Staff Reporter

R. Deepak and A. Varun emerge victorious in Tiruchi regional quiz final

TIRUCHI: Tie-breakers, reverberating buzzers, wild guesses… regional final of The Hindu Young World Quiz 2008 had all this and much more on Monday.

Tricky questions in preliminary rounds made it tough for the students to crack it with ease. Audience had to rake their brains for questions like ‘Why do people remember Francis Scott Key’ (who authored U.S. National Anthem), ‘Which state does the vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin hail from?’ (Alaska).

Questions on movies, cartoons and music, as expected, enjoyed many takers. There were quite a few on history, politics, astrology, zoology and Harry Potter, enough to trigger the inquisitive minds. But the round just gave a hint of what was ahead in the finals.

Six teams – R.S.K. Higher Secondary School, Tiruchi; Cluny Matriculation HSS, Salem; Aditya Birla Public School, Reddipalayam (Ariyalur district); Chettinad Rajah Muthiah Matriculation HSS, Karur; Sri Akilandeswari Vidyalaya, Tiruchi; and Sri Sivananda Balalaya, Tiruchi – took to the stage by topping the preliminary round.

The ‘T20 version,’ as the quizmaster V. V. Ramanan termed it, of this year’s quiz took a new avatar by packing in 30 questions in 45 minutes. Making quizzing more interesting, there was a snake-and-ladder game appended to each question, which though did not count in the overall scores helped a team win a special prize.

Guesses turned funny as the competition became tougher. Rounds like ‘unscramble,’ ‘be the quiz master,’ and ‘Jai Hind’ earned solid laugh for minutes when wild guesses ruled the show. ‘Shoot-out,’ which is a buzzer round, turned out to be the darling of all, as it shot up the scores of most of the teams on stage.

Finalists did not lose the chance to audience by promptly taking the questions like ‘Who wears Fisherman’s Rings’ (Pope), ‘Which two places are separated by ‘Cook Strait’ (North and South New Zealand), ‘What is the sacred bird of Egyptians? (Ibis) and ‘Which bird can fly up, down and backwards? (Humming Bird).

But audience, too, had their moments of glory. Many walked away with hefty prizes for cracking several questions in a jiffy that finalists failed to pick right.

Scores took a backseat during the tightly packed event and just when the participants began to work out the marks earned, results were put on board. The duo – R. Deepak and A. Varun – from R.S.K. Higher Secondary School, with difference of three points, emerged winners.

They pocketed Rs. 8,000 and the duo will be participating in the all India finals to be held in Visakhapatnam.

Lady Luck smiled upon S. Swaathirathna and T. Poornima Devi from Cluny Matriculation HSS in the buzzer round, helping them to scale up in the score board and share second position with M. Pravin and Joel Joy from Aditya Birla Public School. The tie-breaker question for the runner-up, too, favoured the Salem school at the end. Aditya Birla had to be satisfied with the third spot.

K.S.Kawin Kumaran and P. Sivaguha from Chettinad Rajah Muthiah Matriculation HSS finished fourth. Boys from Akilandeswari Vidyalaya – E. Prithvi Raj and N. Naresh Krishna, and S. Fazil and V. Satish Bharathwaj from Sri Sivananda Balalaya took the fifth and sixth positions respectively.

After the mind-raking session, the audience enjoyed a musical feast by playback singer Deepan Chakaravarthi who was the chief guest of the occasion.

As many as 381 two-member teams from about 115 schools took part in the event.

The title sponsor for this year’s quiz is Associate sponsors are DC Books Mango, Vizag Steel Plant, Pepsico Cheetos and Kissan Amaze Brainfood.

The national sponsors are State Bank of Travancore, Firefox Bikes, Lotte Caramilk, Reynolds, Penguin Books, Cycle Pure Agarbathies and Encyclopedia Britannica. Regional sponsors are Eagle Controls, Brilliant Tutorials, Elite Enterprises, ARC Aqua Pura, Hotel Sangam and Mahindra Holidays.

The event is managed by Quizwalahs.