Questions for all 2009


John Ganas January 2009
Myfanwy Oldershaw February 2009
Linda Houston March 2009
Michael MacNamara April 2009
Heath Eddy May 2009
Ben Long June 2009
Leon Down July 2009
Sharla Millett August/September 2009
Tony Ellis October 2009
Geoff Merrill November 2009
Sharla Millett December 2009


January 2009

Q1  What is the world’s most repeated television program?  (That is, a well-defined titled program, longer than 5 minutes, identical every time that it is broadcast to the public – not the test card, the weather map or a station logo etc).
Q2  Where is the centre of the gay community in Manchester?
Q3  Who (or what) is (or was) the Complutensian Polyglot?
Q4  Maxwell Smart is Agent 86 – his female assistant, never given a personal name, is Agent 99.  What other name or title was originally proposed for Agent 99?
Q5  What are those 5-metre-square things, in the back of the shipyard at Evensk?
Q6  Where’s this? (Pyongyang)

February 2009

Q1  In the late 1700s a scholar visited Alcala, Spain to consult the original parchments of Biblical text, from which the Complutensian Polyglot had been printed in 1517.  But he was told that they had all been sold off in 1749, to a man named Toryo. What was Señor Toryo’s occupation?
Q2  The Empire State Building is now often spotlighted in colours, including in green for Eid-Ul-Fitr in October 2007.  Before this, why was it lit in green in early 2004?
Q3  Who was first to goof the floof?
Q4  What would you measure, using the Mull of Kintyre for reference?
Q5  Americans have begun to sell milk in square containers that also serve as jugs – the shipping and packaging costs are lower.  What problem is being encountered with the square jugs?
Q6  Exactly when was this Northern European picture taken? (Sweden changing to drive on the right)

March 2009

Q1  During the “Xmas truce” in 1914 where English and Germans came out their trenches and played football, what was the score when the ball went into barbed wire?
Q2  During the same match, what position was played by a certain Corporal of the 16th Bavarian Reserve?
Q3  In what part of the building was Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” recorded?
Q4  In Mr Bean’s Christmas (the scene with turkey on head, etc).  What commercial product is on the centre of Mr Bean’s mantelpiece?
Q5  The 1960s BBC satirical program “That was the week that was” was transmitted late on Saturday nights and tended to run well over time. The BBC mandarins began to transmit the spy series “The Third Man” after it, to try to contain the length of the show.  But why did they stop doing this?
Q6 Caption please (Stalin and Lenin, map)

April 2009

Q1 What is the first English word nowadays learned by non-native speakers of English?
Q2  When Vanuatu (as the New Hebrides) was a joint British-French protectorate, which side of the road did residents drive on?
Q3  What do Iroquois, Aztec, Maori, and Czech persons have in common?
Q4  When the British adult comic “VIZ” offered a competition whose prize was “a ton of money” the actual prize was …?
Q5 What is the meaning of the Inuktitut word: Katujjiqatigiittiarnirlu?
Q6  This mighty stupa just south of Zhongdian, Yunnan, China also serves as a traffic roundabout.  The widespread habit in China, Tibet and Mongolia is to gain merit and good luck by walking 3 times clockwise around religious markers like these.  Therefore the local truckies like to drive 3 times around it before setting off on long journeys.  What is the problem with this custom?

May 2009

Q1  When you open a bottle of champagne how many turns are required to undo the wire basket that holds the cork in place?
Q2  OK, if you can’t afford champagne and you buy beer (disregarding the fact that bad champagne is cheaper than good beer).  Around the edge of the beer bottle crown cap, how many pinches are there?  And why that number?
Q3  Daniel Fahrenheit got the low point of his temperature scale by cooling ice with salt.  For the upper point he measured the temperature of the human body – Where did he stick the thermometer?
Q4  The English hermit Mrs Celestina Collins, of Coventry, always dined with her pet rooster and pet rat.  But in later years she dined alone – why?
Q5  Why, as is written in a famous book about chivalry, did the King of the Orkneys voluntarily pay tribute to King Arthur?
Q6    Dr Bob visited an art gallery in Europe and collected this guide, but unfortunately he spilt his champagne on it, which dissolved the paper.  There was similar lettering in the missing bit, what did it say?

June 2009
Q1  There is a graffito of an owl – the sacred mascot of fullers – on a wall of a tavern in Pompeii, with text “[L.Quintilius] Crescens and his mates sing to the fullers and the owl”.  What text has another hand graffited under the owl?
Q2:  After 102 years of war, English and French negotiators in Calais in 1439 were discussing truce terms.  Fed up with arguing, they broke out for a game of football.  Was this a good idea?
Q3:  The eponymous run from Marathon to Athens is only about 22 miles, so why are modern Marathons run over 26 miles 385 yards?  (Do not bother copying the Wikipedia entry as an answer!)
Q4:  The words of the hymn “Rock of Ages” – no, not the Def Leppard song – were written by the Rev. Augustus Toplady in 1763 on the back of a playing card.  What card was it?
Q5: What is the origin of the name for the city of NOME, now the
capital of Alaska?
Q6:    Where was this photo taken?

July 2009
Q1  If Franz Kafka could have visited Prague as it now stands, how would this have affected his literary output?
Q2  Spike Milligan made a series of television comedy sketch shows, which because the latest Cunard ocean liner was for a long time referred to as the “Q4” and the British were pretty hysterical over it, was called “Q5”.  There followed a second series, called “Q6” and then more series called “Q7”, “Q8” (done all in Arab dress), and “Q9”.  But the seventh series was called “There’s a Lot of It About”.  Why not “Q10”?
Q3  Which leading Nazi was excommunicated from the Catholic Church, and why?
Q4  The British town of Tipton had an ornamental lake.  What was Councillor Doughty’s response to a proposal to beautify it by putting 12 gondolas on it?
Q5  How much water could you carry using a Texan’s “ten gallon hat”?
Q6  Two pictures.  (a) Where were these taken?  and (b) What is he thinking? (Zogist salute)

Aug/Sept 2009
Q1 What did King Zog of Albania do in the evenings?
Q2 Why were overseas visitors required to wear morning dress when attending audiences with King Zog?
Q3 While in exile in France during WW2, King Zog of Albania was in an area that was subjected to a German air raid.  How did he manage to survive unscathed?
Q4 When Zog checked into the Ritz Hotel in London, what was commented about his baggage?
Q5 One day, while living in London, King Zog decided to buy a newspaper.  Which newspaper?
Q6   This was Jalan Bagan Luar, a main street in Butterworth, Malaysia, in 2001.  What are the diggers looking for?

October 2009

Thiomersal, a preservative in some vaccines (and quite harmless in that context) was negatively named as the Allergen of the Year for 2002. What was named for 2007 (and for extra points: where can you buy it)?
What three countries of the world are still using non-metric systems of measurement?
Why did Burma switch from driving on the left (like its neighbours, India, Bangladesh, Thailand and Laos, and like its main car suppliers, UK and Japan) to driving on the right?
Edo Maajka is a Bosnian Muslim rap singer – why did he choose “Menart” as his recording label?
The world’s most repeated TV program is “Dinner For One” – refer to Dr Bob’s quiz for January 2009.  How many times has this program been shown on British television?
What is the guard saying?

November 2009

Q1. What was going to be labelled with these proposed new English words? Bev, obe, inter, div, veer, erv?
Q2. Mrs Jones has three children. She is seen with one of them, who is a boy. What are the odds that all three of her children are boys?
Q3. What organisation stated, in explaining why they had lost $160 million on the stock market: “We did not, however, envisage the severity of the falls that occurred concurrently in the various markets due to the global financial crisis. Our diversification strategy did not provide the protection we had expected.”
Q4. What Beatles song had the working title “Scrambled Eggs”?
Q5. Mrs Smith has three children. Her oldest child is a boy. What are the odds that all three of her children are boys?
Q6. These two materials are used in preparation for what activity?

December 2009

Q1 What was described as: Wheezy, Sneezy, Freezy, Slippy, Dippy, Nippy, Showery Flowery, Bowery, Wheaty, Heaty, Sweety”?
Q2 You arrive late at a mud-wrestling contest between two Greek Orthodox bishops, wearing full regalia (the bishops, not you; but strictly, I don’t know what you wear, especially if you go to places like that) and you want to barrack for the one who comes from Mt Athos. With everything already being covered in mud, how can you identify that one?
Q3 In Albania, how much of the food is organically grown?
Q4 Long before Batman ever unfurled his cape, or whatever he does, where might you have found Batmania?
Q5 When the Cossack warrior Stepan Razin married, his followers muttered that he had abandoned the way of the warrior. What was his reaction?
Q6 This is a wonderful Australian invention that sold badly and was finally taken off the market. What is it?