Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Quiz Report - The YZ Cup

Quiz: The YZ Cup
Date & Time:
18 May, 2024, 3:30 PM
Goethe Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Pune
Format: One round only
Flavour: Sports-themed Gen
Suraj Menon

1. Navya, Ranajeet Soman, Kunal Sawardekar, Lucky Kaul, Chaitanya, Dev K: 215 (Team 4)
2. Akshay Parale, Samrat Sengupta, BV Harish Kumar, Anurag, Dev, Ashutosh: 175 (Team 5)
3. Naman Jain, Aditya Gadre, Anurakshat Gupta, Charles Matthews, Uday, Aditya: 165 (Team 3) [Tied]
3. Pranav Pawar, Ingit Sir, Anmol Dhawan, Pranjal Gupta, Prayrit, Ira: 165 (Team 2)

Other Teams:
Omkar Dhakephalkar, Shubhankar Gokhale, J Ramanand, Saikat Sarkar, Man Agochar, Shivam Sharma, Maitreyi Gupta: 150 (Team 1)
Agastya, Deepanjan Deb, Vibhendu, Tewari, Kshitij Jyoti, Amit, Suryansh, Venkatesh: 110 (Team 6)

Innovation comes out of great human ingenuity and very personal passions.

“… regular ‘sports’ quizzers (whatever that phrase means) …”

There are very few things that make a journey on the Mumbai-Pune expressway worth it. But there is one colossus who holds the lamp beside the golden door of excellent questions – beckoning the tempest-tost huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The BC YZ Cup by Suraj “Pheno” Menon was the cooling breeze of a May weekend in which people from all over the country, including Mumbai and Pune, held their breath as every answer revealed a breathtaking funda.

Held at Goethe Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Pune, the quiz was well-attended (not a surprise, considering the QM) with about forty people (coming and going for various timespans) racking their brains in this sports-themed gen quiz. As people trooped in, they were in for a pleasant surprise. Till now used to the elims-and-finals format, the quizzing teams were broken up. Then the amassed junta was reconstituted into six teams, with newcomers being added to teams where some left as the quiz progressed. This was a great change as new bonds were forged, introductions made, newcomers and old ‘uns shared their knowledge, as the quiz itself had great width and depth.

A sports-themed general quiz, every question had a slight connection to sports, or the answer had that association. There were a few questions that could have had a good place in the BC Cup – completely sports, but those were a minority in the grand scheme of 60+ questions.

We made good time despite the number of questions, with the IR running at a nice pace and the quizmaster timing us all well. It did not seem exhausting at all, even after taking a break. This can also be attributed to the even distribution of BC Cup regulars. Hence a healthy back and forth and plenty of scribbling punctuated the last sentence of every question and the utteration of attempts.    

The quiz was so engrossing, that I cannot give a blow-by-blow account but in hindsight, Team 4 did seem to lead from the beginning. The rest of the teams were neck-to-neck and every direct seemed to be answered. Team 1 (read me) missed out on some obvious answers. How is sports connected to food, history, entertainment, the internet, to all the facets of life? This quiz has a question on each of them. Suraj was kind enough to donate some of his wealth, and the winning teams all got to go home with a book!

A sincere thanks to Pranav Pawar, for managing the venue, which was excellent as always. Thanks to the management of Goethe Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Pune are also in order.

Personally, I can’t wait for Suraj’s next last last quiz, which will be another Nobel-worthy experiment where much fun will be had.

Report by: Omkar Dhakephalkar
Photo credits: J Ramanand


Sunday, February 11, 2024

The General Quiz | Infest 2024

Quiz: The General Quiz

Date & Time: 21 Jan, 2024, 3 PM
 Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Pune
InFest 2024
Format: Prelims+Final
 Anisha Karnail, Akshay Parale, Charles Mathew


1. Rajiv Rai, Vibhendu Tewari + Anannya Deb (draft) - 170 (Team 5)

2. Abhinav Dasgupta, Prithwish Datta + Anmol Dhawan (draft) - 155 (Team 3)

3. Joint second - Brajendu Bhaskar, Ranajeet Soman + Pranjal (draft) - 155

Other Finalists:

