have no idea what that format was, but I see from the scores that these folks won easily.

This week they didn't show up, which was a real shame as the competition was fierce and I think they would've had a run for their money. More on that later... It occurs to me that SK have never lost at Frank's, and I believe are 5-0!

Scores from both weeks I was gone from Frank's:

Beautiful Gold: Sofa Kingdom 184
So-So Silver: Off the Wallers 168
Shameful, Shameful Bronze: Jimmy Grammy Kicks Ass 166

Also-rans:

The Sharks 151
Once a Loser, 10,000 Times a Loser 136
Chris Hansen's L.A. Lawsuit 130
Bugg Bugg Bi 113
Mother Father Chinese 80
Bike Messengers with T-Square 70

I might have gotten some of those names wrong as it's not my writing I'm reading... High scores! Those were 95% my questions to my understanding - have I gone soft, or has the Frank's crowd gotten better at this?

Jim wrote a 4-round quiz for the second week:

Beautiful Gold: Sofa Kingdom 77
So-So Silver: We and V 61
Shameful, Shameful Bronze: Booze Face No Disgrace 49

Also-rans:

Spider-Pig 48
Drunkards 42

Trying to catch up on blog entries...

I'm now 3-4 weeks behind in my blog entries, owing to the vacation. Let's try to rectify that. This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.

I don't seem to have the Ray's scores from July 10, or at least not handy. I recall that no records were set. My apologies for not having more info at hand.

The July 24 Ray's quiz was called off as there were only one or two teams. The July 17 quiz had a small turn out and some of my old MAGMA team won Deputy Dave's quiz handily. You folks missed out on some great questions! Dave writes a mean quiz.

The night I left, July 17 at Frank's, Sofa Kingdom won easily, scoring one of the highest scores ever in my format (note the list has been updated at right and there have been some big shake-ups). Scores from that night:

Beautiful Gold: Sofa Kingdom 180
So-So Silver: Lil' Roy Waller 155
Shameful, Shameful Bronze: Satan's Helpers 153

Also-rans:

Too Dirty Frank's 113
Stockholm, Skeezers & Craig 87
Lucky Balls 85
Andy* 84
Crumbsuckers 82
It Takes Two 79
My Girlfriend Works at Hooters... in the Kitchen * 69
Fat Kids Are Hard to Kiss 69
9-11 Was an Inside Job 54
Ell Steve* 38

* indicates team arrived late &/or quit

Kudos to Andy for arriving 2 rounds in, playing by himself and finishing in the middle of the pack!

More updates to come today and tomorrow!

Did I kill Michelangelo Antonioni?

The last post used a photo of actor David Hemmings (who already died a few years back, and was therefore immune), star of Antonioni's best-known film, Blow Up, along with some mock dialog from that film. A few hours later, Antonioni dies.

Appearing as quiz questions or on the blog seems to do that to people. In my very first professional quiz I appear to have killed Peter Boyle by making him a quiz answer. A few hours later, dead. Jerry Falwell went to Hell a few days after I asked a Liberty University question. Apparently I can harness this power for Good.

Now, I know this all a big coincidence and I'm the last person to believe in the hoodoo, but just in case I'm thinking of making Dick Cheney an answer next week.