The second year of Facts in Five in the ballroom proved that the move was a great idea by the Con Staff as 272 participants showed up for at least one round – which nearly turned into a problem, as the GM had only printed 275 copies of the answer form! Thankfully, the players were patient and helpful as always, and while it sometimes took a bit longer for the GM staff to get everyone a sheet, people were happy to help pass around sheets and make sure that everyone could play. The GM will definitely be taking his high estimate for players for next year and add another 20% to it!
But even with that logistic issue, the players had a good time as always trying to answer the questions the GM posed and coming up with alphabetical answers in a five minute time limit. If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, come to the WBC Facts In Five YouTube channel to see the videos we took!
Round 1 Categories:
- Dog breeds recognized by the American and Canadian Kennel Clubs
- Elements on the Periodic Table
- Phobias listed in the Oxford English Dictionary
- World’s largest 100 cities
- Characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or X-Men Movies
Round 1 Letters: A, K, N, R, X
Round 1 had an average score of 10.59. Nick Henning set out to a strong lead with 20 points, just a little bit ahead of Skip Maloney at 19 and Jason Arvey, Alex Bove, and Ewan McNay with 18 each. A special call out to Jen Brown, Joseph Yaure, Claire Kaltman, and Bobbi Warczak as the only people to correctly answer “Xoloitzcuintli” or “Xolo” for short for the “X” answer for Dog Breeds.
Great but wrong answers: No matter how many people said it, “K” is Potassium’s symbol, not its’ starting letter. “Koala-phobia”, while debilitating to most Australians, is not currently in the OED; nor is “Robo-phobia”. “Amazing” is not officially part of Spider-man’s name; and while technically Black Panther’s title is “King of Wakanda,” that’s not his name.
Round 2 Categories:
- Ethnic Groups and Kingdoms of Africa
- Tony Award Nominees for Best Musical
- Films preserved by the Library of Congress
- Top 100 English-language magazines by circulation
- Prime numbers under 100
Round 2 Letters: E, F, N, S, T
Round 2 was about as difficult as Round 1, with an average score of 10.54. Sean McCulloch (whose name I will spell correctly in posts and announcements some year, but not this one) topped the list with 19 correct answers; Geoffrey Heintzelman and Michael Brazinski were right behind with 18, and Jason Arvey, Steve LeWinter, and Pam Przybylski-LaDue (which is apparently easier for me to spell than “McCulloch”) were next with 17.
Great but wrong answers: “French tourists” are not populous enough to count as an African tribe; Nickelback never received a Tony nomination, nor did “Name That Tune;” nor was “Fiesta, the Quest for the Queso” but I really want to see that; “Phantom of the Opera” is spelled with a Ph, not an F; and “Feival Goes West” has not been preserved by the Library of Congress, no matter how much my childhood says it should have been.
Round 3 Categories:
- Post-1990 movies based upon pre-1990 TV shows
- Top 25 beer brands in world-wide sales
- Presidents of France
- Members of the Country Music Hall of Fame
- Words used in naval vessel hull classifications
Round 3 letters: A, B, C, H, M
Round 3 came in a lot tougher, with 8.3 being the average score. Richard Irving easily took the win this round with 19 points; Sean McCulloch, Rich Meyer, Glen Pearce, Robert Seulowitz, Caley Roark, and Ted Drozd all came in next with 16 points each.
Great but wrong answers: “Mr. Ed” was never remade as a movie, though the same technique was used for the dreadful 1988 Bobcat Goldthwaite – Dabney Coleman movie “Hot To Trot”; Charlemagne was never an elected leader of France, nor was anyone named “Croissant,” “Mercedes,” or “Bubelie.” Joan Baez is not in the Country Music Hall of fame, nor is New Wave star Adam Ant, nor power-ballad rocker Meatloaf.
Round 4 Categories:
- Painters whose works have sold for over $40 million
- 50 most common words in US & Canadian city names
- Artists with a #1 Rock Hit 1990 – 1999, or 1970 – 1979, or a Top 100 Rock hit in 2018
- Top US / Canada schools NOT named after states or provinces
- US/Canadian authors writing after 1820
Round 4 letters: B, E, P, V, W
Round 4 had probably the biggest error in setup – the GM intended the ‘authors’ category to mean ‘literary authors’, but didn’t word either the sheet or the presentation well, and so retroactively we’ve opened it to “all American and Canadian authors.” The extra points probably brought the average score up for this round, resulting in 10.4. Nick Page and Lori Prince tied at 19 for their best round; Ewan McNay, Andy Latto, Ricky Boyes, and Lesley Coussis came in second with 18 each.
Best “not quite” answers – the E Street Band never released anything without Bruce Springsteen in front of them; “The Weird Sisters” isn’t a band as far as I can tell but someone should steal that name; and while ZZ Top did have number 1 hits in the ‘70’s, unfortunately V was the letter, not Z. Also, I realize that for some of you it’s the center of the universe, but “Boston” is not a common word in a city name outside of Boston. Bob Ross, no matter how deserving, never sold a painting for $40 million, and even if he did, he’s an R answer, not a B answer. Likewise, with the GM ruling on the “authors” category, I’d happily have taken Harlan Ellison, Brian, but you put him down as a “V” answer and I just can’t even.
Round 5 categories:
- 25 largest deserts in the world
- Modern and historical types of golf clubs
- Sandwiches not named after their instruments
- Words in common names of crabs
Movies starred Sandra Bullock
Round 5 letters: C, G, M, P, S
This year’s theme round was “Sand” to celebrate our first year with a sand plaque. But the theme categories turned out tougher than usual, with an average score of 9.7. Geoffrey Heintzelman and Deborah Starzynski tied at 18 for the best score this round, with Rich Meyer and Alfred Schnabel taking second with 16.
Best non-correct answers: While there are big deserts, there is no “Gargantuan Desert”; the “Greater Club of Hitting +3” only counts for Advanced Golfing & Dungeons, and we’re playing Puttfinder; the “MMMMMMMMMM!!!” is not really a sandwich I’m aware of; likewise, the “Pot Pie” isn’t named after its ingredients, but it doesn’t quite count as a sandwich. Finally, “Mr.” is only a common name in the crab name for Mr. Krabs.
In the final summation, Geoffrey Heintzelman’s win in Round 5 was enough to propel him to an easy victory with 82 total points over last year’s (and 2015’s and 2010’s and 2009’s and 2006’s) winner Rich Meyer, who had 79. Shortly behind were Sean McCulloch and Jason Arvey with 77; Adam C. Fry and Alex Bove took fifth and sixth with their 72, beating out Eric Brosius and Ewan McNay on tie-breakers.
And with that, we wrapped up another year of fun and trivia – we look forward to seeing everyone next year! (And we’ll bring more sheets!)