Creating a challenging quiz on-line is quite difficult. They end up being either too hard or too easy. Generally graphical quizzes are hard as they are more difficult to to research on the web, but achieving this makes composing them difficult, word quizzes tend to be much easier to research. Thinking about this reminded me of the ‘Round Britain Quiz’, which unfortunately is not yet available on the BBC iPlayer.
The following is an abbreviated synopsis of the RBQ copied from ‘UK Gameshows.com’
Amongst the most erudite radio panel games, Round Britain Quiz grew out of the wartime Transatlantic Quiz. For many years, two representatives from London would travel to each of the BBC’s Regions, and each team would be faced with very difficult questions posed (until 1995) by two different quiz masters.
The format has evolved over the years as have the questions. Originally, the material covered basic you-know-it-or-you-don’t stuff such as this one posed by Gilbert Harding in June 1954:
“Eight infantrymen raised their rifles and fired, a volley for each wound: Ball’s Bluff, Antietam and Fredericksburg. Who received these wounds, and on what occasion were these volleys fired?”
The answer was “The funeral of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.”
Here’s an example from 1982:
“What contribution to opera is made by a segment of The Divine Comedy when accompanied by ten times a unit of sound?”
The answer was: Bel Canto.
It has been suspected that, in the past, contestants may have had some prior knowledge of the questions or even (shock, horror) some access to reference materials before recording began.
The ‘either you know the answer or you don’t ‘ hardly applies to on-line quizzes where “The answer is out there” in an ever expanding matrix. I guess that there could be a cryptic clue in that sentence (but not to the pilot quiz below)? The RBQ questions tended to be quite convoluted but you were able to take some comfort from the fact that the panel rarely achieved very high scores. I have been dabbling for a while with games and puzzles and it occurred to me that a take on the RBQ, which required web research to complete the answer may work.
Here is my ‘pilot quiz’ – on a common theme:-
a. What did he threaten to do if he was rejected one more time and what is the connection with a popular ‘new red wine’?
b. Why is John Hume Ross the wrong man with the right name?
c. How does a ‘noble gesture’ fit in with this theme and why?
d. What connects ‘blue’ to a. and c?
e. Why might Fort Cazemajou and the number nine be linked to this theme?
f. What film roles played by Brian Donlevy and Ernest Borgnine had a brutal connection and how are they both connected to some of the answers in this quiz?
PS You can start anywhere, theme is a ‘give away’ in at least one question.