The Hardest Quiz Ever

Last month in Esquire Magazine they ran “The Hardest Quiz Ever*”. Now, knowing how you all are like the ultimate brainy, trivia-y bunch in The Whole World, I thought this was perfect. Alas, time and copyright considerations kept me from posting the Quiz here. But joyfully they’ve finally added it to the online site.

Here’s the entire Quiz WARNING: PDF.

Let’s see how long it takes us to crack the whole thing. I have the answers, but don’t know them. Also, please use SPOILER BOXES to post if you know any answer with 100% certainty, so it doesn’t ruin that portion for anyone else.

There are fifty questions, here are a few as a sample (without loading the PDF):

  1. What best-selling author was born Howard Allen O’Brien?
  2. Who is the only person to receive an Oscar Nomination whose full name (first and last) can be typed on a single row of a keyboard?

Don’t forget to use spoiler boxes if you know the answer and it’s not a guess.

42. Who sang the National Anthem at the Muhammed Ali v Michael Spinks rematch in the New Orleans Superdome in 1978?

Really, I mean it. I posted these since they’re relatively easy, googleable answers.

Also, if you have any really, really tough questions, let’s try and make up a second group of 50. Nominate your 51-100 toughest questions here.

*Unless you Google the hell out of it. But even then, it’s extraordinarily tough. Sure, you’ll find some help on the Web. But many questions require considerable brainpower just to figure out what you’re looking for. Still others exist in a realm completely separate from what you can find online. So cancel any appointments, brew some coffee, and open your mind. Let’s get started.

When I tried to open the PDF, I got an error saying the file was damaged and could no be repaired.

I have Acrobat Reader 6.0, i don’t need to upgrade, do I?

I think I’m only on 6.0. It does work for me. I’m on Mozilla, though, let me try it in IE.

Works for me in Explorer as well. I suppose you could try the upgrade, or I could loan you the hardcopy of my magazine next time you’re down this way. :wink:


Hedy Lamarr


Rome. Not the Vatican City, because the colonnades around St. Peter’s square aren’t on Vatican territory.



30.The ace. The other cards are in alphabetical order; “eight”, “five”, “four”, etc.

Wow, I know one.
43 Gilligan’s Island

Haven’t gone to the site yet, but the answer to #1 there is

Anne Rice

Working my way through …

The new words are sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.

Jerry Garcia (I think)

Alma, are you sure that was number 43, 'cause I’m thinking 11.

Well, my work internet is craptacular, so I’ll try again athome.

#37 55–atomic weight of cesium neon=10, argon=18…

3 (guess)

E Pluribus Unum

10 (wild guess)


13 (educated guess)

Jesse Owens

31 (mostly complete answer)

Hee Haw, Quantum Leap, Alias, That 70’s Show, Bewitched (that one’s a guess), *The Man From U.N.C.L.E. * (also a guess), *Futurama, Friends, *and I’m not sure about the last one.

#8 Skim Milk

#14 George Raft all well-known/celeb Georges

Ooops, you’re right. Definitely #11. Don’t know where I pulled 43 out of, I hadn’t even read the question.

I think that the E is from American Idol


Canada, because all the listed countries have red and white flags.

#48 douleur french for pain, pain french for bread; gelogen Dutch for lied, lied Dutch for song

#46 d.Texas otter is a kind of shawl; taxes are a kind of levy