Trivia Questions and the Most Obvious Answer

Further to yesterday’s post about Nick Zedd, where I called Zedd a “Cinema of Transgression icon,” it reminded me of one of my favorite strategies for playing trivia games, such as bar trivia or even Trivial Pursuit. Whenever you’re presented with a question about a very specific and obscure topic, try to select the most obvious answer.

For example:

Which “Yippie” was expelled as a sophomore from Classical High School in Worcester, Massachusetts after questioning the existence of God?

This question, in the course of the game, seems like a brain buster. But once you realize that the question isn’t about who got expelled from school and that it’s simply asking you to name a Yippie, you’re set. The most obvious answer is Abbie Hoffman, as he is the most famous Yippie and probably the only one you’ll ever need to know as part of your trivia experience.

Similarly, I was once in asked, “How many sexual mates do swans have in their lifetime?” I answered one because it was the smallest number. It turned out that I was right. Swans mate for life.

I mention these tips because, should anyone ever ask you the name of a “Cinema of Transgression” filmmaker, you can safely ignore any part of the question that follows “Cinema of Transgression” and confidently answer, “Nick Zedd!”

Unless it’s Beth B. Then forget everything I just told you.

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