Mystified by how quizzers solve questions? Here's how.

If you are new to quizzing, especially to higher and competitive grades of college and 'open' quizzing in India, you may have struggled with solving trivia questions. In this Slideshare presentation, Ramanand gives you a glimpse of how you can tackle these questions using what you know, finding clues, and taking informed guesses.

20 Years later...

20 Years later...

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was first published on the 26th of June 1997. A new universe full of magic, murder, mystery, Dobby, Draco and dragons burst forth and strongly captivated audiences and mesmerized millions. The universe continues to do so 20 years on. 26th June 2017 marks this anniversary of a global phenomenon with celebrations all over the world.

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How I learnt to avoid the worst question ever: ‘What else?’

According to an article I read recently, the topics people usually end up talking about in most social settings are work, maids, children etc. I guess that’s because these are the things they have in common (or think they do).

The easiest way to connect with people and converse with them *is* to find commonality, no doubt about it. Think of any group you enjoy being part of – there is some commonality that binds the group and conversations are fun because everyone ‘gets’ the jokes. Learning more about the interests of your friends – what they like, what they hate – helps in finding more topics of commonality and helps you connect better. This is where quizzing has helped me a lot – to connect with strangers as well as friends and relatives! If I’m sitting in a pub and someone answers a question on House M.D. or Sherlock, there is an unconscious connection made (though Sherlock would find it difficult to connect with them. Humans, that is).

Quizzing helps you in avoiding that worse case scenario when it comes to conversations: What else? It is all pretty much downhill from there. The best friends I have are the ones I found through the world of quizzing. I have many friends that I first met outside of the world of quizzing, but the best conversations that I have had with them have happened courtesy quizzing. Quizzing or the game of Q&A (whether you’re asking or answering) is after all, a manifestation of the most innate qualities that defines us as human beings – curiosity. You’re not just a passive consumer but are alive to the conversation. We owe it to ourselves and our friends to have better conversations!

To give you an example: Luigi Galvani had once proposed the idea of animal electricity based on the twitching of a dead frog’s leg. Allesandro Volta later found that it just proved there was no such thing as animal electricity; the frog’s leg was simply a conductor of electricity. Now, a Galvanic reaction is also the principle used in primary batteries to generate electrical voltage. I studied metallurgy, hence this is of added significance to me. A few years ago, I had an accident on a two-wheeler as I lost my balance while trying to avoid crushing a frog that was crossing the road. Luckily I didn’t hurt myself too badly. Couple of days later, I was recounting this story to two of my friends and one of them quips,”Oh! You had a Galvanic reaction!” Now that you know the background, I’m sure my friend’s response to my accident makes lot of sense and explains why I enjoyed it so much and remember it 13 years later.

It’s simple. The interesting conversations stay with you, the boring / mediocre ones don’t. Isn’t it time we skewed the ratio?

What else?

 Harish is co-founder, Choose To Thinq and Thinq2Win

Shining Stars at Doolally

Doolally All-Stars

This year, along with Doolally, Choose To Thinq under its brand Thinq2Win decided to end the year with a novel idea. After brainstorming, we came up with a way to reward the consistent and the best, the All-Stars of the pub-quizzes we conduct every Wednesday at the Doolally tap-rooms. We also included the best of #doolallyq: The on-line Twitter quiz we conduct for Doolally every Friday. 30 contestants were selected who divided themselves into 15 teams. Big Honour, Bragging Rights, Beer and Interesting Fun was up for grabs.

Conducted at 8 PM on the 15th of December 2016, Thursday, the elimination round were a written round. Top 4 teams qualified into the finals face-off. All the teams were excellent with a close-cut off where teams were just 1/2 points behind each other.

The points were called pints, an you guessed it; that's exactly what they won! For the entire of 2017, these lucky winners will be entitled to these many pints of beer:

Aditya Gadre & Nikhila Makker: 51 Harun T & Monish: 50 Febin Mathew and Lakshman Parsuram: 50 (Lost on tie-breaks) Aditya M and Bharat: 27



At Thinq2Win we always strive to do something different in everything we do. And we took ample opportunity to try something new this time since this was an inaugural edition. This time we introduced a round called 'Clunacy'. In this round, answers were themed around words which mean 'mad'. All the three answers of a set contained a word that means 'mad'. Can you attempt this set?

1.Uzi and Mongoose are types of these in cricket 2. Logo of the largest privately held, family-owned spirits company in the world 3. Flying mammals

The quiz was conducted by the immensely experienced B V Harish Kumar. He was ably assisted by Deven Deshpande. The audience was enthusiastic too and supported the teams throughout by staying till the end. The organization of logistics by Doolally was top-notch and they even gave us T-Shirts :D

Overall a successful wrap once again!

Grey Cells Matter at S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research


Choose To Thinq was invited to conduct a quiz at the prestigious S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research in Mumbai on the 7th of December 2016. Grey Matter is a quiz with the aim of engaging and bringing together people from different programs in the institute, who otherwise do not mingle with each other. This included faculty, staff and PG students. Thus the age of the participants ranged from 30 to 70 years! We even lent them a hand to promote the quiz internally, by providing questions.


