Trivial mistakes creep into quiz

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The Independent Online
FOR WHICH club did Kevin Keegan first play professional football? According to the board game Trivial Pursuit, the answer is Cuba. Cuba? Or try this one. What was the Beatles' first hit record? The board game has it as Danny Blanchflower.

Families have fallen out over such answers, principally because the game is always right, however blatantly wrong its answers may be. But all that changed yesterday: the man who sets the questions and answers admitted that (very occasionally) he might just get the answer wrong.

Brian Highley has set more than 100,000 questions since 1984, and is proud of his record in getting things right. But mistakes do creep in, he acknowledges. Ask Kenneth Clarke.

A Tory minister's description of Third World countries as 'bongo bongo land' was attributed to the Home Secretary, who took exception to being confused with the real culprit, the former defence minister Alan Clark. Mr Highley had to apologise and make a donation to Oxfam, but he blames an inaccurate reference book.

The mistakes normally happen at the type-setting stage. Mr Highley writes the questions and answers on his computer, then the list goes to the head office in Barbados. 'Someone there will look at an answer and think it doesn't seem right and change it. If I don't spot something has been changed, it ends up wrong.'

For instance, players were asked where carpets would have been produced if made on the original Axmister looms. The answer is Wilton, because these looms were transferred there, but the typesetters omitted the word 'original'.

But did Mr Highley really think Keegan once played for Cuba? 'Sport is my weakest section,' he admitted. What's the difference between Havana and Scunthorpe between friends?

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