Saturday, December 02, 2006

Bombay Quiz Club

The BCQC is holding a quiz in Pune tomorrow. Details can be found here. Some BQC members are meeting up at Dadar at 9:30 tomorrow morning and going down to Pune. If you wish to join us, get off at Dadar (E), walk straight down from the station to Cafe Coffee Day. If you wish to talk to any of us before coming to get a contact number, drop us a line at the group.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A great way to spend a Sunday morning

An excellent quiz took place at the YWCA this morning, conducted by Ravi Venkatesh. Ravi had 35 questions with him while Shamanth Rao, who had been supposed to co-quizmaster, had sent 30 more to Ravi, though he couldn't make it himself.

Thirteen people turned up and split into six teams, created by a drawing of lots, and the quiz was well-contested throughout. No team was ever out of the race, and it needed a tiebreaker to decide the winner: Vibhendu Tiwari and Shiju Thomas edged out AP Alagarsamy and Nandan Krishnaswamy on the tiebreak question. The results:

1st with 21 points (on tiebreaker)
Vibhendu Tiwari
Shiju Thomas

2nd with 21 points
AP Alagarsamy
Nandan Krishnaswamy

3rd with 19 points
Mukund Krishnan
Amit Varma

Joint 4th-6th with 16 points each
Dipankar Goswami
Samrat Sengupta
Meghna Sengupta

Raghu Gopalan

Arvind Krishnaswamy

The quiz was well-balanced, and not too heavy: there weren't too many connects, and the ones that were there weren't too convoluted, as can be the case sometimes. The quizzers finished the quiz not tired and desperate for rest, as sometimes happens, but refreshed and hungry for more. More will duly follow.

The league standings (updated from here) are below:

BQC Points Table (as of November 26, 2006)

Amit Varma: 33.5 from 5 quizzes

Anand Sivashankar: 22 from 3
Vibhendu Tiwari: 22 from 3

AP Alagarsamy: 21 from 3

Ravi Venkatesh: 20 from 4
Rishi: 20 from 5

The Invizible Man: 19 from 3

Nandan Krishnaswamy: 18.5 from 4

Sumant Srivathsan: 17 from 2.

Arvind Krishnaswamy: 13.5 from 4

Aadisht Khanna: 12 from 2

Rajiv Rai: 11 from 2

Amit Pandeya: 10 from 1
Milo and Minderbinder: 10 from 1
Dhoomk2: 10 from 1
Rohan Khanna: 10 from 1
Shiju Thomas: 10 from 1

Prasann: 9 from 2

Prasad Shetty: 7 from 1
Rohit: 7 from 1
Saurabh: 7 from 1

Naveen Venkarataman: 6 from 3

Pradeep Ramarathnam: 5.5 from 1
Souvik Basu: 5.5 from 1

Arjun Chatterjee: 4 from 1
Leslie Mathew: 4 from 1
Mukund Krishnan: 4 from 1
Sarat Rao: 4 from 1

(There are also many two pointers, whose names haven't yet been included in this listing for reasons of length.)

To recap, here are how the points are allocated. Each member of a winning team gets 10 points. There are 7 points each for second place, 4 each for third and 2 each for being in the finals. In case of a tie between positions, points are split. (For example, if two teams are tied for 2nd, they get 5.5 each.) The only exception is for the top spot, which we always try to decide with a tiebreaker.

At the end of the season, we don't take aggregate results, but results from the top 60% of total quizzes. So if there are 20 quizzes, everyone's best 12 results are taken into account. That way, no one is penalised for missing a few quizzes or starting the season late. So far this season we've had six quizzes, and I'm hoping we can get more regular and have 12 to 15 more by the middle of 2007.

And, er, if you're a casual reader who chanced upon this post and are curious about what quizzing is all about, do drop in on the next one. As any attendee would tell you, it's not intimidating in the least, and you'll have fun. Keep an eye on this blog for schedules and updates, or join the mailing list.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Bombay Quiz Club

We're holding a quiz on Sunday starting at 10:30 AM. The quizmasters are Ravi Venkatesh and Shamanth, so it willbe good. The early start is because one of the quizmasters needs to be elsewhere later. The venue is the YWCA in Colaba. Just get off at Regal, cross the road, walk past Cafe Royal and turn left.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bombay Quiz Club

The stars are not in alignment thsi weekend. Therefore, the quiz scheduled on the 19th has been cancelled and rescheduled to the 26th. The quizmaster has changed as well. Ravi Venkatesh will be doing the quiz in place of Naveen Unni. Venue details will be posted later.

Peace, and Cthulhu fthagn.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bombay Quiz Club

The next BQC quiz has been scheduled for 19th Nov, Sunday. (11.30 am)
Naveen Unni will quizmaster.
Venue : Cathedral High School, near VT station.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Call of Cthulhu

It was while perusing the papers of the late Francis Wayland Thurston that I first read of the strange and sinister events that nearly unleashed forces of ravening madness upon this Earth. We live in a fragile bubble of life, warmed by the comforting hearthglow of our ignorance, in which we select the facts we wish to see. There are those who knowingly pierce that bubble, exposing themselves to the horror that no human mind can comprehend and still stay sane. Thurston talks about the merciful inability of the human mind to correlate all the contents of the world. I, who in my unthinking folly, once prided himself in his skill at drawing linkages between apparently unrelated facts, concur. If I had not seen a curious convergence between the last attempt to free Cthulhu on 1 April 1926 and the formation of the Bombay Quiz Club, 80 years later to the very day, I would not now be plagued by nightmares of clammy terror, of vast dripping Cyclopean architecture, and always, waking or asleep, the guttural incantation:

Cthulhu fthagn

I present these facts in the hope that, forewarned, no other human being accidentally falls into the clutches of the monstrous Amit Varma or the cruel Dhoomk2.

