Sunday 12 October 2014

This weeks questions

1 The death of which Russian composer, on 5 March 1953, was overshadowed by the death on the same day of Joseph Stalin?

2 What is the name of the 2013 film directed by Martin Scorsese based on the memoirs of  Jordan Belfort?

3 Ellis Park Stadium which hosts football and rugby games, is in what South African city?

4 Which pop group were successfully sued for libel in 1967 by Harold Wilson, then British Prime Minister, over a promotional postcard which showed him in bed with his secretary, Marcia Williams?

5 Which author and poet wrote 'The Sherston Trilogy', named after the protagonist, George Sherston, who serves as a pseudonym for the author?

6 What geologic period, the second of the Paleozoic Era, is named after a Celtic tribe living in present Wales and England prior to the Roman conquest?

7 Which region of France gives its name to a type of car? Originally an enclosed automobile with open driver's seat, it resembled a style of cloak and hood that was worn by the inhabitants of the region.

8 What is the name of the Australian passenger train service run between Adelaide and Darwin by Great Southern Rail?

9 Which Hollywood actress founded the lifestyle website Goop in 2008?

10 With an area of 787 square miles or 2,038 square kilometres, what is the largest Area of Oustanding National Beauty in Britain?

11 Pictured above. Representing England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games she won four gold medals, the most won by an Englishwoman at a single Games since 1930. What is the name of this gymnast?

12 With a name derived from the Greek for animal and ailment, what word describes the process whereby an infectious disease is transmitted between species? It is usually used specifically to mean diseases that can travel from non-human animals to humans, such as rabies and Ebola.

13 The three stars Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka are a feature of the night sky collectively known by what name?

14 Known as the 'Eton of the North' and for instilling its pupils with traditional values, Fettes College is located in which British city?

15 On 3 July 1940 at which Algerian port did the Royal Navy bombard the French fleet, sinking a battleship and damaging of five other ships? The attack was a result of fears that the French fleet would end up as a part of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.

16 Born in Huddersfield in 1963, which poet and author published his first collection of poems, Zoom!, in 1989? He has published a further fifteen collections subsequently, as well as translations of the Odyssey and Sir Gawain and The Green Knight.

17 On board which ship did Napoléon Bonaparte surrender to the British after the Battle of Waterloo, after finding it blockading his escape to America?

18 Marlon Brando won his first Best Actor Oscar for his role in On the Waterfront, which of his co-stars won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role?

19 In 1973, in a match billed  as The Battle of the Sexes, Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in three straight sets. Riggs had beaten which female tennis player earlier in the year, who had stepped in after King declined his initial challenge?

20 Which Conservative politician, a minister under Margaret Thatcher and Deputy Prime Minister under John Major and now in the House of Lords, founded the media company Haymarket Media Group in 1965?


1 Sergei Prokofiev
2 The Wolf of Wall Street
3 Johannesburg
4  The Move
5 Siegfried Sassoon
6 Ordovician
7 Limousin
8 The Ghan
9 Gwyneth Paltrow
10 Cotswolds
11 Claudia Fragapane
12 Zoonosis
13 Orion's Belt
14 Edinburgh
15 Mers-el-Kébir
16 Simon Armitage
17 HMS Bellerophon
18 Eva Marie Saint
19 Margaret Court
20 Michael Heseltine

Sunday 5 October 2014

Another set of questions

1 The 2006 film The Prestige, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, was based on a novel of the same name by which author?

2 Since the death of Humphrey Lyttelton in 2008, which comedian has been the host of the Radio 4 comedy panel game I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue?

3 Excavated in the early twentieth century and reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin, (pictured above), the Ishtar Gate  was part of which Mesopotamian city?

4  The Queen's Plate, Prince of Wales Stakes and Breeders Stakes are the three horse races that make up which country's Triple Crown?

5 Gaby Aghion who died on 27 Septmber 2014 founded which French fashion house in 1952?

6 Thespis, first performed in 1871, was the first collaboration between which librettist and composer?

7 The La Liga football club Real Sociedad are based in which Spanish city?

8 What two word expression, from the Greek for the 'many or majority', is used in English as a derogatory term for the working class or common people?

9 What surname links a British artist married to Barbara Hepworth from 1938 to 1951, a 1961 double winning manager of Tottenham Hotspur and a 1961 football pools winner who pledged to "spend, spend, spend"?

