Wednesday, January 31, 2007



Adjective: quipamenducious (koo`pa`men`doo`shus)

n. quipamenducity

  1. Lacking breadth of view, tolerance or open-mindedness
  2. Having a rigid and stubbornly fixed view of the world

2007, from Skt. koopamandooka “frog-in-the-well” from ancient Indian parable about a frog stuck in a well.

archaic: quipamenducacious

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Odyssey Open 2007, Chennai - Finals

The final round of the Odyssey Open 2007 was, as I had mentioned earlier in my prelims post, a treat to savour. The questions were great and enjoyable. It lasted for a long, long time leaving the audience and the teams tired and exhausted but trivia-full! A couple of changes in the format were used –

i) Quiz Mountain – A sequence of questions (2,6, 12, 24 points). None of the teams maxed, though.

ii) Relative Grading in Written Round – Score for the Q depends on how many teams answered the same question correctly.

The general format was not infinite bounds(or is it infinite bounce?) but direct-indirect based round with all questions worth the same. I think this makes a lot of sense and is a lot fairer than infinite bounds–

a) Time is of the essence while cracking verbose questions. Infinite bounds disadvantages weaker teams unfairly. More on this later in a separate post.

b) Keeping track of rounds is easier.

Enough commentary, on to my transcript (very long, 4 pages!) of the session. Errors and omissions expected. Please fill in with comments if you were there and would like to add or correct something.

1. Four stories about Buddha – Connect – Four animals on the Sarnath stupa

2. Video clip from Lucky Number Slevin. “The Boss is like Anthony Dawson in From Russia With Love” Why? – Never appears in movie

3. Equal mix by weight of salt and ice – used as 0 by Gabriel Fahrenheit

4. QM

a. Youngest ever to Booker – Ben Okri. Youngest woman – Kiran Desai. Before – Arundhati Roy

b. 1992 Maastricht Treaty – European Union. Father of Euro.

c. Story – clues – worked as assistant in draper’s shop – organization => YMCA

5. Transatlantic flights. When fuel low, no option but to try to continue => “Point of no return”

6. Video – Rajni Kant fight scene from Baasha. Pic of old man. – Old man is Jack Foley. Foley artists are the ones who make “Dishoom dishoom” sounds!

7. International Society of Cryptozoology formed in early 1980s to investigate evidence of unverified species. Animal in emblem – Okapi

8. 4 feet 8 inches = Standard gauge. Used in 60% railways worldwide. Only Indian system to use this – Trams in Calcutta

(AQ) Other cities (used) to have tram systems - Chennai, Mumbai, Nasik

(AQ) MGR institution - to retail alcohol in TN state

9. Audio instrumental. Piece chosen for starting radio program. – Chopin’s Minute Waltz for Just A Minute

10. QM

a. Jackson Pollock (visual)

b. If dad is Boomer, mom is Flyer, kid => Joey (Kangaroos)

c. If H1-B for software, H1-A for => Nurses

11. Chalukyan conquest – relic of Paranjoth commander of Pallavas – Vaathapi Ganapathi (Muthuswami Dikshithar)

12. Visual of person from three angles. (Three musketeers?) Also of statue. Story? – Van Dyke drew all these because king wanted statue made and couldn’t to go to sculptor! King Charles I???

13. QM

a. WICB logo (West Indies Cricket Board)

b. Eclipse – A piece for = original Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon

c. My fair lady clip – Bow Bells – Had to be born within earshot of these bells to be called Cockney

14. Mail order seed catalogues. Used to contain stupid jokes. => Corny jokes

15. Gordon 1849 established store = Peter Orr & Sons (Local shop)

16. Bahama helped by American Prohibition, repealed-> stagnation. Similarly helped by American political event of 60s – Bay of Pigs, alternative to Cuba for tourism

Buzzer round

1. Land of coconuts – Kerala

2. Drink – Italian for gypsies – Zingaro

3. 1/16 of teaspoon – Dash

4. Kerouac described himself after trip as – “beat”

5. Purple people – Phoenicians, Creation of the world

(AQ) Deepika Padukone debut. More famous Padukone earlier – Guru Dutt also Padukone

(AQ) Turn your watch around to know GMT from IST. Mentioned in – Satanic Verses

17. Balloon story – name origin of Winnie the Pooh

18. Jaipal Singh captain of the 1928 Indian Olympic hockey gold team.Later MP. Demand in 1954 to create something rejected – but allowed recently – Jharkhand

19. Visual of birds. What’s missing? – Golf! Bogey, Ostrich – 4 under par, Condor – 5 under par

20. “Candlelight Blues” Jazz legend started radio in country – King Bhumibol Adulyadej

21. Two poems. Visual Thomas Bruce – Elgin Marbles

22. QM

a. Sea to Air To Land – one – US Navy SEALs

b. Finish fabric. French “ Gloves of Sweden” – Suede

c. Character visual – Mortiana from Ali Baba (was cracked by a little girl in audience)

23. Visual Branasi’s “Bird In Flight”. Jonathan Hayes product – Xbox-360

24. Connect. “My money went to Nigeria and all I got was lousy T-shirt!” Video: Pyar hua ikraar hua song clip. – 419 scam, movie Shree 420 – Cheating codes in India, Nigeria!

