At the end of August 2003, a group of intrepid Dopers gathered in the basement of a pub in Central London for the purposes of genial conversation, alcohol consumption and assorted carousing. The evening’s entertainment was a “pub quiz” (put together by yours truly) in order to settle once and for all whether the male or female Dopers were truly intellectually superior.
Unfortunately, the men outnumbered the woman three to one, and as the womanfolk weren’t quite willing to concede that much of an advantage to the men, the teams ended up dividing according to what table they were sitting at.
As a public service, I am herewith providing for your amusement the questions from said quiz for you all to test your brainpower on. I’ve included the category titles from which the teams had to choose. Feel free to answer these as you like; I’m perfectly aware of your collective ability to Google (heck, where do you think I got these in the first place).
You’re An Animal! [Zoology]
Q. What is unusual about the sheep on the Scottish island of Foula?
a) They eat seaweed
b) They eat seashells
c) They eat sea birds
d) They eat each other
Q. Capybaras are large guinea-pig-like animals that live in Venezuela. According to zoologists, they are mammals. But for culinary purposes the Roman Catholic church classifies them as what?
Q. Does a duck’s quack echo?
Q. Where are you more likely to find the largest number of living organisms (including microbes) in one gallon of water?
a) Arctic Ocean
b) Caspian Sea
c) Caribbean Sea
d) Mick Jagger’s swimming pool
Q. After whom was the late Dolly The Sheep named, bearing in mind that the cell from which she was grown was originally taken from a mammary gland?
This Septic Isle [All About the UK]
Q. What did Peter Sellers call “The Gateway to the South”?
Q. Which British organisation has an avocet as an emblem?
Q. What and where is Muckle Flugga?
Q. In 1924, the architect Giles Gilbert Scott won a national competition with a design codenamed K2. What was K2?
a) The red pillar postbox
b) The red telephone kiosk
c) The red double-decker bus
d) The blue police callbox
Q. What did the word “chipping” mean, as used in English place names such as Chipping Norton and Chipping Campden?
Through the Cakehole [Food and Drink]
Q. By what name is the variety of lettuce sometimes called “Romaine” better known, so called after the Greek Island where the variety is said to have originated?
Q. Which inventor of the deep freeze has had his name immortalized in a brand of frozen food?
Q. Eggs from a lobster are referred to as:
Q. What food derives its name from the German for “Devil’s Fart”?
Q. What sweetens Drambuie?
Balls to You [Sports and Leisure]
Q. The largest arena of its kind is in Tokyo, and accommodates 504 games simultaneously. What is played there?
Q. The Monopoly board game has appeared in hundreds of different versions encompassing hundreds of different cities and other locations. What city provided the property names for the original Monopoly game?
Q. Which game has a playing area of 9 feet by 5 feet, with its upper surface 30 inches above the floor?
Q. What, in cricketing terms, is a “pair of spectacles”?
Q. Sir Peter Teazle did it in 1787, Cardinal Beaufort did it in 1805, as did Captain Cuttle in 1922. It usually takes just over two and a half minutes to do. What is it?
Don’t Even Go There [Geography]
Q. The Canary Islands are named for what animal?
Q. To the nearest 10 percent, what percentage of Monaco’s residents regularly gamble at Monte Carlo?
Q. During which president’s term were Alaska and Hawaii admitted as states?
Q. Which is farther from Pago Pago – Walla Walla or Wagga Wagga?
Q. From the Earth we can see the moon rise and set. When the day comes that we can live on the moon, will we see the Earth rise and set?
Who Did You Say You Were Again? [Doctor Who]
Q. In ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’, what did the Dalek chasing the Doctor do when he made a getaway up some stairs?
a) Took a nearby lift and cut him off.
b) Hovered up after him
c) Signalled to another Dalek at the top of the stairs.
d) Shouted impotently after him
Q. In their debut story, ‘The Daleks’, what gave the Daleks their motive power?
Q. Which Doctor Who actor faced being eaten in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and why?
Q. How many ‘balls’ (hemispheres) encircle the base of the average Dalek?
Q. There were 3 different incarnations of K-9 throughout the series. To whom did the Doctor give each one?
Wow – Those Are Some Savage Breasts! [Music]
Q. Which country’s national anthem would take the longest to sing in its entirety – Greece’s, Japan’s, or Qatar’s?
Q. “Tie me kangaroo down, sport.” What other pets are you asked to mind in this song from Down Under? Name three out of the four.
