Venue: Ganesh Kala Krida Mandir, Pune
Conducted by: Dr. Navin Jayakumar
Turnout: ~260 teams
(unfortunately, this blogger lost his notes with team info and scores etc, so please add corrections if possible)
1st: Samanth Subramaniam, G. Swaminathan, V.V.Ramanan, ('QED')
2nd: Gopal Kidao, Vinod Ganesh, Rajen Prabhu ('Absolute Bindaas')
3rd: Jayakanthan, J. Krishnamurthy, Diwakar Pingle ('?')
Other finalists: Sumant+Rajiv+Vibhendu ('Travelling Pillsburies'); Pradeep Ramarathnam+Gaurav Grewal+Nitish Khadiya ('Misal Pav-er...'); Niranjan+Ramanand+Avinash ('Amnesia International'); Amit Garde+Anand S+Meghashyam ('Hoist by their own quizzards'); Amit Varma+Ananya Deb+Anil Kothuri ('Jai Santosh Ki Maa')
Cutoff seems to be 29 or 30 on 40
Best Corporate Team: Infosys
Best College Team: BITS Pilani
Best School Teams: 1st: Abhinava Vidyalaya; 2nd: Army Public School
Best Team Name: 'Consortium of Loose, Forward and Quiz-going Women'
It was a new look Pune Landmark Quiz, now in its third year: a bigger venue, a change in quizmaster, and a flood of teams from places outside Maharashtra. The first was because the quiz has seen increased participation each year and threatened to burst out of last time's venue; we've heard all sorts of reasons for the second; the third seems to be because of the introduction of the "national round" (the top 2 teams from 4 landmark quizzes get to face-off in it).
For many of us, it was the first experience of Navin and team, who have received much acclaim in other centres. In terms of questions, it was a great improvement from last year. The prelims were populist, with a significant bias towards contemporary and local questions. Most of the questions were interesting to attempt, though a few of them just came down to a couple of choices to pick from - something which could be a little excruciating.
The final had a fairly simple format: 2*15 rounds of infinite rebounds/bounce/bounds in either direction interspersed with 2 buzzer rounds (16 & 10). QED took an early lead (which they never relinquished) by virtue of picking up the theme (5 questions spread over the quiz) on the very first question. The rounds went by speedily because several questions were answered on the very 1st or 2nd attempt (the ones that weren't usually went all the way to the audience who did nail some good answers).
We had been told to expect a no-unnecessary-frills quiz, which was the case - no gimmicks, and a good mix of content. Perhaps someone and who was in the audience (regular as well as casual quizzer) can provide their point of view as to how they viewed this experience.
Some of the negatives:
There were a few 'repeats' - stuff that is well known in the quizzing community. This made some of the directs more valuable than others. The theme was contrived, IMHO, and some of the elements were either lexically connected or tenuous. Also, some parts of the quiz's content seems to be somewhat formulaic (teams seemed to expect certain types of local questions and contemporary events ), thus making it vulnerable to prior preparation. This is not to diss any of the teams that took advantage of this (they were also better in other respects), but I wish the setters would find a way to make the quiz more unpredictable, even while staying within the self-stated constraint of keeping it friendly even for the lay quizzer.
A minor point was that the usual tradition of introducing the teams on-stage was omitted. Also, wonder if there could have been two projection screens instead of one, because it was a little difficult to see the screens from the corners.
On the positives: the quiz was well-conducted, and the organisation was better than last time. Another omission was welcomed (particularly by me!) - that of choosing the "Best Quizzer". The process of doing so never seemed fair or interesting to me, so we were spared all that.
Back to the results: QED were deserving winners with some fine answers, but it was a tight race among the rest of the teams. Many thanks to Landmark, especially the industrious organisers from the Pune store. The Landmark Quiz now moves on to Mumbai for the first ever such quiz there, to be held on the 1st of May.
Postscript: This blog certainly seems to have raised the profile of the word "Interrobang" in the Indian quizzing community. The question has become a frequent visitor in quizzes (especially Pune-related ones), with sightings in two BCQC Open quizzes (this one and that), at KQA's ASKQANCE last year, and now at this Landmark quiz. It is perhaps time to retire the question, because if I see the name Martin Speckter once more at a quiz, I shall scream :-). This has also fueled a great deal of personal interest in Mr. Speckter, for he has become reduced to a single claim to fame in these parts! (read why the name was chosen for this blog.)