Everything is Bigger in Texas? Not Quite…

After a slew of high scores over the last few weeks, our Wednesday night teams were reminded that one question can sometimes have a big effect on the game.  For most of the 107 teams playing at our 15 Wednesday night venues this week, that reminder came halfway through the second round:


We began the night with a question on this trio of celebrities who share the same first name:


Teams had no trouble with that query, as well as the follow-up question which asked about the two longest-running Broadway musicals which are based on Disney films.  Bonus points were flying as a majority of our teams arrived at these two correct answers:

Lion King Beauty and the Beast

We continued with the toughest question of the round, as only 55% of our teams answered this question correctly on the subject of naming conventions:

–> In European naming conventions, the prefixes ‘Fitz’ and ‘Mac’ are the equivalent of the Spanish suffix ‘Ez’ and the Romanian suffix ‘Escu’.  Which two-word phrase is represented by these sets of letters?

All of these prefixes and suffixes simply mean ‘Son of’.  Eight teams swept the first round with a perfect score of 36 points.


The second round began very well for our players, as about half of the field earned bonus points on the audio question by recognizing the voices of Ed SheeranTaylor Swift, and Lukas Graham.  Likewise, most of our teams knew that the pancreas is the only organ which is considered to be part of both the endocrine system and the digestive system.  Then it was on to the third question…  Last week, a majority of our teams stumbled on a second round U.S. geography question involving the Great Lakes.  Tonight, our teams fared no better with this question:

–> Not surprisingly, this U.S. state is home to the four largest cities in the country in terms of land area.  Individually, all four of these cities are larger than Rhode Island.  Name this state.

I suppose most teams took the old saying “Everything is bigger in Texas” to heart tonight, as only SIX TEAMS submitted the correct response of Alaska.  In fact, the largest city in the U.S. is Sitka, Alaska, which is more than 4,800 square miles, only slightly smaller than the entire state of Connecticut!  Sure, Texas is not a bad guess, but nearly half of the teams that missed this question went for it with their maximum available wager, despite having a one-pointer left to burn.

We finished the second round by asking about the early work of this Oscar-winning actress:


About one-quarter of our teams earned bonus points by knowing that Meryl Streep‘s first Oscar win was for the film “Kramer vs. Kramer“.  Needless to say, the third question of the round kept the average scores very low overall.  One team that was NOT phased by this set of questions was Dusty Baker School of Management, who swept the second round with a perfect score.


Tonight’s halftime page dealt with food flags, as well as ‘THROW’ and ‘CATCH’ phrases.  Our teams performed well here, with 11% of the field notching a perfect score, and the overall average coming in 16.4 points.  Here are Wednesday’s top scores after the first half:


The third round gave us our two most difficult questions of the second half, starting with this little piece of Americana:

–> Found in the oval office, the desk currently used by the President was built from the English oak timbers of a British Arctic exploration ship known by what name?

Here’s the (not so) famous Resolute Desk:


The follow-up question dealt with chemical compounds:

–> What two-word phrase is the more common name of deuterium oxide?

For each of these questions, the correct answer was rate hovered around 30%.  As a result, no teams swept the third round on Wednesday night with a perfect score.  Even with the bonus questions excluded, only six teams answered all five wagering questions correctly.


Wednesday’s 6-4-2 question dealt with an A-list actor:

–> One of this actor’s earliest roles was as the lead actor on the short-lived TV sitcom “Kitchen Confidential”, inspired by the book of the same name by chef Anthony Bourdain.

I guess it’s hard to remember a TV show that only aired four episodes before its cancellation:

Bradley Cooper

Yes, that is two-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper on the left.  Only five teams scored a well-earned six points on this question.


The final round began with a question on this furniture store named for a Revolutionary War hero:

Ethan Allen

Next we asked our teams to name the country which has reached the semi-finals in each of the last four FIFA Men’s World Cups.  We must have had a lot of soccer fans in the field, as virtually every team came up with the correct response of Germany.  Finally, we took a nostalgic trip back to the 1980s, as we asked about the music group that became the subject of more than two dozen lawsuits just one year after releasing a platinum album.  Many of our teams remembered this deceptive duo (though I don’t think ANYONE knows exactly what they are doing here):

Milli Vanilli

Two teams swept the final round with a perfect score: FOWL (Memories) and Dusty Baker School of Management (Bennigan’s – Clarksburg).  On a tough night of trivia, our defending World Series champs posted perfect scores in three of the four rounds.  Here are Wednesday’s top overall scores after the fourth round:

FINAL QUESTION (21.7% success rate):

–> Shortly after taking office in 1956, President Juscelino Kubitschek ordered the construction of a new national capital city in which country?

Perhaps the most notable of the ‘planned communities’ that became national capital cities is Brasilia, which replaced Rio de Janeiro as the capital of Brazil shortly after construction began.  Unfortunately, no team scored the Perfect 21 tonight.  Here are Wednesday’s top overall scores:


Whole Foods Market in Vienna, VA:  Movin’ On Up  NEXT GAME – AUGUST 30  (First category: Bob Dylan – AUDIO)

Valley Grill in Middletown, MD:  Stupid Sexy Flanders: Tokyo Drift  (Next week’s first category: Tornadoes)

The Tavern in Olney, MD:  The Fan Club  (Next week’s first category: 1968 World Series)

Belles’ Sports Bar in Frederick, MD:  Tokyo Sex Robot  (Next week’s first category: Guess the Knight from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”)

Bennigan’s in Frederick, MD:  Suck It Trebek  (Next week’s first category: Pickleball)

Nido’s Ristorante in Frederick, MD:  Donner Party  (Next week’s first category: Triple 50/50: “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” Character or Current World Leader)

TopGolf in Alexandria, VA:  Hexa-Hotties  (Next week’s first category: Helicopter Aeronautics)

Greene Turtle in Leesburg, VA:  Obscure References  (Next week’s first category: Betty White)

TopGolf in Tampa, FL:  Kitten Mittens  (Next week’s first category: Comic Books)

Clover Theater in Cloverdale, CA:  NO GAME THIS WEEK  (Next week’s first category: The Three Stooges)

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

Memories in Mount Airy, MD:  Deaf Squirrels  (Next week’s first category: Triple 50/50: Land Battle or Naval Battle)

Furnace Bar and Grill in Thurmont, MD:  We Need an Adult  (Next week’s first category: “National Treasure”)

Barefoot Bernie’s in Hagerstown, MD:  Back to the Future Reference  (Next week’s first category: Battle of Gettysburg)

Applebee’s in Waynesboro, PA:  Juju and Friends  (Next week’s first category: Industrial Revolution)

Cafe Nola in Frederick, MD:  Mr. Jackpots  (Next week’s first category: Herman Cain)