Q. This tenor instrument of the zink or cornetto family is shaped like a flattened letter “s”. Although the tone of this wind instrument is generally considered to be pleasing to the ear, it has a cloudy, rather foggy timbre. Is it a:
Q. Which 20 year old singer was voted female “Rear Of The Year” for 2003?
Q. What was Vivaldi’s profession aside from violinist and composer?
**The Horror…The Horror… [Horror Films]
The following questions involve you being dropped into the middle of a horror film. You have to identify the film.
Q. You’re walking through a deserted parking lot when from behind you hear, ‘Helen… be my victim.’ Who or what is after you?
Q. It’s a sunny day. Standing in the middle of the street with three other people, you turn as a man says, ‘You got a letter? I got run over, Helen gets her hair chopped off, Julie gets a dead body in her trunk, and you get a letter? Oh, that’s balanced!’ You recognize these people from what movie?
Q. You’re looking in a mirror at a plain girl in a pink semi-formal dress. Behind you, your mother is yelling, ‘They’re all gonna laugh at you!’ Who are you?
Q. You’re in a deep well. A shadowy figure at the top of the well shouts down, ‘It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.’ What movie are you in?
Q. You see a tiny woman explaining something to a woman and a man. She says, ‘It lies to her. It tells her things only a child can understand. To her, it simply is another child. To us, it is The Beast.’ What movie did you fall into?
Things That Make You Go Mmm… [Questions whose answers have multiple words beginning with the letter M (Example: “Mickey Mouse” or “Marilyn Monroe”)]
Q. Which musical is currently playing at the Prince Edward Theatre on Old Compton Street?
Q. Which famous anthropologist (who died in 1978) had her centenary year in 2001?
Q. In art history, what term is commonly associated with the “Vanitas” style of still life paintings, typically containing skulls, extinguished candles, decaying fruit and similar reminders of the ephemerality of life?
Q. Which Texas-born actress became famous for going to the South Pacific, while her real-life son became even more famous for living in Texas?
Q. Which literary character, promoted several ranks on his first day in the Army, would only see people in his office when he wasn’t there?
No, The Answer Is Not ‘Tir’ [Animated Characters]
Q. Who is described as “a wobbly, bobbly, dribbly, squiggly dog”?
Q. Which animated characters are members of “The Loyal Order of Water Buffalos”?
Q. To whom does Pilchard the cat belong?
Q. Who are Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup?
Q. Name the missing member of this group: Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and…?
Ooh Yeah – Move That Finger! [Literature and Other Scribblings]
The moving finger writes and having writ, moves on…
Q. In 1978, what book achieved the dubious record of being most frequently stolen from public libraries in England?
Q. A classic novel was written by a neighbour of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and was dedicated to him. Name the novel and the neighbour.
Q. In which of these novels does the protagonist NOT commit a murder?
a) The Picture of Dorian Gray
b) Of Human Bondage
c) The Stranger
d) Crime and Punishment
Q. Who is the fictional author of the treatises ‘Where God Went Wrong’, ‘Some More of God’s Greatest Mistakes’, ‘Who is This God Person Anyway?’ and ‘Well, That About Wraps it Up for God’?
Q. Which book had, by law, to be owned by every member of the population of the country between 1966 and 1971?
** Whaddaya Mean? [Word Definitions]**
I’ll give you a word and three possible definitions. You tell me the correct definition. All definitions, including those not matching the word in question, come from The Superior Person’s Book of Words.
a) Contradiction between two authorities.
b) Predicting the future by the use of arrows
c) The study of engraved seals.
a) Having short curly or woolly hair.
c) With paired nostrils
a) A silver coffee pot with a separate container which holds the coffee as it is heated.
b) A bodily secretion that is reabsorbed.
c) An elegantly veiled insult.
a) Exceedingly wicked
b) Related to nose-blowing
Q. Queer Plunger:
a) An Elizabethan term for a bold, forward, rampant, or wanton woman; a woman who romps.
b) A small explosive device, used by military engineers in medieval times to undermine castle walls, break down drawbridges, etc.
c) A type of 18th-century con man.
