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Hard quiz answers

I actually set this two months ago, so I reckon it's time to give the rest of the answers and give credit where due to those people who got questions right. The name in bold is the person who got there first.

1. What is a 'millihelen'? (The amount of beauty needed to launch one ship.) - iainjcoleman, wellinghall, brixtonbrood, phina v, steer
2. Célestine Galli-Marié was the first singer to play which famous operatic character? (Carmen) - NOBODY GOT THIS.
3. What was the largest ship (by tonnage) sunk by a German U-boat during either world war? (RMS Empress of Britain, a Canadian liner) - NOBODY GOT THIS
4. Both the Democrat and Republican candidates in the 2004 US presidential election (John Kerry and George W. Bush) belonged to which secret society when at university? (The Skull and Bones Society at Yale) (the one in Connecticut, not the Yale I went to, although they were of course named after the same man). iainjcoleman
5. What is the smallest (and non-extinct) flightless bird? (Inaccessible Island Rail) - NOBODY GOT THIS EXACTLY, BUT ELEDONECIRRHOSA WAS PRETTY CLOSE
6. Who is the Member of Parliament for the constituency that includes the Palace of Westminster? (Mark Field) helflaed
7. What is the nearest single star (i.e. not a double or triple star system) to the Sun? (Barnard's Star) cheekbones3
8. What was the first track on the first side of the first record or cassette of the very first 'Now That's What I Call Music!' compilation? (Phil Collins - 'You Can't Hurry Love') NOBODY GOT THIS
9. In baseball, what is a 'perfect game'? (A pitcher pitching the whole game without allowing a single opponent to reach first base) NOBODY GOT THIS EXACTLY, BUT CHRISMOUSE WAS CLOSE
10. The Order of the Elephant is the highest order of knighthood in which country? (Denmark) wellinghall
11. Who is the only archangel referred to as such in the Bible (excluding Apocrypha)? (Michael) phina v, cheekbones3, steer
12. Saint Helena was the mother of which important historical figure? (Emperor Constantine the Great) bunn, wellinghall, brixtonbrood
13. The Banking House of Valint and Balk appears in the books of which author? (Joe Abercrombie) NOBODY GOT THIS
14. Who played Boo Radley in the film of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'? (Robert Duvall) gervase_fen
15. Who was sacked as manager of St Mirren in 1978, with the chairman of the club saying he had "no managerial ability"? (Sir Alex Ferguson) brixtonbrood, cheekbones3
16. Which snooker player has won more World Championships than any other? (Joe Davis) cheekbones3
17. What is the densest naturally occuring element? (Osmium) brixtonbrood, cheekbones3
18. What was the Rolling Stones's first UK number 1 single? (It's All Over Now) NOBODY HERE GOT THIS, BUT BART_CALENDAR'S BROTHER DID
19. In men's cycling, who won the 2013 Tour of Flanders? (Fabian Cancellara) NOBODY GOT THIS
20. By what name is the renaissance scientist, astrologer and occultist Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim is better known? (Paracelsus) brixtonbrood
21. What was the Spectrum and Commodore 64 game developed by Automata that featured the vocal talents of Jon Pertwee, Frankie Howerd and Ian Dury? (Deus ex Machina) pelago_uk
22. What is the highest mountain in Europe? (Mount Elbrus - not Mont Blanc, at least by the most common definition of Europe) cheekbones3
23. During the 1980 siege of the Iranian Embassy in London, what was done to conceal the noise of drilling by technicians who were planting surveillance microphones in the wall? (Airliners were redirected to fly low over the embassy) NOBODY GOT THIS
24. The actor Don LaFontaine died in 2008. What three words is he most commonly associated with? ("In a world..." at the beginning of movie trailers. He cornered the market in movie trailer voiceovers.) gervase_fen
25. In 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy', why did the bowl of petunias think 'Oh no, not again' when it suddenly appeared high above Magrathea alongside a sperm whale? (It was later revealed to be an incarnation of Agrajag, the being continuously killed by Arthur Dent) wellinghall, brixtonbrood, cheekbones3, steer
26. Shortly before Ted Hughes became Poet Laureate in 1984, both he and Philip Larkin suggested that the position should be given to which Cornish poet? (Charles Causley) bunn (who had something of an unfair advantage since we've just done the website for the Charles Causley Festival...)
27. Juba is the capital city of which country? (South Sudan) phina v, cheekbones3
28. Jack Nicholson is one of only two actors to receive Oscar nominations in the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. Who is the other? (Sir Michael Caine) NOBODY GOT THIS
29. 'The Warlock of Firetop Mountain' was the first Fighting Fantasy Gamebook. What was the second? (The Citadel of Chaos)  iainjcoleman, phina v
30. Which famous comic strip science fiction character featured on the cover of the first edition of 2000 AD? (Dan Dare) iainjcoleman, wellinghall, brixtonbrood
31. Who was the Plymouth schoolgirl who won the 2012 Olympic 100m breaststroke gold medal? (Rūta Meilutytė) NOBODY GOT THIS
32. Which Lord of the Rings character had a mother called Eglantine? (Pippin) bunn, wellinghall,
33. Which American professor of Urdu and South Asian Studies, who died in March 2012, was called 'the forgotten Tolkien' by Der Spiegel, on account of the linguistically-derived nature of his fictional fantasy setting? (M.A.R. Barker) iainjcoleman
34. Who created the miniatures wargame 'Little Wars', described as "a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games"? (H.G.Wells) iainjcoleman, wellinghall
35. In the New Testament, only two of the four gospels agree on the names of all 12 disciples. Which two? (Matthew and Mark) wellinghall, steer
36. What plant appears on the flag of Mexico? (a cactus) helflaed, eledonecirrhosa
37. Who sang on Mike Oldfield's hit single 'Moonlight Shadow'? (Maggie Reilly) cheekbones3
38. Name this Hollywood actor: All six of the films in which he appeared received Best Picture Oscar nominations. His most famous role was in three of those films when he played the elder brother of a character played by his former flatmate. He died of cancer at the age of 42 in 1978. Meryl Streep was his girlfriend at the time. (John Cazale, best known as Fredo Corleone in the Godfather trilogy) gervase_fen
39. Excluding the Open University, what is the UK's largest university (in terms of student numbers)? (Manchester) brixtonbrood
40. Who was the third man to set foot on the Moon? (Charles 'Pete' Conrad) NOBODY GOT THIS
41. In professional boxing, what is the lightest weight category? (Minimumweight, aka 'strawweight' or 'mini flyweight') cheekbones3
42. Which famous university is situated just north of the town of South Bend, Indiana? (Notre Dame) wellinghall
43. Which football club won the first ever Football League title in 1889? (Preston North End) brixtonbrood, cheekbones3
44. And which football club won last season's Football League title? (Reading) cheekbones3
45. The Prussian explorer Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Leichhardt is most famous for his explorations of which modern country? (Australia) cheekbones3
46. Which science fiction author's 'Iron Law of Bureaucracy' states that "In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely"? (Jerry Pournelle) chrismouse
47. At the start of 'A Game of Thrones', which noble house holds Harrenhal? (House Whent) ladyofastolat, steer
48. What nature of creature is a 'Common Welsh Green'? (a dragon, in Harry Potter) bunn, brixtonbrood, phina v, cheekbones3
49. Six types of dice are used in standard Dungeons and Dragons. What is the only one that is not a platonic solid? (d10) iainjcoleman, wellinghall, brixtonbrood, phina v, cheekbones3, steer
50. What game won the 2012 British Academy Award for Best Game? (Dishonored) ladyofastolat