The quizmaster for the day was J. Ramanand. It was coordinated with the help of Deven Deshpande.


The quiz was on general knowledge, with a slight emphasis on 'Business', since it was in a management institution. Almost 30 3-member teams participated. The top 4 teams were taken into the finals with 2 more from among the faculty and staff. The quiz had a tight finish as all the participants were well prepared and quick to recall and deduce the answers from the clues provided. The winner was declared by the last question, that too on a buzzer!

We strive to add something different in every quiz or engagement event we do. This time was no different. We has a special third 'Super-Sub' round. In this round, one member of each team was replaced with members from teams which had just missed out: the 'honourable' mentions. Needless to say this was very-well received and added to fulfilling the objective of the event: Engaging with people in the institute you don't generally interact with on a daily basis.

The organization was efficient (management institute after all! :) ) and the audience added to the excitement with their active participation.

Overall, another successful wrap!


IndiQa 2016 results

The important thing is not to stop questioning . . . Never lose a holy curiosity. - Albert Einstein (1955)

Curiosity and thus, a question is at the heart of everything - a discovery, a question, a revolution, a change. A question is also a great way to learn more about something as you actively engage with the topic at hand. We thought the Independence Day will be a great occasion to learn more about India and what could be a better way to do that but a quiz!

India is a wonderful country - not only with a great history, culture, heritage, contributions to the world in almost every sphere of life. It is impossible to capture the idea of India in 30 questions and at IndiQa 2016, we have barely touched upon the topics and themes we could have.

We had over 70 students registering for IndiQa 2016.. The students were from all over the country - Guwahati to Vadodara, Hubli to Chandigarh, Patna to Solapur and of course, Pune. The quiz was conducted on 15 August. You can play the IndiQa 2016 Perisqope to check out the questions (and the answers)!

Most participants did very well and we had to use the tie-breaker rules to break ties for the first and the 10th positions! The top three students of IndiQa 2016 all got a perfect score of 30 and were separated only based on the time taken to complete the quiz.

The top ten students are

  1. Vinaya N, City Pride School, Pune
  2. Vaibhav J, Amity International School, Saket, New Delhi
  3. Swastika P, GIIS, Chinchwad, Pune
  4. Aadhit M, Gurukul school, Pune
  5. Parth C, Delhi Public School, Vadodara
  6. Chirag C, DAV BSEB, Patna
  7. Amitoj K, DAV Public School, Pune
  8. Kautuk R, Rajendra Vidyalaya, Jamshedpur
  9. Rutuja G, City Pride School, Pune
  10. Shrirang P, City Pride School, Pune

There was a 6-way tie for the 10th position and the following students just missed out :

  • Yash H, Bishops co ed school, Undri
  • Suyash B, City Pride School, Pune
  • Chaitrali B, Deccan Education Society (DES), Pune
  • Aryan K, Vidya Valley, Pune
  • Neeraj S, Sucheta Memorial, Gurgaon

The winners received an Amazon Gift voucher of Rs. 1000/- (first position), Rs. 500/- (second position) and Rs. 250/- (third position) which will be emailed to the registered email ids submitted during registration for IndiQa 2016.

The top 10 students will receive a certificate of participation that will be sent to their schools by post. We will be contacting some of the students by e-mail to confirm the postal address of their school to send the certificates.

IndiQa - an online schools quiz by Choose To Thinq

  • The quiz link will be available between 11 AM and 12 noon on15 August, 2016. The link for the quiz is
  • You will not be able to access the quiz before 11 AM, IST on 15 August :-)
  • Please enter all the details - your name, registered email id, class, school and city at the beginning of the quiz.
  • Please try to finish the quiz well before 12 noon otherwise yoursubmission may not be accepted.
  • In case of ties, we will use answers to some starred questions and the time taken for the whole quiz to be completed. So try to complete the quiz as soon as you can!
  • In case you are not able to complete the quiz due to some technical reason, please try and take the quiz again. We will consider only completed submissions.
  • The final result will be announced by August 20 on this page and by email on your registered email ids.
  • We will send certificates to the top 10 students, addressed to the schools.
  • The top 3 students will receive gift vouchers.

At Choose To Thinq, we believe that a good question is always the beginning of something special. Curiosity about a topic always spurs you to learn more and thus, derive greater pleasure from it. What can be a better topic than India to learn more about? The more we find out about our fascinating country, the more reasons we have to celebrate!
Choose To Thinq will be conducting IndiQa - an online quiz for schools on August 15th, 2016. The questions will be about all things India and is open to all students studying in Classes V to X.

