Quicksilver (U.S. game show)

Genre Game show
Created by Stone-Stanley Productions
Presented by Ron Maestri
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 130
Producer(s) David M. Greenfield
Running time 30 Minutes
Original network USA Network
Original release June 27, 1994 (1994-06-27) – October 13, 1995 (1995-10-13)

Quicksilver is an American game show that saw contestants answering trivia questions that more often than not resulted in responses that were unintentional puns. The show aired on USA Network from July 27, 1994 until October 13, 1995 and was produced by Stone Stanley Entertainment. Ron Maestri hosted.


Three contestants competed in each game. There were no returning champions.

Round one

Four words or phrases were revealed at the start. These words or phrases were the answers to three questions in a packet. Maestri began reading a question, and players could buzz in at any time. Due to the nature of the questions, being pun-laden as they were, buzzing in early could cause a player to miss crucial information.

For example:

Given these choices: Monty Hall, Picador, Pandora's Box and Trading Places

And this question: "On the game show Let's Make a Deal...this is what host Monty Hall would ask players to do."

A player buzzing in before the question was finished might choose Monty Hall, thinking the question would have been completed with "...he gave the contestants the choice of the money or what was behind the curtain." The correct answer in this case would be "picador," a play on the similar-sounding phrase "pick a door." Most questions had misleading wording and pun answers given in this format, known as a "swerve" in quiz bowl culture.

The player that buzzed in with the correct answer received 25 points. An incorrect answer locked that player out of the rest of the question.

After every three questions, four new answers were revealed. Five packets of questions and answers were played in round one.

Round two

Five answers were revealed at the start of the round. Correct answers were worth 50 points, and after each correct answer was given it was taken off the board and replaced by another potential answer. Twelve total questions were played.

In addition to the displayed answer, there was a space marked "Quicksilver" at the top of the board (in some episodes, this was referred to as the "Mystery Blank"). If a player thought an answer to the question was not on the board, he/she would call out "Quicksilver" and give what he/she thought was the correct answer. Doing so earned the contestant 100 points and a bonus prize. The contestant was then asked a second question about the subject of the Quicksilver answer, on which he/she wagered a portion of his/her score (up to 200 points). Answering correctly added the value of the wager but answering it incorrectly or not answering it at all deducted the value of the wager. Only one Quicksilver answer was in play during the round.

Round three

The third round consisted of two halves. In the first half, eight questions were asked and the answers to those questions were placed on the game board one at a time. Each correct answer in this part of the round was worth 75 points.

In the second half, as before, eight more questions were asked with the answers now displayed. After each question, the answer was taken off of the board. Answering correctly this time was worth 100 points. There were two Quicksilver answers on the board in this portion of the round, and the value of both the question and the maximum wager doubled to 200 and 400 points. If nobody had claimed the prize from the second round, it was also available.

The third round was played until either all eight answers were removed from the board or time was called. The player in the lead when this happened won the game and a prize. In case of a tie, a final question was played with two of the remaining answers.

Bonus Round: Silver Streak

In the Silver Streak bonus game, the day's winner was shown a board with fifteen possible answers to questions fitting a specific category. The contestant was given 45 seconds (originally 60) to come up with answers to ten questions. Passing was allowed and the player could return to a question if time allowed. Each correct answer was worth $50, and answering all ten won the player a trip in addition to the accumulated cash.

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