Filling in the blank, preferably with beer

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Filling in the blank, preferably with beer

Alex Trebec doesn’t curse very often. Then again, he isn’t a military trainer from West Virginia, Jeopardy doesn’t take place in a bar in Itaewon, and the prizes aren’t pitchers of beer.
Anyway, says quizmaster Steve Lewis of Trebec, “That guy’s an....” Use your quiz skills to fill in the blank.
Mr. Lewis, who trains soldiers on computerized combat simulations by day, has helped run the quiz night at the Three Alley Pub in Itaewon almost since its inception in 2001. He used to do so every week; now there are three other quizmasters who take turns.
The test of wits starts every Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; the one a few weeks ago was particularly difficult. Mr. Lewis gave four categories and had a written bonus round. Most of the questions were about entertainers and sports figures, but not necessarily recent ones ― the Brooklyn Dodgers, Buddy Holly and Fay Wray all featured.
One contestant called the first category, in which Mr. Lewis gave a real name and asked the teams to match it up with its more famous pseudonym, “hell.” Others wondered why many of the questions dated back to the 1950s.
The winners earn the respect of their peers, and perhaps more importantly, free pitchers of beer. Mr. Lewis explains, “First place gets three pitchers, second place gets one pitcher, and everyone else can either buy something or....”
A tie for second last week gave Mr. Lewis a chance to show off the tiebreaker: two team members racing to drink a beer through a straw. There are also sections between rounds where participants can earn free stuff. Last week, Lewis gave out soccer balls and bags for the quickest answers to trivia questions, and to the first person to show they were wearing red underwear.
Three Alley Pub, in the alley behind the Hamilton Hotel, is regularly packed for the event. Teams typically have standing reservations, so don’t expect to walk in and sit at a table.
Three Alley is not the only pub quiz in the neighborhood. The New Phillie’s, near Noksapyeong station, hosts quizzes every Wednesday at 9:30. The questions seemed easier, and the atmosphere is cozier and younger. The prizes are one pitcher of beer for first and one-half for second, and the tiebreakers are similar to at Three Alley.


by Ben Applegate
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