Struck by the coincidence of the day on which the BQC was founded- 1 April, 2006- with the anniversary of those terrible events experienced by poor Thurston, I blithely decided to explore this odd and intriguing society. Little did I know of the yammering insanity of alien dimensions of eldritch dread that the Bombay Quiz Club hopes to set loose upon our world, so gay and defenseless amidst infinite echoing halls of blackness and evil, like a child’s laugh in some Torquemadan dungeon.

It is with curious reluctance that I set down these feeble words, so pitifully inadequate to describe the unspeakable abomination that is the BQC League table. The rituals of the BQC are centered around the Master of Ceremonies- and thus far, it has only been a Master. Some women have been involved in these atrocious deeds, but none has, as yet, stepped up to lead the Cult. These loathsome occasions involve an endless testing to weed out the weak from the Chosen, as the Master fires complex questions at the cultists, demanding an answer that will satisfy his unappeasable lust for intricate correlations between human domains of knowledge. The dark mania of these other-humans manifests itself in shrieks and groans of dismay, convulsive twitching as they clasp their heads in rabid attempts to extract the desired linkage, shocking outbursts of violent swearing, appeals to Crom; such is the tumultuous passion with which the participants get involved, that ordinary, everyday weapons like battleaxes and halberds are deposited outside the venue, that the hideous practices may continue uninterrupted. As I witnessed this, there began to grow upon me visions of Rl’yeh, glimpsed by a luckless few, enigmatically referred to in the Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abu al Hazred. Above all, past the spine-chilling cacophony of roars of triumph mingled with the wailing of the defeated, throbbed an insistent question- Why? What would motivate Rajiv Rai to connect a model of Ford, a breed of goat1, an island and an article of clothing? What spectral visions did Milo and Minderbinder seek to conjure up by linking theories of colour with Webern and a fine French painter? In an awful moment of coherence and utter illumination, I saw the execrable truth: not content to wait for the stars, in their aeons-long drift, to come into alignment, these quizzers seek to recreate the abnormal, non-Euclidean incubus that is R'lyeh in the minds of men. The strange angles, the alternate topography ne’er imagined, will become a stronger and stronger vision, a message of power that will penetrate Cthulhu’s endless sleep and resurrect It upon this earth. To the winners of the league will go the honour of being eaten first, while the rest of humanity plunges into shrieking torment for an age and an age.

Remember these names as the shreds of your sanity claw at the enveloping darkness to come, for it is they who will raise Cthulhu and end the shrill, brief history of our race:

BQC Points Table (as of Sep 29, 2006)

Amit Varma: 29.5 from 4 quizzes

Anand Sivashankar: 22 from 3

Ravi Venkatesh: 20 points from 4

The Invizible Man: 19 from 3

Rishi: 18 from 4

Sumant Srivathsan: 17 from 2.

AP Alargarsamy: 14 from 2

Aadisht Khanna: 12 from 2

Vibhendu Tiwari: 12 from 2

Arvind Krishnaswamy: 11.5 from 3

Nandan Krishnaswamy: 11.5 from 3

Rajiv Rai: 11 from 2

Amit Pandeya: 10 from 1

Milo and Minderbinder: 10 from 1

Dhoomk2: 10 from 1

Rohan Khanna: 10 from 1

Prasad Shetty: 7 from 1

Prasann: 7 from 1

Rohit: 7 from 1

Saurabh: 7 from 1

Naveen Venkarataman: 6 from 3

Pradeep Ramarathnam: 5.5 from 1

Souvik Basu: 5.5 from 1

Arjun Chatterjee: 4 from 1

Leslie Mathew: 4 from 1

Sarat Rao: 4 from 1

1. Surprisingly, not Shub Niggurath, the infernal black goat with a thousand young.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Much fun x 2

This is a report of two quizzes, one conducted by Rajiv Rai on October 8, and one by Arun Srinivas on October 29. Immense fun came in both of them, though there's not much new about that. Is there?

Rajiv's much-awaited quiz was superbly balanced and keenly contested, with all 17 participants taking part in the finals, if one may call it that, in five teams of three each and two lonely souls. Sumant Srivathsan, Anand Sivakumar and Arun Srinivas led from start to finish, eventually winning by a whopping margin of five points, 27.5 to the 22.5 of two other teams. The final results (and scores):

1] Sumant Srivathsan, Anand Sivashankar and Arun Srinivas (27.5 points)

2] Nandan Krishnaswamy, AP Alagarsamy and Souvik Basu (22.5)
2] Arvind Krishnaswamy, Pradeep Ramarathnam and Amit Varma (22.5)

4] Govind Grewal and Aadisht Khanna (20)

5] J Ramanand, Naveen Unni and Satyam (19)

6] Rishi Iyengar, Aditya Jalan and Ravi Venkatesh (17.5)

Arun's quiz on the 28th got a low turnout, perhaps because it came just after Diwali. Many who confirmed did not come, and redemption, I'm afraid, will not come easy for them. In any case, the quiz turned out to be quite a thriller, and was decided by a last-question buzzer. In brief, the results:

1] Rishi Iyengar and Amit Varma
2] Sumant Srivathsan and Naveen Unni
3] Arvind and Nandan Krishnaswamy

A post with the league standings, written by Rishi, will arrive duly.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The next BQC quiz

The next quiz of the Bombay Quiz Club will be on this Sunday[08 October]. Details below:

Venue: YWCA auditorium on Madam cama Road (next to Regal theatre, Colaba)
directions : get down at Churchgate station / VT , and take a taxi to Regal theatre.

