Answers for June 2001

Another brilliant set of replies, most of them correct which is more than can be said for the questions (sorry they were the bad end of a bunch). Winner this month is –

Joanne Kelley

who comes from, well, all sorts of places, including Cape Cod (Massachusetts), Clearwater (and you’d come from there too if you don’t like Scientology), Orleans, Cape Cod again, and the Gulf of Mexico (perhaps the anchor came loose).

Question 1

How long did the Golden Age of Ancient Greece last for?

Excessively Historical Answer:

According to scholars who know about This Sort Of Thing, the ‘golden age’ (also referred to as the classical age) of ancient Greece lasted from about 500 BCE to 300 BCE. The goldenness of this period would no doubt be disputed by the Greeks who died during the home and away rounds (Athens vs Persia at Marathon 490 BCE, Sparta vs Persia at Thermopyle 480 BCE, Persia vs Athens at Salamis 480 BCE, Greeks vs Persians at Plataea 479 BCE, Thebans vs Spartans 371 BCE) and the Peloponnesian Wars (431 – 404 BCE), Pericles (exiled to Persia), Socrates (forced to suicide in 399 BCE), the men killed during the extensive building projects undertaken during this period (e.g. the Parthenon was completed in 432 BCE, well before OH&S reps had been invented), all the poor buggers in Greek colonies in Italy who had to learn to conjugate Latin verbs when the Romans started having delusions of grandeur, and a pet goat named Anastasoula who was eaten during the sea blockade of Athens’ trade routes. I’m pretty sure that any Greek golden age would have to include the making of the first souvlaki, though (historians fail to report whether the unfortunate Anastasoula was one of the ingredients).

Which Is Why The Correct Answer is:

  • Depends on who you ask – Homer thought it was over before he came along, but historians reckon 477BC to 431BC is about right.
  • Forty-eight years, from 479 BCE to 431 BCE – and it was the Golden Age of Classical Athens, Dr. Bob; please get the terms correct.
  • Ages. 1 in fact. Exactly 1.000 Golden Ages.

Other Answers In Increasing Order Of Duration (And Hence Tediousness):

  • 0 years
  • About ten minutes.
  • 5pm-7pm every wednesday night… two drinks for the price of one. It was a little know fact that the Greeks were the first users of the “Happy Hour”
  • Not long
  • A measly 16 years from 447BC to 431BC. As most of the history of ancient Greece consists of wars and battles, this bit must have been when they ran out of arrows. Did they really count backwards? [Those poor Greeks. Their Golden Age only went for 46 years and then a typo transforming ‘477’ to ‘447’ cuts 30 years off that.]
  • Once source I found said 9 years, another 46. “Not very” seems to be about it.
  • Thirty-one years. Didn’t they do well?
  • The Golden Age (also called the Periclean Age after its founder) lasted from 461BC to 429BC – 32years.
  • 50 years of course – that’s a golden anniversary isn’t it?
  • There was a stone age, a bronze age and an iron age, but no golden age. The Classical Period was from 510 to 404 BC, which just goes to show, doesn’t it?
  • 180 years, from 500-320 B.C. Some may also argue that the true Greek “Golden Age” (and you heard it here first) will commence at the beginning of the next Olympiad. Others may argue in favour of the late 1960’s-early 1970’s, during the reign of Spiros Arion at World Championship Wrestling.
