August 23, 2011

Recap: Everyone's favorite non-Scrabble word board game

We're on a hot streak with BQT Cambridge, as last night was the second straight BQT at Oberon with capacity crowds. Thirty-three teams in total, which nearly exhausted the capacity of my scoring matrix. Bravo to you, loyal audience. Glad you had fun (as it seemed).

I received a number of compliments for the video round, "Let's Play Boggle," a trivia-ized adaptation of my favorite word game. (An earlier edition appeared at an NYC BQT many moons ago, and I plan to repeat this round back home next month.) I went through a short period back then in which I attempted to adapt a number of popular board games for live-trivia purposes—Scrabble kind of fell flat, Pictionary was too unwieldy, and Trivial Pursuit just felt redundant. But Boggle was a hit, and I'm ashamed it took me this long to revive it.

I've always loved Boggle—sometime-Boston-B-Cutie Jessica and I spent countless hours shaking the cubes when we were kids—and I often feel that it suits my particular mind-set more than Scrabble does, as I'm a more effective editor than writer (better at finding things than creating things, but that's probably a whole mess o' pretension right there). A spin through the game's Wikipedia page reveals some fascinating tidbits, including the existence of a Boggle TV game show (hosted by one of the greats, Wink Martindale), and some wacky variations of the standard game—I dimly recall Body Boggle, and for years I preferred Big Boggle, but I'm intrigued by "Coggle," which sounds like it might be a closer cousin to the BQT version of Boggle, though I can't find much online (Urban Dictionary characteristically has its own spin). But it ain't just Wiki nonsense; yes, this game did exist:
Now then, back to last night's BQT. The audio round was a definite favorite of mine, "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah/No, No, No," and I was surprised that nobody could identify this track:

The year was 1968, and the Human Beinz were one-hit wonders out of Youngstown, Ohio, though the song was written and originally recorded by the Isley Brothers. The Beinz's version, though, has plenty of cultural currency—it appeared on the legendary Nuggets compilation, and The Office had some fun with it a couple years back. Alas, alack, now you are educated.

Meanwhile, I made a trivia question out of a nice little story about how my college roommate confused me with Holden Caulfield, and B-Cutie Katie revealed to you all how she was Josh Groban's first kiss, and thus he recorded "What Child Is This" in honor of her. And John Quincy Adams was the only President who met both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Don't you feel so much smarter now?

Thirty-three teams, but it all boiled down to the Three-Way Finale, which featured the usual gang of Cambridge nerds: returning champs the Monstrous Humanoids, mostly unstoppable juggernaut From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Quipoli, and perpetual contenders Jerry Lieber Kicks Ass. (BTW, the list of songs that Jerry Lieber cowrote is insane; even longer than the list of teams at last night's show.) Maybe it was Mr. Lieber's spirit that thrust that team's representative to a quick two-question victory. And thus, glory is reclaimed.
The standings:
1. Jerry Lieber Kicks Ass
2. From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Quipoli/The Monstrous Humanoids (tie)
4. Thor's Hammer
5. Kim Kardashian's Divorce Lawyers
6. Three Caballeros
7. Mouserat
8. Steve Holt!! (lots of team spirit from that squad)/Third Rail Reapers (tie)
10. Fat Bitch! She's Off the Leash

NEXT: Only three weeks till we're back here. Brace yourselves.


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