QM Quiz #3

1 Which patriotic society, organised in the USA in 1890, stipulates that members must be directly descended from soldiers or patriots of the Revolutionary period?
2 Which Italian painter, son-in-law of Jacopo Bellini, settled in Mantua in 1460, where his major works included nine tempera pictures representing the “Triumph of Caesar” (1482-92)?
3 1816 – the so-called “Year Without a Summer” - saw severe climate abnormalities resulting from the huge eruption of which Indonesian stratovolcano, active to this day, a year earlier?
4 Freaks, His 'n' Hers, and Separations are three albums by which English band, formed in Sheffield in 1978?
5 Which large, slender-winged seabird, with a wingspan up to 3m, gave Fleetwood Mac a 1968 UK number-one single?
6 Which actor links the following roles: Henry Gondorff, Fast Eddie Felson, and Sidney J. Mussburger?
7 The Bang Na Expressway, one of the longest bridges in the world, can be crossed in which Asian country?
8 Killed in 1967 during a pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission, who was the second American to fly in space and the first member of the NASA Astronaut Corps to fly in space twice?
9 First published in 1964, whose children's picture book, The Giving Tree, has been described as “one of the most divisive books in children's literature”, yet has become one of its author's most well-known books and has been translated in several languages?
10 Including the incumbent, how many UN Secretaries-General have been Asian?
11 The first Central African Games were held in which national capital in 1976?
12 Their story made into a 1970 film starring Sean Connery and Richard Harris, which group of Irish miners in 1870s Philadelphia became involved in industrial disputes, leading to the hangings and imprisonments of their major members?
13 Friedrich Ernst Dorn discovered which chemical element – atomic number 86 - in 1898?
14 Which Townsend Thoresen capsized off the port of Zeebrugge in March 1987 when the main car deck doors were inadvertently left open?
15 Codenamed Operation Iceberg, in what year was the Battle of Okinawa fought?
16 Which Roman emperor, a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor?
17 What was the first Grand Slam tennis tournament won by Ivan Lendl – year and event?
18 An arts event devoted mainly to classical music, who founded the Aldeburgh Festival in 1948?
19 Recorded in San Francisco in 1971, whose fifth studio album was entitled Tupelo Honey?
20 Taking the First Folio as the basis for the question, what is the shortest of Shakespeare's plays?

1 Daughters of the American Revolution
2 Andrea Mantegna
3 Mount Tambora
4 Pulp
5 Albatross
6 Paul Newman
7 Thailand
8 Gus Grissom
9 Shel Silverstein
10 Two
11 Libreville
12 The Molly Maguires
13 Radon
14 Herald of Free Enterprise
15 1945
16 Claudius
17 1984 French Open
18 Benjamin Britten
19 Van Morrison
20 The Comedy of Errors

Quiz ambitions

I've thought a fair bit at one time or another about what my target in quizzing is. Do I even have one? Well, I suppose the obvious answer is just to get better, and that is - and always will be for the duration of my involvement - my constant target. I'm always looking to improve my knowledge in various areas, particular on stuff like science, nature, and sport, where I'm weaker than I'd like to be. I can generally have a decent enough guess on more lowbrow elements of sport (trophies, famous names, etc.), but in the GPs I'm left fumbling like the proverbial madman trying to think up a reasonable-sounding guess. Likewise on science and nature and animals and the like - this is arguably my weakest area all-round, as I know next to nothing about stuff like trees and plants and species of animal and all the rest of it, and they tend to come up pretty often in quizzes.

As anyone who reads this blog will probably know, my participation in the Lancaster City Quiz League has led me to realise my relative strengths and weaknesses. The subjects I think I'm OK at are geography, literature, entertainment, but again it all depends on whether you know what's being asked. I liked the description Olav Bjortomt gave to quiz on his blog as being like a general knowledge lottery, and that's essentially what it is - the more you know (the more tickets, or facts, you acquire), the more - presumably - you'll get right, and the better the chance of you doing well. But, of course, it's not always as simple as that.

