Sunday, February 04, 2007

IIM-B Unmaad Open 2007

IIM-B, as part of their annual cultural festival Unmaad, organized an open quiz contest at their campus today. The QMs were Thejaswi Udupa and his college team-mates. The prelims set was pretty cool but the final round was a major letdown. This was despite the prelims being tuned as a sneak pre-taste of the finals (42 questions , Beatles trivia, Escher etc) . There were cushions and not chairs for the qualifiers on stage: perhaps signifying that there were supposed to be no sitters! (Bad PJ TJ!)

It turned out to be, as my friend Sai puts it, a “fan-boy quiz” with not much trivia of lasting value and worth, peppered with some fun questions (all the same) fashioned from arcana about the quiz-masters’ cultural infatuations and hobbies. For example, many questions were themed around France, where one of the QMs, as he kept periodically reminding us, had “spent three months of his life”! It must be said also that some of these questions had the fun-factor.

It must be remembered that, to rephrase an adage, the formula of “all fun and no beef” makes the audience a dull one! It was clear that the QMs were having a lot of fun, enjoying themselves – sharing inside jokes (the Das brothers and the current “in-thing” in Bangalore quizzing circles, cover of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper) with the on-stage teams and introducing everybody to their idols and other objects of their adoration. All this left the audience in the lurch, I felt.I am basing this judgment on what I saw of the quiz (I left around halfway through), so it might be a little unfair but this is what I felt.

Perhaps because there was another inter-collegiate quiz (IMS, big money) no college-teams made it to the final round. Because I left halfway through, I don’t know who won the quiz or about the final standings. Somebody please fill me in.


My teammates were Lloyd, Rajesh Mohan and Sai Ganesh (who decided to team up with me at the venue). We called ourselves “Oraclique”! But we did not clear the prelims this time. We came real close though, earning ourselves an “honourable mention” from the QM. We lost out on the tie-breakers; we had only 0.5 on the starred questions in the prelims.

We might have sneaked through had I not made a last-minute, ill-advised change on my response “Fermat’s last theorem” to “Murphy’s Law” on a question about an equation. It was my partner Sai’s gut feeling(he couldn’t justify) against my gut feeling(with some justification). But such is life! It has happened to me before; when will I ever learn. Advice: always go with what can be justified better on a prelims Q! Lloyd said that he considered Biafra to be a miss.

(Self-note: The trip to IIM-B. Home to Marathahalli to campus! Taxi advice!)


1. Word meaning master of own self. Also husband in Bengali – Swami

2. First used in 1910s for a baseball pitch – Jazz

3. Visual – map – non-fictional country – Biafra

4. 3 equations shown, what’s missing – Fermat’s last theorem

5. Video – Pat Boone covering Little Richard

6. Comic strip – about chick-picking Nash. – Richard Feynman

7. Visual. Comic characters from – Raj comics

8. Missing blank: _________, Magnum force etc – Dirty Harry

9. Visual: Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata (wild guess: wrote Zapatista)

10. Audio – singer died recently – Moksha (Forever never)

11. “No yacht was harmed in the making of the movie. It is the movie that is the shipwreck!” about - Guy Ritchie’s Swept Away

12. Posters: Jamaica Inn, Rebecca – Alfred Hitchcock, Daphne du Maurier (Cracked!)

13. Map – Identify city. American punk rocker – Gothenburg

14. Wives of Muruga (One is name of a Tamil Actress) – Valli & Devayani (Rajesh got Valli)

15. Ad campaign – acclaimed internationally not in India. Clues- Incredible India (miss)

16. Poem missing blanks – Kazakhstan, Borat

17. Connect Perfume, Miss England etc – Shilpa Shetty, Big Brother. (Big bother now! When will the BB mania stop???)

18. List 9 items. FR Spofforth etc – Laker, best bowling figures in Test innings

19. Visual: paintings Connect – Absinthe (Sai!)

20. Story named after another city. Chestnut. – Venezuela, Venice

21. Visuals connect – Gibraltar, London, Paris, Southampton – Ballad Of John & Yoko

22. St. Gobain order supplied 357 of them. Important events have happened here – Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles (QM blooper)

23. First suggested by Thomas Jefferson for Parisians to wake up earlier. Color coded map –Daylight Saving Time

24. Laxmikant Pyarelal not inspired. Decide to leave studio. Chat inspired son – Accha To Hum Chalthe Hai (Rajesh magic!)

