Friday, August 26, 2005

Unlock kar diya jaaye

Surfing TV channels, I spent a few minutes on KBC 2 (or KBC: the Sequel, or whatever they’re calling it now). Always intriguing to see how contestants start by being overwhelmed by emotion merely at the Big B’s presence (“aapke darshan ho gaye, yehi bahut hai”, etc), but then, as they win increasing sums of money, they get all atavistic and start behaving like ape-men (from an era, ironically, where there was no money in the first place, and all you had to do to get something you wanted was to bop the next guy with a sturdy tree-branch).

Anyway, I noticed that the show got it wrong on one tennis-related question:

What is the minimum number of serves you need to make to win a game?
The options given were 3, 4, 5 and 6. The ape in the hot seat said 5 and crashed out; the correct answer, “computer-ji” told us, was 4 (with AB counting off 15-0, 30-0, 40-0 and Game on his fingers).

Tut tut. The correct answer is really “Zero”, since you can of course win a game on the other guy’s serve - the show’s assumption that the game had to be won by the player who was serving wasn’t reflected in the question. Maybe the ape should sue.

P.S. While on KBC, I still haven’t stopped giggling inwardly at one of the questions from last week, “Which author has compiled a jokebook?” which had Arundhati Roy as one of the options. Yes, that would be a good joke to start the book with. (Suggestions please for any others such a book might contain. I’ve only been able to think of this one so far: “The US of A is Good.”)


  1. If we were in the US, KBC would have been sued right now for that question :D

  2. Jai, I did not watch that show, but based on your framing of the question "... serves you need to make to win a game", the 'you' hypothetically makes the person answering the question the server!

    Or so I think :-).


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  4. Have you read the following?

    Am sure KBC and its progenitors will be heartened to see it generating so much talk on the blogosphere.

  5. Mangesh: so much ambiguity, alas...why can’t life’s important questions be kept simple?

    TMM: yes, I did see that - in fact, had put up the Arundhati Roy thing as a comment on that post.

  6. Some of the questions this time round are really ridiculous, not befitting of a quiz show. But they wanted to make it less academic and more accessible, more GK. According to Star CEO Samir Nair, if you have been reading the papers in the past 3-4 years and are generally aware, you have a damn good shot at cracking it.