Answers for May 1997

Oviphilic WINNER FOR MAY 1997 is:

Brian McNamara

Question 1

In what year was the stage magic trick of “sawing a lady in half” first performed?


1921. Strictly, a trick of “sawing a man in half” was done in 1920, somebody pinched it and made it a different trick by using a lady.

Alternative answers:

  • 1307 – Mel Gibson in Braveheart
  • 1888 – in Whitechapel, London
  • During the Great famine of 100349 BC

Question 2

In what year were male spermatozoa discovered?


1870. So, nobody knew where babies came from, until then.

Alternative answers:

  • 4004 BC
  • In the year that I turned 13
  • 1972, by Woody Allen
  • What about female spermatozoa? [Dr Bob says: We are still looking for them]

Question 3

On Xmas Day, 1860, the explorers Burke, Wills, Gray, and King all shook hands with each other. How many handshakes took place?


6 (B/W, B/G, B/K, W/G, W/K, G/K)

Alternative answers:

Amazingly, nearly everyone got this right. Obviously the Internet audience is better at simple maths than the usual crowd I get at my trivia nights.

Question 4

What Pharaoh of ancient Egypt had the nickname “Horse Face”?


Akhnaten (congenital deformity; there are statues and carvings that show it)

Alternative answers:

  • Nebuchadnezzar
  • Rameses the 12th
  • Equuankhamen

Question 5

Which is the world’s tallest mountain, measured from its base to its top?


Mauna Kea (Hawaii) – a hill of height 10,200m, which happens to be standing in a few km of seawater. Mt Everest (Chomolungma) may be the tallest above where the sea would be if there was any sea nearby, but it’s really a small mountain that happens to be standing on a high plain. The mountain whose top sticks out furthest into space from the centre of the earth is Chimborazo, in the Andes (since the Earth bulges significantly at the equator)

Alternative answers:

  • Olympus Mons [OK, OK – so I didn’t say which world]
  • Looks like Mt Everest but you wouldn’t have asked the question if it was so it must be something else
  • Bill Gates’s collection of dollar bills