My aim for the GPs is for continual improvement at each one I attend. This may not always work out, as difficulty and suitability of questions for me will change from one to another, but I reckon I should see some noticeable improvement if I put the work in on improving. At the Stafford GP (my first ever one) I attended on 3rd May, for example, my score was fairly poor, but I was pleased that I didn't really disgrace myself - in my opinion, anyway - and that my scores were fairly even across the board, apart from in Sport & Leisure which was a couple of marks lower than my average across the other categories.

As a more numerical, measurable ambition, I'd like to break into the UK top 50 or so in the not-too-distant future, but it's probably a big ask at the moment considering I only started becoming properly interested in quizzing in all its guises in the last year or so. 

Does anyone else have specific ambitions in quizzing? Or is it just the taking part that you're bothered about - which is absolutely fair enough, I suppose, as long as you're happy with it?

QM Quiz #2

The second of these general quizzes. If anyone has ideas for other quizzes they'd like to see (I have some myself as well), please let me know in the comment box.

1 Which 1985 Martin Scorsese film centres around Paul Hackett, a New York City word processor played by Griffin Dunne, who experiences a series of misadventures as he tries to make his way home from SoHo at night?
2 The order Siphonaptera refers to which insects?
3 Stockholm syndrome refers to the feelings of sympathy and affection from hostages to their captors. The inverse of this, in which captors feel sympathy for their hostages, takes its name from which other world capital?
4 Toncontín International Airport, ranked as one of the most dangerous in the world, serves which Central American capital?
5 Who is notable for being the last UK prime minister to hold office while being a member of the House of Lords?
6 Which decade links the First Anglo-Sikh War, the births of future US president William McKinley and writer Henry James, and the publication of The Communist Manifesto?
7 How many nations participated in 1930's inaugural FIFA World Cup?
8 The 1911 painting, L'Atelier Rouge, named as an influential work of modern art, was a creation of which French artist?
9 Who co-wrote, with David Bowie, the song China Girl?
10 In which country is Issyk Kul, the second-largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea, and the tenth-largest lake in the world by volume?
11 Which US vice-president from 1933 to 1941, known as “Cactus Jack” to his contemporaries, described the position as being “not worth a bucket of warm piss”?
12 Shortland Street, broadcasting since 1992, is which country's longest-running soap opera?
13 Known as the British Tin Pan Alley, which London street is associated with British popular music, and is the title of a 1970 Kinks song?
14 Coming from the Latin for “little moon”, what name is given to the crescent-shaped white area at the base of the fingernail?
15 What was the codeword for the anti-Nazi uprising and planned attempt on Hitler's life by Claus von Stauffenberg that also forms the name of a 2008 film on the same topic starring Tom Cruise?
16 According to 2014's Fortune Global 500 list, what is the world's largest public corporation?
17 Which colourful bird is the only extant member of the family Upupidae?
18 The Sandinista National Liberation Front is associated with – and headquartered in - which country?
19 Which Italian received the 1909 Nobel Prize for Physics, alongside the German Karl Ferdinand Braun, for “his contribution to the development of wireless telegraphy”?
20 In September 1973, Billie Jean King beat which male tennis player over three sets in the so-called Battle of the Sexes match, one of three held over a period of nineteen years?

1 After Hours
2 Fleas
3 Lima
4 Tegucigalpa
5 Alec Douglas-Home
6 1840s
7 13
8 Henri Matisse
9 Iggy Pop
10 Kyrgyzstan
11 John Nance Garner
12 New Zealand
13 Denmark Street
14 Lunula
15 Valkyrie
16 Walmart
17 Hoopoe
18 Nicaragua
19 Guglielmo Marconi
20 Bobby Riggs

My experience of playing in the Lancaster City Quiz League this year

For the last couple of months, I've been playing in the Lancaster City Quiz League, a league local to me and one that has been running for over forty years. The season has just finished, so I thought now'd be a good time to assess my thoughts and experiences. I was initially nervous about joining, not only because it's something I'd never been in before, being only 18, but also because I was worried that I'd know very little and make a fool of myself.

