The "brains" reveal Trivia strategy


The Lawrentian, February 4, 1977.

"It's an addiction. Every year I try to pass it by, but I can't. And my friends can't help me, because they're addicted too." Bill Edminster's addiction is not trivial; it is Trivia Weekend which begins this Friday at 10:00 pm on WLFM, 91.1.

Edminster and his friends, the Phi Taus, won last year's contest and are "so paranoid this year about sabotage that the Phi Taus would rather not release their team's name early." Several years ago the Phi Tau team was sent chocolate cookies laced with Ex-Lax which when eaten in large quantities sent some of the members to the hospital, removing them from competition.

Edminster says "The Trivia Contest's questions should cover a wide enough spectrum so that everyone on campus should be able to answer a few of them. For example, one year Jim Thompson was only able to answer two questions for the Phi Tau team, but those two questions, one about a Gregorian chant and another about the second half of a dirty Yiddish proverb, were crucial and could only have been answered by Jim Thomson."

Edminster, mean-while, has brought a copy of The Lives of the Saints and a guide to Middle Earth from home and has sat in one of Chaney's classes this term to gather more trivia. Edminster also says the Phi Taus use their Trivia file to answer one out of five trivia questions.

Ted Donovan of the Figi team says "A Trivia file is just not sporting. A true Trivia player should be able to answer questions using only his brain without the help of outside sources." Donovan, however, has several trivia dictionaries which "unfortunately are not cross-indexed. You have to know some trivia already to use these books. For example, you have to know that Robert Wagner played Al Mundi in order to look under Robert Wagner to find out Al Mundi's telephone number." And by the way, Donovan admits he is "the brain of the Figi team, Flying Sicilian, which will be this year's winning team."

L'Angelo Misterioso is also returning this year to its annual headquarters in Ormsby lounge. The name L'Angelo Misterioso was the same name used by George Harrison when he played on one of Cream's albums. One of L'Angelo's annual players, Mark Cieslewicz, says "Our team will depend on the leadership of players like Jim Peterson and Steve Schultz, but the team's real strength will come from any freshmen sections we can draft."

Walter Deutsch estimates that the Plantz team will have "twelve hard-core members with twenty-five people participating at any one time. Plantz's team will use the front desk to coordinate the activities of its workers." Plantz's team motto is "Remember Peter is watching." Peter the Armadillo was last year's team name, but as of this writing the Plantz team has not decided on this year's name.

Edminster, Donovan, Cieslewicz, and Deutsch are some of the old timers committed to Trivia Weekend, but what about the new-comers, the class of 1980? Donovan says he fears the freshmen. "Sure the Figis will win Trivia this year unless there are ten brilliant freshmen concentrated on one team. Who knows?"

A freshman, Tom Dwyer, says his Colman team "will depend on the mass brain power" of the freshmen in Colman. In any case, there will be many Unknowns working during Trivia Weekend and these teams are only a few of those which will spring up spontaneously both on and off campus.