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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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!


EPL at the BCL: SparQs Fly!

3rd of December, 2016, saw Choose To Thinq conduct a SparQ session at the British Council Library. It was themed on the English Premier League. A SparQ session involves discussion, retelling of experiences and learning new things about the subject through a quiz. With a knowledgeable fan base to entertain itself, share opinions and argue statistics, the session was charged with EPL-mania. Our veteran host for the evening, Pranav 'Floyd' Joshi captained the team well with interesting questions and facts. In the spirit of the session, he showed yellow and red cards for foul play. The person who answered the most number of correct answers even got a whistle.

Lasting about an hour, the gathered spectators' only grumble was the lack of overtime.  And as always, our true satisfaction lied in facilitating this interaction and learning a few new things ourselves

Some Questions. Can you answer them?

  1. This club’s nickname doesn’t derive from the current name of the Football Club as believed by many. It infact derives from the club’s earlier name which was ‘Thames Ironworks’.

What nickname, that also features on the club’s crest, is being talked about?

  1. “When the fixtures come out I usually look for three games – City, Liverpool and Everton. This time I checked the Sunderland game. If there is one team that I want to beat this season it will be Sunderland.” Which player said this ahead of his team’s 2012 fixture against Sunderland and why?
  1. What connects this exhaustive list?

Begovic - Stoke v Southampton, 2013. Howard - Everton v Bolton, 2012. Robinson - Tottenham v Watford, 2007. Friedel - Blackburn v Charlton, 2004. Schmeichel - Aston Villa v Everton, 2001

Comment your answers below. Also suggest interesting topics for us to conduct more sessions on!

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In the post-match press reports:


Magic SparQs

On the 1st of October, 2016, Choose To Thinq conducted a SparQ session on Harry Potter. This was conducted at Pagdandi Books Chai Cafe in Baner, Pune. A SparQ session involves discussion, retelling of experiences and learning new things about the subject through a quiz. We had a full house, with more than 70 people attending! The small and cozy venue was bursting with Potterheads, all eager to participate. What surprised us (or didn't actually!) was the difference between the age limits of the wizards and witches. While the youngest were around 5 and 6 years, the eldest crossed the 50s mark.

Lasting about an hour, the enthusiasm never fell till the end. Then the children and adults alike became quizmasters, showing off and learning new Harry Potter and J K Rowling facts. Our true satisfaction lied in facilitating this and learning a few new things ourselves ;)

Some Questions:

Gallery: img_20161001_111823  img_20161001_112602  img_20161001_113349  img_20161001_113405

Suggest interesting topics for us to conduct more sessions on!

Comment below :)

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.

5 Top Questions from our Game of Thrones quiz

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 2.46.18 PM As far as pub quizzes go, this one was certainly the most widely anticipated.

A Game of Thrones special quiz marked our Thinq2Win debut at the Irish Village in Pune. What with a customised menu and 'You Know Nothin’' coasters, to a 'Pin the Joffrey' game and prizes for White Walkers (in case you happened to walk in wearing all-white), it was a fantastic setting to get going with a quiz.

And it works especially when the QM is a fanboy as well. For Pranav Joshi, it was a dream evening. To set and host a quiz on his favourite topic and then to discuss / debate / meet and argue with fellow fans over A+B=C theories and Red Weddings vs Purple Weddings, we are sure, has been one of the highlights of his quiz-hosting journey so far!

What can we say - you just had to be there to soak in the complete experience. But in case you weren’t, here are five questions that you missed:

Answer in comments below!

  1. Although not all of them blonde, over 160 baby girls in the US were legally named after a famous title of a popular character on Game of Thrones. What?
  2. She is Titan's daughter and the child of the huge statue that guards the entrance of Braavos. In a different way, she comes to the aid of Arya in her journey. What am I talking about?
  3. The fifth episode of the third season is named ‘Kissed by fire’. It is a common phrase used by the Wildlings. What does it mean?
  4. He is a GoT fan who was given the copy of season 4 even before it was released. He even tweeted a picture of himself sitting on the Iron Throne and called it The Westeros Wing. Who?
  5. Who said this, and to whom: “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground."

Year That Was | Top 10 Best Quiz Answers of 2015

We asked one of our Quizmasters Deven Deshpande to pick his Top 10 Awesome Answers to Quiz Questions this year, and here they are. If you have the answers, leave them in the comments below!


1. When asked about his inspiration he said, “I started to thinking back to when I was a paper boy, one of those experiences about growing up in New Rochelle where I cut open this paper bundle and saw that Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valence had been killed” Who is talking and about what? (Pub Quiz)

(Deven: “A tough yet brilliant question, perfectly answered. Most people stop at The Day The Music Died.”)


2. The first Chief Minister of Assam, he was nicknamed Lokpriya, and was given the Bharat Ratna in 1999. Who? (Firodia School Quiz League)

(D: I didn’t know the answer to this myself! And it was totally murdered by a school kid!)


3. Syd, Millie and Olly were the mascots of the Olympic Games in 2000. If Millie is short for Millenium, what do the other two stand for? (Pub Quiz)

(D: The person answering this stopped me at the first line and answered correctly. Good stuff!)


4. This effect is often used to describe situations where there are contradicting descriptions of the same event. This term comes from a 1950 Akira Kurosawa movie of the same name. Identify the term/movie. (Pub Quiz)

(D: Rarely do people know this epic movie!)


5. They started with the photo of a baby - because baby faces are most loveable, and pasted onto it the eyes of poet Carl Sandburg, the forehead of Ernest Hemingway and the nose of Albert Einstein to create which iconic Hollywood character? (Pub Quiz)

(D: This was a beautifully framed Q and needed that maze-like working out and imagination to eventually get to the answer.)


6. He was designed as “Bending unit 22” and is described as an alcoholic, cigar-smoking, foul-mouthed, misanthropic robot. He features on the “Blackjack and hookers” meme. Who? (Pub Quiz)

(D: Tough Q since off beat/ non main stream sitcom. Really surprised it was answered perfectly.)


7. In the Mahabharata, the line “Naro va, Kunjaro va” is uttered by Yudhishthir when telling Dronacharya that someone died, but he isn’t sure if it is the man or the beast. What character does it refer to? (Pub Quiz)

(D: A rare Mythology Q in our pub quizzes which was smoothly countered by a beautiful answer. Of course, no working out here. Either you knew it or you didn’t.)


8. Originally featured in Thomas Harris’s novel, Buffalo Bill is based on six real-life serial killers. He wishes to make a “Woman suit” for himself. Which novel does he feature in? [Played by Ted Levine in the film adaptation] (Pub Quiz)

(D: Tricky Q that was perfectly answered with added info!)


9. The dictionary definition of a particular term states that it means “a link or connection; or a central or focal point.” What is this term’s “flagship” connection to a software and tech giant? [The name of the giant is used synonymously with seeking information on the internet] (Pub Quiz)

(D: Bob, who generally is great at leg pulling and putting off the QM, was the only person in the room who knew this one! 😄)


10. The Maharaja of Kashmir did not allow British civil and military officers to buy land in his state. As a result, they did THIS, unintentionally boosting the tourism industry of Kashmir in the process. What did they do? (Firodia School Quiz League)

(D: Equally magnificently worked out by a school student.)


Our treasure hunt to explore a library!

If you had chanced upon the British Library in Pune at 6 pm on Oct 7, you would have been baffled. People were running around, chattering excitedly. They were frenzily asking for this section and that, only to be old, they had to figure it out. And the librarians - quite contrary to their natural habit - were simply watching on in delight.  


Some of the participants


The British Council's Library, is one of Pune's most iconic destinations. It's usually a sombre, quiet place. But once in a while, they too want to show their fun side, and we helped them along!


So we conducted a Treasure Hunt - their first - on the occasion of their Customer Service Week. In all, 14 teams - in groups of two - ranging from little 7-year-olds to chaperoning 50-year-olds, mother-child pairs to best-friends, who devoured clue after clue to arrive at a "treasure". The clues that we had clandestinely placed across the library, were aimed at taking them around the place and helping them explore sections that they had perhaps not given much attention to earlier - from subject bays to labelled racks, and as a result, open them up to the different offerings the library already has - from games to stuffed toys to DVDs, and not just books.
Many clues were conjoined with little quizlets. And if the treasure hunters got stumped - well, what better place than a library!

Atharva & Ashwin, the winners

Everyone managed to finish the hunt, after much effort and toil. A father-son duo took home the "treasure", the father a long-time member who took as much delight in the exercise as his beaming teenager. The second team to "arrive" also took home a consolation prize - the rest had to settle for chocolates!

Choose To Thinq organisers with the British Library Staff

Why Agatha Christie hid two manuscripts in a safe.

2015 is the 125th birth anniversary of "The Queen of Crime", Agatha Christie. The 2015 Pune International Literary Festival celebrated the best-selling author with a special exhibition and a quiz that Choose To Thinq hosted on the occasion. Harish and Ramanand at P.I.L.F. 2015

The quiz was jointly presented by British Council, Pune and Choose To Thinq - this was based on a SparQue session conducted earlier in the year.

Some of the participants at the Agatha Christie Quiz

About 50 enthusiastic Agatha Christie fans took part, with ages ranging from 10 to 70+. The quiz was hosted Ramanand; incidentally, his Mastermind India-winning performance included a specialist quizzing round on "The Tommy & Tuppence books of Agatha Christie".

Participants also discussed their favourite Christie books, their most loved characters, how they got into reading Agatha Christie books, and recommended books to each other.

Some of the crowd's recommendations for the one Agatha Christie book that you should read if you are new to her books:

  • And Then There Were None
  • Murder in Mesopotamia
  • Murder on the Orient Express

Some questions from the quiz:

Q. The first and last mysteries that AC published were, respectively, Poirot and Marple novels. Name them. A. "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" and "Sleeping Murder".

Q. This form of poisoning was used in The Pale Horse. Agatha Christie was sometimes blamed for bringing it to the notice of would-be poisoners! This poison was in which chemical element's sulphate form? A. Thallium

Q. "Curtain" and "Sleeping Murder" (the last cases of Poirot and Marple respectively) were published after AC's death in the mid-1970s. However, these had been written 35-odd years ago. AC had put these stories in a safe and asked them to be published only after her death. Why did she do all this?

A. She wrote them during the beginning of World War II in Britain as she wasn’t sure if she would survive the war and its outcome. She wanted to ensure a proper ending to both Poirot and Marple, so she wrote their final books long before. She did survive the war!

The Agatha Christie Quiz at the 2015 Pune International Literary Festival

Agatha Christie Quiz at Pune International Literary Festival We are collaborating with the British Council, Pune to bring a special edition of our SparQue series to the 2015 Pune International Literary Festival. This will feature a re-run of our quiz on Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime and one of the most popular writers of all time!

Event Details (also see the details on this FB event):

      Date: Sat, 5 Sept 2015
      Time: 4:40 pm to 5:40 pm
      Venue: Session Hall - 2, YASHADA, Baner Road, Pune
      Entry into the premises for the festival requires prior registration. Register here

A festival like this often has last minute schedule & venue changes. Keep an eye out for the schedule here.

Warm up for this quiz by playing a little teaser quiz on Agatha Christie with us here!

SparQue - Harry Potter!

Harry Potter - SparQue session "Accio!"

Summoning all Potter fans to a special SparQue session on, you guessed it, the World of Harry Potter.

A "SparQue" session is a quiz based on a popular topic that lets you learn about a books & movies and also lets you express yourself to like-minded people. The session will be participative and you don't have to have read or watched the series in question. In the process, we will also explore interesting ideas from the series.

Why should I attend: - if you are interested or want to get interested in such books/films/series - if you like mentally stimulating, fun activities - if you have a point of view on the book/film/series

This edition of SparQue will cover the entire spectrum of the Potter universe, from the books to the movies to the characters. We'll try to send a Confundo charm your way, so bring your wand!

Entry is free for all, including non-members. Feel free to get your friends along!

To know more, visit the event page here.