Time: 11.30 AM.

Rajiv Rai is the quizmaster.

Monday, September 18, 2006

On an Old School Quiz (and running around naked)

Ok, the second part was just to trick the search engines, nobody ran around naked in the quiz

Apparently the convoluted directions were meant to keep out potential Darwin award winners... but after a lot of calling, querying and searching the participants managed to track down Cathedral High School.

In keeping with desire for high thinking, the room available for the quiz was on the top floor of the structure (it was a nice school although it reminded the author of priests with deep voices, and sundry punishments he had faced for various transgressions a long long time ago..)

All the effort was worth it, when we heard the answer to question 0 of elims.

Question 0 - What are the awards for the National Remodeling Industries called? or something similar - answer here

The elims started with two member teams ended with 6 4 member teams participating in the finals - comprising of the 6 top qualifiers and 2 members from the 'audience'.

Team 3(Dhoomketu, Naveen (Unni), Vibhendu, Anand) and Team 4 (Amit, Leslie, Sarat and Arjun) set the early pace, especially after cracking the theme in the connect round, with Team 1 (Rohit, Prasann, Saurabh and Ravi) playing catch up.

Naveen (V) had a brilliant crack for "Wellington radio personality Grant Kereama was treated as a hero in NZ in 2004, for something which was broadcast live, what was the funda? " The answer, he donated his kidney so that Lomu could return to the All Blacks - of course the answer was somewhat spoilt by 'someone' who added something about running around naked.

Overall a good quiz by Siddhartha Vaidyanathan and Pradeep Ramaratnam, although some of us were of the opinion that some of the trivia required for working the answers out was really arcane, but then again - you can never please everyone all the time, can you?

The quiz ended with a feast at Yoko's sizzlers. And to round it off, here is a question for you - Which one of the 2 quizmasters is slated to run around Juhu naked as a consequence of losing a bet on the famous 434 Aus SA match? (He said he would run nude on Juhu beach if SA won the match)

Watch this space for answers.

Standings at the end:

1st with 15 points: Dhoomketu, Naveen (Unni), Vibhendu, Anand
2nd with 15 points: Rohit, Prasann, Saurabh and Ravi
3rd with 14 points: Amit, Leslie, Sarat and Arjun
4th with 9 points: Sathya, Aswath, Vipul and (4th name not there)
5th with 7.5 points: Rishi, Shiju, Naveen (Venkataraman), Ashish
6th with 7 points: Arvind, Nandan, AP Alagarsamy, Satyiki

(scores courtesy Amit)

~ cross posted here

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The joys of quizzing

Often when I tell people that I'm going to a quiz or just returning from one, they groan and go, "Oh no, how boring." And I feel like picking up the nearest car and plonking it down on them and screaming, "It's not boring! You're boring! Boo!"

Many people have the impression that quizzing is about how much you know, and that questions like "What is the capital of Pretoria?" or "How many Maigret books did George Simenon write?" predominate. If you know it, you're cool. If you don't, it's boring. Well, it's not like that at all.

Quizzing, the kind I enjoy, is not about knowing stuff but about working out stuff: as Dhoomketu says in his post here, about "lateral thinking" and "problem solving." A good question is framed in such a way that even if you don't know the answer, you have a chance of guessing what it is. Typically, the question itself will have some clues. And that process is great fun, especially the Eureka moment when you crack a question, or even hear the answer.

J Ramanand, the former Mastermind winner, made three great posts on it which are recommended reading if you enjoy quizzing, much of it reproducing a primer written by the genial Pune quizzer, Niranjan Pednekar. Check them out: 1, 2, 3. As an example of what I mean by a good quiz question, let me take an example from the first of those posts:
This product was originally called 'Bib label lithiated'. To rename it, six alternative names were considered. What is it called now?
Now, chances are you won't know the answer to this. (I didn't when I first heard it.) But can it be worked out? Look for clues in the question: the most important information it contains is that 'Bib label lithiated' was one of seven names considered for the product. Seven? Eureka moment: Could it be 7 UP? And indeed, that's the answer.

As Niranjan writes, consider how boring the question would have been if framed thus: "What was 7-up called initially?" No way of working that out if you don't know it.

And that's why a good quiz can be so much fun: if it contains 60 questions, that's 60 problem-solving exercises for you, often in collaboration with one or two or three other people. You also get to see the way other teams solve these problems, and even if you don't win, the intellectual stimulation it provides is worth the few hours you spend at a quiz.

While I've been doing much of my quizzing in Pune, over the last few months much activity has taken place around the Bombay Quiz Club. We have two interesting quizzes coming up (Armageddon, which I won three years ago thanks entirely to my choice of partner, and a sports/entertainment quiz), and you can see some reports of past quizzes here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. If you're in Mumbai and wish to check out what it's all about, drop in at any of our forthcoming quizzes: the Bombay Quiz Blog will generally have latest details, as will our mailing list, which you're welcome to join.

I shall end this with an easy trivia question that I'm sure you will work out: Sometime in early December 2004, J Ramanand became the first person to blogroll two particular blogs. One of them was The Middle Stage. Name the other one.

Cross-posted on India Uncut.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

BQC quiz on 17th

Ladies, Gentlemen and boys,

The next instalment of the BQC has been confiemed. Details as follows ...

Venue : Cathedral high school , Colaba.
(Thanks to Arvind K for fixing the venue) Instructions on how to get there will follow in a couple of days ...

Time and date : September 17th , Sunday. 11 am to 3 pm...

Quizmaster details will follow in a couple of days ...

Pencil it in your calendars; attendance compulsory (as usual)


Sunday, August 27, 2006


This is from the mailing list:

Sinister shadows shroud the World,
Death-knell signal doom,
No magic shall shield thee,
Sheer knowledge be thy saviour.
Let the war begin.....

Armageddon-2005 witnessed a congregation of the best business quizzing brains from across the country. The onstage finale saw Amit Pandeya (QuestaSoft) and Kiran K (Qualteam) vanquishing the likes of Mitesh Agarwal and Ajay Kasargod (Sun Microsystems / WYSE Technologies), Rohan Khanna and Gajendra Kothari (Accenture / UTI AMC), Gururaj and Vijay (JWT / JP Morgan), G Sreekanth and Sabyasachi (TCS) and Arvind Khusape and Aniruddh (SBI / SIES) to clinch the coveted title.

The torchbearers of hardcore biz quizzing are back with Armageddon 2006, and promise to unleash a whole new world of knowledge excellence.

The quiz will comprise of a Written Elims from which the Top 6 teams will go through to the Finals.

Following are the details:

Date & Time:
10th September at 12 noon

Team Members:
Two per team
(A Team can comprise of participants from two different institutions / organisations)

Entry Fee:
Free for students and Rs. 150 per team for corporates

Mulund College of Commerce
Sarojini Naidu Road,
Mulund (W), Bombay - 400080

First - Rs. 25000
Second - Rs. 15000
Third - Rs. 10000

Spykar gift vouchers worth Rs. 5000 to all teams in the finals.

For further details:
Samruddhi - 09833524561 or

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Readers Shop Quiz

Quizzing, quizzing everywhere... not a question in sight...

After what seemed like a drought, there came the oasis bang in the middle of the desert. 2 quizzes in 2 weeks seemed like manna from heaven and the group promptly convened at a quaint little place called "The Readers Shop" in Santa Cruz for a "mostly Literature" quiz to be conducted by William Shakespeare... err... sorry... Pradeep Ramarathnam.

The ambience of the venue just added to the quiz as the contenders sat around in cane chairs or on the mats lying on the floor to answer the prelims. Questions included the names of a lovely Portuguese princess connected to monkeys, a famous elegy, a fictional town which has given readers plenty of joy and some googlies along the way.

Prelims were done and the BQC members strolled around the shop, browsing through the sizable collection and awaiting the results... 6 teams made it to the finals, where it was revealed that Godot had finally arrived in Czechoslovakia. While some considered making the pilgrimage to meet him, others battled Col. Kurtz and lit bonfires to put out human vanities...

At the end of the ritual, when the smoking pipe had been exhausted, Amit and Aadisht had created a Guinness Record for holding their breath for the maximum length of time, as they saw the quizmaster ask question after question and their lead being cut down to a grand total of 1. Runners-up were Rajiv and Ravi who were hungry for more questions, but had to settle for vadas and samosas. Third place went to Rishi and myself, with Rishi wishing he had one more chance to light a fire...

All finalists were given complimentary gifts and the coffee was brought out to celebrate an enjoyable evening...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What is a good quiz question?

This from inquizitive mailing list:

Dear all,
following a recent post with five questions, I replied to the quizmaster with my suggestions regarding the style of the question. I thought I'd share my opinion with all of you too, and have taken the permission of my original correspondent.
The example question was originally put as:
> Which modern technology is named for a 10th century Danish king?
I suggested that it might be re-written taking into account this King's ancestry (being the son of King Gorm the Old), or the name of his wife (Gunnhild), or that the conflict with the German Holy Roman Emperor caused him to build the Danawirk fortifications, or that he was responsible for spreading Christianity, or that he was also technically King of Norway, or that his bones are still preserved walled up in a pillar at the cathedral at Roskilde, or that he met his death during a rebellion led by his own son.
Or one could mention something about the "modern technology" - for instance that the identifying logo is based on the runes of the King's initials, or that it was pioneered by a Swedish company, or that it was inspired more by the potrayal of the historical King in the Swedish novel Red Orm (later editions translated the title as The Long Ships) etc.
The core question might well stay the same, but the quizzing I knew and loved during my college days was full of trivia which promoted lateral thinking. Even if I wouldn't be able to answer a question, my interest would be piqued and I would tend to learn more - then and later - than if a dry fact were sought.

I completely agree. The joy of answering a question from clues is a victory of problem solving over knowledge. While one of the joys is getting to know some trivia or connection as part of the question or the answer (as pointed out in the mail above), there is also the joy of inspired guesswork based on some clue which sparks off a lateral connection in your mind.

Let me illustrate through an example. In the last BQC quiz that I attended, Gaurav had a theme round. 6 questions, the answers of which all connected to one common theme.

The answer to the first question was Mirabai and the answer to the second question was Comedy of Errors. This is when another team got the answer. We had to go for the theme at that moment itself and risk getting -2 points. However, unless we went for it, the other team would have taken the lead from us. My philosophy of quizzing these days is go for it. I did.

I knew that Comedy of Errors had been made into Angoor in the 70s. Sanjeev Kumar acted in it. However, I could not imagine what connection Sanjeev Kumar had with Mirabai. Hence, I went to Mirabai. The piece of trivia I knew about her was that M.S. had acted in the movie. However, I could not find any connection with Angoor. Somewhere in my stomach Gulzar came up. Some quiz question somewhere. Gulzar probably directed Meera. I don't know why. Then, I realised that he could have been the director of Angoor. Then I realised that he probably is. Since it was Gaurav, it had to be a popular culture connection.

