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Keeping Your Eyes Peeled: Identifying that Elusive Theme Round

Written by

Adam Johnston

Give me a bottle of bourbon and half a chicken, and I’ll conquer the world! My job is to make sure that everyone else does their job, which has to be the easiest job in the world considering the brilliant, hard-working people we have in our Flock. My ultimate goal is to run a company that people are proud to work for. I’m an avid statesman, adventurer, Burner, Broadway aficionado, athlete, and I wear my Cole Haans as often as my cowboy boots. It’s a wonderful life.All Posts

At the beginning of every weekly show, teams are reminded of a theme round that will appear at some point that night. The host sets up the rules and is ready to jump into the first round. First, a reminder… “I will not tell you which round is the theme round, that is your job to figure out.” This task is often a tough one, but those two points could get you to the ever-sought-after perfect score of 102.

Round one is coming to an end and the imagination is running wild. “Europe, Lipton” – your teammate thinks the theme has something to do with tea. But Rich Uncle Pennybags seems to be a bit of a stretch for the third answer to complete the theme. As the host announces the answer and moves straight onto the bonus question, your hesitation has been verified, keeping that extra antenna out for the upcoming rounds.

As with all questions and categories, theme rounds can cover any topic. Whether it’s famous families from TV shows or body parts, they take a keen ear to identify. The best advice to give in being a successful theme round identifier would be that the topics can vary greatly. Focusing on the words, rather than the topics of each question in the round, is the best way to turn in the correct theme at the bottom of that third answer.

Themes will also vary in their forms from time to time. Most often, they are cut and dry. For example, a theme round including “postman, pilot, and judge” is a clear sign that we are looking for occupations. Sometimes they require taking another step, and the imagination is tested.

If you have been playing Trivia with Last Call for some time, you may remember a theme round with the answer of Mr. Peanut. At first glance, peanut, spats, and monocle might not seem to have anything in common. A more in-depth look verifies that answer could in fact be Mr. Peanut, as all three of those parts make up the mascot. As mentioned in the opening announcements given by the host at each show, remember that the answer can be a word, homonym, or basic theme. Most importantly, it can also fall under the category of et cetera, and in this case, there is no topic that is off limits.

Keep your cool, and keep those words in your mind as you are pondering the answers to the second and third questions of the round. This in itself is no easy task. At any given bar, the table next to you could be shouting at the TV because of a missed shot, your teammate could be going on and on about their delightful baked potato, and the team next to you might be sitting there arguing (loudly), that this song has to be a hint. In the hurricane of noise that is washing through the bar, take a step back, let it all sink in, and calmly thread the needle of that elusive theme round.

“And that was today’s theme round paragraph, blog readers. Things with eyes: Potato, Hurricane, and Needle.”