10 What is the name of the production company that made Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? from 1998 to 2007?

11 What was the name of car manufacturer Henry Ford's son? His first name was used for a range of car Ford manufactured from 1958 to 1960, that was so unpopular the name became a popular symbol for failure.

12 What is the name of the French fashion designer who, along with Mary Quant claims to be the inventor of the mini skirt, launched what he called his 'Space Age' collection in 1964?

13 The 2009 film Oil City Confidential, directed by Julien Temple, documents the story of which band, who despite their most commercially productive years being the 1970s still tour today, albeit without any of the original line-up?

14 What was the name of the first Soviet secret police organization, founded on the orders of Lenin in December 1917 and led by Felix Dzerzhinsky?

15 What is the modern day name of the Polynesian island nation formerly known as the Ellice Islands?

16 Which English biologist was known as "Darwin's Bulldog" due to his advocacy of Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution?

17 What name is given to a pizza folded in half and filled with a stuffing?

18 The flowering plants of the genus Kniphofia, are known more commonly by what name?

19 The jockey Brian Fletcher, who rode Red Rum to victory in the Grand National in 1973 and '74, won his first National in 1968 on which horse?

20 Which march composed by John Phillip Sousa is named after a US newspaper?


1 Christopher Priest
2 Jack Dee
3 Babylon
4  Canada
5 Chloe
6 Gilbert and Sullivan
7 San Sebastián
8 Hoi polloi
9 Nicholson, respectively Ben, Bill and Viv
10 Celador
11 Edsel Ford
12 André Courrèges
13 Dr. Feelgood
14 The Cheka
15 Tuvalu
16 Thomas Huxley
17 Calzone
18 Red hot poker
19 Red Alligator
20 The Washington Post March

Sunday 28 September 2014

This week in quiz

With half the team away on holiday, I went into this week with low expectations. So I was pleasantly suprised to finish second on Monday night, only a point behind the winners and then take a win on Friday night. The last couple of weeks has been a bit frustrating with near misses and bad calls, so to end a barren streak was great.

Anway here are a few questions, the Ryder Cup has taken up most of my free time this weekend. So I've included the ones that got away within the set. In case you're interested they are questions 1, 3, 8 and 12.

1 Matt is a cartoonist with which daily newspaper?

2 Horse Racing - What is the shortest distance for a flat race in the UK?

3 Taken on Trust is an an account of whose time in captivity as a hostage in Lebanon during the late 1980s and early 1990s?

4 What is the name of the family who are the subject of  Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women?

5 The Foundation series is a set of science fiction novels written by which author?

6 Wilmington is the largest city in which US state?

7 What is the name of the family in the BBC sitcom Outnumbered?

8 "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers" is a famous quote from which 1951 film?

9 Aarhus is the second largest city in which European country?

10 What was the name of the youth organisation founded by Sir William Alexander Smith in 1883?

11 Which American Football team play their home games at Lambeau Field?

12 Channel Orange, released in 2012, is the debut studio album by which American singer/rapper?

13 Hekla is an active volcano located in which European country?

14 The model number of many Rolls Royce jet engines start with the initials RB, such as the RB211. The R stands for Rolls, after what Lancashire town, the former site of Rolls Royce aero's design centre, does the B stand?

15 HMS Trincomalee, a restored Royal Navy frigate, is a museum ship harboured in which British town?

16 In Greek mythology, who captured and rode the winged horse Pegasus and killed the Chimera?

17 “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” Which twentieth century artist said this?

18 Tephrochronology is a dating technique that uses what natural material?

19 What now commonplace surgical procedure was first successfully carried out in 1962 at Wrightington Hospital in Lancashire by  Sir John Charnley?

20 The name of the popular brand of chocolate sweets Quality Street, was inspired by a play of the same name by which Scottish author and dramatist? He is best known today for a play of 1904 which was published as a novel in 1911.

21 Jerry Mulligan, played by Gene Kelly, is the title character in which film musical of 1951? It was inspired by a 1928 symphonic poem of the same name by George Gershwin?

22 The American sitcom All in the Family, which was broadcast from 1971 until 1979, was based on which British sitcom written by Johnny Speight?

23 Which country's twenty over cricket competition is called the Big Bash?

24 The German city of Chemnitz was known by what name between the years of 1953 and 1990?

25 Which artist directed the film Vinyl released in 1965, a low budget adaptation of Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange?