I wrote Gulzar. It was correct. All because of some lateral connection.

Anyway, the question now is what makes a good quiz question? Two things we have talked about are:
  1. Should have clues which enable 'working out', lateral thinking, problem solving...
  2. Should be enriching - have interesting facts, make people find out more about a book, a film, an event in history. I remember reading Umberto Eco due to quizzes I attended in school. The way to do this is to make the question a reflection of ourselves, our tastes.
I can think of one more criteria:
This question should not be too long and definitely should not be a string of factoids. Any question which takes more than 30-45 seconds to tell is probably too long. Any more and it reflects either of two things: a) the quizmaster is lazy not to frame the question properly and thus rattles a huge set of facts. b) the quizmaster hasn't been able to prioritise properly and thus presents all the facts.

What else? By the way, are these criteria correct? And don't you think I have way too much time?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Uno What?

Bombay Quiz Club

After the longest time, the Bombay Quiz Club reconvened with many fresh faces, none of which had been illegally modified to evade the law. Driven by vicious pro-Housie, anti-quizzing sentiments, we moved from the outskirts of Mumbai to the YWCA's excellent facilities in suburban1 Colaba. There were 25 extremely enthusiastic people. Evidently our public martyrdom has attracted many people to our cause.

The quizmaster was that well-known public servant Gaurav Sabnis. The quiz was intended to be a solo event; indeed, the prelims were attempted individually. But then, in order to ensure maximum participation, we decided that the top 6 scorers should pick a team for the finals. Everyone qualified.

The finals comprised more than 50 questions, both AV and dry, with a decided emphasis on Hindi/movies, local mythology and cricket. It was a closely contested quiz till the very end, until Dhoomk2, Naveen Venkataraman and Rohit Bhat emerged victorious, proudly waving their bloodstained standard above a mound of bodies2. Aadisht, Sanjeev and Kartik and Amit Varma and team also did well, cracking some tricky visual connects. Some good questions involved a combative chief from an Asterix comic, some unusual books in a very strange library and three award-winning movies which we know for different reasons.

More than half of our horde, ravenous and exhausted, then completed the afternoon's ceremonies by consuming roast oxen- or at least, truly enormous steaks- in Cafe Royal. It is possible that the vegetarians had the better deal: their sizzlers contained some intriguing looking mushrooms. Here's a picture of us at lunch:

All pictures courtesy of India Uncut, Pieter Brueghel, Goscinny and Uderzo.

1. At the behest of some members, the bits of Colaba that are more northerly than other bits have been defined as suburbs.
2. This is only partially true. That is, the parts that are true are the parts that are not about body parts.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Directions to reach SOM, IIT Bombay.

Hi All,

Me back with the directions - this time to the Shailesh Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay.

1. Central Railway Line (applies to outstation participants):

Take a slow train towards Thane and get down in KanjurMarg on the Eastern Side.
The venue is around 4 kms from the Railway Station. So hop onto an auto.

2. Western Railway Line (applies to participants from town):

Change at Dadar and follow Route 1.

3. From North Bombay (Borivali / Kandivali)

BEST Bus - 398 (if you want to enjoy your ride through Aarey Colony), 498 (if you want to enjoy the bumpy ride on JVLR), 461, A-461.


Time and date : 11th June, Sunday, 10.30 am
Venue : Foyer, Shailesh Mehta School, IIT Mumbai, Powai

Thursday, June 08, 2006

AV Quiz this weekend ...


Am just confirming the Av quiz this weekend. A big thanks to Sadanand and the IIT Bombay guys for hosting us this weekend ...

Time and date : 11th June, Sunday, 10.30 am

Venue : Foyer, Shailesh Mehta School, IIT Mumbai, Powai

Teams of two.

In case, you have problems reaching the venue, contact : 98118 01913

Can you guys send a confirmation mail to me, so that i can make the copies, improvise on rounds accordingly ...

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Notification for last weekend's quiz was to be put up on the blog by Milo and Minderbinder. He forgot. It's amazing how inspite of this, 10 (hardcore at best and jobless at not their best) quizzers turned up at Prabhadevi for the Rohan Murarka quiz at 4:30 on Sunday evening.

Then we waited, at the terrace, for the Quiz Master. When the wait lasted for fifteen minutes and fifty bad puns, we called up Rohan who said that he was at Dadar. Then we waited for twenty more minutes. Water was had. Coke was hand. Coke ran out, then water ran out as well. Rohan would have reached Worli considering how late it was getting. The Saint was threatening to run towards the Grand Prix.

Then suddenly Rohan was spotted down below (we were at the terrace) and soon we started quizzing.

Much fun came through the mix of workable questions, a lot of which were answered by educated guesses. One question which foxed us a lot was this old man who was Rohan's favourite (we didn't ask why). Try guessing...Back to the quiz, it was a close affair in the end, made remarkable by the fact that all of us got to eat crunchy granola bars in the middle (joy of quizzing in a stocked up house). Amongst other questions, the opera which got inspired by a play on Parisian artists in 1890s and what came from "when you peel off the fake ____, you will get the real ____" were appreciated. Rohan will hopefully send us some of the better questions for this post - soon.

In the end, Milo and I won by 2 questions margin and three teams - the Saint & Rishi, Amit & Leslie, and Vibhendu, Ashish & Samrat (the cricket expert and super sub, who was expertly prevented from answering a cricket question by Amit) close behind (probably not in that order) separated by half a question each.

Then, to celebrate a quiz well made, we decided to do what we do best - give bumps to the quizmaster.
Anyone else willing to host or master a quiz, please let us know at our mailing list!

