Think Different 261: Pointlessly Devoted to You!
When I first read a TD thread, I was struck by the similarity to the British game show Pointless. This is my attempt at an homage to that show, though a few references to another show may have snuck in there.
Pointless, hosted by Alexander "Xander" Armstrong and Richard Osman, has been described as a "reverse Family Fortunes" (Family Feud in the US). 100 members of the British public answer various questions before the show, and contestants playing in pairs attempt to give the answers the fewest of those 100 people got. They're trying to get an all-important Pointless answer -- that is, an answer none of the 100 people gave. At the end of each round, the pair with the highest score is eliminated, but I won't be eliminating anyone.
Let's play something that's similar to but legally distinct from Pointless!
• I'm using standard TD scoring (points = # of players who gave that answer) with two exceptions:
- Exception 1: Singletons (answers only one player gives) are worth zero points for questions 1-12. These are considered Pointless answers.
- Exception 2: Question 13 uses special scoring. See question 13 for details.
• You may put XANDER as your answer to skip one question -- you get zero points, but this doesn't count as a Pointless answer.
• You may put RICHARD as your answer on one question to receive points equal to the highest-scoring correct answer.
• There is to be no conferring. Don't Google, Bing, or Ask Jeeves any answers or otherwise seek help.
• For even-numbered questions, you must include the letter that corresponds to your answer.
• The player with the lowest total score will be the winner.
• Ties will be broken based on number of Pointless answers, then number of correct answers, then time submitted.
• Entries must be submitted by 11 PM EDT, September 21.
• Submit your answers in the Google Form linked at the end of the questions.
• If you have any questions that might give something away or want to change any of your answers, please PM me.
Q1: Our first category today is FILM. Players on Pointless compete in teams of two, so I thought I'd start with a question about some people who frequently work together. There are also a lot of film questions on Pointless.
FILM: Name any feature film directed by either Ron Howard or Martin Scorsese for which either Tom Hanks or Robert De Niro received an acting credit. Documentaries do not count.
Q2: My favorite type of question is the occasional WORDS round. Sometimes contestants have to provide words with a specific quality (such as "Words ending in ZZ" and "Words beginning and ending with K"), and sometimes they're given a list of words in a particular category (e.g., body parts, foods) in a foreign language and must provide the English name for one of those things. I've gone for the latter. Half the fun of these is hearing Xander try to pronounce the words, but alas, this is a text-only medium.
WORDS: Listed below are the names of animals in Italian. Give the English name for one of them. Include the letter of your response.
a. La iena
b. La pecora
c. Il fenicottero
d. La balena
e. Il cervo
f. Il polpo
g. La volpe
h. Il canguro
i. Il pesce
j. La aquila
k. Le stella di mare
l. Il ragno
Q3: Teams on Pointless get two chances to try to win. If they don't win in their first appearance, they get to play a second time. This is a question about something else happening more than once.
SPORT: Name any current country in which two or more Winter Olympic Games and/or two or more Summer Olympic Games have been held. They must have been held within the country's current borders at any time since the modern games began.
Q4: One of the saddest things to ever happen on the celebrity version of the show, Pointless Celebrities, was when Lee Mack spent 7 hours in London traffic to appear on his favorite game show only for his partner to give such a bad answer that by the time it was Lee's turn, they had already lost, and nothing he did mattered. Because Pointless sometimes has rounds featuring people with the same name, this seemed like the best way to honor him.
FAMOUS LEIGHS OR LEES: Listed below are clues to the identities of people who have Leigh or Lee as a first name or surname. Name one of them. Include the letter of your response.
a. Canadian former MuchMusic VJ, now the host of CBC Radio's Definitely Not the Opera
b. American actress and former Miss America known for her portrayal of Catwoman
c. English screenwriter and director known for Topsy-Turvy and Vera Drake
d. Korean-American comic book artist and writer, currently co-publisher at DC Comics
e. English comedian and actor known for Not Going Out
f. Either signer of the Declaration of Independence who fits this category (will be scored separately)
g. Former chairman of Chrysler Corporation
h. American actress known for Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Single White Female
i. Canadian bassist and singer with the band Rush
j. American actor known for Pushing Daisies and Halt and Catch Fire
k. Lead singer of Sixpence None the Richer
l. American jazz singer and songwriter who provided the voices for four characters in Lady and the Tramp
m. Retired American professional golfer who was struck by lightning at the 1975 Western Open
n. American actor and skateboarder known for My Name is Earl and Almost Famous
o. British actress known for Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire
Q5: Science questions on Pointless are almost always about naming an element with a specific quality. I can remember four times they've been about something else, and two of those times, they've been about moons of the solar system. Here's a question about moons of the solar system!
SCIENCE: Name one of the 16 largest moons of the solar system by average diameter. They all have a diameter greater than 1000 km. #17, Enceladus, is ~500 km.
Q6: Music rounds are very popular. Sometimes they'll ask for any top 40 single or album by a certain artist, or they'll have song titles with colors in them and ask for the artists, or contestants will have to fill in a missing word in a song title. This seemed like the kind of song people around here should know something about.