Anyway, I decided to bite the bullet and sent an email off to the league secretary, who was prompt to respond and eager to put me into his team to give me experience of how the league works and operates. Since that first cup match on 3rd February, I've played around ten matches, and had a fairly mediocre average score over those ten matches, but the main thing for me is that I really enjoyed the experience of playing and competing in a quiz league, and it's further sparked my interest in quizzing.

I needn't have been nervous, in all honesty, because everyone was welcoming, supportive and helpful. As with any interest, I find that people are generally decent and willing to impart advice and guidance to relative novices. League quizzing is, at its heart, a social pastime.

I'll likely be off to university in September, so unfortunately probably won't be able to play much of next season. But I'll definitely be involved in league quizzing in the future, whether it's in Lancaster or elsewhere, and I'd recommend to anyone interested in quizzes - be they young or old - that they should get involved in their local quiz league if they have one, because they're a great way to meet like-minded people, test yourself against some often-challenging questions, and compete against others. There'll always be that team in the league you're desperate to beat, or a question that plays on your mind for days afterwards, but - for me at least - that's part of the beauty of quizzing.

QM Quiz #1

This is the first of a series of twenty-question quizzes I'll be writing for the blog. The questions will be fairly general, and hopefully there'll be a range of difficulty levels for people to have a go at. The answers will be a few lines below the last question.

1 Involved in his country's struggle for independence from the Netherlands, Sukarno was the first president of which Asian republic, from 1945-1967?
2 At the 2012 Summer Olympics, which country won the most silver medals in the cycling events, with four?
3 Perhaps known to Simpsons fans, what was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' maiden name?
4 Starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, who directed the 1995 film Heat?
5 The Benjamin Franklin Bridge, connecting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with Camden, New Jersey crosses which US river?
6 By what four-letter pseudonym was Hablot Knight Browne, an artist famous for his Dickens illustrations, better known?
7 Which fruit-bearing evergreen shrub from Asia, closely resembling citrus, is part of the family Rutaceae?
8 Subdivided into 100 bani, what is the currency of Romania?
9 Deriving from the Sanskrit for “having three forms”, how is the representation in Hinduism in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva known?
10 With which English county would you associate the author Jane Austen?
11 Which Chilean received the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature?
12 Which Puccini opera was unfinished at the time of his death, and later completed by Franco Alfano?
13 Angélique Kidjo is a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, and has been named as “Africa's premier diva” by Time magazine. From which country does she hail?
14 Having replaced Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the role for allegations against the former of sexual assault, Christine Lagarde is the current managing director of which organisation?
15 Who is, to date, the only US president from Pennsylvania, and the only one to have gone his whole life unmarried?
16 Joining for a fee of £2.5m, from which French club did Newcastle United sign David Ginola in 1995?
17 Known for the novels The Red and the Black (1830) and The Charterhouse of Parma (1839), what was the one-word pen name of Marie-Henri Beyle?
18 Labour leader Ed Miliband is the current MP for which Yorkshire constituency?
19 Leading Germany from the ruins of World War Two into a prosperous nation, which statesman was German chancellor from 1949-1963?
20 Who is the subject of Clint Eastwood's 1988 film Bird?

1 Indonesia
2 Germany 
3 Bouvier
4 Michael Mann
5 Delaware River
6 Phiz
7 Kumquat
8 Leu
9 Trimurti
10 Hampshire
11 Pablo Neruda
12 Turandot
13 Benin
14 International Monetary Fund
15 James Buchanan
16 Paris Saint-Germain
17 Stendhal
18 Doncaster North
19 Konrad Adenauer
20 Charlie Parker


I'm Jack, an 18-year-old from somewhere in the north of England, and this is a quiz blog I have been planning to write for a while, given that I have a passionate interest in all things quiz-related, and have recently started to compete in various quiz tournaments and competitions - well, I use the word 'compete' loosely as I have a lot to learn and pick up to compete on a broader level, and hopefully this blog will help me to achieve that in some sense.

Cheers, and I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts!