Archives for category: Landmark Quiz

Great news for quiz enthusiasts as Landmark is going “bazinga”, “uber cool” with two quizzes in two cities in the space of 10 days!

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011 at 2.00p.m.
At RNR Auditorium, (Opp Lotus Pond),
Road No, 12, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad – 500034
Register at: Landmark, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, Ph: 6463 1577
Landmark, Somajiguda, Hyderabad, Ph: 4050 5000

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 2.00p.m.
At Good Shepherd Auditorium,
Museum Rd, Opp St. Joseph’s P U College, Bengaluru – 25
Register at: Landmark, The Forum, Bengaluru, Ph: 4240 4240
Landmark, Garuda Swagat Mall, Jayanagar, Bengaluru, Ph: 6577 1227

Here’s the lovely poster for the same. The QM is our favourite Dr.Navin Jayakumar, as always!



Here are the wonderful qns from the Chennai edition of Landmark Quiz on Aug 15, 2011.

Thanks Dr.Navin for sharing the questions!!

You can still read our review of all the 3 quizzes (or should I say four?) that happened on Aug 15, 2011 during the course of the day at

Team IQL

LQC 11 PRELIMS email file

(Review of the Chennai Landmark Quiz on August 15, 2011 by Karthik Narayan)

Before we begin – a short prayer on our lips…

Dear God,

1. Please convince 2,000 people each year on August 15 to make no plans other than to attend the Landmark Quiz to help create a new record participation over last year (1800).

2. Please do not make us feel as if the quiz is an exam. Make us replenish our cup of knowledge and leave us thirsty for more.

3. Let there be more pretty girls (this was an actual tweet on screen, not mine) at quizzes so more guys will come… (No complaints about the girls though, they are in short supply at quizzes).

4. Pray help us somehow reach the finals of at least once in our lives. If you do this for us, I will offer my team mate Pantan’s head for tonsure for your efforts.

5. Other prayers – to be continued after the Landmark Quiz…

It’s a long prayer, I know. I was even tempted to add in – “If I reach the finals of one Landmark quiz, it will be good enough for a lifetime” but I somehow pulled myself out of it at the last minute.

The Landmark Quiz at Chennai on August 15 every year is like being at Lord’s cricket ground. Both begin with L – for starters. Everyone loves the venue and the ambience; both are the Mecca of their respective games (cricket vs quizzing), both are never short of inspiration for one to perform and achieve great things, and there’s always plenty of audience and action. However, there are no streaks at Landmark, just quiz freaks, thousands of them.

True story – Sachin Tendulkar does not have a century at Lord’s; nor do 2000+ contestants at Landmark, as they eagerly wait for their arangetram or first step on the stage at India’s premier Open quiz championship. Right now, that privilege has been reserved for a select few, and is it fair to say that each time; the glass seems harder to break? The argument continues…

The prelims had 40 questions as usual – but this time the questions were slightly tougher compared to the 2009 and 2010 editions at Chennai. The 2009 edition is still being raved in quizzing circles as the People’s Quiz where almost every participant had the golden opportunity to make it on stage, but ever since the cutoff has been on the down-side. Last year the highest score was somewhere around 31, this year the highest was 29. In 2009 it was 38! Eight teams made it to the finals, with two to take it from there to the National Finals to meet the top two each from Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai editions.

A few years ago, when quizzing was not such a big deal, people enjoyed the following things – answering questions, learning new things, missing out on minor bits of the answer, making spelling mistakes but getting away with it and a thousand other splendid things. In today’s world, competition is fierce; an error is a farce. One sleight of hand (and brain) actually changes the whole picture; one wrong answer could prove costly. Even the ever-green, ever-good QED just about made it to the Chennai finals (they scored 25/40 and became the new “alagar” cutoff). An IQL team comprising Sanandan, Vinod and Sylvian Patrick (tough luck, guys) were not far off the mark – with 24. I’m sure there were a hundred other teams fighting for the slot of top eight with scores not more than 0.5-1.5 away from the cutoff. Such is the level of quizzing.

