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The following quiz consists of 2 parts of 40 questions. You will find the answers further down the page.

  1. Who wrote the Oresteia?
  2. What do the initials T. S. stand for in T. S. Eliot?
  3. Who was nicknamed the Chingford skinhead?
  4. What Mozart opera is concerned with freemasonary?
  5. What religion is followed by the Parsees of India?
  6. What is the common name of the plant "Nolemetangere impatiens"?
  7. Which country's flag is of the single colour, green?
  8. Where do the Karen people come from?
  9. What Shakespeare play features the character Goneril?
  10. What does the medical term alopecia mean?
  11. What do Keats, Chopin and Vivien Leigh have in common?
  12. Which is the largest island in the Greater Antilles?
  13. What is the Chinese name for Canton?
  14. What term in phonetics is given to the basic unit of speech?
  15. Who ordered the beheading of John the Baptist?
  16. What is the first law of thermodynamics?
  17. Which country's chief make of car is "The Ambassador"?
  18. What Filipino politician was assassinated at Manila airport in 1983?
  19. What term is used in American English to describe the dinner jacket?
  20. Who painted "The Breaking Wave of Kahagaura"?
  21. What British male sculptor produced sculptures of human figures with holes in them
  22. Who directed the film "2001- A Space Odyssey"?
  23. What organisation was founded by Peter Benenson?
  24. What three Latin words make up the motto of the Olympic games?
  25. What poem begins with the line "I met a traveller from an antique land"?
  26. What kind of patients are dealt with by a stomatology clinic?
  27. What is the capital of Malawi?
  28. Where in the body will you find the coccyx?
  29. To which British monarch was the term Defender of the Faith first applied?
  30. Who lead the peasent's revolt of 1381?
  31. Where did 300 spartans hold out against the Persians?
  32. Who was the first president of Indonesia?
  33. What is a Smorgasbord?
  34. Who has won the most Olympic Gold medals in swimmimg?
  35. Whose original name was Lev Davidov Bronstein?
  36. Who wrote "A journal of the plague year"?
  37. What is Volapuk?
  38. In what poem does the character Minnehaha appear?
  39. What bird, once the most numerous in North America is now extinct?
  40. What is measured in parsecs?


ANSWERS
 
  1. Who wrote the Oresteia? Aescylus
  2. What do the initials T. S. stand for in T. S. Eliot? Thomas Stearns
  3. Who was nicknamed the Chingford skinhead? Norman (now Lord) Tebbit. (Although it might have been the Chingford Strangler?)
  4. What Mozart opera is concerned with freemasonary? Magic Flute (die Zauberfloete)
  5. What religion is followed by the Parsees of India? Zoroastrianism
  6. What is the common name of the plant "Noli me tangere impatiens"? Touch Me Not
  7. Which country's flag is of the single colour, green? Libya.
  8. Where do the Karen people come from? Burma
  9. What Shakespeare play features the character Goneril? She is one of King Lear's daughters.
  10. What does the medical term alopecia mean? Hair loss.
  11. What do Keats, Chopin and Vivien Leigh have in common? Died of TB(tuberculosis)
  12. Which is the largest island in the Greater Antilles? Cuba
  13. What is the Chinese name for Canton? Kwangchow (if we allow use of the now discarded Wade-Giles method of transliterating Chinese - pinyin transliteration is Guangzhou)
  14. What term in phonetics is given to the basic unit of speech? Phoneme.
  15. Who ordered the beheading of John the Baptist? It was Herod Antipas who did the ordering, albeit at Salome's request
  16. What is the first law of thermodynamics? Conservation of energy
  17. Which country's chief make of car is "The Ambassador"? India
  18. What Filipino politician was assassinated at Manila airport in 1983? Benigno Aquino
  19. What term is used in American English to describe the dinner jacket? Tuxedo.
  20. Who painted "The Breaking Wave of Kahagaura"? Hokusai
  21. What British male sculptor produced sculptures of human figures with holes in them? Henry Moore.
  22. Who directed the film "2001- A Space Odyssey"? Stanley Kubrick
  23. What organisation was founded by Peter Benenson? Amnesty International
  24. What three Latin words make up the motto of the Olympic games? Citius Altius Fortius
  25. What poem begins with the line "I met a traveller from an antique land"? Ozymandias by Shelley
  26. What kind of patients are dealt with by a stomatology clinic? Problems with the mouth.
  27. What is the capital of Malawi? Lilongwe
  28. Where in the body will you find the coccyx? Lower back.
  29. To which British monarch was the term Defender of the Faith first applied? Henry VIII
  30. Who lead the peasent's revolt of 1381? Wat Tyler.
  31. Where did 300 spartans hold out against the Persians? Thermopylae
  32. Who was the first president of Indonesia? Sukarno
  33. What is a Smorgasbord? A Swedish buffet.
  34. Who has won the most Olympic Gold medals in swimmimg? It used to be Mark Spitz (but it could be Kristin Otto after recent Games)
  35. Whose original name was Lev Davidov Bronstein? Leon Trotsky.
  36. Who wrote "A journal of the plague year"? Defoe
  37. What is Volapuk? An invented language
  38. In what poem does the character Minnehaha appear? Longfellow's Hiawatha.
  39. What bird, once the most numerous in North America is now extinct? Passenger pigeon
  40. What is measured in parsecs? Astronomical distances


