The Charismatic Quizmaster

A few aspects of what it takes to be a good quizmaster have already been touched upon in this blog, but I’m going to focus on whether it is necessary to possess that rare and undefineable quality of charisma.

Having run 100s of quizzes myself, I can at least say that my own complete lack of said undefineable quality has not been an insurmountable hindrance to running reasonably enjoyable events, but am I kidding myself? Is charisma, star power, real personality a key ingredient in the quality quizmaster’s armoury?

Not necessarily. Anyone going into running quizzes thinking they can get by on personality alone may well be in for a fall. Far more important are the basic and unglamorous components of a good, clear voice, a good general knowledge and a bit of patience. Arguably, charisma, if misapplied, can be less blessing than curse. Most quiz participants are there for the questions, for the competition. If they want to see a comedian, they’ll go and see a comedian.

Having said that, I’ve seen several circumstances where a bit of genuine personality is a vital ingredient, not least when there is a poor or indeed no soundsystem. A powerful and rich set of lungs can save a quiz set for disaster. Likewise, if you have a thoroughly disinterested audience, the ability to engage, to get them on your side, is a real gift.

But, in truth, for quizzes, those situations are fairly rare. Whether it is a pub quiz, where most people will have gone along because they like quizzes, so are already “on side”, or a corporate team-building event, where people are generally likely to behave themselves and engage, you usually have enough of people’s attention not to have to exude sheer charisma.

For my own part, I tend to be quite reactive. I try to make sure I get the basics right, have good sound, speak clearly etc (of course, the main thing is to have a good and entertaining set of questions, but that’s for another blog) and then if the crowd is receptive, one can relax and have a bit of banter. There’s no need to force it, to have a set of bad jokes stored up, the quiz can still be successful without any great humour, and indeed better to play it safe than to alienate the audience.

Still, that’s just me. I make do with what I’ve got. Rest assured, there are plenty of other QuizQuizQuiz Quizmasters who are simply oozing raw star power, and they may have a very different take on it.

What do you think? Do you prefer a QM with a bit of something about them? Have you ever seen a good quizmaster save a bad quiz? Or a try-hard quizmaster ruin a good quiz?

Organise yourselves into teams of 4

What is the optimum size for a pub quiz team?

The two great team based TV shows of our age, ‘Only Connect’ & ‘University Challenge’, would suggest that 3 or 4 is a good number, but really for a pub quiz that is often going to be too small. For TV it is a small enough number to get to know each contestant a little bit in 30 minutes but enough people to ensure that there is a bit of a spread of characters and knowledge.

So, let’s look at different team sizes:

1 person: well, not really a team, but I suspect some readers of this blog may have done a pub quiz as a singleton. I won’t go into this any more, as I think “solo pub quizzing” is a post of its own!

2 people: significant risk of simply not having an important subject area covered, or some minor news event having passed you both by.

3 people: getting there, but still a little bit short staffed. You begin to get into the realm of disputes and arguments with 3 different opinions on contentious questions. This can of course be very healthy, and can lead you down the right path to a a tricky answer.

4 people: just outside the perfect team size. Major plus is that it is still easy to confer as a foursome on a typical square pub table. As team size increases, assuming reasonable quiz aptitude,  there is an obvious and natural improvement in knowing things. This tails off at around 7-8 people.

5 people: In my view 5 is the optimum quiz team size. The only downside is that seating configuration can risk leaving one player marginalised. A round table, or a small rectangle with two on each side and the scribe at the end is recommended. Just enough people to cover most major areas, plenty of different perspectives, and an odd number in case a 50:50 decision needs to be made.

6 people: almost as good as 5, and actually my preferred number for teams at a quiz (for non-quizzers) that I am hosting rather than taking part in. The extra person just makes that little bit of difference to cover the likelihood that one or more people in the team turn out to be a bit rubbish.

7 people: starting to get unwieldy. Very difficult to confer properly as a group, and you end up with people writing things down and showing them to each other rather than discussing properly – and of course well set quiz questions are best solved by discussion not by people just silently thrusting their answer suggestion across the table (often accompanied by a slightly irritating nod+eyebrow raise combination). When I’m running a quiz with teams this size (and upwards), then I’d start throwing in some much harder questions and dipping into more niche subject areas s the large number of people on the team makes it far more likely that the range of knowledge will gobble up the easy questions, and you risk too many teams all getting the same high scores. Has the odd-number advantage of the 5-person team (obviously).

