A Wednesday Trivia Night of Seismic Proportions!

Season XVI kicked off its Wednesday night schedule with 88 teams playing at 14 venues.  Let’s see which teams got off on the right track this season:


Wednesday’s game began with a Name That Year question, as we asked our teams to name the year in which all of these events occurred:

1)  Nelson Mandela is released from prison.

2)  Pete Sampras wins the U.S. Open, the first of his 14 Grand Slam singles titles.

3)  East and West Germany are reunified.

Our teams performed very well here with about half of the field earning a two-point bonus by giving the exact answer of 1990.  We followed up with a food question, with most teams knowing this Greek sauce made of yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, and herbs:


This question included a two-point bonus to any team that could correctly spell the name of this dish.  Only 28% of our teams earned that bonus with T–Z–A–T–Z–I–K–I.  The opening stanza concluded with our nightly Three Clues question, with Wednesday’s version dealing with a particular musician:

CLUE 1: This artist was one of the first musicians signed to Def Jam Recordings.

CLUE 2: His first studio albums were the 1985 release “Radio” and the 1987 release “Bigger and Deffer”.

Very few teams gave it a go for the two-point bonus, with about three-quarters of the field waiting for this third clue:

CLUE 3: In addition to being one of the most successful rappers of all-time, he can also be seen on the current TV series “NCIS: Los Angeles”.

Only 11% of our teams earned that early answer bonus by knowing “Bigger and Deffer” was the work of this celebrity:

LL Cool J

Three teams swept the opening round with a perfect score of 36 points: Tokyo Sex Robot (Belles’), Dusty Baker School of Management (Bennigan’s – Clarksburg), and Usual Suspects (Memories).


Wednesday’s audio question featured the voices of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake in their recent iPhone commercial, with the second question involving this pack animal:

Next up was this query in the subject of World Geography:

–> Based on land area, Victoria Island and Ellesmere Island are two of the ten largest islands in the world.  Name the country to which BOTH of these islands belong.

2-POINT BONUS: Which other island is this country’s largest at nearly 200,000 square miles?

Most teams had no problem arriving at the correct answer of Canada (map courtesy of www.worldatlas.com):


But only nine teams earned a two-point bonus here with the correct answer of Baffin Island.  The first half concluded with a question on this family film:

Free Willy

Once again, only nine teams earned a two-point bonus here by also knowing the real-life name of the orca that portrayed the title character: Keiko.  As a result, the second round saw just two perfect scores: Dusty Baker School of Management (Bennigan’s – Clarksburg) and Sexual Chocolate (Memories).


Wednesday’s halftime page included photos of “Little” films, while the bottom half dealt with NFL coaches.  We saw an average score of 16.8 points, with 11 teams landing a perfect 20.  Here are Wednesday’s top scores after the first half:


Wednesday’s third round ran the gamut of categories, as we discussed recent works of non-fiction (“Tuesdays With Morrie”), human anatomy (cerebellum), and Chinese terminology (Cathay).  With each of these questions hitting in the range of about 40% correct answers, the scores started to spread out as the third round wore on.  We concluded the round with the (slightly) more lighthearted subject of Musical Documentaries:

–> Which classic rock group is the subject of the 2017 documentary film “Long Strange Trip”?

2-POINT BONUS: This film’s title is derived from a lyric from which song?

Nearly all of our teams were able to come up with the Grateful Dead as the correct response:

Grateful Dead

For the bonus question, 19% of our teams knew that the line “What a long strange trip it’s been” is taken from the song “Truckin'”.  Thanks to the difficult start to this round, no team was able to record a perfect score of 36 points.


The six-point clue on Wednesday’s 6-4-2 question took us book to our high school civics class:

–> A proposed amendment becomes part of the U.S. Constitution as soon as it is ratified by how many states?

Only seven teams earned the full six points here by knowing that an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution must be ratified by three-quarters of the 50 states, leading to the correct response of 38.


Wednesday’s final round included this question which blended Russian fashion and television:

–> As depicted on “South Park” and the “Seinfeld” episode “The Chicken Roaster”, an ushanka is what type of Russian clothing?

Whether it’s worn with our without the earflaps, an ushanka is a type of hat:

The final round included the most difficult wagering question of the night, which was asked in the category of Sporting Events:

–> The sports marketing company Competitor Group, Inc. manages this series of nationwide endurance races which often feature live bands and cheerleaders.  What is the collective name of these events?

I suppose the Venn diagram which includes ‘Trivia Players’ and ‘Marathon Runners’ must have a very small intersection, as only 13% of our teams earned points with this correct answer:


Just as in the third round, no team was able to record a perfect score of 36 points.  Here are Wednesday’s top overall scores after the fourth round:

FINAL QUESTION (38.9% success rate):

–> In 1895, Andrew Lawson became the first person to identify this geological feature.  Eleven years later, it was discovered to be more than 750 miles long.  What is this geological feature?

San Andreas

Wednesday night did not see any teams earn the Perfect 21 by answering all wagering questions correctly, with three teams being thwarted only by the marathon question in the third round.  Here are Wednesday’s top overall scores:


Valley Grill in Middletown, MD:  Southpaw Fish  (Next week’s first category: “Friends”)

The Tavern in Olney, MD:  Olney the Lonely  (Next week’s first category: “Outlander” – novel series)

Belles’ Sports Bar in Frederick, MD:  Flight Level Awesome  (Next week’s first category: “Battle of the Network Stars” – current season)

Bennigan’s in Frederick, MD:  Fill Stick  (Next week’s first category: “Billy Madison”)

Nido’s Ristorante in Frederick, MD:  Wednesday  (Next week’s first category: Woody Allen Films)

TopGolf in Alexandria, VA:  Donkey Punch  (Next week’s first category: Moons of the Gas Giants)

TopGolf in Tampa, FL:  S&A  (Next week’s first category: “The Legend of Zelda” – original)

Clover Theater in Cloverdale, CA:  SoCo  (Next week’s first category: “Donnie Darko”)

Bennigan’s in Clarksburg, MD:  Dusty Baker School of Management  (Next week’s first category: Jewish Holidays)

Memories in Mount Airy, MD:  Awesome  (Next week’s first category: Famous Dead Animals)

Furnace Bar and Grill in Thurmont, MD:  Aaahh!!  Real Monsters  (Next week’s first category: Devan Recites Romantic Poetry)

Barefoot Bernie’s in Hagerstown, MD:  Lone Pine Mall Rats  (Next week’s first category: Weightlifting)

Applebee’s in Waynesboro, PA:  Wingin’ It  (Next week’s first category: Bingo Math)

Cafe Nola in Frederick, MD:  Jerry Lewis Romperthon  (Next week’s first category: “Seinfeld”)