For a keen quizzer, the Landmark quiz promises a variety of questions in all genres. Something in it for everybody. But the true value comes from the fact that there is no pressure at the Landmark Quiz – it is a mass entertainer. The school kids who as always answered almost as many as we did. Our team of Ananthakrishnan (Pantan, Sriram (Ramki) and me were slightly off colour but we still scored 22/40. The older generation came in good numbers, with people ranging from 40-70. They didn’t do badly at all – one of the teams next to ours got 18/40 which is no mean feat. My point here is – Landmark Quiz caters especially to those who are not regular quizzers. That is why the quiz format is popular and brings back more people each time.

All you got to do is be there and immerse yourselves in the experience of great quiz questions, a fantastic quizmaster whose humbleness inspires us all, brilliant minds in the country under the same roof and above all – pure entertainment value for time spent!

All hail the Landmark quiz organizers for maintaining interest levels, churning out record audience each time (at Chennai and Bangalore especially). All rise for the sponsors, among others – snickers for giving out free bites, yummy! And thanks to Dr.Navin Jayakuma, the quizmaster, for the freshness that we all felt this year at the Madras Music Academy on Aug 15, 2011 – new ideas came out in the form of LIVE tweeting during the quiz, the active participation of audience all through the quiz in the form of sms quizzing and some greatly researched rounds of questions. I enjoyed tweeting and reading all those tweets on John Mayor’s “musical talents” and the requests for completing the quiz early so that someone could go home to watch a tamil movie.

Overall – a jam packed hall at the venue, brilliant answers, some moments of agony and crazy Malayalam accents lit up the evening. Congrats to Kabala, JK and Sriram for pulling off a blinder after being slightly sluggish to begin with. Everyone else played their parts to the T. I played mine by writing this review.

BTW – Prayers 1 and 2 were answered… still waiting for 3 and 4 😀

In other news….

The Winning team at Chennai Finals: Mama Machan Mapilai – Sriram, JK and Kabala

Runners up – Obama Satyabhama – Shiv, Udupa and Ramkey

Winners and Champs for Season 2010: MMM

Best Corporate Team – Infy

Best Team Name – “Lok Pal Bill, Lock all and Grill”


“Landmark” Quiz announcements:

The Landmark quiz is hitting new landmarks – literally!! New venues for the 2011 Season! The Quiz will embrace Hyderabad and Delhi – two untouched areas by Landmark with lots of enthusiasts already celebrating the news!!

This brings great news in the form of new venues, more questions and most importantly – 16 more slots for dreamers to try and go up on stage. More opportunities, more fun. Landmark Quiz truly is starting to become a Pan-Indian event in the calendar, not just for quizzers but also in general culture.

The Flip side is: National Finals 2011-12 would comprise 1 team each from Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi whereas 2 each from Chennai and Bangalore. Unfair – but now’s the time to make those long trips to places you always wanted to visit…


PS: will post questions once available.


Here are the prelims from the Bangalore Landmark edition that had a surprising new winner!!

Great questions, electrifying atmosphere, brilliant quizmaster – need I say more?

Thanks once again to Dr.Navin for sharing the questions.


Here are results (thanks to Gopal Kidao)

1st team: not sure about team members but honours credit to:

2nd was vijaysarathy,sankhya and wimpy, 3rd as metaquizzicks, 4th-qed, 5th- Gopal Kidao, JK, Sumo, 6th-walto, 7th-shiv,udups and Ramkey, 8th—suresh ramsub,Sreekanth,???

(By Karthik Narayan)

At which edition of Landmark Quiz did one witness perhaps the first time an on-stage team won the Best Team Name prize?

If you managed to crack the above question, here’s another: the first time when a team making its debut on-stage also won the Best Team Name prize?

The above are not questions from the Landmark Quiz 2010, but the legacy of the quiz is such that one might end up asking trivia about Landmark soon. It’s all set to reach the venerable level of a Mastermind or even our early day Quiz Time that people are still raving about!

The questions in the prelims hinged from that newspeak word “workoutable” to tough and a bit arbit at times; this is purely attributed to the fact that as the quiz has matured over the last 19 years, so has its audience. No quizmaster would take any chances with just 40 questions to test over 1500 people that turn up each year.

