Questions for November 2014

November questions – please have a god – or better still and correctly typed, have a GO – and send sarcastic answers as a comment.

  1. When Europeans in wooden ships first appeared to Inuit living on the Greenland coast, one of them (Inuit that is) asked “Who are you, what are you, where do you come from, is it from the sun or the moon?” What was unusual in the way he asked it?
  2. What do Lego, cockroaches and Keith Richards have in common?
  3. Count the number of crimps around the metal cap of a beer bottle; there will usually be 21 or 23 of them. (I conducted a proper scientific survey, which was great fun but I found I was unable to write up the results). The number would have to be between about 15 and 30 for engineering reasons, but why 21 or 23?
  4. Of which mid 20th-century musician was it said that “Nobody has ever reproduced the casual devastating right hand syncopation, which so delicately synchronised with deft left hand chord fingering”
  5. In the 13 extant examples of his signature, how did William Shakespeare spell his surname?
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14 comments

  1. DR BOB’S (BELATED) REAL ANSWERS

    (1) He addressed the questions, not to any of the Europeans, but to the ship itself.

    (2) They would all survive a nuclear holocaust … as would beer, among other things.

    (3) Because bottle-tops having N crimps, where N is a numbers with factors, such as 24, can arrange themselves in stable patterns and jam the bottling machine. With N=23 this cannot happen. I dunno why N is 21 on many samples that I carefully studied … maybe the bottling machine cannot accommodate a clump of 7 bottle-tops, but why settle for a small risk when you can have no risk? Maybe there is a (cheap, Chinese) bottle-top MAKING machine that can’t do 23 … More research is needed. Oh yes.

    (4) George Formby, playing the ukulele

    (5) The 13 signature are spelt in 13 different ways, none of them “Shakespeare”. Quote this next time someone corrects your spelling.

  2. 1. It is only one word in Inuit. Another rough translations is “Wassup?”
    2. I don’t like stepping on any of them.
    3. The crimping machine has 10 notches and a relatively prime number is needed to make the crimping process efficient. (I really hope it is something like this.)
    4. Iceland
    5. Tszeikspeir.

  3. Hate to be picky, but… the band was called Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.
    Dave Dee was one person. Their real names were more prosaic. David, Trevor, John, Michael and Ian. Bend it Xanadu.

  4. 1. Dunno. Could all their previous contacts with outside of Inuit land have been extra-terrestrial?

    2. Tetrahydrocannabinol.

    3. As 21 is half of 42, if you have two beers you acquire the meaning of life and everything; except for why 23 is in the question.

    4. Edvard “Scissorhands” Greig.

    5. Earl Oxford de Vere Christopher William Stanley Marlowe of Derby the VI.

  5. Hmmm. With the beer cap crimps, I don’t know the answer, but…. I note that office chairs are usually pentadactyl (having five limbs, well, OK, five wheel supports); and so are 1 litre soft drink bottles. This would appear to be for stability purpose. I wonder if this is related? That an odd – or even better, a prime number – of features means that any particular feature is never directly opposite another example of itself. Does this make it stronger; as in, more resistant to deformation which would result in all sorts of messy leaks? Hmmm.

  6. 1. When Europeans in wooden ships first appeared to Inuit living on the Greenland coast, one of them (Inuit that is) asked “Who are you, what are you, where do you come from, is it from the sun or the moon?” What was unusual in the way he asked it?

    If I were an Inuit and didn’t speak English, or Italian or the language of whichever European country had landed, I’d likely put the kettle on and enter into a game of charades, or draw pick-chers, gesticulate wildly maybe, yell, hold them at clubpoint till they fessed up, that sort of thing. Ooh he might have sung it? Are they musical those Inuit chaps? Hmmm.

    2. What do Lego, cockroaches and Keith Richards have in common?

    Absolutely nothing. Trick question I reckon. Ha ha, can’t fool me Dr Bob.

    3. Count the number of crimps around the metal cap of a beer bottle; there will usually be 21 or 23 of them. (I conducted a proper scientific survey, which was great fun but I found I was unable to write up the results). The number would have to be between about 15 and 30 for engineering reasons, but why 21 or 23?