Buzzer Round 2

1. Mowgli first appeared

2. David Selznick $500 in Damned

3. Latin “waterfall”. Disease. – Cataract

4. Canada’s official entry into Oscar for Foreign – Deepa Mehta’s Water

5. Founding major league football – LA Galaxy (Beckham team)

(AQ) Albania Tehran

(AQ)Shh.. Perfume – Jade Goody

25. Tintin and Alphart – Scene description – villain pouring plastic over him. What happens next? – Nobody knows. Herge left incomplete

26. Paul Newman, Steve McQueen. Towering Inferno. Ego clash => Same number of dialogues etc. Something else also -> Diagonal billing in credits

27. Max von Laue, Jah(something) left Nobel medals with Bohr. Had to reapply for these. Why? – Stored in aqua regia to prevent slipping into Nazi hands, dissolved

28. Invented in NHL in Canada. Later in USA . Story. What? – Mexican wave

29. Florence Balcombe, love of Oscar Wilde married another Irish author. Film adaptation used without permission. Successfully sued. = Nosferatu, Bram Stoker

30. Covering for dish to avoid flies. Snack => Tapas

31. Ad =Baking Powder (visual) => A picture is worth a thousand words

32. QM

a. Checkpoints of Berlin Wall

b. SOWSPODES, US uses OWL-2 – Scrabble

c. Spanish word for chestnut. Ater its shape. Musical instrument – Castanet

Written round (Relative scoring)

1. 50 page pamphlet. Sold lots of copies. Thomas Jefferson. Other clues – Thomas Paine

2. Fil clip – offering money – Lew Wallace, Ben Hur author

3. Karora Singh Dhalliwala deman 2 lac ransom and also 30,000 troops to be garrisoned in Delhi – Tis Hazari

4. Unfurled Vande mataram flag in Stuttgart, German 100 years ago – Madam Bhikaji Cama

5. Identify missing guys – Father son pairs to have won Nobels

6. WH Davies – “What is this life full of care” poem. Autobiography of a _________ . Audio in background – Supertramp

7. Visual – Penguins known as – Groucho Marx penguins

8. Bandra Worli ceiling

33. United Fruit Company introduced bananas. Dirk browne Miss Chiquita character for ad campaign. Audio singing – “Don’t store bananas in refrigerator”, a lot of people were having problems!

34. QM

a. First introduced in 1997. Zimbabwe/England match – Duckworth Lewis

b. Before graduating from apprentice on ship, one had to tie the mast => Learning the ropes

c. Unusual choice for Sports Illustrated subscribers – whether to receive the swimsuit edition or not

35. Mark something millionaire. Clients AP, Reuters – Getty Images Jean Paul Getty’s grandson

36. Connect some visuals of art – All destroyed in WTC bombing

37. Classical Greek comedy. “alazon – “, “bomolochus – buffoon” third? – irony

38. Videos – two film clips. High Noon Fred Zinnemann, Rio Bravo Howard Hawk

39. USSR Svyatoslav Fyodorov developed process in 1970s which made him millionaire. Recently a modern version of his technique – LASIK

40. Visual. Thiruthani temple, Capitol Hill – Both 365 steps.

Buzzer Round 3

1. Uncle who got Eleanor married to FDR – Theodore Roosevelt

2. UN Security council smallest state – England (a team answered France)

3. Largest carnivore in Africa – Nile crocodile

4. 1000 wickets first – Shane Warne

5. Non borderd US states – Alaska, Hawaii

(AQ) Named for love-god disease - Venereal disease

(AQ) First 10 digits of e – Google ad for recruitment

41. QM

a. Momofoku Antu – Top Raman

b. Ted’s father, Mom 200 pounds. Some BS story – Dr. Seuss

42. Back cover of music album blanked out – Hard Rock CafĂ©

43. Herbert Baker’s new Grandstand at Lords. “Never has a stand so large held so few people.” – Father Time weathervane (very arbit question)

44. Tabla(visual). Song(audio) – Connection Amir Khusro , penned the lyrics, invented table by bifurcating a mridangam(??)

45. Indy 500 1911 winner Ray Harowcen no riding mechanic. Controversy. Introduced something – Rear view mirror, before mechanic used to tell anybody in back (I wanted to answer knew it but a team guessed!)

46. Hunti in 2002. Story. DNA samples – Sherbet Gul (Afghan girl on NGEO cover)

47. Edible item in India after African country (map shown) – Mozambique and musambi

48. Virgil described recipe for salad in Morefum. Visual of such a salad. Concept -=> E pluribus unum

(post completed 5 Feb,2007)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Odyssey Open 2007, Chennai - Prelims

Here are the Q&A of the elimination round of the open quiz organized by Odyssey in Chennai on 26 January 2007. The QM was Diwakar Pingle. The set of questions for the prelims were very good indeed. The questions were relevant, trivial, informative, useful, endearing, done with a personal touch, all at the same time!

