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The 57th Semi-Annual Williams College Trivia Contest, December, 1994
Summaries and comments by Des Devlin
Very much like the Fall 1992/January '93 Phasers Contest, except the big winners weren't quite as big, and the big busts didn't suck quite as badly. A fairly appealing package by night's end.
- (12:00) The Steeplechase Bonus -- Various topics, like name Dickens' novels, name Batman TV villains, name Magic 8-Ball responses, each with multiple correct answers. Teams would get a point for each arbitrary "hurdle" they cleared-- 1 point for naming 10 Batman villains, 2 points for 18, 3 points for 25. A lot of teams have had ambitions of intricate progressive-style bonuses where answers lead to answers. This was a VERY rudimentary stab at that, because the more involved ones never seem to work as hoped. Teams did nicely on this-- it might have been the only one of the night where a couple of teams out-pointed Can't Do Plaid.
- (4 AM) Musical Miscreants -- Questions about the misbehavior and traumas of musical superstars. In retrospect, way too many entertaining-yet-unguessable questions. Those kind of questions work good in the main body of the contest, but they die within Boni since the Hint Lines went down. This Bonus did, indeed, limp home at best.
- (12:00) The Children's Books Montage -- Our biggest success of the night. 41 characters from beloved Kid Lit, assembled in a sort-of group pose. The teams Shuffleboard and Flossy kicked major ass on this, and got screwed out of their otherwise-deserved "10" scores by Can't Do Plaid, who went 41-for-41! Every team playing did well, actually.
- (1 AM) The Norton Anthology of Poetry -- With "The Honeymooners" Ed Norton on the cover, this was a compendium of actual poetry from TV series. Teams had to name the "poet" and the series. Surprisingly lackluster results on this one, for which I blame not ourselves, but all the teams-- I still think it was a worthy bonus.
- (2 AM) Laughter Audio -- (answers) Bursts of laughter from (mostly) Top 40 songs. A well-produced bonus, and teams did quite well.
- (3 AM) Food in Film -- Questions about scenes in movies featuring eating. A simple little twist on the typical movie-based bonus; again, teams did well.
- (4 AM) Maps (answers only) -- An extra-thick bonus, but not question-heavy. It's just that most pages contained one, or two, maps of various locations or things. One of those logistical headaches where seven different people have to collate their maps we never got the dreaded Spread of Killer Bee Swarms map in time), but it came out pretty good.
- (5 AM) Autobiographies -- A list of autobiography titles; teams had to name the author. Bang bang, simple 'n sweet. Can't Do Plaid got a perfect score on this one too, I think.
- (6 AM) Geography Audio (answers only) -- Places and locations. I think the later attempt to do all 50 states was conceptually stronger, but this one had more laughs.
- (7 AM) Baseball in the 1990's -- Sports bonuses have been wilting on the vine of late, so we figured, okay, teams do best on the baseball questions. Of those baseball questions, teams do the best on recent baseball questions. (This comes from observation, not hypothesizing.) So, we do all baseball questions from 1990-1994. It flopped. Now we're really stumped.
- Perform ANY scene from "The Wizard of Oz" -- Didn't see the teams, but the eyewitness reports were filled with disappointment.
- Do an Installment of "Spy Vs. Spy."
- Come Down and be a Miniature Golf Course -- A little Zen, but apparently, this inspired many teams to flights of fancy. A lot more Action than you get from real miniature golf, that's for sure.
- Shatner Sings!
- Disconnect Hal -- From "2001". Your basic movie recreation bit, and either the late hour or the topic led to some flat performances.