    Oh my gawd, that’s how many fit. AND if it were any different nobody’s novelty beer bottle openers would work. Less would make too many sharp bits and there’d be bloodshed. Clogged casualty rooms, that sort of thing. Makes sense.

    4. Of which mid 20th-century musician was it said that “Nobody has ever reproduced the casual devastating right hand syncopation, which so delicately synchronised with deft left hand chord fingering”.

    Victor Borge. Ok, George Formby, but I like Victor Borge better.

    5. In the 13 extant examples of his signature, how did William Shakespeare spell his surname?

    Quite frankly, it lookf like he was piffed whenever he figned it. F, S, in wrong fpotf, all over the fhop. Muft been a nightmare proofreading hif playf. I just read that out aloud and made myself laugh.

  7. D,D,D,B,M & T asked: Why can you no longer buy Fosters Lager in Australia but it’s freely available in the UK?

    Because shipping it to the UK raises the standards in both places.

    …*runs*

  8. Long time no quiz!!!

    1. When Europeans in wooden ships first appeared to Inuit living on the Greenland coast, one of them (Inuit that is) asked “Who are you, what are you, where do you come from, is it from the sun or the moon?” What was unusual in the way he asked it?

    He spoke in perfect Esperanto. Which is surprising, seeing as its invention was centuries away.

    2. What do Lego, cockroaches and Keith Richards have in common?

    Well the obvious one it that they’ll survive a nuclear holocaust, but it may be that us South Aussies all pronounce these names differently to other australians. e.g Laygo instead of leggo

    3. Count the number of crimps around the metal cap of a beer bottle; there will usually be 21 or 23 of them. (I conducted a proper scientific survey, which was great fun but I found I was unable to write up the results). The number would have to be between about 15 and 30 for engineering reasons, but why 21 or 23?

    Probably to avoid some patent infringement, or the like. Its always something stupid.

    4. Of which mid 20th-century musician was it said that “Nobody has ever reproduced the casual devastating right hand syncopation, which so delicately synchronised with deft left hand chord fingering”

    Tiny tim

    5. In the 13 extant examples of his signature, how did William Shakespeare spell his surname?

    Using the standard english alphabet, i would suspect.

  9. Well, I have a basic medical knowledge. And I passed English “O” level with grade 6, which is 40-45% on a pass mark of 40%.

  10. 1: It took only a minuit.

    2: Nothing, except for this quiz.

    3: My beer bottle caps have no crimps because I don’t drink, so I don’t care.

    4: It was said by a deaf person talking about an imaginary Ukulele player.

    5: Triskaidekaphobicly.

    (6: Incidentally, there is no full stop required after Dr, as the last letter of the abbreviation is also the last letter of the word being abbreviated. This suggests Bob is not a real Dr, or certainly not a Dr of the English language, or he just likes doctoring abbreviations.)

  11. Greetings, Dr Bob, long time no quiz!

    1. To the astonishment of the European, he phrased the question as a limerick:

    Who are you, what, and from where?
    Is the moon or the sun your home lair?
    Do you wear a raccoon
    Like that bloke Daniel Boone
    Or is that on your head your real hair?

    2. Two things: (1)They are unkillable, and (2) They will give you a terrible fright if you step on them with bare feet in the middle of the night.

    3. To keep the beer in. Really, the molecules of beer near the lid go round and round, continually counting the crimps, and thinking ‘That’s kind of a weird number’, so they go round again to count and make sure, and forget all about their escape attempts. Then they get too dizzy to remember that they were trying to get out. That’s why, after you drink enough of them, you get head spins. That, or it’s because of quantum.

    4. Rolf Harris. Of course, at the time, everybody thought it was his playing of some instrument that was being described…

    5. Phonetically.

    Do I win some internets now? I like the chocolate-coated ones best.