The venue was packed, both floors of it plus a mini hall(!), with participants. Yeah, like a tin of sardines! All hell broke loose just before the prelims stage, with the organizers not having a clue as to how to handle the mad rush of people. Thankfully, things calmed down and things improved by the time the on-stage round began.

The cut-off was around 24, I guess from my friend Sreeram, who had made it to the final rounds. The final round was a trivia-fest; it was Triwiali, with crackers and sparklers of questions. I will try to put up some of the questions here soon. Frankly, there is just too much stuff! A problem of plenty... The quiz lasted for more than 3 hours!

The quiz was won by Swami, VV Ramanan and teammate, who came back strongly from behind to trump the Bangalore teams. It was truly an inspired effort from them and the adrenaline could be smelled from far!

1. Rabindranath sang this for the first time @ 1896 session of Congress. Published in Bangabandhu.
- Vande mataram
2. Peoples Action Party hasn't lost a single election since independence from Britain - Singapore
3. Which laboratory crosses an international boundary? - CERN
4. Visual - Rajapalayam dog
5. Video - Film dedicated to? - Steve Irwin (Ice Age 2??)
6. Audio: Bappi Lahiri singing
7. Mix of jazz, blues and gospel ==> Rock&Roll - R&B
8. Jan 25th. Scotland night. Ode To A ____ - Haggis
9. Retired in 1962. All records overhauled by Gavaskar ==> Sachin - Polly Umrigar
X. Visual - UNESCO World Heritage Site
Y. Audio - Theme song of ICC World Cup 2007
Z. Visual - cover of white mughal, william dalrymple - Bahadur Shah Zafar
A. Anand most winningest streak - Corus (Wijk Aan Zee)
B. Finnair recently launched Helsinki-Delhi. Brand ambassador - Santa Claus
C. Purandara mudra etc Thyagaraja mudra what? - Thyagaraja
D. Visual - Red shirt unveiling his own statue - James Brown
E. Audio - Raaga - Punnaraya varal
F. Recent Indian word added to OED Gujarati "without servitude" - Bindaas
G. Examples of - pangrams
H. Who visited which dictator, inspiring reforms - Friedman visited Pinochet
I. Remove two letters from country to get capital, add the same two letters to get capital - Brazil, Tunisia
J. Jefferson popularized. In Europe, was initially used for decorative purposes - Tomato, Potato
K. Visiting quiz in Delhi. Shocked to see people not knowing "mother of Rama" - Kausalya, Amar Chitra Katha Origin, Anant Pai
L. ___, ___, arub etc - Lakh, Crore
M. Original name changed after visiting ruler gave something near canal - Nehru, Orig name: Kaul
N. Story about small letters being more used. What terms? - Upper case, Lower case
O. Australian coat of arms - Kangaroo, Emu
P. Swahili word, Makonde word - Chikangunya, Dengue
Q. Like Moses, river parted for Indian myth - Krishna and Vasudeva
R. Visual: free running game - Parkour
S. (local) cookery book trivia - Samaithu Paar
T. (local) visual - mascot of Harlem Globetrotters (had recently visited Chennai)
U. Why ships' breadth 32.3m ? - Width of locks of Panama canal
(guessed Suez)
V. Duke of ___ story. Replace Amsterdam with ours! - York (New York name origin)

I teamed up with a couple of guys from Chennai, Karthik Narayan and his friend Anand. All we actually had going for us was our team name, which I thought was pretty good: The 3 MUST GET BEERS! A play on The Three Musketeers, to make it bleedingly obvious! We made 17 points, I guess, which was definitely not good enough in an open quiz of this scale. Plainly put, I failed to qualify.

But the final round was worth the trip (I had come on the Shatabdi from Bangalore n the morning) just for the infotainment value. It was also good to meet up with some old friends like Sreeram and to make some new friends. All in all, I must say it was an enriching experience.

There was an impoverishing experience also though, in the morning. I got fleeced by an auto-rickshaw driver who dropped me off at the Museum instead of Music Academy (the venue), where I had asked to be dropped. It always happens to me in Chennai!

Saturday, January 20, 2007


On January the 10th of the year of Our Lord 2007 , I got myself a pair of spectacles. Astigmatism, weird angles, don't know what exactly is wrong. Power of -0.25.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ego Was

(From my earlier ego blurb!)

Thomas who? Thomas Jay Cubb. Programmer, writer, composer, poet, quizzer. Welcome to the Cubb!

Fame needs a name! - TJC
What's my name, again? Unlucky not to have been blessed with a particularly distinctive given name, but desperately craving fame, my jumbo ego would not let me choose anything but a homophonic pseudonym.

So it became a Jay for a J and a "Jay Cubb" for a Jacob! Thomas Jay Cubb. Now, what would you call that? A semipseudonym? A crudonym? Homophonodonym? Or just "nym", perhaps?

Expect nothing, and you will have no reason to be disappointed. - TJC
Try "Thomas Jay Cubb" in Google!!! I'm an inveterate ego-surfer. But so far, I've had to make my own web-waves to surf. :-(

No Bars (Give In Give Up)


What's the point of being away from home
If you don't misbehave.
Now's the time to do what you crave
And make some memories.

But momma said, "Don't keep bad company
And only do what's good for you."
Haven't you seen it all before?
Heard it all before?

O| Good and bad, it's all in the head
R| Doesn't really matter which way you go
U| But remember it's just you all the way
S| So never torture yourself, either way

C| Give in sometimes,
H| Gotta ride to get the thrill of the chase
O| Give up sometimes
R| Gotta stop when you're lost in the haze.
U| Live it up
S| When you wanna reach out for the stars
0| Let it down
2| Sometimes kiss the ground and smell the grass.

Choose your poison, what turns you on?
Do you know your self?
No bars here, you can do what you want
Go no holds barred.

Dive in to the pool now
Go right across the water
And as the dry drop oozes into you
Are you crying? Are you laughing?

O| Truth or lie, illusion's real
R| Reality's just a point of view
U| But draw the line, you're all alone
S| Make it balance, either way

C| Give in sometimes, (live it up)
H| Gotta chase to get a prize in the race.
O| Give up sometimes, (let it down)
R| Stuck in the maze, stop and find some ways.
U| Live it up, (give in sometimes)
S| When you wanna reach out for the stars
0| Let it down,(give it up sometimes)
2| Sometimes kiss the ground and smell the grass.

What now comes to you
Is that's what is true.
What's real?
It's just what you feel.
It's who you really are.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

SciTech Open Quiz KQA Jan 2007

The open science and technology quiz organized by the KQA on Saturday, January the 13th turned out to be a decent affair despite snome technical snafus. The QM was Avinash Thirumalai (of the team Thought Gang). The quiz was entirely written because something nasty had happened to the quiz's slides on the QM's laptop.

The questions were well-researched and very relevant. There were a few controversial and "subjective" questions as well. For a change, the questions were also well-framed - succinct and memorable.

It was question-setting the way it should be. The questions should never be verbose Wikipedia extracts with irrelevant stuff retained and relevant, useful stuff blanked out. Yesterday's was a refreshing change from the "Copy-Paste-From-Wiki-Blank-Out-Stuff-And-Ask" style of questioning that seems to be prevalent amongst QMs of the day. And details, if present in the question should aim to guide and not to obfuscate and mislead.

The highlight of the question-set was a fill-in-the-blanks poem questions which, if original (I think it was), highlights the imagination of the QM and also the effort which went into the framing of the questions.

The quiz was won by Mujib & Praveen, who closely edged out MQ and WALTW.

I teamed up with E. Gopal, my teammate for technical quizzes from my college days, from San Francisco, who happened to be in Bangalore on the day . We called ourselves the Icons, a harkback to yesteryear which, sadly was not to be relived. Mujib, of the winning team, used to be the quiz-master for some of the technical quizzes that we as a team had participated - so in that way, it was pretty much nostalgic and (strangely) appropriate for us!



0. Identify A-N
(A poetic question!)

B an C found a beautiful spiral
While triplets mad D go the wrong way
K was D's favourite
The lack of which caused L
So, M fed his men cabbage
While sailing to beautiful N
float across H

E discovered the structure of F
Central to which is G
One of the last to be produced in H
Which gives its name to I
Next in abundance only to J
Which was found by A
Whose name graces the place where B and C worked.

(A dependency graph was also given! Work it out! Not giving the answers here. Possibly later, in a comment)

