What I've been up to

A new host at the Wellington Pub Quiz

Shaz hosts the Wellington quiz and trolls the pub quizzers

A new host

The Wellington Pub Quiz is held on a Sunday evening. I’ve been going with various teams for nearly ten years. Recently, I joined the Manipulative Pandas quiz team with moderate success. We often are in the top three and have won on occasion. Anybody can host the Wellington Pub Quiz and inspired by the efforts of Manipulative Pandas team members James and Matt, I decided to host myself. The right free beers that you get for hosting may have also persuaded me to become the Quiz Master for the evening.

Writing the Quiz

I’ve written one pub quiz before, for the Birmingham friends of the earth quiz. I know most of the people at Birmingham friends of the earth well and they are a friendly audience. The Wellington Pub Quiz is mostly played by people that I don’t know so I had to figure out how to play to this new audience. I decided to introduce a few new themes to the quiz based on my hobbies and knowledge.

If you have read this blog before you will know that my interests are niche. I like death metal, non league football and professional wrestling. For my quiz at the Wellington I decided to weave elements of my interests into the rounds of the quiz. The Wellington Quiz is also unique for having three quizzes in one. I wrote most of the quizzes in Stirchley in the week running upto the quiz.

The Quiz itself

The first round was a drawing round. There is usually a picture round, but I decided to shake things up. I asked the quiz players to design a death metal five a side football team, with logos and team names. It seemed like there were two main approaches by the teams; either go all in with puns for player names or artistically draw the death metal players. Slipknots County was the best team name. Pavel Ned-ded and Tim Cruel were the best name puns and the Manipulative Pandas had the most artistically drawn team.

Onto rounds two and three; I stuck with the relatively safe ground here by having rounds on Current Affairs and General Knowledge. Examples of question topics included Storm Dennis, the highest ever recorded temperatures in Antarctica and the Russian poet Pushkin. There was much debate as to what the German word for the animal cow is by the quiz players. After I finished reading out the questions I set to marking the answers with the aid of a spreadsheet provided by Matt. There were 14 teams meaning that marking took a long time, but once I got into a routine, it became much easier.

Things take a turn towards the strange

I had prepared a music round, which I tested on my piano teacher. He got zero. This was worrying so I decided to make my music round easier by telling the quiz players who the artist of each song was. For a change I took famous songs, and found versions of them played on piano. Some of the songs worked really well on piano, like “you are not alone” by Michael Jackson. Other songs did not work well like “bad guy by” Billie Elish. Whilst I played no death metal, I did sneak in some Metallica and Rammstein. Most teams did reasonably well, justifying my decision to make the quiz easier.

My sports round also was unusual. Rather than ask general sports questions, I decided to wedge my love of professional wrestling into this round. The title of the round was “real fighter or fake fighter. Are they a UFC Fighter or a Professional Wrestler? There are some brilliant and baffling nicknames in these world’s and I presented a few to the Wellington Quiz. Everybody knew that “The Rock” was a Professional Wrestler, but not many people figured out that “The Olympic Hero” Kurt Angle was also a Professional Wrestler. I have no idea how UFC fighter “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva got his nickname and I don’t think I want to know. More marking and spreadsheet admin followed.

The end of the main quiz

To keep the trolling going, I decided to have the final round as another music round, but not in the usual format. Instead of playing songs, I decided to have a music theory round. Music theory is very important, it helps open up avenues within playing music that would be hard to achieve without knowing music theory. Since I’ve been learning piano, I’ve learned a lot more music theory than when I learned to play bass guitar. Questions about music theory included, asking about how many sharps and flats there are in the F Major and A Natural Minor scale. Most teams clearly had one musician as they did quite well, though no team correctly identified E Phrygian as the third mode of the Major Scale.

My spreadsheet skills had radically improved throughout the evening and I was able to get the final standings done quickly. I had invited a few friends and they clearly know me well as they came in the top two teams. “The Majority of Bees” were edged out by my usual team “The Manipulative Pandas by half a point. 58.5 points to 58. Both teams did well as the maximum mark possible was 71. Congratulations to the Pandas who had a few ringers in who were friends that I invited.

Other shenanigans and everyone went home

As well as the main quiz I was tasked in setting two other quizzes. One in the form of a list question and one in the form of a almost random (to the player) number question. For the list question I asked the players to list all 50 American States, to see if they could do what Ross from Friends failed to do. It turns out that there were three teams that could name all 50 American States. This meant I had to quickly improvise a tie break question. The tie break question was how many medals in total did team GB win in the 2016 Olympics. The answer was 67 and one team got close with 69. For the random number question I asked how many points of beer were sold in 2018. Temporary member of the “Manipulative Pandas” Emma got closest with 2.75 Billion. The correct answer was 8.5 billion pints. Emma celebrated her new found wealth.

The quiz ended at roughly half ten, which is the scheduled finish time. I was pleased that I was mostly able to stay on time. My trolling quiz was received well. I think the players enjoy having a variety of quiz styles and hosts. I’d certainly host proceedings again in the future. The start was very nervy on my part but I became more comfortable as the quiz went on and the spreadsheet provided by Matt was incredibly helpful. I will get working on some new unusual quiz topics for rounds for future hosting sessions at The Wellington Pub Quiz.

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