Friday, June 13, 2008

Sloppy Seventh

Disturbing the Tumbleweed Down Peace

Howdy. It's been a quiet time around these here parts, as someone or three pointed out at the weekend. That's because I've found that writing questions for a living, and furiously, and in many ways completely pointlessly preparing for the World Quizzing Championships - jeez, too much learning of obscure pre-20th century artists and African and Arabic novelists - resulted in a refocussing of my undivided attention upon the faint chance of victory, or far more realistically a Top 5 spot. It didn't quite work out as the results bear out, though looking back whilst dosed up with a bigger measure of reality, 7th was more than reasonable.

Of course, there were self-inflicted reasons as to why I didn't do as well as I could have, the most important of these being not actually sleeping the night before due to my screwed-up circadian rhthyms and heinously early train times; getting the 5.45am Chesterfield express was my only option. But that was my own idiot fault for not making more sleep-fulfilled arrangements. And not living in London. And imitating the vampire lifestyle, without the murderous blood lust. If you want to wreck your usual powers of recall, there's nowt like the despair of devastating insomniac fatigue preceded by the fear the mind will go utterly blank during the crucial two hours of reckoning.

But truth be told, I didn't commit any shameful errors - the kind that haunt every waking and dozing moment for all time - and that any DOH! mistakes came from not reading the question thoroughly enough. I adopted my usual Billy Whizz approach, doing each paper in 15 minutes and only scanning the questions for keywords - oh yeah, that's how I roll, in the name of needless inefficiency - then going back to clear up any terrible messes I left behind: the first question on the Entertainment round being one. First I put Lionel Richie, oh dear, then The Supremes, you silly spam javelin, then finally, The Commodores, thank God for that. This said technique is something I must change. It's too hasty, well obviously, which means I miss the emergent clues in a thoroughly stubborn manner, the colour blindness question being one pertinent blaring in my brain example.

Thankfully, my going over old WQC papers like an obsessed maniac solidified my Papp and Perec answers, though in the latter case I was wondering whether it was a trick question and instantly put Brisco-Hooks, before realising things can and do come up again and again and this was no different. Nice to see the obligatory Ingmar Bergman question make its near annual appearance too. Unfortunately, I didn't do the same on the Teotihuacan question, see WQC 2005, putting Chichen Itza which annoyed me in extremis. I mean, I was all over the Mayan cities in my prep: Tikal, Copan, Palenque, Uxmal, and the only one that mattered was summarily ignored in the weeks running up to the competition.

Anyhoo, congratulations must be afforded to annual, one-time Sussex player Mark Bytheway: newly crowned Champion of the World, and also to Ronny Swiggers for getting the highest aggregate score. But my heartiest lot of congrats goes to Tero. Definite future world champ material, being a relatively young 'un an' all. He's improving fast and very impressively so.

PS Broken Hearts didn't do too badly either, as Nic pointed out. Five in the global top 20, as well as occupants of the 4-to-8 berths in the UK Top 20. Our team ain't too shabby. Was thinking about writing how we will crush all our enemies and grind them into dust for years, nay generations to come, but that sounds a bit Genghis Khan-y, and wouldn't do at all.

Yes, I know I am being disingenuous. But that's just me. To the very last.


Blogger Vinod said...


I'd just like to point you to one of India's oldest and most famous Quizzing groups, the Quiz Foundation of India (Chennai).

We finally have a quiz blog, which we try and update with daily questions. Do visit!


4:07 AM  

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