Steve Kidd's Quiz Pages

The Trick Question

I am absolutely, 100%, an advocate of strategies employed by pub quiz hosts to encourage teams that would not normally win (see 'Fast Tracks'). Equally I do not, as a host wish to employ methods that diminish anybody's talent, and loving quizzes as I do, do not wish, nor think it fair that I have to endure them (see 'Bitch Slaps'). The 'trick' question is an example of the latter. Good feckaboutery gives every team luck, hope and, occasionally, reward. To merely punish good teams for being good may be 'just a bit of fun' for some, but it a logical fallacy, given the 'just a bit of funs' that humanity have 'enjoyed' throughout history, to cite 'just a bit of fun' as evidence for desirability. I leave that too your imagination - Can you think of any examples where humans have found entertainment/reward in the suffering of others?

Examples: Bearing in mind these are multiple choice questions set by SpeedQuizzing themselves, in which the question is asked and the options released one by one, with points rewarded to the first teams to answer correctly

Question: What phrase is Carly Ray Jepson most famous for singing?


A: You Can Call Me Al
B: Call My Bluff
C: Call Me Irresponsible
D: Call Me Maybe It's Because I'm A Londoner
E: Call Me Maybe

Answer: Call Me Maybe

Question: In 1975, Bruce Springsteen sang 'Born to...' what?

A: Walk
B: Amble
C: Roam
D: Run for President
E: Run

Answer: Run

These were delivered on consecutive nights, ergo not 'accidents'

Both are totally unimaginative and uninteresting. No skill or thought is needed.

How about

Question: A stitch in time saves ...' what?


A: Ninety
B: Nein, das steht auf dem blatt
C: Nine........................................ty nine red baloons
D: Nine

You get the picture?

Now, on that Carly Ray Jepson one, asked in a pub, there was general groans and hilarity (doesn't make something right). You've heard the joke once you've heard it a million times. More tellingly, the FIRST thing the host said after the options was "I don't write them". FFS own what you do - this host (a really good host) disowned it. Not miserable old me - in effect he was agreeing with me - it may be just a bit of fun but it's called 'speedquiz' not 'try and fuck you over quiz'

I would suggest it is an example of that psycholgy prevalent in life, and especially quiz, of dick swinging one-upmanship (not exclusive to SpeedQuizzing, the world is just full of people who boast "I met Paul Sinah and he didn't even know that Jiminy Britpop scored 5 goals for Chellaston United in 2003-4 whilst in goal"). We all like to bring a cocky bastard down a peg or two don't we? You maybe, understandably, think that hypothesis is a bit of a stretch. But that does not make it invalid as a speculation. As an observer of many hundreds of quizzes, I cannot recall a female host who has that attitude.

Meh. I don't like trips, will try not to use them and will discourage their unimaginative use (Peter McKeating of the New Inn at Idle gets a pass on that - they are his thing and he thinks long and hard about what he is doing and it's not long before you realise you are in a minefield with his quiz, and that's the same for everybody).

There is no proof whatsoever that they improve numbers of pints bought behind any bar (sitting around at Acomb Bar and all agreeing that they are great, and refusing communication with dissenters, is only proof of lack of critical thinking). I would suggest that the jammed out strings of pubs of hosts who do not use trips indicate they are not imperative for success (I can cite names, but do not wish to unfairly miss anyone out). Trips promote tardiness and diminish speed (I repeat - 'SpeedQuiz' - it's in the name). There are more interesting and fairer questions.