Sunday, 5 September 2010

Answers to Almost Impossible Questions - and some questions from other books

Its high time that I gave you the answers to that last set of Irene Thomas questions. So without further ado, here you are : -

1) What have Bananaland and the land of the White Ant to do with a flying kangaroo ?
Banana Land is a nickname for Queensland – The Land of the White Ant is a nickname for the Northern Territory. QANTAS – whose symbol is a flying kangaroo is the Queensland And Northern Territory Air Service

2) How did Neptune act like a dynamo in reverse, how was a husky followed by an avalanche, how were here two kinds of knight’s move, one airy and one watery ?
Neptune was the codeword for part of Operation Overlord – D – Day. Dynamo was the evacuation of Dunkirk. Husky was the invasion of Sicily, and Avalanche the subsequent invasion of Salerno. Rosselsprung ( german for knight’s move ) was the codename for both the german attack on convoy PQ17, and the attempt by airborne troops to capture Tito. ( that’s the Yugoslav partisan leader, and not the guitarist in the Jackson 5 )

3) What according to popular legend changed from red to black when one of the founders died, and what has Sir Charles Sykes got to do with what ‘flies’ just above it ?
The initials R.R. on the radiator of Rolls Royce cars. Supposed to have been changed following the death of Charles Rolls, they were in fact only changed to match the black paintwork most customers wanted. Sir Charles Sykes designed The Spirit of Ecstasy, the distinctive mascot on the radiator.

4) If Mary Powell, Catherine Woodcock and Elizabeth Minshull met in the afterlife, what would have been there most likely topic of conversation ?

John Milton – they were his three wives.

5) What connects a notorious 18th century pleasure gardens, the longest reigning Monarch in English history, an angry sovereign and a 14 year old Christian martyr ?
Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens – Queen Victoria – Kings Cross and St. Pancras. Vauxhall, Victoria and Kings Cross st. Pancras are all on London’s Underground Railway Victoria Line

6) Who in 1966 hugged a high flying seagull, saying he embraced her as a daughter ?
Nikita Krushchev hugged safely returned first woman in space, Valentina Tereschkova. Her code name was seagull.

7) What have Katchaturian and Charlotte Rhodes to do with a Thracian shepherd who died in 71 BC ?
Charlotte Rhodes was the name of one of the ships in BBCs long running drama “The Onedin Line”. The theme music of the Onedin Line was taken from Katchaturian’s Spartacus. The original Spartacus was the Thracian shepherd who led a slaved revolt against Rome, and was crucified in 71 BC

8) When Ilex and Hedera reach maturity which one deserves the coronet ?
The Ilex does. The Holly ( Ilex ) and the Ivy ( hedera ) , when they are both full grown, of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown. Well, that’s what the Christmas carol says, anyway .

9) What was ironic about Mr. Robinson telling his son that the wireless of the ship they were aboard was a wonderful invention ?
Mr. Robinson was the alias of Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen, and his ‘son’ was in fact his lover, Ethel le Neve. The irony was that it was through the wireless that the captain informed authorites in England of his suspicion that Robinson was Crippen, so that a detective from Scotland Yard could get on a faster ship, and arrest Crippen when the ship docked.

10) Which diamond brought fame and wealth to the Sultan of Swat ?
A baseball diamond – this being the name given to the playing area of the quintessential American sport. The Sultan of Swat was the nickname given to the legendary George Herman ‘Babe’ Ruth , the first superstar of the sport.

Right - now that we have had the answers to those, try your luck with these : -

Set 1

1) Complete the following remarks, and say by whom they were first made : -
a) In England there are a hundred different ------- and only one --------
b) England is a nation of -------------------
c) The English winter, ending in ------------ To recommence in ---------
d) Oats. A grain , which in England is generally given to ------------ but in Scotland supports the -----------
e) What answer was actually given to statement d ?

2) What seven varieties of brassica are commonly grown in English vegetable gardens ?

3) Nursery Rhymes : -
a) Who married the maiden all forlorn
b) How many miles to Babylon ?
c) What did we Willie Winkie cry through the lock ?

4) Of what metal are the alloys brass, bronze, mild steel , German silver and electrum made ?

5) Distinguish between chloroform, chlorophyll, chlorodyne, chlorobromide and chlorosis

Set 2

1) What is or was a Tyburn Ticket ?

2) If you happened to be on Ilkley Moor bar t’at, what might you find on stones having been carved there during the iron age ?

3) Who lived close to the Dropping Well ?

4) A building at Bowes, near Barnard Castle, was the inspiration for which institution in a Charles Dickens novel ?

5) Which Yorkshire town was known as The Merrie City ?

Set 3

1) An 18th century battle has given its name to a famous English building, a breed of dog, and a fruit. Which battle – which building – which breed of dog – which fruit ?

2) Which real places are supposed to b the originals of these fictional towns – Cranford – Casterbridge – Troy Town – Tamarisk Town ?

3) Who –

a) ate grass as the oxen ?
b) walked with God and was not ?
c) was hanged on the gallows he had prepared for another man ?

4) What things are named after : -
a) Angstrom
b) Doppler
c) Fehling
d) Torricelli
e) Wheatstone

5) What is gavial ?

Set 4

1) Who said – “Patriotism is not enough “
2) What is the correct meaning of ‘accolade’ ?
3) In the chanting of psalms, what are the divisions called ?
4) What has a borough got that an ordinary town has not ?
5) Buna is an artificial form of what ?

You’ve probably worked out that these aren’t from any ordinary quiz book. My collection of venerable , if not ancient, quiz books has grown a little more in recent weeks from various sources, and so I thought that I might share a few questions from each of them with you. Set one actually comes from the oldest book in my collection – “To Test Your Knowledge “ by W.N. and M. Dixon, published in 1947 . It has 60 quizzes of 10 questions, but many of them as you can see are actually multiples, and each answer is properly explained in the back as well. Set two is from a funny little booklet from the 50s called “Believe It Or Not It Happened In Yorkshire “. It is actually a quizbook, since all the funny little things it wants to tell you are written in the form of questions. A nice little thing, this. Set three is from the Dixon’s follow up to the first book, called “Can You Tell Me ? “ and published in 1952. Everything you can say about the first book is true of this. Finally set four are from the 1954 General Knowledge Inquisition book I’ve mentioned before. As usual, answers in a few days.

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