There have always been quizzes on television and radio, plenty for every taste; some requiring no knowledge or intelligence at all, while others cater for super brained polymaths. I like the ones that just get on with asking the questions. I wouldn’t dream of actually going on one myself; I don’t like having my photograph taken, let alone appearing on television. Radio would be fine, but there would still be the embarrassment of brain freeze; my mind goes blank, even in my own living room.
The quiz cheat needs only pen and paper; mark a column for each person in the room. Whatever the quiz, the person who answers first gets one point. We chanced upon Mastermind one evening and one contestant, a teacher, did not get any questions right in the general knowledge. Very embarrassing, we wondered if his pupils were watching, but without the annoying interference of the contestant answering first I scored quite a few points.
On University Challenge, never mind if each question gets ten points and five deducted for a wrong answer, you get just one point. The teams will be in the hundreds while my score will be 9 if I’m lucky or more likely 1 as happened this week. It is no use saying
I knew that, it was on the tip of my tongue. Or
Mozart, I told you… I just got the name of the opera wrong
I was going to say that..
If you have forgotten what was the beginning of the question by the time Jeremy Paxmen gets to the end, you could just give up, but why not try looking intelligent as he briskly recites
Take the numbers in the periodic table of all the elements on the planet Mars, add them together and multiply by the Fibonacci Sequence
While the teams are busy consulting each other, move your lips and frown. When the answer comes up throw your hands up in despair and claim you nearly got it.
The best way to cheat though is if you are on your own. Even if your brain can’t retrieve the name or your mouth can’t say Leonardo Da Vinci, you know it was that chap who did Mona Lisa and the painting is in that place in Paris with the glass pyramid… give yourself a point.
If you listen to a radio quiz you can cook or wash the floor at the same time, yelling out the answers. Counterpoint is a good quiz on all kinds of music; give yourself a point if you recognise the piece or song, can remember where you heard it, but have no idea who the composer or singer is. The best fun is when none of the three contestants can think of the answer, or get it wrong; then you can jeer at them…
Vivaldi, how could you possibly think it was Vivaldi or
Surely everyone knows that is the Beach Boys
Have you ever been on a quiz show? How did you get on?