Monday, November 12, 2007

Whodunits - BCQC November Open

Quizmaster: J. Ramanand

Date: 4th November

Format : Written elims. Top 6 teams go through. Next 6 teams play a playoff. Top 3 teams get chosen, and each of these 6 people are randomly assigned to a team which has already qualified.

Results: (Team names assigned by QM, after innovative murder devices)

1st place : 85 Conch Shells (Niranjan, Harish, Vishal)
2nd place : 65 Armadillos (Anupam, Akhil, Rachana)
3rd place : 55 Bonsai (Meghshyam, Samrat, Anand)
4th place : Designer Jeans (Aditya Gadre, Salil Bijur, Vikas)
5th place : Exploding Cows (Abhishek, Meghana, Amit)
6th place : Godfathers (Gaurav Singh, Yasho Tamaskar, Venkat)


The day started off with a few innovations in the elims itself. Like CAT 2005, this elims introduced "differential" marking for the first time. Elims sheets were separate from the answer sheet, an innovation which enabled participants to keep the elims sheet and facilitated quicker(and some might say more accurate) correction. The finalists were chosen as described above.

Playoffs: This went on for about half an hour, had out-of-turn written responses (for closeup-confident teams) and regular passing for the yellowing rest. Scoring was also accordingly modified.

Finals: A 44 question final promised enough masala packed in every question to cause headache to most teams. Lots of brilliant questions, a few new areas touched upon - and cascading presentation of each connect element made clear a quiz which had been made with such painstaking detail that would've made Margaret Mitchell proud. This quiz was crafted more than set. Everyone had a thoroughly brain-rackingly good time. The experience of grizzled-hair teams like NP / BVHK or Samrat, Meghashyam made them the fair horses right from the start. But team Armadillos came up with some inspired answers and seemed to prosper near the middle of the quiz, when most teams were surrendering to mental exhaustion. Team Designer Jeans too made up some ground near the end with some good answers. Overall, decent showing from the on-stage teams - though no one was really on fire.

However, there were a few "buts" as usual. By 7pm mental fatigue, large average passing lengths and dwindling audiences meant that though the last 10 questions still remained, the QM chose to rush past them ("in the interest of general human rights") meaning that a lot of the good work was to no avail, as teams feigned thinking while dreaming of food. It all ended in a rather sombre mood of finality, with some teams "dazed and confused" and others in pseudo-eureka moments of having discovered a "flaw" in IR.

Overall, somehow though the quiz was excellent in itself - the experience seems to lead us towards another cusp in the BCQC development cycle, where we have been forced to re-evaluate what exactly we want to do and how to go about doing it.

[Request from Ramanand]: Since I may reuse the questions for a Bombay Quiz Club session, I request any commentators to refrain from specifically mentioning any answer keywords. Harish, I have modified your comment accordingly.


Arnold said...

What's the flaw again? There are many "flaws" -- what did you'll spot?

Ramanand said...

[Censored comment by Harish: removed references to some answers]
Majority of the questions trod the thin line between brilliance and esoterica but a majority of the aforesaid majority,IMO,tended to be brilliant.
Lot of new areas explored.
Old wine was also delightfully packaged.

There were some answers which required us to give more than just the key-words. E.g. the cross-word q - Salil talked about [some words] but because it was a really trivial fact, the answer was not complete, rightly so. Same with the Les Diaboliques question

Ramanand said...

Arnold: it was about the amount of time some teams at the end of passing cycle seemed to receive in a 'tough quiz'. I'm still not convinced :-) Will send you the thread, perhaps!