8 people: I’m still pretty happy with 8-person teams (for quizzes I run, but certainly not for quizzes I attend), but it can be difficult for the participants to work together properly. Plenty of scope for arguments on things like guess the year questions. If I’m running a quiz after dinner, and tables are 8 person tables then fine. If the tables are rectangles rather than round though I’ll sometimes break them into 2 x 4.

9 people plus: too many. The extra people don’t help particularly, and as numbers get higher and higher it is harder for the team to work together, and individuals within the team who aren’t near the action won’t engage as well.

What is your preferred size of quiz team?

Does your pub quiz impose any limits and/or scoring adjustments for different team sizes?

Taking the Quiz … (Part 1)

Rumour has it that a working title for the Super Furry Animals’ 1999 album ‘Guerrilla’ was ‘Text Messaging is Destroying The Pub Quiz As We Know It’. So, 12 years on, were the Welsh wizards accurate prophets of doom, or were they putting too little faith in the good nature of the humble pub quiz participant?

Well, a bit of both, in my experience. Do people cheat at quizzes? Yes, they do. Is that cheating now so widespread and so impossible to combat that quizzes now, like Pakistan cricket or the 1990s Tour de France, have lost all sense of reliability and integrity? No, I certainly do not think so.

Of course, the putative album title now seems woefully old-fashioned. Text messaging?! Who texts to cheat at a quiz these days? There are a thousand other far more effective methods. And what are they? Here, I can happily confess that I’m a little ignorant, as I’ve never, not once, no, never, honest guv, cheated at a quiz in my life.

Suffice to say, with Shazipanion, Wikipam, picture-identifying apps and whatever else there is out there, there is no shortage of methods for getting ahead. But the more important question, for me, is, without digging too deep into the philosophical pit, why?

Prizes at pub quizzes and corporate quizzes are rarely life-changing (usually a bottle of wine suffices) – we’re not talking Major Charles Ingram on Who Wants Be a Millionnaire? So why do people risk their good name for a pittance. Well, one thing I will say is that sometimes I think people don’t even realise they’re doing anything wrong. I ran a quiz last week where someone was happily checking the answers to a Picture Round question right in front of me as soon as I handed it out. I stared, his colleague tapped him on the shoulder and shook his head, he looked surprised, then put it away. I know that may sound absurd to hardened quiz goers but a lot of our corporate clients may not have attended a pub quiz before.

Another reason I think people sometimes use their phones to check things is because they don’t want to look stupid – they’re not necessarily trying to win, but they don’t want to be shown up in front of their work colleagues.

And people will cheat if they think everyone else is cheating, unfortunately. I can tell that quite often if there are universally high scores for a picture round.

Why else, in your experience, do people cheat at pub or corporate quizzes, and have you seen any brazen examples?

This is just the first on quite a few posts on cheating (and how to cope with it). It’s a big, and fascinating, topic, which can’t be covered in one post, but I’d be interested to know your initial thoughts.

Born in the 1990s

At a comedy club I regularly attend, the compere will always pick on a young looking chap in the audience, and ask him what year he was born in…inevitably, if he is under 21 and the answer is 1990-something then the whole audience gasps “No way”, “1990! That’s so young!”, “How can someone born in the 1990s be allowed out at night” etc. etc.

It’s a cheap win for the compere, but for quizmasters such gasp inducing youth poses a challenge of its own. These children of the 1990s were foetal, at best, when Thatcher left office. ‘Thundercats’ means very little to them. Even PJ and Duncan means little.

If you go to quizzes from time-to-time (as I assume most of our readers do), then you will almost certainly have had the experience of finding the questions badly out of your knowledge zone. It is one thing to find that there are too many questions on (e.g.) sport or music for your liking, but another thing to find that you are a young person at an “old man quiz” or an older person at a “Radio 1” quiz.

A quiz master/mistress should know his/her audience, and equally you might say that a quiz punter should choose the right sort of quizzes to attend. However, it is always possible to set a quiz that caters to different age groups. At QuizQuizQuiz our quiz masters earn their plaudits by their ability to create an entire quiz in realtime that is perfectly suited for the audience, but here are a few pointers that can help with the age issue. We’ll deal with other demographic issues in future posts.

