A Real Trivial Pursuit
Hey, I came here to get away from
school and tests.
Eyes on your own papers, please.
Despite a 30% reduction in players perhaps due to an earlier
starting time than usual, a wide array of players pitted their
sleep-deprived recollections against a wide range of trivia once
again. After the annual hilarity of the rules announcement, contestants
got down to puzzle solving. As always, the G.M. provided the
total possible correct answers and kicked off the evening with
the easiest puzzle.
The first round had 63 possible answers in the categories:
Stephen King Books pre-2000; pavilions in EPCOT; TONY Award Best
Musicals; Pixar Movies Pre 2010; and U.S. Supreme Court Chief
Justices across the letters C, F, M, T and R/U. In a new twist
this year, the G.M. permitted a correct answer to begin with
either R or U. Reigning champ Rich Meyer was joined by perennial
challenger Ted Drozd and Roy Pettis with scores of 14. Five players
were close behind with 12 correct answers including Natalie Beach,
who alone provided several correct answers for some tough squares,
still earning only one point per block, but garnering much respect
in the process.
The second puzzle saw former GM and frequent contender Richard
Irving make his move to the top of the pack with a score of 13
in the categories: Mayors of New York City post-1900; George
Clooney movies; Rivers in Britain ending in the North Sea; Names
of Popes and Gettysburg Generals (either side) across the letters
B, G, H, O/S and T/W. He was closely followed by Shantanu Saha
and Gregory Schmittgens, who each scored 11. Saha was only one
of two people who remembered Mayor Wagner.
Puzzle 3 proved easier. Categories were: Appollo astronauts
who flew to the moon; U.S. Secretaries of State post-1905; Major
Bahamian Islands; Political Regions of Italy and Sovereign States
which are Islands across A, C, E, S and I / L. This time, Saha,
Beach and Pettis led the scoring with 11 correct answers each.
As always, it pays to guess in Facts in Five, which helps you
get answers like Australia, Long Island, Sicily, Armstrong. Fortunately,
Meyer, who forgot Clinton was a Senator last year, benefitted
from the experience and did recall she is Secretary of State
Puzzle 4 challenged many people, but Meyer soared to the night's
high score of 16. Categories were: Artists or Groups at Woodstock
(first names allowed); U.S. Secretaries of Defense; Band members
in Yes (Jon Anderson); U.S. Military Ranks and Jethro Tull (Ian
Anderson) Album Titles across A, B, M, R and W.
When the tests had been graded, Rich Meyer had successfully
defended his title with 43 correct answers edging out Natalie
Beach at 42, and Ted Drozd and Rob Winslow with 41 each to become
the first three-time champ.
The G.M. appreciated the many supportive comments and offers
for help finding new categories. One contestant asked why there
were no sports categories such as "pitchers for the St.
Louis Cardinals". Since there are not less than 67 pitchers
starting with the letter B, it would take at least 15 minutes
just to read the more than 200 correct possible answers for that
single category. This is a hard game to play. It is a much harder
game to G.M. and find five categories with a limited number of
answers but a sufficient amount to correlate with four others