  • Hmm.. supposedly from about 500bc to 403 bc…but many contend that Greece didn’t have a Golden Age but more of a Brassy age. Given the preponderance of sexual licentiousness, including homosexuality, I am inclined to agree.
  • About 1.5 centuries, from the birth of Socrates in 470BC to 322BC when Aristotle carked it. (One would think that the Golden Age would be followed by the Silver Age and then the Bronze Age but, inexplicably, the latter occurred a millenium or so before gold came along. Oh well, I suppose that if you invent the Olympics you can do what you bloody well like about orders of merit.)
  • About 300+ hundred years I think, until some idiot thought institutionalised slavery wasn’t just a passing social experiment, and that beliefs that were good for those in power, were good enough for those who weren’t in power (see Greek Science by Benjamin Farrington for the downfall of Greek Science and influence).
  • About 650 years.
  • 1000 years (No, that was going to be the duration of …. <snip> I’m not doing any more Hitler questions)
  • Until quite recently until Kevin Gosper and his tribe of queue jumpers arrived.
  • Oh, simply ages, my dear. However I recently conducted a radiocarbon dating on the Greece in the back of my fridge and discovered that it began 25,000 years ago (it contained, inter alia, diprotodon fat). As it is still pretty golden (under the mould) I would guess the answer is open ended. Further, unlike the illiterate compiler, this respondent knows that a preposition in an inappropriate word to end a sentence … (Note: That was an open ended sentence to avoid the problem.)
  • Golden Age is a very subjective term. I say it’s doing pretty well right now.
  • Golden Age of Greece (Grease?) It is still open and trading on Sydney Road, Brunswick, Melbourne. Souvlaki, gyros, a piece of flake and 3 potato cakes yum
  • It’s still going on, actually. At least I think so. I mean, what’s the point of being the most scientifically advanced nation in Europe when your scientific advancements are along the lines of “All things are made of fire”? Give me right now any day, when you can cruise around Greece in a Land Rover, stop for ice cream, and not fear getting picked up by a “mentor”.
  • How long? In cubits?
  • Only until it was turned into the “Magenta” or “Rusty Dark Red” age by the Spartans, or was it the Saracens, or someone.
  • This is a trick question. There’s the silverish age and the white golden age. The silverish age predated the golden age. The silverish age is not to be confused with the silverfish age (when the Christians moved in).
  • Until it turned people’s skin green. Damn imitation gold
  • Until Jason stole it. Delinquent.
  • Until the gold ran out.
  • Well it was supposed to last for fifteen minutes, but it went on for far too long, and it’s about time someone told those Greeks to get over their hegemonic noodling and step up their production of feta cheese and moussaka.
  • About as long as the Silver Age of Ancient Sumeria, the Bronze Age of Ancient Babylon. The Paper Age of Mesopotamia lasted twice as long due to the ready abundance of paper products, the Amber Age of Myplace was extremely popular and would have lasted all weekend if the locals hadn’t called the Police about the loud music and the party goers littering the front lawn like bacchanalian garden gnomes.
  • What’s golden about age anyway? Bloomin’ arthritis, bad memory, unpredictable waterworks, deafness, blindness, senility, …ummm sorry, what was the question again?
  • The whole time.