1. Technique perfected by Go Ben Hok in 1958. Voted Japanese invention of the century in a 2000 poll. - Instant Noodles
2.Term coined by physiologist Wilhelm Kuhne from Greek for "in yeast" - Enzyme
3.Established in 1980 by Holger ___, inventor of artificial kidney. Recognition in non-Nobel areas - Crafoord Prize
4.Biggest producer of methane. India, China - Cattle
5.Founded by Madhava in 14th century. Prominent members Parmeshwara, Achyuta Pisharati, Ahyuta Panikar - Kerala School Of Mathematics
6.First working model by Theodore Maiman - LASER
7.Designed to make DOS programmers switch to Win95, built on the concept of Exodus by Kinesoft Development. Set of APIs for games. - DirectX
8.Created by Jorge Cham. BS=BullShit, MS=More of the Same, PhD=Piled Higher and Deeper. - PhD Comics
9.Coined by Ernest Starling. From Greek for "set into motion" Injecting intestinal extracts into dogs -
10. See sounds, Hears colours. Neurological condition - Synesthesia
11.Named after first director-general of CSIR. Prestigious award for Indian scientists - Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar
12.____ signed controversial agreement with Microsoft. More clues. - Novell
13.Connect Santorini in Crete, Olmecs in Mexico,Harappan civilisation,Phoenecian city of Gebal, the Minoan palace site of Phaistos, the Elamite civilisation in Iran and the city of Robonc in Hungary - Undeciphered scripts
14.Two elements named after stories of evil spirits (teaser clues) Copper and - Cobalt
15.Musical instruments acoustic superior because of syahi or karnai, a mix of rice flour, ferric oxide and starch - Tabla, Mridangam
16.Last Charles Davis and team successfully placed a parasitic plant in tree of life, problematic before - Rafflesia
17.Term referring to pre-announced software/hardware which fail to materialize. Duke Nukem 3 Forever - Vaporware
18.Scientific test inspired by party game called "The Imitation Game" - Turing Test
19."Physics do not need mysticism ,and Mystics do not need physics, but the world needs both." On John Horgan's list of 10 worst science books. - Tao Of Physics by Fritjof Capra
20.Prehistoric Map. Identify Region - Gondwanaland
(The other part is Laurasia)
21.Budget document per unit shown (around 1000$) - 100$ laptop
22.Half purple, half white. Petunias - RNA interference
23.Visual - Yangtze River dolphin
24. Graph of substance - Carbon-60
25. Visual showing cricket ball dynamics - Contrast Swing
(Not reverse swing!)
26.Tree Of Life. Centre is LUCA - Last Universal Common Ancestor
27.Visual in the news recently- Cisco Iphone
28.Graph - Bose-Einstein condensate
29.Space Odyssey theme in Simpsons clip, IBM documentary actually made by brothers - Powers Of Ten
30.Long video trailer about experiment - Large Hadron Collider Experiment
31.Heated to 446F. Smells emerged- Chocolate
32.___ drive in Arthur C. Clarked. 1975 Peace Prize - Andrei Sakharov
33.Name origin. Become one with lover - Hermaphrodite
34. Letter about DNA Helix - Rosalind Franklin
35.Movie Poster - An Inconvenient Truth (Al Gore)
36.Visual of space. Contrast. X-Ray, Optical - Dark Matter exists
37.Visual (Clue: 23) - David Hilbert
38.Visual. Woman asked to write her name, ends up writing husband's - Alzheimer's
39.Visual - Gregory Perelman, mathematician solved Poincare's conjecture, 2006 Fields Medal winner
40. ECG Sudarsan not getting Nobel
41. Connect : Fractals, Icon- Stephen Wolfram
42. Penziers and Wilson (not sure about names)- Cosmic Background Radiation
43. Place in Austria and deVries, Carl Corens, Eric von - Mendel

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Vidyasagar Rajan Memorial Quiz 2007

This was an intercollegiate quiz that was conducted on 13 January,2007. Arul Mani was the QM. IIM Bangalore ended up winning the contest, mostly on the strength of written rounds.

The standard of the questions was a tad too high for the teams to tackle. Most of the questions in the finals were unanswered by the teams or the audience. It was way over the top of the head, the quizzing equivalent of bowling bouncers at tailenders, who should be made to play the ball and get out! It was Infinite Bounce, well and truly!

To the QM's credit though, the standards of the prelims was also similar. The cut-off I think was very low indeed! But these questions would have been better played out in one of the KQA Opens, I would say. The Themed rounds and Stage-2s were toned down to appropriate levels of tough, even then there were still not too many takers!

It being an intercollegiate affair, I had gone just to watch the quiz... though nowadays usually it turns out that way in any case, even if I go to participate! ;-) I was the only pure spectator, the rest of the audience (there were only about 3 others) were members from teams that hadn't qualified. It is a shame that more of the teams didn't stay back and watch the quiz. Read Living To Fight Another Day for reasons why to do so. To address this issue, the QM had special audience rounds as well; he had even planned it as dividing the audience into teams! :-(

