The quiz master is on holiday, but earlier this morning a canister containing 14 vaguely topical and general knowledge questions was air-dropped by drone into the Guardian’s offices. There’s a hidden Doctor Who reference to find and a wonderful picture of Kate Bush, but this week the anagrams appear to have got lost in the post. It is just for fun – there are no prizes. But do let us know how you got on in the comments.
The Thursday quiz, No 21
GEOGRAPHY: Which of these European city and river combinations is incorrect?
The River Po flows through Turin
The River Danube flows through Cologne
The River Loire flows through Nantes
The River Clyde flows through Glasgow
ON THIS DAY: On 16 September 681, the Sixth Ecumenical Council posthumously excommunicated Pope Honorius I for heresy. Hashtag awkward. But since St Peter became the bishop of Rome ~ roughly ~ how many Popes have there been?
EYE KNOW WHO YOU ARE: Who is this?
SCIENCE CORNER: One of these lists of elements as denoted by their chemical symbols contains only metals. Which one?
Mg, Al, Li, K
P, Li, Cl, Au
P, S, Au, Fe
S, Li, K, Cl
COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING: Speaking of metals, which of these substances has the highest melting point?
MUSIC: Metal you say? Which British artist released these three albums? The Book of Souls, The X Factor and Powerslave?
ANCIENT POWERS: Metal Guru was a huge hit for Marc Bolan as part of the band T Rex. But during which period of geological time did the Tyrannosaurus rex live?
WORRYING POKEMON DESCRIPTIONS: Not every Pokémon is as cute as Pikachu. Which Pokémon has this worrying official description: “It wears a ragged head cover as a disguise, but little is known about this Pokémon. It's said that a scholar who once tried to look inside, met his end."
MATHEMATICS FROM WALES: Welsh physician and mathematician Robert Recorde is credited with using what mathematical symbol for the first time?
HISTORY: Rosa Parks was one of the significant figures in the civil rights movement in the US. Her actions prompted a bus boycott in which city?
Little Rock, Arkansas
THE ARTS: The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize is one of the most prestigious and valuable prizes in the arts in the US and has been won by Ornette Coleman, Laurie Anderson and Suzan-Lori Parks among others. But what was Lillian Gish primarily known for?
GAMES: In 2016 Hasbro released a revised edition of Cluedo, which replaced Mrs White with which new character?
Dr Liz Shaw
SYNTH-POP!: Sparks enjoyed a couple of synth-based UK hits with Beat The Clock and The Number One Song in Heaven in 1979. But which synth guru produced them?
ENSEMBLE CASTS: Let's end it with this. Which US sitcom featured these actors in regular supporting roles? James Michael Taylor, Katie and Monkey
Mork & Mindy
The Banana Splits
1:B - The Danube does rise in Germany, but it flows in a broadly south-easterly direction from the Black Forest and out into the Black Sea. Cologne is built on the river Rhine., 2:B - I say roughly because clearly there are some disputes about whether excommunicated popes are still popes and what to do with the periods of time when schisms meant there were multiple popes etc, but Pope Francis is considered to be pontiff #266, which means "roughly 265" is the correct answer here. Presumably roughly 1,057 pedants will now dispute this in the comments., 3:D - Maurice Moss, Crystal Maze host and potential future Doctor Who., 4:A - That's Magnesium, Aluminium, Lithium and Potassium to you. The non-metals lurking in the other list were Cl for Chlorine and S for Sulphur which is *checks notes* "abundant, multivalent and nonmetallic"., 5:D - Platinum melts at 1772C (3220F). Of these three, gold melts at the lowest temperature, a relatively cool 1064C., 6:C - They are indeed Iron Maiden. Singer Bruce Dickinson says he got his nickname "The Air-Raid Siren" from an angry review of an early gig. That is almost exactly the same way the quiz master got his nickname "Did you get paid to write this?", 7:C - As far as we know from the fossil records, Tyrannosaurus lived throughout what is now western North America in the Cretaceous period. Dinosaurs lived throughout the whole Mesozoic era, which comprised the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous period. So yes, the T rex in Jurassic Park was either in the wrong timezone or it should have been called Cretaceous Park., 8:B - Mimikyu is disguised as a twisted ghost version of Pikachu, and hangs out with Jessie and James in Team Rocket. We've never seen what Mimikyu looks like. The closest we've ever come is the occasional sight of a purple gaseous tentacle emerging from under the raggedy disguise., 9:D - It was the equals sign. In 1557 his book The Whetstone of Witte he said: "And to avoid the tedious repetition of these words: "is equal to" I will set as I do often in work use, a pair of parallels, or duplicate lines of one length, thus: =, because no two things can be more equal." In the same book he also used "zenzizenzizenzic" to represent the eighth power of a number, which has not caught on., 10:A - After Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger, the boycott of the buses lasted for a year from December 1955 to December 1956., 11:B - Lillian Gish was a prominent film star from 1912 into the 1920s and has often been credited as being one of the first cinema stars to help develop an aesthetic of on-screen acting. Over a long and sometimes controversial career, Gish herself collected many awards, before founding this prize with her sister Dorothy., 12:A - She is described as "a middle-aged woman associated with the colour pink, and a scientist studying plant toxicology". Truly you can have it all these days., 13:D - The move to recording with Moroder marked an abrupt change from earlier Sparks albums, which had been more rock-orientated, and turned out to be just one of many successful stylistic reinventions during their amazing and lengthy careers., 14:C - James Michael Taylor played Gunther. The other two played Marcel. David Schwimmer apparently hated the monkeys who played Marcel. Katie went on to also appear in 30 Rock, The Loop and Sam & Cat and has her own IMDB page, so maybe he was just worried she'd have a better post-Friends career?
0 and above.
We hope you had fun – let us know how you got on in the comments!
6 and above.
We hope you had fun – let us know how you got on in the comments!
If you do think there has been an egregious error in one of the questions or answers, please feel free to email email@example.com but remember, the quiz master’s word is always final, even if you are a giant meat-eating dinosaur from the Mesozoic era.