facts in five  

Updated Nov. 22, 2014

2014 WBC Report    

 2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

Jason Arvey, VA

2014 Champion


Event History
1993    Luke Kratz    23
1994    Eric Olin    25
1995    Chuck Foster    24
1996    Luke Kratz    25
1997    Stephanie Greenwood    19
1998    Caleb Cousins    29
1999    Shantanu Saha    17
2000    Randy Cox    31
2001    Aaron Silverman    34
2002    Doug Hoylman    48
2003    Aaron Silvermann    43
2004    Doug Hoylman    31
2005    Sean McCulloch    40
2006    Richard Meyer    37
2007    Winton LeMoine    43
2008    Paul Bean    36
2009    Richard Meyer    50
2010    Richard Meyer    35
2011    Matthew Beach    72
2012    Paul Bean    78
2013    Mark Guttag    75
2014    Jason Arvey    96


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Richard Irving     CA    14     86
  2.  Richard Meyer      MA    13     85
  3.  Paul Bean          MA    12     72
  4.  Jason Arvey        VA    14     52
  5.  Mark Guttag        VA    14     45
  6.  Aaron Silverman    FL    03     44
  7.  Doug Hoylman       MD    04     42
  8.  Eric Brosius       MA    12     40
  9.  Ted Drozd          IL    11     32
 10.  Randy Cox          SC    03     31
 11.  Roderick Lee       CA    14     29
 12.  Winton LeMoine     CA    07     28
 13.  Shantanu Saha      NY    10     24
 14.  Pitt Crandlemire   MA    02     24
 15.  Matthew Beach      MD    11     20
 16.  Rob Winslow        NY    10     20
 17.  Sean McCulloch     OH    05     20
 18.  Francis Spencer    MD    09     14
 19.  Edward Fear        OH    14     12
 20.  Natalie Beach      MD    10     12
 21.  Steve Cameron      PA    00     12
 22.  Matt Amitrano      VA    08      8
 23.  Debbie Bell        MD    01      8
 24.  Caleb Cousins      ME    01      8
 25.  Sean Cousins       ME    01      8
 26.  James Hopkin       CA    00      8
 27.  Stephany Greenwood MD    99      8
 28.  Bruce Rae          bc    14      6
 29.  Kevin Lewis        DC    11      6
 30.  Dave Burkey        PA    09      6
 31.  Ed Kendrick        uk    08      6
 32.  Gordon Rodgers     PA    05      6
 33.  Roy Pettis         VA    03      6
 34.  Jim Eliason        IA    13      5
 35.  Ted Simmons        NJ    07      4
 36.  Robert Cranshaw    RI    05      4
 37.  Frank Cunliffe     PA    05      4
 38.  Luke Kratz         ID    04      4
 39.  Donna Balkan       on    01      4
 40.  Andy Maly          MD    99      4
 41.  Gordon Elgart      CA    02      1

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists: 

Richard Irving, CA

Edward Fear, OH

Roderick Lee, CA

Bruce Rae, bc

Mark Guttag, VA

Past Winners

Luke Kratz, ID
1993, 1996

Eric Olin, CT

Chuck Foster, TX

Stephanie Greenwood, MD

Caleb Cousins, ME

Shantanu Saha, NY

Randy Cox, SC

Aaron Silverman, NJ
2001, 2003

Doug Hoylman, MD
2002, 2004

Sean McCulloch, OH

Rich Meyer, MA
2006, 2009-10

Winton LeMoine, CA

Paul Bean, MA
2008, 2012

Matthew Beach, MD

Mark Guttag, VA

Laurie Wojtaszczyk, Chris Kizer, Lisa Gutermuth and Sean McCulloch are among the early arrivals claiming prime seating.

Technology in the form of projected questions and
answers has improved the event in recent years.

Added temporary seating in the front and back row has proved necessary as our Lancaster run nears its end.

Double the Fun! ...

A big thank you to everyone who came out this year -- we shattered the attendance record by a wide margin! Not bad for an event that has been around forever. In fact, we're outgrowing our room! Fortunately, the media rooms at 7 Springs are much larger so the sky will be the limit shortly. A special thank you to Ed Fear and Eric Kleist for helping to pass out answer sheets and especially to Ed for staying around to grade and score papers after the event; our normal stalwart Assistant GM Greg Crowe, who usually handles most of the boring filing work while I focus on fun stuff like presenting the categories, unfortunately (for me) made a Final elsewhere and had to miss the first half of the event. As always, the crowd was great, being full of energy and laughter despite being late on a Saturday after a week of intense thinking and strategizing.

The results of our epic group adventure are below. We'll give the categories and the letters, as well as the results by round, and some highlights of answers that might not have helped people's scores, but made the GM laugh. Names have been withheld to prevent embarrassment, so feel free to claim to all of your friends that they were your answers.