A quick analysis of the Chennai Regional Prelims:

One couldn’t help noticing that there were a relatively higher number of questions on the literary scene (Neuromancer, Wuthering Heights, Twilight, Pequod). Also a couple of questions looked arbit, at least as a so-called common man quizzer, such as the song “one Republic/ Timbaland” and MS Balram being a stunt diver to Abishek Bachchan in Raavan. But this was just a very minor glitch in the prelims overall. All the other questions were, no doubt, rich in information/ trivia and also answerable.

The cut off was 30 (3 teams just missed out on 29.5) and the highest score was 34.5 out of 40.

There were two new teams on stage for the first time in perhaps a decade for which all of us felt happy and also added a renewed vigour to our preparations for the years to come. Congrats to Yagnesh, Arun and Rohit and Mario’s team to have made it to the Regional finals. They did pretty well too, mind you! For the record, there were 8 teams at the Chennai Regional Finals and I was not one of the 24 people that made it. So let me continue cribbing about not being able to qualify J

We should thank Dr.Navin, not only for the great quiz but also for explaining the process of correction of the Landmark answer sheets. Now it’s really not necessary for him to do so, but there were enough apprehensions in the editions before that the corrections were improper, rigged etc. He laid everything to rest by explaining that the correction happens backstage by the volunteers, it is then rechecked for both the teams that clearly qualified and also those who were on the cusp (ie nearly made it but because of tie breakers/ missed by a whisker). And I feel at this level, for a quiz that has gone NATIONAL, things would definitely be followed in a professional manner.  This talks of his humility and also hopefully will break all hush hush over this subject.

The Chennai Regional Finals started with a few stunning questions such as

Why India got independence at the stroke of midnight of Aug 14, 1947 rather than August 15?

Why is the shift key on the computer so named?

How would we know the Saptarishi Mandalam Nakshatra in our daily lives?

What was the first foodstuff that was tested on a microwave oven?

Even though the format has been shortened to accommodate the Regional and National Finals, Dr.Navin came back strongly this year with an improvised format (take that, cynics – who said you can’t innovate in a quiz). There was a clockwise round of 15 questions or 20 minutes, a buzzer round with topics to choose from (now that’s what am talking about), the anticlockwise round of 15 questions and the last five on buzzer.

(Answers to questions from Regional Finals: (1) Aug 15 was an inauspicious day! (2) It’s a reminder of the shift lock on typewriters (3) The seven stone diamond earrings (4) popcorn!)

The All India Finals was one better – the clockwise of 15, the topics buzzer but with a twist – a visual montage or a theme behind each square of the grid (we’ve seen it on tv on the DD Podigai Sports show, but this was truly magical to see it on the big screen). The game closed out with the anticlockwise 15 and the buzzer round.

Some interesting titbits from the National Final:

Uwe Hohn in 1984 threw the javelin 104.8meters. Some of his throws injured a few spectators and thus prompted IAAF to redesign the javelin itself! Uwe’s record remains an eternal world record!

Where in France would you see NOSE spelt out in a circle? NOSE actually stands for Nord Oust Sud and Est – meaning North East, South and West!! So the answer is on a weather vane.

Knowledge is POWER indeed

The finals of the Landmark Quiz opens with Sir Francis Bacon’s dictum that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. High standards of quizzing have made it true. We have come a long way from the days of remembering countries, capitals and currencies. Today’s quizzes are going upscale that one can’t afford to miss anything.

The internet has brought a new dimension to the world of knowledge – availability. Resources are digitized, made available to everyone. And mind you, we are lapping it up.

There is a deluge of information, so what exactly does a guy preparing for Landmark do? Read only the relevant portions. The prelims usually over the years as I have noticed it, has generic information as against specific trivia that is the fulcrum of the Finals. This is true of most quizzes around the world. This is like separating the “know what” from the “know how”. I would know something from an overall perspective but not the full detail. This is also what common folk mean when they say “arbit”.

I thank Dr.Navin for picking our brains with a fantastic quiz that had its miracle moments. He can be compared in a lot of ways to Sachin Tendulkar; both are prolific in content, both are humble and down to earth. Passion and innovation are their middle names. And importantly both have lasted the distance (Dr.Navin is just a year down on Sachin’s 20 years).

We salute you for churning out mind blowing questions each year. God bless you!

