Answers for April 2010

It’s been quite a month for Iceland – having gone broke, then they try to burn the place down. Ash for cash? And nobody flies anywhere until everyone can pronounce “Eyjafjallajökull” correctly. Our WINNER for this volcanic month, and welcome to the 3-winners club, is Canadian:

Wendy Mooney

Question 1

What happened on 18 November 1307?


William Tell was made to shoot an apple off his son’s head. But he missed the boy and hit the apple, so really, not much happened after all.

Additional Answers

  • Swiss fletch whiz Bill Tell shot a juicy Jonathan off his son’s bonce – and followed up soon after by gutting evil governor Gessler who had set up the whole thing in the first place.
  • I may know but I am not going to Tell – and don’t try to trick it out of me.
  • I can TELL you that – it led to the first of many warranty claims on a damaged Apple.
  • I couldn’t possibly Tell.
  • Nothing: I was not there; therefore I did not see it; therefore it did not happen
  • Some fruit allegedly got shot. Applecide er…?
  • The swiss invented the apple kebab
  • Well, the sun rose and fell, the tides went in and out, it rained, and oh yes a spate of tragic pranks involving kids apples and arrows started. Probably also responsible for an apple tree trying (without success) to place its’ fruit on Newtons head so that some wag could shoot it off.
  • William Tell supposedly shot an apple off his son’s head.

Question 2

What would a literate Icelander have said on hearing about what happened on 18 November 1307?


Pshaw! (but in Icelandic), we were doing that stunt long ago; it was written up in the Sagas hundreds of years beforehand.

Additional Answers

  • Til djöfulsins við það svissneska ritstuldur! Þetta hljómar nákvæmlega eins og einn af sögum Snorra! (To the devil with that Swiss plagiarism! It sounds exactly like one of Snorri’s sagas!) <===Star Answer
  • Saga of Thidrik: “During a drinking bout the hero Egil boasts of his skill at archery – for which the cruel king puts him to the test of shooting an apple from his son’s head. As does Tell, Egil reserves a second arrow for the tyrant in case he misses.”
  • “Ho hum I’ve heard that story before”. Possibly in Icelandic though.
  • “Literate Icelander” is a contradiction ranking with “military intelligence” or “savvy academic” so the Icelandic chappie probably just mumbled something to the effect that the story was all a bit of a jokull.
  • “Well I didn’t expect to see that in the paper, what biased reporting, those Austrian overlords are actually nice guys. Besides did that guy have a licence for that Crossbow?”
  • Bloody Swiss plagarists! And ther’s a Hitler connection too – Gorings mistress once played Tell’s wife on stage in Schiller’s play.
  • How disappointingly unoriginal. Now, the Romans knew how to be creative tyrants. Nero and Caligula, they (censored; this being a family quiz) but the apple on the head thing? I’m over it. At least Palnatoke made the kid run.
  • They would say, “It is all reindeer shit. We already have a story similar that is much much much much older, and not filled with hyperbole. So we think your William Tell is make believe. Ha! Suck it up you English.”
  • Ég dont trúa það Dr Hnykkur er draga minn fótur
  • What the hell is an apple?

Question 3

What prominent 20th-century person expressed approval over what happened on 18 November 1307?


Adolf Hitler. Probably liked the spirit of fun that it entailed.

Additional Answers

  • William S. Burroughs, who re-enacted it with a gun, an apple and his soon-to-be-late wife.
  • Adolf the Austrian Born German dictator was a huge fan, and used it as the pretext for his persecution of apples everywhere. It wasn’t just Schultz that was a fan of strudel!
  • Einstein, maybe something about splitting atoms/apples took his fancy
  • Hitler approved rebelling against a perceived slight by shooting in the general direction of children.
  • Hitler quoted Schillers play in Mein Kampf but changed his mind after Maurice Bavaud (a Swiss) tried to kill him.
  • Hitler, well initially. Another Cherman, Schiller, had written a play about the saga and Adolf approved a German/Swiss production, where Goering’s wife played Tell’s wife. But then he changed his mind when some Swiss chap took a potshot and he had the play banned and started calling Tell a sniper. Talk about fickle. Sheesh.
  • If this is the quiz that must be Hitler.
  • The late Doris Stokes, who thought the tale of Tell was a telltale sign predicting that Australia’s long standing ban on NZ apples would be lifted in 2010. But little did Stokes know that Nostradamus had predicted the exact same thing on 18 November 1557, a date which, amazingly and spookily, is precisely 250 years after Tell’s tyranny toppling deed – so it must be true.

Question 4

What is the connection between the answer to Q1, and Captain Beefheart?


The answer I had, which nobody got, is that if you go to Beefheart’s home town of Lancaster CA, a road there has been grooved such that if you drive along it at exactly 55mph you’ll hear the William Tell Overture – but only if you are driving a Honda Civic, which has the appropriate wheelbase.

