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.



Mystery of Edwin Drood

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,

My son Jukie and I saw a fascinating musical at the Veterans Memorial Theatre Friday night. The Mystery of Edwin Drood is based on the last novel Charles Dickens started to write. Dickens would have finished it if he hadn’t died in the middle of the composition process. Insofar as we have no indication of how Dickens planned to finish this half-written novel – complete with male impersonators and exotic socialites from Ceylon – Rupert Holmes faced some challenges when adapting the novel into a Broadway musical.

Holmes decided to involve the audience, having members of the audience indicate by applause and, later, tallied interviews with individual audience members, which of the play’s characters they wanted to function as the detective, the lovers, and the murderer of Edwin Drood. The challenge to the actors, then, would be for different actors to perform the impassioned revelatory solos at the end of the play, when they had no way of knowing beforehand if they would be called upon to triumphantly conclude the play. The Davis Shakespeare Ensemble should be commended again for putting on such a thrilling show, with phenomenal acting and singing. Great fun!

I enjoy such challenges. Although I have been known to consult separate calendars for work, family, poetry, and internship activities, and although I use multiple applications to help me track projects and action items, I still highly value surprise, improvisation, and thinking on my feet. At a February writers conference I was asked to give a talk for an absent presenter (which I gladly did). A decade ago I was asked with a few days’ notice to teach a literary theory class that I had never taken or taught before, and I brought up the English Department’s averages on course evaluations. And the Pub Quiz itself gives me a chance to work with the material you give me to entertain on the fly. The microphone can sometimes be a dangerous thing.

And although I can write a passably-good poem on any particular subject given an hour, I have not yet attempted to freestyle, that is, to write poetry while speaking it from the podium, the way some of our best jazz musicians and rappers can do. Some performers take an especially ambitious approach to improvisation, such as the Sacramento band Instagon. Here’s how the Sacramento News and Review once described this local cultural force:

Approaching the concepts of Jazz and Improvisation using Chaos Theory, Instagon (founded in 1993), has a unique approach to the practice of being a band…it doesn’t practice! Instagon happens as a new ensemble EVERY time it happens, and it happens regularly…never the same band twice, ever…no rehearsal, no practice, everything in the instant.. and then gone.. hence “Instagon”… In the 17+ years so far, Instagon has appeared over 525 times and had well over 500 members of the “group”. Founded by conceptual artist LOB, Instagon plays many many different styles of music and sounds and has no boundaries as far as genres…but tends to mostly play a style called “Garage Jazz”. Instagon always promises to be an experience for both the band and the audience…and it always delivers to move and shake the audience and rock the night away.

Do you leave room for discovery and surprise in the way that you perform? I recommend that you investigate where a little chaos theory could make your life more exciting.

Tonight’s Pub Quiz will feature questions on species of fish: are they real, or did Dr. Andy make them up? Expect a four for four question on that. Expect also questions on the following topics: Latin American affairs, artificial intelligence, Best Buy, bushels of what, the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble, the best sportsman in the world, topics on which Musk and Wozniak agree, population losses, big planes, a tale of two cities, desserts, glands, corporate mascots, frightening robots, pounds of transition, a close look at binomials in bookstores, Napoleon’s schemes, visits to England, young actresses who hatch glue skis (anagram), X names, award shows, cassettes, verbs that have different definitions depending on how they are pronounced, guns, animals that are fourteen times better than a good dog, distant earths, ovalbumin, your daily bread, and Shakespeare.

We were off the hook crowded last Monday night, which I loved. You may want to arrive earlier this evening. I will do the same.


Your Quizmaster






Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:


  1. Mottos and Slogans.   According to the slogan, and starting with the letter F, what is “Australian for Beer”? Foster’s
  1. Countries of the World. According to a June 2015 Pew Research Center Poll on Global Attitudes and Trends, what country whose name starts with the letter P has the highest regard for The United States, at 92%? Hint available. Hint: The country is the 12th largest in the world, with over 100 million people. The Philippines
  1. Newspaper Headlines.  According to a headline in this morning’s Fortune magazine, “Lockheed Martin is about to get even bigger by buying Sikorski.” The company Sikorski is famous for manufacturing what product with four syllables in its name? Helicopters
  1. Four for Four: People born in 1928. Which of the following people born in 1928 are still alive? Noam Chomsky, Jack Kevorkian, Hosni Mubarak, Shirley Temple. (YNYN)
  1. U.S. States. The second most oil-rich state (after Texas) is also the state with the lowest unemployment. What is this 19th-largest state by area in the U.S.? North Dakota


P.S. What should be the prize for the Pub Quiz participant who submits the best contribution to the new Guide to Davis? See http://www.guidetodavis.com/how-to-participate/ for details.


The “More than a Pamphlet” Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

July 20, 2015

  Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, Last week I told you about a Pub Quiz book that I have been working on: Your Quizmaster’s Book of (Pub) Quizzes: Trivia for Smart People. The rough draft is finished, and now I am rewriting questions that were perfect for 2014, but which a broader audience (in […]

Read the full article →

The Trivia for Smart People Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

July 14, 2015

  Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, When I told some of my friends in a meeting that I was finishing three books this summer, one of them pointed out that he has an even longer reading list planned for his vacation months. Then I corrected myself, clarifying that I was going to finish writing […]

Read the full article →

The Fireworks Safety Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

July 6, 2015

  Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, I hope you enjoyed the Independence Day holiday. I must admit that it was a rather surreal experience to walk out of the crowd of 5,000 or so who were enjoying live music, be introduced by Davis Mayor Dan Wolk, and then take the stage myself to read […]

Read the full article →

The Many Plays by Children Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

June 29, 2015

  Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, What a week it has been since last we congregated at the Irish Pub for intellectual challenges and revelry! Here’s how my wife Kate put it on Facebook: The myriad details of most days disappear from my mind by the end of the week. Friday was different — […]

Read the full article →

The “wanderlust” and “boisterousness” edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

June 22, 2015

  Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,   Fathers have it lucky, to have the longest day of the year devoted to them. Or so said my son Truman as we drove home from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, noting that it was still light at 9 PM. We got to talk […]

Read the full article →

The Liberal Quoting of Other Columnists Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

June 8, 2015

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, One of my favorite Davis Enterprise columnists is Debra DeAngelo because of her engaging prose and the seeming reckless abandon with which she reveals whatever is on her mind. Like many of us, she holds multiple jobs and thus is overworked. In addition to her Enterprise gig, she has […]

Read the full article →

The Gem of Responsibility Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

June 2, 2015

    Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, Welcome to June! June 1st marks the anniversary of the 1967 release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, ranked first on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the Greatest Albums of All Time. Considered by many to be the first “concept” album, SPLHCB inspired Bob Dylan to […]

Read the full article →

The Judy, Jackson, and Jazz Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

May 25, 2015

  Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, Last night we sat down as a family to watch The Wizard of Oz, with all three of the children seeing it for the first time. My wife Kate and I had forgotten much of the Kansas part of the film, while the Technicolor sections remained vivid and […]

Read the full article →

The Cognitive Liberty of Bicycling Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

May 18, 2015

  Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, When Time Magazine published an article last week about the bicycle-friendliest cities in America, of course Davis was on the list. Just about a quarter of our residents commute by bicycle, more than any other American city. Other cities like Chicago and Washington DC have recently installed new […]

Read the full article →