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Slightly less successful climbing session: I took a fall relatively early on a warm-up boulder and caught my thumb, ripping the nail in the process. I mopped up the blood, washed everything out, and switched to route climbing for the rest of the afternoon. Rather to my surprise, I made pretty good progress: obviously my open-hand strength has improved to the point where I don't need to pinch the hell out of the holds on easier routes.

Later in the evening, I headed walked down to the river to meet the others for the Sunday quiz at the Puerto lounge. We had a full-strength team, with P&J providing some extra intellectual firepower, which definitely helped when a tricky round on farm animals came up. Once again we were without Yorkshire Nick, but the alternate quizmaster was on much better form than last time and zipped through the rounds as fairly quickly, avoiding the problem of adding up the scores at the end by asking the teams to tot things up as they went along.

We scored highly as we went along — the team whose answers we were marking, another of the regulars, changed the name on their sheet to "The Wooden Spoons' Holiday Fund" once they began to suspect we might win. Sure enough, we finished ten points ahead of the second placed team and went home clothed in glory. Or, in my case, clothed in a windproof jacket, hood up against the rather less than lovely weather...
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Waking up and not hearing the tell-tale sounds of rain from outside, I thought we might have managed to beat the forecast. But when I looked out of and saw the teeming water, I realised my mistake: I'd pulled my bedroom window all the way closed the day before because someone was working outside with their radio on fortissimo and I wanted to shut out the noise.

Slightly disappointed, I pulled on my waterproof and headed out to meet up with the others for the usual Sunday dog walking. We'd planned to meet at nine, but delayed things by a few minutes to allow C to drop J off at the station in time for the London train. Leaving Tiny Flo at home to recover from her upset tummy — she had to content herself with twanging a spring-loaded doorstop! — we headed out with the rest of the canine contingent in search of muddy puddles and fields, which, thanks to the rain were enough for them and they weren't tempted to go swimming in the canal.

After a couple of hours, we ended up where we'd started and split up to go our separate ways: the newlyweds to go to the Double Locks to pick up the things they'd put in storage after their reception on Saturday; C to do some shopping; A to visit a friend; and me to go home, have a shower, and to put all my damp clothes in the laundry basket.

I spent the rest of the day pottering around inside and doing a post of post-production work on some recent photos. I thought about going climbing, but admitted to myself that I couldn't face the idea of going out again — it wasn't so much the rain as the thought of having to put my soggy shoes back on for the walk home from the climbing centre that really discouraged me.

By evening, the rain had stopped and walked down to the Puerto for the quiz. Much to my delight, I discovered that (a) Yorkshire Nick was back as quizmaster; (b) Dasher had come along to make up the numbers; and (c), even more unexpectedly, J was there too — it transpired that her trip to London had gone wrong after her rail replacement bus got caught up in a road accident — providing us with a vast, additional pool of knowledge.

Sadly, we only managed second place this week — some of the rounds were quite tricky — but that's fine: the others well deserved their win and, if nothing else, we were the only ones with a adorable springer on their team...
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To the Puerto for the quiz with the regular team plus P, brought in for the first time to help with the brainy stuff. There was a substantial turnout — 14 teams — and, with usual quizmaster Yorkshire Nick busy behind the bar, a locum compere running things. Consequently, things did not go particularly smoothly — the process of shouting out scores didn't wasn't really particularly efficient — and there was a long, nerve-wracking delay during the totting up process.

After indications of an error in the accumulation process — I think one of the teams may have come out with the maximum number of available points — Yorkshire stepped in and re-did the maths and the sorting. As they were doing this, some of the teams who'd had their scores called early & knew they weren't in the running, left.

A few of the regulars hung around and it eventually came down to a tiebreak between us and one of the other teams. Luckily P had our back and got the answer almost precisely spot on — it was a case of the team getting closest to a particular value — giving us the win and the prize fund. For it turns out that, if you compete in a quiz on a bank holiday with 14 teams at a busy pub, the amount of money you can win is none too shabby...


Aug. 20th, 2017 10:40 pm
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After going our separate ways for afternoon, we regrouped at the pub for our usual Sunday quiz. With A busy on a work call-out, we temporarily renamed our team, only reverting to our usual moniker when she rejoined us. The questions were a bit trick — we didn't do particularly well on the sport round — but we pulled it back at the very end, acing the final double-points round and getting all but one of the pictures correct, finishing a point or two clear of our nearest rivals!
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Another victory for our team at in the Puerto Lounge quiz. Normally, I'm quite happy to let other people answer the questions and only chip in when no-one else has an idea (or when they're wrong!) This week there were a couple of obscure rounds, so I went ahead and crushed them — in some cases, I was able to write down the answer before the end of the question. Sadly, this rather did for my usual pretense of being a monkey of moderate intelligence — because if TV has taught us anything, it is that super-intelligent monkeys, with or without their electronium hats, inspire nothing but bad feeling! At one point, A said, "I don't know about the rest of you, but he's making me feel deeply inadequate..." And B, who I don't know terribly well said, "So, what do you do? Apart from being a professional quiz hustler..."
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For the second week in a row, we have managed to win the Sunday night quiz at the Puerto Lounge. We performed well through out, greatly helped by the presence of two team members who knew a lot about tennis.

But what really clinched it was the final round, which featured two sets of four questions which link together to give answers to the fifth and tenth questions which count for six points each. Yesterday, we managed to get both sets of links, dropping only question in the second set. In general, I enjoy these sorts of connected rounds — last week there was a one where each question formed a chain, with the tail of the answer to the previous question starting the next — because they're very like crosswords, where you can work out the answers even if you're not sure what they mean.

I'm not sure we're going to compete next week — some of the other team members are doing a triathlon — but I'm sure we'll be back in the not too distant future...


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