Capital brains’ quiz victory offers abiding tribute to late team-mate

It was a quiz designed to test the brightest of brains – but there was no question that the right team triumphed.

It was a quiz designed to test the brightest of brains – but there was no question that the right team triumphed.

A national competition in memory of a champion quizzer, who died tragically just two days after winning on television’s Eggheads, has been won by his former team-mates.

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Max Thomson, 49, a transport planner from Leith, took his own life just after the show was broadcast in January.

The Max Thomson Cup, which was instituted in his memory, was held at the Capital’s Voodoo Rooms on Saturday, which was also serving as a venue for the World Quizzing Championships for the first time.

Fittingly, the team that scooped the title was Dude Abides – of which Max was a member.

Laura Thomson, Max’s sister, said: “I think it’s a very fitting tribute. Quizzing was something that gave him so much pleasure.”

The quizmasters included a round specifically on characters called Max in his honour, although it was left to contestants to work out the answers and spot the link.

The new-look Dude Abides team, which included Ewan McNaught of Edinburgh, Roderick Cromar from Aberdeen and Hamish Cameron from Elgin, finished ten points clear of their nearest rivals.

Brian Pendreigh was leader of the team, which takes its name from a line in the film The Big Lebowski and quizzed with Max in Edinburgh pubs and on television.

He said: “It was a pretty full-on day and I’m just delighted that our team won the cup. Max regularly took part in pub events and was very much part of the Dude Abides setup, so it was certainly very good to get to have the team win in the first year of the cup.

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“He was very much a team player, so I think it’s very appropriate that this event is named after him.”

The team won the Belhaven East of Scotland regional championships at the end of 2011 and earlier this year paid tribute to Max with a winning performance in one of the Capital’s biggest quiz events, the Giant Pub Quiz.

Before doing the team quiz, contestants had to tackle 240 challenging international questions in a solo event.

Edinburgh was one of almost 100 venues around the world doing the same individual quiz almost simultaneously.

The Capital’s leader board was topped by Barbara Thompson, a former Brain of Britain, from Yorkshire.

Marco Biagi, the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central, finished 12th, ahead of some very good quizzers, including Edinburgh’s Melanie Beaumont, an experienced TV quizzer and recent winner on The Chase.

Roderick Cromar was third and the top-placed Scot at the Edinburgh venue, while Mr Pendreigh was fifth and second-placed Scot.


Quiz Questions

1 Who lived her whole life in these parts; died from progressive lung disease; and can now be seen in the National Museum of Scotland?

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2 Which actress won an Oscar in the film whose title translates into Italian as Luna di Carta?

3 Wild marjoram is a genus of the mint family and has pink flowers and spade-shaped leaves. Its better-known name begins and ends with what letter?

4 All bar one of the four famous Italian artists, who bequeathed their names to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, were born in the 15th century; which was born in the 14th?

5 What bathroom activity should you link with the Dutch port of Vlissingen?

6 Made by the Wasatch Brew Pub and Brewery and with a label reading “Why Just Have One?” in which US state is the award-winning Polygamy Porter produced?

7 The tripartite Cairo Conference, held in November 1943, was attended by Winston Churchill, FD Roosevelt . . . and which Generalissimo?

8 Who won football’s World Cup the year Andy Dufresne escaped from Shawshank State Penitentiary?

9 How many of TV’s seven Eggheads wear on-screen glasses?

10 What animal’s head has been the trademark of Colman’s Mustard for over 150 years?

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11 You can spell out Ole Kirk Christiansen’s 1891 invention by mixing what letter with those in his first name?

12 In the UK, modern examples of what form of transport are a standard 6ft 10in (2.08m) wide?

Answers: 1. Dolly The Sheep; 2. Tatum O’Neal (Paper Moon); 3. O (oregano) 4. Donatello; 5. Flushing (historic English name); 6. Utah; 7. Chiang Kai-Shek; 8. England (1966); 9. Three (Messrs Hughes, Ashman and Simmons); 10. A Bull’s; 11. G (Lego); 12. Narrowboats.

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