The iQuiz final: '50% More Moustache' victorious by a whisker

 

On Tuesday night, 18 crack teams of students convened at Birmingham's Ikon Gallery for the inaugural iQuiz. Each team had battled through regional heats in November, lured by an unforgettable prize: a two-week trek across America.

The quiz itself was compiled by The Independent and i's indisputable master of arcane trivia, Simon O'Hagan. Simon sets the quiz that appears in The Independent every Saturday, and is, as such, a preposterous fount of esoteric factlets. He had the decency on this occasion to set his questions at a level at least partially comprehensible to the ordinary human brain, though his general knowledge rounds might better have been called highly specific knowledge rounds.

Check out a gallery of pictures from the night right here

Our intrepid contestants should probably have guessed that a quiz organised by a newspaper might be likely to contain an in-the-news round. Those wise enough to read that morning's i were duly rewarded. Those who hadn't presumably had a harder time of identifying Bamako as Mali's capital, or Eastleigh as the site of a forthcoming by-election.

The stand-out round was the 'hairdressers round'. For some reason – one not even the otherwise omniscient O'Hagan can explain – proprietors of British haircare emporia are unusually keen on punning names for their shops. The object of this round, therefore, was to work out hair-based puns from cryptic clues. For instance, which hairdresser is named after a character from medieval Arabian literature? And which gets its name from the famous Roman general murdered on the Ides of March? (Don't miss i next week for the quiz in full).

The second 'general' knowledge round was actually almost doable, meanwhile, provided one knew the position in John Betjeman's life occupied by Archibald Ormsby-Gore (his teddy bear of course). As it happened, not one team did, but that didn't stop the inscrutable O'Hagan from plotting a teddy bear round in some fiendish future quiz of his. The picture round was almost a respite, although while our teams could be forgiven for not recognising James Joyce or Bjorn Borg, one might have expected Penelope Pitstop and Tina Turner would be more familiar. Western Civilisation needn't quake just yet however; everyone managed Lindsey Lohan.

The quiz came down to the absolute wire. While the markers conducted frantic Florida-style recounts, i editor Stefano Hatfield stepped into the breach with an impromptu Q&A-cum-stand-up routine.

In the end, there were two teams and just one point in it. Commiserations to the God Works In Quizterious Ways, noble battlers from Warwick, who were pipped at the last moment 99 to 100 by Birmingham's surging '50% More Moustache'. The winners' knackered celebrations were testament to a gruelling evening of mental combat.

It couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch: four housemates Jonathan Jones, Richard Tasker, Harry Proud and Harry Thorpe. Their fifth housemate had previously said that if they won, he'd buy tickets for himself and their sixth housemate to fly out and join them. Surely he's got to make good on his promise?

Thanks must go to our sponsors Endsleigh and Trek America, without whose largesse none of this could have been possible, and to the backroom staff at i, whose hard work was similarly indispensable to a night of brilliant fun.

And to the disappointed: there's a second iQuiz in the pipeline. As ever, watch this space.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Software Developer

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Software Developer i...

AER Teachers: Graduate Primary TA - West London - Autumn

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

AER Teachers: Graduate Secondary TA - West London

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Surrey - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Croy...

SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea