Editors' pick

Smart Ass DC

Games night
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Editorial Review

Most trivia nights require a time commitment of a few hours. That’s not the case at the long-running and briskly paced Smart Ass Trivia Night at Nellie’s Sports Bar, which manages to offer two games of head-scratching general knowledge and pop-culture questions in less than two hours every Wednesday night.

It’s good to have both “Entertainment Weekly” readers and “Jeopardy!” wannabes on your team, since topics could include geography, movie soundtracks or the architects behind D.C. landmarks. It can get tricky: Regular audio/visual speed rounds usually call for not only identifying a song’s artist and title or photos of famous actors, but also figuring out a common theme among them.

Rounds fly by, thanks to cleverly written questions and host Andy Austin’s dry (and sometimes naughty) sense of humor. Everything leads up to the fiendishly difficult Wipeout Round: Point values are doubled, but one incorrect answer means your team earns no points for the entire round. (To give you a fighting chance, teams are not penalized for leaving questions blank, and the three earlier rounds include the chance to earn “safety points.”)

Clever team names are encouraged and frequently rewarded.

Pro tip: Hints about forthcoming rounds and subjects can be found on www.facebook.com/SmartAssTrivia.

The prizes: The winners take $40 off their bar tab; runners up get $20 off their tab; third place takes $10 off. Top team names receive free drinks.

-- Fritz Hahn (March 15, 2012)