Answers for August 1998

My industrial colleague WINNER for July/August 1998 is

Martin Grap

… whose path may one day cross with mine, possibly in Burleigh Heads, Queensland. Beware! For the revenge of Dr Bob is sweet.

Question 1

Apart from its unexpected location and good state of preservation, what else is remarkable about the wreckage of the Titanic?


It is broken into two major parts; the parts are several miles apart; each part is standing upright.

Alternative answers:

  • The most remarkable thing appears to be your understanding of the meanings of ‘unexpected’ and ‘good’. Not only was it found within 10 miles of its last known location, but it’s in a dreadful state of preservation.
  • It has just run out of copyright, hence the spate of Titanic movies etc.
  • It’s actually the wreckage of the Marie Celeste, which collided with the Good Ship Lollipop
  • That no one has used Viagra to get it up again
  • The amazing number of submarines with video cameras floating around it
  • The dead body of Leonardo DiCaprio that was found 20 feet away. [What a good idea]
  • There is no iceberg to be found with it.
  • The wreckage is a dummy placed there to hide the fact that the real Titanic was abducted by UFOs
  • What unexpected location? It was found on the bottom, as expected.

Question 2

What proportion of the vote did Saddam Hussein get in the 1995 Iraqi elections?


99.96% – diplomats were taking bets on the exact figure.

Alternative answers:

  • Better than 85% [Come on – keep going]
  • 95%
  • 99%
  • 100% – of the survivors
  • 107% – the opposition party actually got minus 7%.
  • Enough
  • Iraqi National Party Voting Card: Yes( ) Yes( )
  • Iraqi citizen: “There was an election?”
  • He was elected on preferences – the voters preferred to stay alive.

Question 3

What was unusual about the planet Saturn in late 1995/early 1996?


Er, I was thinking about how Saturn’s ring plane passed over the planet Earth three times, so that its rings were edge-on and being very thin were invisible to us. However, I stand corrected – nothing at all was unusual about the planet Saturn at this time.

Alternative answers:

  • The French conducted a nuclear test there
  • It constantly rings and no-one answers (that is a Zen answer) [Thank you , Sir Jim R Wallaby – don’t ring us, we’ll ring you]
  • It was blamed for the falling Asian economy.
  • Comet Shoemaker-Levy-9 missed it.
  • The rings disappeared and in their place big golden arches appeared, with radio signals being sent out over and over again saying, “would you like fries with that?”
  • No Iraqi Electoral Officials observed it – they were too busy counting votes [Or cleaning their guns]
  • Unwashed – had those rings around it..
  • Saturn is always unusual; why should 1995/96 be any different?

Question 4

What object is on the set (stage) of the 1995 Australian opera To Traverse Water?


A Hills Hoist. It’s about immigration. Nobody got this right – how uncivilised! As it was , it’s no wonder the run ended. When One Notion comes to power, we will all be compelled to go and see more operas, especially tedious ones about immigration.

Alternative answers:

  • A microphone.
  • Three years’ dust.
  • A large purple bunyip.
  • A pair of dingoes’ kidneys.
  • A sheep, of course.
  • 16 mules and 32 flying llamas. [No, that’s Akhenaten by Philip Glass]
  • Are you trying to tell me that an opera that started in 1995 is still going? How long can those divas sing for anyway? Or does it just seem that long?
  • A bridge, a boat or Jesus Christ – all able to traverse water quite comfortably
  • Nothing – 1995 went past several years ago, and they have packed the set up
  • Possibly the Titanic given the Australian opera’s problem trying to dispose of all the money they get from the Australian Government. [Waiter! A saucer of milk over here please]

Question 5

A tetrahedron is to be painted with four different colours, one to each face. In how many different ways can this be done?


Two. Say it has red & green faces – then you can always turn it so that red is on the bottom and green faces you; then you can’t turn it any more and there are only two faces left for colouring. But if it was nailed to the table when you started, then there are 24 ways.

Alternative answers:

  • One: you paint one face, then the next, … [but you can paint the second face first, etc]
  • Three: the right way, the wrong way, and the army way.
  • 42
  • Many millions of ways [Cripes – I didn’t say which four colours]
  • Almost unlimited … paintbrush, watercolour, pastels, spray can, fingers, crayon, chalk, pencil, dye bomb, electrostatic deposition … with or without an undercoat first.
  • Interior designer’s answer: What, only 4 colours?
  • Tetrahedrans are inhabitants of the planet Tetrahedra, they are fierce, 15 feet tall and run like hell – there is no way you can paint them.
  • In lots of ways. You can paint one face, then go and have coffee, then paint the next, then have lunch …. [And may all your milk be in tetrahedral cartons]