Monday, May 29, 2006

The first BQC AV - entertainment quiz !

Following Rohan's quiz yesterday, am planning to do a quiz on the 11th of June (thats 14 days from today).

And in a break with the general quizzes we have been doing, I am planning to do an all audio-visual entertainment quiz spanning literature, music, movies and art.

As regards the venue, there are a few options, and will confirm in a few days time.

Guys, confirm over mail / coments if you will be coming.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Mahaquizzer 2006 - Directions to Sophia College

Hi All,

In case some of you are wondering as to how to reach the venue for Mahaquizzer,2006 in Bombay, here is what you need to do:

Mail from: Ashwan to the BQC:

The venue for Mahaquizzer in Mumbai will be the Sophia College Science auditorium.

You can get there via train or by bus.

The nearest station on the Western line is Grant Rd. Station; and you take bus 155 fromthere to Peddar Rd.

The nearest staion on the Central line is Bycullaand you take bus no. 63 (I think!.)
Bus 28 from CST will also drop youoff at Peddar Rd. but is quite infrequent.

Sophia College is on a lane between the roads that house JaslokHospital (Peddar Rd) and Breach Candy hospital (Bhulabhai Desai Rd.)

The lane is right next to Sterling apts (if you're coming via PeddarRd) or the turn at the Raymond showroom (on Bhulabhai Desai Rd)Registration can be done at the venue, but you'll have to arrive by9:30am.

Date of contest: Sunday, 21 May 2006
Time: 1000hrs -1130hrs at all venues
No entry feeOpen to all (above the age of 12)


Saturday, May 13, 2006

May 14 and May 21

May 14: 8 of us are taking a car/cars to Pune at 8 am tomorrow from Dadar on the way to a quiz called Amnesia. Call us in case you really want to make it. Quiz details below:

"Amnesia 2006"
aka TQFKAM (The Quiz Formerly Known As Mensa)
* Two member teams (Dogs and infants are allowed as third members if they promise to keep quiet)
* No entry fees (For all those six feet under, or otherwise)
* Open to all (But the right to admission reserved by PSPL security guards)
* Prizes (Cash if I get kind, else remember Geeta)
Where? At the hair-raising Dewang Mehta auditorium of PSPL
When? Sunday, May the 14th (Mass eliminations begin at 12:00 PM; Finals at 2:00 PM)

May 21: We all are meeting at Mahaquizzer at Sophia College at 10:30 am for a 90 minutes of written activity. It may or may not be followed by a quiz party. Hoping to see a lot of you there. Mahaquizzer details here.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Alea iacta est

We came, we saw and we got a Google group. We will keep the discussion going on venues, menus, timings, topics, sponsors and taxis to Pune on it. Please do join, if you want to find out about Quizzing in Bombay.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Never mind the bollocks...

... here's the Bombay Quiz Club! After many quizless years in Mumbai -- we shall not count the countless business quizzes -- the Bombay Quiz Club held its first quiz, with Dhoomketu, one of the BQC winners in a quiz in Poona last weekend, conducting it. We met at the In Orbit Mall in Malad, and there were a few people down from Pune as well. Seven teams of three members each took part in the final, and the quiz was dreadfully close, with three teams tied after 58 of the 60 questions, and two of them then answering a question each to finish joint winners. Here's the scoresheet:

We didn't take down the names of all those who took part, so I can't announce the names of the winners to a virtual drumroll. That reflects the easy informality of the quiz: there was no stage, no screen, and we all sat around Dhoomketu as he read out the dry questions. There were many visuals, and at each such question the teams would sprint to Dhoomketu's table to occupy the valuable real estate in front of it and gaze intensely at his laptop screen. Elbow pokes happened, toes were stepped on, groins were kneed: who says quizzing is not a physical sport?

I exaggerate, of course. The only time physical violence entered our minds was when an officious manager of the mall came and asked us to get lost, and to conduct our "business meeting" elsewhere. We argued that were just a bunch of friends sitting together, and what we did was none of his business as long as we disturbed no one else and ordered lots of food and drink, which we continuously did. He was unconvinced, but we were adamant, and insisted on speaking to his boss. "Give me your card," I bluffed madly at one point, "and you will hear more on this matter from Mr Raheja himself." When reason don't work, flex muscle. He did leave us alone then for long enough to finish the quiz.

So while we had a lot of fun, we really need to sort out regular venues, much like they have in Poona, where they use the Boat Club for informal gatherings and the PSPL auditorium for proper quizzes. Suggestions will be welcome.

I end with a group pic of all those who took part (except me, taking the pic; Dhoomketu is in the middle, holding the scoresheet). Aren't we a happy bunch? Such is the joy of quizzing. Come next time.

(Click on pics to enlarge.)

Update: Dhoomketu's account of the quiz is here, as are a few questions.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Directions to reach InOrbit Mall:

Address: Inorbit Malls India (Pvt.) Ltd., Mindspace, Link Road,Malad (W), Mumbai – 400 064.


2 kms away from S.V. Road
3 kms away from the Western Express Highway

Close to the Malad Bus depot
2 kms from Oshiwara Bus Depot



Take the Western Railway local train (preferably a Borivali slow) to Malad Station and then an auto to InOrbit (2kms from Malad station)

Quiz on March 30

The official news is that quiz will happen. At 10:30 on Sunday morning, which might mean that everybody has to wake up a little early (especially those coming from Pune).

The venue is still being decided and these are but teething troubles (Quatrainman and others have assured us of help in getting places in wonderful literary institutions soon). However, how can we wait now that the questions are ready?

