Thursday, October 16, 2008

October General Open Quiz - Report

Set and conducted by: Apoorva Dubey and Akhil
Flavour: General
Participation: ~40 teams

Results:
1st: (B) Vibhendu Tiwari + Nikhil Motlag + J. Ramanand (draft): 140
2nd: (E) Salil Bijur + Yash Tamaskar + Yash Marathe (draft): 105
Jt. 3rd: (C) Suraj Menon + Arnold D'Souza + Kaustubh Bhat (draft): 55
Jt. 3rd: (F) Tushar Kaul + Shiv Anant Tayal + Anand Sivashankar (draft): 55
5th: (D) Suvajit Chakraborty + Aditya Gadre + Roshith Mohan (draft): 50

6th: (A) Gautam + Ramprakash + Sudarshan Shidore (draft): 30

~50 questions in IR; some "free hit" questions; Elims cutoff: top 6: 9, draft: 8; I couldn't record the elims scores

Report
This quiz had the toughest elimination round I can ever recall having attempted. We were lucky to squeeze in as draft picks, with those who didn't losing out on the proverbial hair's breadth. This resulted in a very new (and some would say, fresh) lineup on stage.

Many of the questions in both the finals and elims were good. In fact, some were excellent. However, these were somewhat obscured because several of the remaining questions could have been better framed, or had too many elements to provide. I am not sure if it happened only to us, but we were a little disoriented in the elims! In addition, the coverage of topics was fairly western-centric; however, that is preferable to artificially including topics that don't interest the quiz masters. That said, there were more questions on literature and art than other routine BCQC quizzes. I also liked the science questions.

There was a lot of new things to be learnt in this quiz and that made it worthwhile for me. What did you think? Use the comments to let us know.

10 comments:

Salil said...

I didnt mind the content being Western-centric because of the morning India quiz. :-)

Questions were good, but there were a few where the connects were rather vague. Overall, I didnt find the quiz boring or too tiring so had a great time!

akhilbasha said...

One of the quizmasters responding here:

Ramanand's analysis of how the quiz turned out seems to mirror my own impression pretty closely. I think in many places we had good material that needed to be framed better to make the questions more accessible.(Eg. the 'Hendrix' one). I am always worried about making it too easy, and I guess I overcompensated and ended up making the questions a little too obscure. Who knew quizzing could be such a tightrope walk!

As far as the connects go, I actually thought almost all of them were cracked (except the John Steinbeck one, which maybe needed to have just one of those clues as the question itself and the Old DD serials one, for which I accept full responsibility :-) )

Let's see what the others think...

Akhil

Ramanand said...

Akhil: It is a tough balance to strike. I thought you had managed to do it perfectly in your last quiz (the one for the schools).

BTW, was also curious to know the thinking behind the Free Hits, because I didn't quite understand what it was meant to serve. Oh, btw, some of the audience qns were terrific.

akhilbasha said...

Ramanand : I think we tried to skew easier for the college quiz we did last year. For this one, I actually removed information from many questions that I thought would make them giveaways.

The 'free hits' were supposed to reward good guesses. (If you keep guessing, there's a chance you might get to another question similar to it, and score more). It was ironic that I think apart from your team, no one got their free hits. My reasoning was that by applying the same logic as for the previous question, one should have a good chance of getting the question. (That's why Truman Illusion followed the Make My Day Law, Bruce Springsteen was followed by Nirvana etc). It was in the end, a fun diversion, not supposed to be a structural change like the infinite bounce or the scaling system you introduced in your morning quiz.

Again, the audience questions were what we thought would be simple (or well known)for the teams themselves.I hope you can see a theme emerging here! We erred in most cases, I think, on the tougher side. A little course correction should be helpful for future quizzes.

I hope to be around in Pune for a year atleast, so will see if I can set it right with a more accessible quiz :-)

Apurva said...

We tried hard to ensure two things in most of the questions:
* subject of the question wasn't obscure. For instance: we inverted the 'Master and Margarita' question from "name an obscure book" to "name a song using 'Devil' as clue". (Also, I was coerced into removing questions on Banach-Tarksi paradox and Calabi-Yau manifolds lest audience might think they were in for PhD quals).
* element workout-ablility (like the Schnectady one - which I did not expect anyone to get, and for which I might have given points for as less as "kids are stupid")

Evidently, in some questions we removed much information (even vital clues) rendering them a bit too stark and lifeless. For instance, in the Armani question we had initially put the entire name 'Anand Ramnath Mani', but later thought that it would make it a sitting duck.

Probably the fear of being booed at led to overdoing things at some places.

What could have done for questions that none of the teams were able to get in the first go was to give a strong clue and let it go around again. Even for the elims we should have asked audience if they needed clues.

Also, some of my connects were ill-conceived -- were there for the sake of being there, without much depth (Dogs of War)

Anonymous said...

Few observations from the prelims:

1. I think it's always important to have a fair share of "easy" questions in the prelims to ensure return participation. I must admit giving away AR Mani's game would have made it a sitter,but given the overall difficulty of the prelims,I don't think it would have been such a bad idea to gift a few free points.

2. I think the QM's should clearly specify what answer they expect from the contestants. QM's didn't seem to know the difference between the name Julius and title Caesar. Ditto for the Jesus Lizard question. You should have clearly mentioned that you wanted the common name and not the scientific name.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Lizard


3. Can we have double stars or triple stars next time round? Or better still,a 3 question tie-break. I know it increases the burden on the QM but I think everyone gets a fair deal in the end this way.



-T

Blog said...

@T

I am not sure how far I agree with your definition of an "easy" question: a question that has been asked previously, and which can answered without a second thought; or one that has enough clues making it guessable. If latter be the case then I am tempted to say there were quite a few of those in the elims, if I may recount: Bombay Duck, Onion, Yale, HMS Birkehead, Stole My Thunder, audio one, Jesus lizard, Euclid, Apple, Pope, Eclipse.

I am not defending our quiz out-and-out. We fumbled here and there, could have framed a lot of questions better, quiz was skewed, etc.

Personally, I would have more fun answering a "cryptic quiz" and not qualifying than answering a "quick quiz" and winning the bounty.

---

"a 3 question tie-break" sounds fairer to me than sudden death

Apurva said...

@T

I am not sure how far I agree with your definition of an "easy" question: a question that has been asked previously, and which can answered without a second thought; or one that has enough clues making it guessable. If latter be the case then I am tempted to say there were quite a few of those in the elims, if I may recount: Bombay Duck, Onion, Yale, HMS Birkehead, Stole My Thunder, audio one, Jesus lizard, Euclid, Apple, Pope, Eclipse.

I am not defending our quiz out-and-out. We fumbled here and there, could have framed a lot of questions better, quiz was skewed, etc.

Personally, I would have more fun answering a "cryptic quiz" and not qualifying than answering a "quick quiz" and winning the bounty.

---

"a 3 question tie-break" sounds fairer to me than sudden death

Anonymous said...

@ Apurva : I know the whole concept of an "easy" question is subjective to begin with. But the whole idea of inserting them in the prelims is for those junta who don't quiz regularly (guess you could call them Confidence Boosters). The seasoned quizzers would answer them anyway and the n00bs would probably return for another quiz.

Was a good quiz overall but from past experience,dumbing it down a bit doesn't hurt at all.

-T

Ramanand said...

A-A: get the idea about the Free Hits. I dunno about the others, but I definitely think you ought to do another quiz! Perhaps try erring on the easier side this time. However, it's a darn tough balancing act as you've mentioned and perhaps others who don't set quizzes for an open audience don't realise the dilemma as much.

anyway, interesting thread resulted.