    Second Section
  1. The Bavarian city of Bayreuth stages festivals dedicated to the works of which composer, a resident there from 1872 to 1883?
  2. Which branch of philosophy is concerned with human conduct and values and the nature of right and wrong?
  3. The mother of which actress was the "victim" in a legendary Hitchcock shower scene?
  4. What name is given to the point on a planet's orbit when it is furthest from the sun?
  5. The daughter of Zeus and Leda and the wife of the Spartan King Menelaus, which beauty of Greek legend was abducted by Paris, Prince of Troy?
  6. Which 1966 play "borrowed" two peripheral characters from a Shakespearean tragedy as the central characters for a successful stage comedy?
  7. Which creation of Jerome Siegal and Joseph Shuster first appeared in edition number one of Action Comics in June 1938?
  8. The action of Ernest Hemingway's novel "For whom the Bell Tolls" takes place during which war?
  9. Immortalised on film by Sergei Eisenstein, during the Russian Revolution of 1905, in which Black Sea port did the mutiny on the battleship Potempkin take place?
  10. Three bishops of the Church of England have an automatic right to sit in the House of Lords. The Bishop of London is one, name either of the others.
  11. The Arthur Wood composition Barwick Green is one of the most familiar pieces of music on BBC Radio - why?
  12. Complete the quartet: Ulster, Munster, Leinster and?
  13. After being entirely redesigned by the American architect I. M. Pei, which museum's Richelieu wing opened in November 1993?
  14. For the manufacture of what has the London-based company of James Purdey been renowned for almost 200 years?
  15. Which sea was named after the Danish navigator who joined the fleet of Tsar Peter the Great who, in 1724 appointed him leader of an expedition to determine whether Asia and North America were connected by land?
  16. In cricket, if every batsmen in a team was bowled first ball. What would be the number of the not out batsman remaining?
  17. What did Captain Chuck Yeager do with Glamorous Glennis in October 1947?
  18. Called Lourença Marques until 1975, what is the current name of the capital of Mozambique?
  19. Which city, the capital of Limburg province in south-eastern Netherlands, gave its name to a treaty agreed in December 1991 by the member states of the European Community?
  20. What name was given to a piece of smooth rock of fine grain which was, however, strongly abrasive, so that when a piece of silver or gold to be tested was rubbed on it, some of the metal was transferred to it in a bright streak?
  21. Has was born in Ulm, Germany in 1879, awarded the Nobel prize for physics in 1921 for his work on the photoelectric effect and the element with atomic number 99 is named for him?
  22. What is the name of the mathematical conjecture that postulates that every even number is the sum of two prime numbers?
  23. On a British Monopoly board, if you are currently on Mayfair and throw a six, on a member of which group of properties would you now be?
  24. A constellation that you will never see in Britain is featured on Australia's flag?
  25. In which American sitcom are the major characters regularly seen in the Café Nervosa?
  26. In 1867, the USA paid Russia $7.2m for which terriotory, later the 49th state, the purchase of which was known as "Seward's Folly" after the Secretary of State who oversaw it?
  27. Name the two countries at either end of the Khyber Pass.
  28. In Russian, Stalin means man of what?
  29. At the end of the Boer war the Boers found two states which still exist in modern South Africa - name either.
  30. Which Colombian Nobel laureate recounted the history of seven generations of a Macondo family in One Hundred Years of Solitude?
  31. Suppose you had two, fair dice. What is the probability of rolling a seven?
  32. It spanned the period from September 5th, 1793, to July 27th, 1794, and the Committee of Public Safety gave juries two choices: acquittal or death. What is the three word English name for this period of the French Revolution.
  33. In 1975 Papua New Guinea was granted independence, but from which country?
  34. Where in the body would you find the patella?
  35. Inspector Javert pursues Jean Valjean in which Victor Hugo novel, also a successful musical?
  36. The (summer) Olympic Games have been cancelled three times, name one of these occasions.
  37. In 1842 the treaty of Nanking ended the first Opium war and which territory, held until recently, was ceded to Britain?
  38. Name the stone that is inscribed with three languages; Egyptian hieroglyphic, cursive demotic and Greek, and now resides in the British Museum.
  39. Isis was a god in which country's mythology?
  40. The mineral cinnebar yields with metal?


