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The Ideal Pub Quiz?! March 14, 2007

Posted by boltzmann in Uncategorized.

There are many variations of the pub quiz, and some are better than others. None, however, compare to the quiz at The Moon Under Water.

There is no prize money at this quiz, the organisers having long since abandoned it in favour of a charitable donation out of the pub’s own takings during the night (this being, of course, the most profitable night of the week at The Moon). You may regard this as a bad move, as there’s no point in attending a quiz if you can’t win anything; on the contrary, I am of the opinion that the lack of prize money encourages a much more light-hearted attitude within teams and allows everyone to enjoy themselves much more.

Once your team arrives at the pub, they will be shown to their table (which would have been booked during the previous week because the quiz is so popular, and rightfully so!).

There are nine rounds: eight rounds of ten questions each, split into two halves of 4 rounds, and a picture round (of ten pictures) to ponder during the interval. This gives a maximum of ninety points, brought up to 100 by the joker round.

The rounds are all named semi-cryptically, and teams are able to view the list of rounds at their table, choose which round to play their joker on, and decide on their team name before the quiz.

Before the quiz itself begins, teams give in their joker round choice to the quiz master, who then reads off the roll-call of team names (which are, of course, often topical and often hilarious).

Since the quiz is weekly, the rounds are varied and are different every week, with the exception of the first round (current affairs) and the final round (general knowledge).

Questions are asked clearly over the pub’s PA system, twice so that everyone gets to hear them properly, and are answered on the answer sheets (one sheet per round, all given out in one go at the beginning of the quiz). At the end of each round, the quiz master tours the pub to ask each team if they would like any questions repeated.

Teams then swap answer sheets to be marked, with half-points given for half-correct answers, and double points given for the team’s Joker round. Fear not, though, of draconian or inept marking, as all the answer sheets are then collected to be checked by the quiz master’s assistant during the next round. That being said, there’s no prize money anyway, and it’s all for charity, so everyone has lots of fun finding out if their answers were right.

In the middle of the pub there is a screen on which a computerised scoreboard grid is projected, with team names down the side and round numbers along the top. Teams can then check their results on the scoreboard and see how well they are (not) doing. The scorer rearranges the list of teams on the scoreboard after each round’s scores have been submitted, to show a true leader board. Teams who have not played their joker yet are highlighted.

After four rounds, the picture round is given out and the break begins. The picture round is not just “famous faces” every week! Sometimes it’s a set of close-ups of objects and sometimes the pictures are of landmarks or places. There are a variety of topics that can be covered by the picture round. Teams have enough time during the break to buy a round of drinks and contemplate the whole of the picture round. Finally, before the start of the second half, the quiz master gives a rundown of the scoreboard for those who cannot see it.

The picture round is gathered in after the final set of rounds and is added to the scoreboard, whereupon the quiz master gives a final rundown of the scores and announces the winner. Everybody goes home happy, having enjoyed themselves very much at the finest pub quiz in England.

So, I can almost hear you ask, where is The Moon Under Water? Well, as you may already have guessed, it does not exist except in my fevered imagination. I have yet to experience this utopian quiz.

The one at the Dolphin in Canterbury comes close, though …



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