By the way, the front-runners for the venue are:
1) A place in Lower Parel known for its pricey starters and affinity to games, which it shows on a large screen
2) A large mall in a suburb which has a large food court but might be insanely crowded on Sundays.
3) A place in someone's house at Prabhadevi
4) A lawn in a wonderful literary institution somewhere close to Hiranandani

Voting is in progress and news will be out soon. You know the mail ids and phone numbers to contact.

Update: Venue decided - Huge Food Court, Inorbit Mall, Malad. The boys will be wearing kurtas.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Quiz results from Pune

After two last-minute drop outs, four of us made it to Pune for Gaurav and Sarika's quiz.

After a fairly close quiz, 2 of us won, thus registering the first victory for the Bombay Quiz Club. To celebrate that victory and to allow some Pune teams to come and return the favour, we have postponed our open quiz by a day.

The First Bombay Quiz Club Open quiz (2-3 member teams) will happen on April 30, Sunday morning.

Watch this space for time and venue details.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Quiz in Pune, Taxi from Bombay

Gaurav Sabnis is doing a quiz in Pune on April 23rd.

My only experience with Pune quizzing was not that great, but that might have been because of our state. That was two years ago.

However, I do remember that the structure of the questions were innovative. Example:
"Matthew Hayden, Jennifer Capriati, Courtney Love, Lisa Marie Pressley and two others connected to Friends as one of the answers to a six-part visual question."
Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa, Matt and David....

Workable, but not on a hangover!

Anyways, I am going again and so is he and he. Maybe more as well. Please write in to me or Amit, or leave a comment. We will take attendance next week. The trip itself should be fun.

P.S. Looks like we will be able to pull a Bombay Open Quiz on 29th. Venue is still undecided. So, are quizmasters, though Milo and NU have expressed mild interest.

If someone can offer a classroom, hall somewhere (or even a large room), we will be obliged.

Friday, April 07, 2006

About the club

Time to let the world know about the club. We were sent a list of questions by a magazine, which makes our job easier. Now we know what you want to find out.

Who are you?
We are a bunch of quizzers, who have taken part in quizzes across the country. Most of us are in our twenties, though some of us look back wistfully at that time.
We have won and conducted a lot of quizzes in many cities - Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad. However, Bombay, where we stay doesn't have a quiz club as of now. Hence, this effort to bring quizzers together and quiz.

If you could just clarify how your quiz club works. According to your blog, you fix a date and time to meet and quiz away.
We quiz in person, always. We fix up a date, time and venue via the blog (it is generally close to where we work/ stay) and through phone calls and then meet on that day to quiz. We are always on the lookout for venues. So, if you have a classroom, room, hall, let us know.

We can also hold quizzes for your organisation (school, college, corporation).

When and where do you meet?
Anytime we can find 4-5 people at a place. However, we would most likely meet on Saturday afternoons. We are open to people hosting quiz parties in other times (as long as they promise decent food/ beer!)

So i'm a little confused by your list of "dry questions". Does this mean that you quiz both online and when you meet?
The dry questions are generally from the last quiz we have done, for the members and other people who could not attend. We can also occasionaly, post questions which we have come across in other blogs or researched ourselves, but can't wait to tell the world about it.

How do you come up with questions? Surfing the net? Reading? Some of them are pretty obscure.
Before we answer that, we need to tell you about our brand of quizzing.

The kind of quiz we do is based on problem solving and not knowledge. The idea behind a question is to give facts and clues so that the quizzers can work out the answer. Let me demonstrate.
i) One of the questions in our first quiz was about an area which was named after an Englishman colonist and after Latin for woods. Now, a quizzer will look at the time (1681) and Charles 2 to work out that the area is most likely in US - so the answer is most likely some American city or state. Now the job is to find which one.
ii) It can't be famous New York, Philadelphia or Los Angeles as they have different origins (Amsterdam then York, Brotherly love and City of Angels). Now, one quizzer will probably run through different cities, while his teammate will look at other clues.
iii) Hence, a quizzer will look at other clues. Latin for woods makes is a clue. What are the other things a quizzer has heard about woods? One is Flora (can it be Florida? no, it has Spanish origins). How about Sylvan (Pennsylvania, yes)?
iv) The quizzers will round off the answer. Yes, William Penn was a famous colonist. It has to be Penn-Sylvania.

This kind of research for questions, by the way, happens all the time. When we read books, watch movies, listen to music, watch TV. Different quizzers have different way of making questions. One way which is common is that the moment we hear something interesting, we write it down. Then, before a quiz, we look at our notes and construct questions (find additional clues/ info in wikipedia for example). Quizzing ultimately is a great way to get to know the world a little deeper.

How do you go about getting attendees? Are most of them from among your friends? Is your club is open to all those interested?
We are open to all (though in our first meeting, 3 out of 6 were colleagues!!). The plan is to create a quizzing culture in Bombay.

We plan to meet once every four weeks, as of now. We would either hold a quiz party (everyone brings 10 questions) or an open quiz. We can hold topical quizzes (entertainment, literature, sports, India) as well as general quizzes. We all do it for love of quizzing. Hence, if you want to fall in love with this activity, let us know.

Do you refer to each other by your blog names or your real names?
We prefer to be known by blog names. This is for various personal and professional reasons. Obviously, you will get to know us in person and know our real names. Please do not reveal in comments and posts about this club.

