What is the capital of Czechoslovakia?
That is the kind of question people usually expect to face at a Quiz. Atleast people who haven't attended any quiz before, and atleast a few people I know. So one gets to hear all kinds of stuff about their Quizzing prowess, like "Dude, I could've been a great Quizzer, but my memory really sucks.", "I just can't remember all that stuff", "I was a good Quizzer at school, but then I forgot all that stuff".... BULLSHIT!!
All this from people who've mugged and memorized full periodic tables, and loads and loads of textbooks in their school and college days. As for me, I have a memory of a Goldfish, as many of my friends would agree, and yet that doesn't have anything to do with my Quizzing, not much atleast. So what is a good Quiz question like? Give a try:
Who about what ?What comes to your mind reading the above? What could it be, a movie, a book...? The answer is surprisingly simple to deduce.
“I think it is timeless because it's about making love in the summertime. There is a slight misconception it's about a year, but it's not. It has nothing to do about a year , it has to do with a sexual position.”
It says there's a confusion about it being about a year or about making love. What year could be confused with a sexual position? You don't need to be a pervert to know it's a reference to 69, though it helps. So what's the answer? Summertime and 69... Obviously, it's the song Summer of '69, and it's Bryan Adams saying that. The validity of the claim can be verified from the fact that the lyric at the end says "It's me and my baby in a 69."
Now was this something you needed to remember? It's not a well-known fact outside Quizzing Circles anyway. Here's another:
The discovery of _____ dates from the 1890s when a German (Hans Henning) offered it as a medicine. It's other properties were discovered later on. In the United Kingdom ____ was manufactured at the Research Department at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, where new projects were identified as 'Research Department No.' followed by their identification number. For some reason, this project not given a number or kept 'unknown' either with the intention of adding the number later, or for reasons of secrecy. What are we talking about?Now how do we go about doing this? It's obviously something well-known and prominent. And why has the naming pattern of the Royal Arsenal mentioned in the question. Let's see, what they would have called it: Research Department No. "Unknown", or Research Department X, which shortens to RDX. There you are, RDX!! And the best thing about such questions is that now you also know that RDX was once offered as a medicine in some form, and why is it named so.
Though good questions are usually long, even brief questions can be good.
What is the greek word for circle of animals?You don't need to say "It's Greek to me" to that. Think about it. Try.
Something ancient, connected with animals, and a term one would be expected to be familiar with. Where do you come across a circle of animals connected to the ancients. Zodiac Signs!! The word is Zodiac.
And of course, the visuals:
Where would you come across the above sight?You see a chimney with white smoke, a chimney with black smoke, and huge gathering watching intently. Where in the world does a chimney get so much attention?
A new pope has been elected. Now don't tell me you were unaware of the tradition.
I have covered many types of common quiz questions, and how one can go about deducing them. These are obviously much much simpler than most questions asked at Quizzes. Also, I shall hope to talk more about Quizzing like basic connect questions, Long Visual Connects, theme based questions etc. in the future. I had earlier made a "workoutable" Quiz with Varun for the Quiz Club at IIT Kharagpur, you can have a look at it. I also frequent a lot of Quiz Blogs, so you can give those a try as well. Also, do step out and attend a quiz to see what I have been talking about. Hopefully the quiz master's remarks will also justify my inclination towards bad jokes. :D
And by the way, every question may not be as hollow as its seems. You see, Czechoslovakia isn't a single country since a couple of decades, it's two countries now: Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. No country, so no capital. Don't tell me you hadn't heard of that before.
And before I forget, my favourite Quiz Blogs:
Inquizitivity by The Editor
Food For Thought by Varun & others
James Daly's Homepage by Johny Walker & sumo_ftb
Intricate Ramblings by IIT-Kgp's very own Jean Valjean, Lord Maldy & Darth Shak
Qutopia by sinister.ankit, Abhi Binani, Saket and others at KIIT
Sharp Shooters by Rithwik Kalandy (Believe it or not, the guy's a high schooler!!)
DREAMZ Quiz Clubs by Chandrakant Nair and others
The NSIT Quiz Club, by a bunch of NSITians
and some 40 others that I've bundled up on Google Reader.
OK then, Happy Quizzing !!
(Title Courtesy: Rainbow_Warrior - Quizzer/ Skirt Chaser, IIT Kharagpur)