Debanjan Bose, Bedbyas Datta + Annway Ghosh (draft): 130 (Team 6)
Samrat Sengupta, J Ramanand + Suraj Menon (draft) : 135 (Team 2)
Shashwat Salgaocar, Abid Abdullah + Suvajit Chakraborty(draft): 135 (Team 1)

Report - 

The charge of the yearly general quiz at Infest, the last quiz of the weekend, was given to the youth this year - with Akshay Parale, Anisha Karnail and Charles Mathew setting the quiz. Almost everyone who had come for the fest stayed back for this quiz and the QMs delivered on those expectations.

The prelims were a breezy affair of 25 questions with some excellent fundae, some expected questions, but no run-of-the-mill peters. Although the cut-off for the drafts was 19, there were enough tough questions in the prelims to separate 9 teams without too much fuss. 

The finals started with an interesting written round on people who passed away in 2023, a round which certain visiting quizzers from Mumbai were overjoyed to see. Then there was an infinite rebound passing round, where everyone was more or less bunched up around the same score.

After the second written round with the theme of birds, there was a clamour for leniency on certain answers or additional clues in the questions, but the QMs remained phlegmatic and let the din die on its own. 

The second IR round saw teams taking more risks, with pounces more frequent. Rajiv, Vibhendu and Dada had gone into a healthy if not comfortable lead, with Teams 3 and 4 following closely behind. Some questions might have yielded more points, or at least guesses, if the QMs had added a small clue here and there. But generally, the questions were answered and were interesting enough to hold everyone's attention at the end of 2 full days of quizzing.

Team 5 emerged deserved winners, not getting any negatives on wrong pounces, something which Teams 3 and 4 failed to do and rued together afterwards. 

General hilarity and banter was going on during the quiz, which is characteristic of the laid-back nature of quizzing seen at Infest. The quiz ended within time for everyone to leave without being late, and to leave with a warm, contented glow after spending two days full of food, quizzing, in some cases drinking, and enjoying the temperate climes of Pune in January.

There was plenty of local support and attendance this year, and out-of-town support also continued from across the highway. Hopefully, when Infest 2025 comes along, these will have grown.

Until, then, don't panic, and carry a towel.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

The Big Fat Solo Quiz of the Year | InFest 2024

The Quiz lived up to its moniker of the "Big Fat Quiz of the Year", with 90+ questions!!

Like Gadre says "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition", with the Elims having a torturous end for many contenders, 5-6 very good quizzers missed out by a point or less. 

The quiz was peacefully conducted with no "dhangadhinga" due to the presence of an intimidating QM!!

The first answer "Lone Wolf and Cub" was a nice tribute to the format, with a subtle hint by the QM. 

There were several such brilliantly worded questions in the elims encompassing a wide range, workoutable but with a twist, leading to lots of oohs and ahhs at the end. 

The Ten finalists were as follows.

Representing the Pune Vanguard: Omkar D, Ranajeet Soman;

The Pune Old Guard: Samrat Sengupta, J Ramanand;

Bombay Satraps: Rajiv Rai, Prithwish Dutta, Abhinav Dasgupta;

Young Turks from South of Deccan: Abid A, Shashwat S and 

Lone Wolf from Big Apple: Sriram P

The quiz started out with some great local fundaes, leading to Rana and Omkar taking an early lead, with the rest catching up gradually. Pouncing strategy played a big part.

Some descriptive questions saw creative answers like Case De Pesci on the Tuscan coast, County Highway printed paper, and Mars terraforming. 

One of Galileo's appendages also saw some mirth. 

Expected: Rana shooting Football Questions

Not Expected: JR shooting (questions on) recreational drugs

At the half-way mark: Abid, Samrat, Sriram and Abhinav did not make the cut. 

With the remaining six, it was an interesting race, but Rana never left his foot off the accelerator on the Speedway, leading from start to finish. (He also topped the elims).

Rajiv and Shashwat were hot in pursuit, and Boss (Prithwish) had an incredible last lap to catch up with them, to share the spoils.

