Friday, November 25, 2022

Quiz Report - BCQC November Open - 'My Favorite Things' by Suraj Menon

The two-day quizzing melava at College of Engineering Pune was a momentous affair as it saw the return of BC Cup back in its in-person avatar and a general quiz by Suraj Menon which was billed as a set on his favorite topics. The venue for the general quiz was the well-equipped Kirloskar Auditorium in BHAU Institute which saw a great turnout (over 25+ teams).

The elims kicked off with a wonderful audio question paying tribute to two beloved Punekars. There were thirty such succinctly framed questions and it was a thoroughly enjoyable set filled with great fundaes centered majorly around things one might’ve heard/read about.

The cutoff was 19 out of a possible 30, with top score being an impressive 24. Top 8 teams made it to the finals and one draft was added to each team. Finals had 46 questions divided into four rounds – Two written and two IR. First written round was a set of 10 questions loosely themed on veteran quizzers in the circle. Loved the concept and how each answer was tied to the interests/monikers/team-names of quizzers. IRs covered a wide array of topics and allayed concerns (if any) that it will be specifically focused on QM’s pet topics, which I guess, speaks highly of his diverse interests. Notable ones being the concept behind design of martini glass and the modern usage of a symbol depicted on the shields of hoplites. Teams 8 and 7 built a massive lead in the first written round and maintained it until the end of the quiz securing top 2 spots. Team 5 which began leisurely in the first two rounds, staged a brilliant comeback in the written sports and IR-2 to take the third position.

Overall, a brilliant quiz put together by Suraj with wonderfully framed questions. There was an entire written round on Sports, but the framing and clues were sufficient to arrive at the answer and served as a great aperitif for the event on the following day. And as is the case with his other quizzes, there were no pritams (peter kon?) in the entire quiz.

Hopefully, Suraj is done with his recurring retirement announcements because we all know that’s his way of saying ‘Mi Punha Yein, Mi Punha Yein!’ All in all, it was a great weekend marked with two brilliant quizzes followed by a visit to the usual haunt and a lot of fun was had.


First position: Team 8 Sachin Deshpande, Prithwish Datta and Gokul S (draft) – 215 points
Second position: Team 7 Sania Narulkar, Rohit Suresh and Ingit Sir (draft) – 185 points
Third position: Team 5 Aditya Gadre, Brajendu Bhaskar and Pranav Floyd Joshi (draft) – 155 points

Other teams in the finals:

Team 1: Ritwik Ghosh, Chinmay Deshpande and Naman Jain (draft)
Team 2: Hrishi Varma, Ranajeet Soman and Charles Mathew (draft)
Team 3: Akshay Parale, Shivam Sharma and Pitambar (draft)
Team 4: Col Sandeep Shankar+1 and Shubhankar Gokhale (draft)
Team 6: Piyush Kedia, Shubham and Pranav Hari (draft)

Report by: Akshay Parale


Monday, November 21, 2022

BC Cup 2022 - 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 13th edition of the BC Cup saw a return to the Boat Club steps after a brief online sojourn on account of the pandemic last year. 

The elims was an even affair and threw its fair share of surprises as long time BC Cup veteren and perennial favourite Ingit sir didn't qualify, and last years winner Deepanjan Deb (aka DD) just about scraped through with the cut off 12.5 points. Samrat Sengupta lived up to his moniker of Sabse Bada BC and topped the elims with a whopping 19 points. 

The Quarter Finals

The top 8 in the quarter finals were:

Anannya Deb, Gokul, Prithwish Datta, Suraj Menon, Sachin 'Talent' Deshpande, Deepanjan Deb (DD), Samrat Sengupta and Rohit Suresh (Rotti) 

The quarter finals were extremely even this year with the most of the 8 participants remaining in the fray till the last few questions. Talent and DD started strongly, but Rotti and Sammy sir soon caught up. Boss had a surprisingly off day and missed questions on his pet topics - cricket, india and olympics. Dada was trailing for the longest time but his range helped him get stuff nobody else knew and suddenly he was within a point of qualification. Suraj and Gokul started slowly but picked up momentum in the second half and clawed their way to the top. At one point we had Talent and Rotti comfortably through, with all other participants within a point of each other and fighting for the other two spots. DD had a few classic DD moments where he forgot the name of a TT player he is a megafan of and displayed his inner SIIMIA by missing all the India questions. In the end, Sammy sir, Suraj and Gokul were tied on 6 points with DD and Dada on 5 - all with a chance to enter the semi finals along with Rotti and Talent. Sammy sir duly swatted away a football question and booked his spot - leaving Suraj and Gokul to fight it out in a tiebreaker. The first tiebreaker round of 3 questions ended with both at 1 pt each, but in the next sudden death round, Suraj answered a chess question that Gokul missed and took the last spot in the semi-final. 