Round 1 Categories:

· Wimbledon Singles Winners, 1968 - present

· Guest Stars on the Muppet Show

· Brands of Chocolate Bars

· Types of Snakes

· Actors who have portrayed Batman

Round 1 Letters: A, B, C, K, W

Round 1 Results: As normal for the first round, this was a pretty easy set of questions and the average score was 10.93. Ted Drozd pulled out to an early lead, with an amazing 21 out of 25 correct, followed in close order by Sean McCulloch (20), Richard Irving (19), Edward Fear (19), and Rich Meyer (18).

Great, if erroneous answers: Guest Stars on the Muppet Show had the most "almost correct" answers; however, we're not sure if we want to live in the world where Henry Kissinger, Christopher Walken, King Kong, Charles Bronson, or Col. Khadaffi hosted.

Also, where most people incorrectly guessed that Alan Alda had hosted the Muppet Show, only one person was so bold as to guess that he had portrayed Batman. Between that and someone guessing Alan Arkin, we now have thoughts of remade Batman scenes that will make us giggle for weeks, so thank you both!

One person made us sad with his chocolate bar answers, having "Crackle" as one and "Krunch" as another ­ that's 2 points he could have had if only he'd remembered which one was misspelled and which one was not. That's Facts in Five for you.

On the "common names for snakes" category: for the record, Whitesnake is a band, not an actual snake. Also: pronouncing Viper with a bad Russian accent does not turn it into a "W" answer. Special thanks to the person who answered, "A**holes" for the A row; while that's a common epithet, that's not quite the same thing as a common name.

Special thanks to the player who, deciding he was going down in flames already, answered "Adam West" to all the categories for the W row. One of those was actually right!

Round 2 Categories:

· Master's Tournament Champions

· Forms of Pasta

· Nominees for the Oscar for Best Picture, 2001 - Present

· American Syndicated Newspaper Comic Strips

· 20th Century Monarchs of Europe

Round 2 letters: G, M, O, P, Z

Round 2 Results: The gloves were off for this round ­ the average score dropped to 8.44 out of 25 correct. Amazingly, the top six scorers for this round - Sean McCulloch, Jason Arvey, Mark Guttag, Andrew Wright, Mike Hischak, and Brandon Buchanan - all tied at 14. I suppose I should mention that, since the players don't actually directly fight with each other, "the gloves were off" actually means "I made this round too tough".

Great, if erroneous answers: I think there was a common misinterpretation that "Oscar Nominees 2001 - present" meant Oscar nominees after the movie "2001" was made, i.e., after 1968; it's the only way to explain how so many people guessed "The Godfather" or "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" for this category. One player decided to keep a theme going after answering "Master & Commander" for Oscar Nominees, and followed it up with "Pride & Prejudice" and "Officer & A Gentleman". Final note: Ben Stiller should be proud - even if it wasn't an Oscar nominee, when asked to name a film starting with the letter "Z", "Zoolander" seems to be the top choice.

We also should have been clearer on the directions for Master's Tournament Champions, that we were only looking for non-fictional winners, and so "Happy Gilmore" did not count. In other news, less than half of the people who can recall Jose Maria Olazabal can also spell his name.

While clever, we cannot give credit to "Spaghetti-Os" as a correct "O" answer for forms of pasta. Also, there is no such thing as "Zfettuccini" with a silent Z. Good try. Well, not actually, but it made us laugh nonetheless.)

We also appreciated the person who put "Peter Parker" as a possible newspaper comic strip, because hey, he's there half the time, why should that other guy get all the attention?

We liked the social commentary of the person who answered "Putin?" for 20th Century Monarchs. Our heart goes out to the person who wrote "Mussolini", then wrote next to it "This shouldn't be right", then scratched both of them out to write "Mary". Which was also incorrect.

Round 3 Categories:

· Radioactive Elements

· Country Music Awards Entertainer of the Year (1967 ­ 2013)

· Airlines carrying over 10 million passengers in 2010

· Moons of the Solar System

· Creatures listed in the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual

Round 3 letters: D, L, N, R, U

Round 3 Results: Minds stretched by the previous category, people got into the groove for this one, averaging a score of 8.75. Jason Arvey blew this round away with an amazing 21/25 right, a full six points ahead of second place John Riston's 15, with Ed Beach, Eric Kliest, Jarret Weintraub, and Bruce Rae tied for 13.

Great, if erroneous answers: It's "Europa", not "Uropa", people. Also, not only is "Dagobah" not in our solar system, and not only is it fictional, it's never referred to in Star Wars as a moon, only as a planet. But we have a lot of sympathy for the person who gave for "N", "R", and "U" the answers of "No clue", "Really don't know", and "Used to work at NASA". That's Facts in Five for you.

Speaking of fictional items, Dilithium is not a real element, and if it were, I hope for Mr. Scott's sake that it's not radioactive.

