Wednesday, September 17, 2008



(Apologies for the CAPS)

For those who who might not know, my two-part 1002-question big enormous email quiz is ready (and has been ready for quite some time) to go.

Lest you fear! I will be emailing previous participants of The Blockbuster, Behemoth, Colossus and Monster and kindly asking them if they would like to take part (and not because I want to emotionally blackmail and extort money from them in as pleasant and as reasonable a manner as can be expected). By the way, non-paying electronic duplicators will surely burn in the red red fires of hell, or expect to be scolded if they mention having seen or done it (I got me a quick mind, you know, yesirree) in textual and other communicative means. I have noticed this before, but have so far held my tongue.

And by the way, everyone who has returned their part ones has bloody loved it! In a manner of speaking. I will fetch the accolades in due time.

Might I also add that the questions in the email quizzes are in no way indicative of those found on this blog. They are fair and (mostly) gettable and not aimed at brutalising you into depression. The blog quizzes are intended to be for training purposes and if you get more than 1 in 5 of them right, you deserve my hearty congratulations.

Oh yeah, these will probably be be my last big email efforts for a very long time. And I'm not talking a single year either. If you get my drift.

It is time once again (or has been for about three weeks) for another Big, Big Quiz. Coming hot on the heels of The Blockbuster (#4), comes "The Giant". However, this time there is a difference. Due to problems with time and admin, I have decided to make it a two-parter, with each part being 501 questions long and therefore making a total of 1002 questions.

The first part (The Giant: Part I) is ready now, and the second (cunningly titled The Giant: Part II). However, you cannot complete the second part until you have sent back the first to myself. I will then e-mail Part II to you, although you can get both at the same time if you have declared your wish not to be part of the final results, though you will not receive your combined Giant until the vast majority of actual competitors have returned their answers for both parts (i.e. October 28).

The time limit is 195 minutes or 3 hours and 15 minutes, unless your first language is something other than English. Then you can have another half hour to use dictionaries to translate ancillary words.

So what is it like? Here is some 'Feedback from Illustrious Quiz Deities ...'

Kevin Ashman, Egghead, three-time World Quizzing Champion and beloved of actress Michelle Collins: "The Giant, like its predecessors, is a labour of love which covers an astonishing range of information culled from the highways and byways [is that the same thing as roadkill?] of the world's rich cultural mix. Challenging, stimulating, and thoroughly enjoyable, it's bound to leave you wanting to found out more about some of the things you never knew you didn't know."

Pat Gibson, 2007 World Quizzing Champion, WWTBAM winner: "Lots of great stuff ... there were many cracking questions. A fascinating set (as always), I enjoyed it very much."

Of course, it is great practice for coming written quizzes: the British and European Quiz Championships for example. Some of the questions always come up (so reckons me).

How to enter

You enter by e-mailing I will acknowledge receipt of your e-mail as soon as possible.

I will then give you details on how to pay along with a snail mail address for cheques (and eventually, postal entries) - Paypal, cheque, even cash if you dare - and put you down on the participant list. You can also pay me at the European Quiz Championships in Oslo, if you can't pay by any of the aforementioned methods. You can enter any time as long as it is before the deadline date for the return of your completed answer sheets.

The price is £15 for both parts. Therefore it is £7.50 for either. You can buy The Behemoth and The Blockbuster, with answers, for £7.50 each. You can also purchase TQG's first and second huge quizzes - The Monster and The Colossus for £3. And if you're wondering TQG is nowhere near exhausting the pool of potential names!

Once your payment (though I will go on trust for everyone, such as previous participants, he knows personally and e-mail them the quiz ASAP) has been received, the quiz will then be e-mailed to you and you can return your answers any time before the ultimate deadline - Tuesday, October 28 (11.59pm to be exact) - by e-mail or snail mail.

You can, in effect, ask for The Giant: Part I at any time before that date, but if you want to do Part II, this is not advised. Obviously. The final results will be published in a Part I and Part II league tables, as well as one for Aggregates. The Aggregate results will decide who wins free entry next time.

Within the week of the deadline - November 4 - the answers and errors in the questions or helpful additional information competitors have pointed out and would like to share with everyone, will then be sent to every competitor by old fashioned snail mail (the postage cost will be taken out of £15 fee, though foreign competitors will receive such sheets grouped together where possible since they will pay less to take part). They will NOT be e-mailed out.

Every payee receive the answers

Again, everyone will receive the answers even if they do not submit a completed sheet - you have paid an entrance fee; therefore you get the full package. Yet again the bonus for taking part and doing all of the above in the recommended fashion, participants will also receive two of four originally-set 100-question quizzes, designated by the imaginative names A, B, C and D in the post with the answer set. You can purchase the other three bonus quizzes you have not have received after the deadline date for £1.50 each if you so wish.

Participants, whose completed entries arrive after the deadline, will get the answers and bonus quiz too, but will not be entered into the final scorers table. Having said that, they probably will be.

And please, if there are people out there who have still not got the answers for The Blockbuster and a copy of an ABC quiz then please tell me ASAP and he'll email them straight away. Many apologies if he's have forgotten you.


The prizes remain the same. Apart from the chance of competing against and comparing yourself with the likes of many a world class quiz god in a massive quiz from the comfort of your own home and winning the wondrous respect of your peers, the premier primo prize - since cash awards are not viable when I have to rely on the honesty of competitors doing it at home where they can access the internet, reference books and their loved ones for the stuff that is teetering on the top of their tongue - is that the overall winner will receive a refund of their entrance fee and free entry into the next quiz.

There will also be a refund and free entry again for those who finish number one in each country where there is more than three "Giant" competitors.

And to encourage those wary of possible humiliation (though you can enter under a pseudonym if you prefer) and just want to give it a shot, the overall bottom five finishers will also get their money back and free entry next time, as long as their answer sheet has been returned and convincingly attempted, i.e. filled with top-to-the-bottom with proof they have done their best to tackle it (those with barely any answers and blank sheets will be ignored).

And what are the questions going to be like?

Take this sample of 20 questions from The Blockbuster...

Q1 Which comedian (1906-98), who had a cameo playing himself in Goodfellas, was famed for such one-liners as "I take my wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back" and "Take my wife - please!"?

Q2 From the Greek meaning "done by hand", which healthcare profession for treating mechanical disorders of the spine and musculoskeletal system was founded in 1895 by the Canadian, Daniel David Palmer?

Q3 By what English name do we know the TV show broadcast as Ruku na to in Slovakia, Da sau nu in Romania, Trato Hecho in Argentina and Affari Tuoi in Italy?

Q4 The French artist Joseph Duplessis's portrait of Benjamin Franklin is most commonly seen where?

Q5 Which Swedish musician, producer and ex-dentist had a major hit in 1992 with It's My Life?

Q6 Nicknamed "JJ" and "Jeca", which 23-year-old Serbian tennis player and Wimbledon mixed doubles champion entered the WTA top three for the first time on reaching the French Open semi-finals in 2007?

Q7 Utilising the colours blue, green, red and yellow, the official version of which game is played on a felt mat 1.8m by 0.9m with a pot in the middle and base lines at each corner?

Q8 Complete the lyric with a Eddie Cochran song title from 1958: "There ain't no cure for the __________ _____"

Q9 Based in the Californian city of Mountain View, which US public corporation's mission statement is to "organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful"?

Q10 Which soprano married the mining engineer Desmond Park six months after they had a blind date in Auckland in August 1967?

Q11 Made into a French live-action TV series in 1965, which Cecile Aubry novel takes its name (familiar to fans of Scottish indie music) from an orphaned six-year-old boy and his dog who live in a small mountain village on the French side of the France-Italy border?

Q12 Which Australian batsman, who scored 165 before retiring hurt, faced the first ball ever bowled in Test cricket (by England's Alfred Shaw)?

Q13 What links Vermeer's The Artist in his Studio, Ingres's The Bather, Friedrich's The Wanderer Above the Clouds, Caillebotte's Man at his Bath, Hammershoi's Interior, Magritte's La Reproduction interdite and Gerhard Richter's Betty?

Q14 Called "a bonzer place" by novelist Nevil Shute, which Australian town is reportedly the stabbing capital of the world and also claims the highest murder and highest consumption of alcohol rate in the country?

Q15 In a 1963 film, what eponymous jewel is owned by Princess Dala (played by Claudia Cardinale)?

Q16 Which Russian vodka brand numbers its Blue Label variety "57" and its Classic Red Label "21", though in Norway "21" may also refer to it being cut with Norwegian berries?

Q17 What is also known as Archimedes's constant and as Ludolph's number?

Q18 Which Australian Prime Minister is presumed to have drowned while swimming at Portsea, near Melbourne, on December 17, 1967?

Q19 Recently, the Kapa O Panga version has sometimes been performed instead of the traditional Ka Mate. They are variations of what?

Q20 The official residence of the President of South Korea - the Cheong Wa Dae - is translated into English under what name, suggesting it is merely a different colour to that of the US President's?

Remember the E-mail Entry Address & the Deadline!

Just one more time for an increasingly annoying effect, e-mail: and get ALL your answers in by 11.59pm, Tuesday, October 28.

But to be honest, the deadline might well be extended beyond that. Simply because, it always is.

Blockbuster sampler answers

1 Henny Youngman 2 Chiropracty 3 Deal or No Deal 4 US$100 banknote 5 Dr Alban 6 Jelena Jankovic 7 Tiddlywinks 8 Summertime Blues 9 Google 10 Kiri Te Kanawa 11 Belle et Sebastien 12 Charles Bannerman 13 The subject has their back to the viewer of the painting 14 Alice Springs 15 The Pink Panther 16 Smirnoff 17 Pi 18 Harold Holt 19 Haka 20 Blue House


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