Details about the quiz:
  • The quiz will cover all topics about India - history, geography, sports, entertainment, culture, science, current affairs, travel, literature, films, literature, personalities etc.
  • Students will participate as individuals. Please register for the quiz using the form below. The link for the quiz will be sent to the email ids registered before 6 PM, IST on 14th August, 2016.
  • The quiz will be conducted online on the quizzing platform, Perisqope.
  • The quiz link will be open for one hour between 11 AM and 12 PM, IST on 15th August, 2016.
  • Participants can attempt the quiz from any location, using a PC/laptop/mobile device connected to the internet. It is not required for the participants to go to any specific location (school/exam centre) to attempt this quiz.
  • In case of ties, the time taken to answer the quiz and answers to star-marked questions will be used to break the ties. All decisions by Choose To Thinq will be final.
  • The final result will be announced by August 20th, 2016. The top 3 students will receive prizes and the top 10 students will receive certificates through their schools.


What to expect in the quiz?

Questions in this quiz will be about topics such as, but not limited to:

  • Events in Indian history
  • Prominent figures and places from Indian history, sportspeople, scientists
  • Pre- and Post-Independence history
  • Heritage monuments and other places
  • Cultural practices (food, language, arts & culture) that are considered part of the heritage of India and other countries
  • Concepts & Terms from tourism, travel, and geography
  • Food, Language, Culture, Geography of India
  • Performing arts such as dance, theatre, traditional arts and culture of India
  • Books, comics, and fictional characters
  • Writers, painters, performers, and other types of artists


We also recommend you sign up on Perisqope and play a few quizzes to get used to the platform. Click here to sign up on Perisqope.

Please fill the form below to register for IndiQa - the schools quiz by Choose To Thinq. (Can't view the form? Go here)

Ammunition, Nappies, Research Papers and a position in the Pune Municipal Corporation

Are you wondering what could have brought ammunition, nappies, research papers and a position in the Pune Municipal Corporation together in one sentence? Well, it all started last Thursday, when I got a call from K S Prakash, the MD of IDeaS (a SAS company) if we could host a quiz at the awards function for the 12th AJM Corporate Cricket tournament. The conversation was interesting :

Prakash: But are you comfortable with cricket as a topic?

Me : of course, I’m a fan!

Prakash : Right! I know that’s like asking someone ‘is the sky blue’ but just wanted to confirm :-)


We put together a fun and interesting set of questions that would appeal to the cricketers and the arm-chair fans alike and to top it all, Dilip Vengsarkar was the Chief Guest and gave away the awards.

Well, we had to ask a question about Mumbai batsmen and the Lord's honour board :

Before Ajinkya Rahane in 2014, who was the last Mumbai batsman to score a Test hundred at Lord’s?


The quiz was fun – with umpires being quizzed on their syllabus :

Which fielding position in cricket, beside deep cover on the boundary, shares its name with a defensive position in football, in which the defender is traditionally required to clear the ball off the goal line? It could also be someone employed by PMC.


The winning captain from TCS was asked about famous sledges



The most enthusiastic cricketer from Tech M was asked about Ammunition and cars :

And a 9 year-old was grilled on matches played between India and Pakistan in World Cups (he was spot on with his knowledge of matches played well before he even born).

This question on a research paper in Operational Research was fittingly cracked by Navin :

The writers published this paper in the Journal of the Operational Research Society in Mar 1998 and one of the two authors used to edit the newsletter of Royal Society of Statisticians. Who are these people?


And we ended the quiz with this question


Some thoughts that stayed with me :

  • Dilip Vengsarkar talked about grabbing an opportunity when it presents itself  - he did that with his famous knock in the Irani Trophy against the best Indian bowlers. He spoke about the importance of grabbing your chances again when talking about his stint as the Chairman of Selectors.
  • The whole genesis of the Ankur Joglekar Memorial corp. cricket tournament really struck a chord. He was a young man - passionate about cricket, whose real-life innings was tragically cut short in a road accident. Since then, the family, friends and more importantly, his employer IDeaS have put in lot of efforts to keep his spirit and the fire going.  IDeaS has been organizing the tournament every year – this was the 12th edition and by all accounts, it has now developed into a well-organized,  much sought-after annual feature of the corporate cricket calendar in Pune.
  • Dilip Vengsarkar told a story about Javed Miandad which was another great example of why he was called street-smart (and a great business lesson for me) I’m not sure if I should recount it here but at the end of it, when Vengsarkar said,”Well that’s Javed for you” – even those who heard this story for the first time, nodded knowingly!!!
  • While we have asked about the century Vengsarkar missed while playing at Sialkot in 1984 when the match was abandoned, I learned that day that he almost got timed out in Australia once when he was scheduled to come in at No. 3 after Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan.

It was a great evening with some very knowledgeable cricket fans and excellent amateur players – all getting together to have some fun. The biggest learning for me, though, was – when the prizes for the quiz are as good as a bat autographed by the Lord of the Lord’s, I should ask the organizers to reserve one prize for myself.

How to work out answers in a quiz?

Quizzers new to the Indian open quizzing circuit often find the questions hard to crack. Good quizzes often try to design questions such that answer scan be 'worked out' with the help of hints. Like with learning to solve cryptic crosswords, it's often just a matter of learning the rules, figuring out where the embedded hints could be, and patiently trying to answer questions. Ramanand put together a 'annotated' version of one of his quizzes to show just how one can learn to answer questions in such a setting. Here it is. Hope this helps you make progress as a quizzer! (Tell us in the comments below if it did.)