Live in the Now, Baby [Current Affairs]
Silly season is upon us again… (Note: questions were “current” as of the end of August 2003)
Q. What recently caused a power struggle between the US and Canada?
Q. Why did Veronica Lake, Billy Idol, Elvis and Saddam Hussein all appear in the same front-page Guardian article this week?
Q. Why were a family boating off the coast of Australia glad when the one they caught got away?
Q. What has got an Irish government minister incensed with the Roman Catholic Church?
Q. Which Republican group recently attempted to take over a royal residence?
Q. What are Mizaru, Mikazaru, and Mazaru famous for not doing?
Q. Who began selling toys in London in 1760, calling his outlet “Noah’s Ark”?
Q. In number of sales per year, what company is the world’s largest manufacturer of feminine apparel?
Q. Which army’s motto is “Blood and Fire”?
Q. Which aid to breathing underwater takes its name from the ventilating tube for submerged submarines first introduced in German U-boats during World War II?
Q. Which 20th-century oratorio features the immortal line “Chatter clatter chatter clatter – mon-KEE!”?
Q. Which important figure did Nathuram Godse assassinate on January 30th 1948?
Q. Which famous family sold their house at 1 Richmond Crescent in London for £615,000 in 1997?
Q. Where will you find the letters C, D, E, F, L, O, P, T, and Z, and no others?
Q. In signal processing, noise that is spread evenly across a given frequency range is known as ‘white noise’. What name is given to noise biased towards the low frequency end?
Q. How many nanoseconds are there in a second?
Q. In computer terminology 8 bits = 1 byte. What is the term for 4 bits?
Q. What is being described here: Approximately 4.5 inches across, with a transparent plastic coating, the metal beneath this is etched with microscopic pits carrying a digital code. It was introduced to Britain in December 1983?
Q. Which object, measuring just over 14 feet in length and 3.5 feet wide, has been in its present location, the cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, since 1578, although its history prior to the fourteenth century had been the subject of much conjecture?
Q. What famous scientist proposed the theory of a ‘Conditioned Response’ and whose results were published in 1897 in his book entitled, ‘Work of the Digestive Glands’?
Q. What is the lifespan of a human taste bud:
a) 10 hours
b) 10 days
c) 10 weeks
d) 10 months
[Omitted for verification]
Q. Thomas Hardy’s novel, ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’, deals with the theme of retribution. What sin was the protagonist guilty of committing?
Q. Only two books of the Bible are named after women. Name both of them.
Q. The Edda is a body of two thirteenth-century collections of which country’s early poems and mythologies?
Q. When Jeffrey Archer was made a Lord in 1992 he became Lord Archer of where (which town)?
Q. Which famous sporting trophy, donated in 1892 by the then-Governor General of Canada, has at various points in its history been kicked into a canal, left in a snowbank by the side of the road, dropped in swimming pools (at least twice), and used as a flowerpot, baptismal font, dog bowl and urinal?
Q. Who owns the Oval Cricket Ground, home of the Surrey County Cricket Club?
Q. Which group from the punk era fronted by Hugh Cornwell released the single “Peaches” in 1977 that reached number eight in the charts despite being banned by BBC radio because of offensive sexist lyrics?
Q. Which is the only one of the Seven Dwarfs to wear glasses?
Q. What term commonly refers to the NCAA College Basketball Championships in the United States?
Q. Which three moderators oversee General Questions?
Q. ‘Olber’s Paradox’, named after the German astronomer who discussed it in a work of 1826, concerns itself with which simple question?
Q. In 1926, Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks Sr. were all defeated in Warner Brothers popularity polls. By what superstar were they outshined?
Q. Which “gentleman” English actor, although a top Hollywood star, returned to England to fight as soon as war broke out in 1939 and finished the war a Lieutenant Colonel serving with the rifle brigade and the commandos?