1. Include some content that very directly addresses a minority age group in the audience. Seems obvious, but I’ve been to plenty of quizzes which have ignored the young / old  contingent. Easy enough to throw on a bit of Buddy Holly or Kings of Leon to keep everyone happy that at least one thing was friendly to them.

2. Put the majority of questions in the middle ground – things that everyone should know, and for which age is irrelevant. This doesn’t mean you have to steer clear of popular culture – some pop culture is pretty much universal, particularly “event” TV / films. A question about The King’s Speech at the moment should do the trick for most age groups.

3. Think a bit laterally for suitable topics. Different age groups will know about different subjects in different ways. Take children’s literature, and specifically Roald Dahl. Almost everyone British (again – dealing with international audiences another time) will be familiar with his children’s books. They will either have read it for themselves when younger which could mean 50 years ago or 5 years ago (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, for example, is from the 1960s), seen a film adaptation, read it to their own children, or simply be aware of it by cultural osmosis, such is the cultural status of the books.

4. Ensure guessability – this is almost always a requirement for a fun and inclusive quiz question. You don’t need multiple choice for this. But many questions can be virtually multiple choice in the way you phrase them.

Here are some sample questions that I think would work at almost any quiz with any age spread, assuming the participants are all (or mostly) British:

1. In ‘The Wizard of Oz’, which one of Dorothy’s three main companions does she encounter first on the Yellow Brick Road from Munchkin Land to The Emerald City? (almost everyone young or old has seen the film and/or read the book, and even those who haven’t will probably be aware of at least one of the companions)

2. On British road signs, what symbol is used to indicate a zoo? (everyone has seen such a sign – can you remember what is on it?)

3. In the Superman movies, what colour is Superman’s belt, when he is in his full saving the world costume? (You barely need to have seen the films. Anyone and everyone will at least have seen a picture of Superman in his garb)

4. Which of your lungs is larger (assuming your organs are fairly normal) – Left or Right? (you can just guess if you like, but with luck you can try and work it out – and everyone should be able to contribute to the thinking process)

5. How many ball boys and ball girls are there on Centre Court at any one time during a match at Wimbledon? (find me a person who has never watched at least 20 minutes at Wimbledon on TV…you might know this from observation, or from knowledge, or you might be able to work it out, or try to visualise based on a match you enjoyed watching.)

Do you have any solid “age-inclusive” questions that you’ve heard or written recently?



Fast Work

It’s obviously very nice when people come to you at the end of an evening and compliment you on the quality of the quiz. It’s particularly gratifying when they pick up on one of the elements that (we think) distinguishes a QuizQuizQuiz quiz from many other quizzes.

One of the most common things people commend us on is not even the quiz master him/herself, but the speed of our marking. When we run a quiz, it is imperative, however many teams there are, that the sheets are marked and the scores for the round ready to be announced by the time the quiz master has finished reading out the answers. So there is immediate feedback on performance when it is fresh, relevant and still exciting, no dead air, no time to wander off and become disinterested. What’s more annoying at a gig than the band spending minutes tuning up between songs?

Over the years, we’ve developed and trained a crack team of superfast, super-efficient markers at our QuizQuizQuiz Fast Track Academy (or something like that!). From a quiz for three teams to a quiz for sixty teams, we’ll make sure we’ve enough competent people to deal with it and keep the quiz running smoothly. Up to around eight teams can, if needs be, be handled by an experienced quiz master on his or her own with no delay to the quiz (though a helper is probably preferred so that the QM doesn’t get too frazzled), up to around twenty by one fast marker, after which it gets exponentially trickier.

Occasionally, a client might simply expect that teams swap sheets at the end of a quiz, as is common practice at pub quizzes. We never do this at a QuizQuizQuiz event. It allows inconsistency, foul play, all kinds of grounds for querying, makes players work when they should be having fun, and is, simply, not as professional. It is also no quicker, if not indeed slower, than having one good marker doing all the sheets.

So how do we keep the quiz flowing with fast marking?

Well, we encourage the teams to be legible, to remember to put their team name at the top, and we cajole them to get their answers in well within the time limit so that the marker can get a headstart.

We want our marker to have a tidy table in front of them and a good system, to know exactly what the round is out of, to be familiar with the questions and to know what variables might be allowed. Indeed the marker has to make their own answer sheet (with help from the quiz master if required) to become really familiar with the answers.

We want them to be unflustered and neat, to be able to communicate clearly with the quiz master at all times, to check their working and, of course, to be competent at basic maths. At the same time part of the skill of our professional quiz masters is to pace the quiz and the giving out of answers in a way that is both natural but also appropriate for allowing the scores for the round to be ready on time.

I remember the first time I attended a QuizQuizQuiz pub quiz, I was amazed at the speed of the marking, but once you get used to doing it, it’s really not that exceptional, just a good, solid system. Sure – it’s more expensive to have a helper, but we think it makes our quizzes better and we are happy that our clients recognise this as well in the quality of our quiz events.

Likewise, I gave a friend who was running a quiz this week a few tips, and the first thing he thanked me for was the instructions on having a helper doing the marking.

To me, it’s a vital part of a good quiz experience.

How does it work at your regular pub quiz? (either that you attend or run?)

Entry fees for pub quizzes

I’ve been thinking today about relaunching a regular QuizQuizQuiz pub quiz somewhere in  London.

We ran a well-attended weekly pub quiz for the best part of 5 years at various venues in Hammersmith and Putney, but the recession hit, and we decided to concentrate on our core business of company quiz nights and team-building quiz events..

Most pub quizzes charge £1 per person, some charge £2, and some big event quizzes will charge £5-£10 (including food). I’m not counting here big charity events (which  might easily charge £100 per head), but regular pub quizzes.

What is a fair price to take part in a pub quiz, and what do you expect to get for your money?  And what should the pub do with your money? Put it all in prize fund, pay the quiz master or a bit of everything?

Worst Quiz Question Ever

I was going to write about the best quiz questions ever – but I am a little tired, and I think that post requires rather more thought than I am capable of right now. So…instead, what is the worst quiz question ever?

I don’t mean a question that is just plain wrong/out of date (e.g. What is the largest country in Africa? Sudan). Looking for something more than that – collector items…

My personal favourite, that I heard at a quiz in the bustling town of Romford about 9 years ago:

Which celebrity famously came to speak at the Oxford Union? (we actually got it right, because it was a little bit topical at the time, but the correct answer was just one of several equally famous speakers there from the last 6 months, all of whom had received newspaper coverage).

I’ve also had the following question reported to me:

Who, or what, was Eleanor Gray?

Answers to both questions on a postcard…

Any other seriously dodgy questions?

Handling Queries

There’s nothing more annoying, when participating in a quiz, than a set of questions which is riddled with ambiguities, mistakes and unclear instructions. It is the responsibility of a quiz master to make sure everything about the quiz is as free from doubt and irritation as possible – if you do that, the chances are you’ll avoid having to deal with countless queries throughout the night, though sometimes the queries come and have to be dealt with no matter how clear you’ve been, or think you’ve been.

As discussed in a previous post, the bare minimum for a a quiz master is to have read through the questions beforehand, checking pronunciations, making sure he/she is comfortable with the facts, and looking for any inaccuracies. You may not have written the questions, but you do want to make it seem like you have. That doesn’t necessarily mean withering contempt for any wrong answers, a la Paxman on University Challenge, but it may mean giving off little bits of knowledge around the questions and answers. Not too much, just a little.

So, when a query comes in about an answer you’ve given, you’re able to be confident in rebutting it. I asked a question last week about countries in the Commonwealth (I won’t reveal the exact question!), and one member of the team who would go on to win – who were clearly serious quiz buffs – said ‘What about the Falklands?’. I said, “it’s not a country, it’s an Overseas Territory.” He said “but they take part in the Commonwealth Games”. At which point, one may get a little flustered and concede the point, but I was able to say “Yes, but so does the Isle of Man. Mark Cavendish’s 2006 Commonwealth Gold was won representing the Isle of Man”, which satisfied him. Though the facts of the question were never in doubt, sometimes you need that little extra knowledge to satisfy a determined querier.

NB the ambiguity about the word “country” is one of the most common sources of dissent. You should always make sure you say “independent country” or even “UN Member State” otherwise I guarantee you’ll get all kinds of ‘What about Wales?’ type enquiries.

On which point, as well as checking facts, check for any kind of possible ambiguity in the way the question is asked. Another example of this would be, say, “Which cities have hosted the Olympics …?”. Clarifying you mean “Summer Olympics” will save you plenty of bother.

