Welcome to the online headquarters for the Mayflower Pub Quiz, which takes place on Mondays and Thursdays at The Mayflower Inn, in San Rafael, California.




Thursday, November 14, 2019

"car parts"

Please arrive by 7pm. Thanks!


December 30, 2016

Goodbye, 2016. What an amazing year of quizzing we had. The final tallies will be announced this coming Thursday - the first quiz of 2017 - and they're something special.

Attendance and prize totals were up 14% over 2015.

Ultimately, we handed out $10,123 in cash prizes, including Lucky Loser and Jackpot Question prizes.

There were a lot of new faces and new teams this year. Here's hoping we see all of you again in 2017.


June 17, 2016

The mid-year numbers are in (a little early), and so far, 2016 has been a great year for the Mayflower Quiz. Attendance and prizes are up 14% over the same period in 2015. Come play this Thursday and find out what all the fuss is about !


January 13, 2016

We're kicking off the New Year with a new starting time. All teams are now asked to arrive at the pub by 7pm. The quiz will start at 7:30pm, sharp. That means, if you arrive after 7:30, you may lose your reservation, and will have to wait until I'm free to sign you up, get your materials, collect your fees, and let you catch up as we go... assuming there is a free table.



Quizmaster Jeffers

Some of you might already know... Mayflower Quizmaster, Jeffrey French, is a mild-mannered video producer and editor by day. For the past year or so, he's been busy shooting a documentary about competitive quiz culture, drawing on his experiences as a quiz-setter and question writer for the past eight years, and employing your beloved Mayflower Pub Quiz as the film's central location.

Jeffrey and his crew recently spent a few weeks in the UK, filming various pub quizzes and quiz leagues, and interviewing all manner of quizzers - from casual pub players, to brainiacs who have won fortunes on televised game shows.

While the project is still very much a work in progress, you can get a sneak peek of the footage shot last summer at the Mayflower by clicking the link below and viewing an early teaser trailer Jeffrey has submitted to the International Movie Trailer Festival.

The Mayflower's Thursday night quiz plays a big role in this film. So lend us a hand!

PLEASE vote for the film, and then share this link with your friends, via Facebook, Twitter, email, smoke signals, and spray paint.



Want to book a quiz for your restaurant or bar?

Need a customized quiz for a special event, party, or fund raiser at your home, business, or club?

Need questions to use for a quiz you'll host yourself?

Need someone to stand over your shoulder and ask questions while you wash your car, perform open heart surgery, do the dishes, or pass legislation?

Book me!

Contact Jeffrey for more information.


May 13, 2011

The Mayflower Pub Quiz now has an official Facebook Page - just search for "Mayflower Pub Quiz".

All of the information found on this website is being moved to that page. For the time being, I will continue to update this website, but the Facebook page has a lot more information. And... it's much more interactive. Feel free to use the Wall there to discuss the quiz and all things related.


Quizmaster Jeffers

April 22, 2011

Some sad news. Geoffrey Daw, the unofficial captain of the quiz team "...In The Corner" passed away last week.

As some of you know, I fell into this job accidentally. Six years ago, I volunteered to fill in as quizmaster. I had never done anything like this before. I had never used a microphone and didn't feel comfortable speaking in public. I still don't, but that's beside the point.

I found it daunting to write weekly trivia questions and organize the thousand little things it takes to do this each week. It really is harder than it looks. Those first few months were pretty discouraging - low attendance, sometimes only a dozen people turned up. I wasn't sure I'd be doing this for long.

Through all of this, Geoff continued to show up every week. He said he enjoyed the quiz and thought I was doing just fine, and encouraged me to stick with it. I'm glad I did. Moreover, Geoff put together a big happy family of a trivia team, adding players he'd solicit from Craigslist and beyond, and bringing them together each week, for the quiz.

Every time I saw Geoff, he was smiling and surrounded by friends. I think that says volumes about the type of person he was. For his generous support - to me, the Mayflower, and the quiz - I will always be very grateful. He was a kind and charming man, and a lot of fun to be around. I'm glad I knew him. I will miss him.

February 22, 2011

I've started recording quizzes again. In the ARCHIVES section of this site, you'll find a recording of the January 27th quiz, along with the visual clue (#20) and a link to an answer sheet, so you can play along at home. My plan is to record a quiz every so often - not every week. Cheers.

September 3, 2010

Last night's question #6 - "What U.S. mountain range includes the highest point east of the Mississippi River?"

ANSWER : Mount Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi. 6,684 ft. It's located in North Carolina, in the Black Mountains, which are subrange of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a province of the Appalachian Mountains.

All of the following answers should have been accepted as correct:

Appalachian Mountains (range)
Blue Ridge Mountains (province)
Black Mountains (subrange)

These answers should NOT have been accepted as correct:

"White Mountains" - Appalachian subrange, much further north (New Hampshire)
"Smoky Mountains" - a different subrange of the Appalachians/Blue Ridge Mountains

I let a couple of teams pursuade me into accepting "White Mountains". It rang a bell (also an Appalachian subrange), but I didn't bother to double check. My bad. I should have gone with my gut and trusted my research in this case. The good news is that it made no difference in the standings or payouts.

"Your Questions Are Too Hard"

Over the last five years, I've written (and asked) more than 7000 questions for the Mayflower quizzes, as well as quizzes at other venues and functions. I've enjoyed every minute of it. Writing the questions is more than half the fun, and I doubt I'd do the quiz using someone else's questions.

Writing good quiz questions is tricky business. It's certainly more difficult than I imagined before I started doing it, and I'm still working to improve the questions I ask each and every week. If you've got a moment, and you're even vaguely interested in the subject, I'd suggest reading the following two articles.

"Writing Great Questions", by the Cornerstone Word Company.


"Thoughts of a Quizmaster" by the late Paul Coombs, London quizmaster.

Last week, like every week, a couple of people approached me after the quiz to let me know my questions were "too hard". I can't argue with one person's opinion of such things. But if they believed they were speaking for the other 100+ people playing the quiz that night, I'm not sure I'd agree.

Each and every week I take your answer sheets home and engage in some seriously obsessive compulsive behavior. All of the scores and winnings are recorded for the on-going leader board, of course. But I also look at how well particular questions and types of questions fair with the room as a whole. I use this information, every week, to help chart our quizzing course for the following week and beyond.

My goal is to provide a quiz that nets median and mean scores as close as possible to 60%, each week. And the closer those two numbers are to each other, the greater success. At least, in my opinion.

"Around" 60%. That's our goal. And looking at the weekly scores for the last couple hundred weeks, we're doing a great job of achieving it. Hats off to you.

Here's the thing. If we go much higher than 60%, we'll end up with an awful lot of ties for first place (with several perfect papers) and everyone will scream it's "too easy". And if we go much lower than 60%, some teams will leave without having answered much of anything.

Last week's quiz? Drum roll, please. Median = 66%. Mean = 62%. The top teams tied at 86%. The worst team in the house scored 38% (without much effort, I might add).

Hopefully, there was something there for everyone. A couple of questions that everyone got right. A couple of stumpers that few teams knew. And a lot of questions that sparked conversation at the tables.

We have only ever had one perfect paper, and I think that's a good thing. Every bit as good as the fact that no one has ever made an attempt to play through the whole night without scoring... something.

Remember, you don't need a perfect paper to win. You just need one more point than the folks at the table next to you.




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