Season XX Playoff Recap!

Saturday afternoon featured 104 teams who braved the less than optimal weather to fight it out for the final berths in World Series XX.


The Season XX playoffs opened with a look at “Sesame Street” characters, as a majority of our teams knew that the recently deceased Carol Spinney voiced the characters of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.  We moved on to a three-part question regarding Shakespearean stage directions before playing Last Word / First Word with the correct answer of “My Fair Lady and the Tramp”.  The first round concluded with a discussion of the most populous cities in Morocco.  With few surprises in the opening stanza, 19% of the field sprinted out the gate by recording a perfect first round score.


Saturday’s audio question asked our teams to identify the original artists of songs whose cover versions garnered just as much success as their predecessors.  We listened to “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston, “Blinded By the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, and “Hard to Handle” by The Black Crowes.  Virtually every team earned wagering points by giving us the first two correct answers of Dolly Parton and Bruce Springsteen, but only 13% of our teams scored bonus points by also knowing that Otis Redding originally sang “Hard to Handle”.  Later, we danced the merengue (and enjoyed some delicious meringue) before asking a question regarding the career of quarterback Kurt Warner.  Once again, only 13% of our teams tacked on two bonus points by knowing that Warner attended the University of Northern Iowa.  The first half closed with a look at the Great Fire of London and the 1990s film “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation”, which featured early career roles for both Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger.  None of our playoff teams recorded a perfect second round score.


The top half of Saturday’s halftime round depicted films with ordinal numbers in their titles, while the bottom half asked our teams identify the closest U.S. state capital to certain North American cities.  Seven teams recorded 19 points, but a perfect score eluded the entire field on Saturday, as the overall average reached 14.8 points.  Here is your halftime leaderboard for the Season XX playoffs:

  • Castle Greyskull:  88
  • Slime Puppies:  87
  • Fawn Liebowitz’s Pallbearers:  87
  • Mack Attack:  86
  • Slapsgiving:  85
  • Stamp Collectors:  85


We began the second half with a question asked in the Three Clues format, opening this query with these two facts:

CLUE 1: This TV network was originally launched in 1977 as Madison Square Garden Sports Network, before being relaunched under its current name in 1980.

CLUE 2: In April 2016, this TV network unveiled a new branding campaign and slogan, “We the Bold”.

Only a handful of teams ventured a guess at this point in the question, with just one of those teams (We Just Blue Ourselves) picking up two bonus points.  The majority of the field waited for the third clue to earn wagering points with the correct answer of the USA Network.  Other third round topics included blues singer B. B. King, the latitude of world capitals, and polyjuice potion from the “Harry Potter” universe.  To close the third stanza, we moved to the high brow portion of the game by asking our teams about the title “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, which refers to both a philosophical book penned by Frederic Nietzsche and a tone poem composed by Richard Strauss.  Thanks to the first bonus question, none of our playoff teams swept the third round.


Saturday’s game included one of the most diabolical 6-4-2 questions we have ever asked.  The question began with this seemingly innocuous fact:

–> Before settling in its current city, this NBA franchise played its home games in San Diego from 1967 to 1971.

Most of our teams remembered that before moving up I-5 to Los Angeles, the Clippers were based out of San Diego.  What they did NOT remember is that the team’s tenure there did not take place until the late 1970s!  Sorry, there was another NBA franchise that had previously played home games in San Diego.  With more than half of the field answering incorrectly after the first clue, we moved on the four-point clue:

–> Setting the records in each of the last three full seasons, this team holds the top three spots on the list of most three-pointers by an NBA team in a single season.

After this clue, most of the remaining teams gave us the incorrect answer of the Golden State Warriors.  At this point, very few teams were left to pick up two easy points with the Houston Rockets.  When the smoke cleared, only two teams (Tokyo Tentacle Storm and Jock-ish) earned the full six points, while just five teams earned four points and six patient teams earned two points.


Final round topics from Saturday’s playoff game included notable car chases in film, the collective anagrams of observe, obverse, and verbose, and the theoretical four-dimensional shape known as a tesseract.  A pair of difficult bonus questions kept the perfect scores off the board.  First, only seven teams knew Dean Acheson succeeded Nobel Peace Prize winner George Marshall as U.S. Secretary of State in the late 1940s.  Later, the final bonus question of the game was asked as in the form of another early answer bonus:

–> From the Italian for ‘it jumps in the mouth’, which Italian dish is made of veal, lined or wrapped with prosciutto and sage?

Even with the promise of a future crossword-style clue, 14% of our teams skipped that hint and turned in the correct answer of saltimbocca.  The final round did not yield any perfect scores.  After four rounds of play, the overall playoff leaderboard included these teams:

  • High School Prom:  155
  • Drunk Savants:  151
  • Castle Greyskull:  151
  • Fawn Liebowitz’s Pallbearers:  151
  • Bailey’s Buddies:  147
  • Hungry, Hungry, Georgian Hippos:  147

FINAL QUESTION (22.9% success rate):

–> Hawaii is one of the five U.S. state names that can be written using only letters in the Hawaiian alphabet, which consists of five vowels and seven consonants.  For your wager, name all four of the other states.

Teams that could remember the names of Hawaiian islands such Hawaii, Molokai, and Lanai were able to formulate most of the consonants in the Hawaiian alphabet (the seven letters are H, W, M, L, K, N, and P).  From there, about one-fourth of our teams gave us all four correct answers: Iowa, Ohio, Maine, and Oklahoma.  Congratulations to Fawn Liebowitz’s Pallbearers, who was the only team to earn a Perfect 21 on Saturday afternoon by answering every wagering question correctly.  Here is your final overall leaderboard for the Season XX playoffs:

  • High School Prom:  164
  • Fawn Liebowitz’s Pallbearers:  163
  • Hungry, Hungry, Georgian Hippos:  157
  • Bucket of B.S.:  153
  • Just Good Enough:  152
  • Tough Kitties:  150
  • Why Not Zoidberg?:  148
  • Pearls of Wisdom:  148
  • Jock-ish:  148
  • Duck Dodgers:  148
  • Sexual Chocolate:  148
  • Game Time Decision:  148