1 Daily Telegraph
2 Five Furlongs
3 Terry Waite
4 March
5 Isaac Asimov
6 Delaware
7 Brockman
8 A Streetcar Named Desire
9 Denmark
10 Boys Brigade
11 Green Bay Packers
12 Frank Ocean
13 Iceland
14 Barnoldswick
15 Hartlepool
16 Bellerophon
17 Pablo Picasso
18 Volcanic ash
19 Hip replacement
20 J. M. Barrie
21 An American in Paris
22 Till Death Us Do Part
23 Australia
24 Karl Marx Stadt
25 Andy Warhol

Sunday 21 September 2014

New questions with an Italian theme

A break from the norm, rather than just writing x amount of general questions I thought I would try picking a theme and go from there.

So it won't be much of a suprise, that going by the above title I chose Italy for this week.


1 In 1993 who became the first Italian golfer to play in the Ryder Cup? He is best known for sinking a 60 foot putt on the final hole at the 1995 Open Championship, held at St Andrews, to force a playoff against the American John Daly. A playoff he ultimately lost.

2 Which Italian sprinter won the 200 metre gold medal at the 1980 Summer Oympics held in Moscow? In 1979 he set a World Record at the same distance, a record that stood for seventeen years and is still the European record for the event.

3 In 2010 who became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title, when she won the French Open?

4 The Serie A football club Atalanta plays its home games in which city?

5 In terms of race and World Championship wins, who is the most successful motorcycle rider in Grand Prix history? Between the years of 1962 and 1977 he won 122 Grand Prix and 7 world titles in the 350cc class and 8 world titles in the 500cc class, not to mention the 10 Isle of Man TT races he also won.


1 Which Tuscan city is famous for its marble quarries? High quality marble has been quarried here since the time of Ancient Rome and has been used to build the Pantheon and Trajan's Column in Rome, as well as many sculptures from the Renaissance, such as Michelangelo's David.

2 Of Italy's twenty regions which is the smallest both in terms of area and population?

3 The name of which port city in Tuscany is anglicised as Leghorn?

4 The peak of Monte Solaro is the highest point of whch Italian island?

5 What is the collective name for the three small islands of Lampedusa, Linosa, and Lampione, located in the Mediterranean Sea between Malta and Tunisia, south of Sicily? Politically and administratively the islands fall within the Sicilian province of Agrigentoand and represent the southernmost part of Italy.


1 The Scrovegni Chapel, also known as the Arena Chapel, in Padua,  contains a fresco cycle which depicts the life of Christ by which artist born around 1266?

2 Which early Renaissance painter, born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, is best known for his fresco cycle in the Brancacci Chapel, as well as the Holy Trinity Fresco in church of Santa Maria Novella, both in Florence?

3 In 1479 which Venetian artist was sent, as a cultural ambassador, to the  Ottoman capital Constantinople as part of a peace settlement between Venice and the Turks? Whilst there he is believed to have painted the portrait of Sultan Mehmed II now in the National Gallery, London.

4 Meaning light-dark in Italian, what is the name for the artistic technique which uses strong contrasts between light and dark within a composition? Notable exponents include Baglione and Carravagio.

5 What was the  name of the Italian painter, architect, writer and historian, most famous today for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, first published in 1550, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing?

Famous Italians

1 Which Nobel Prize winning physicist is best known for his work on the first nuclear reactor and had a synthetic element, atomic number 100 named after him?

2 What was the name of the former Prime Minister of Italy, kidnapped and subsequently murdered by the terrorist organization the Red Brigades in 1978?

3 Named after a sixteenth century Genoese admiral, what was the name of the ocean liner which sunk after a collision with the MS Stockholm in 1956?

4 The films of which Italian director and screenplay writer include La Dolce Vita, 8½ and Amarcord? He jointly holds the record for directing films that have won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

5 The Devil's Violinist is a 2013 film based on the life story of which nineteenth century Italian violinist and composer?

