Paul O'Brian writes about Watchmen, trivia, albums, interactive fiction, and more.


Geek Bowl XII question recap

I’ve been immersed in the trivia world for a while now, and I think it’s safe to say that Geek Bowl has become the premier team trivia event in America. I’m open to counterexamples if somebody wants to take issue with that statement, but for my money there is nothing else that matches the scale, ambition, and sheer quality of the show that Geeks Who Drink puts on every year for trivia teams. I come from an area with a rich trivia bowl tradition, but at this point I think Geek Bowl has surpassed the CU Trivia Bowl even at its height. It’s obviously a completely different format, so perhaps that’s not a useful comparison, but in any case I remain spellbound by the excellent writing, smooth logistics, and stellar production values of this event, not to mention the ever-increasing cash prizes.

All those factors have made Geek Bowl an annual destination for elite teams of players, so much so that for the first time this year, the Geeks instituted a special “amateur prize” for the highest placing team containing no previous Geek Bowl winners, and nobody who has won more than $10,000 on a TV game show. The team that won that prize this year came in… ninth. And it turns out even that was an error — the team had a guy who’s won $85K on Jeopardy!. They’re still figuring out the real top amateur team, AFAIK.

Championship banners from previous Geek Bowls, including The Anti-Social Network's win in Geek Bowl V and How I Met Your Mothra in Geek Bowl VIII

My own team came in 6th place this time around, and we weren’t eligible for the amateur prize because we happen to be previous Geek Bowl winners ourselves. In fact, four of us were also on the team that won Geek Bowl V. Although we weren’t in the money this year, we felt very pleased with our standing, especially seeing that we came out above a couple other previous winners. (Well, tied with them really, but apparently we got closer on the tiebreaker question. More on that later.) Sixth place out of 231 teams is a performance to be proud of, methinks. We certainly felt a lot better than last year, in which some venue flaws, some missed coin flips, and a badly blown round made for a much more disappointing night.

Those venue flaws were nowhere to be found this year. Boston’s Agganis Arena was a great place for a Geek Bowl — tons of space, clear sight lines, excellent audio, and a fine layout. (Though once again I feel for the teams who had to sit in the fixed arena seats rather than at a table. I salute you, arena seat teams!) Boston itself was a surprise location — the first time a Geek Bowl has been east of the Mississippi — but a great town and a fun, albeit expensive, destination. The Geeks took full advantage of the area’s rich lore when setting up round themes, but once again, more about that later. Cool as well is the fact that Geek Bowl XII was a fundraiser benefiting Artists For Humanity, a Boston nonprofit that employs teens to use their creativity in their communities.

Mothra’s Rules Of Pub Trivia

The year our team won, we were “How I Met Your Mothra”, and so now every year we find some Mothra variant for our name. This time around, as a nod to Boston, we were “Mothra’n A Feeling”. The full team was in town by Friday night, so we all got together at Roxy’s Grilled Cheese and Arcade to hang out, eat food, play video games, and get our heads pounded by SUPER loud music. Teammate Brian is podcast-famous, so the site doubled as a meetup for his listeners — a lovely friendly bunch.

The next day some team members did a bit of sightseeing, but it was cold and I was sleepy, so I opted out. Instead, I met the full team at a downtown theater to see Black Panther, which was AWESOME. Then it was over to a seafood place for some lobster-related lunches, followed by practice questions in a hotel lobby. Finally, we hiked it to the arena, where we found our table and performed the solemn yearly reading of Mothra’s Rules Of Pub Trivia:

