Sunday, July 17, 2022

BCQC July Open Quiz Report: Test Match Special

 Quiz: Test Match Special 

Date & Time: 10 July, 2022, Noon

Venue: COEP

Theme: General (NOT cricket)

Format: Written Elims for teams of 2 to get seeds + Final for all participants  

QM(s): Suraj Menon


Results:

Winners – Team 1: Kunal Sawardekar, Aditya Gadre, Brajendu Bhaskar, Arnold D’Souza & Pitambar: 230 pts

Second place: Team 6: Vibhendu Tewari, Rajiv Rai, Amit, Snehil & Palak Shah: 180 pts 

Third Place: Team 2: Venky Srinivasan, Anannya Deb, Sania Narulkar, Abhinav Dasgupta & Anurag: 170 pts

Other Finalists:

Team 5: Piyush Kedia, Shubham, Naman Jain, Akshay Parale & Soham – 140 pts

Team 4: Samrat Sengupta, J Ramanand, Sandeep Shankar, Pravin & Madhura – 130 pts

Team 3: Anmol Dhawan, Sahil Gupta, Charles Matthew, Pranav Joshi, Ghanashyam – 75 pts 


Suraj Menon is known by monikers like UNESCO Best QM and BQMI (Best QM in India) – so when he said he wanted to set 90 questions and do a ‘Test Match style’ quiz with an elims and 3 sessions over 6 hours– needless, to say, everyone was quite excited.  

The quiz started with a 30 question ‘elims’ which were on the simpler side – nice and accessible for everyone with sufficient clues – the hallmark of any good elims. At the end of the elims answers, Suraj revealed a surprise – that the elims were not an elimination at all – but just a written round to determine the teams in the finals, and that all present would take part in the finals. 

We thus ended up with 6 teams of about 5 people each in the finals. The final were structured like a day of Test Cricket – 3 sessions of 20 questions each. You had 4 DRS attempts i.e. pounces available in each session. The limited pounce made the quiz very nice and easy going, and also kept it moving along at a nice clip. We finished the quiz in 3 hours which was really remarkable in terms of time management – for we, as participants never felt rushed or pressured to give answers quickly. If the elims were good, the finals were even better – a number of excellent questions and fundas. There were a few peters and simple ones there but hey, this was 90 questions set by one <cough splutter> retired quizzer. 

As for the quiz itself, Team 2 took a couple of early negs on the pounce, while Teams 1 and 6 chugged along to build up a bit of a lead. At the end of the first session, the quiz was extremely close with most teams separated by 2-3 questions – Team 1 having a narrow lead over Team 6. Much like Test cricket -where things can change quickly and a team can own one session and collapse in the next, session 2 mixed things up quite a bit. Team 2 made a roaring comeback and Team 6 were clinical as they went into the sole lead, while things unraveled a bit  for Team 1 with 3 consecutive negs on the pounce. At the end of the 2nd session it seemed like Team 6 would take this out with some fight possible from Team 2. 

But yet again, session 3 threw up some more surprises. Team 2 collapsed this time and Team was a bit too conservative with their pounces – Team 1 kept getting points by supplying the full answers on at least 3 occasions. By the end, Team 1 won comfortably by 50 pts. 

All in all, it was a great leisurely day of quizzing, with minimal SMQ bullshit – peak Pune quizzing style.  


Saturday, June 25, 2022

AFMC Silhouettes 2022 - MELA Quiz Report

Quiz: The MELA Quiz
Date & Time:
6 May, 2022, “Morning” Session
Venue:
AFMC Pune
Fest:
Silhouettes 2022
Format: Elims+Final
QM(s):
Med Cdt Giridhar Gopal and Med Cdt Saurabh Singh Bisht
Results:

1. Omkar Dhakephalkar and Shivam Sharma
2. Naman Jain and Prajot Patne (college team)
3. Med Cdt Yash Gupta and Med Cdt Arkajyoti Majumdar (college team)
Other Finalists:
Sahil Gupta and Akshay Parale
Shashank Tyagi and Yogesha Metla
Med Cdt Dev Dileep Nair and Med Cdt Aditya Jayapalan

The second quiz at Silhouettes was the first one on the second day. It was a MELA quiz and my partner was none other than celebrated social media sensation and poet Shivam Sharma of the Manasarovar Project fame. In that way, I was lucky, because I am not a MELA person. And the results showed that.

We were promised that the quiz will start on time, and it did after the promised 45 minutes of delay. I believe the QMs were making the questions till the last moment :P The elims were a short one, about 20/25 questions. This was the first time the QMs were hosting an open, and though the questions were not conventionally “crisp” they were not at all “bad”. The sheer breadth of the quiz was commendable. We were not too nervous about qualifying, but the elims were definitely not a cakewalk. This is despite there being multiple hints in the questions – perhaps they made it more difficult? Paradox?

