Thursday, November 26, 2015

24th November Cup/Plate Away to the Robin Hood


Although it was only two weeks since the Lemmings had last played the Robin Hood, here they were again, this time playing away in the Cup.

It was a real pleasure to return to the Robin Hood, as last time the Lemmings played there the pub seemed to be on its last legs with a big question mark over its future. Under the new landlords however it is a warm and welcoming pub with very friendly staff and three hand-pumps including Hobgoblin and Thwaites. There is an extensive food menu and whilst we were unable to take advantage of it, the photographs are very attractive.

The usual contributor to this blog Alan-A-Dale was this time restored to the home team (strength in depth means players rotate) but the Lemmings were confident following their previous win despite Wendy being away with Sunil standing in for her.

And at the end of the first round of twenty questions the home team were reeling – not from the staggering breadth of knowledge displayed by the visitors but because they had completely thrashed the Lemmings with 21 points to a wretched 10; the second round was much closer with 18 to 17 but they returned to form in the  third set with 17 to 8. With the score at 56 to 35 there was then a beer break – perhaps one that “refreshes the parts that others cannot reach” would perhaps strengthen the straw the Lemmings were clutching. But no – round 4 continued the trend 19 to 13. But then the tide turned and the Lemmings put in a crashing 19 points to the Hood’s 15 – only to revert to form with 18 to 14. Final score 108 to 81.  The Lemmings well and truly shot down by the Robin Hood.

Being ever-optimistic the Lemmings can now look forward to a night off in future rounds.

But it was a most enjoyable evening, great atmosphere in a friendly pub rounded off with tasty beef and egg sandwiches – many thanks to the landlord, to the team and as usual the patient and tolerant question master.

And finally may I say how pleased I am that the blog has become a forum for an open exchange of ideas and suggestions – thank you all.


AAD said...

I shall attempt to show restraint in victory, especially as we all know that the two league points a fortnight ago were what we really wanted.

1) Most of the imbalancing in the questions (first half) seemed to work in our favour. (Honourable mention to the Brewers Arms, who seemed to set a good 2nd 60 belying their position as "Grand Armadillos" of the Question-Setters League last year and showing signs of recovering from Red Dwarf fixations)
2) The Cup format helps a team who relies on one star player, compared to a team of similarly capable performers. Mr Kennelly had one of his inspired-verging on seriously worrying nights, had he been restricted to one in eight questions plus conferreds he could not have wreaked such damage.
3) Apologies to Bob - selfies are not 6 years out of date (although it seems that long since my school started to ban kids from taking them)- Collins Word of the Year in 2013!

And finally, whilst Alan Levitt has mentioned a paucity of Film and TV on Tuesday night, one team captain had fired off the missive "TOO MANY ARTS and ENTS AGAIN....." on the results sheet. The question setters might find solace in the words of the BBC spokesman in 1985 "the government says we are biased to the Miners, the Miners say we're biased to the government. Perhaps we've got the balance right".

Alan Levitt said...

I was being ironic!

AAD said...

fair enough, not always easy to know what everyone likes. Science and History seemed almost absent, sport infrequent.

I think I've got my shadow cabinet learned pretty well now!

Alan Levitt said...

Yes I can't believe anyone would think that over one fifth of the questions should be about film & TV. As I said in a previous post its getting like a Telly Addicts quiz

Alan a'Dale said...

...if only Pointless could reduce film/TV to about 20% of its rounds. To what extent the Macc Quiz League should be catering to the elites and the masses is a whole debate in itself - obviously one that pre-dates my participation given the appearance and subsequent disappearance of the separate Entertainment/Arts and Culture rounds.

To turn it round, could some of us learn a few things about the composition of a good quiz (across all 160 questions). With a bit of time, I might do a similar exercise to Alan on the quizzes that get good marks. Obviously, a "normal" quiz is a bit different from a cup because of the compulsory specialists, but it would be interesting to see the proportions of questions on each broad topic area of the quizzes that most of us have enjoyed over the last year. The "big 5" of the A league all set quizzes that went down quite well last year, is there a pattern in what they ask? If, let's say, the "pop culture stuff" is consistently limited to 10-15% of questions, we could all learn a lesson.

