I Don’t Know, Just Put Shatner…

For the last Thursday of August, we saw 91 teams across 12 venues, but in an odd twist, we tossed our hardest question of the night right out of the gate!  Who would recover to launch to the top of the leaderboard?


If you read yesterday’s blog, you would know that Wednesday’s first round featured three relatively easy bonus questions.  Thursday was a completely different story.  We began with a question on the always-popular topic of We Share a Last Name, except this version featured fictional characters who share the same last name, specifically these three:


We offered a two point bonus to any team that knew all three first names, but remembering the first name of President Snow from “The Hunger Games” was quite the daunting task.  Unfortunately, no team could remember all three of these first names of Coriolanus, Chrissy, and Jon, which meant that no team earned bonus points here.  After discussing the scientific merits of NOT using your cell phone, we finished up the opening stanza with this “Star Trek” question:

–> You’ll be able to name the subtitle to the film “Star Trek V” if you can simply recite the opening narration from the original “Star Trek” television series.  What is the three-word subtitle to “Star Trek V”?

Actually, the correct answer appears in the first line of the opening narration:

Star Trek

We threw our teams a bit of a curveball on the bonus, which asked for the director of this film.  There were several teams that must have said “I have no idea, just put down Shatner”, which of course would have led them to the correct answer, as William Shatner got behind the camera for the first time to direct this sequel.  While 32% of our teams came up with that bonus, no teams notched a perfect score in the opening round thanks to the Snow question, .


Our nightly audio question featured three tunes with murderous lyrics, and our teams had no trouble recognizing the sounds of Johnny Cash (“Folsom Prison Blues”), The Jimi Hendrix Experience (“Hey Joe”), and Maroon 5 (“Wake Up Call”).  Next up, our football fans had a chance to shine by remembering Willie Parker outrunning the Seattle Seahawks on this 75-yard scamper in Super Bowl XL:

Parker Steelers

We offered a two-point bonus on this question to anyone who could name which other member of the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl MVP Award that year in spite of Parker’s record-setting run.  Only 22% of our teams earned that bonus with the correct response of Hines Ward.  We moved into the high-brow categories next, asking for the profession associated with Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Eero Saarinen.  The majority of the field had no problem coming up with the correct response of architecture.  Finally, the second round ended with a question on Bizarre News Stories:

–> When the liquor brand Jagermeister threw a pool party in 2013, organizers wanted to create a special effect of mist in the pool by adding liquid nitrogen to the water.  The stunt put nine people in the hospital, because the nitrogen combined with which element, creating a toxic gas?

While most teams knew that most swimming pools include a healthy does of chlorine, only 19% of our teams earned a two-point bonus by knowing (within one either way) that the atomic number of chlorine is 17.  As a result, six teams swept the second round with a perfect score.  Hey, that’s still a vast improvement over the first round…


The top half of tonight’s halftime round asked our teams to identify films that fit a hidden theme.  About half of our teams correctly surmised that the films featured performers from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.  Overall, the average score reached 15.2 points, with eight teams scoring a perfect 20 points.  Here are Thursday’s top scores after the first half:


The second half began with an opera question, as we asked our teams to identify any two of the three works created by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini which are among the six most-performed operas worldwide.  There’s a reason we call it the Dreaded Opera Category, and it goes without saying that opera is not a strong subject for many teams, as evidenced by the fact that this was our most difficult wagering question of the night.  Only 21% of our teams earned any points here, with just four teams earning bonus points by knwoing all three correct answers: “La Boheme”, “Tosca”, and “Madama Butterfly”.  We followed that with a question on the mantis shrimp:

Mantis Shrimp

We finished the third round with a question on (men’s and women’s) college basketball:

–> Only twice in NCAA history has a school won BOTH the Men’s and Women’s Division I NCAA Basketball Championship in the same year.  Coincidentally, both of those feats were accomplished by the same school.

Most of our teams arrived at the correct answer of the University of Connecticut Huskies.  Here’s their most recent joint appearance at the White House.


Only 12% of our teams earned a two-point bonus by knowing that this photo was taken in 2014.  Needless to say, the Dreaded Opera Category meant that no team notched a perfect score in the third round.


Only six teams earned the full six points by knowing the answer to Thursday’s 6-4-2 question after the first clue:

–> Born in 1942, who is the only woman to have won the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony), as well as a Peabody award and a Presidential Medal of Freedom?



The final round eased up on our teams, with about half of the field earning their wagers on all five questions.  Teams also earned bonus points by knowing the author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (Ken Kesey) and the actual name of the Captain in the 1970s musical duo The Captain and Tennille.  It turns out that the Captain’s real name is Daryl Dragon.  That fact leads me to this question: why on Earth would you use a stage name if your real name was as awesome as Daryl Dragon?  Maybe his career as a death metal guitarist failed, so he made the transition into cheesy soft rock.  I digress…  We also asked a question about this newest panelist on the ABC reality series “Shark Tank”:


Seven teams notched perfect scores in the final round.  Here are Thursday’s top scores after the fourth round:

FINAL QUESTION (31.7% success rate):

–> Respectively portraying an actor and a journalist, who is the most recent performer to star in back-to-back Best Picture Oscar winners?


Yes, Michael Keaton appeared in both “Birdman” and “Spotlight”.  Just under one-third picked up points on Thursday’s final question.  Congratulations to Lowered Expectations (Quincy’s) and Atomic Dogs (Fish Market), as the only teams to record the Perfect 21 tonight by answering all wagering questions correctly.  Here are your top overall scores from Thursday:


Quincy’s Bar and Grille in Gaithersburg, MD:  Lowered Expectations  (Next week’s first category: St. Louis Cardinals)

Champion Billiards in Frederick, MD:  Power Vacuum  (Next week’s first category: Coldplay)

Bunker Sports Cafe in Leesburg, VA:  Washington Foreskins  (Next week’s first category: “Rick & Morty” – Season 1)

​Smoketown Brewing Station in Brunswick, MD:  Hans Gruber Preservation Society  (Next week’s first category: Serial Killers)

Beef O’ Brady’s in Frederick, MD:  Clucktards  (Next week’s first category: Iron Maiden)

Jerry’s Sports Bar in Hagerstown, MD:  Sack of Marbles  (Next week’s first category: Motorhead – AUDIO)

Belly Love Brewing in Purcellville, VA:  Just Us  (Next week’s first category: Barbara Streisand Films)

Cushwa Brewing in Williamsport, MD:  For Helvete  (Next week’s first category: Reality TV)

Olde Mother Brewing in Frederick, MD:  Birds of War  (Next week’s first category: Wrestlemania History)

Right Around the Corner in St. Petersburg, FL:  Better Red Than Dead  (Next week’s first category: Harry Potter)

Fish Market Restaurant in Alexandria, VA:  Atomic Dogs  (Next week’s first category: Tom Waits Songs)

Guido’s in Frederick, MD:  Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner  (Next week’s first category: Jon Sings the Beatles)