Answers for July 2005

I can’t go past the civilised, studied historical oeuvre of this month’s WINNER –

Keith Frampton

of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne. This month’s prize is: One free ticket to attend the lecture on “Cryptography”, by Dr S J Roberts, in R.M.I.T. room 8.9.42, at 5:30pm on Thursday 22 September 2005.

Question 1

Odoacer deposed Augustulus, the last Emperor of Rome, on 4 September 476. At what time of day was that done?


According to H L Mencken, 10:40 in the forenoon. I have no idea where Mencken got this from – it is likely that he made it up to satirise historians who quote unnecessarily accurate dates and times. And now I cannot find my reference to Mencken’s text, in which I recall he wrote “This was at 10:40 in the forenoon”. I did exhaustive Googling to make sure nobody could find this text by quoting my words … and now I have fallen into my own trap.

Other Answers

  • About 2 O’Clock, when that ennui sets in when you know you’ve taken all the baths you can usefully take in a day but it’s still too early for dinner.
  • After lunch at 2.00 p.m.
  • After the great feast under the full moon when Augustulus was sleeping
  • All I can find is January 10th 7pm “eastern time” (via Erik the Red Mediaeval History Archives) East of where? does that make almost 8 months difference?
  • Augustulus, “Little Augustus” was deposed at precisely 3:35pm. This little know fact was first made known in the Fantail “when did the usurper get in” series.
  • Augustulus? Don’t you mean Septemberulus?
  • Do you want Julian time or Gregorian time?
  • Early afternoon before afternoon tea.
  • Either three o’clock or the nineth hour
  • Even if Odoacer got up early it must have taken a while to get it all organized. So it was probably fairly late in the day. Say about four thirty.
  • Gibbon doesn’t specify, and that’s good enough for me. Though my father tells me that the sun must have been over the yard-arm somewhere in the world.
  • Hmm, tricky. Some would argue he didn’t as Augustulus was not a real emperor. Another view is that he was not deposed but persuaded to resign, so the answer is at no time. If it was the time he resigned to the senate then that is also very, very tricky. To quote an expert: “but I can’t find an answer, in spite of consulting Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, A.H.M.Jones in Journ.Rom.Stud. 1962, Pauly Wissowa’s Realenzyclopadie, even the Britannica, which thinks that there is nothing between Rome and Roosevelt, and the authoritative O. Seeck, Regesten, 1923. I even looked in Cramer’s Astrology and Divination to see if it fulfilled some kind of horoscope. Besides these secondary witers I also looked at Theophanes’ Chronographia, the Anon.Vales., Jordanes’ Hist. of the Goths, the other sources contained in Mommsen’s Mon.Germ.Hist.IX. pp. 308ff., and the Chronicle of Cassiodorus. They are all chronological works and they only give dates. I am puzzled by the question, because it was a process that took place after Odoacer had killed Romulus’ older relations, and after agreeing to resign would have had to go to the senate to announce his decision. That would probably be as soon as they could be assembled in the morning, 6-8 I suppose!
  • I believe it was done at breakfast. The Romans were a lazy lot however, and liked to take breakfast at anytime of the day. Just like Hobbits. Hobbits, like Romans, also liked eating food, and lots of it. One type of food that was eaten in great quantity by the Romans was corn, or as the Indians call it ‘maize’. So to close, Rome was a land of contrast. [And amaizement]
  • Lawyer O.Doacer took the deposition of A.U.Gustulus between 10 and 12, and 2 and 4, the usual lawyer working hours.
  • Midday
  • Must have been getting on in the day, since Odoacer killed off Romulus Augustus’ uncle Paul first.
  • Ninus thirtius.
  • Nobody knows
  • It was overcast and their sundials were not working.
  • Odoacer captured Augustulus at about 10 AM, but the official deposition ceremony (in which the two gave short speeches, shook hands, and posed for a commemorative painting) took place around 4 PM.
  • Probably at dawn. That’s the usual time for executions.
  • Probably late in the day as he had to do a lot of fighting his way past Paulus into Ravenna first.
  • Sundown: “When the sun was smitten,” Odoacer caused the title of emperor to cease
  • T(O) = 0
  • XV ab XII

Question 2

Sir John Mills was once at a snooty party where he and his wife happened to sit at different tables. He wrote a note “Do you fancy coming round to my place tonight? We could have some fun” and asked a waiter to give it to “the attractive woman at the table across the room”. What happened next?