Answers to questions at the start: 2009 when Vinod Ganesh’s “Singh maybe King but Iyers are Higher” won and in 2010 when Yagnesh/ Arun/ Rohit had a double hit of qualifying and winning with their “No money = hockey; no thooney = jockey”.

Note: Questions from the Chennai Landmark Prelims are attached as a pdf.LQC 10 PRELIMS

(By Malcaluffin aka Vinod H, a proud Malayali on Kerala Formation Day and a happy guest on Rajyotsava Day in Bengalooru)

November 1st is remembered by the denizens of Bengaluru as Rajyotsava Day. But we quizzards also remember it for another reason; yes!! That would be the Landmark Quiz.

The 6th edition of the Bengaluru leg of this quiz juggernaut got underway with the same elan and pomp just like it has been happening since 1988. The venue, St.John Auditorium in Koramangala wore a festive look with banners in both English and Kannada, announcing what’s happening inside.

There was a huge turn-out of around 1000 people; and the organisers proudly proclaimed that they have registered over 340 teams; a far cry from the Landmark edition in Chennai; but since it was a sunday the attendance could have been say a 100 teams more. As usual the quiz was being sponsored by a video games company and several confectionary brands had sweets and cookies lined up as free snacks for the quizzers.

The quiz started on time with the host of the evening Dr.Navin Jayakumar greeting Bengaluru by appreciating the coolness of the city and the crowd. This drew a rapturous applause.

So, after all those niceties and the works; it was time some serious stuff viz; the Prelims. Yours truly and his team-mates were sitting in the midst of some really good quizzers from Chennai; the occasional banter was there but we really knew that we had to put up a good show if we were to go past them.

The prelims, to be frank was tough; a fact which was echoed by most of the teams. The questions were diverse and eclectic; with varying degrees of difficulty. There were also some questions which sort of felt like a sword point on the nape of your neck; the “either-you know it-or don’t” sort of types. But, this ensured that the grain was separated from the chaff.

After we gorged on those goodies that were being doled outside, we realized that the cut-off was around 25-26; a far cry from our score of 17. Many regulars on stage, due to the intense prelims went onto become spectators. But personally speaking, we could have got 4-5 questions more and then our score might have been in the 20’s. One of the things we compromised on was accurate answering. We learnt that answering Roosevelt, to a question whose answer was Theodore Roosevelt, would not really help in an Open Quiz.

Well after all those enlightenment, we basically did some tapori acts and got seats with a good view for the finals; much to the consternation of a guy who was saving his seats for 2 of this other chums!!

The Finals started as usual with that exhilarating video staring with the quote from Francis Bacon viz; “Knowledge is Power”. This was exemplified in the teams present on stage. As always, 8 teams made it to the finals. In them were the crowd favourites “Q.E.D” (Ramana, Swami & Samanth), Metakwizzks (Arul Mani, Kiran & Mitesh) and “We are like this Wonly” (Anushtup, Ochintya & Appu). Another popular team was “Nobel Gases” (Udupa, Ramkey & Shiv). The trio of Sumo, Jayakanthan and Gopal Kidao narrowly missed out.

The first 15 questions were relatively incident free. When the scores were announced, all the teams were having an equally logical chance to become the winners, at that moment. But, what turned the tables was the Buzzer Round. The questions were not that unwieldy; but many of the teams either ended being too-overconfident or were all at sea when their turn came while answering. Navin himself opined that it was “devastating”!!

By the time the final round begun, it became more or less clear to us that “We are like this Wonly” might go on to win the quiz. And they did eventually with “MetaKwizziks” coming second.

As Chennai-ites, we really wished for QED or “Landmark Dreams” (Vijay Sarathy, Goach & Sreeram) to move on to the Nationals but; I reckon they would have a better day at the upcoming Pune, Mumbai or the Chennai legs. So here’s to all our Chennai guys……the very best!!

Last but not the least, Kudos to the winners and the runner-ups (“We are like this Wonly” & “MetaKwizziks”) who advanced to the National Finals to be held on Aug 15th 2010.

In all, it was a very entertaining affair; and if one thinks about how difficult it was; they also need to equally remember that it was a National Open Quiz.

PS: Prelims questions are available in this link: LANDMARK QUIZ 2009 BANGALORE PRELIMS

…. because it’s there!!

A review of the Landmark Quiz 2009 on Aug 15 in Chennai by KN.

