What a night!! It was as if over 100 people had studied for the contest. There clearly was a lapse in the difficulty of the 70 questions as for over 30 contests to date, the average correct score has been very close to 56% for each of the events. Last night, the collective average was 66% with an all time high score for the night of 62! I believe the previous record was 56. There was a new team (We Know Stuff) and they certainly did- scoring three 10s and only a low of a 6 in the “toughest” round of the night (the third). Impressive. On average, there was one more correct answer per team for each round than usual. I will examine the May 3rd roster of questions to see if they seem “too easy”.
Round 1 had two 10s with the We Know Stuff team and In Vino Veritas who had a talented newcomer in its midst. All but 5 teams knew the Monty Python theme. At least the bogus answers for the Poop Deck question constituted 2/3rds of the House’s choices with the majority choice being “pupous” for the stern. Clearly, we do not have a large collection of Greek scholars, as that was only a look-alike type of word. All but 6 teams did know that Crete was the largest Greek island. I did not think that every team would know the three “C” explorers but they did! Excellent. Rounding out this 76% round was that all but two teams knew Gloria Gaynor’s last name.
There was a modest dip in scholarship for Round 2, which came in at 69%. Quite a few knew about “curb feelers” although there were imaginative guesses including radio antennae, door stand, prevention of mud splashes, rods to prevent car sickness, electrical grounding wires, tray holders and an odometer. More than half knew Savannah as having at least 6 meanings. Well done. Many guessed that Monopoly was the second most popular board game and the Rabblerousers, In Vino, Thistle Rocks, For the Record, the duo of Ma What’s, Positive Vibrations and Green Eggs put up checkers. Only one team did not know Kenny Rogers and Dolly and it was an “older” team so I am not so sure I need to worry as much about asking “old” music questions.
Round 3 was the lowest of the night with a score of 57% (the usual average) – I am still quite taken with this statistical outlier of a night with the 34 previous events coming in almost always at 56% or so for a collective score). There was an “issue” with the three-legged flag that belonged to Sicily but my phrasing was ambiguous “...has a flag that looks like this.” What I should have said was “has this exact flag”. Alas, this vagary requires attention and no less than 10 teams suggested the Isle of Man and to be sure, it is a very close replica of the flag of Sicily (which is on the right).
Thus, Cashew, In Vino, Cheap Date, Crusader Rabbit, The Gordies, Four Horsepersons, the Hotel Clan, Thistle Rocks, We Know Stuff (yes, 63/70), Boom Down and Green Eggs got corrective credit. Only three teams said Sicily (For the Record, Positive Vibrations and The Otto Maass Debate team). How is it that the Isle of Man’s flag is so much better known? So, the earlier statistics need adjustment to say that Round 3 in fact comes in as the “toughest” but at 61% and the entire night at 67%, a new record. Phew. The question about the venue for the 1964 Beatles concert gave interesting results for a picture that clearly was an inside stage with two votes for Shea Stadium and one for Penn Station. Many said Radio City Music Hall and Cheap Dates, Cashew, the Spuds, 42, Ma What’s, Eli’s Angels, the Bulldogs, Green Eggs, Boom Down and the Ministry got it right as Carnegie Hall.
Round 4 showed up with a 67% record, the average of the whole night and eleven teams knew that the bulls eye in archery is yellow. Interestingly, it seems to turn out that Jennifer Aniston’s father/grandfather changed her birth name from the original Greek Anastassakis to Aniston before she was born. The data on this is conflicted somewhat and to be fair to the general conclusion of the source, her present name requires credit to Aquavit, Double Pair of Docs, The Blonde group, Crusader Rabbit, Cashew and Green Eggs. The stats slowly go upwards as the correction data unfolds.
Round 5 had a 71% showing with most knowing Hester Prynne but not so many knew Erich Weiss as the original name of Harry Houdini. The correct group was composed of We Know Stuff, Aquavit, the Ministry, Crusader Rabbit, Thistle Rocks, Cheap Dates and Boom Down. Cashew drew a rare “Blank”. Other answers were Kasinski, Horowitz, Kapinsky, Levitz, Hershman, Castelman, Leibowicz, Cohen, Houdenski, Horvath, Hershfield, Houdin and two votes for Smith. The Hotel squad had the “best” answer of the night for this question with Harppmannstein. Almost right. Most knew the Finland flag and Teddy Roosevelt and all teams but one knew the theme from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” film.
Round 6 showed a 65% result with all but three knowing the first name of Batman’s man, Alfred. I did not realize the scope of knowledge for this semi-obscure fact. Hmmmm. The Otto Maass team and I’ll Ask the Questions knew the last name—Pennyworth. Impressive. The direct origin of the St. Lawrence River is Lake Ontario but since the lakes are interconnected, it is a subtle point that the lakes system could be viewed responsible, so Cashew, The Cadets, Trivia Now, the Spuds, Trivia Trailblazers, the Bulldogs and 42 get a point. Upwards. All but three knew the tragic condition of Glen Campbell.
Finally Round 7 came in at 64% and the first question was one of those that we all use (JPEG) but only Boom Down knew the exact phrase- Joint Photographic Experts Group. A small correction had to be made for a credited, nearly correct phrase by the We Know Stuff team lowering them back to 62 for the night. Most every team knew Dick Tracy’s wife, Tess Trueheart. The Greek messenger god was known by all but one team. Further, most all knew that the Bassett Hound was the mascot for Hush Puppies. About half knew the Tigris flows through Baghdad although the spelling of Tigris was not impressive. To top it all off, only two teams failed to recognize “Thriller” as the album where the musical piece appeared.
There were 7 10/10 scores with three from We Know Stuff, one from In Vino, two from Thistle Rocks and one from Crusader Rabbit Redux. This also sets a record. I made up this test months ago and I wish I knew what I had been consuming as this really was an outlier event for high scoring.
Thanks as usual to our hard-working graders, Steven, Sara and Alex as well as our procurer of items associated with the Bookstore, Kim Stephenson who also as you know, keeps the books on our annual ~$3K contribution to Centraide. Also I want to acknowledge University Advancement for other gifts along with the Office for Science and Society from the Chemistry Department.
There seemed to be a common accord concerning the format for next year for contributing to Centraide by the procedure of each player on a team paying $40 at the start of the season in October for which a tax receipt will be given. If about 30 teams all do this, we would accumulate almost $5,000 which would be a huge increase from our usual net ~$3,000. With this tax receipt, the net donation per event stays about the same as now and the Government “pays”. Further, it would only be necessary to check in at the desk in the lounge to say which team you represent and save time as well as getting an automatic registration for your team for the year so it would not be necessary to call in. There can be no refunds in this scheme but another advantage is that substitute players qualify as team members without the need to register. Certainly teams can continue to register under the present mode.
A reminder of this idea will be given in the early Fall. If you have objections to this scheme, let me know.
Please register for the May 3rd event (Tuesday)
STANDINGS FOR THE APRIL CONTEST