The waiter gave it to Princess Diana (The note, that is)

Other Answers

  • Actor Mills was assessed and then assaulted by all the attractive and aristocratic adulterers arrayed amorously across the room.
  • Diana blushed, then accepted
  • Ha ha ha, the waiter gave the note to Princess Diana. How embarassment.
  • He gave it to Lady Diana.
  • He gave it to the wrong woman
  • His obituary said he was survived by his second wife. So, wouldn’t it be funny if he met his second wife because the waiter delivered the note to the wrong woman? (My apologies to Aileen Raymond if she follows this quiz and is also alive).
  • It was given to [shudder] princess diana
  • It went to the person his wife was sitting next to
  • Note went to wrong lady (“attractive” is subjective to waiters – depends on size of tips (sic)) After that a veil covered the tips and was drawn over the eventual fracas
  • Okay, I’m going to take a wild guess here, based on some scanty evidence from Google: The waiter delivered the letter to his daughter, who assumed that it was from an ex boyfriend who was also at the party. Her father, witnessing this, became apoplectic at her enthusiasm, and ended up pelting the ex with his dessert (biscuits?)
  • One can only assume the note went to the wrong person.
  • Princess Anne turned up at his house
  • Pudding was served
  • She slapped the waiter
  • The Myopic waiter gave it to the bishop seated next to Mill’s wife – the bishop was dressed in drag. [As bishops always are]
  • The waiter gave it to the attractive woman at the table across the room. This, of course, was not his wife, so he got slapped.
  • The waiter gave it to the wrong woman who told her extremely jealous husband, who ten challenged Sir John to a duel. Alternatively, the note found the correct recipient, Sir John’s wife and they both left the dreadfully boring party early.
  • The waiter gave it to the wrong woman, and that woman ended up coming to his house… while his wife was there! These wacky hijinks inspired an episode of “Three’s Company.”
  • The waiter gave it to the wrong woman, one who wasn’t Lady Mills, and the wrong woman, offended, showed it to Lady Mills, and Lady Mills, in a furious jealous passion, clobbered Sir Mills with her umbrella many times.
  • The waiter gave the note to Cecil Beaton? [Arrghh, that’d be even worse than Lady Diana or Princess Anne]
  • The waiter handed the note to Princess Diana instead of his wife.
  • The waiter indeed did give the note to John’s wife who was the best looking woman at the table at the time, but then a couple of minutes later a gorgeous young brunette returned to the table from the bathroom, the wife assumed the note was meant for this woman and subsequently John spent the night on the couch.
  • The waiter photocopied the note and gave it to all the females at the party. Sir John or Droopy as he became known, was too much the gentleman to disappoint any of them.
  • The waiter scored. Bigtime.
  • The waiter took the note.
  • The waiter, who was Italian, burst into song, singing “La donna e mobile” in a fine tenor voice as he handed the note to the wrong woman. Sir John looked the other way and hoped his wife didn’t notice.
  • The wife went home with the waiter!! Why? The waiter was the wife’s husband! Why? Stop asking so many questions and go to bed.
  • The woman went with him in high hopes, but was disappointed to find his idea of fun was alphabetising his Bjork CDs. [Which would be easier than trying to alphabetise my Sigur Ros CDs, one of which is called ( ) ]

Question 3

What, according to Monty Python, was Italy famous for?


CUSTARD. I really expected to get dozens of answers – this was in episode 37 which also featured “Denis Moore” the lupin-stealing highwayman. Let me quote chapter and verse from the script “…But for a truly magnificent waste of time you’ve got to go no further than the exhibit from Italy – Italian priests in custard, discussing vital matters of the day. (four Italian priests standing up to their chests in a large vat of custard; in front of them it says ‘Italian Priests in Custard’; they are animatedly discussing vital matters; hung behind them is a sign saying ‘Italy, Land of Custard’) These lads from a seminary near Cremona, have been practising for well over a year…..”

Other Answers

  • A hovercraft full of eels. (My nipples explode with delight)
  • Being both in Monty Python and Dr Bob’s Quiz.
  • Can’t think of a funny answer, too lazy to look up the correct answer. Pass.
  • cheese
  • colorful ceramics
  • Custard – dunno why.
  • Custard (or the Eurovision song ‘Si Si Boing Bang’)
  • Custard.
  • Dead parrots? Nope. Fish slapping? Nope again. Hmm, catholic lumberjacks, perhaps?
  • Dead People
  • Define “Italy”
  • Dildo’s
  • Gary Cooper stuffing dry pasta into his pocket (no, I do not know from where I got this wrong answer either)
  • God knows
  • Gondolas maybe, but the Holy Grail was “somewhere in Italy” as well. Then there is always cheese.
  • Having so many Italians?
  • I give my top 10 excuses for not finding the answer: Local channel in Detroit carried Benny Hill reruns instead when I was growing up. Had signed organ donor card, someone needed liver. While Googling found Python songs on free music site; joined site; still listening. Didn’t expect Spanish Inquisition. Squashed by giant foot. “Three, sir, three”. Thought you wrote “Monte Hall”; started thinking about why changing doors gives me a 2/3 probability of winning. Was doing something completely different.
  • I dont know I’m not doctor bloody Bronowski
  • Italians
  • It’s wonderful public telephone system – or was that Sveden?
  • Pizza.
  • Popes. Dozens of popes. And only one Englishman amongst the lot of them. Time for another, what?
  • This question is racially biased.
  • Was famous for? Isn’t famous for any longer? How about currently ruling emperors and kings?
  • Watney’s Red Barrel.
  • Well Venice had “more f******* gondolas!”

Question 4

How many equations are displayed on tombstones at Westminster Abbey?


Only one: the Dirac equation

Other Answers

  • 1
  • 1, on P.A.M Dirac’s monument
  • 2
  • 3
  • 42.
  • Are there “tombstones” “in” Westminster Abbey? so much easier to pick holes in question than to find an answer
  • Define “equation”
  • Dirac’s electron/wave equation is the only one I know.
  • Do not know, but while searching came across “scratching fanny of cock lane” and became sidetracked. Probably none – not many mathematicians buried there
  • Hey- this is probably in that Dan Brown book. Too bad it’s back in the library. Entertaining book- right up until three main characters couldn’t think of a 5 letter word related to orbs and Newton. Oh right, my answer- I’m guessing 1.
  • How many tombstones are at Westminster Abbey? That many.
  • I don’t know, but from a distance many tombstones look like calculators.
  • Including the ones on Newton’s tombstone? None
  • Just the one, the Dirac equation. Which oddly enough is on the tomb of one Paul Dirac. Coincidence or conspiracy? Probably the latter.
  • Loads. Most are Isaac Newton’s. You could say he took them with him to the grave.
  • N. (Ha ha ha ha ha!)
  • None – not even Newton has one, but Stephen Hawking probably will.
  • None. However there is one a commemorative plaque for Dirac.
  • Not nearly enough!
  • one on each stone
  • One. It’s on Uriah Heep’s tombstone but it’s nothing sensational – just an ‘umble pi.
  • Several thousand: it is still unclear why King Henry IV chose to have an entire algebra textbook engraved on his tomb.
  • That would be none. They upgraded all the tombstones so that any equations would be displayed on LCD screens. The screens are on the fritz at the moment, so all you can see currently are Blue Screens of Death!
  • There would be heaps (I like precise answers to go with precise questions). JCM would have at least 4, while Isaac might also have a few.
  • WestminsterEquations = Dirac = 1
  • Zero. None. The null set.

Question 5

Which of the following are unwelcome in Tasmania: Norway Pout, Striped Mullet, Three-line Grunt, Pollock, Shy Drum, or Tubesnout?


None of these fish are allowed in, because of a disease

Other Answers

  • According to all but the tubesnout. [Oh yeah? What’s the 6th fish in the list then? I know this to my great cost, because my wife’s company tried to import fish into Tasmania. #10 is the herring, that was the problem. Visit Tasmania – Land of Not Many Fish. Anyway by the look of the poor thing at there is not much flesh on it, so it should be safe from diners]
  • All, and main land Australians
  • All are proscribed by the Animal Health Act of 1985.
  • All are welcome. Gays and genetic diversity are not, however.
  • All look like exotic fish so I guess all are verboten in Tassie. Unless they have two heads, of course. (BTW, is a Three-line Grunt a fish or an infantryman’s vocabulary?)
  • All of the above, although Tubesnout’s 1998 tour almost booked a stop in Launceton. They were forced to cancel due to lack of interest.
  • All of them and a whole lot more besides New Restrictions on Fish and Fish Products ….. Non-viable fin-fish and products derived from fin-fish are a restricted material.
  • All of them are permitted under Schedule 1 of the Animal Health Act of 1995 provided they are in an hermetically sealed container. [As Tasmania ought to be]
  • All of them are unwelcome there, in addition to all fish with unusual names.
  • All of them are welcome if they have been heat treated, as certified by the relevant authority. So Bob, no more sneaking in to Tassie with a load of pollocks stuffed down your trousers.
  • All of them besides the Norway pout and the tubesnout, because they rhyme. So never say Tubesnout (or Norway Pout) You’re Out! And someone should tell the other fish they’re banned in case they try to swim in there. They could be turned away at the border – I mean, beach.
  • All of them, they are pests and weeds
  • All of them! (
  • Bad, bad, all of them, evil horrible things they are. Not welcome in Tassie the lot of them.
  • Hmmm. these sound like fish. So maybe Tasmania has a invasive species problem. I really think Tasmania should just quit carping though.
  • I don’t know, because I’m not welcome in Tasmania, either.
  • I really don’t know, but it probably doesn’t matter because we can’t control the fish
  • Jim Morrison was born in a van and Van Morrison was born in a gym.
  • Norway Pout
  • Pollock. He was played by Ed Harris in a movie by the same name, and if the Tasmanians are anything like me, they hated that movie.
  • Striped Mullet. Mullets look ugly. Especially stripy ones.
  • Striped mullets are unwelcome everywhere: except early episodes of ‘Prisoner’.
  • Tasmania isn’t a real place, this question is irrelevant.
  • They all are, unless heat-treated or certified
  • Tubesnout and Federal politicians
  • Tubesnout
  • Tubesnout perhaps.

