Tuesday, May 06, 2008

May Open Morning Quiz - "Dekho Magar Pyaar Se"

Date: May 4, 2008
Set and Conducted by Niranjan Pedanekar

Results (elims scores in bracket):
1st: Harish + Ramanand (D): 215 [25.5]
2nd: Akhil + Apurva (C) : 210 [20.5]
Jt. 3rd: Salil + Yasho (B) : 160 [24]
Jt. 4rd: Aditya Gadre + Kaustubh (E) :160 [21]
5th: Abhishek + S. Ashwin (F) : 145 [19.5]
6th: Aniket + Manish Manke (A): 105 [20]

Best school team: Pushkar Pandit and Kunal Kalkundri; Best college team not in final: Rohan and Gaurav Singh, Best newbies: Harshal Modi and Mahip Vyas

Scorer: Aadinath Harihar


This report is easy to describe: the quiz was brilliant :-). After having inflicted brain-churning quizzes in the last couple of years, Niranjan chose to rebel against the monsters he had unleashed, as well as the verbose laziness of the rest of us. He presented a quiz whose underlying theme was 'pithiness' which showed that questions can be set with an economy of expression by exploiting the proverbial '1 pic == 1000 words. In doing so, he has again pushed the boundaries of what we can do in setting a quiz. At the same time he was also able to show us what we can do 'at a quiz' - in presentation, in building atmosphere, in panache and chutzpah (Yiddish for ... :-))

The quiz began with a Larry Lessig/Dick Hardt style presentation which so caught everyone's fancy that there was actually an encore demanded and had. The elims set the standard with some excellent questions.

Most felt that the finals were a lot less mentally taxing than previous quizzes, which seemed to naturally flow from the theme of the quiz. There were 4 regular rounds and 4 'special rounds'. Though interesting, I felt some of them had too many questions. Another observation was that since we spent less time in parsing each question, we had a little more time to ponder the possible answers.

As ever, Niranjan's choosing of question elements was almost always excellent. While setting a question, there are several different ways of presenting it. This is especially so in a visuals only quiz, where one would have been faced with questions such as what to show, whether there are enough hints within the images (remember: want to have as few words in the question as possible), whether this is a good enough question, and so on. For me, observing these possible choices was the best part of the quiz. For instance, the question about the index from a particular book - I don't know if other pages would have been as revealing as that particular page.

Lest I wax too eloquent, here are some minor flaws: the quiz was at least 30 minutes too long. There were quite a few Rosa Park-ers (perhaps our new term for 'sitters' ;-)) which, much to the chagrin of Teams F & E, kept coming to us. (Team F were perhaps so distraught that when presented with their own sitter, they chose to slip rather inconveniently :-).)

Further on the plus side, the proceedings on stage were very peaceful and conducive to quiet contemplation of quizzes. We had a large turnout of school quizzers this time. Harish and I finally won (together, that is) a quiz of Niranjan's, having come close twice before. Akhil and Apurva, fine but underrated quizzers, gave us a good fright with their late surge.

It was an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning.


Ramanand said...

[Harish's comment - reposted in the right place here]

"Firstly - I have become a fan of the Lessig way!Trying to popularize this in our company!
In a nutshell,Stockholm syndrome is the best way to describe your quizzes. You usually make us undergo factual harassment and we love you for it.
The Visuals quiz was not that heavy on the brain - so there was enough left to be damaged in the next quiz :-)
Great quiz; great way of presenting it; not too many opportunities for you to blunder on half-points (my consistent peeve with you since 2001). I'd have loved it if this had been a multi-media quiz - audio,video as well."

Abhishek said...

I'd take Niranjan's normal quiz to this anyday! I think I LIKE the pain that comes at the end. Of course I'm impressed by the Lessig way, but the fact that NP could pull it off was even more impressive.

As for the quiz itself, I thought the specialty rounds were contrived and unnecessary. Esp. the pedopics, special effects etc. Was it not homage to good ol' identify pic from kid question on BQC?

Of course there were hajaar fabulous questions. Seconf JR's opinion on the first pic in a book question. Easily question of the day for me!

Siddharth said...

I would have loved to be there. Could anyone please email me the quiz? Thanks,


Ramanand said...

Dani: you were referred to in the Lessig-style ppt :-) Ask NP for the quiz.

Ramanand said...

Abhishek: I was actually referring to the index at the end (a different book), but the one from the beginning was great as well. Should have thought of that.

adi said...

i hav uploaded the video of the intro on youtube..its also on my blog
check out-


Niranjan said...

All of you have been very kind with your words. Thanks.

And thanks to a newly Godfather (Adinath), I have finally made it to the movies!

Hopefully, I will one day be able to make an audio-only quiz, which will be an opportunity for the visually impaired as well as the colour-blind.

George said...

An eloquent post is often triggered either by something that is just outstanding or by something that stinks so bad it rocks. NP, I can confidently assert in absentia, can never stray from the former. As with several great auteurs in cinema, his public ouevre has been limited (in my quizzing lifetime) and each salvo has offered a lot to cherish. I'm really sorry I missed being in attendance for what was clearly yet another towering success. To salvage a decaying background in Computer Science, may I note that achieving NP-greatness is NP-complete :)

Niranjan: may I echo Siddharth's request?

Adi: Do we have more footage for a documentary? It'd make a nice addition to the folio of memories.

adi said...

Sorry man..thats all i have got. One more thing..this video is shot during his second presentation on popular demand after the quiz. I personally think that the first one was more spontaneous.

Aditya said...

Niranjan : Adi is Aditya Bhedasgaonkar ... not Adinath.

Loved the quiz. But i Agree with Abhishek about Amnesia being better. As always the quiz was loads of entertainment for us as well as the audience.

My only minor crib i loosing out on the 3rd spot on elims score. That really sucked especially since we were ahead for most of the quiz.

Yash said...

I disagree with aditya there
(and not just because we got the 3rd spot)
the pt of arguement that they were ahead for the most part makes "comebacks" and "late surges" ptless.

But a brilliant quiz.
I cant imagine the amount of effort involved in this.
But as always excellently brilliant seems to be as low as Niranjan can go :-)
CRIB-Park-er of a sitter

Harish Kumar said...

There was a q on the Sub-Prime crisis in the elims and some people were not sure about it. In tune with the tune of the quiz, here's a nice way of explaining what it is all about - http://www.businesspundit.com/the-sub-prime-primer/

Niranjan said...

Again, thanks for the words of appreciation.

George and Dani, am 'working on' making the quiz slim enough to be sent over the 'I' (in tribute to a quizzer referring to IIM-Ahmedabad as 'A').

Niranjan said...

Apologies to all concerned 'Adi's (a baba!).

With so many 'Adi's around, now we know why it is called addishun.

I am glad that people are not named Chaditya.