Welcome from Your Quizmaster

by yourquizmaster on February 7, 2012

Welcome to the website and blog for the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz, held Monday nights at 7 at de Vere’s Irish Pub, 217 E Street in Davis. The most anticipated restaurant to come to Davis in many years, voted by Davis Enterprise voters to be the best 2011 addition to Davis, voted by The California Aggie to be the best bar in Davis, de Vere’s Irish Pub has room for 30+ tables and more than 200 Pub Quiz participants.


Launch Time: 7pm
Recommended time to claim a table: 6pm or earlier, but no earlier than 5:30
Team size: Up to six
Questions: 30 and a tie-breaker
Prizes: Gift Certificates worth $50, $25 and $15 for First, Second and Third Place
Bonus Prizes: A bonus 4th place prize of swag
Quizmaster: Your Quizmaster, Dr. Andy

Below please find the weekly Pub Quiz Newsletter, containing reflections on events of the week, hints about upcoming quiz question topics, and sample questions from the previous week’s quiz. If you would like to add yourself to the YourQuizmaster Mailing List, please do so by entering your name and email to the form on the right (and unsubscribing is just as easy). If you prefer, you can review future Pub Quiz newsletters via your RSS reader, and keep up with the Quizmaster by following him on Facebook and Twitter. You can also send him an email.


Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,

Here’s the first sentence of this week’s newsletter: This week one of my Academic Technology Services colleagues came to guest-lecture on storyboarding in my “Writing Across Media” class. No one else gets to write a sentence such as that one. (I should ask you: What is the one sentence about your vocation or avocation that no one else can write?)

As I was helping my colleague to connect his laptop to the projector, he remarked that he had been reading my new book to his daughter. And then he added this key phrase: “Well, the stories.”

I knew immediately what he meant. My new book, titled Where’s Jukie?, is made up of my poems, and my wife Kate’s essays. And of course everyone loves the essays. In them Kate tells some of our favorite stories about challenges we have faced as a family, about the many things in the house that our curious boy Jukie has inadvertently destroyed, and about a mom’s heartfelt responses to parenting a child with special needs.

My poems explore some of the same topics, but often glancingly. They explore the topics of our book through presentations of seemingly disconnected tangents, as some poets do. Emily Dickinson presented the poet’s purpose this way:


Tell all the truth but tell it slant —

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind —


Reading this, I am left to ask this question: Should every lighting bolt be explained? The scientist might think so, helping us to become better informed on electrostatic discharges, but the poet might consider other approaches and topics, such as the anger of unworshipped Zeus, the agony of misfiring jumper cables, or the inchoate anger of a cloud with Tourette’s syndrome. Maybe a worthy new heroine is trying out the powers of Thor, to the dismay of certain Marvel fanboys.

As the next poet Laureate of Davis, I have to figure out how best to introduce or reintroduce poetry to the people of our city. Should I present and publicize only the highest-quality poetry, the canonical texts of verse, what Matthew Arnold calls “the best that has been thought and known in the world current everywhere”? Or should I present the best work of Davis poets, repeatedly handing the microphone, for example, to the gently curious Hannah Stein, to the heartening courage-teacher Francisco X. Alarcón, or to the deadpan and shocking Joe Wenderoth? And when, if at all, should I draw attention to my own poetry?

I look forward to coming up with provisional answers to questions such as these.

Speaking of questions and answers, tonight’s Pub Quiz will feature questions on Canadians, Adam Levine (now off the market, sadly), words with zeroes in them, Bob Seger, bikini bottoms (hello!), medical procedures, tough cars and trucks, people named Sandy and Ian, people born in 1952, chromosomes, people not named Brutus, developers of the inactivated, words that appear in this very newsletter, the temperature in Cleveland, Publishers Weekly, again with the mononyms, Taylor-made, the UC Davis Alumni Ski Team, Mourned Cows (sounds like anagrams), popular Republicans, people named Davis, Russia and its problems, Sheila Lee, poetry (see above), odd syntax in green, official portraits, the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, landlocked countries beloved by Jared Hippler. Pecs, names that are colors, defenders, claiming momentum, unfortunate names, and Shakespeare.

