A Real Trivial Pursuit
38 people turned out to play Facts in 5 at 5 pm on
Saturday. This time slot was opposite the huge game of Ticket
to Ride, which significantly reduced attendance. It is recommended
next year the game start at 11 pm or in one of the other 'down
time' slots. The GM promised everyone they would be finished
in one hour to allow them to make any of the huge number of heats,
semis or finals starting at 6 pm on Saturday. Unfortunately,
this caused the event to be more rushed than I would have liked.
Nevertheless, there was still some time for crowd entertainment
and the event was great fun.
The first puzzle categories were: Tall Sailing Ship Parts;
Mexican States; Van Damme Movie Titles; Revolutionary War Battles;
Canadian Provinces and Capitals. Letters were B, C, M, Q and
T. Jason Arvey led the pack, getting 16 correct answers for a
score of 107.
For puzzle 2, players had to name USA Military Ranks; Old
Testament Books; Bahamas Islands; Dow Jones 30 Industrials and
2005 Commercial Passenger Airlines. Letters were A, C, E, P and
S. Incidentally, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is not a rank;
it is a job. Even a Corporal may be named to it. One person wrote
Staff Sergeant, and it was quite humorously pointed out by a
player that simply sergeant would have satisfied. Matt Amitrano
got 18 right answers for a high score of 146.
Puzzle 3 sought: The O.C. Characters; Knights of the Round
Table; Shakespeare Plays; 20th Century British Prime Ministers
and Gettysburg Generals using the letters A, H, L, M and T. (Lee
and Meade were 'gimmes' for the last category, as were Major
and Thatcher for the British P.M.s and Arthur, Lancelot and Mordred
in the Knights. Eric Brosius and Ted Drozd tied with scores of
122, but Ed Kendrick of England led the pack with a score of
Puzzle 4 asked for: Napoleon's Marshals; Counties of England;
Secular Nobility Titles; U.S. Constitution Signers and Common
Non-Brand Cocktail Names with the letters D, G, K, L and M. Paul
Bean, Ed Kendrick and Eric Brosius again scored well.
Several players had to leave for other games and could not
stay for the Final Puzzle. Of those who qualified, Jason Arvey,
Matt Amitrano, Paul Bean, Ted Drozd, Rich Meyer and Eric Brosius
remained. Special mention is made of Eric, who led the pack at
this point with a gross score of 483. Just failing to make the
cut were Ed Kendrick, Bill Beckman and Roderick Lee.
Six padvanced to the Final round with all scores re-set to
0. Categories were: Penguin Breeds; Declaration of Independence
Signers; Kentucky Derby Winners, Cruise Lines and Rolling Stones
Albums over the letters A, E, F, M and R. This puzzle was much
harder, since several slots had only a single correct answer,
such as 'Epirotiki' for cruise lines. When the pencils came to
rest and the brain cells recovered, Richard Meyer managed to
squeak out a win. He got seven correct for a score of 40. Although
Richie didn't know much about any category, he did manage to
get at least one right in each column. All six knew Adams signed
the Declaration, but only three remembered Ben Franklin did too!
Oddly, only three of them thought to write "Rolling Stones"
as an album title for the Stones. Only Meyer could name two Derby
winners, getting Affirmed and Ferdinand. Sadly for Eric, who
needs to vacation a bit more, he couldn't name a single cruise
Next year, I may cut it to three qualifying puzzles to ease
the time crunch on the excellent assistant GMKate Taillon,
who was trying to score at light speed. Great effort was made
to keep the categories varied and interesting. Each puzzle contained
a wargaming category, a general knowledge category and a pop
culture category. Letters were chosen that had both multiple
answers for one letter and only a single answer for another to
let everyone get some score, but make a perfect answer difficult.
Very little argument about answers took place, since the answers
were relatively finite. This helped speed the game, but it still
needs to be at 11 pm earlier in the week to increase attendance
and allow time for fun and individual scoring. I look forward
to doing it again.