MUSIC: Each artist listed below released at least one single with a title in the form of a question that reached the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Each song's title includes a question mark. Name one of those songs. Include the letter of your response. I won't accept Ain't She Sweet for a, because I couldn't find any evidence it was ever released with a question mark.
a. The Beatles
b. Tom Jones
d. Rod Stewart
f. Band Aid
g. Pet Shop Boys featuring Dusty Springfield
h. Phil Collins
i. Snoop Doggy Dogg
k. Toby Keith
l. Rihanna featuring Drake
Q7: In addition to somewhat normal questions about Olympics or snooker players, there are some unusual sports questions that sometimes turn up, like asking for male tennis players who have lost in the finals of Wimbledon, or any tennis player who has lost to Martina Navratilova in any Grand Slam finals. This question combines that sort of question with the theme of Pointlessness in general.
SPORT: Name any Major League Baseball team that has lost a World Series zero games to four. The scores of the individual games don't matter. I only need the team name, not the city or state.
Q8: Unfortunately for people like me, Pointless only accepts contestants who reside in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Fortunately, those things are all known by their initials, so I can sublimate my disappointment into writing questions on that theme.
UK of GB and NI: Listed below are clues to various people, places, and things with the initials UK, GB, or NI. Identify one of them. Include the letter of your response.
a. Educational institution where US Senator Mitch McConnell studied law
b. American duo whose "Crazy" peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2006
c. Australian territory and former penal colony named after Mary Howard by Captain James Cook
d. Stage name of Matthew Shafer, who had a US #5 hit with "Follow Me" in 2001
e. Scottish actor who starred in 300 and Dracula 2000
f. Hyphenated African country, declared independence from Portugal in 1973
g. British-Australian singer-songwriter best known for her song "Torn"
h. Brooklyn-based indie rock band fronted by Ed Droste
i. In quantum mechanics, the type of force-carrying particle that includes gluons and photons
j. German actor, b. 1944, who has appeared in many cult horror movies including Dracula 3000
k. Prime Minister of the UK, 2007-2010
l. Multinational "Gypsy punk" band fronted by Eugene Hütz
Q9: Another of my favorite categories is the Geography round. Asking for things like European capitals south of London, countries with E as the first vowel in their names, or non-Commonwealth countries the queen has visited, it's always a lot of fun to guess dozens of places and see what's right. For this question, I'm leaning closer to the WORDS-round style of geography question.
GEOGRAPHY: Name any country whose conventional short form name begins and ends with the same letter. By "country" I mean a sovereign state that's a member of the UN in its own right.
Q10: Another regular fixture of Pointless is the picture round. From showing a photo of a cricket team and having contestants name the players to showing actors with beards and having contestants name those actors, they provide all the looking-at-things-and-saying-what-those-things-are action anyone could hope for.
SWORDS: Below are scenes from films in which people are holding swords. Identify one of the films. Include the letter of your response.
Q11: On the show, an incorrect answer is worth 100 points. If both players give incorrect answers, they're said to have joined the "200 Club". Here's a question about a different sort of 200 club.
TELEVISION: Name any scripted drama or animated program that has aired 200 or more episodes as of September 14 2015 and is currently airing first-run episodes on the US channels ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, or The CW. This includes any show returning in the fall that hasn't started its new season yet. I won't accept Hawaii Five-O or other remakes of shows that originally aired 200 or more episodes.
Q12: One of my favorite questions I've seen in the Pointless app asks players to name the US President at the time of various historical events, mostly occurring outside the US. I hope to someday see that episode so I can see how well the contestants handled it. This is my attempt at a version of that.
HISTORY: Below is a list of historical events. Name the British or English monarch who ruled at the time of one of these events. Include the letter of your response. Answers without a regnal number or nickname will be considered the first of that name. Hint: none of them is named Richard, and nobody appears as an answer more than once.
a. Jesse Owens wins four Olympic gold medals
b. Ferdinand Magellan is killed
c. Construction of the Berlin Wall begins
d. President William McKinley is assassinated
e. Alex Trebek is born
f. John Brown conducts his raid on Harpers Ferry
g. Galileo discovers the four largest moons of Jupiter
h. The storming of the Bastille occurs
i. Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated
j. The Battle of the Alamo is fought
k. Osman I founds the Ottoman Empire
l. Abel Tasman becomes the first European to sight New Zealand
m. Virginia Dare is born in the Roanoke Colony
n. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson die
o. Pope Clement V formally disbands the Knights Templar
Q13: This question has different scoring than the previous questions! When there's a tie for the highest score in a round of Pointless, they enter "lockdown". Each team must give another answer to that round's question, and the team with the highest score is eliminated. This is my attempt at a much less harsh homage to that situation, and it works like regular Pointless, except you're the "100 people".
LOCKDOWN: Choose one of the previous 12 questions and answer it again with a different answer. You must include the number of the question and, if the question required it, the letter of your response. You may not use the RICHARD or XANDER helps for this question.
Your score for this question will be equal to the number of players who gave that answer for the original question. Wrong answers will receive points equal to the wrong answer score for that question. Answers that were originally Pointless are worth one point. Answers that were originally unused are considered Pointless answers and will earn zero points. This is not a tiebreaker; it adds to your score normally.
Please submit your answers using this Google Form.