Inchoate Clouds and a Tree

Inchoate Clouds and a Tree

I hope you can join us this week. Come early, for last week some of our favorite teams couldn’t be accommodated. It pays to arrive before  your competitors.


Your Quizmaster






Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:


  1. Mottos and Slogans.    What retail chain [with four letters in its name] that is responsible for 1% of the world’s entire commercial wood supply has used the commercial slogan “Change Begins at Home”?


  1. Internet Culture. Evidently Apple will be making its new iPhone screens from the third-hardest mineral on earth, a substance that starts with the letter S. Name it.


  1. Newspaper Headlines.   After five years in captivity and six weeks of freedom, Sergeant Bergdahl is set to resume life as an Army soldier this week. What is Sergeant Bergdahl’s first name?


  1. Four for Four.      As you may know, Lil Wayne is but 5’6” tall. Which of the following male celebrities, if any, is taller than Lil Wayne? Dustin Hoffman, Billy Joel, Ryan Seacrest, Usher.


  1. Pestilence. Acc. to the biblical Book of Exodus, and mentioned in the Quran, how many plagues were inflicted upon Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to release the ill-treated Israelites from slavery?   



The Edgeless Omnispinner Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

July 14, 2014

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, On July 10 I attended the commemoration and launch of a new universally accessible play area at the north end of Central Park. The event was hosted by city councilmember Rochelle Swanson, and supported by other city dignitaries such as Davis School Board member and onetime Pub Quiz champion […]

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The Skittish Schoolchildren Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

July 7, 2014

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,   I’m pleased to announce that the Davis City Council has confirmed me as our city’s next Poet Laureate. I begin that important work in September, and will let you know, should you be interested, when I am sworn in and when I will be holding my first Poet […]

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The Subletters with Helmets Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

June 30, 2014

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, For many, vacations have finally begun in the City of Davis. As the school-year bicyclists retreat to their hometowns and cities, the percentage of helmet-wearers shoots up to new records. Last week a close friend was visiting Davis, and it took us a full five minutes of talking and […]

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The Pink Ladyslipper Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

June 23, 2014

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, The Pub Quiz is back tonight after a brief hiatus to give the Pub waitstaff an opportunity to recover from the rush of graduation revelers. If I were graduating from UC Davis (again), I would make sure to invite my parents and other supporters to celebrate me at the […]

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The Neighbor de Gaulle Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

June 9, 2014

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,   I have a rare treat in store for those of you who can attend this evening’s Pub Quiz. The flamenco guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Aaron Gilmartin will be performing a song during the intermission of tonight’s Quiz, and then a few more songs while I am grading your […]

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The Dressed as a Wizard Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

June 2, 2014

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,   Kate and I got to see former Poet Laureate Rita Dove perform her poetry Friday night. Here’s a favorite Rita Dove poem, titled “Exit”:   Just when hope withers, the visa is granted. The door opens to a street like in the movies, clean of people, of cats; […]

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The Flanders Poppies Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

May 26, 2014

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,   When I lived in London in the 1980s, I noted that remembering World War I, and the British soldiers who died in that war, was still a national preoccupation. Many knew of family members (almost all of them young men) who had died in that war, and occasionally […]

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The Questions of Travel Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

May 19, 2014

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,   This morning my son’s bus driver, John, told me that his son spent much of this past weekend flying to Saudi Arabia. I thought to myself that I want to visit Saudi Arabia. Past Pub Quiz regular, and one-time regular champion, Rob Roy lives next door to Saudi […]

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The Dancing with Patchouli Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

May 12, 2014

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,   I was reminded again this weekend why I love living in Davis. The Whole Earth Festival gave me a chance to dance to some live music with my family amid the scents of patchouli and incense, and then Saturday night my wife Kate and I enjoyed Stories on […]

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