Nevertheless, however much you’ve checked and however clear you think you’ve been, there’s still be a few folk determined to make their point. It is surprising how often people can be extremely convincing in their query, but still be wrong. “What do you mean Pimlico is not an independent country. I was there last week! I had to go through border control”, that kind of thing. It is also surprising how often people think the best way to express this query is to shout it at you while you are speaking to a roomful of people, rather than having a quiet word between rounds. One should generally of course be polite and attempt to clarify and assuage them with facts alone. However, if you can tell you’ve got a good atmosphere going and the crowd are generally on your side, there’s nothing wrong with putting a dissenting voice in its place with a little sarcasm, a little display of superior knowledge. It is, after all, your job in the circumstance to know more, and as long as it’s good natured, tends to get a great response.

Gauging whether any query or complaint is reasonable is key. Sometimes, someone might claim, say, you were talking too fast, or you said something other than what you think you have said. All you have to do is to check against what other teams wrote. I once asked “What’s the next prime number after 90?” – on being told 97, one woman, furiously, said, you said 19, not 90. The fact every other team put an answer above 90 was enough to suggest she might have listened more closely. However, this would be an example of where you should avoid ambiguity by saying “90 – Nine Zero” [I’m pretty sure I did!]

Even then, after all that, there will be the odd query that’ll bamboozle you a little. My best recent example was a question about a recent Hollywood survey where it was revealed that Robert de Niro had died on screen more than any other star. When this was revealed, a man came up and said “We’ve been racking our brains and we can’t think of the films de Niro has died in. What are they?” Now, funnily enough, it wasn’t me who’d conducted said survey of all the Hollywood films ever released, I was taking the survey on trust, but since De Niro is one of my favourite actors, I did say I’d try to think of them, and started scribbling down film titles. I quickly realised I was getting distracted from the rather more important business of running the quiz, shrugged at the man, and put that one down to experience.

One strategy that can work very effectively in ensuring the smooth running of the quiz (if not necessarily in satisfying the person who raised the query) is to make it clear that if the actual outcome of the quiz is affected by the issue then you will go to lengths to resolve it. And if the outcome of the quiz is not affected by the issue, you can usually just give them the benefit of any doubt to keep them happy, and hope that they will check it as thoroughly as you, the quiz master, will when you are next online.

If you run quizzes yourself, how do you deal with queries?

What’s the strangest query you have ever heard at a quiz?

Quiz Nights around the World: Cebu City, Philippines

In April of this year, my travels took me to Cebu City in the Philippines. I wasn’t there for quiz business, but why not make the most of the opportunity…

I discovered a company called Cebu Trivia Nights and once it was clear that everything at their quiz night would be in English, I managed to organise a team of colleagues to go along. I was particularly satisfied that the quiz was being held at a restaurant that was, so I was told, famous for its crispy pork.

This was a quiz night unlike any other I have ever attended. This was to be no typical pen and paper quiz. Each team had a small whiteboard and a marker pen. All answers were to be written on the whiteboard, and held aloft after 10 seconds, at which point the glamorous assistants around the room looked around to work out who had got the answer correct and updated their scoresheets there and then. After each question the whiteboard gets wiped clean ready for the next question.

The quiz was split up into rounds (or “sets” as the host called them) with varying numbers of questions, but on a generally very specific topic. The host was amusingly camp, and an excellent presenter, and I think he may have also been the question writer (at least judging by the first two topics of the evening). The night I was there, the topics included: Characters from ‘The Sound of Music’, Contents of ladies’ handbags, Corporate Headquarters, Famous Explorers, Figures of Speech, In the News, and various others that I can’t recall now (but all, bar one, very accessible to a non Filipino like me).

There was a good variation in question difficulty – but a couple on the Figures of Speech round struck me for being extremely tricky. This is a topic I am quite good on, having done Latin and Greek A-Levels and enjoyed collecting a range of little-known terms for different figures of speech. I was very very surprised not to be the only person in the room to know Synechdoche and Tmesis.

My main frustration with the quiz was that every question was “either you know it or you don’t”. And because the answer to each question had to be given within 10 seconds there was very little time for conferring (more a case of thrusting the whiteboard and pen at the team member who looked the most likely to know it), and absolutely no time for trying to work something out or dig it out from the recesses of memory. For me, this is one of the joys of quizzing – working stuff out, rather than just knowing something straight off. I think this kind of quick-fire quiz is fun, but I would always enjoy a bit more variety in the pacing of the quiz.