    Answers
  1. The Bavarian city of Bayreuth stages festivals dedicated to the works of which composer, a resident there from 1872 to 1883? Richard Wagner
  2. Which branch of philosophy is concerned with human conduct and values and the nature of right and wrong? Ethics I accepted morality
  3. The mother of which actress was the "victim" in a legendary Hitchcock shower scene? Jamie Lee Curtis Daughter of Janet Leigh
  4. What name is given to the point on a planet's orbit when it is furthest from the sun? Aphelion Not quite the same as nadir
  5. The daughter of Zeus and Leda and the wife of the Spartan King Menelaus, which beauty of Greek legend was abducted by Paris, Prince of Troy? Helen of Troy
  6. Which 1966 play "borrowed" two peripheral characters from a Shakespearean tragedy as the central characters for a successful stage comedy? "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead" by Tom Stoppard
  7. Which creation of Jerome Siegal and Joseph Shuster first appeared in edition number one of Action Comics in June 1938? Superman
  8. The action of Ernest Hemingway's novel "For whom the Bell Tolls" takes place during which war? The Spanish Civil War
  9. Immortalised on film by Sergei Eisenstein, during the Russian Revolution of 1905, in which Black Sea port did the mutiny on the battleship Potempkin take place? Odessa
  10. Three bishops of the Church of England have an automatic right to sit in the House of Lords. The Bishop of London is one, name either of the others. Durham or Winchester The key word in this question was bishops, ie. not archbishops
  11. The Arthur Wood composition Barwick Green is one of the most familiar pieces of music on BBC Radio - why? The Archers' theme.
  12. Complete the quartet: Ulster, Munster, Leinster and? Connaught The four provinces of Ireland
  13. After being entirely redesigned by the American architect I. M. Pei, which museum's Richelieu wing opened in November 1993? Louvre
  14. For the manufacture of what has the London-based company of James Purdey been renowned for almost 200 years? Shotguns
  15. Which sea was named after the Danish navigator who joined the fleet of Tsar Peter the Great who, in 1724 appointed him leader of an expedition to determine whether Asia and North America were connected by land? Barents
  16. In cricket, if every batsmen in a team was bowled first ball. What would be the number of the not out batsman remaining? Eight First man out is number 1, then 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (2, of course, is at the other end). The first over ends with 8 at that end, so the new bowler then removes 2, 9, 10, 11.
  17. What did Captain Chuck Yeager do with Glamorous Glennis in October 1947? Break the sound barrier And not some of your answers :)
  18. Called Lourença Marques until 1975, what is the current name of the capital of Mozambique? Maputo
  19. Which city, the capital of Limburg province in south-eastern Netherlands, gave its name to a treaty agreed in December 1991 by the member states of the European Community? Maastricht
  20. What name was given to a piece of smooth rock of fine grain which was, however, strongly abrasive, so that when a piece of silver or gold to be tested was rubbed on it, some of the metal was transferred to it in a bright streak? Touchstone
  21. Has was born in Ulm, Germany in 1879, awarded the Nobel prize for physics in 1921 for his work on the photoelectric effect and the element with atomic number 99 is named for him? Albert Einstein
  22. What is the name of the mathematical conjecture that postulates that every even number is the sum of two prime numbers? Goldbach
  23. On a British Monopoly board, if you are currently on Mayfair and throw a six, on a member of which group of properties would you now be? (Kings Cross) Station
  24. A constellation that you will never see in Britain is featured on Australia's flag? The Southern Cross
  25. In which American sitcom are the major characters regularly seen in the Café Nervosa? Frasier
  26. In 1867, the USA paid Russia $7.2m for which terriotory, later the 49th state, the purchase of which was known as "Seward's Folly" after the Secretary of State who oversaw it? Alaska
  27. Name the two countries at either end of the Khyber Pass. Afghanistan and Pakistan
  28. In Russian, Stalin means man of what? Steel
  29. At the end of the Boer war the Boers found two states which still exist in modern South Africa - name either. Transvaal or Orange Free State
  30. Which Colombian Nobel laureate recounted the history of seven generations of a Macondo family in One Hundred Years of Solitude? Gabriel García Márquez
  31. Suppose you had two, fair dice. What is the probability of rolling a seven? One sixth
  32. It spanned the period from September 5th, 1793, to July 27th, 1794, and the Committee of Public Safety gave juries two choices: acquittal or death. What is the three word English name for this period of the French Revolution. Reign of Terror
  33. In 1975 Papua New Guinea was granted independence, but from which country? Australia
  34. Where in the body would you find the patella? Knee
  35. Inspector Javert pursues Jean Valjean in which Victor Hugo novel, also a successful musical? Les Miserables
  36. The (summer) Olympic Games have been cancelled three times, name one of these occasions. 1916, 1940 or 1944
  37. In 1842 the treaty of Nanking ended the first Opium war and which territory, held until recently, was ceded to Britain? Hong Kong
  38. Name the stone that is inscribed with three languages; Egyptian hieroglyphic, cursive demotic and Greek, and now resides in the British Museum. Rosetta Stone
  39. Isis was a god in which country's mythology? Egypt
  40. The mineral cinnebar yields with metal? Mercury
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