Who are the founding members? Whose palms do I have to grease to get in?
Really speaking this club was founded on April 1. The quizzers who attended were Amit, NU, Milo minderbinder, Pangalactic Quizblaster, AD and I. Gaurav couldn't (but he pointed out Amit to us). Abhijit said he will but couldn't. Prostetnic Vogon and Saint expressed interest but couldn't attend, but they are responsible for having a venue outside of Prabhadevi (but they were responsible for creating excitement by mentioning the club in Delhi). You can call all of us the founding members. Though if you find us, you can join the finding member's club as well.

No palm greasing. Just bring in 10 questions. Better still host a quiz.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It happened

I got this mail from Saint, who actually asks, "did the meeting happen or was it an April first joke?"

Coverage about it happening is here. As for my 2 bits is concerned, Amit, Pangalactic quiz blaster, Milo etc., NU and Aniruddha attended. Prostetnic Vogon and the Saint promised that they will, but didn't. Gaurav had to drop out to attend to pressing things like packing for Lucknow while Abhijit was caught up at work. I am talking about the first quiz-meet of the Bombay Quiz Club.

Three of us (Mino, NU and I) landed up at Tea Center at 12:45 for the 12:30 which by quizzing standards is dot on time. Soon, we realised that we didn't tell anyone how we looked or how they could have spotted us. Instantly, we realised again that it doesn't matter as nobody else had laptops and notebooks open, in true geek repose.

By the time, everyone turned up, it was 1:15 and we had a good two-hour long quiz session. Fifty questions were asked and a great number were answered. Much ice tea, muffins, sandwiches and other assorted items was consumed.

However, the best part was when we agreed that we will meet again on April 29 for the quiz. More people are likely to attend. Amit will get in touch with a few of his friends to get us a classroom soon. Incidentally, we are also planning to visit Pune in April 22 for an open quiz that is being held there. "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful ..."

Six of my dry questions are here:
1) Films starring Shah Rukh Khan has got nominated for the Oscars three times – Paheli, Devdas and _________. ______ also had Naseeruddin Shah in a small but pivotal role and marked the debut of Atul Kulkarni in a role originally written for Mohan Gokhale, who died before the shooting of the movie. What?

2) The original, hitting the market in 1964, was similar in size to existing competition, had a much increased articulation range. Rising oil prices in 1977 made the producers reduce the size by one-third, which did not fly with the customers. Hence, in 1978, the production stopped completely. However, in 1984-85, after the success of Star Wars, the production started again in an even smaller version (one-third the original). This however was a great success. What is this?

3) The first word in its technical name is taken from Greek, and literally means "passing through", or "siphon“. This was coined by Aretaeus (81–133 CE) of Cappadocia. Thomas Willis in 1675, added mellitus to the name (Greek mel, "honey", sense "honey sweet"). Chinese tested for this by observing ants, while Europeans in the Middle Ages tasted it (not this) themselves. What are we talking about?

4) King Charles II of England had a large loan with X's father, after whose death, King Charles settled by granting X a large area on March 4, 1681. X called the area Y (Latin for woods), which Charles changed to Z in honor of the elder X. X had hoped that Z would be a profitable venture for himself and his family. X marketed the colony throughout Europe in various languages and, as a result, settlers flocked to Z. Despite Z's rapid growth and diversity, the colony never turned a profit for X or his family. In fact, X would later be imprisoned in England for debt and, at the time of his death in 1718, he was penniless. Identify X, Y and Z.

5) Whose achievements are we talking about?
Kataran Medal of Courage (Kataran is country located between Libya and the Sultanate of Bhotai); Honorary 1996 Olympic U.S. Pole Vaulting Team Member; Cyrenian Order of Merit; Honorary Member of the University of Kentucky Geology Department; Jump Certificate (skydiving) from Montana; Two years of German at High School; High School Baseball Team; Black Belt in Karate

6) What are there a type of?
Sizzling Sally
Old Smokie in New Jersey
Old Sparky in Florida, Texas, New York, Louisiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and Georgia
Yellow Mama in Alabama
Gruesome Gertie in Louisiana

Mail me your answers at . Also, drop a line or leave a comment with contact details if you want to attend the next quiz.

This entry is cross-posted at 22nd floor.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Final Details of First Quiz Meet

After looking at comments and a couple of mails, it seems like 11 am is too early for most. Hence, here are the details for the first quiz meet.

Venue: Tea Center, Churchgate (It's quieter)
Time: 12:30 pm
Format: Everyone brings 10 questions (any format, audio, video, visuals, dry)
  1. Decide on how to take Bombay Quiz Club forward (including deciding a better venue)
  2. Have fun while quizzing on 'original' quiz questions.
In case of any questions/ confirmations/ requests to hold on for a minute while you arrive with refreshments in tow, call Milo at 9833115875 or Dhoomketu at 9811801913.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

First Quiz on April 1

Plan is to meet at 11 am or so and quiz.

The time, venue and format is still up for debate.
The options for the format are:

1) Lone-Wolf/ Team Quiz (if there are more than 20 confirmed participants) - Prelims followed by Finals
2) Quiz Party - Everyone brings in 10 'original'* questions and we have questions with beer.

The 2nd option seems more feasible for the first quiz meeting. Send in your comments/ suggestions/ confirmations.

Also, current choices for venue are Cafe Mondegar and Tea Centre. If anyone can offer a better quieter place, it would be nice.

We have 6 confirmed attendees. We think it's a start.

* original here stands for new, researched, factual questions which you can legitimately call your own. It's nicer that way.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

First Entry

Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its own existence. If superior creatures from space ever visit earth, the first question they will ask, in order to assess the level of our civilization, is: "Have they discovered evolution yet?"*

Till the time we work out the reason for our own existence, we will ask ourselves questions. That's why we are here.

* first lines of Selfish Gene.