For the benefit of Portuguese readers who may be unfamiliar with traditional UK Quiz Nights (QN), a short introduction.
They are normally held in pubs, rather than restaurants; in fact I have never heard of a restaurant quiz evening.
The usual format is at least 4 teams, consisting of 4-6 people- anything less is not much of a competition. The number of players in the team would be stated, as it would be an unfair advantage to have a bigger team.
You need to have people with a spread of knowledge; history, popular culture, music, geography as things can become quite competitive, although we all maintain it’s just for fun!
The teams give themselves a name, something deprecating like “The Losers”, who are determined to be any thing but.
Sneaking off to the toilet to phone a friend is frowned upon.
Plenty of space is essential because you don’t want the other tables to hear you discussing the answer.
Arguing with the quiz host is part of the process, but the host has the final word and what the answer sheet says is gospel.
The event is spread over a couple of hours, with a break to munch sandwiches and sausage rolls and buy another round.
That’s the reason for pub quiz nights- to get everyone drinking and away from the pub down the road.
QUIZ QUESTION #1: Which night was Quiz Night and how many people were in the T9 quiz team?
We thought this would be an easy one, considering it could have been the very last night your life would ever be normal.
Let’s see what the contestants have to say. Russell O’Brien starts well. He says there was a trivia quiz on Tuesday or Wednesday conducted by the unnamed aerobics instructor.
He says Tuesday was the first night they were altogether,” 9 of us actually present “. He then goes onto say that the night the quiz took place was “ that was the night I wasn’t there” because he was looking after a sick child.
He remembers Rachael Oldfield wasn’t there either because she was ill.
Not the most confident answer, but he seems to be confirming that Wednesday was Quiz Night. That was the night before Maddie disappeared.
Kate and Gerry make no mention of the quiz at all, as far as we can see.
Dianne Webster remembers there was a quiz night, but can’t remember if it was Tuesday or Wednesday. She says nothing more about it, so was she there?
Jane Tanner elaborates. The quiz was on two nights. One of them might be Tuesday.
One was a mini quiz of 5-10 minutes (how boring is that!) and the other a couple of rounds. She confirms their child was sick on Wednesday and didn’t attend the children’s club. She doesn’t mention anything more, so was she there?
David Payne was definitely there, because he remembers chatting to the Pilates and aerobics instructor one night, without saying which night. He does say they stayed until late on Wednesday night.
Fiona Payne was definitely there too, but she has to ask the interviewing police officer for help, which is against pub quiz rules. The officer isn’t much help so Fiona gamely tries to remember. She’s not sure if it was Monday, as there was potentially a second type of quiz night.
For Fiona, it also might be Wednesday because they were not in a row. She remembers there was some banter which they all joined in and that they LOST.
Well, there’s a first for everything.
She remembers inviting the quiz mistress for drinks at the table at the latter part of the meal.
Matthew Oldfield describes a few sort of tables around that were occupied and that one night there was a quiz. Did the rest of the early sitting diners simply sit around waiting for the T6/7/(?) to finish their meal before the quiz could start?
And how did the Tapas child checking system fit into QN? Did all QN stop until the player returned?
One can only guess that those that had chosen to pay for the night nanny service not to be too satisfied with this, and protest...
And within each team, did the choice on who had to go and check the children befall on the one who knew the least about topic of the question in question? You know, if was sports, it was lady that would be picked to go...
Now this would appear to give those teams who had paid for the nannies, an unexpected bonus, but that, we’re sure, would be considered CHEATING! If they went to do checks they could be finding answers instead! It's worse than 'phoning a friend'!
Matthew also mentions going for a run with Kate at lunchtime because Rachael was ill in the apartment. (What a gent, leaving her to vomit alone) He doesn’t tell us anything about which night. So was he there?
This is a long question, so to clarify, let’s check Najoua Chekaya’s (NC) answer to make things easier
After all, she does the hosting, so, surely she should know better than anyone.
NC says QN at the Tapas was on Tuesday and Sunday nights.
She remembers sitting at the table after Gerry invited her over for a drink. Right; so that’s Gerry there then.
She was there from 21.30 -21.50. One seat was empty and she wasn’t sure if she saw David Payne or Kate.
In the book Vanished, by Danny Collins, written in 2008 before the PJ files were released, NC held QN at the Tapas on Thursday evening, the night Maddie disappeared and was invited to join them at the table.
Obviously he got it wrong, hence the confusing stories as to Which Night was Quiz Night? But Danny is an investigative journalist and obviously got much of his information from Clarence Mitchell or sources close to the family, as he says CM was made aware of the book’s contents.
Collins also provides a link to the fund.
The Daily Mail had previously reported on August 16th 2007 that Najoua was chatting with the Tapas group on the night that Maddie had disappeared. “That night, Ms Chekaya had organised a bar quiz at the Ocean Club resort where the McCanns were staying. Her evidence is understood to corroborate the McCanns’ movements in the hour before the disappearance was discovered.” NB:
For Najoua’s statement to be corroborated, there would HAVE to have been a minimum of 2 other teams of 4, which with quiz mistress would mean an extra 9 people OTHER than the T9 to interview as witnesses that QN had been on Thursday.
Or on any other night, as you may pick out of the many that the T9 have put at your disposal to choose from.
However, in any of those nights, you still need those 18 people present.
And waiters, bartenders, cooks, and kitchen-helpers don’t count. If the QN was done exclusively between the T9, then how the 2 teams were split up would be remembered by all, including NC (at least better than the seating arrangements around the BIG ROUND TABLE).
If Gerry had invited her to his table of four players then she did not sit with the other four. Not to say that this blog has already said that it found very strange that that joyful and smiling company was so little remembered.
I now need to confer with my team members for the correct answers, so pass the sandwiches round (or if we're having dinner while playing do mind the forks, no answers with your mouth full please, and do be careful and don't blot the answer sheet) and mine’s a white wine, anything but Chardonnay.
QUIZ QUESTION #2, what does… no, you’re right, no use continuing with the Quiz until question #1 is adequately clarified, otherwise we would all be playing a FICTITIOUS QN, wouldn’t we?
As said before, this blog leaves those frustrating attempts of transforming fiction into fact to some would-be “alchemists”