Answers for October 2005

First I must apologise, I had a hard disk disaster on 28 October and lost all my useful files and e-mails. Was able to restore 98% from backups and home copies of office files, but some e-mails were permanently lost, notably around 8-10 and 25-28 Oct. So if you expect to see your answer in here and it’s not there, that is my excuse this month. Here’s some advice: BACK UP YOUR FILES TODAY! Winner this month was one of several to get all 6 questions right. What a disaster! I am evidently becoming nice. Tey deserve to win after many near misses –

Stephen Moratti

Stephen is in Cambridge, UK – and so was I this month, at least for a morning and a lunch on 14 October. Oh, Stephen – we could have met, but preferably not over the lunch I had, which was pretty awful (fish & soggy chips, UKP 4.95). Then it cost me 55 quid for curry for 3, without wine, in a country town! And it rained. The traffic on the M25 was stationary, I got out of the car (in the fast lane) and took pictures. The M25 doesn’t even go to Cambridge. No wonder I’m glad to be back.

Question 1

Proposed Australian laws governing the use of embryos in research were modified in 2002 to allow the eating of caviar, and to allow what else?


Sex. Specifically, “heterosexual sex if the intention was not pregnancy; creating embryos with two parents; giving birth following pregnancy; and eating caviar or any other fertilised egg”

Other Answers

  • Babies, Bob. We can eat them provided the bag limit is not exceeded. Currently you are allowed to catch two per day, but it is expected that this will increase to three per day to allow one per meal.
  • Bumping uglies, knocking boots, creating beasts with two backs, etc. ad nauseam
  • Drinking Wodka
  • Eating hens’ eggs and raw oysters – yes try them together, we do in Mongolia after too much vodka.
  • Heterosexual sex (naughty – we had this one before in April 2003 – you thought we had forgotten)
  • If your conservative party is like ours in the US probably something like cloning conservative party leaders, or their mistresses.
  • Introduction of said sturgeon eggs, or any eggs for that matter, into any bodily orifice for any purpose at any time anywhere. I’m told the new law is backed by Sunny Queen, McDonalds and the Eros Foundation.
  • It would have to be the use of (boiled) fertilised eggs that are chopped up and served with the caviar to the champagne-swilling chatterati who decry the lack of ethics in research. And modern culinary science. And other stuff.
  • Little bits of toast
  • Oh dear, from the April 2003 quiz this one. I guess that’s a bit better than last month. Not much of importance (to me anyway) just sex and child birth. Personally I am told I was brewed in a vat. But to quote Dr Bob. “Some wag in drafting Australian Stem Cell legislation got in a clause about “heterosexual sex if the intention was not pregnancy; creating embryos with two parents; giving birth following pregnancy; eating caviar or any other fertilised egg”
  • Poaching
  • Research on existing surplus IVF embryos. Very sensibly though cloning was simultaneously banned. None of us really want to share our caviar, not even with ourselves
  • Scrambling of eggs
  • Sex? [Why, thanks for the offer Ben, but I’m rather busy right now]
  • Stem cell research
  • The babies of the working classes but we get more money under the new IR laws so that’s OK isn’t it
  • The cannibalistic eating of human embryos, of course. They’re delicious on toast.
  • The digestion of caviar?
  • The establishment of a licensing system to regulate the use of human embryos for assisted reproductive technology.
  • To allow excess human embryos created through reproductive technologies before 2002 to be used in research. I note that the consumption of caviar was explicitly not affected – what else would one put on top of the canapes and scrambled eggs in the parliamentary dining room?
  • To keep eggs in the fridge. Keeping eggs in the fridge is still illegal in New Zealand.
  • Toast [Which is what my hard drive became just before the end of the month]

Question 2

What did Marie Antoinette eat at her last meal?


  • “She swallowed a few spoonfuls of broth. The vermicelli went uneaten.” So says one web site.
  • A big mac
  • A bit of broth.
  • A modest serve of damper with freshly-churned butter and a smear of golden syrup, followed by a mug of good strong sweet tea. She then decided, as a good cowpoke would after such a grouse feed, to head off. [Groannnn]
  • A mouthful or two of broth. Cake wasn’t offered.
  • According to it was vermicelli soup. But I’m sure that the most popular answer is cake.
  • Being Austrian, she kept her head when presented with mere chicken noodle soup. It is interesting that the recipe includes not only eggs (presumably fertilised ones) but their shells, no doubt to replace the calcium she would need after the day’s proceedings were done.
  • Bouillon soup
  • Bouillon … broth … consomme … vermicelli soup … seems that a clear soup of some description is what she had a few mouthfuls of. Certainly not cake. And certainly not her favourite pastry from the cafe down the street … as if Robespierre and his cronies would have acquiesced to that request!
  • Brioches
  • Broth. Chicken broth and no she didn’t eat the pasta.
  • Cake.
  • Cake (I bet nobody else thought of this!)
  • Cake, of course.
  • Caviar? Is this a trick question?
  • Chicken soup (was she Jewish?)
  • Chops [Groannnnnnn]
  • Detailed examination of her entrails reveal that I won’t win the quiz this month, and that she had soup/broth for her last meal
  • From: But when it comes to Marie Antoinette’s last day…well! Her day of trial? One account claims she’d had only “a few sips of bouillon to sustain her” through the 16-hour proceedings. Another prolongs the ordeal: “She had tasted but a bowl of soup since the morning–nay, since the evening before, thirty hours–soon she must fail.” Another shortens it: “At 4:30 in the afternoon, having been in one continuous session since morning, the hearings were interrupted for one hour. The Queen had just enough time to drink a little broth and exchange a few words with her lawyers.” What about after the death penalty is read? One says Marie Antoinette went back to her cell and enjoyed a supper of roast chicken by candlelight “despite the lateness of the hour” (it was after 4 am). Another: “She forced back her tears, ate the wing of a chicken and a roll, and removed her ragged chemise, stained by the hemorrhages.” And at 7 am, when it’s time to prepare for the scaffold? “She asked for a cup of chocolate and bread called mignonette which was brought in from a neighboring café.” Not likely. Rosalie, though–Rosalie recounts her conversation with a woman clearly on her way to death: “Madame, you ate nothing at supper yesterday and scarcely anything all day. What can I bring you this morning?” “I need nothing to eat, child–my life is over.” “Please, Madame, you must eat something; I have kept warm upon the hob some soup and vermicelli. Let me bring it to you.” “Very well, Rosalie, bring me the soup.” She swallowed a few spoonfuls of broth. The vermicelli went uneaten. (One of these should be the random ‘correct’ answer designated by Dr. Bob)
  • I looked up the headline in the London Post: Condemned Consumes Consomme
  • Probably not cake
  • Spaghetti
  • Umble pie. [Too late for that]
  • Vermicelli soup – she left the pasta and supped the broth (she probably called it bouillon). Should have been humble cake.

Question 3

In the Library of Congress classification of books, what is the designator of the subclass devoted to the Bible?



Other Answers

  • “BS” – you little beauty, finding this equates to five numbers plus the supplementary – not quite division one but bloody good just the same.
  • B S, of course.
  • BBB
  • Bible Stories and other Boring Stuff are found under subclass BS. How serendipitous, just like the rest of the quiz! One for the Yanks!!
  • BS (teehee sounds like B-S)
  • BS bull shit eh? I ‘spose this amuses you does it? you may be a smarty pants with a (little) PhD but your sense of humour is about as developed as ….. mine
  • BS, otherwise read as B.S.
  • BS. I’m leaving this one alone, the latent catholic in me is too worried about divine retributions… although I have to wonder if the person assigning these designators was a latent sceptic…
  • BS; this made me laugh!
  • class:B subclasses:BS
  • Fiction
  • Historical Fiction.
  • I dont even understand the question, let alone how to look for the answer.
  • Is it something to do with caviar? Am I on the right track?
  • It’s an arrow, designating the direction of the bible subclass devotee.
  • No idea
  • Ooooooh, you *are* tendentious! (look it up) You wouldn’t *dare* to ask a question based on the letters ‘BS’ in connection with either of the other Abrahamic religions, would you? Armchair agnostics – you can spot ’em a mile away.
  • Very appropriately and quite amusingly BS = Bible.
  • Which bible? The Rules for Description Cataloging or the “actual” bible?
  • Wholly fiction.
  • X-rated [which much of the OT should be]

Question 4

What do you have to do to qualify as a “fanatic of Canadian nationalism”?


Learn the Canadian national anthem in both official languages

Other Answers

  • A US Actor.
  • Be boring, but for some inexplicable reason, and despite no evidence whatsoever, think that you are funny. And club seals.
  • Being a Canadian assists markedly, as does being a lumberjack blessed with a large monty python. But to achieve true Canadian national fanaticism one needs a thick iditarod with which to beat the living bejeesus out of every Yank, Quebecois and harp seal in sight.
  • Burn, in a very disrespectful manner, the flag of the United States of America!
  • Destroy a celine dion CD
  • Dress like a mountie????
  • Eat a pom / yank
  • Eat only maple syrup
  • Have you noticed if you say the same word over and over it sounds kind of weird? Caviar, caviar, caviar, caviar. See?
  • Kill anyone who refers to country ham as “Canadian Bacon”
  • Know all the words to the Canadian National anthem in both official languages. Or so one fanatic canadian thinks.
  • Knowing all the words to the Canadian National anthem in both official languages, though the source is sceptical.
  • Like ice hockey?
  • merde… speak with un outrrrrageous archaic french accent that no one in tres modern la belle france can understand.
  • Not live in Quebec. They want to be independent. Or, western Canada – they are outvoted and feel ignored by the east. Hmmm. It seems that to be a fanatic of Canadian nationalism you have to live outside Canada.
  • Play hockey in the nude in an outdoor rink in January with a red maple leaf tattooed on your buttocks.
  • Play hockey… or box, depending on where the puck is.
  • Ride a horse
  • Savoir all les words du anthem canadien in les two langues official. Militant seperatists (in Canada, that equates to ‘angry letter writers to local ad-sheet’ anywhere else) learn it in Innuit as well. Wimpy liberals learn it in Xhosa, just in case.
  • Sing
  • Swim in the great lake
  • Watch South Park
  • Wear a maple leaf instead of a fig leaf. Maple leaves are bigger and the Canadians are dreamers.
  • You have to know all the words of the Canadian national anthem in BOTH official languages, according to Doug Thomas, English teacher and novelist. Heck, I don’t even know all the words to ‘Advance Australia Fair’ but at least I know the first verse without looking at the words on the big screens during any major sporting events!
  • You have to know the words to the Canadian National Anthem in both French and English. A similar qualification cannot apply in Australia, no one knows all the words to Advance Australia Fair in any language.
  • Your turn in the barrel (over Niagara)

Question 5

What was the meaning of the new English word “tey” invented at an American university circa 1980?


“he, or she”

Other Answers

  • Tey – regional airport code for – wait for it – Thingeyri, Iceland!!
  • …and yet…? (‘yet’ backwards)
  • a gender neutral third-person singular pronoun. It’s regular use could make life simpler for Carlotta. [Next week: The Apostrophe, and Where to Put It]
  • A hormone-free pronoun available to anyone who feels strongly about the gender-biased nature of the English language and has the balls to state his/her objection.
  • A new personal pronoun. My favourite is “youse”
  • A non-gender-specific pronoun instead of he/she
  • A singular form of “they” – for example: John was with them, but tey all died. [Sounds like a quote from the Book of Revelation]
  • Both “his” and “hers” — 1972? Dunno about 80. [Well 1972 is sort of like “circa 1980”. I mean, gimme a break … I have to know all this stuff]
  • Cheers
  • Dont know
  • Dunno this either
  • Gender neutral third person pronoun
  • Hello
  • If I read it right, it’s a personal pronoun used to signify a person of indeterminate sex. [How useful – I know a couple of people like that]
  • It means “tea” but it is spelled as the English pronounce it. [Actually this was how Charles II and his cronies would have pronounced the archetypal English hot drink. Whoops, another future question given away]
  • It’s a gender neutral pronoun. Not him or her just tey. But it’s also Klingon for cousin (mother’s sister’s child or father’s brother’s child), niece or nephew (man’s brother’s child or woman’s sister’s child). Which makes sense if you think about it. Doesn’t it?
  • It’s not a new word, merely a standard American misspelling of an English word, in this case, tea – Minus one for the Yanks
  • New generic pronoun for lazy teenagers who slur
  • Tax equivalent yield? I am wrong – it is not an acronym, I think it is a feminist politically correct term for they? 943,000 on Google and none of my books helped.
  • Tch, Dr Bob. You of all people should know that Americans can’t invent English words. American words are not really English words at all, at least not until they are recognised by the Oxford gods. And the OxGods don’t. (Neither my OED nor my Oxford ‘New Words’, both published >1980, carry “tey”.) Ipso facto, the answer to your question is “none”.
  • Tey is a gender neutral subject pronoun. As in: When a student parties at our university tey is likely to go to bed with anyone.
  • Tey is Klingon for cousin (true!). Tey was also invented as a non sexist and non-racist first person pronoun.
  • Tey single pronoun used to collectively describe peoples of both black and white races … never mind that the whole concept of race is a contrived one and what about the yellow peoples of the world all those poor ill hepatitis sufferers grrrr it makes me livid!!!
  • The shiny, protein-based coating on a bit of caviar.
  • They – it was a typo (the original reason for autocorrect)
  • Third person gender neutral singular pronoun. What???? I should’ve paid more attention in primary school (back in the days when they taught correct grammar) But there is an Iceland connection… TEY is the airport code for Thingeyri, Iceland. Now it makes sense, Dr Bob.
  • yet [No: that is the number between 7 and 9, in Belfast]

Question 6

Whose signature is this?


  • Christopher Columbus. Xpo Ferens means “Carrier of Christ” the first part is Greek the second Latin. He thought of himself carrying Christ across the ocean to the “Indians”. Maybe he left him there?
  • “Trebbble cleff” – Mister Christopher Columbus / He used rhythm as his compass! / Music ended all the rumpus / Wise Old Christopher Columbus! I like the Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band version.
  • Aristotle
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s so obvious. ‘S’ is for ‘Schwarzenegger’. ‘GAS’ for ‘Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger’. ‘XMY’ is for ‘Xtra Muscly Yank’. (BTW, the last line is not part of his signature. It’s his address – a secret post office box in the town of Ferens, California.)
  • Christopher Columbus (glad I do not have to sign his cheques, but of course he probably paid cash avoiding GST)
  • Christopher Columbus (it helps to have a wife who teaches latin)
  • Christopher Columbus when he wasn’t using his Greek passport.
  • Christopher Columbus!
  • Christopher Columbus. see And I thought my signature was wierd!
  • Columbus, Chistopher
  • Edward Roe, Archbishop of Caviar
  • Hmmm, it’s half Greek to me, how about Christopher Colombus
  • Jesus
  • Looks like Kiss my deferens, so I’m suggesting Ron Jeremy.
  • Looks like mine after a few beers, but more likely christopher columbus’s
  • Maria Teresa d’Austria
  • Pope Benedict
  • Santa saying Merry Xmas after too much egg nog.
  • Some doctor’s, because it’s illegible.
  • Some greaseball Dago who washed up on one of our islands and tried to claim he thought it was India. Deport the goddam idiot before he brings his family and takes over the whole place!
  • That would be Sir Amy Expo Ferens, late of the SAS
  • Why that would be Christopher Columbus’ (of course?)
  • xpo ferens
  • Dunno, but they just cosigned my online mortgage application. Thanks, Dr. Bob.


  • A sceptical blonde was playing Trivial Pursuit one night. She rolled the dice and landed on Science & Nature. Her question was, “If you are in a vacuum and someone calls your name, can you hear them?” She thought for a moment and then asked, “Is it on or off?”
  • Caviar, caviar, caviar, caviar, spam, caviar, caviar.
  • Did I get them all right? Of course I did. Too easy this month. Blimey it’s only the 7th. Must be a new record for me.
  • Dr Bob, I am so glad to be participating in your fine exercises of human triviality and googleology once again. And I know I got at least one answer right… celebratory aquavit all round!
  • Hahahaha. My original answer to Q4 had a Canadian hockey player in the nude “wearing a pink tutu.” Hahahaha. That’s what I get for taking your quiz after drinking three glasses of zinfandel, Trinity Oaks, California, 1999. What an idiot. But a happy idiot. Cheers.
  • I protest at the validity of your test Dr. Bob, seeing as I got zero, do you think I am smart or not?
  • I refuse to answer on the grounds I may embarrass myself again
  • Most enjoyable – thank you for organising this
  • Please ask a question about hatstands.
  • Pretty easy one this time for my mate google and me
  • Previous winner. Please give generously.
  • Seems cannibalism is on the menu this month. Dunno why, perhaps I’ve gone off dim sims and need a similar dietary supplement.
  • Stress is when you wake up screaming and realise that you haven’t actually fallen asleep.
  • Tell the winner of this month’s quiz that tey deserves it.
  • Thanks for getting me fired! I really need that prize now. Wire it to my off shore account … oh, wait that is the boss’s … … … … guess what, got my job back.
  • Top selection of questions. Thank you for my holiday in Outer Mongolia I am chilling out literally. One of your entrants said that the winners were females with double barrelled names. Well I am female but only double breasted not barrelled. That is only like the jacket – I have the requisite 2 not 4
  • What happened to Iceland? [Nothing – it’s still there]
  • What, no reply? Does this mean everyone else worked it out too? How?