Additional Answers

  • “Ry Cooder recounted of Moon becoming so angered by Van Vliet [Captain Beefheart]’s unrelenting criticism that he walked into the room pointing a loaded crossbow at him, only to be told “Get that fucking thing out of here, get out of here and get back in your room”, which he obeyed.”
  • A very tenuous one… Claw Hammer recorded a song about William Tell – they were named from a Captain Beefheart song.
  • Captain Beefheart knows what a crossbow looks like?
  • Knowledge and appreciation of both occupy adjacent synapses in Dr Bob’s cortex.
  • some band named after a beefhart song orange claw hammer or some try hard name wrote a tune that has some connection with apples or arrows or ovutures. Its all explained using Random Matrix Theory. Whats happened to the mystery in life? Where is the adventure of not knowing?
  • The band Clawhammer has a song titled William Tell. The band Clawhammer is named after a Captain Beefheart song of the nearly same name. CB’s song was Orange Claw Hammer. I do believe Philip Glass was a member of Captain Beefheart.
  • They were both huge fans of the Lone Ranger, and thought that Tonto got a free ride. Later some obscure band that was also a huge fan of the Lone Ranger (and quite fancied Silver) decided to name themselves after a line in a song by…Captain Beefheart, Giddy up.
  • Zapple Records, the apple records subsidiary?
  • No idea, but it is an opportunity to insert “Eyjafjallajokull”, which means “beef heart is offal and tastes like damp ashy shit” in Icelandic, into this quiz.

Question 5

How was the event of 18 November 1307 commemorated on the Titanic?


Well, they played the William Tell Overture at full volume on the bridge as the ship careened among the icebergs – no, not really, but it was printed in the Titanic band’s official music book.

Additional Answers

  • For the light exercise of the first-class passengers and with 36000 apples, meaning almost fifty apples per steerage-class person’s head. Second-class passengers were not issued bows nor arrows in case of mutiny, class struggle or attempted ravishment of such luminaries as Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon or [snigger] Major Archie Butt, but rather were encouraged to applaud politely [or in the case of misses, gasp sedately] behind the velvet ropes.
  • A Hapsburg was snubbed by a swissman?
  • All drinks were served with complimentary ice.
  • By ceremonially running into an iceberg, I believe. Whether it was a success or not depends on whether you were in first, second or third class.
  • By lying on the bottom of The Atlantic.
  • Captain Smith’s much loved and favourite relative, his father’s mother, was aboard the ill fated vessel. She was unfortunate enough to be accidentally shot dead at a parlour game earlier in the evening of 14 April 1912 by a fellow passenger, a descendant of William Tell, who fancied himself a good shot but who had imbibed far too much cider for his own good or for hers. The Captain, distraught, blamed himself for the tragedy and so deliberately rammed an iceberg just before midnight as a spectacular if crazed commemoration of the death of his beloved and irreplaceable Granny Smith.
  • Rearanging the apples plplase lseapp papsle I could go on
  • The William Tell Overture was listed in the ships music book.
  • The William Tell Overture was part of the band’s repertoire. Drawing a long bow there Dr Bob. (ha ha long bow geddit? boom boom!) They had baked apples on the breakfast menu also. Likely a coincidence though. Baked apples for breakfast urgh.

Question 6

Where’s this?


When restored to the horizontal, this is a picture of a house in Baldwin Sreet, Dunedin, NZ.

Additional Answers

  • Hobart
  • If it weren’t for the weather, I’d say Pisa, and since Gordon Brown dissolved Parliament, could be Guernsey. So I’ll say Iceland.
  • Baldwin St Dunedin NZ. Everyone will get this right.
  • Baldwin St, Dunedin NZ.
  • I’m not sure but I don’t think you’re being on the level.
  • It’s a house on a hill, didn’t your mother ever tell you to stand up straight when taking a photo? If you keep slouching like that you will get a back ache and have to see a chiropractor who will fix all the sublaxations of your spine thereby curing every disease that you ever had and those of anybody within a 6 foot radius of you. I think Irene BALDWIN lives here, THIS IS HER STREET.
  • It’s where Eileen lives.
  • Lets see, hilly, wet – Hobart?
  • Looks like one of those little worker’s cottages in or near Cliff Street in Paddington/Red Hill (Brisbane). But it’s probably in Reykjavik.
  • Oh, off the top of my head, from the incline and architecture, I’d say half-way up the north side of Baldwin St, New Zealand. Actually, Baldwin Street is only the steepest two-way street. Jessie Street, on the other side of Signal Hill, is even steeper. It’s fun to coast down in angel gear. Wheeeee!


  • Minister for Population talk about laugh
  • Where’s the William S Burroughs question? And what about the Hitler story (Maurice Bavard)? And why all the question marks?????
  • Hellooo! Long time, no quiz.
  • Hey, Dr Bob, fancy winning last month’s quiz! A grovelling ‘thank you’ to you! It doesn’t get any better than this, particularly after so many years of abject failure since my last, er, win.
  • If I put as much effort into studying as I did this today…. xx:)
  • One is never lonely when one has a rubber ducky.
  • That photo brings a whole new slant on things. Captain Beefheart, the Titanic, Iceland and Hitler in the same quiz – and connected! Congratulations.

Have a go!

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