Pub quiz in Doha
Shehrazad Ramada Palace's top quiz master's brainfeeding tips Discuss this article
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We learn how to walk away with the prize from Quiz Master Andrew Garbutt.
So, what is this pub quiz we’ve heard so much about?
We have five rounds of 10 questions. We always have a general knowledge round, and a sports round and a music round, the other two will vary. We’ll have a round on monuments, a fashion round, anything. Because it’s a monthly thing we’ve done politics, we’ve done the Olympics, it’s all about finding extra rounds every month. General knowledge we could ask things about Greek gods, capital cities, currency, current affairs, flags, it’s a real everything possible.
How did you become the Quizardly master of the questions?
The pub quiz was introduced by a colleague of mine. He had always attended them himself, and he decided to introduce them. He’s since moved on, so I took over. We had some times now 50, 60 teams, so it’s been very very successful. I was the natural replacement for my colleague because he used to do the quiz and I would be the guinea pig, he would test the quiz on me! I enjoy the challenge, and actually I’ve learned quite a lot by setting the quiz. I enjoy it very much.
Right, so who are the competitors?
I would imagine 80 per cent are English, but we do get some Canadians and Americans. As other nationalities integrate into Qatar, more and more people enjoy the quiz. I think the Brits just like the pub quiz. And it’s very very much a laid back thing. We spend more time in the pub and we want to do something different! Every age you can imagine. Young guys, older people, some people just for the fun, some people who are quite competitive because there’s a QR1000 prize to win, so some people want to win the prize. It’s something different to do on a Monday night.
Seriously, how hard is this quiz? We’ve seen quiz shows on TV, and we have to say . . . they make us fear for the continuation of our species.
It’s something that’s getting more and more interesting, because people are getting more and more intelligent. The level of intelligence has gone up. We don’t want to make it too difficult, but there’s no such thing I don’t think as a ‘too difficult question’. If someone knows the answer than it’s not a difficult question, that’s the key.’
How do you pick the questions?
I have a number of books and I’ll do research, and if it looks interesting to me, and I’ll ask the people in our office, and if they don’t know the answer then that’s fine! 90 per cent of my job is done before the evening, writing the quiz. People will often dispute answers, so I have to do as much research as possible because I know anything that’s a bit ambiguous people will dispute. We have to try to cater for as many people as we can. For example I’m interested in sports, so for me it would be perfect to have a sports quiz of 50 questions, but for example we’ll get a team of six ladies who would be excellent at the picture rounds, general knowledge, and the music but have no idea about the sports. So the key is just to try to cater to as many people as possible. So one month we’re looking to have a fashion round, and the men will struggle at the fashion round but that’s ok because they get sports. So we’re trying to even it out a little bit.
On to the dirty laundry: do people cheat?
Well we always try to make sure people turn their phones off. People will try to cheat. They cheat as much as they possibly can, and then the music round, we regularly do a visual round, a picture round, and those are the rounds where they can’t cheat with Google. There is a new application which you can get on the smart phones now which listens to music and tells you what the music is. So what we’ve done now is we’ve split the music round into two sections, so now there will be a bit of music, and then a video of a completely different event, which the smart phone can’t pick up on. On the evening I’ve had people offering bribes [laughs]. I had somebody offer if they won the quiz that they would split the prize 50/50!
Drat: so if we can’t bribe you, how can we win?
There are a lot of very intelligent people who come. And there are teams of six, so the teams now generally have a sports specialist, and a music specialist, so they cover as many bases as they can. The key is to have people with special subjects. I think it’s the luck of the draw, the luck on the day if you know the answers!
Try your hand at the Pub Quiz each month at Shehrazad, Ramada Plaza. The next one—and the last until after Ramadan—is on June 25, starting at 8pm. There’s no registration or entry fee for teams of six to compete. Call 4428 1428.By Time Out Doha staff
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