That Quizzy feeling…

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 ?
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.

What comes to your mind reading the above? What could it be, a movie, a book…? The answer is surprisingly simple to deduce.

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. 😀

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:

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)


  • rinkyavi

    Good and intelligent questions

  • Sharat

    I remember a nightmarish quiz where one of the questions was ‘Spell Czechoslovakia’.

    It led to the elimination of a well known team !

  • Johny Walker

    very interesting.. waiting for some more quiz related posts..

    ill put up a link in my blog

  • Rainbow_Warrior

    “That Quizzy Feeling” is a registered trademark of mine and by appropriating it for the purpose of advertising your blog posts, you have infringed on my intellectual property and I plan to sue your ass off for said offenses where I will also seek punitive damages for the significant mental and emotional trauma caused as a result of this incident,unless proper restitution is made to the aggrieved party (me) immediately.

    P.S. Expect a call from my lawyers very soon.
    P.P.S. You’re goin’ down, biyatch.

  • Shrey

    Thanks Rinkyavi, Sharat, Johny Walker, and all others who’ve linked this page on their respective Quiz Blogs.

    @Rainbow_Warrior: You’ve been credited once, and once too much for that Quizzy feeling of yours… What did you say? It wasn’t there before? Well, let’s see you prove that in court, bitch !

  • Ramki

    nice one :)

  • Harish aka THF aka Boi

    The Summer of ’69 one was a sitter. RDX was good.

    There is a problem with quizzing, though. This may be just in my head though I will try to accumulate evidence or use the massive questions database generated by NSIT. But of late, there are certain topics that most QMs seem to revolve around. Lit qs are more frequently from leftist writers or American pulp fiction novels of the 40s. Music questions are now almost always about obscure singers from ages past. And too many quizmasters believe that not being a Bengali is a crime.

    The point is, a quiz can now be won by reading wikipedia articles about 20-30 topics. And if you, like me, hate 19-29 of these topics; you witness your quizzing career go down the drain. However, still a very valid viewpoint. Not cynical, which is admirable… somewhat. And you didn’t raise the point about how “Hansya Kavi” and “Western Solo Dance” competitions at technical colleges carry larger prize sums than quizzes.

  • incognito

    “”That Quizzy Feeling” is a registered trademark of mine”- you have any proof for that, mate? 😛

  • Ameya

    HI shrey,
    nice post…
    incidentally me too happen to write a shortie about quizzing on my personal blog.
    do check it out at

    Guess, we all quizzers think on similar lines…. and at similar times…
    long live the spirit of quizzing

  • Quiz Blogs

    tht was a good one..Quiz masters too need to make the qns tantalising enuff so tht its neither too obscure nor too easy. Btw hope you have also heard of my site which is the self updating blogroll for about 145 quizblogs from all over the country :-) – Naveen

  • Pyaasa Sajal

    superb post…but I didnt get to face such quizzing questions in watever little experience I had in quizzes…I wish such questions were more common wen actually they are quite a rarity…

    well things like the oppe election were actually unknown to me… :)

  • Karthik Narayan

    Good one man…

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  • sejal

    hey! i jus happen to stumble upon ur blog..a very interesting piece, this.
    A LOT f thngs have fallen into place. thnx!keep posting..

  • aninosaintlife

    nice post da :) ken here btw.

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  • Anonymous

    i m a first yearite from iitd
    wish to be a quizzer
    can u please give me some tips??

  • Arkaprava Dan

    Okay, so, the previous comment? Totally. Awesome. Had me in splits 😛

    If you're reading this, @Anon, dude, this is the internet. There are no 'Sirs' here. And best of luck with your quizzing career :)

    @Shrey – Nice post. The comments indicate that you've attracted a lot of attention :)

    I got RDX and the Pope right. Failed at 69 (the answer, dammit, not the act!) since I've never been a big fan of the song itself (burn me at the stake later) – I doubt I've even heard more than a few lines of it at a time… didn't get Zodiac, though in retrospect it seems so goddamn obvious. Knew about the Czech and Slovak Republics. Again, nice post!

  • Protik Roychowdhury

    I actually used to be good at quizzes in school… but I've forgotten a lot.

    I am still a smartass though. 😀

  • Pulkit

    about the circle of animals, the reply my head gave me was 'Parliament' 😀

    I got the rest, maybe due to some induction effect courtesy sethi

    Great post :)

  • Shrey

    Thanks! :)

    @Pulkit Parliament is actually a collective noun for owls…

  • Rainbow_Warrior

    @shrey makes sense to use it for a group of ullu ke patthe's as well, i guess.

  • Vinay Kola

    Nice post, but your chimney pic isn’t loading. It’s giving a 403.

    • Shrey Goyal

      Thanks Vinay; Stands corrected!

      There are many breaks like these throughout, hopefully should be taken care of by next week…