Question 2

James Smithson (1765-1829, died aged 64) who bequeathed the funds to found the Smithsonian Institute – how old was he when he went to America?

Correct Answers

  • 64
  • 139
  • He was 64,and had been for some 75 years since his death. He never visited America while he was alive.
  • Mr. Smithson was 139 years old when he arrived in America. However, the last 75 of those years were quite dull, dark and unproductive because he wasn’t breathing and, according to authorities, had become a flat liner. The dear old thing eventually ended up in a very pretty urn in a lovely, softly lit Crypt Room room in the Smithsonian, and to the best of my knowledge, he is still a devoted flat liner.
  • He didn’t go to America until after his death. James Smithson died in Genoa,Italy, on June 27, 1829, at the age of 64, after a long illness. 75 years later, Smithsonian Regent Alexander Graham Bell brought Smithson’s remains to Washington, where they were interred in a tomb in the Smithsonian Building. (And it’s “Smithsonian Institution”, Dr Bob, not “Institute”. Tch.)
  • Tough one this. He carked it in 1829 at age 64 and his remains went to the US 75 years later. Was he 64 or 139? We don’t know.
  • Varies with the relative velocities of Mr Smithson, America, and the person making the age calculation.

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel (or Tomb):

  • a twinkle in his father’s eye
  • 200 dog years.
  • 22 years old
  • 34
  • 40
  • 42
  • 63years 364days (obvious, but what the heck…) He was killed in a freak accident when he horribly brutally stabbed himself 48 time in the throat, just after changing his will to bequeath all his cash to the Smithsonian…
  • 64 or 139, depending on whether or not you count the 75 years he spent being dead. He was very polite and unobtrusive about it, though, unlike Barbara Cartland, who also died at age 64, but didn’t have the decency to lie down and decay but insisted on continuing to walk around and decay in a most unseemly manner for the next few decades, frightening children and New Idea readers. [No – Barbara Cartland really was 139]
  • 72. Those long lines at Customs….
  • According to my latest Yahoo! search, James Smithson is alive and well and a member of the “Turkish Delights Fantasy League”.
  • As a man of great wealth and taste, he never went to America. He figured he would give the Yanks money and maybe they would stop sending those annoying Mormons to his door during the week trying to “convert” him. Didn’t work, instead they made a nice museum and named it after him.
  • Ha, ha, you can’t fool me! Trick question, since Smithson never went to America. Question therefore unanswerable in its current form.
  • He didn’t. He wanted to, but his father, the Duke of Northumberland, wouldn’t let him go. So he went mad instead and was confined to an Institution. Fortunately his loving family were better informed than certain dumb trivia compilers, or he might have been confined to an Institute.
  • He never went to America – but his money did
  • He was 139, as it was 75 years after his death, but I’m stuffed if I know why he waited so long. Come to think of it, so was he.
  • He was 139. I think that we’re overlooking a more important point here– he was responsible for a monograph on “improving the method in which we brew coffee” A paper which inspired the modern cappuccino. A man with an eye to the future and love for his fellow man!
  • James Smithson was born in France in 1765, and got around a fair bit, but never got to America. Maybe he didn’t like anywhere he’d already been so to avoid disappointment he stayed away from America.
  • Old enough to qualify as “wretched refuse”?
  • That’s none of your business.
  • This has got to be a trick question. Or easy, because the answer is none. What was he thinking? I mean, willingly giving half a mill. to the Yanks? Sheeeesh!
  • This question cannot be answered with any degree of accuracy, because it depends if you mean when he left, or in the traditional sense, when he arrived. Besides this, I have no idea, I only consented to answer these questions because I have a clever answer for question 5.

Question 3

How did Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotine, inventor of the execution device, die?

Dr Bob’s Entirely Wrong Answer:


Oh Cripes, I’ve Got It Wrong Yet Again

  • Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, no “e”, did not invent “la guillotine”. Dr Guillotin, a physician and member of the French National Assembly, recommended that death by decapitation machine without torture be the sole and standard form of capital punishment. The machine (Louisette/Louison after Dr Antoine Louis) was renamed in honour of Dr Guillotin. He died from septacaemia, caused by a carbuncle on his shoulder.