  1. Read/listen to the damn question.
    1. Read it again.
    2. Pay attention to the category.
  2. Don’t interrupt the question/audio; let it finish before guessing out loud.
  3. If you think of an answer, say it/write it.
    1. Make sure at least two other teammates hear/see it.
    2. If you heard a teammate suggest a good possible answer that’s not being discussed, throw it out there again.
  4. Everyone look over each answer sheet before turning it in.
  5. If the answer is a name and surnames are enough, we don’t need to write the first name.
  6. If spelling doesn’t count, don’t sweat it. Likewise for punctuation.
  7. If an answer is used once in a quiz, nothing prevents that answer from being used later in the same quiz (the Quincy Jones Rule).
  8. Avoid facetious answers (the Ernie Banks Rule – so named after we got a question wrong in a practice round when somebody jokingly said that Ernie Banks, aka “Mr. Cub”, was “obviously from the Mets,” and then our non-sporty scribe dutifully wrote down “Mets.” Heh.)
  9. Put an answer for each question, even if the whole team believes it’s probably/certainly wrong. You can object to that bad answer, but have a better answer at the ready.

These rules are not always easy to follow, but we’ve integrated them pretty deeply into our team dynamic, and I believe they’re an enormous help in keeping our little family functional. There can be quite a lot of pressure at Geek Bowl, what with challenging questions and merciless time limits. Ensuring that we’re functioning smoothly means we keep having fun through the whole thing rather than wiping out into anxiety or angst. Of course, it also helps to feel like you know a lot of answers, and we finished most of our rounds this year feeling pretty great, sometimes a little better than we turned out to have merited.

As much as I praise Geeks Who Drink for the amazing job they do on this event, my favorite part remains the experience of answering trivia questions with these five guys, who are funny, warm, and just really frickin’ smart. May I present Mothra’n A Feeling, bathed in the blue light of the pre-Bowl arena floor:

Team picture of Mothra'n A Feeling

From left, that’s Larry, George, me, Jonathan, Brian, and Don. As far as teamwork is concerned, we did exactly what we said we’d do this year. While it’s always easy to look back with regret at the answers we might have changed given sufficient time for discussion, I believe we played up to our potential just about the whole time.

The Geek Bowl Format

This is the part where I copy and paste the same explanations and disclaimers I include in this post every year, with a few alterations as appropriate. If you already know the drill, feel free to skip down to Opening Ceremonies. (Though note there is one big change: I have been provided with official question material this year. Woo!)

As I’ve done in previous years, I’m going to recap the questions and answers here. A few caveats about this, though. First, the Geeks are pretty careful about their intellectual property, and the agreement we’ve worked out is that I won’t post these recaps until at least a week has elapsed since the Geek Bowl. (Though all things considered I’d have a hard time getting this together in less time anyway!)

Second, I consider these recaps a tribute to the excellent question writers of the Geek Bowl, and an advertisement for a really fun event, but I am in no way officially associated with Geeks Who Drink. However, thanks to Geeks editor-in-chief Christopher Short, I have been supplied with question material this year. In the past these recaps have been based off notes, memories, and photos of question slides, but this time around I’ve got the official question wording! Huge thanks to Christopher for the help!

The GWD question material leans heavy on pop-culture and light (though not zero) on sports. In between, there is plenty of academic trivia: history, geography, science, and so forth. They have also always tried to make a point of being edgy, often self-consciously so. This year, though, it feels like a corner was turned. While there were certainly f-bombs to be heard, and a question here or there about matters sexual, Geek Bowl for the first time in my memory did not contain its usual quota of raunch. Not coincidentally, I think this was the best Geek Bowl ever. I don’t have a problem with filth and profanity, or else I wouldn’t have kept coming back, but it’s lovely to feel like they’re no longer a compulsory part of the brand.

Here’s the format: each team has its own small table, with 6 chairs. (Excepting the aforementioned arena seat heroes, who had clipboards instead.) Quizmasters read questions from the stage, and the questions are also projected onto large screens throughout the venue. Two rounds are all-video, meaning that rather than anyone reading questions, the whole round is encapsulated in a video presentation on the screens. Once all the questions in a round have been asked, a two minute timer starts, by the end of which you must have turned in your answer sheet to one of the roaming quizmasters. (Though round 3 had a 4-minute timer, for reasons that will become clear in the recap.)

