Free meat platters, an open bar, the most mysterious chocolate cryptic codes known to humanity and the biggest spot prize controversy in pub quiz history – it can only be Intel’s Summer Pub Quiz.

The evening began with promise, excitement and unwavering speculation. How far were these pub questions going to test the minds and intellectual juices of the ingenious, responsible MouthLondon team? Who would take home the spot prizes including a signed football by Alan Shearer? Who would bring home the Ultimate Gold – new, state-of-the-art Intel laptops? More importantly did the pub quiz start at 19:30 or midnight?

To this day I’m still baffled by Gem orchard…

The quiz was made up of two rounds and a pre-round: the cryptic code chocolate round. Looking back we wish we had got off to a cleaner start. The cryptic code chocolate round never trampled our confidence but we could have been more imaginative. We were given a list of cryptic codes, which referred to chocolates, chocolate bars or sweets and we were given fifteen minutes to crack them. There were some straightforward codes such as Feline Equipment (Kit Kat) and Reward (Bounty) and some not so straightforward codes. To this day I’m still baffled by Gem orchard. Maybe we will never know the truth.

My question – who are Danny Wilson?

Going into the first round was casual – we should have been more awake. Questions included current affairs, music mash-ups and trivia. The news questions were effortless if you had been keeping up to date, as we all had been! There were some fascinating music mash-ups involving Katy Perry and Destiny’s Child. The trivia was fair yet irritating. Name Wham‘s first album? What is the capital of North Carolina? What is the name of Ryan Giggs’s dad who shares his name with a 1980s Pop band? Danny Wilson (I checked it up on Wikipedia after). My question – who are Danny Wilson?

After a short intermission, there was a picture round involving labelling celebrities and footballers – the precursor to what would be a devastating second round. Second round: this is our time for redemption, we thought. How we were very wrong. The first part involved naming the TV theme. This included my favourite part of the night when Intel’s computers ironically broke and were unable to play any music, the crowd egged on the host to sing the theme tunes. This round was our best – we clopped Knight Rider, we clopped Deal or No Deal, we even got Animal Hospital!

…note to life: learn about the hosts of the pub quiz you are attending…

Then we suffered our biggest blow – feeling the biggest bashing of the night from the dreaded Intel round. Homework for next time and note to life: learn about the hosts of the pub quiz you are attending. Otherwise condemn yourself to creating the most inspired and original material for a pub quiz answer sheet.

Finally we made it to general knowledge; somehow still breathing, somehow still engaged. I have a feeling it was due to the open bar. With the Intel laptops drifting away in the distance we accepted the inevitable and dealt with the willy-nilly: what age did Mozart die? (Someone in the team gladly beamed that they needed no assistance with this one!) Who partnered Annie Lennox in the Eurythmics? What county is Eton College situated in? And so the quiz came to an end. Although our chances of walking away with the mustard deflated, our amusement never flickered.

…I haven’t drunk that much free coke since a long, destructive afternoon at Pizza Hut.

Overall the evening was a pleasant, light-hearted occasion filled with entertainment, laughter and lots and lots of questions, like what was the name of Burt Reynolds‘s 1978 movie where he played an ageing stuntman? Possibly the most irritating movie question ever. Although networking was slightly restrictive, the host was lively, the atmosphere was carefree, and I haven’t drunk that much free coke since a long, destructive afternoon at Pizza Hut.

In the end we came 13th out of 14. We really thought we had our hands on those cutting-edge laptops when we got the name of the Intel keynote speaker of a recent annual technology conference: Dr Imran Ahmed. But that wasn’t what left us disappointed. What an absolute travesty when we left empty handed, without even a look in for the spot prize for the most innovative team name. How more creative can you get then Frankie Richen’s (our art editor) brilliant appellation: “Quiz in My Mouth”.

Oh well, there’s always next year…

Image courtesy of Intel


About The Author

I am the Sport Editor of MouthLondon, and at the moment I am studying an MA in Publishing at UCL. My interests include reading, all kinds of films, The Smiths, Coldplay and the unpredictability of diminishing ink.

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