Saturday, February 20, 2010

Worst quizzes ever

To prevent this post from offending the Quiz masters who managed to give us hangovers without getting us drunk, I will be using codewords, in true Fake IPL player fashion.

I request people to send me reports on terrible quizzes they have attended so that I can make it a part of this post. You can do this by emailing me at

I will start with what was by far the worst quiz I have ever attended based on the quality of questions.

It was an internal quiz at a college, lets call it the Hermitage, in 2006. The best question of the quiz according to me was "From which country was Copernicus ?"

You might be tempted into thinking "That's not very bad" but just you wait. I am not finished yet.

Every second question in this quiz was a spelling ! In the same round, some teams got multiple choice questions which passed ! And on top of that the QM carried a copy of the Manorama Year Book with him.

One of his questions was "What is a basilisk ?". A team said "It's a mythical snake mentioned in Harry Potter." The QM did not agree. It passed to us. I knew that beside being a mythical snake, another name for the Jesus Christ Lizard, which can walk on water, was the Basilisk. So just to be safe I said, "It's a reptile that walks on water". He disagreed again. It passed across everybody. He then revealed the answer which was simply, "It's a Lizard". Try as hard as I could, I could not convince him that a lizard is a reptile. The QM, in turn, in order to convince me took out a page from the Manorama Year Book and showed it to me. "See it's written here. Basilisk, Lizard."

I knew I was beaten.

Another really dreadful quiz was, quite unexpectedly, a Sports Quiz at Aye Aye Yum Boca, a couple of years back. This had to be the worst quiz, I have attended, based on the format.

The first few rounds of the quiz were alright, with a lot of age old repeated stuff. Going into the last round we were leading the eventual winners by 70 points. The last round was a "Choose your Topic" round with choice preference in ascending order of scores. It was a speed round with a maximum of 10 questions in a minute for every team on their chosen topic.

Half of the topics had 20 points per questions & the other half had 10 points per question. So if the bottom 3 teams chose the 20 point Topics & did well, we would be left helpless because we would be left with just 10 point questions. Also there were negatives for guessing wrong ! So the only options you had were to answer correctly or pass. Till date, the only quiz I have attended where guessing was discouraged.

The round started with all the bottom teams choosing the 20 pointer sets. The team which was in 5th spot chose "Sporting Venues" & got 5 correct. Among the 5 that they answered was this question. "How do we better know the Yuva Bharati Krirangan ?"

After every team had their go, we needed 4 correct answers on "Football Coaches" to win. The round started with this question. "Who started the Cattenacio style of football ?"

This was a 10 point question according to the QM & Yuva Bharati for some reason was worth 20. Despite my having a hunch, we had to pass because of the negatives for guessing. The next 3 questions were of the same sort. Then he asks us, " Which I-league coach is renowned for spotting young talent ?"

That did it. I knew getting 4 correct in this round was hopeless and looked at the QM with such contempt that I am sure people thought I was gonna hit him.

The very next question, in a speed round, would have taken a full minute to ask if we hadn't stopped him halfway, by saying pass.

We answered one and got one wrong in that round and finished fourth. The team who had been 2nd finished 3rd. So the only purpose of the round had been to stop good teams from winning and it had worked wonders !!

By the way, the answer to the Catenaccio question was the Inter coach Helenio Herera.

Another quiz deserves a mention in the worst format category & this was the Movie quiz at Aye Aye Tea Swordpur SinghRest, 2010. But here some of the questions were really good.

The most awful quiz that I attended in school was the Hedge Tea-RatRace quiz.

It was supposed to be a mega event and so lots of teams turned up. The QM was some news anchor called Veer. We got to the stage with 5 other teams and were feeling happy with ourselves. 12 questions later, we were swearing under our breaths as we boarded a bus for home. Yes, the mega event for which around 50 teams turned up and waited for over 2 hours for the prelims to start, was over in 5 minutes ! And even those 5 minutes left us school kids wondering, "How can an adult behave like this on stage and how can people laugh at such poor jokes !!"

A few years on and I have realized what some people are willing to do for even a bit of money and that if you are confident, you could commit a murder on stage and people would still clap !!

Numerous quizzes, featuring the Shahenshah of bad QMs, Mr. Moronob Energy, should be included in this post but I have been to so many, especially while in school, I kind of lost track.

In his infamous Sunny Tropics round, we once chose the EPL. He asked us who the current manager of Blackburn was. With a big smile on my face I said "Graeme Souness" which was absolutely correct.

But I had forgotten one tiny fact. Moronob lived in an universe parallel to ours, where strange things happened, unheard of here, in our world.

In his world, Blackburn at that time were being managed by Steve Mclaren, which is why I think he was quite right not to have awarded points for my answer. I should have had the foresight to give both answers, Souness & Mclaren. You can't expect the Shahenshah to know what was happening here, in our world !! Entirely my fault !!

Which is why I am rendering a formal apology, here in this post, to Mr. Moronob Energy for vociferously dissenting against him on stage. I am sorry Moronob Sir !!