  • Another one of these “how did he die” questions. Bloody hypoxia, lack of oygen to the brain, same as every other bugger. That is, if there ever was a Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotine. But Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, who didn’t invent anything of note but did make some improvements on a device to chop people’s heads off after getting some advice from King Louise, died of hypoxia after getting a carbuncle on his shoulder. He didn’t get it in the neck, but in the shoulder. Ha ha ha plop (Sound of reader laughing his head off)
  • Dr Joseph-Ignatz Guillotin died of hippopotamus. (What? What? Speak up, why are you going “pssst” at me like that, I’m just answering….. oh, yes, I see, that was last month’s quiz wasn’t it?) Um, sorry, no, Dr G. died from complications (probably systemic infection) stemming from a carbuncle on his shoulder. Perhaps that happened after he was bitten by a hippopotamus?
  • A horse fell on him while he was having sex with it. [That was someone else. They didn’t call her “Catherine the Great” for nothing y’know]
  • Curiously he did NOT “invent” the device but nonetheless became a notable victim of the device which he promoted as a device to institute “birth control” in post revolution France. The people he thought needed “birth control” though were the upper and middle upper classes. The best way of doing this to his mind was upper vertebral disconjunction.
  • From a carbuncle on his shoulder. Not knowing what a carbuncle was, I looked it up and am now convinced that I’d rather be executed than die from a carbuncle.
  • Funny how people always say “He had his head cut off”. Wouldn’t it be equally valid to say “He had his body cut off”?
  • Guillotine died of a carbuncle of the shoulder. I don’t know how the inventor of the execution device died, however, as Guillotine only suggested its use in France as the main method of capital punishment and he did not invent it.
  • Hah, hah, how ironic. Though, of course, he didn’t invent it, he just introduced it to France. A fine example of being in the right place at the right time. He must have studied marketing.
  • He didn’t invent the device, he made a promotion to the French National Assembly in 1789 recommending penalties of death be carried out painlessly and by beheading. The promotion was accepted in October that year and beheading by guillotine commenced. Guillotine himself died in 1814 due to complications arising from a carbuncle on his shoulder.
  • He sat down in the Barber’s chair and said “a little off the Top, please”. Then again, with a name like Ignace, probably embarrassment.
  • He suffered a heart attack while looking at a pornography magazine, fell out of an open window, landed in the back of a passing wagon and startled the horses so much they ran away, stopping only at the edge of a cliff. Guillotine was hurled out of the wagon, over the cliff and smashed on the rocks far below. Then he died of massive internal bleeding and an overdose of laudanum. [An interesting theory, pity the facts don’t quite fit it, there must have been a conspiracy]
  • He was sharpening one of his guillotine blades when he slipped on a banana. (No I just made that up, I wonder if Hollywood will give me a job?)
  • Hey, Dr Bob – this is uncanny! I was just down at Questacon yesterday having my head chopped off by their guillotine – what a buzz! [But you got it stuck back on OK?]
  • I have no idea how Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotine died; I don’t even know who he was (or is). I also have no idea how the inventor of the guillotine died. Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, however, who first proposed the notion of a ‘more humane’ (sic) method of execution, died in 1814 of a carbuncle in his shoulder.
  • Lost his head over a beautiful woman, I think?
  • No doubt everyone will point out that Guillotin (no e) didn’t invent the device, so I won’t bother saying any more. He died of old age (either 76 or 83 depending on the source) – of exactly what I am unsure. If this were a novel he would have had to (ironically) die by beheading. By the way, the guillotine was the form of execution in France until 1981.
  • He carked because of a carbuncle in his shoulder. If they had been able to twist the guillotine a little bit and amputate…
  • Quickly
  • A splitting headache?
  • The blade wouldn’t drop so he stuck his head in while having a look for the cause. Ahhhh, I see the problem. If I just move this bracket a bit to the le…… (Senile old bugger.)
  • The popular myth is that he lost his own head to his invention, but in reality he didn’t. He died in bed in 1814, from an infection on his shoulder. Another designer of the device, Dr. Antoine Louis, did lose his head to the device, and a Dr. J.B.V.Guillotin, not the inventor, also lost his head to the device, contributing to the legend. [That’s where I must have got it from]
  • Wearing Madame Pompadour’s skivvies.
  • Well, his last words were ‘Yep, that groove looks straight from h
  • While trying to fix his invention, he lay under it and said, ‘aha, I think I can see the problem, if you just reconnect that ….’
  • He died of shame when he learned (through Nostradamus’ writings) that some smart-arse trivia compiler in the 21st Century would spell his name with an extra “e”.

