Correction, Oct 27: The Cinnamon Roll previously misquoted Atharv’s statement. He said “peppered with clues” instead of “peppered with cues”, and “from age seven to seventy” instead of “from age seven to seventeen”.
USP held its first quiz on Monday (23 Oct) night. The inaugural event attracted 13 teams competing with wits and ‘informed guesses’.
The quiz, aptly named ‘QRIOUS’, was organised with the aim of promoting a quizzing culture in USP, and was inspired by quiz shows like University Challenge and QI: Quite Interesting, said Devesh Narayanan, one of the co-organisers of the event.
Atharv Joshi, the other brain behind the quiz, said: “The kind of quizzing we do is unlike what you see on TV and shows like Who Wants to be a Millionaire or shows like QI.
“It’s less specialist, which means the questions are more accessible, and it’s quite long because they’re peppered with clues from different disciplines.”
The team had crafted most of the questions by themselves.
Devesh, who is a year three mechanical engineering student said, “The criteria was, ‘Are these questions that people would know?’, questions that they probably know the answer to, but don’t know how it relates. They haven’t made the connections yet”.
Teams were given 30 minutes to solve a crossword puzzle for the preliminary round. Participants were not allowed to search for the answer on Google, or consult anyone besides their team members.
Most teams were stuck after solving — or rather, guessing the answers for — 16 out of the 20 clues.
Five teams advanced to the finals, with only one team solving 19 out of 20 clues.
When asked what is the most surprising question for the team, Melissa Tang said, “The greatest surprise of the night was ‘Ytterby’![in reference to clue 13 of the crossword puzzle]”
The team had guessed the answer to the two-star question, and got it correct.
“We just pieced the things together because we had no idea what was going on,” said Melissa.
Another had solved 18 clues, while the other three had managed to solve 17, including some of the more difficult clues.
The finals consisted five rounds, each with a different format, from “infinite bounce” to a buzzer round. The rules were explained at the beginning of each round.
Members of the audience could also take part by answering questions that the teams on stage could not answer.
A particularly memorable question was when the quizmasters showed a picture of a group of delegates from a particular country, and asked the teams to determine which country they were from. None of the teams could get the answer, and neither could the audience.
The clue: Notice the attire of the delegates.
Audience member Tan Yan Tyng said, “It’s very interesting and fun, and very informative. I learned quite a lot of new things too.
“The MBS one was very new. I didn’t know that thing happened to MBS,” he said, referring to one of the quiz questions.
The winning team, made up of three Year 4 students, Zhai Yunjie, Christine Wan, and Rei Kurohi, had not intended to sign up initially. Rei originally came only to collect her prize from the hype rounds, while Yunjie only came to watch another team play. They eventually signed up at Christine’s suggestion.
Rei said, “USP always has intellectual events, but I think something like this, which is a quiz just for fun, is also important to the spirit of USP. So there’s not just the academic aspect, but also in the fun aspect, it’s kind of intellectual as well.”
Christine said, “It’s pretty cool that we all knew such random trivia. I’m just very amused that we actually won.”
“It’s cool to see how stuff that we didn’t know was made up by stuff that our team members knew,” added Rei.
When asked about the inspiration for QRIOUS, Atharv said, “I used to be a member of a Quiz Club which had people all the way from age seven to seventy. So that was sort of the inspiration, to bring that culture here.”
“Ever since I came to Singapore, I notice there was a lack of quizzing culture in the schools, colleges, and universities here. I found that quite disconcerting because in India it’s a really big thing… probably the most popular academic CCA in colleges is a Quiz Club.”
The duo is currently recruiting members to form a quizzing Interest Group in USP. Interested parties may contact Atharv and Devesh for more information.