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The Moat is an area of the set. It was also where the first round, also called The Moat, of each episode was played. The Moat is a heated pool of water between the audience and the Steps of Knowledge, and at the side closest to The Steps of Knowledge, six podiums with a button and a light in each is installed. They are referred to as "gongs" by the sound effect they make when activated.


During The Moat, the six teams have to cross the pool using various methods. In the first season, the Moats usually made use of unique equipment, such as crossing with a cargo net climbing across "monkey-bar style", or pulling themselves across on a raft with a long staff hooked onto an overhead rope. They also involved teamwork; for example, the first player crosses The Moat bringing a rope across to the deck, ties the rope on a pole, and then lets their partner walk across the bottom rope, or - as mentioned above - making the player send the staff back to their partner on a raft that has to be pulled in on a rope.

In the later seasons, most Moat crossings had both players cross in the exact same fashion, but were considerably more difficult than the Season 1 Moats in most cases. Season 3 is noted for having many Moats involving one or more cargo nets in several different ways.

Once both partners have finished making their way across The Moat, the second partner (or both players) must run over to their gong and slam down on the button to light it up with their own team color. The first four teams to light up their gongs advance to the next round.