25. Visual. Subject of controversy between two countries when lease expired. 1971. – Jim Morrison’s grave

26. Long silences of Parisian beauty => Dumb blonde (Should have worked out :()

27. Listing. Sudden drop in 1939 – Lou Gehrig’s batting averages

28. Average age:45, 16% outsiders (or reverse?), 47% from neighbor, official language also lone neighbour’s – Monaco

29. Visual sitter – Kiran Desai

30. Visual – Hugo Chavez

31. Still from movie – Ghost Rider

32. Visual connect – James Joyce, grave – Black Dahlia

33. Visual – Akbar and – Matt Groening (Sai. Would have banged my head!)

34. Visuals- house , “This is where the original soil…” – Joan Of Arc

35. Velasquez painter

36. Visual – self-portrait of artist from – Art Spiegelman

37. Tulus Dothrek??

38. Location. Story. What? - Jaipur litfest

39. Visual – MC Escher

40. Word origin story. Word first, acronym later – Backronym

41. Audio – Van Morrison Astel week

42. Crimean war connect. (We wrote Last Samurai)


Lateral round of 5 visuals – Theme Old names of bands

1. Tradewinds – Styx

2. Soft White Underbelly – Blue Oyster Cult

3. Roundabout – Deep Purple

4. The Mega death – Pink Floyd

5. Earth – Black Sabbath

6. Quarrymen – Beatles

Infinite bounds

1. Sculpture in Perth Triangle – Penrose triangle

2. Michael Steele bassist of band inspired from Elvis grave – Eternal Flame, Bangles

3. East side gallery. World’s largest open air art gallery on – Berlin Wall

4. Rodgers & Hammerstein concentrated on King & I for 1956 Oscars. Also Carousel and Oklahoma in that year, neglected. But Carousel runaway hit song – “You Will Never Walk Alone”, theme song of many football teams

5. Missing picture in series – Husbands of Elizabeth Taylor – Richard Burton

6. A-B 1968 “wasn’t dead and that he hadn’t gone anywhere” 1999 saying at A’s death – Joe Di Maggio, Paul Simon, Mrs. Robinson

7. Visuals. Cerberus, Orpheus charmed – Tribute in literature – Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s stone

8. Oct 14, 1937. Caswell “ Do I have to watch this ___ grow”. Overheard and Stanley Woodward coined => Ivy League

9. Words if used, no ads in gmail – Forms of die, dead etc

10. Visuals. Indian gurujis. Who was missing? Sergeant Pepper cover – Mahatma Gandhi

11. Robocop movie still of car with licence plate “6000 SUX” – Anti-ad by Ford against Pontiac 6000 their competitor

12. Audio. Genre of jazz – Prasnna, Raagabop

13. Website entitled “ The ___ ___ simulator” experiment. Best result “Flavius. Hence: home you idle” – Million monkeys with typewriter to produce Shakespeare

14. List of places and date, starting with Brest and ending in Brest, France – Clemencau ship places

15. Maps. Champagne, Cognac, Bourbon, Port => all give names to liquor only if grown there

16. Space captain poem – Lonely Planet

17. Visuals. Chandigarh, works of art – Le Corbusier connect

18. Monty Python clip. Only person other than 6 to be co-credited. Later influenced – bureaucraticness of Vogons in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams

19. Character in South Park – “Token Black”, introduced for the sake of having a black

20. Hell’s Angels, Howard Hughes

21. Connect. Supreme, Robbie Williams video. Inspired by ____. Roman Polanski – directed . Visuals of all of them

22. Connect. Jules Verne pic. Back To The Future guy – sons named Jules and Verne

23. Audio: Norwegian wood covered by Cornershop

24. Bar in Switzerland – Geiger bars by HR Geiger

25. Dexter’s lab. Car Mock-5 based on – Mach 5

26. Poison song audio. Visual of two musicians. => Eagles Of Death Metal (a band!)

27. Baranna, Kannada movie

28. Visuals. Lego-theme parks.

(This is where I got out!)


  1. mmm.. i hope that fermat's theorem will not come to bite again :) Anyways , i think its always good to have "fan-boy" quizzes sometimes. It helps balance things at times. Usually we end up having too many serious "political-geography-history" quizzes. Sometimes it is good to have college guys conducting MELA quizzes - Movies, Entertainment, Literature and Arts .

  2. well i am only of the opinion that wuizzes should not be too much "fanboy"! Spare a thought for the audience. This also holds for the "serious" quizzes. Too much of anything ==> bad.

  3. I was practically sleeping thro'finals.May be pertinent to say that the winners failed to qualify in the mulky open couple of hrs later