“Which institution uses the National Anthem, Jana gana mana as their school song?” You will understand the significance of this question as you read this review…

Each year on August 15, Chennai’s gravitational pull seems to head only one way – the Madras Music Academy. Sounds heavy, right? But then, with a great quizmaster, well researched content, amazing quizzers from across the country and lots of fun in store, who wouldn’t want to be part of it?

This year it was no different, even though the organizers felt the number of school teams was relatively low, the Music Academy still had an inflow of over 700 teams.

There was a significant urgency amongst the organizers to start the event on time. This made a lot of sense since the format was on a strict time line: prelims followed by the Chennai (regional) Final and then the grand show-down between Bangalore-Mumbai-Pune-Chennai in the Clash of the Titans.

Inside the MMA, we were enthralled with a Michael Jackson live concert to cool off our nervousness. This was indeed a landmark event in our calendars: Lost friendships are found, facebook pals face each other for a change and let’s save the best for the last: no parent would say no if you said you were heading out to a quiz, even if its with your girlfriend!! Plus they gave out swine flu masks, so even if your father or mother came along, you could pull the mask over your face.

The Prelims had 40 questions, as always, the questions were simple and most importantly, answerable by a lot of us. A lot of questions seemed familiar; there was a mix of the contemporary, the classic, though some were admitted to be taken off from old editions of the same quiz. The Prelims reminded me of the Best of Booker Prizes – to choose the best book out of books that had already won the Booker earlier, if you get the point.

But then the Landmark Quiz is an open quiz, an easy quiz keeps everyone happy – nobody wants it tough, do they? That’s why the scoring pattern in the Prelims was so high, the top score was a whopping 37!! I’d bet my hat that there would have been scores of teams in the band of 25-35. Tough work for scorers…

The Finals had a brilliant mix of questions on India, current happenings across the world and some classical stuff again.

Now there are three types of questions that you find in all these Big Open Quizzes:

1. Questions for which your reaction is “oh wow”.

Questions that keep you thinking – what could be the answer and when it was answered, kept you clapping till your hands hurt; by the way, there is no way you could have even attempted it, you feel, but the answer is so good.

2. Questions to which you react, “oh yeah”

Questions that you already know the answer for, relatively easy and since you already know it, you almost jump around if it is not answered, and;

3. Questions that make you go, “oh?”

Questions that are answered, but you don’t care if it is answered, because the answer does not fascinate you at all.


Now every quiz has a mix of all the three, but Dr.Navin Jayakumar has been consistently finding the right recipe of the above, more of points 1 & 2 and less of 3.

As a quizmaster, Dr.Navin Jayakumar was cool as ever; like good old wine, his wit and research seems to get better each year. Always wonder where doctors steal their time for quizzing, that too for 18 years on the trot (except for one year when Derek hosted it)!!

Congrats to QED comprising of Ramana, Samanth and Swami for great answering; The quiz had a fitting finish – with two teams tied for first place and three for the second place, we were anxious to see who would win this battle. For all the other teams, matchless effort – JK and team, Kabala and team, Kiddo and team, Gopal Kidao’s team, Udupa’s team…. they are all the best quizzers in the country. All did well, but apparently the stakes were high, the level was high, it all boiled down to the best of the best on that particular day.

Answer to the question asked in the beginning – Doon School. Why this question singularly? This was the last question on which QED won the Quiz…

Some titbits from the quiz: “born to rule but forced to school” was the winning team name, school teams made it big once again, ruling and schooling.

KN’s corner of a Landmark field:

On the personal front, I have been constantly setting targets for myself each year – first it was 15, then 20, 25 and this year it was 30. So, did you think I achieved the target? Yes I did, we managed to score 31 (in spite of missing out on sitters like Roland Garros!). But considering Will Smith’s smart statement – You will never achieve 100% when you are content at 99%, I guess we need to raise the bar to go all the way. I’d love to thank my team mates who were fantastic in their own ways, and apologize for messing up on Roland Garros and “because it’s there”. Had we got both, maybe we would have done our arangetram on stage (sans the dancing)!!

A personal thanks to Dr.Navin for putting up the poster for the Madras Quiz on August 23, 2009.

Prelims Questions with answers follow…

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