Mixed Bag

1 What is the name of the organised crime syndicate which originated in Naples and the surrounding region of Campania?

2 What part did Welshman Glyndwr Michael take in the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943?

3 Which opera by Puccini is set during the time of the Californian gold rush?

4 Which basilica is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope?

5 Meaning 'The Phoenix' in English, Teatro La Fenice is an opera house in which Italian city?


1 Costantino Rocca
2 Pietro Mennea
3 Francesca Schiavone
4 Bergamo
5 Giacomo Agostini

1 Carrara
2 Aosta Valley
3 Livorno
4 Capri
5 Pelagie Islands

1 Giotto
2 Masaccio
3 Gentile Bellini
4 Chiaroscuro
5 Giorgio Vasari

Famous Italians
1 Enrico Fermi
2 Aldo Moro
3 SS Andrea Dora
4 Federico Fellini
5 Niccolò Paganini

Mixed Bag
1 Camorra
2 His body was used as the decoy in Operation Mincemeat, the link explains it better than I could.
3 The Girl of the Golden West (La fanciulla del West)
4 (Papal Archbasilica of) St. John Lateran
5 Venice

A few that got away this week

1 What was the name of the Czech student who set himself on fire in Wenceslas Square in January 1969, as a protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia which crushed the Prague Spring in 1968? He later died from his injuries.

2 The BBC radio newsreader Wallace Greenslade is mainly remembered today for his involvement with which radio show?

3 Which comedian had a minor hit in 1961 with Don't Jump Off the Roof Dad?

4 Name the person pictured below.



1 Jan Palach, very tough this, one you either know or you don't. We didn't.
2 The Goon Show, annoyingly this was suggested as a possible answer but discounted.
3 Tommy Cooper, we could only come up with Charlie Drake here.
4 Danny Wallace.

Sunday 14 September 2014

Some new questions

I found trying to write some new questions quite a trial this week for some reason, probably a result of having a week off. Hopefully these aren't too taxing.

1 New Blood, released in 2011, is an album of orchestral re-recordings of songs from the solo career of which male artist, a former lead singer with the band Genesis?

2 What was the surname of the married couple executed in the US in 1953 for their part in passing atom bomb secrets to the Soviet Union?

3 Which twentieth century Poet Laureate wrote detective novels under the pseudonym Nicholas Blake?

4 In the Middle Ages scrofula, a form of tuberculosis, was known by what name due to the belief that the royal touch of a monarch could cure disease?

5 The Chairman of Ways and Means is the most senior deputy of which officer of the House of Commons?

6 The Daiquiri cocktail takes its name from a village on which Caribbean island?

7 Desmond Miles is the protagonist of which video game franchise?

8 The part of radar pioneer Sir Robert Watson-Watt, was played by which comedian and actor in the BBC2 drama Castles in the Sky?

9 The volcanic island of Stromboli is part of which island group?

10 Yorkshire won its thirty-first cricket county championship in 2014, the most of any county. Which three counties are yet to win their first?

11 Christiansborg Palace is the seat of which country's parliament? 

12 Which songwriting team wrote the musicals Cabaret and Chicago?

13 The Battle of Stoke Field, which took place in 1487, was the decisive engagement in an attempt by leading Yorkists to unseat Henry VII in favour of which pretender?

14 St Boniface Down is the highest point of which island of Great Britain?

15 The Cornish cheese Yarg is wrapped in the leaves of which plant and then left to mature?

16 Which three word French term, meaning 'new wave', was coined by critics for the group of French film-makers of the late 1950s and early 1960s such as Jean-Luc Godard?

17  What is the name of the Vietnamese village that was the scene of a notorious massacre by US troops during the Vietnam War?

18 Which historical German duchy has been merged with Saxony twice, once after the Second World War and then prior to German reunification?

19 The American artist/sculptor Dale Chihuly works mainly with what material?

20 What is the two word common name of the disease pertussis?

1 Peter Gabriel
2 (Julius and Ethel) Rosenberg
3 Cecil Day-Lewis
4 King's Evil
5 Speaker
6 Cuba
7 Assassin's Creed
8 Eddie Izzard
9 Aeolian Islands, also accept Lipari Islands
10 Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and Somerset
11 Denmark
12 (John) Kander and (Fred) Ebb
13 Lambert Simnel
14 Isle of Wight
15 Nettle
16 La Nouvelle Vague
17 Mỹ Lai
18 Anhalt
19 Glass
20 Whooping cough

Friday 5 September 2014

No questions this week

I'm going away for a few days, so there will be no questions this week. Normal service will be resumed next week.