Tomorrow is (NOT) Another Trivia Day… So Let’s Talk About Thursday!

Thursday night featured 12 games of pub trivia and 88 teams, some of which rolled up some rather impressive first-half scores.  The second half… was a different story:


Thursday night began with questions on Niagara Falls, the derivation of the phrase Green Room (it’s not as interesting as you think…), and American agricultural pioneer George Washington Carver.  A bonus question asked for the university at which Carver taught for nearly 50 years, with about one-third of our teams earning that bonus with the correct response of the Tuskegee Institute.  We concluded the round with a three-part question on this basketball legend:

Michael Jordan

This final question of the round asked about the three teams (other than the Bulls) with which MJ is associated: the North Carolina Tar Heels, the Washington Wizards (yes, he played in D.C. for two seasons), and the Charlotte Hornets, the team which he currently owns.

There were few surprises in the first round, as our field rolled through these questions with relative ease.  Overall, the first five questions yielded perfect scores to 21% of our teams!


Thursday’s audio question dealt with three songs whose titles include the names of body parts, the third of which was this catchy tune from 2006:

Shakira Hips Don't Lie

Most of our teams earned a two-point bonus by naming all three songs (including “In Your Eyes” and “Under My Thumb”), though they may have gotten a bit of an extra advantage at Fish Market in Alexandria, as host Bill admitted that he inadvertently played the song “Hips Don’t Lie” during the pre-game festivities, only to realize later that it was part of the audio question!  After a question on the new TV series “Still Star-Crossed” (conceived as a continuation of “Romeo and Juliet”), we came across our Chemical Element Word Play question:

–> Among the FULL NAMES of all chemical elements, which one will net the lowest score in the game of Scrabble, with just three points?

This was question was intentionally worded in a way to throw our teams off a bit…  For a word to be worth only three points in Scrabble, it can’t have more than three letters.  Well, there’s only ONE element on the entire Periodic Table whose name is three letters long: TIN!  Needless to say, this question saw a few facepalms, as only 40% of our teams came up with the correct response.  Apparently, a few teams became desperate as time expired, fabricating element names such as Aon and Sap.  We also included a bonus question, asking for the atomic number of tin (within three either way).  Only seven teams scored a two-point bonus by landing their guess with three of the number 50.  We then discussed bespectacled comedian Andy Daly, asking for the company for which he is a current TV pitchman.  If you’ve been anywhere near a TV over the last six months, you’ve seen one of his seemingly endless string of commercials:


The round closed with a multiple choice question in the category The Name’s the Same, asking for the two-word phrase which is the title of a John Travolta film, a Neil Young album, and a city in Oklahoma.  Before the multiple choice was given, about 15% of our teams earned a two-point bonus by remembering this film:

Broken Arrow Travolta Slater

Because of the two difficult bonus questions, only three teams ran the table in the second round with a perfect score of 36 points: Wish Boo Were Here (Quincy’s), Cranius Maximus (Bunker Sports), and Brother of Menelaus (Fish Market).


The picture section of tonight’s halftime page had our teams identifying types of cookies, while the bottom half dealt with matching “thinking” song lyrics to the appropriate artist.  Maybe our teams were a little hungry, as they had a fairly easy time recognizing those cookies!  The song lyrics were a bit tougher, but the halftime page still yielded perfect scores to about 19% of our teams, with the average score coming in at 18.1 points.  Here are Thursday’s top overall scores after the first half:

** In addition, five other teams scored 90 points, meaning that for the first time since October of 2016, ten teams overall scored 90 or more points in the first half.


The second half began with a Triple 50/50 question on endangered (or extinct) animals, followed by a question on the board game Chrononauts.  We then followed with our most difficult wagering question of the evening, asking about a brand of bottled water that takes its name from an ancient Greek word meaning character.  Even with a crossword-style hint, only 17% of our teams earned points here with the correct answer of Ethos:

Ethos Water

We continued with a question on the 1930s propaganda film “Reefer Madness”, which some 60 years alter became the subject of a satirical stage musical (and subsequent film).  We concluded the round in the subject of British monarchs, specifically asking for the last monarch of the House of Tudor.  While many teams turned in the answer of King Henry VIII, only about half of our teams remembered that his daughter Queen Elizabeth I reigned for 45 years as the final Tudor monarch.  A bonus question here asked for the monarch that immediately preceded the Virgin Queen, and only nine teams arrived at the correct response of Queen Mary.  This was by far the most difficult round of the night, as only one team (Syn Storm at Champion Billiards) was able to sweep the third round with a perfect score of 36 points.


For the second night in a row, our 6-4-2 question did not yield any correct responses after the first clue:

–>  Which character in Nathanael West’s 1939 book “The Day of the Locust” is depicted as an Iowa accountant with large hands?

While this clue seems rather obscure, there was obviously a point to asking this question.  Once the four-point clue was revealed, many teams quickly realized that this unknown literary character is the namesake for a certain TV character, at which point a few folks had this reaction:

Homer Simpson

Yes, the character name of Homer Simpson first appeared in the 1939 novel “The Day of the Locust”.  Here’s a fun fact: Donald Sutherland portrayed the character of Homer Simpson in the 1975 film version of the book, and later appeared as a guest voice on the show!


Our fourth round began with the most difficult bonus question of the night, in the category of 1950s Music.  Most of our teams earned their wager after being asked for the shared last name of brothers Don and Phil, who scored #1 hits with songs such as “Wake Up Little Susie”.  Yes, it was indeed the Everly Brothers:

Everly Brothers

Teams earned a two-point bonus if they could name this duo’s first Top-40 hit, but only ONE TEAM (Vitrifiers at Champion Billiards) earned those points by coming up with “Bye Bye Love”.  The final round continued with the ever-popular category of African Geography, asking for either the westernmost or easternmost countries on Africa’s mainland.  We gave a hint that both countries have names that begin with the same letter, which was enough for about 27% of our teams to come up with both correct responses and earn a two-point bonus.  Our Mapheads shined here, giving us Senegal and Somalia:


We closed the final round with our nightly Three Clues question, this time focusing on a number.  The first two clues were given as follows:

CLUE 1: This number follows the word Treadstone in the name of a fictional CIA program from the “Jason Bourne” novel series.

CLUE 2: This U.S. Interstate highway runs from Cleveland to Louisville.

We managed to squeeze in a bit more geography on this question, though I suspect that the six teams earning the early answer bonus here were more Jason Bourne fans that natives of the Buckeye State.  The third clue yielded many more correct responses, as we asked about this reconnaissance plane:

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

This is the Blackbird, also known as the Lockheed SR-71.  Thanks to the Everly Brothers, no team swept the final round with a perfect score.  Here are Thursday’s top overall scores after the fourth round:

FINAL QUESTION (31.2% success rate):

–> According to tradition, a hill in the Irish County of Meath was once the seat of the High King of Ireland.  This area is also the namesake for a fictional estate depicted in which 1936 novel?

While this question revolves around a fictional character of Irish origin, the novel itself was NOT set on the Emerald Isle.  So popular guesses of “Ulysses” or “Finnegan’s Wake” were incorrect.  About one-third of our teams remembered that a certain female character of the 1930s had an Irish surname (and lived on a notable estate).  Sure enough, in the book “Gone With the Wind”, Scarlett’s father Gerald O’ Hara emigrated from Ireland to the United States, and named his Atlanta mansion after the real-life Hill of Tara.

Tara Gone With the Wind

Because of the difficult third round, no team was able to score the Perfect 21 tonight.  Here are the top ten (official) scores overall:

** An honorable mention for the overall high score of 169 points goes to Syn Storm from Champion Billiards, who played ‘over the limit’ tonight with more than seven players.


Quincy’s Bar and Grille in Gaithersburg, MD:  Blue Collar  (Next week’s first category: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”)

Champion Billiards in Frederick, MD:  Power Vacuum  (Next week’s first category: the band Type O Negative)

Bunker Sports Cafe in Leesburg, VA:  Cranius Maximus  (Next week’s first category: Classic Rolling Stones Lyrics)

​Smoketown Brewing Station in Brunswick, MD:  Hans Gruber Preservation Society  (Next week’s first category: “Die Hard”)

Beef O’ Brady’s in Frederick, MD:   Full Frontal Nerdity  ((Next week’s first category: the state of Alaska)

Rocklands Farm Winery in Poolesville, MD:  Sunshine Girls  ((Next week’s first category: Female European Writers)

Jerry’s Sports Bar in Hagerstown, MD:  Back to the Future Reference  (Next week’s first category: Three Clues / One Beer)

Belly Love Brewing in Purcellville, VA:   We Are Out  (Next week’s first category: the state of Georgia)

Cushwa Brewing in Williamsport, MD:  Slapsgiving  (Next week’s first category: Harry Potter)

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

Fish Market Restaurant in Alexandria, VA:  Brother of Menelaus  (Next week’s first category: U.S. Civil War battles)

Guido’s in Frederick, MD:  Tuna Noodle Casserole  (Next week’s first category: Jon Sings Songs About Jesus)