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.