On the creatures from the Monster Manual category: special kudos to Rich Meyer, who was the only one to hit the trifecta of putting down the three answers that I called out as being shown on the cover of the Monster Manual. (Also, a side note to one other person: "Nerd"s were not creatures in the Monster Manual; they were the creatures reading the Monster Manual. Slight difference.)

Round 4 Categories:

· Popes of the Catholic Church

· American Prime Time Sitcoms with more than 150 episodes

· London Underground Stations

· Authors nominated for a Tony for Best Play

· Rivers longer than 1000 km

Round 4 letters: E, F, H, P, S

Round 4 Results: The penultimate round is always one of the toughest, and the responses proved it -- an average of only 6.60 correct answers this round. Jason Arvey maintained his lead with 14, though he was tied with Edward Fear and Louise Strickland this time. Just behind at 13 was Eric Brosius, and filling the rest of the top were Richard Irving, Roderick Lee, and Sarah Beach at 12 each.

Great, if erroneous answers: As you might expect, not much funny was said on the round where Pope Hilarius was a valid answer. Most people were batting down and trying to answer as well as they could against much tougher questions, and so only a few funny answers were dropped, such as the person who put down "Sexytime" as a station for the London Underground. The GM remains mum on whose house the Sexytime train has to go through before making its... delivery. We also appreciated the ideas of Popes Egbert, Enoch, Eunuch, Fabio, Fabulous, Fine, Harold, Howard, Sean, and Sinister. Disappointingly, Popes Fine and Howard were on different sheets, so it's not what you think. I think the entry of Pope "Sucky" was more a comment on the category.

Props to the person who entered "Fresh Prince" as an F answer for sitcoms, and running out of juice, put "Prince Prince" as a P answer.

Apologies to the person who wrote "STOP MAKING ME FEEL DUMB" across the column for London Underground Stations. It's the nature of the game, don't blame the GM, he only picks the questions, the letters, and watches you balefully during the five minutes you're trying to think of the answers.

Our sympathies for the person who listed out six rivers next to his answer column, all of which were the right length but none of which started with the right letter, and who ended up putting "Hadonsitzpulsky" and "Flipper" for their answers. Facts in Five! For the rest of you ­ there is no "Pee" River. At least not over 1000km long. If there is, see a doctor. And while many people incorrectly guessed the Euphrates, I'm not sure what to make of the person who guessed Eucalyptes. Maybe it's in Australia?

Round 5 (The International Round!) Categories:

· Members of the UN with a population of under 5 million

· Winners of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film

· Hosts of the FIFA World Cup

· Countries other than the United States with a Wal-Mart

· Modern countries which have had a female Head of Government

Round 5 letters: A, B, C, I, S

Round 5 Results: The last round was a gimmick round: while the questions weren't easy, the answers were all countries, with the understanding that in the WBC Tournament game, duplicate answers were allowable. The end result was an average score of 11.86, giving players an easy cushion to land on before being patted on the back and sent off to party at Slapshot.

Richard Irving took the best score in this round, with 21 out of 25 correct. Mark Guttag, Roderick Lee, and Edward Fear tied for second with 19 correct, and Del Laugel rounded out the round winners with 18 points.

Great, if erroneous answers: Things that are not countries: Asia, Bornea, Budapest, Caracoa, The Incas, Sicily, Swahili

Things that are not countries, and also do not start with the letter I: South Yemen

Also, someone wrote on the bottom of their sheet, "How come all the C countries are communists?" To which I can only reply: alliteration.

Final Tally:

Jason Arvey managed to be only a point behind on the second round and had a small lead with the fourth, but it was his 6-point lead in Round 3 that made the difference, allowing him to take a comfortable win with 79 points.

Long-time player and previous host Richard Irving made a decent score in every round and had a big finish, letting him pull into second with 76 points.

Newcomer Ed Fear, however, not only was a great volunteer, but also managed to score in the top 5 in three rounds, earning a total of 74 and third place, followed by Bruce Rae and Roderick Lee tied at 68. Finally, last year's winner Mark Guttag took 6th place with 67 points.

I hope everyone had fun -- you were a wonderful and responsive audience, and I hope to see you next year! If you have any comments or suggestions, please reach out to me at the address below --I'm always happy to receive feedback!

The full answer sheet is available as a Google Docs spreadsheet at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ejxfjjnVh6iYo7luTSwIH1OLnXaKKKC0ZbjfkmKQQfA/

If you're interested in your full results and placing, you can find that at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wq36Qn2dDFsy144fe3k9_Bt4V_WFAm-dOvzq_DgSwcs/

GM John Corrado not only has to research his "puzzles" well in advance, he also augments the presentation with graphic displays of the answers.

A far cry from the old days when participants voted on whether an answer was acceptable or not. Huge improvement over the "Arguments R Us" days.
 GM     John Corrado [3rd Year]  NA 
   johncorrado@hotmail.com   NA

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