So if I'm not wrong that leaves iainjcoleman and cheekbones3 tied for the most first correct answers. Well done you two.



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2013 10:03 pm (UTC)
Excellent quiz -- thanks. I really enjoyed it.
Jun. 4th, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
I've ended up being volunteered as quizmaster for a Launceston Chamber of Commerce fundraising quiz night. Those questions will have to be somewhat easier than these!
Jun. 4th, 2013 10:37 pm (UTC)
Yes... I can imagine a lot of "umm... what?" if you give that quiz.

I remember a lovely interview on radio four which described the ideal nature of a pub quiz question. The perfect question is one which is possible to "know" but also can be "guessed" through logic or sufficient debate. Their example question was "which country has changed its flag 25 times since 1800?"

My local pub quiz has a brilliant question of the form "in which year" giving a political event, a popular culture event and an album release all of which are within the lifetime of most of the quiz participants. That generates endless debate "No no, I was at university then and I bought that on day of release..." or "But Thatcher was prime-minister when that happened so it must have been..."
(I think the question form is borrowed from a TV quiz but I forget which one.)
Jun. 5th, 2013 08:21 am (UTC)
That's good advice. I think each round of say ten questions should have some that are easy enough that everyone in the team will know some answers but others that are hard enough that one or no people will know them. And you should feel clever if you know some answers.
Jun. 5th, 2013 11:46 am (UTC)
Makes sense yes. (I set exams by the same principle -- 33% if you're an idiot, 66% if you're competent, 100% if you're a freak genius).

Did you work out the answer to the flag question? It's nice when you get it.
Jun. 5th, 2013 12:07 pm (UTC)
I'm going to guess at the USA - which presumably changes every time a state is added. I reckon about half the states must have been added after 1800. Am I right?
Jun. 5th, 2013 12:09 pm (UTC)
You are completely correct -- if the question "works" then half the team start guessing unstable countries which had multiple revolutions until someone goes "hold on..."
Jun. 5th, 2013 12:25 pm (UTC)
Can I use that one in Launceston?
Jun. 5th, 2013 12:35 pm (UTC)
Not my property but a question I heard from a random radio four interviewee who was some kind of representative of pub quizes. This was several (maybe a dozen) years ago so little chance your representatives would have heard the question before. You might want to check the exact value for 20 -- I did it quickly from the WP page on the US flag and didn't count variants in use at the same time.
Jun. 5th, 2013 02:09 pm (UTC)
Jun. 5th, 2013 02:14 pm (UTC)
I was (in the audience at) the Mastermind Champion of Champions filming when someone had "Flags of the World" as his specialist subject. He went on to get the highest score ever, and maintained his lead through the general knowledge round.
Jun. 5th, 2013 04:15 pm (UTC)
Ah, but does he live in Launceston...?
Jun. 5th, 2013 08:37 pm (UTC)
Maybe ...
Jun. 5th, 2013 07:32 am (UTC)
Four firsts, six others, not bad.

Thanks for doing the quiz!
Jun. 5th, 2013 04:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's pretty good.

And thank you!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )