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For the third consecutive year, The Buffalo News’ Editorial team on Wednesday took top honors in the annual Buffalo’s Smartest Company Trivia competition, a fundraiser to benefit Cradle Beach that was held in Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, Lancaster.

The second place finisher was a team from Connors & Villardo law firm, which had back-to-back wins in 2007 and 2008. A second team from The News, representing New Media, came in third.

This was the competition’s seventh year.

“It feels good now that the pressure is off,” said Carol Schlau, a News copy editor and member of the winning team, shortly after the totals were tallied.

“We were the only team that scored more than 40,000 points total,” Schlau added. “A lot of people were gunning for us, but we’re bringing the trophy back home where it belongs.”

The event was sponsored by the State Employees Federal Credit Union, which, like many of the companies, had more than one team competing.

“This year we have 32 teams, so we’re up a few teams more than we were last year,” said Timothy Boling, chief executive officer of Cradle Beach. “The proceeds from today go to support our programs.”

Among the three programs that will benefit Cradle Beach’s summer enrichment program for disabled children, Cradle Beach also offers two other programs: Respite, a weekend program for children, and Project SOAR, a year-round program that provides tutoring and mentoring for third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students in three Buffalo Public Schools.

“We have our Project SOAR team competing this year. I told them they have a lot of pressure on them. They’ve got to represent Cradle Beach,” Boling said, before the start of competition Wednesday.

Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, the host site, even sponsored a team this year.

“There’s a real good, diverse group of businesses out there and some other nonprofits as well,” he added.

The trivia competition is three rounds of 15 multiple-choice questions in each round, which the competing teams answer electronically. Speed counts as much as accuracy in the game, as the teams that answer first and answer correctly rack up the most points. The game is the creation of Buzztime Entertainment, which provided the electronics and the questions.

Among the questions posed in Wednesday’s game was: “New York, New York” is a song from which 1949 Hollywood musical? The five possible answers were “On the Town,” “West Side Story,” “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” or “Guys and Dolls?” The correct answer is “On the Town.”

“The easiest question of the night was: ‘The chicken wing was invented in what bar?’ Everyone got that one right,” said Schlau. The answer, of course, is Buffalo’s Anchor Bar.

Other members of the winning News Editorial team were News sports copy editor Budd Bailey; News Financial reporter David Robinson; News staff reporter Steve Watson; and News Features editor Bruce Andriatch.

email: hmcneil@buffnews.com