Six teams qualified for the finals which were composed of two IRs, one long connect, and two connects. The IRs were diverse. Answers ranging from Highway to Hell to Elden Ring were part of the quiz. There may have been a bias away from Art though. We lost out on a couple of sitters. Chestnuts like Passage to India and Madras Eye also made an appearance. The long connect was a bad miss and we got negs on it. The answer to that would make a reappearance at the Shyam Bhatt Open. However, this quiz had an option of “doubling” i.e. double the scores for a correct answer/pounce but also double the negatives. This enabled us to bounce back. The elemental connect was a Bollywood one which we missed.

I liked the fact that the quiz was catered to the college audience in general – anime, computer games, the lot. This is the right direction to go in rather than cater to the same old open quizzers. Props for that.

Towards the end, it was a close match depending on whether a team got negatives or not. We won by a barely-any lead. A commendable performance by first-time QMs, and a very enjoyable quiz.

Report by: Omkar Dhakephalkar

Friday, June 24, 2022

Open Gen Quiz at VIT Pune - Report

Quiz: Gen Open
Date & Time:
15 May, 2022, Evening Session
Venue:
VIT, Pune
Fest:
Advitiya 2022
Format: Elims+Final
QM(s):
Naman Jain
Results:

1.
Piyush Kedia and Shubham (College team)
2.
Anisha Karnail and Ahan
3. Sahil Gupta and
Shivam Sharma
Other Finalists:
Sagnik Sarkar and Dr. Anmol Dhawan
Akshay Parale and Charles Matthews
Omkar Dhakephalkar and Pranav Pawar

The elims was short, crisp and easy. This was important as there were many first-time college quizzers. Though the open quizzers might have thought it too easy; for the college quizzers that might not be the case. This is not to say that the questions were ill-framed. The hints were couched in excellent wording. The quizmaster was also quite strict about various doubts and arguments and knew exactly what he wanted. Out of 25, we scored about 22/23. This was not the highest, Piyush and Shubham scored higher!

There was one seat of the six finalists reserved for a college team. Unfortunately the team that qualified was not to be seen anywhere, so it was thrown open.

There is one complaint regarding the finals though: it was on the shorter side. Though I understand why it was a good idea: it was in the evening, we had two quizzes before, plus shorter quizzers also help maintain interest of a college crowd. There was a total of 30 odd questions in the finals: two IRs of 6 questions each, a written and the final round.

Overall, there was a fine balance. I was afraid it would be Bollywood or Sports heavy as they are the QM’s pet subjects, but that was not the case. We did swimmingly well for the first part.

The last round was very sweet and dedicated to prominent quizzers and friends of the Pune circuit who passed away last year – Vcat Srinivasan and Rahul Mohanty. Naman had created sets of two questions divided into two sets of three each for a total of twelve. They were based on topics which Rahul and Vcat were generally interested in. The questions were nice, and a worthy tribute to the two quizzers.

Unfortunately, despite a lead at a point, and even a chance at a close second, the last round did our team in. It is true what they say regarding you need only one question for a steady scoring stream to stagnate. But the last round also had negatives. Stagnation quickly turned into a downward spiral worse than the Indian economy and we did not finish even in the top three. No matter, there will always be more quizzes.

At the end, it was an enjoyable quiz and we had a lot of fun. Thank you, VIT, and QSoc for such a nice quizzing weekend!

Report by: Omkar Dhakephalkar

 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Ent Quiz at VIT Pune - Report

Quiz: The Ent Quiz
Date & Time:
14 May, 2022, Evening Session
Venue:
VIT, Pune
Fest:
Advitiya 2022
Format: Elims+Final
QM(s):
Naman Jain, Aditya Pethe and Parth Hasabnis
Results:

1. Pranav Pawar and Omkar Dhakephalkar
2. Piyush Kedia and Shubham (college team)
3. Sahil Gupta and Akshay Parale
Other Finalists:
Palak Shah and Mehvish Mukadam (college team)
Sumukh Herlekar and Kamya Chandrashekhar
Anisha Karnail and Avishek Ghosh

I am not an ent quizzer, but specialization is for insects. So I accompanied my partner-in-quiz, Pranav Pawar to this quiz at VIT Pune, part of their quiz-fest. As Naman, one of the QMs was at pains to point it out, it was an Ent quiz, not a MELA quiz. So we had TV series, movies, Bolly and Holly, and even Instagram Reels questions, the latter of which is one of the most innovative rounds I have seen so far.
The elims were nice and short. There were a couple of googlies which did bowl us over. However, it was a high-scoring round, especially for the Open teams. That is not to say there were sitters. Ent was expanded to include things like the Met Gala, Elon Musk and Amul Ads and other unexpected subject matter. This brought in a nice tinge of gen to the quiz.
 
The finals were a short one – comprised of 12 questions in IR in six rounds, interspersed with two written and a surprise round. The questions had breadth, without going into the L and A categories of a traditional MELA quiz, sticking to Ent. Some of the questions required clarifications, and here the QM might have been a bit too harsh or abrasive in dismissing those. But the questions were good.
 
The written rounds certainly showed innovation. One round was based on memes (definitely the new Ent mainstay in today’s world), and another regarding references from Ted Lasso. The latter had answers from sports, history and even lit. Hard work was seen.
 
The last round saw the return of buzzers to quizzing. This was enabled using mobile phones and an online software. On Instagram Reels, there is a trend where creators dress up like movie characters and act out famous scenes. We had to recognize the famous scene/dialogue after the beginning of the reel was given. on buzzer At this point, there was a tie, but my team-mate Pranav Pawar pulled out a brilliant masterstroke of answer and we pipped Piyush’s team by 10 points. This was fun, and the buzzer effect of anxiety definitely heightened the joy of the win for us. With just five questions, it was not an unfairly scored round too.
 
We had a lot of fun and kudos to all three QMs for their research, innovation, and hard work.

Report by: Omkar Dhakephalkar

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Maharashtra Quiz at VIT Pune - Report

Quiz: The Maharashtra Quiz
Date & Time:
15 May, 2022, Morning Session
Venue:
VIT, Pune
Fest:
Advitiya 2022
Format: Written
QM(s):
Aatreya Gaikwad
Results:

1. Omkar Dhakephalkar and Pranav Pawar
2. Akshay Parale and Charles Matthew
3. Nikhil Jadhav (solo)

A thirty-question set to begin a day of quizzing is always a good idea. Especially if it is written. However, if the topic is “Maharashtra”, one gets apprehensive. On top of that, the QM is among QSoc’s first timers. However, I am happy to report that Aatreya did an excellent job. And fear that the quiz will be niche was unfounded.

The quiz was divided into bite-sized themes of five questions: Geography, Food, Forts, Current Events etc. All of the questions were wonderfully framed with plenty of hints such that even a non-Maharashtrian, and non-Marathi person would get it. The gen quotient was such that one of the answers was “Pompeii”, and another was the etymology of “Thecha”, and a fort answer was “Kondana”. The scores were predictably high due to the presence of Open teams. But, even college teams were not far behind – in the early twenties.

Personally, I got to exercise my Devnagari writing skills, and understood the necessity of following upcoming Marathi movies (missed out Anand Dighe). Despite mike issues, there was not a large loss of momentum. If any gripe, I would have liked the QM to be surer about and while answering doubts – but kudos once again to QSoc for giving us a variety of QMs, them a chance too. Aatreya’s swadeshi attire added to the charm of the proceedings. Good quiz. 

Report by: Omkar Dhakephalkar

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Etymology Quiz at VIT Pune - Report

Quiz: Etymology Quiz
Date & Time:
15 May, 2022, Afternoon Session
Venue:
VIT, Pune
Fest:
Advitiya 2022
Format: Written
QM(s):
Vaishnav Loya
Results:

1. Piyush Kedia and Shubham
2. Omkar Dhakephalkar and Pranav Pawar
3. Akshay Parale and Charles Mathew

The afternoon quiz meant that everybody was a bit sleepy, and it was hot. However the energy and excitement brought in by the quizmaster helped energize everyone. This was a first-time QM and, in that capacity, the quiz was not bad. It was highly enjoyable. I daresay it was easy (the winning scores were in the range of 27-29). This, however, does not take away from the quiz. It served as a delicious appetizer to the main open later in the evening.

The quiz was helpfully divided into various sections (last names, businesses, etc.) and that helped narrow down the guesses. There were many easy questions which could be missed with a bit of overthinking, speaking to the framing of the question. At one question, a dispute was raised, however, the quizmaster handled it valiantly and it was extinguished with ease.

All-in-all, a very enjoyable quiz and kudos to QSoc to giving opportunities to new QMs and quizzers and to Vaishnav for a pleasant afternoon quiz.

Report by: Omkar Dhakephalkar

Monday, June 20, 2022

The Shyam Bhatt Memorial Open Quiz 2022 - Report

Date & Time: 8 May, 2022
Venue:
AFMC, Pune
Fest:
Silhouettes 2022
Format: Elims + Finals
QM(s):
J. Ramanand
Results:

1. Suraj Menon and Arnold D'Souza
2. Shashank Tyagi and Yogesa Metla
3. Gp Capt Anurakshat Gupta and Dr Anmol Dhawan
Other Finalists:
Med Cdt Giridhar Gopal and Med Cdt Saurabh Singh Bisht (college team)
Akshay Parale and Naman Jain
Surg Lt Cdr Hitesh Mahato and Maj Sri Krishna Venigalla
Omkar Dhakephalkar and Pranav Pawar

Mastermind winner and Brain of Pune – Ramanand conducted the Shyam Bhatt Open quiz at AFMC (which most sources tell us, reliably might I add, is the longest running open quiz in Pune). The annual event commemorates AFMC alumnus Shyam Bhatt and as usual his batchmates were on hand to share their memories of him.

The quiz started with a nice easy-paced (but by no means easy-peasy) elims which covered a wide range of topics and resulting in seven teams making it, because nice guy JR did not want to ditch a team on stars.

The finals had 28 questions on the pass with pounce and 3 written rounds. The first written round was contributed by Shrirang Raddi and in tribute to Shyam Bhatt was about events that occurred in the year 1986 (with some debate as to whether it should have been 1985).
The two pounce rounds were interspersed by a written round on capitals (with the five answers forming an acrostic). Having a -10 on pounce meant a lot of the teams on stage were forced into a degree of conservatism – with not too many takers for pounce. The lead yo-yo ed between 3 teams on stage (with your report writer in particular suffering two mishaps in the second IR round). As with any JR quiz, the questions were superbly framed and covered a wide array of topics ranging from the origins of a famous Indian singer’s family name from a mangled cry for help by Parvati, a wide array of goalkeepers famous in other fields, materials used for billiard balls. As with any JR quiz, the content though superb did prompt the odd complaint about there being a slight heavy-handedness on India quotient.
Which brings us to the last round – titled Jaanta Hain Mera Baap Kaun Hain – with a quirky format – teams would be given three clues one by one and had to guess who the father of the person the clues pointed to was. Having negatives and the ability to go only once per question (this was also a tiebreaker round in case two teams tied) - meant that things got super interesting with Suraj and Arnold’s team tying with Shashank and partner and pipping them to the post on points scored in the last round. One minor crib was that perhaps by design the first clue was often too obscure (2/5 questions had Oscar clues that didn’t necessarily help narrow down to one answer) but I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

Report by: Suraj Menon

Sports Quiz at AFMC - Report

Date & Time: 5 May, 2022
Venue:
AFMC, Pune
Fest:
Silhouettes 2022
Format: Elims + Finals
QM(s):
Naman Jain
Results:

1. Akshay Parale (Open)- 75 points
2. Sahil Gupta and Shivam Sharma (Open) - 70 points
3. Giridhar Gopal and Saurabh Singh Bisht (AFMC) - 70 points

Sports quizzes tend to be esoteric. For everyone who attended the sports quiz at AFMC this year, they were pleased to see this myth getting debunked like a ramp shot from Jos Buttler's blade. Think of all the reasons for not attending a quiz: middle of a pandemic, weekday and a god awful heatwave. Despite this, we had a full house for the event with 24-25 teams showing up (a rarity for sports quizzes apart from BC Cup).

Elims were an enjoyable affair with 20 crisp workable questions, also reflected in the fact that the cut off for the finals was 10.5 with many teams scoring between the range of 8-10. A trend that I have observed in this QM's other quizzes is that his sets are well-framed and cater to a large audience. So everyone attending any of his quizzes will always have something to look forward to.

Finals comprised of 23 questions with 12 questions on IR, a written round of 5 and a theme round of 6 six questions. Just like the elims, those who stayed on for the finals were treated with some lovely well- researched questions. Loved the distribution of the set knowing that roughly 30+ sports were covered. My only crib was that the number of questions in the finals (23) was way too less for an Open quiz. But owing to the quality of the questions that was still justifiable.

Kudos to the QM for putting up an excellent theme round on 'Songs of Sid Moosewaala'; which for me was the highlight of the quiz. Song titles were linked to iconic moments in sporting history through keywords. As for the performance in the quiz almost 3-4 teams were in the scheme of winning the quiz right till the last question where a last minute epiphany helped yours truly to finally win an Open sports quiz by a small margin of 5 points with the open team of Sahil and Shivam tied at 2nd place with the home team Giridhar and Saurabh. All in all, everyone had a great time and were happy just knowing that offline quizzing is back in Pune!

Report by: Akshay Parale