The game consists of 8 rounds, each with its own theme. Each round contains 8 questions — usually, each question is worth one point, so there’s a maximum possible score of 8 points for each round. However, some rounds offer extra points — for instance, Round 2 is traditionally a music round, with 8 songs played, and one point each awarded for naming the title and artist of the song. (Though there was a bit of a spin on that this year, 16 points were still available in the round.) In a regular GWD pub quiz, it’s usually only Round 2 and Round 8 (always the “Random Knowledge” round) that offer 16 possible points. However, in this year’s Geek Bowl, two other rounds offered additional points: we could see from the pre-printed answer sheets that question #8 in Round 3 would have 8 answers, for a total of 15 answers in the round, and we found out in play that 2 points were possible for each Round 6 question, for a total of 16 points available in that round.

Finally, a team can choose one round to “joker”, meaning that it earns double points for that round. Obviously, you’d want that to be one of the 15 or 16-point rounds, unless you really believed you wouldn’t score above 8 in any of them, which is highly unlikely. We discussed our jokering strategy ahead of time, and decided on thresholds. Our threshold for the music round was 14, and our Round 3 threshold was 13. Failing either of those, we knew we’d have no choice but to joker Round 8. (Or so we thought! It wasn’t apparent from the answer sheets that Round 6 was also a 16-point round.)

Opening Ceremonies

The night began with the American national anthem, sung by Irishman Ciarán Nagle. Then Geek Bowl’s first-ever female MC, Fort Collins quizmaster Jenna Riedi, took the stage for a funny number about how great it is to be in New York. She was interrupted at last by a stagehand whispering in her ear, after which she exclaimed, “We’re in Boston? Fuck!” After a couple more merry verses invoking a bunch of other cities, she dashed off with a “Be right back, I gotta go Google.” Nagle came back out, this time joined by his band ISHNA and some step-dancing quizmasters. After a few minutes, Riedi returned, this time fully bedecked in Boston sports gear, and finished up the musical comedy number with lots of Boston facts.

It was a more muted opening than many Geek Bowls have seen, but still lots of fun and well-crafted. After that, it was time for the questions! As usual, I’ll describe our experiences inside [square brackets], and provide the answers in a separate post.

I’ve noticed that ever since the Geek Bowl started traveling to non-Denver cities, the first round in a new city will often tie into the theme of that city in some way — questions about Austins in Austin, questions about dukes in the Duke City of Albuquerque, questions about sounds while on Puget Sound in Seattle.

This time, though, the Geeks outdid themselves with fully six Boston-themed rounds! But lest you think that gave undue advantage to the locals, read on. While the rounds may have been Boston-themed, the questions were as wide-ranging as ever. Take, for example, Round 1…

Round 1: Eight Quick Questions Not About The T

For those that don’t know, “The T” is Boston’s nickname for its fine subway system, and this question took inspiration from the stops on those lines. Every question contained the name of a T stop — I’ll bold and ALL-CAP the stop names.

1. You know him better by his honorific title, but QUINCY is the Christian name of what bumbling cartoon character who debuted in 1949? [George, our scribe for the night, knew this one right away. Off to a strong start!]
2. Because of one random, really loud G-major chord, Haydn’s 94th SYMPHONY is called by what name?
3. Though headquartered in New Jersey, some 3,600 miles west of there, the PRUDENTIAL Financial logo features what Pillar of Hercules?
4. RIVERSIDE, California is the hometown of what Arrested Development actor who also played a mean Drunk History Hamilton in 2016? [This one we were unsure of — took our best guess.]
5. Famous for a Cinderella run at the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, BUTLER University is in what Midwest capital city? [Thanks to Don and Larry, our sports guys, who were immediately atop this one.]
6. Simon BELMONT is a whip-wielding hero in what old-school Konami game series that got a Netflix show in 2017? [Thank god Brian plays video games. I mean, I do too, but only like one a year so I’m not much help.]
7. Which Alice in WONDERLAND character was name-dropped in Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”: The Caterpillar or the Mad Hatter?
8. The 1886 HAYMARKET Affair and the 1968 DNC riots are two examples of those dang liberals getting into trouble in what city?

[We got 7 out of 8 on this round. Satisfactory!]
See the answers

Round 2: Letters, Not To Cleo

For the past several years, Geek Bowl has had a headlining musical act. This started in Albuquerque with The Dan Band, continued into Denver with Metalachi, and turned away from novelty acts in Seattle with Escort. This year, the band was the biggest yet — Boston’s own Letters to Cleo, who had a couple of cool modern rock hits in the 90s.

As is traditional, the headlining band not only played during intermissions, they also brought us the musical round. These rounds tend to be 8 covers, where you have to name the title and artist (for a point each), and the selections have some connection to the band — Metalachi played songs about metals, Escort did songs/artists that mention professions, etc. So we wondered if perhaps this round would be something like “songs about the mail”, or “songs with initials in the title.”

But when we looked at the answer sheet, it was clear that the Geeks had something much more creative up their sleeves. Instead of blanks for artist and title, this sheet had blanks for author and musical artist. You see, it turns out that for round 2, the Geeks took actual correspondence from famous people, and set it to music from popular songs. And in fact, each song related to the content of the letters, though I didn’t realize that until later. All these tunes were performed by Letters to Cleo, and our challenge was to name the authors and artists. It was a brilliant, amazing, and supremely creative round.

The Geeks have posted the video for this round, hallelujah! As you’ll see, they took a few liberties with the text of these letters in order to clue the questions a little better, and to fit the meter of the songs. Much appreciated! Word of warning that unlike in previous years, this year’s video has the answers included at the end of the clip. So if you’re reading through this post and playing along at home, you may want to pause there. I’ll link straight to that part in the answers post.

[Looking at our totals here, we believed we had 14. We nailed all the authors, and six of the artists. And so believing, we jokered the round. Only belatedly did we realize that one of the author answers we confidently handed in was, in fact, wrong. More about that in the answers post, but the upshot is we in fact had 13, which doubled to 26, bringing our total points to 33.]
See the answers

Round 3: Celtics vs. Bruins

Round 3 at Geek Bowl is pretty much always 50/50 — each answer is multiple choice, in which that multiple is two. Frequently, the 8th question is an 8-part speed round, in which teams have a set amount of time to provide 8 members of some category. We could see from the answer sheets that this year would be no exception.

In keeping with the Boston-themed questions, this year’s Round 3 paid tribute to a couple of Boston sports teams by framing 7 descriptions that either fit bears (hence the bruins) or Celts (hard-c Celts, early inhabitants of Britain). We were instructed clearly: just write down “Bears” or “Celts”.

1. The Greek root of the word “arctic”.
2. Namesake of the largest lake located entirely within Canada.
3. The hero of the legend of Cu Chulainn.
4. Known to live in earthen dwellings called “hill forts.”
5. Ate the Salmon of Knowledge, in a famous myth.
6. The subject of a famous aphorism uttered by Sam Elliott in The Big Lebowski.
7. Played Squire Trelawney in Brian Henson’s 1996 adaptation of Treasure Island.

Then, for the 8th question, they brought the categories together:

8. The 2012 film Brave, of course, was about a Celt who turns into a bear. OK, fine, I guess they were Gaels, but just go with it. Anyway, Brave was one of the nine most recently released Pixar films, so for this question, you’ll just name the other eight.

We had a four-minute timer, with musical accompaniment by Boston street performer Keytar Bear.

[Well, this is the one we coulda shoulda woulda jokered. We aced it — 15 points, for a total of 48.]
See the answers

Round 4: I Got Her Number, How Do You Like Them Apples?

It’s a round about math and apples!