A few more things that go on in Moronob Sir's world :

The mascot for the 1954 WC was the trophy itself !!

The 1000th goal in WC football was scored before the 999th !!
According to Moronob, Robbie Resenbrik scored the 1000th in 1978, which is consistent with our world but according to Moronob, the 999th scorer was Alessandro Altobelli who made his debut for Italy in 1980. I guess, in Moronob's world Altobelli is a much revered scientist for having figured out the rudiments of time travelling.

Naim Suleymanglu has had 3 names !! In our world it's only 2.

Aung San Suu Kyi appears in Tintin in Tibet !!
Tintin in Tibet appeared in 1958 when in our world Aung San was 13 years old. Looks like in Moronob's world Aung San used Altobeli's time machine or it might be the other way round !!

There are a lot more of these Moronobisms which I would encourage people to share with the world. The ideas & ideals of Moronob, the Shahenshah of the other world, must be cherished !!!

Very recently I attended a very boring quiz at Magicpur University, which was the first bad quiz I attended here. Given the fact that, most of the other quizzes, I attended here, were done by our people, bad quizzes were a rarity. This was an exception.

The questions were either, way too easy for a college quiz or way to trivial unless you were sitting on a computer with internet access. One of my team mates was on the verge of walking out of the quiz before the QM asked one or two decent questions !!

Here is a new entry sent to my mailbox by a friend. I changed some names around and this quiz was seriously awful. The QM was one of those stupid people who think they know a lot. They make the worst QMs.

From Rampat Ray ( Name changed on request)

I want to share my experience of a 'quiz' I attended in March 2010 at a college fest. It was hosted by a official of Nirula Scientological museum.

Some of the questions in the prelims were
'what is the Bengali date today?',
'which peak can be seen from the top floor of Chaterjee International',
'the color of sky of the moon',
'the closest star' and some slides of animals.
The best question in the prelims was a song sang by Rabindra Nath Tagore himself.

You may say questions aren't so bad but it's the answers which left me speechless.

The QM said the Bengali date was 24th Falgoon and not 25th Falgoon ( which was the right date). Maybe he had set the questions the day before and forgot the fact that dates change everyday !!

He said we can see Kanchanjangha from the top of Chaterjee International !!
He must have had an eye transplant from a Hawk !!

Anyway that was all about the prelims but yeh to sirf trailer tha !!
Picture abhi baki hai mere dost!!

Let's switch to the finals where we were the lone outsiders.

The QM suddenly started a lecture about the geographical diversity of West Bengal, which has the ocean at the one end and world's third highest peck at the other, has mangroves to red soil like desert as well. Then he asks name the only state in India which has all these geological diversities?? Amazed!! Already !! Don't be..because there are plenty of other reasons arriving.

He showed a video of a spectacle-cobra and pointed out the spectacle sign in its back as a hint, said its a sign of spectacle, this type of cobras are rare etc etc and then asked which cobra ? The answer he gave away in his speech. It was a spectacled cobra !!

Finally we got a toughie. I think it was left for us only to stop our cake walk and give all the home teams a boost. He showed a farmland of Brinjals with a "kaktarua" at the middle of the field and then asked what plant we are seeing? Due to a little bit of my knowledge in greens I guessed Brinjals. It was correct and even the QM was surprised when we cracked it.

Have you ever heard of Tongue-twisters being a part of quizzing?

Seeing is believing and we got a taste of it in the 5th round when our score was the double that of the second team.

The Tongue-twisters ranged from "Zinc dijoji dhatu" to "teltele chule tul tule tulo" and many english and hindi tounge-twisting phrases.

It was an infinite point scoring round. The more times you say the phrase the more points you are awarded!!

It was the turning point of the Quiz and we ended up second position after this.

There were mistakes committed by the QM and scorers throughout the quiz. Sometimes the scorer added an additional marks to a team or the quiz master forgot in which direction he had started the round and sometimes he even forgot to ask the question after a long and tiring speech on his yet to be asked question!!

That's all from my side. Can't stop myself from sharing this experience.

1 comment:

Debkalpa \m/ said...

i had also been to several "monorob" quizzes at school (almost all of them held at the "bhobishyot" foundation school :P )
i remember once going for the topic WWE in his sunny tropics round just to put him out of sorts. it left him stranded on stage for about 3-4 mins, after which he finally asked "which company owns the WWE?" my partner, a WWE fanatic, presumably answered the question correctly, but "monorob" obviously had other ideas :P
otherwise, i would always choose F1 as my sunny topic, and he would always ask the same question: "which formula one driver owns a private jet"..and with a big smile on my face i would answer niki lauda and get 10 points :D
however, he changed his formula one question to "who was the youngest F1 champion before fernando alonso" (emerson fittipaldi) (which also i would answer with a big grin) after alonso won the championship that yr (i was in class 9 at that time i guess)
but anyway, i loved his 10 for direct and 12 for bonus policy in this round :)