Question 6

Where’s this?


Groznyy, Chechnya. I can’t find the exact translation of the words but it’s something like “Never forget! Never forgive! Never surrender!” – A rather harsh line, don’t you think?

Other Answers

  • Chechnia (Grozny’s memorial to the victims of Russian repression)
  • Its the Haemorrhoid Memorial in Kyrgyzstan.
  • A memorial cemetery (I don’t know!) Is it in Iceland???
  • A viking cemetary in Iceland is my guess
  • Ah of course it’s in the cemetery just behind those trees over there. Obviously.
  • Albania.
  • A bad place to be in a zombie movie.
  • East Berlin
  • Greece
  • Hmm, looks like a Turkish cemetery. But, if it was, King Arthur would not be buried therein.
  • Hollywood
  • I don’t know, but I’d like to
  • Iceland, or somewhere in scandinavia at least. I wish my Icelandic friend was around so she could offer her opnion. <Frantically reaches for Icelandic medical dictionary to see if ‘opnion’ is a body part, and if so, which>
  • Iceland. The wall reads: Forever [in] quiz! Ever [in] quiz! Remember us always [in the]quiz!
  • It’s the Labor Party headquarters with the ghost of Mark Latham to the centre. Guess where Kimbo was sitting? (note: the Soviet style writing on wall translates to: Together! Uncoggled! We’ll never be boondoggled!)
  • Jamie Durie’s back garden.
  • Just outside the main debating chamber of the Kremlin. And if you think this is bad, you should see the other bloke!
  • Monument to fallen kebab-makers. Ipswich.
  • Poland. That clever entrant a few months ago managed to copy script and look up and find a correct answer but I forget how.
  • Russia
  • Tasmania.
  • The planet of the Apes! Wait a minute… statue of liberty… that was OUR planet! You blew it up! Damn you!!! Damn you all to Hell!!!! *falls to floor sobbing*
  • The Tomb Of The Unknown Proctological Plunger.
  • This is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Turkmenistan. It was supposed to honor President-for-Life Niyazov, but it became well-known because on occasion, the hideous orange paint on the wall drives visitors mad, and they impale themselves on the giant sword. They are buried where they fall.
  • Turkey
  • What was once Mother Russia
  • Why? Are you lost? Cambodia.
  • Swordi Arabia?


  • I can understand banning the naked women, but can we also veto pictures of blokes’ legs?
  • “In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” – Orson Welles
  • A local quack advertises ‘deep homeopathic therapy’ as a protection against, inter alia, ‘psychic attack’. As a doctor, Bob, can you comment on the efficacy of her claim?
  • Banana. [That was last month]
  • Dr. Bob asks hard questions!
  • Give a man a match and he’ll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life….
  • Great mixture of questions – thank you
  • Had to be quick this month, no chance of a free trip or tickets to a lecture? I thought not.
  • Hi [Hi Jim]
  • missed last month….just a quickie this month…sounds like my sex life…sighhhhhhhh
  • Numbers 1 and 6 very difficult! [Should have been very easy as you got both of them entirely wrong]
  • Oranges are the new Banana’s.
  • Sorry my answers are so crap this week, the blatant phallus in your picture question meant I couldn’t keep my mind on task.
  • Thanks again for no pictures of naked ladies in the quiz.
  • The two trees in the top right hand side of the picture are wierd.
  • These are very hard questions
  • What a rush – sorry no time to be funny or google for answers. Have a nice quiz.
  • Wish i knew the answers!