1. Noted as one of the most popular by the U.S. Apple Association, what variety of apple came from 1930s Japan?
2. Of The Geometric Spirit is the main math-philosophy work by what seventeenth-century Frenchman with a famous namesake triangle, barrel, and wager?
3. Located in center field, the Home Run Apple is the only thing worth watching at what Major League Baseball stadium? [Jonathan was in the driver’s seat for the first two questions — now over to Larry and Don.]
4. The first major theorem to be proven with a computer, in the 1970s Kenneth Appel and Wolfgang Haken showed you can color any map, with no adjacent areas the same color, using how many colors? [Back to you, Jonathan. All you, Jonathan.]
5. Distilled from apple cider, Normandy’s Calvados VSOP is what kind of booze?
6. If you shaped your apple into a perfect sphere with a six-inch diameter, what would its volume be in cubic inches? (Hint: Your answer should have a a Greek letter in it.)
7. In Greek myth, Eris’s golden apple sparked the Trojan War by causing three goddesses to fight for the approval of what mortal?
8. Born in 11th-century Persia. Found a geometric method to determine all real roots of cubic equations. Credited with some famous quatrains called “Rubaiyat.” Who’s that?

[Another perfect round, for 8 more points. Our total was now 56.]
See the answers

At this point, it was time for a break. Letters to Cleo played, and GWD ran some comedy videos, dramatic readings of letters from conservative Texans who complain about their liberal quiz. Then came answers to rounds 1-4, and the standings. We were in 11th place, with the top spot held down by the Philly team everybody loves to hate, Independence Hall & Oates.

Kay Hanley of Letters To Cleo, singing


A recent and effective Geek Bowl innovation has been the numerical tiebreaker question, in which several facts combine into a formula, and teams try for an answer as close as possible to the actual one. For some reason, this year the Geeks placed that tiebreaker question just before round 5 — in fact on the back of the round 5 answer sheet. So we turned both in at the same time. The Geek Bowl XII tiebreaker question:

Add up all the days served in the U.S. Senate by John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Edward Kennedy. Multiply by the number of nations containing Dunkin’ Donuts stores. Subtract from that product the population of Massachusetts as of the 1790 census. Or, if you’re like me and prefer your trivia expressed formulaically:

[(J + T + R) x D)] – M

where J = John Kennedy’s Senate days, T = Ted’s Senate days, R = Robert’s Senate days, D = Dunkin’ Donuts nations, and M = Massachusetts’ 1790 population.

[We guessed about 18,000 for the Kennedy total, 25 for D, and 300,000 for M. Since we like to turn in jagged rather than round numbers on questions like this, we submitted 156,789. Must have worked well, too, because we ended up at the top of our score cohort.]
See the answers

Round 5: Paul Revere’s Other Midnight Ride

Round 5 in typical Geeks Who Drink is a visual round, meaning a half-sheet of paper with some image-oriented challenge on it. Round 5 in Geek Bowl raises the bar up to video, and this year threw in some verse narration as well. Oh, and more Boston theming, and more charming and ingenious writing.

Thanks to the Geeks for putting this video on YouTube! Once again, answers are in the same video this year, so pause if that’s how you roll.

[Fantastic team effort on this one led us to another perfect round. Our total stood at 64.]
See the answers

Round 6: One if by Land, Two if by “C”

Here was the round in which 16 points were possible, but there was only one blank per question on the score sheet. This is how they explained it to us:

This round is worth 16 possible points. For ONE point, answer an easy question about someone with “land” in their name. OR, for TWO points, answer the harder question whose answer starts with the letter C. You can choose all 1-pointers, all 2-pointers, or a mixture of the two – but only give ONE answer for each question number. If you try to answer both, you will get ZERO points for that question. Finally: On the 2-point question, if it’s a person’s name, real or fictional, it’s the FIRST name that starts with a C.

I’ll indicate our choices in [brackets] after each one.

1. One point: Martin Landau played Rollin Hand on what action series that debuted when Tom Cruise was four?
Two points: He also played Rufio in what Oscar-winning 1963 period piece?
[We jumped on the “C” question immediately, and then almost as quickly started to (correctly) doubt our answer. We ended up falling back to the “land” question for one point.]

2. One point: Former NOW president Patricia Ireland penned a 1996 book with the same title as what Mel Gibson/Helen Hunt movie?
Two points: In 2004, Ireland managed a presidential campaign for what first black woman in the U.S. Senate?
[We were convinced about our “C” answer on this one.]

3. One point: In The Empire Strikes Back, Lando betrayed Han Solo on what planet?
Two points: What planet was Han’s birthplace?
[A confident chorus of people, including Star Wars superfans George and Don, rang in with the “C” answer here.]

4. One point: The daughter of an AFC cheerleader, living ballet legend Misty Copeland originally hails from what Midwest town that was also a chart-topping song in 1959?
Two points: Spelling question! “Sashay” is a secondary definition for what word that is also a ballet step? And yes, “spelling question” means you have to spell it correctly.
[No clue on the “C” answer here, but we felt good about our “land” answer.]

5. One point: Monty Python and the Holy Grail featured Carol Cleveland as sisters Zoot and Dingo, who tempted what chaste knight?
Two points: According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, King Arthur was born at Tintagel Castle in what English county?
[I think this may have been my favorite team moment this year. We knew the “land” answer for sure, and had a “C” answer that we felt maybe 75% certain about. We initially put down the “land” answer, but during the post-round countdown, Don pitched that since we were in 11th place as of the last standings, maybe it was time to take a risk or two. The team conferred, agreed, and put down the two-point answer. We got it right.]

6. One point: For her unlicensed portrayal in Feud: Bette and Joan, in 2017 Olivia de Havilland sued FX Networks and what American Horror Story producer?
Two points: De Havilland had a 1952 turn as the titular wife of a preacher, in what Shaw play?
[Jonathan and I are the literature guys on this team, but we were both clueless on the “C” answer, so we went with the “land” answer on this one.]

7. One point: Tom Holland’s Peter Parker attends a high school named for what part of Manhattan that’s home to the Chrysler Building?
Two points: As seen in Amazing Spider-Man #360, what was the full name of the first person to become Carnage?
[George, Brian, and I are all comic book guys. I think I was first to the gate on the “C” answer here — I knew it cold.]

8. One point: A Green day album, a Power Rangers villain, and the production team behind Kelly Rowland’s solo debut single “Dilemma”: All three share what biblical hunter’s name?
Two points: Ham’s eldest son founded a whole nation, plus he was the dad of the guy in the one-point question. Who is Ham’s eldest son?
[Once again, we jumped on the “C” question immediately. Unlike in question #1, we didn’t question ourselves. We should have, because we got it wrong.]

[1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 0 = 11, bringing our total to 75.]
See the answers

Round 7: Goodnight Mook

Geek Bowl XII had a lot of clever rounds, but this one was my favorite. The video speaks for itself. You know the drill by now — answers in the video, pause if you want, direct link in the answers post.

[More awesome teamwork led us to a 7 in this round. Nobody on this team has a child young enough to have bought kid’s books during the B.J.-Novak-writing-kids-books era. Our total was 82.]
See the answers

Time for another intermission. We had more Letters to Cleo live, and more Letters From Texans video. We also had a Fenway Park tradition — just before the final round, the crowd sung an enthusiastic version of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”, led by the former quizmaster at my local bar, Jeanette Cerami. After that, we got our standings. We were in third! And Independence Hall & Oates had dropped to ninth. There was much rejoicing at table 133.

Round 8: Random Knowledge

At last it was time for the final round. Round 8 in Geeks Who Drink pub quizzes is always “random knowledge” — no theme, questions from all over the place for varying point totals, always equaling 16. In Geek Bowl, the questions in this round are always worth two points apiece.

