Monday, November 10, 2008

Brit's patented University Challenge Drinking Game

posted by Brit

Good news everyone, University Challenge is back on BBC 2 tonight! (For the benefit of non-Britons, University Challenge is a long-running quiz show for horribly bright boffins).

The problem with University Challenge is that the questions are too difficult and the contestants answer them too quickly. This leads to a great deal of the I Knew That One Syndrome for the viewer (that's where you feel you 'know' the answer but you just can't retrieve it quickly enough from whichever remote cupboard of your brain it has been gathering dust to shout out before the spotty brat hits his buzzer), which is very frustrating.

However, help is at hand, for I have devised a brilliant University Challenge game for you to play at home, which will enormously enhance your enjoyment of the programme. You simply sit and watch the show as normal, shouting out whatever answers you see fit, and then you award yourself points as follows:

Rule 1: If you correctly answer a starter for 10 before or simultaneously with the buzzing contestant - 10 points

Rule 2: If you correctly answer a follow-up question before or simultaneously with the team captain - 5 points

Straightforward enough, yes. But here's where it gets interesting...

Rule 3: The Clever Clogs Rule.
If you correctly answer a starter or follow-up question and the contestant gets it wrong, you get double points - because this shows just how brilliant you really are.

Rule 4: The Decent Guess Law.
If you incorrectly answer a question but it is the same incorrect answer given by the contestant, you get 2 points - because at least you were in the ballpark.

Rule 5: The Eavesdropper's Gambit.
If you overhear the right answer during the murmurings as the team confers over a follow-up question, and yell it out before the captain finally decides, you merit 2 points.

Rule 6: The 'I Really Did Know That One' Concession.
If you honestly, really did know the answer but it never got past the tip of your tongue in time, you can have 1 point, why not. (Nb. this rule requires honesty and self-discipline.)

And finally, here's where the drinking comes in...

Rule 7: The Venezuela Variant.

If the answer is 'photosynthesis' (always a good guess for biology ones), 'Napoleon' (most history questions), 'red shift' (astronomy) or Venezuela, then you have to down a bottle of gin.

Good luck people, let me know how you get on...


  1. Nice to know I'm not alone, I never quantified it this well but I've been measuring my level of self satisfaction in this way for years. I would also add bonuses for "which classical music composer" being Elgar and "which artist" being Constable. Also some points for getting the monarchs name but not the number right, I've never been good with the distinctions between the various Henrys.

  2. Oh I like the Henrys rule, Kev - an excellent variation. Let's add it:

    Rule 8: The 'Henry the Somethingth' Rule
    It is sufficient to get the name of the monarch, and if you also get the number then points are doubled.

  3. For not having a copy of university physics on your lap.....

  4. Now here's a quiz to test the mettle and who's the weirdo?

  5. I would also recommend adding something for the - rare but IMPORTANT - occasions when the answer is actually wrong. This once happened during a music round, in which I'm absolutely certain that a song's composer was given as the obvious answer rather than the right one, such as the Bangles writing Manic Monday. (That wasn't it, but believe me, I was right and they weren't.)

  6. If that happens, Martpol, then you are officially the Champion of the Universe (Rule 9).