Five rounds of trivia questions where the answers must match one of five categories and one of five initial letters. The five categories for each round will cover a wide variety of topics—music, history, technology, pop culture, etc.—but will have a finite set of answers to choose from. Themed sets of categories or sets of possible answers may show up. Whoever can come up with a correct answer for the most category/letter combinations across all five rounds will be the winner.
As this is a Saturday night event, emphasis is on fun and entertainment as your tired brain tries to figure out why it can't remember the name of a United States President beginning with the letter L.*
A score sheet will be provided for each round with five categories printed at the top of each column and five spaces for letters printed on the left side. The categories can be just about anything that has a finite number of answers: Olympic female ice skaters, car companies, soap opera titles, NFL teams, English prime ministers, books of the bible, Napoleon's marshals, Rolling Stones album titles, etc.
- Each player must provide name and badge number on the score sheet. A score sheet without either will be void.
- The GM will announce the categories and answer any questions about them and then permit players to look at the score sheet. If possible, an example will be given (though not one that corresponds to one of the letters for that round).
- Once everyone is clear on the categories, the five letters will be announced.
- A timer will be started for five minutes. All players will try to write an answer for each of the 25 boxes on the score sheet, each of which corresponds to the category at the top and begins with an initial letter on the left.
- After the five minutes expire, the GM will ask the players to pass their sheets to another player for judging and scoring. GM will announce every possible correct answer for each grid box. There are only a finite number of answers for each category and letter, so disputes should not occur. GM rulings are final.
After all answers are determined, players will score the game awarding one point for each correct answer and writing the total on the scoresheet. These will be turned in. The GM and Asst. GM will verify each sheet, tally the combined scores for each player across the five games and publish the results and laurelists after the tournament.
- All players will play and score each of the five rounds in exactly one hour.
- The player with the highest total score in all five rounds will win the championship. If there is a tie, the tied player with the highest score in the final round will be the winner. If there is still a tie, then the highest fourth round score will win, then the highest third round score, etc. It is possible for the tournament winner not to score the highest in any single round and still have the highest combined score.
- Difficulty of the rounds should increase during the tournament.
- Any player may enter late and play the remaining rounds or leave early. Total score is still eligible, but unlikely to win.
Validity of answers
- Each valid answer must match the category at the head of the column and its Keyword must begin with the given letter on the left. The Keyword is USUALLY the first letter in the first word of the answer, except:
- For a person's name, the person's surname is the key word (Exceptions: categories that specify another name and people who are known primarily by a single name (soccer great Pelé, singers Beyonce or Cher ). If only a surname is given, the answer is valid. If the wrong first name is tied to a surname, the answer is wrong.
- In titles, the articles A, An or The are never considered Keywords. The next word is the keyword. Foreign words are not permitted unless the word has entered the English language, such as foie gras or passe.
- The GM will note any other exceptions.
- Spelling generally WILL count. A misspelled word must be close enough to be easily recognizable as correct. A word beginning with the incorrect first letter will be wrong (e.g. Korgi instead of Corgi for dog breeds starting with K):
- There is no penalty for using the same answer in two different categories in the same round and sometimes it may even be necessary. (This is different from the published rules.)
- Any player may bring information to the attention of the GM as to whether a proposed answer should be ruled valid. However, the GM ruling is final.
* Lincoln, which you won't remember until just after the GM announces that time has expired.