Final Scores: 

Ranajeet Soman -275

Shashwat S -240

Rajiv R - 238

Prithwish D - 238

Omkar D - 189

J Ramanand - 148

Overall a highly enjoyable quiz, with top-notch production quality, and expertly conducted by two brilliant QMs. The entire audience was there till the very end.


Report by: Samrat Sengupta

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

The MELA Quiz | InFest 2024

Quiz: The MELA Quiz
Date & Time:
21 Jan, 2024, 10:30 AM
Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Pune
InFest 2024
Format: Elims+Final
Ranajeet Soman

1. Prithwish Datta, Abhinav Dasgupta + Brajendu Bhaskar (draft): 129 (Team 1)
2. Vibhendu Tewari, Rajiv Rai + Omkar Dhakephalkar (draft): 123 (Team 3)

Other Finalists:
Debanjan Bose, Bedbyas Datta + Annanya “Dada” Deb (draft): 113 (Team 6)
Suraj Menon and Aditya Gadre: 110 (Team 4)
Annway Ghosh, Suvajit Chakraborty + Pranav Pawar (draft): 58 (Team 5)
Abed, Shashwat + Shubhankar Gokhale (draft): 40 (Team 2)

The second day of InFest 2024 began with the MELA quiz set by Ranajeet Soman. All the quizzes on the second day were team quizzes, and hence so was this. The quiz began with a commendable delay of only thirty minutes as participants trooped in on a Sunday morning after Saturday night shenanigans. But it was a balmy winter morning in Pune, the city ideal for morning quizzes and everybody was fresh in mind, body, and spirits.

After handing out sheets, and ensuring that everyone had seats, the quiz began with the elims. We had several new faces today, increasing the number of participants. The elims were a breezy and interesting affair. Ranajeet is known for his brusque no-nonsense yet interesting questions. This was a pleasurable elims, with all aspects of MELA (Music, Entertainment, Literature, Art) in both India and Unconquered Bharat well covered. There were 30 questions in the elims, and the cut-off was 20.

Six teams made it into the finals, with an additional three in drafts. This time the draft process was different from the usual, and it seems that the same will be the default henceforth. The members of the draft teams were asked to pick up chits with the teams they were joining. A special mention must be given to Annanya “Dada” Deb for qualifying for the drafts solo.

At this time, I will also say thanks to Pranav Pawar, who ensured everyone was served tea while the checking was finalised. For the finals, Arnold D’Souza was kind enough to keep scores on the venue whiteboard.

The finals started off with a written round as warm-up. Then there was a round of IR (infinite rebound). By the end of it, Teams 1 and 3 were already putting up their close contest (70, 69). Team 6 (51) was close behind while 4 and 5 were tied (40). The next written round gave a small breather before the deathmatch began. The second IR had its multiple -5s taken by teams on the wrong pounces, even a 7 and 3 as points were conserved on passing. The teams were neck-to-neck throughout though by the end of it, the negatives had got Team 1 from a comfortable lead back to a one-point loss over Team 3 (98-99). Teams 4 and 6 kept the heat up on the leaders while skirmishing among themselves (80-88). Then a written round, which did not change much, but this easy round gave some last-minute fuel to all the teams. In the concluding IR, the status quo remained. The questions were well-distributed difficulty-wise – where the players had to earn their points in the later half, but like a corporate HR, the QM was kind enough to throw in the written rounds as bonuses to keep us chugging along. It was thoroughly enjoyable and built up a good appetite for lunch without exhausting anybody. Much fun was had.

One thing to note is that the QM kept good time, such that we were done in time for lunch (of famous kathi rolls from Kapila) so that the next quiz could begin on time. Kudos to him for that too!


Report by: Omkar Dhakephalkar

InFestYouUs 2024 | InFest 2024

InFestYouUs, the flagship event of the annual BCQC quiz fest, InFest, is a Mastermind-style quiz in which participants choose a specialized topic on which they are asked ten questions. They play against everyone else, who collectively form the 'Mob'. The participant gets +1 per correct answer, and -0.5 for every answer they pass/get incorrect and the Mob answers correctly.

This year we had 28 sets and a new venue  – Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Pune. InFestYouUs 2024 also featured several debutants from colleges around Pune and Open quizzers from other states.

This year’s winners were Annway Ghosh and Arnold D’Souza, both scored 9 straight with the Mob not answering anything. Annway’s topic was History of the Electric Guitar, set by Thejaswi Udupa and Arnold’s was The Wars of the Roses, set by Kunal Sawardekar. Once again debutants showed their mettle at InFestYouUs in Annway’s performance. Arnold’s mastery of his topic was well-appreciated. In second place is the upcoming master of quizzing circuits, Ranajeet Soman, fondly called “Rana”. Rumours say that this year the IOC finally gave him his topic of Travis (the Band). In this set by Aditya Gadre, Rana scored a straight 8, with the Mob not getting anything (answers or the music). In third place too, we had a tie. Another debutant, Meghana Iyengar from the IISER quiz club, scored a straight 7 in Kanye West’s Discography and Personal Life set by Pranav Pawar with the Mob not answering anything. She tied with Abhinav Dasgupta, a frequent of these reports. He answered 8, with the Mob answering in 2, for a 7 in his favour. His topic was Latin American Literature of the 20th Century set by Sachin “Talent” Deshpande.

Like every year, this year too we had diverse topics including Peppa Pig Official, Marathi Poetry of the 20th Century, The NBA Career of Michael Jordan, the Bijapur Sultanate, Etymology of Names of World Capitals just to name a few. The Mob, whose numbers during the course of the session swelled to above 40, even won a few sets.

A sincere thank you to the huge number of quiz-setters for setting such excellent sets for InFestYouUs. The participants for showing up and staying with us, and the awesome Mob all deserve praise. I would be remiss in not thanking Pranav Pawar, Prashant Bhagwat, and Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Pune, and its director and staff for such a beautiful venue. 

Until next year!

Top Scores:

 Report by: Omkar Dhakephalkar



Tuesday, May 23, 2023

The BC Cup 2023 - Report

Set by Aditya Gadre, Aniket Khasgiwale and Yash Marathe

Format: 30 question elim to determine the 8 quarter finalists. 60 question quarter to determine the top 4 for the semi finals. 40 question semi-final to determine the top 2. A 28 question final to determine the winner.


The 14th edition of the BC Cup took place at the Boat Club steps on the 13th of May, 2023 - one of the hottest day of the year.  The heat and perhaps the QFI event the next day saw a slightly diminished participation at this year's edition. 

The elims was a close affair as usual and the biggest surprise was Ingit sir not qualifying for the second year in a row. One big surprise was that Dada (aka Anannya Deb) didn't make it - and by that I mean the most consistent performer at BC Cup didn't show up at all. Prithwish Datta lived up to his wounded tiger billing by putting in an imperious 21/30 to top the elims, while Rotti got 18. It was also nice to be debutants Titash and Bissanka make it to the quarter finals. 

The Quarter Finals

The top 8 in the quarter finals were:

Suraj Menon, Prithwish Datta, Rohit Suresh (Rotti), Bissanka Dassarma, Titash Bannerjea, Deepanjan Deb (DD), Samrat Sengupta  and Sachin 'Talent' Deshpande, 

All the quarter finalists except for Titash started on rocky ground with most people failing to build together some momentum. Titash on the other hand blazed to 5 points after a mere 15 questions. Slowly but surely the experience and class of the field shone through with Boss casually dispatching some extremely tough name recalls, Suraj and Talent working their rank 2 and 3 in Mahaquizzer gen quizzing chops to brilliantly work out answers, and DD, as always, pulling out some gems. Towards the end, multiple results were possible with 7/8 quizzers in contention after 50 odd questions. In the end, Titash topped the QF with Boss close behind to secure their places in the Semi Final. There was a 3 way tie between Suraj, Talent and DD - and a 3 question tie-breaker saw DD cut out a correct answer which would have forced a sudden death, and Suraj and Talent got the other two SF slots . One point of note is that 55 of the 60 questions were answered - which is testament to the quality of the field at play. 

The Semi Finals: 

The top 4 were: Suraj, Boss, Titash and Talent 

This was one of the closest Semi-finals in recent memory with all semi-finalists regularly scoring points. Suraj had pulled away to a good lead at the beginning but over time the others caught up. There were a few questions where the quizzers would feel like they should have gone with their first guess or have taken the obvious answer - and things might have ended differently. On the last question Suraj had 6 points with all 3 other semi finalists on 5. Boss missed his direct and Suraj answered forcing another 3-way tiebreaker. Talent lost out in the main tie break and then Titash beat Boss after a lengthy sudden death to book his place in the final on his debut BC Cup 

The Finals:

Suraj won the toss and decided to go second. Titash unfortunately missed a question on cricket - a sport he is exceptiopnal at - and Suraj got off to an early lead. In the second round Suraj answered two questions on his direct and in the second home round for Titash, Suraj pulled a great name recall on an old Japanese athlete. Titash did pull one back on his last home leg, but by then Suraj had built up an insurmountable lead. Suraj won the finals 4-1. 

Many congratulations to Suraj for winning his 5th BC Cup! 

BC Cup Winner 2023: Suraj Menon 

Runner Up: Titash Bannerjea 

List of BC Cup Winners:

2009: Sameer Deshpande and Suraj Menon

2010: Anannya Deb

2011: Anannya Deb

2012: Sumant Srivathsan

2013: Ramkey V

2014: Prithwish Datta

2015: Samrat Sengupta

2016: Shrirang Raddi

2017: Suraj Menon

2018: Suraj Menon

2019: Prithwish Datta

2020: No tournament

2021: Deepanjan Deb

2022: Suraj Menon

2023: Suraj Menon

Monday, February 13, 2023

The Open Team Quiz | InFest 2023

Date: 23 January 2023, Sunday, Day 2 of InFest 2023
Venue: COEP's BHAU Institute
Format: Elims + Finals
QM: Aditya Gadre, Debanjan Bose, Sachin ‘Talent’ Deshpande, and Ranajeet Soman

Team 1 – Prithwish Dutta (Boss), Nikhil Sonde and Anuradha Dharwadkar (draft)
Team 2 – Kunal Sawardekar, Shivam Sharma and Malhar Patel (draft)
Team 3 - Vibhendu, Rajiv Rai and Abhishek Hariharan (draft)
Team 4 - Omkar D, Pranav Pawar, Pranjal (draft)
Team 5 - Meghashyam, Nadeem and Anisha Karnail (draft)
Team 6 - Suraj, Anannya Deb and Anmol Dhawan (draft)

The last quiz of InFest 2023 was a general quiz by Aditya Gadre, Debanjan Bose, Sachin ‘Talent’ Deshpande, and Ranajeet Soman.
The quiz kicked off with a nice and accessible elims set that covered a wide range of topics and included some absolute gems that were worthy of being in the finals too.

The finals were a great set of questions kicking off with a small written round on famous speeches, before segueing into a phenomenal set of questions covering topics ranging from a famous Oxford bequest to sex symbol Gina Lollobrigida interviewing Castro, political arrangements in Cyprus, Christian subsects, Ruskin Bond’s autobiography and the origins of Krumping among others.
While the excellent coverage (this literally was a quiz that had something for everyone) meant most teams were in the hunt, the real fight was between teams 2 and 3 who battled it out pretty much from start to finish, with team 3 prevailing on the last question to eke out a narrow win
All in all, much fun was had and it was a fitting end to cap off what was a great InFest weekend

Note: The report writer blames the twin malaise of procrastination and old age for forgetting the name of the draft pick in Kunal and Shivam’s team. Someone from IISER please provide details

Report by: Suraj Menon

The Ajai Ragde Memorial History-Geography Quiz 2023 | InFest 2023

Date: 22 January 2023, Sunday, Day 2 of InFest 2023
Venue: COEP's BHAU Institute
Format: Elims + Finals
QM: Kunal Sawardekar and Omkar Dhakephalkar

1st: Brig. Sandeep Shankar, Shrirang Raddi & Pranav Pawar (Draft)
2nd: Anannya Deb, Aditya Gadre & Anisha Karnail (Draft)
3rd: Brajendu Bhaskar, Somashish Ghosh & Sania Narulkar (Draft)

Other Finalists: Nikhil Sonde, Prithwish Datta & Krishna Girish; Meghashyam Shirodkar, Samrat Sengupta & Akshay Parale, Rajiv Rai, Vibhendu Tewari & Abhinav Dasgupta (Draft)

This year's edition of the quiz started with a nicely set, well-rounded but relatively tough elims (even though that may not be evident on account of the lack of outraged tweets from Ranajeet Soman on the topic) with the cut-off being 10/25. We had our usual mix of 6 teams that qualify directly and 3 teams making up draft picks - with the shocker being that Suraj and Rana didn't make it.

The final had 2 written rounds and 2 IR rounds - with what has now become the standard Kunal Variation of the Infinite Pounce system. Pounces remain infinite but there are only a finite number of pounces at a reasonable neg available to teams. All other pounces are at a -20 risk. Team 1 started strongly and kept their lead throughout the quiz - nonchalantly swatting away hardcore fundas and most of the time not even using their free pounces - ending up with multiple -20s which makes their performance all the more impressive.

Team 3 was neck and neck for most of the quiz - before Team 1 pulled away in the second half. Team 3 eventually lost steam with Team 4 catching up and just pipping them to 2nd place with a strong finish to the quiz. Anisha from Team 4 particularly gave some crackers to keep their scoreboard ticking.

Overall the fundas were excellent and wide-ranging - and for such a niche topic, extremely accessible.

The quiz maintained its reputation and high standards in this edition as well - and it was very generous of the Ragde family to sponsor a few prizes as well. 

Report by: Aditya Gadre

Saturday, February 04, 2023

The Solo Quiz at InFest 2023

Quiz: Solo Quiz

Date: 21 January 2023, Saturday, Day 1 of InFest 2023
Venue: COEP's BHAU Institute
Format: Elims + Semis + Finals
QM: Vibhendu Tiwari and Rajiv Rai

1. Suraj "Phenom" Menon
2. Aditya "Gadre" Gadre
3. Abhinav "DG" Dasgupta

Other Finalists: Sania Narulkar, Ranajeet Soman, Prithwish Dutta

Semi-finalists: Abhishek Hariharan, Samrat Sengupta, Nikhil Sonde, Meghashyam  Shirodkar, Suvajit  Chakraborty and Kunal Sawardekar

Report: The exciting conclusion of the last Solo Quiz at an in-person InFest left us with two setters for this years' Solo Quiz, a sort of E Pluribus, Duos situation that may just create a precedent for future InFest Solo Quizzes.

The Elimination round was a fun set of 25 questions, with some effort taken by the QMs to make the questions accessible and a provide local flair. After a relatively high-scoring elims (you do not want Ranajeet to start complaining about difficulty of the elims questions on Twitter - trust me on this), 12 participants qualified for the semi-final round. Participants elims points were doubled to form an opening score for the semi-final round which took place immediately following. The semis were relatively high-scoring with plenty of pounces and by the end Suraj, Gadre, Prithwish, Sania, Ranajeet and Abhinav beat out the rest of the filed to qualify for the finals.

The semi-final scores continued through to the finals, where the answers were worth 15 points to compensate for the increased difficulty. Sania had some amazing pounces and great answers through the semis but Gadre and DG surged back in the finals to take second and third places. Suraj maintained his spectacular run of form and dominated the quiz throughout with the outcome for the first place never really being in doubt.

Overall, I really enjoyed the quiz - the questions were accessible, easy-to-understand (I cannot overstate how nice it is not to have to parse through dense blocks of text on the ppt) and above all, interesting. I really appreciated how both quiz setters from across the Sahyadris made an effort to ask questions with some great fundas on Pune.

This quiz has set a high standard for the next edition of the Solo Quiz (I'm not saying which year because I don't want to jinx it as Ranajeet did with his 2020 report), but we are confident that the winner(s) of the 2023 edition are quite up to the task.

(This post has been updated to correct the person at the second runner-up position - our apologies to DG and Prithwish)