Question 4

Moses Cleaveland founded the Ohio city named after him in 1796 but why was the spelling changed to Cleveland?


  • The ‘A’ was dropped because Mr Cleaveland was in the habit of eating banana cake and drinking tea in front of the PC, and one day the crumb fallout was too much for the keyboard and the ‘A’ key only worked intermittently. Well, that’s what happened to me, anyway…..
  • In 1832, the ‘A’ was dropped to shorten a newspaper masthead to make it fit on the page. Mr C might’ve been a bit unhappy about having a newspaper editor fiddling about with his name and the local geography for his own convenience, but it could’ve been worse – we’ve got Rupert and Kerry fiddling about with the economy for their own convenience.
  • It was changed due to the fact that the city council thought it would be really neat if the name spelled backwards read “DNA level C” ’cause that sounds like something out of a B-grade Sci-Fi film!
  • Actually it wasn’t because of the American penchant for bad spelling but because the editor of the local newspaper, then the “Cleaveland Advertiser”, couldn’t fit the full name in his rag’s banner. He dropped the ‘a’ and his sheeplike readers then changed the name of their town to suit. Just shows the power of the press, something not lost on Messrs Packer, Murdoch et al.
  • Color, honor, you see the pattern here? Americans have a nasty habit of dropping vowels from their spelling. [As do Nw Zlndrs]
  • Because Americans love to shorten everything due to laziness and illiteracy.
  • Because Cleaveland sounded (looked?) like a land full of women wearing low cut blowses. Just not the fitting thing for someone named Moses. (Another senile old bugger.) [Another Freudian answer]
  • Because the Cleaveland Advertiser, the town’s newspaper, couldn’t fit the name into its masthead, so originally they dropped the “l” and the “a” but the Caveland Advertiser sounded too menacing, so they tried dropping the “c” and the “l”, but the Eaveland Advertiser sounded too foreign, finally, everyone agreed to drop the first “a,” change the “y” to “i” and ad “es.” This, of course, is nonsensical, but then so is your question.
  • Because the Cleveland Advertiser was not called the Cleveland Times. Too many a’s you see. A?
  • Bekos nowun cud spel
  • Damned newspapers.. no respecters of history
  • Everybody knows there’s no A in Cleveland
  • For the same reason Tokyo was formally spelt Tokio, spellcheck wasn’t invented.
  • From brutal experience I would say because the Americans can’t bloody well spell, color, labor, organisation, need I say more. Is it because they are too lazy to spell properly, or too pig ignorant to know how to read a dictionary, or is it because they are Americans and too arrogant to spell it the correct way.
  • He didn’t have enough money to buy two a’s.
  • He was so annoyed that he wasn’t allowed to call it Mosesville that he changed the spelling of his name to be different. The mayor of the local council decided to have a laugh by changing the spelling of the town name as well. Moses then changed his name to Rastus Watermelon. The mayor of the newly named Cleveland thought that this was just being silly.
  • In 1795 they decided to scrap all of their guillotines, so had nothing with which to “cleave”.
  • In around 1830, the editor of the “Cleaveland Advertiser” found that the name was too long to fit comfortably as a banner on page one. He dropped the first “a”, giving “Cleveland Advertiser”, and subsequently people accepted that as the canonical spelling.
  • It sounded a bit threatening
  • Moses Cleaveland was a distant relative of Dr J-I Guillotin (op cit). When it was learned that some dumb trivia compiler would one day add an extra vowel to the good Dr’s name, the Law of Conservation of Vowels came into play. This is not a conscious decision based law, it is a natural one, just like the Conservation of Mass, or Spin, or whatever. This law does not discriminate between vowels (under various Anti-Discrimination Laws), so an “a” was exchanged for an “e”. Cleveland could just as easily been called Claveland or Cleavland, or even Cleavelnd, although in the latter case it would then have automatically and instantly teleported to Nw Zlnd, where Conservation of Vowels laws do not, for some mysterious reason, apply. This latter fact is why all English-speaking migrants to the home of the kiwi, are given the stern medical advice “Remember to keep your vowels open”.
  • On Jan 6 1831 The Cleveland Advertiser ran its first issue, dropping the apparently “superfluous” ‘a’ from Cleaveland. A year later the Herald adopted the name change too and since then it has been the official name of the city.
  • One rumour is that the local newspaper the Cleaveland Advertiser couldn’t fit the whole word on its banner, so dropped the “a”. People liked it and it stuck. On the other hand Drew Carey probably couldn’t spell it.
  • Poor guy didn’t know how to spell his own name. But he could out-spell 60% of this year’s graduating class in American high schools.
  • see: A publisher dropped the “a” so that the name would fit neatly on his page.
  • So as to not allude to Beaver Cleaver
  • Some Cleveland quiz web page said that the local newspaper ran out of A’s. Given that I didn’t realize there was only a finite number, and that the paper was the Advertiser and thus should have done the decent thing and become the Truth if so, the real reason seems to have been that they couldn’t fit the full name on the masthead.
  • The “A” was dropped by a publisher so he could fit the name of the city on the page. If he had had a smaller font, the city would be Cleaveland today.
  • Well, it is the American public school system we’re talking about here so just be glad it didn’t end up being “Cleevlund”

Question 5

If you fly south from Detroit what is the first country other than USA whose territory you fly over?


  • Another trick question!!! I claim the guillotine for Bob! One would have leapt in and said either the great grazer bight (is that a country or a geologic event?) or even Mexico. But thinking about all dem movies from the sixties and seventies we would gravitate to some where more humanist, more peaceful (70’s bank holdup nation of the world) and socially more acceptable, Catholic and protestant balanced HOOSERVILLE, oops Canadia erm CANADA – ARISE YE KILTED MOUNTAIN YAKSMEN!!!! Canadia canadia!
  • Atlantis
  • Cuba. If you are flying over Cuba, it’s polite to radio ahead and make sure they don’t mind you crossing over them. They get a bit upset if you try to land without a visa, too, just ask the Yanks…..
  • Canada, although it would be better if Mexico was the correct answer (if for no other reason than Mexico is a bloody sight warmer than icy Canada or drug-raddled, murderous, godforsaken Detroit).
  • Canada, and we all know what happens when you cross Canada – just ask the fur seals.
  • Canada. The same one as if you were to fly north, east or points in between. OTOH, if you go west, you don’t fly over any country, you go either straight up or down, depending on the state of your immoral soul.
  • Canada. Part of Canada’s province of Ontario rudely juts in just below the chin of the state of Michigan – and when the Dominion of Canada breaks up due to the secession of Quebec, that and the rest of anglophone Canada will soon become part of the USA. Richard Montgomery did not die in vain.
  • Canada. Unless this is a trick question and some guy floated a raft out in the lakes, ran up a flag, and proclaimed his own country. (See\footnotestohistory for examples.)
  • Costa Rica.
  • Could it be Cuba, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama? Or just mayyybeeee it’s Canada?
  • Cuba – but I suspect a trick question like Disneyland or Silicon Valley or Microsoft or Graceland or Michael Jackson Wakkoland…. [Naah. Just Canada]
  • Honduras/Nicaragua border just near the Mosquito coast. I may never go there.
  • I thought planes flew straight rather than crossed.
  • If I could fly I certainly wouldn’t want to fly anywhere in the USA. And as the Americans have proved over the years, it is ok if the US crosses you, but never cross the USA, or you’ll wake up with a large smoking bomb crater and a pile of ashes where your house and family used to be.
  • If you’re American, there are no other countries
  • It depends, really, on what you mean by “cross”. Do you cross Australia, for instance by walking from the Watsons Bay Hotel to the Gap? [Well, you would cross a piece of it, and a very silly piece too] Your plane will fly over a small Canadian peninsula but I wouldn’t call that crossing Canada. The first country you will cross – go from one side to the other – would be Cuba.
  • It might be Cuba. I fail to see the joke. [As does the rest of the world]
  • Mexico
  • Obviously that depends on the speed of the aircraft. If you fly (as we say in technical geography speak) down on a map the earth turns slowly under you. So Canada, Mexico, Japan, take your pick.
  • Panama. Assuming you corrected for crosswinds.
  • Relative to the ground (or ocean) directly below it, Cuba. Following a geodesic, it would depend on your speed, due to Coriolis effects, as the earth would move under the plane. If this is the case, it could be just about anywhere with a coastline on the Pacific Ocean, or possibly even Antarctica.
  • Sadly, I am not blessed with the ability to fly. If I was, and I chose the unlikely location of Detroit, Michigan to start from, I would next encounter Canada. I can’t speak for any other Detroits there may be in the world.
  • The Southern Republic of America. (Taking a punt that they secede before July. With G.W. making such a hash of it, it is a possibility.)
  • There are eight Detroits in the USA. If you go due south from Detroit MI, you get to Canada in a few Killometers. [Come to think of it, a Killometer would be a very useful thing to have in Detroit MI]. If you go south from Detroit TX, IL or AL, you get to Mexico. If you go south from Detroit ME, you eventually get to Haiti. If you go south from Detroit OR, you end up flying over one hell lot of ocean before reaching Antarctica. If, on the other hand you mean Detroit UK… I assume that you would end up flying over the UK before anything else.
  • You don’t. If you fly south from Detroit airport you hit the Appalachian Mountains. If you fly south from above Detroit airport you eventually cross Cuba. If you fly South from any other part of Detroit except the airport, you get arrested for contravening FAA flightpath regulations.
  • You would think that this would be an easy question to answer, just look it up in an atlas. Well, there’s the rub, I have no idea wheat the other half has done with it. I’ve finally found my Melways she borrowed somethine last year, but that doesn’t seem to cover it. It’s in the spare, hence unheated, room somewhere, an using that as a clue, I’ll say Antarctica.

Question 6

(two signatures): Which one is which?


The top one is the signature of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, although she’d probably make more of a scrawl at age 100. The bottom one signature is of her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

Not incorrect answers:

  • No, no, no, the signature is the same, it’s the Queen Elizabeth that’s changed.
  • 1st one is when she was new to the job, 2nd one is after she relaxed and got the hang of it…
  • After you’ve written it that many times, your hand gets sick of it and takes shortcuts
  • Apparently the second signature was signed by an autopen whilst the top signature is genuine.
  • Arthritis – and anyway, why does it say elijabethr???
  • Because she changed (aged).
  • Because the Queen has been kidnapped, murdered and replaced by a giant lizard masquerading as a human being. [Shhhh …]
  • Because the Queen is now living a life of a sybarite in the Bahamas far away from those annoying kids of hers and the press. She is shacked up with a Bahamian Drum band having a great time of sordid debauchery, drugs and sex. Her stunt double on the other hand is having a crap life as the queen.
  • Because the tiny purple alien monkeys that invaded her head don’t know how to forge her signature. Since that isn’t a very skeptical answer, I’ll guess that it is customary to change your signature once you assume the throne.
  • Elizabeth R – the old boys club (Australian Sub Branch) agreed to it. An Act No 32 of 1953 Relating to Royal Style and title……recognised her new squiggle….perhaps she should have taken different advice on her hats and hand bags
  • For the same reason that her accent did – to make it more user-friendly.
  • Her Majesty changed hands…. The signatures are not written by the same person.
  • In August of 1971, Queen Elizabeth II visited Japan. While there, she took part in a presentation ceremony at a highly automated production facility. Part of the PR surrounding this event was to involve the Queen shaking hands with an industrial robot. A slight miscalculation resulted in the machine tearing her right arm off and flinging it around the facility, completely destroying the regal limb. In a somewhat ironic attempt to save face, Japanese industry rushed to her aid, applying their latest robotic expertise to create for her a prosthetic arm. They did quite well, crafting an almost fully functional device that was indistinguishable from the real thing. However, the Japanese were still plagued by control issues, and they were unable to perfectly replicate her original handwriting. [However they replaced a certain parts of Prince Charles, and the whole of Prince Philip]
  • It hadn’t. (Different queens).
  • Just as her voice and language have mellowed with age, so her signature has become more rounded. Who needs all those spikes when you are three quarters of a century old?
  • Looking at the first signature, I would assume she learned how to read and write.
  • Marriage. When Elizabeth was married to Mr I, she used the former signature, but when, after his death, she married his cousin, Mr II, she had to change. Sad really.
  • Obviously, the Queen has been replaced by a clone, sent by the agents of the New World Order and the International Financial Cartel to spend lots of money and go into debt and therefore take out a high-interest loan from the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers and fund the coming World Police Force to control us all.
  • True story: On one of her numerous visits to the Australian War Memorial QEII was about to sign the visitor’s book (only a couple of pages after Nick Ceaucescu as it happens) [whom she knew – at least until they shot him] but seemed affronted by the yellow Bic she was presented with. “We only sign with a FOUN..TAIN pen” was her response, causing much panic. Fortunately a memorial guard with the surname Fitzpatrick, O’Brien, O’Riley or similar leant over the table whispered something out of our earshot and lent her his trusty Parker. She hasn’t been the same since and neither has her signature.
  • One is signed with the right hand, one with the left. Or some other answer.
  • Perchance because one signature belongs to EIR and the other to EIIR. Or because EIIR is now older and her signature’s changed (as happens to everybody). Or maybe EIIR overdosed on gin and slurred both her words and her moniker. (Arrgh, shit, Dr Bob – who cares anyway?)
  • Perhaps from having to shake so many hands over the years, the poor love’s developed arthritis in her hands, affecting her ability to grip the pen.
  • Poor Beth has a little known proctological condition, <i>Anus horriblus</i>, which is so uncomfortable that she continually shifts her weight. This leaves her less time for writing between buttock shuffles, hence the quicker to execute signature version below.
  • Repetitive Strain Injury???
  • She bought a new pen?
  • She couldn’t fit it on her masthead.
  • She got married? Dunno this one.
  • She got older. I had the same problem with an old bank account I found which I had when I was a kid-without running writing.
  • She grew older and arthritic, had waterworks problems, lost her memory, was going blind, deaf, senile etc…..
  • She grew up.
  • She’s melting! She’s melting! Or shrinking. From old age. You know. Come on [Yes now I’m old I do, all the time]
  • Someone told her that it wasn’t stylish any more
  • The lower, and smaller, signature is used to fit on that impossibly small area on her Visa card meant for a signature. As I keep telling her, I cannot accept a non-matching signature and she’ll have to pay cash.
  • The Queen has been replaced with an android.
  • The second signature is the one that goes back forever. I could not find the first signature anywhere. Perhaps it’s a forgery?
  • The signature on top is that of Queen Elizabeth I; the second signature is that of Queen Elizabeth II, who continues to be your lawful sovereign, despite the attempts of disloyal republicans to depose her. We in the USA kicked the monarchs out in 1776.
  • The top signature belongs to QE1, who was into zeds. One version looks like the map of England when turned on its side. Shows how busy she was. The bottom signature belongs to QE2. Can I use it in Myers?
  • To fool the handwriting analysts.
  • to stop people copying it
  • to stop RSI when giving autographs
  • Top signature is of Elizabeth I Tudor; bottom is of Elizabeth II Windsor.
  • Who knows? Perhaps it hasn’t. Brenda’s ‘signature’ is usually performed by a device called an ‘autopen.’ The lower signature appears identical with a sample autopen signature from 1968. The top signature might have been done earlier or later, by HRH herself, without mechanical assistance, by a different machine, or by some lady-in-waiting or other.