  12. Q1.When Europeans in wooden ships first appeared to Inuit living on the Greenland coast, one of them (Inuit that is) asked “Who are you, what are you, where do you come from, is it from the sun or the moon?” What was unusual in the way he asked it?
    A1. The unfortunate Inuit bloke had a pronounced lisp, meaning that his questions sounded to the bemused Europeans less like Inuitese and more like Ita Buttrosese. Given that Ita was some centuries away from being born, it is hard to imagine anything more unusual than that.

    Q2.What do Lego, cockroaches and Keith Richards have in common?
    A2. They all predate the dinosaur era.

    Q3.Count the number of crimps around the metal cap of a beer bottle; there will usually be 21 or 23 of them. (I conducted a proper scientific survey, which was great fun but I found I was unable to write up the results). The number would have to be between about 15 and 30 for engineering reasons, but why 21 or 23?
    A3. Why not, Dr Bob? Do you have something against those particular numbers? Do I smell a discrimination scandal brewing in your monthly quiz?

    Q4. Of which mid 20th-century musician was it said that “Nobody has ever reproduced the casual devastating right hand syncopation, which so delicately synchronised with deft left hand chord fingering”
    A4. Musician? Sounds more like the boast of a porn queen.

    Q5.In the 13 extant examples of his signature, how did William Shakespeare spell his surname?
    A5. As E.B.Browning would say, “Let me count the ways”. But it’s late and I need to go to bed and I don’t have time right now so please get back to me on this one, Dr Bob, there’s a good chap.

  13. 1. When Europeans in wooden ships first appeared to Inuit living on the Greenland coast, one of them (Inuit that is) asked “Who are you, what are you, where do you come from, is it from the sun or the moon?” What was unusual in the way he asked it?
    — He didn’t shirt-front his interlocutor, try to infect him with Ebola virus by neglect, drop a bomb on him from a drone nor threaten to gaol him for not holding the same religious views.
    2. What do Lego, cockroaches and Keith Richards have in common?
    — Age. They are all a LOT older than you think they are, especially Keef’s face. And they will all survive the nuclear holocaust after Tony accidentally leans on the red button.
    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/lego-moves-from-the-toybox-to-serious-science-20140903-1083u6.html
    3. Count the number of crimps around the metal cap of a beer bottle; there will usually be 21 or 23 of them. (I conducted a proper scientific survey, which was great fun but I found I was unable to write up the results). The number would have to be between about 15 and 30 for engineering reasons, but why 21 or 23?
    — All the other numbers were taken, and they are something to do with prime numbers too although 21 isn’t. Heil Hitler and the Titanic.
    4. Of which mid 20th-century musician was it said that “Nobody has ever reproduced the casual devastating right hand syncopation, which so delicately synchronised with deft left hand chord fingering”
    — George Formby. Eeeee bah goom.
    5. In the 13 extant examples of his signature, how did William Shakespeare spell his surname?
    — Badly. James Terence Badly to be precise. It appears none of his signatures are spelled the same. Consistent spelling was not high on the list of good literary habits in Elizabethan England, it appears. That or he was into writing l33t using SMS on his iPhone.

  14. 1) When Europeans in wooden ships first appeared to Inuit living on the Greenland coast, one of them (Inuit that is) asked “Who are you, what are you, where do you come from, is it from the sun or the moon?” What was unusual in the way he asked it?

    Hurry up mate – I’m bloody freezing.

    2) What do Lego, cockroaches and Keith Richards have in common?

    They all hurt like if you tread on them with bare feet.

    3) Count the number of crimps around the metal cap of a beer bottle; there will usually be 21 or 23 of them. (I conducted a proper scientific survey, which was great fun but I found I was unable to write up the results). The number would have to be between about 15 and 30 for engineering reasons, but why 21 or 23?

    Far more interesting question: Why can you no longer buy Fosters Lager in Australia but it’s freely available in the UK?

    4) Of which mid 20th-century musician was it said that “Nobody has ever reproduced the casual devastating right hand syncopation, which so delicately synchronised with deft left hand chord fingering”

    I’ve never played any Shostakovich, but I did once tread in some…

    5) In the 13 extant examples of his signature, how did William Shakespeare spell his surname?

    William Fhakefpeare !

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