For several years, the Facts In Five event has been growing in popularity as word spreads that it’s a fun trivia contest with a great, engaged audience. In our last few years we’d grown too big for the room, leading people to sit on the floor and use the dais as a writing desk! Luckily, the BPA Board recognized our need to grow and found us a perfect room in the new Seven Springs location with nearly twice the space, which quickly filled as start time approached. As always, thanks to everyone who came to play and helped make this event the great time it always is. Special thanks go to Greg Crowe and Jason Levine who, as Assistant GMs, are the true professionals who keep things moving and working while I just advance the slides; and to Nick Page, Christopher Yaure, Callie Perry, Constance Carroll, and Glen Pearce, who stayed around after the show to help with the mountain of paperwork the event generates.
As always, we offered five rounds of five categories and five letters each. Below are summaries of each round, along with the answers that may not have been the most correct, but certainly made us laugh the most.
Round #1 Categories:
- Top 20 Prime Time Network TV Shows 1960 - 1969 or 2015
- Nominees for Best Novel Hugo Award, 1953 – present
- Major Arcana of the Tarot Deck
- World Heavyweight Boxing Champions (1910 - present)
- Major Orchestral Composers
Round #1 letters: D, E, H, M, S
I like to design the first round to be a little easier than the rest to ease people into the game, and this year I massively failed at that, as the first set of categories yielded the lowest scores of the night with an average score of 5.6 out of the round. 2014 champ Jason Arvey and Chris Kizer did the best with 15 correct answers, followed by J.R. Tracy and 2013 champ Mark Guttag with 14, and Chris Geggus with 13.
Round 1 great, but wrong answers: with this round being so tough, plenty of people tried everything to get a good answer, such as putting down Tchaikvosky as an “S” answer for composers “because the T is silent”. Which, even if I accepted, would make him a “C” answer and still wrong, but creative thinking! Likewise, two people decided that since Houdini died after being punched in the stomach, that must have meant he was a Heavyweight champion. The Tarot cards proved the most vexing to people, with guesses such as “Dunce”, “Healing”, and “Maybe” as guesses. Congrats to the person who had a minor inspiration and put down Spinks for a boxing champion (correct) and Sphinx as a tarot card (not so correct).
Round #2 Categories:
- Dietary Elements
- Modern Currencies
- 100 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All Time
- Top 50 trafficked U.S. websites (non-porn)
- Countries whose flag has yellow in it
Round #2 letters: B, C, M, P, Z
Round 2 turned into a much needed break for participants, with an average of 10.3 correct responses. John Riston led the pack with 17 correct answers, and Jason Arvey, Tom Knapp, Duncan McGregor, and Cyril Tircuit tied for second with 16.
Great, but not quite right, answers: Bad Guy, Clown, Cookie Monster, The Beatle, Brutus, Z Man, Megaman, The Boker, Zorro, and Mad Max were never famous comic book villains; Bed, Bath & Beyond is not well known for its website; and I don’t even know what type of website Catholic.com would be. Finally, “Bitcoin”, “Cash”, “Bucks”, and “Money” are not official designations for national currencies in accordance with ISO4217, and while their flag does have yellow in it, Prussia no longer exists as a country. Good tries, all!
Round #3 Categories:
- Full-length Movies Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
- Scrabble words, 5-8 letters long, ending in “X”
- Countries that only connect to exactly one other country
- Official Cocktails of the International Bartenders Association
- Authors who had a New York Times #1 Fiction Best-Seller
Round #3 letters: D, I, L, P, V
Round 3 was another tough one, with people getting 6.5 answers correct on average. Jason Arvey, who won Round 1 and came in second in Round 2 also won this one, with an outstanding 19 correct answers. Coming in a bit behind him were four-time champ Rich Meyer with 15, Gordon Rodgers with 14, Richard Irving with 13, and Roderick Lee and Chris Morse with 12 each.
Best of the wrong answers: Movies that Hitchcock did not direct include “Day of the Dead”, “Dirty Harry”, “The Dark Knight”, “Death and Dogs”, “Indecent Proposal”, “The Icarus Incident”, “Death”, “Dementia”, “Death by Murder”, “Dinner for Two” and “Liar Liar”. I now have a very long list of drinks to try and confuse bartenders with, including a Drunken Goat, a Poison Apple, a Poptart, a Lilac, a Prairie Fire, Dog Sweat, an Iceball, a Dirty Shirley, a Purple Popper, a Loose Goose, a Peach Bellini, a Dirty Girlscout, an Italian Surfer, and a Dirty Dozen. I think some of those are actually drinks. Places that are not countries: Verailles; Prague.
Round #4 Categories:
- 20 Most Populous Cities in the U.S. (1790 – 1840)
- Clubs in the English Premiere League
- 100 most played games on Steam, July 2016
- Major Rivers of Africa
- Rolling Stone’s Top 250 Albums of the 20th century
Round #4 letters: A, C, L, N, W
Round 4 kept the tough pace going with an average of 6.6 correct responses from players. Ed Beach took a strong first place here with 16 correct answers, followed by Chris Geggus and John Speck with 14 each, and Rich Meyer, Cyril Tircuit, J.R. Tracy, and Ted Drozd tying at 13 each.
Top almost-right answers include: Lincoln and Los Angeles were not yet U.S. cities by 1840; Steam offers neither Agricola nor Chess; “Angst”, “Africa”, and “Lazy” are not rivers in Africa. Bonus non-points to the person who could only think of one river in Africa, and so guessed Aile, Cile, Lile, and Wile just in case.
Round #5 Categories:
- Wonders of the Ancient World
- Top 50 selling Fast Food Brands in the US
- Common Names for Birds of North America
- Movies with a one word title, 2006 – 2016
- US Electoral College Losers
Round #5 letters: C, H, L, M, and T.
With our final category, we ended on an up note, with people getting an average of 9.7 correct answers. Jason Arvey once again led the pack with 20 correct answers; Ted Drozd, John Riston, and Richard Irving tied for second with 18, and Brad Raszewski, J.R. Tracy, and Lee Rodrigues came next with 17 each.
Our final set of slightly-off answers include: I was going to make a joke about someone answering “Herfy’s” as a fast food chain, but apparently it’s a huge chain in the Middle East, so thank you – you taught me something today! I still can’t give you points for it, though, as the category was US Fast Food Chains. Not actually Wonders of the Ancient World: the Leaning Tower of Pisa; the Magna Carta; Mount Alba; the Pillars of Hercules; Thebes; Macedonia; Mt. Everest. Not actually birds: Threstle; Mark; Chuff; Harpy.
With a first place in three separate rounds, and a second place in another, it’s no surprise that Jason Arvey was our champion this year with an astounding 82 correct answers and a huge lead over defending champion Rich Meyer at 71. Rounding out the rest of the laurels were J.R. Tracy with 68; Ted Drozd with 66; John Riston with 64; and Roderick Lee with 63.
As always, a link to full results and full sets of answers will be posted to the Board Game Geek message boards in the WBC section, as well as to the WBC Facebook page.