The Sun Microsystems-Accenture team of Mitesh Agarwal and Rohan Khanna won the 13th edition of the Ad Club-Business Line Quiz 2011, but the keenly fought contest at the end for the second place was decided by this question: Which organisation, believed to have been established in 1948, was created by Major General Cawthorne? The clue: It was in Pakistan. The answer: The ISI. The first runners-up: Team ‘Clueless'.

Quiz Master Giri ‘Pickbrain' Balasubramaniam had teams and audience in a state of eager anticipation with his questions.

Most of them were drawn from the field of business but he also picked from current affairs and facts related to Chennai and the quiz sponsors.

What's an acronym coined in 2000, which the Carnegie Mellon University tried to trademark and which is a well-known Internet-related term today? (Captcha); which Viceroy passed the first Factory Act in 1881? (Governor-General Ripon); which term, used to describe a little-known person or thing who suddenly comes into prominence, was first used in Benjamin Disraeli's The Young Duke? (dark horse); what's a ‘brown pound'? (The purchasing power of non-whites in the UK)

There was a buzzer round as well as direct questions; straightforward picture questions as well as sets of linked visuals and audio clues that had to be connected for an answer; and a round where the answer to the primary question was formed by specific alphabets from answers to a sub-set of questions.

It was a fast-paced quiz with humour aplenty, not in the least prompted by imaginative answers and ingenious guesswork.

The winning team scored 55 points, while Team Clueless (Prasad Shetty and R. Aravindh) and the Microsoft-TCS team of Ajay Kasargod and G. Srikanth scored 45 points each, and it needed a tie-breaker of seven rounds to decide the second place.

Other teams that participated were Madras Metallurgicals-TCS team of Gopal Kidao and Jayakanthan R. and Vizag Steel team of J. Rahul and A.G.K. Murthy. Giving away the prizes, Mr K. Venugopal, Joint Editor, The Hindu, complimented the winners on their ability to think faster than the world's fastest computer, the Tianhe-1A, clocked at over two petaflops (or over 2 quadrillion calculations per second).

Mr M. Narendra, Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Overseas Bank, the title sponsor of the quiz, was present and gave away the winners trophy. Prizes worth Rs 60,000 in cash and more in the form of gifts, hampers and coupons from the various sponsors for both prize-winners and audience were given out.

The lead sponsor was Steel Authority of India Ltd; Geojit BNP Paribas, Wings and Isha Homes were associate sponsors.

The gifts sponsors were Landmark, Samsung, Smart, Villa Sol Areia, Vivek's, Valore, Roshan Bags and Venfield. The hospitality sponsor was Sheraton Park Hotel.

(This article was published on April 16, 2011)
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