If anyone wants to beat me to it, I'd be intrigued to see what the outcome is.

AAD said...

OK - first breakdown. Ox-fford on first day of this season.
My categories are a bit arbitrary (as, according to postmodernist theory, is the attempt to separate High and Low culture) and several questions overlapped more than one, but here goes (and I clearly didn't count up to 160 perfectly)

Sport - 11%
Geography (Uk and world) 14%
History (eg: pre 1970)10%
High Culture (Literature, , Classical Music, Musicals, Opera, Poetry, Languages, Classical Civilisation and Mythology) 12.5%
Popular Culture (Film, TV, Pop Music, celebrities)19%
"Public Affairs" (recent "history", Politics, "serious news", Crime, Social Sciences, Commerce) 9%
Science, Nature, Technology 12%
"Everyday life" (Food, drink, household items) 10%

Interesting to note no great difference in the Pop Culture column from Tuesday night - although the Ox-fford had a lot of classic movies in there, which may have struck a different chord.

Working backward chronologically, I shall turn to the Weaver at the end of last season next. I wish I could leave the other half of what is swiftly becoming "The Two Alans" with a smiley emoji (OED's word of the year, as opposed to Collins') at this point.

AAD said...

As promised, the Weaver - March 2015

History 8%
High Culture (with a lot of linguistically based qs - including the spellings) 19%
Sport 11%
Science 14%
Pop Culture 17%
Public Affairs 11%
Geog 17%
Everyday life 2.5%

Not particularly different from the Ox-fford above.

Anonymous said...

and one more before work...

March 2015 - Dolphin Dragons

History 11%
High Culture 21%
Sport 14%
Science 12%
Pop Culture 14%
Public Affairs 13%
Geog 12%
Everyday life 3%

Liz seizes the intellectual high ground..... (again with a lot of border disputes - found myself putting Paddington Bear into "High Culture" because it is a book)

Lord Flame said...

One of the problems noted with the cup questions was caused, according to our QK by the removal of a question during the vetting process which caused the Apprentice and TV show presenter questions to fall to the same team.

The vetting is so important

As of now (Friday morning) the GQ questions for Tuesday week haven't been received by the vetter or Specialists setter

I know the timetable is sent out at the beginning of the season - maybe the reminder could be sent out a week earlier

AAD said...

The Dolphin - February 2015

High Culture 35 22%
Science 13 8%
Geog 21 13%
Low Culture 32 20%
History 21 13%
Sport 13 8%
Everyday 8 5%
Current Affairs 17 11%

So, the Dolphin, who received marks of close to 7 on average in the A League last year managed to do so whilst crossing Alan L's Pop Culture rubicon of 20%.

To turn the scrutiny, momentarily, only 8 out of the 36 "halves" of quizzes set last year achieved an average mark of 6 from the teams awarding (across the 3 divisions). I'm not sure that there are many contexts where handing a score of 60% to someone would elevate them to the top quartile. Are too many of us a bit too mean and is the single biggest reason for low marks our own inability to know answers to questions that are often answered correctly by others?

Presumably, many contributors have handed out marks of 0,1 or 2 out of 10. When do they choose to do as such? If I awarded a similar mark to a student I would have to be fairly affronted by their lack of effort/total wrongness. Slight imbalance in their work wouldn't take me in that direction.

A final thought on this via a bit of Operant Conditioning - we all (well the less adept of us, at least) know how depressing it is to sit for 1-2 hours saying "confer" because we know nothing. If it happened 8 weeks in a row, I would be thinking about doing something else with my Tuesday nights. Does the same apply to the setters - hours of additional work in some cases - in exchange for scores of 2,3,4 out of 10. If this happened to me frequently I would be tempted to copy a load of questions from the net (with blind indifference to content, difficulty and accuracy) and probably forget to send them to the vetters to boot. It is this latter case that deserves the minimal score, surely? Last year the Knot Know-Alls set a very difficult quiz, but one with reasonable difficulty balance and lots of evidence of up-to-date question gathering effort - we gave them 2.91 on average.

Some very legit points about questions have been made in the last three weeks, but fundamentally, they have all allowed us a reasonable chance to answer accessible and overwhelmingly correct questions.