*Humulus lupulus - Hops, used in beer
*Grand Prix Internation ==> Golden Palm
*Losing finalist at Wimbledon in '54,'56,'70,'74 - Ken Rosewall
*Movie Poster - Garrincha
*Bio - PVR=Priya Village Roadshow
*Shona language, independence in 1980, name-change - Zimbabwe
*Logo, sort of like a spade cavity in a disc - World Heritage Site
*RayBan sold to Italian company in 1999
*Story - L'Oreal
*Brain Contrast Map - London taxidrivers
*Visual, one died recently - Hanna and Barbera
*Audio - You're Pitiful James Blunt parody
*Cartoon. Superman Is It Kryptonite? - Zidane headbutt
*Amelie movie
*Turkenbashi, Miyazo
*Audience Stage 2 - AR Rahman songs
*HarleQuin Great Dane - when a Great Dane has spots
*Unknown author piece extract, identify - My Pet Goat
*Yours Mine and Ours, last film she made - Lucille Ball
*Imegaphone album cover - Anagram of Imogen Heap, the artist
*"Don't let no one beat you no more" - Kosovo
*Philip Pullman's Dark Material Trilogy
*Two audios - Written by Founder of Arlantic Records passed away
*Vir Sanghvi Anthology
*"Flight Of The Brickbats"
*Sting's new album - Songs From The Labyrinth
*Arthur Okun calculate index using unemployment and inflation. Used by Republicans to eject Carter - Misery Index
*Sesame Street character Oscar Grouch ==> inspiration for Artemis Fowl character
*Last appearance in Woman called Golda, Oscars for Gaslight(44) and Anastasia(56) - Ingrid Bergman
*Sea-side structure built all over England for Napoleon attacks - opening sequence of Ulysses
*Viggo Mortensen portraying character created by - (forgot)
*Elly awards shaped like an elephant
*Haruki Murakami - Kafka On The Beach photo
*Once known as Asia Minor. Name comes from Greek for "east" - Anatolia
*Beer, River, City- Amstel
*Road to Wellville about - Kellogg
*Tree-dwelling nymphs, alternative name for King Cobra - Hamadryad
*Waistcoat, African capital, corporal equivalent rank in Israeli Defence - Rabat
*Curse of Capistrano first story - Zorro
*Kazakhstan, Borat
*Statue shown, Ulan Bator = Red Hero
*Eaters Of The Dead - version of Beowulf
*Gulf of Mexico = Sea Of Cortes
*Peter Benchley was speechwriter

Sunday, January 07, 2007

KQA January 2007 Open Quizzes

Two quizzes were conducted by the KQA at the Daly Memorial Hall, Bangalore on 7 January 2007. One was a general quiz while the other was a speciality quiz (the theme was "Maps")

1) At Las' (The Map Quiz)
QM: Arun Hiregange of WALTW and Arul Mani

2) Open Quiz
QM: Anustup Datta of WALTW

Both the quizzes were extremely intriguing. I would even go so far as to say that a Sunday afternoon could not have been better spent by a trivia-buff!

The map quiz was a written affair comprising of around 50 questions. Arul Mani and Appu shared QM-duty. The questions, expectedly, blended geography with an eclectic mix of topics while still retaining the "map focus". Even so, the unbeliever could justifiably claim that many were just normal trivia questions being passed on as map questions by just displaying a map on screen! Also, the blanking of some areas of text on the maps even in cases where they would only have helped as "workouter helpers" was somewhat dubious. And on some of the maps, more profound and less arbit questions could have been framed. But all in all, it was an excellent set of questions and a good show by the QMs.

The open quiz was conducted by the Derek O'Brien-crowned ;-) "Brain of Bangalore" Anustup Datta. The enthusiasm and diligence shown by the QM was contagious. The selection of questions was judicious; unanswered questions were few and far in between and when they were, were applauded for ingeniousness and uniqueness of perspective by everyone within hearing distance! The questions of the prelims, thankfully, had good correlation with the questions asked in the finals too. The standard of the questions was generally very good and pretty much uniform, though the odd sitter and "too-arbit"ter were also there.

The final round was a marathon by the master quizzer; it lasted for nearly 4 hours. In fact and jest, towards the end, when the QM needn't have said "Anyone in the audience?" for unanswered questions! (There was no "one" left or only one choice of one was possible ;-) Jokes apart, thank you Anustup for your wonderful and sincere effort at both enlightenment and entertainment!

I participated in both the quizzes though my regular partners had backed out because of other commitments.

My partner for the Map Quiz was Dr.Krishnan who came up with more than a few strokes of brilliance during our fate-imposed collaboration. We scored only around 10 points on the entire set but there were more than a few near-misses. I am mostly to blame; I rue the fact that I haven't perused the mammoth geographical encyclopaedia that I purchased in 2005! :-)

For the general quiz, I teamed up with my erstwhile nemeses and rivals(for a brief time) from REC Calicut- Praveen, Vipin and Atul. We called ourselve Oomph, an abbreviation of the Sanskrit verse on Praveen's T-shirt. For a change :-), we managed to qualify and also placed sixth (I think) in the finals.

Excuse-time! None of us had had anything to eat the whole day and an excess of Food-For-Thought in place of Food-For-Body led to momentary blackouts. Any newbies reading this, really, it makes a difference; this has happened to me before also. Quizzing is a mind-sport and we need to be fit both mentally and physically to sustain high levels of focus and concentration. Self-note: Next time onwards, I have to make sure that I am better nourished for the quizzes that I attend...both ways! ( body... eat more! and perhaps more importantly, mind.. read more! ) ;-)


1.Kajol sequence in KANK Rock & Roll Sonia - inspired by 1950s film Tum Sa Nahin Dekha
(miss,went with a Shammi kapoor film)
2. Barbarians - term comes from Greek, adopted by Romans - unintelligible sounds
(hit, sitter)
3.State animal of Sikkim - Ailures fulgens Why in news- Firefox
(Miss, Inspired attempt: Sleepycat software acquired by Oracle. ailure=>cat, animal is very lethargic)
4. Visual of ISKCON temple Bangalore
5.Commissaires (police), pleureurs (criers), bisseurs (encorers), rieuers (laughers) == Claque (Professional applauders)
(miss, featured in Yaake quiz, should have got)
6.Started in '50s. Average 34-25-34 "The girl next door without any clothes on" == Playboy's Playmate of the month
(Went against hunch and missed, attempt Barbie)
7.Visual of Jan 2, 1928 issue of time - Charles Lindbergh, First TMoY
(Hit, another sitter)
8.Author about most famous creation - I have a feeling of having had too much to eat. Conan Doyle about Holmes
(Miss, Went with Disney about Donald)
9.Coptic text discovered by local peasants - Gnostic Gospels or Nag Hammadi library
X.Visual of Red Umbrella - Citigroup HQ
(miss,Vipin's input lost in noise)
Y.Anthem composed by Joseph Haydn - used by Austria - Deutschland uber alles
Z.Brief bio. Question about Tom Stoppard.
A.Audio: Cliff Richards - Theme from a Dream ==> Pal Pal from Lage Raho Munnabhai
(hit, sitter)
B.Artist, son of tailor, brief bio = Auguste Renoir
C.Film clip with blue umbrella = Ruskin Bond's Blue Umbrella
D.Letter with dashes Dear ____ Swami = Graham Greene to RK Narayanan
E.Visual - Dilmom Dilbert's mom
(miss, +I - Dilbert's dad is Dogbert)
F.brief tech/management bio, 8 people left in 1950s- William Shockley
(miss, wrote John Bardeen)
G.Ancient egyptians started, napoleon thought of continuing - Suez Canal
H.Visual connect : Dead Man's Chest, KLM logo - Flying Dutchman
(miss, KLM didn't flash)
I.Poem snippet "In memory yet green" etc - Isaac Asimov
(hit, dug deep into recesses of memory!!)
J.When Mecca under fidels, Muslims prayed facing - Solomon temple, Al-Aqsa mosque, Jerusalem
K.Map with 30 spots highlighted - NGEO Biodiversity Hotspots
(miss, went with tourism)
L.Monster hit 2002, now reappear with "Bloody Mary" single - Las Ketchup
M.Only Pindar's house spared when rumours of Alexander's death surfaced
N.Brief bio and funda about journal - Mc Graw, Hill
(miss, went with Prentice Hall)
O.Military system ==> Braille
(hit, sitter of the quiz)
P.ABCL talent-finds = Arshad Warsi, Chandrachur Singh
Q.Song played, identify lyricist - Salman Rushdie, acoustic version of U2 Ground Beneath her Feet
(miss, too acoustic to recognize)
R.Changed name to claim lineage - Benjamin Disraeli

titled "The Revenge of The Baby SAT"
The first round was a Multigroup Connect -
9 groups of 5 visuals each..
Theme was "...for dummies books"
TJ: Very lame and stupid. Unguessable. I would say this was the worst part of the quiz.
Jezebel, Mel Brooks, Dancer In The Dark - shot entirely digitally

Regular Rounds
*"Saurav's"= restaurant, "Tendulkar's"= restaurant. Lillees's and Thommo's = Beds reserved in Perth hospital
*Hat in Brokeback Mountain. From spanish for "gold" - Ten Galleon Hat
*Description of encounter in store - who met whom? - Eva Braun with Hitler
*85 functions. "No fish in the southern face of Himalayas" - Swiss army knife
*Video of Mediterranean - Tarantella dance, based on bite of Tarantula spider
*Peyton Place
*Chateau de Cheverney ==> Marlinspike Hall. "Search for identity" - Tintin, Herge
*"Killer" name of car in which Godse travelled.
*Peyton Place
*video.Casino royale, car accident scene - in Guinness Book for most number of rolls by a car
*Sporting term called "side" in England. Rest of the world = "English" snooker
*Anecdote about somebody's death. Both sides of the Atlantic mourned = Little Nel
*Audio, singing style why so- Kumar Gandharv, only one lung
*started because "no major sporting events to cover" = Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition
*Pause before continuing good=Zeigarnik effect ==> Cliffhanger plot device
*Asteroid named for its highly irregular orbit - Toutatis, protector of Asterix and compatriots
*First supporter for Salman Rushdie after fatwa - Orhan Parmuk
*Quarantine changed from 30 days to 40 days. Why? - Because Jesus spent 40 days in wilderness
(We scored on this. I didn't know this one but my answer "Because Jesus took 40 days for something" was accepted)
*Glen Burke baseball play, one of the first openly gay - invented the high-five!
*Beetle which fetches a lot of money - named after Hitler
(I tried: Beetle after which Volkswagen's Beetle was named!)
*Isambard Kingdom Brunel
*Description of sequence of spots in Bombay - Shantaram Trail
(Praveen said "Something to do with Shantaram". Accepted! Hazy answers seemed to be our way)
*Visual + description - Rajapalyam dog (Was too easy)
*Risus sardonicus
*Why baker's dozen still 13? - 13 gets the best packing ratio, while baking in rectangular
*Descriptive. last screenwriter hired by etc = Gore Vidal, Ben Hur
*Poem with title Saint _______ - Saint Maudlin
(I answered Saint Lachrymose!)
*Eris (Greek deity lawlessness)new "planet" which caused demotion of Pluto is appropriately named. Why? - Earlier named Xena, acted by Lucy Lawless
*Apple glass box in NY controversial - exact dimension Kaaba
*Impressionists, quakers (few more)... what's common - derogatory references which became their names
*"Turn on, tune in, dropout story - Timothy Leary, Marshall McLuhan
*Description of something starting. Chinese eating carrion. - SARS
*"Anyone who __, ___ or ____ this will " - Bramah safe challenge
*"Half the money I spend on ads is wasted..trouble is I don't know which half" Also associated with PGA - Joe Wanamaker
*Visual of hill in Ogden - Paramount Pictures logo
*Poem __ the butcher ___ the boy who buys beef etc - reference to West Port murders a la Noida
*Writing on the wall from Belshazar's feast, Indian ocean song - Aramaic
*Ripley's Believe it or not for most number educational institutions - Tonse Madhav Anant Pai
*Bob Dylan plagiarism
*PG Wodehouse. Psmith Journalist. Dialogue What followed? - "Elementary my dear Watson"
(I got this one out of the blue. Long evening=> blackout ==> Smoke-break==>Brain cells awoke)

Written round
Toponymous dystopia. places (shown in map) + description of word ==> places, words
5 sets of words and places (Forgot to note down. Can anyone fill me in?)
(Shamefully, we didn't score in this round! :-( I'd been upbeat on hearing the them)

The audio round was cancelled due to lack of time!

The final Theme round Stage 2.
The theme was people who had won Emmy and Oscar for the same role in Broadway and movie
*Tmesis = "abso-blooming-utely" audio from My Fair Lady. Another example, How-heinous-ever from Shakespeare Richard
*"The Subject was roses"
*Yul Brynner
*Fill in the 5 blanks - Thomas More, "A man for all seasons"
*Mel Brooks and Ann Bancroft in "Silent Movie"

(Just putting up answers, hope they make sense. Will meaning-ize later. Check this space)
0 Chorinti - spinach leaves, region in Italy
1.Grand Chapo Region - conflict referred to in Tintin & Broken Ear
2.Route of Captain Cook
3.Tombs of Mughal Emperors
4.Jersey and New Jersey
5.India coded map - literacy
6.Regions shaded - Asterix comics camp named after
7.English speaking Central American country - Belize
8.Island - Mount Terror and so on - Ross Island, Antarctica
9.Blanked out region - Munchkin Country, Map Of Oz
X.Connect of leaves - India
Y.Dots - Shankaracharya Mutts
Z.Route of Lief Erikson
A.9th largest country - Kazakhstan
B.Pentecost Island - Origin of bungee jumping
C. Connect Orange Free State, Yellow River China etc - Colours
D.Aerial shot - Istanbul
E.Two lowest - Dead Sea, Sea Of Galilee
F.Route of Vasco da Gama
G.(Two islands) clue: think linear - International Date Line passes through these
H.Chihuahua region of Mexico
I.Routes of Marco Polo & Ibn Batuta
J.Challenger Deep
K.Map of Kashmir, missing dot - Vaishnodevi
L.Connect Hudson Bay and something else - actor - Rock Hudson
M.Sargasso Sea
N.Map of world in - Orwell's 1984
O.Thomas Hardy's Wessex
P.Mulholland Drive
Q.Lake Ujiji - Livingstone
R.Railroute shown identify two stations - Putney and Motley or something
S.Map of Europe imposed on Antarctica
(naughty, naughty question from Arul Mani. Q was "What's happening in this?")
T.European Union shaded. (Also includes French Guyana)
U.Route 66
V.Map, turtle - Cayman Islands
W.Two islands renamed for tourism - Alexander Selkirk and Robinson Crusoe
a. Senegal and Cape Verde - named after westmost point of Africa
b. Dominica, Christmas, Easter - named after days on which discovered. Dominica=Sunday
c. Beagle Channel - after HMS Beagle
d. Thomas (can't recall question)
e. Radio, tea, etc connect - Ceylon
f. Peter O'Toole, coffee etc connect - Arabia
g. Bhandarpur - clue was famous temple
h. Sites of Asian Games
i. Prester John (can't recall question)
j. Contrast maps - Tribal and non-tribal regions of Andaman
k. Map with arrows - Spread of Indo-European languages
l. Moses route
(My partner Dr.Krishnan cracked this!)
m. Andorra
n. Lake Chad
o. Kourou
p. Achamenid Empire
q. Limerick