The Semi Finals: 

The top 4 were: Rotti, Suraj, Sammy sir and Talent 

The semi-final was one of the lowest scoring and (thus fastest run) semi in BC Cup history with all 4 players struggling to get off the mark for the longest time. Finally everyone got going but it was extremely even for the longest time. Everyone missed questions that would be called their strong points - with Sammy missing football questions, Rotti missing NBA questions and Suraj missing cricket questions all the way. Going into the last question we had Rotti and Sammy on 3 points each and Suraj and Talent on 4 points each. Talent answered his direct and entered the BC Cup final on his debut. 

The Finals:

Talent in his debut at the BC Cup went up against 3 time winner Suraj playing his 6th final. Talent won the toss and took an early lead answering a tough cricket question, but Suraj immediately brought back the pressure by answering the very next question to score a crucial away goal. The next set was all un-answered - and Talent will kick himself for missing questions on 3 of his pet topics - women's cricket, Italian football and the Tour de France. Needless to say the real winner was the audience who - operating in a pack and without the pressure or fatigue our finalists were dealing with answered most questions. Suraj followed up with 2 excellent answers on his home stretch including one particularly clutch pull on the third last question - a tough cricket name recall which Talent knew immediately. In the end Suraj won seemingly comfortably 3-1 but it must be said there were moments through the quarters and semis where Talent seemed like the strongest quizzer in the best form. Perhaps the atmosphere, the over-whelming home support and the sheer fatigue that one learns to manage thorugh experience helped Suraj pull out a memorable win in one off the most closely contested and competitive BC Cups in years. 

Many congratulations to Suraj for winning a scarcely believable 4th BC Cup! 

BC Cup Winner 2022: Suraj Menon 

Runner Up: Sachin 'Talent' Deshpande 

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

Sunday, October 30, 2022

BCQC October Open Quiz Report: Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai

The BCQC October Open was set by the suave duo of quizmasters Akshay Parale and Naman Jain with questions on “Mumbai, Pune and everything in between.” The venue for the quiz was the Kirloskar Auditorium at the Bhau Institute located in the campus of the College of Engineering, Pune, just adjacent to the BC steps. The venue, secured thanks to the efforts of Srinivas from COEP, was well-equipped with all the necessities that a quiz club wants and more; and will hopefully see more quizzing in the recent future.

The quiz started at 11.45 am with twelve teams of two attempting a 25-question preliminary set with a total of 29 points for grabs. Eight out of twelve teams present consisted of undergraduate college students. The preliminary round was well set, with questions on temples, personalities, buildings, art, culture and even rare minerals (yes, you read that right). The difficulty level was fairly balanced, with most questions being workable. The prelims ended with a top score of 21 out of 29.

The prelims were followed by lunch (thoughtfully coordinated by the quizmasters). Members of teams staying back were drafted into the top seven teams for the finals. The finals consisted of two written and two infinite rebound rounds. The infinite rebound rounds had 16 questions each and were notable for both their range and depth. There were hardly any peters in the quiz, and the questions reflected the enormous amount of research that had gone into setting the quiz – particularly notable in questions from the Peshwai and colonial eras of Pune, including details of a particular kind of surgery performed in the 1790s and the ingredients of an aloe vera jam from the 1870s. The quiz proceeded rather smoothly, apart from few technical A/V glitches. Akshay and Naman had a good control over the proceedings of the quiz and ensured that it finished within the stipulated time, to allow for the ceremonial post-quiz trip to the local watering hole. It was a tight battle between the top two teams, which at one point in the quiz were separated only by half a point. The battle for third place was also hotly contested by three teams, all within five points of each other.

Some of the questions were a bit wordy and there was scope for some text-trimming, but there wasn’t much else in the quiz to find fault with.

All in all, it was a fantastic quiz and was unanimously enjoyed by the participants. I’m sure the Boat Club Quiz Club is looking forward to more quizzes by Akshay and Naman.



1.      First place: Dr Anmol Dhawan and Pranav Pawar

2.      Second place: Nikhil Motlag, Shivam Sharma and Pitambar Pandey (draft)

3.      Third place: Maj Saikat Sarkar, Surg Lt Cdr Kshitij Jyoti and Yash Pathak (draft)

     Report by: Dr. Anmol Dhawan


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


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
Silhouettes 2022
Format: Elims+Final
Med Cdt Giridhar Gopal and Med Cdt Saurabh Singh Bisht

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
VIT, Pune
Advitiya 2022
Format: Elims+Final
Naman Jain

Piyush Kedia and Shubham (College team)
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
VIT, Pune
Advitiya 2022
Format: Elims+Final
Naman Jain, Aditya Pethe and Parth Hasabnis

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
VIT, Pune
Advitiya 2022
Format: Written
Aatreya Gaikwad

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