  • 0/6. How are we supposed to get the answers right if the questions are wrong? [Well life wasn’t meant to be easy, despite Dr Deepak Chopra dictating a piece of dogma to the contrary]
  • All my answers this month are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. [Which illustrates a point I was going to make about our education system…]
  • Bloody hell, it’s cold in here. [Me too. I am alone in the house this week and am too stingy to heat it. However I have 4 computers churning away in here and they do heat the room up a bit]
  • Daisy, Daisy……..
  • Do you believe that Year 10 was the best six years of your life? If so, apply now for One Nation membership.
  • Get a grip man. You are a bloody disgrace to the noble profession of Triviacompilology. More cock-ups than at the Porn Movie Academy Awards (“I would like to thank all the wonderful people who made this possible, but I don’t speak with my mouth full.”)
  • Getting sloppy, Dr. Bob. I make that 3 vague or incorrect questions this month. Mind you, that’s probably 6 incorrect answers, so who am I to criticize…
  • How often do you clean your teeth? [If that was “with what frequency” I’d say about 5 times a second]
  • I am astounded!!! all these trick questions again! I am still miffed that my answer to question four in May didnt even get a look in.
  • I find “optional” to be a very handy word. I use it almost daily. For me, life would be difficult without this often underrated word. [On the other hand, I do not generally choose to use it]
  • I get irritated with the numbers questions. They give less chance for imaginative answers.
  • I HAVE NOT LOST MY MIND! See, I’ve got it backed up on this floppy disk…..
  • I opt not to make a comment. Damn I just did didn’t I
  • I really enjoyed reading about the people in this month’s quiz, although I am having trouble sending in my answers – just can’t get connected to the site for some reason. Oh well, just when I thought I might have got a few right too!
  • I wanted questions on australia [Luck of the draw. I see that 4 out of 6 questions for July qualify]
  • Joe Nickell continues to get a lot of mileage out of his visit to your continent, as shown by his article on “Fisher’s Ghost” in the current issue of Skeptical Inquirer. I’m looking forward to reading more reports of his about his investigations down under. [Well, we censored them very carefully before we let him go back]
  • Masses are the opiate of religion. [Groannnn]
  • No comment
  • Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most. Or possibly my keys
  • Only one clever answer this time, I had no idea about the rest. Please make them easier, I can’t be bothered researching the real answers.
  • S’pose I should try looking the answers up on the internet…….nah!!!! Too American, (oops)I mean lazy!
  • Still no questions about 1990’s Australian cricket. [What’s that?]
  • How about something on my other special subject, the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship?
  • There once was a dr called bobWho set us a quiz strictly odd (Im dsylecix)He sought answers sublimeBeyond mere reason, more rhyme Cheers – Last month I got t’nod [Don’t give up your day job, Leon]
  • There once was a man named Dr. Bob,who unkind people said was a slob,those in the know,disagreed with the flow,Cos, Bob the Slob, was a god. Boom Boom. [and Ouch! If you like poems that scan]
  • THIS IS HARD [ooo really – and don’t wave it about, it’s making my screen flicker]
  • To me, clowns aren’t funny. In fact, they’re kind of scary. I’ve wondered where this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus, and a clown killed my dad.
  • Where is Timbuctoo?
  • Why do companies list an email address under their contact details if they don’t actually respond to email? [They’re the same ones that give you a phone number and you ring up and a machine says “please hold….”]
  • You gotta stop asking questions that are so obviously misleading. I think “it’s a trick question, but then again, is it?” It gives me a headache.
  • You’ll get nothing from me this month – not even a laugh. Why should you all enjoy yourselves when I am going into hospital to have a thoroughly miserable time! [But this is very funny, especially as it’s you and not me. You know how they make hospital food don’t you Steven?]