Despite this frustration, I absolutely loved the quiz, as did the rest of the crowd, and these guys clearly have a massive following in Cebu and beyond. It was very interesting to take part in a quiz that operates in a completely different way to what we are familiar with in the UK.

The closest we come to this kind of “instant feedback” quiz is interactive keypads, which we use in some higher-end company quiz nights but we tend to use them in moderation and only for very specific types of round, rather than for the sake of the technology. For example, we’d use them to reward teams specifically for speed of response with their correct answers, or to allow them to gamble points on each question.

Does the instant whiteboard answering quiz format sound like something you would enjoy?

What’s in a Name?

For more on pub quiz team names, follow @quiznames on Twitter.

“And before we get started, one thing you can do for me is think of a team name – it can be something funny, something topical, something rude, something about someone here, whatever you wish. Please think of a team name and write it at the top of every answer sheet”

I say this at the start of nearly every quiz (unless I’m told they already have team names) and the ensuing quiz night team names are always a key part of the quiz night experience. There are various types of name that confront me every quiz, but equally it is true to say that there are a few names that pop up more often than others…

QuizQuizQuiz has run over 2000 quizzes down the years, and I would conservatively estimate that within that time we have encountered at least 1500 ‘QuizTeam Aguilera’s. It is the definitive quiz team name, no doubt about it. So often do I encounter it, I sometimes make a wry aside when i read it out – “Nice to see them here again” – before realising that, since these people have not been travelling around to 100s of quizzes, there is no reason why they should be amused by the repeated use of QuizTeam Aguilera – indeed, it may have been made up fresh on the night, and who am i to steal their thunder?

QuizTeam Aguilera is the king (or queen) of that common name type – the “quiz” pun – not far behind, we get, Quizzee Rascal, Quiz Akabusi, sometimes Quiz Eubank (though not enough Quiz Quiztoferssons) – I once had three teams called Quiz on My Face and two called Let’s Get Quizzical at the same event. Confusing.

What other types of name are there?

  • The tongue-twister – Ken Dodd’s Dad’s Dog’s Dead is a good one, and more originally Pete Postlethwaite’s Preposterous Posthumous Pizza Party;
  • the rude play on words – Norfolk and Chance the most famous, and within the bounds of acceptability, though others push it;
  • the insult to someone there – So-and-So is a So-and-So etc (often to much hilarity);
  • the cry for help – Need Help With the Picture Round, And in Last Place, We’re rubbish, Can We Bribe you Quiz Master? etc.;
  • the casual – Only Here For the Beer, We Thought It Was a Disco;
  • then, a nice option, the pun on your company. Recently, I saw Deutsche Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?, which I liked;
  • the somewhat desultory, when I know my instructions at the start haven’t really been heeded properly and I may need to do a bit more work to get the atmosphere going – Team 1, Team 2, Team 3, (mixing it up now) Table 4, The A-Team perhaps;
  • the topical – in April last year, there were a lot of ‘SuperInjunction’s and ‘Can’t Be Named For Legal Reasons’;
  • the gratuitously offensive, often relating to something sexual or to someone who has recently died, or both;
  • and, of course, you often get something totally original, where you can’t even guess how they’ve come up with it.

Quiz team names are a massive part of the fun, and surprisingly hard to come up with, as I know from my own experience of pub quizzes. Initially, my teams used to come up with tortured laboured puns which we thought were hilarious but were met by silence after being mangled by the quiz master. Then, in a successful team I was part of, we were Lovely Touch for a Big Man – a reference to Peter Crouch which we were pleased to discover was amusing to different people in different ways.

I know people who are daring enough to go for rude jokes about topical stories, though I’ve always been a bit timid for that. I couldn’t tell you the best pub quiz team name I’ve ever heard, nor even give that much advice – [I have a soft spot for little twists on the name of your company, i’m less enamoured of flat out insults of colleagues in general, but if they are funny, they bring the house down]. I’ve one which anyone who wishes to can steal – this was the name which got the best reaction I ever heard – a simple mishearing of a lyric in a Weathergirls song – ‘Israeli Men, Hallelujah, Israeli Men’. Not sure what magic ingredient that name had on that particular night, but it worked.

What other favourites have you heard down the years?

What is your best team name?

For more on pub quiz team names, follow @quiznames on Twitter.