1. Name the two army generals who have been appointed U.S. Secretary of State since 1980. [We knew one right away, and Larry talked us into a correct answer on the second. Thanks, Larry!]
2. a) What buzzword does Webster define as “a job, usually for a specified time”? b) Defined as “any of several lively, springy dances in triple rhythm,” what similar word spawned French and Italian variants?
3. Adjusted for inflation, two 1965 films are in the domestic billion-dollar box-office club: a musical and a Soviet-banned epic drama. What are those?
4. First and last names: a) At last year’s British Open, who shot the first 62 in the history of the four golf majors? b) What Cubs first baseman had the major leagues’ most hits in the 1990s?
5. In the Himalayas, near the heads of the Indus and Brahmaputra, Mt. Kailash is a pilgrimage site for four religions: Tibetan Buddhism, the related Bon, and what two others? [We debated three answers around, two of which turned out to be correct. We put down one right one and one wrong one.]
6. a) Set in Boston, what 2015 Bethesda game lets players join the post-apocalyptic Minutemen? b) Joel and Tess work as smugglers in Boston, in what 2013 game about a different kind of apocalypse? [Brian was the man once again, getting us one of these points.]
7. a) What ’80s pop star composed Broadway’s “Kinky Boots”? b) What aughts pop star composed “Waitress”?
8. a) In 2017, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic became the first female, and first openly gay head of government in what Balkan country? b) The party of new Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir is named for the political left, and what related color that is not on Iceland’s flag?

[By my reckoning, we got 11 of these. However, the final standings had us at 94 rather than 93, so I’m speculating that one of our answers on question #8 was close enough to count.]
See the answers

Time for that final scoring break, and another Geek Bowl tradition: the In Memoriam segment, this year accompanied by Ciarán Nagle and ISHNA’s version of “Danny Boy.” The Geeks always do a great job with these, but they are always also chock full of spoilers. So, warning before you watch this video: it contains spoilers for Sherlock, Orphan Black, Supernatural, Doctor Who, Coco, The Walking Dead, Game Of Thrones, Stranger Things, and The Last Jedi. If you want to avoid the spoilers, pause the video at the Trump section.

At last, the final standings appeared. Mothra’n A Feeling stood in 6th place, happily above Independence Hall & Oates and Geek Bowl 10 winners Shiny & Chrome. (Turned out we were actually all 3 tied.) There was also a tie at the top! For this they don’t use the tiebreaker question, but instead had a sudden-death face-off. Verbatim from the Geek Bowl sheet (thanks for including it in a video, Geeks):

We have a list of things. Your job will be to name those things, one player at a time, alternating between teams. If you give a wrong answer, if you give an answer that’s already been given, if you don’t answer in five seconds, or if you try to consult your teammates, you are out. The last team with a player standing will be the champions of Geek Bowl Twelve. Here’s the question.

At the end of each year, a Billboard chart lists the top 100 songs of the year, the Year-End Hot 100. We’re concentrating on the top 40 spots. On the 64 charts since it began in 1954, the year-end top 40 has featured a total of 37 singles with the word “girl” in the title — either by itself, in the plural “girls,” or in a compound word. The list includes two pairs of different songs with the same title — on those songs only, you can give the same title twice. Again, we’re looking for the 37 singles that have made Billboard’s Year-End top 40 that have “girl” in their titles. Go!

This was an exciting showdown, and not without controversy, though I think the proper team did emerge victorious. Let’s go to Christopher Short, Geeks editor-in-chief, with the Errorogenous Zone report:

And that was it! Congratulations to Last House On The Jeff, and HUGE congratulations to Geeks Who Drink for pulling off another triumph. I look forward to seeing you all again next year in Las Vegas!


Album Assignments: More Adventurous


Geek Bowl XII answer recap

1 Comment

  1. Excellent! Enjoyed the overview.

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