The QuizMuser returns...

Apparently my last post on here was 21st June, so I apologise for that. I've had a fairly busy and not completely productive summer but at least I'm back now to start posting again. My first UC episode with Liverpool aired on 20th July, and saw us win 205-130 in a reasonably close tie against St Peter's, Oxford.

Here are some questions I've been collecting and collating in the past couple of months for you all to have a go at, if indeed there is still anyone out there who reads this outdated jumble of words and phrases... Answers after the questions, as always.

1 Which basketball player who signed for the NBA's Washington Wizards in 2014 was married to Kim Kardashian from 2011 to 2013?
2 The Russian Alexey Pajitnov co-designed and developed which popular video game first released in 1984?
3 What was the name of Genghis Khan's third son who succeeded him as supreme leader of the Mongol Empire?
4 Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat-trick in the final, finished as joint-top scorer in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup alongside which German striker of Cameroonian origin who retired after the tournament's conclusion?
5 Jurgen Klopp, new manager of Liverpool FC, spent his entire 12-year playing career with which German club?
6 Aldous Huxley's novel Eyeless in Gaza takes its title from a line in which work by John Milton?
7 The Azadi Tower, formerly known as the Shahyad Tower, is an easily recognisable symbol of which Middle Eastern capital city?
8 Which architect who designed the Eden Project in Cornwall shares his name with a current Radio 1 DJ?
9 What is the capital and largest city of the Cayman Islands?
10 What term in biology describes the long, slender nerve cell projection which typically carries electrical impulses away from the nerve body? 
11 Which cup-bearer for the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus is the goddess of youth in Greek mythology?
12 The Baha'i faith has its headquarters on the slopes of which mountain range in the Israeli city of Haifa?
13 John Ridd is the hero of which English novel set in Exmoor, published in 1869?
14 Sometimes known by the name of the merchant who first described the species in 1704, which strepsirrhine primate is occasionally referred to as a "softly-softly" in English-speaking parts of Africa?
15 What name is given to the national military police force of Italy?
16 Which forest gives its name to the series of mass executions of Polish officers that took place in 1940?
17 What name is given to the parliament of Finland?
18 Which pungent, spiky fruit is known as the king of fruits in south-east Asia due to its popularity? Naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace described its flesh as "a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds".
19 Known as the Tashkent Terror, which Uzbek cyclist known for his erratic and unpredictable sprinting is now perhaps best known for a memorable somersault crash during the 1991 Tour de France?
20 What colloquial Italian name is often given to Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 23?
21 To be found in the Wallace Collection, who painted A Dance to the Music of Time between 1634 and 1635?
22 Which 1957 Akira Kurosawa film transposes the plot of Shakespeare's Macbeth to feudal Japan?
23 What is the largest in area of New York City's five boroughs?
24 The quotation "nice guys finish last" is often credited to which outspoken baseball player and manager who was nicknamed Leo the Lip?
25 Once the world's highest-paid entertainer, what was the most commonly used name of the Swiss clown, dubbed the "king of clowns", who was born Charles Adrien Wettach?

1 Kris Humphries
2 Tetris
3 Ogedei
4 Celia Sasic
5 1 FSV Mainz 05
6 Samson Agonistes
7 Tehran
8 Nicholas Grimshaw
9 George Town
10 Axon
11 Hebe
12 Mount Carmel
13 Lorna Doone
14 Potto
15 Carabinieri
16 Katyn
17 Eduskunta
18 Durian
19 Djamolidine Abdoujaparov
20 "Appassionata"
21 Nicolas Poussin
22 Throne of Blood
23 Queens
24 Leo Durocher
25 Grock

Question-writing - and some new questions

If anyone ever needs any questions writing, whether it be for pub quizzes or quiz leagues or whatever, feel free to send me an email at and I'll reply as soon as I can. Competitive rates.

Questions - mixed stuff
1 The NBA team Golden State Warriors are based in which Californian city?
2 Angel Falls, the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall, drop over the edge of which flat-topped mountain in Venezuela's Canaima National Park?
3 The first film of the franchise in thirty years, what is the two-word subtitle of the 2015 Mad Max film, which stars Tom Hardy in the title role?
4 Which strait separates the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra?
5 Florence Owens Thompson was the subject of the 1936 photograph entitled Migrant Mother, an iconic image of the Great Depression. Who was the photographer?
6 The musical Annie Get Your Gun was composed by whom?
7 Phlebitis is the inflammation of which part of the body?
8 Wilanow Palace is located in which European capital city?
9 What is the name of Pope Francis's second encyclical that was officially published this week (18 June 2015) accompanied by a news conference?
10 Ruslan Zakharov competes for Russia in which winter sport?

1 Oakland
2 Auyan-tepui
3 Fury Road
4 Sunda Strait
5 Dorothea Lange
6 Irving Berlin
7 Veins
8 Warsaw
9 Laudato si'
10 Speed skating

2015 WQC

On Saturday, I travelled with around 100 other UK quizzers to the National Brewery Centre at Burton upon Trent to take part in the 2015 staging of the World Quizzing Championship. I took part in 2014 (and gave a write-up of the day and my performance HERE) and came 893rd with 64 points, which I was reasonably pleased with then for a first attempt. However, this year, I wanted to do much better and set my target at the start of 2015 as top 500 in the world.

The individual WQC paper was very difficult, particularly the first half of Entertainment, History, Lifestyle, and Sciences. Only the first two of those are reasonable subjects for me at the best of times, I'm average on lifestyle-type stuff (brands, fashion, tourism, etc.) and weak at science. The Entertainment round in particular was one I found brutal, and only scored 9/30 - I managed to score three more than that in the round on my debut last year. I was somewhat surprised to get 15/30 on History, which I wouldn't have expected going into the quiz.

In the second half, I got 16 on Culture (my highest score of the day), 14 on World (usually my best subject), 9 on Media, and a dreadful 5 on Sport. Having said that, sport has always been a weak area for me and - with a lack of interest in most sports - I can't see that changing much in the future. I would at least like to be competitive in it, which I reckon I could maybe achieve, but I'll never be a great sports quizzer because I lack the background and natural interest in it to achieve the sort of 18 and 19 scores that many were getting. And my knowledge of stamp-collecting and tennis player superstitions is even more minimal...

Overall, however, I finished 466th (I'm assuming all the results have been uploaded by now and we're just awaiting the country, genre, and age group winners (of which I'm hoping to be the highest-ranked under-20 in the world but we'll see) and I'm pleased with that, having thought about it. It was a very tough quiz in which even good quizzers were on some occasions thirty or so points down on last year, so I'm chuffed to have improved a fair amount. Next year I'll go for top 150 and try to strengthen the weaker areas that continue to drag me down in a lot of areas of quiz - sport, classical music, nature and science are the three main ones.

Three mistakes I shouldn't have made: putting Fokine instead of Petipa for ballet choreographer; putting Selena instead of Thalia for queen of Latin pop music; putting Bartholdi instead of Eiffel for French architect and engineer.

World Quizzing Championship practice set

OK, with less than two weeks to go until the 2015 World Quizzing Championship, I've written a mini practice set consisting of five questions from each of the usual WQC genres.

Only forty questions, but hopefully it'll provide a bit of revision and learning material for people, and hopefully you enjoy the questions!

Here goes - answers for all the categories are at the end:

1 The title character in Miguel Ángel Asturias' novel, El Señor Presidente, is said to have been inspired by which Guatemalan dictator, in power from 1898 to 1920?
2 Which 2014 film won three Academy Awards, including that of Best Supporting Actor for JK Simmons?
3 The 1978 work A Contract with God is credited with popularising the term “graphic novel”. Which American cartoonist created it?
4 Which Swedish-speaking Finnish novelist was best known for her creation of the Moomin books for children?
5 Paraguay has two official languages. One, quite predictably, is Spanish; sharing its name with the country's currency, what is the other? 

1 Krzywy Domek, which is Polish for “crooked little house”, is an irregularly shaped building in which seaside town on the coast of the Baltic Sea?
2 Supposedly coming from an Akkadian word meaning “to build on a raised area”, what name was given to the structures built in Mesopotamia that took the form of step-pyramids on successive receding levels? The most famous was that at the city of Ur.
3 French poet Guillaume Apollinaire coined which term in 1912 to describe the offshoot of cubism that involved brighter colours and greater abstraction? Frantisek Kupka, Robert Delaunay, and his wife, Sonia, were the main exponents.
4 The artist Louise Bourgeois was best known for her sculptures of which creatures? Her largest such work, Maman, stands at over thirty feet tall.
5 Arising out of avidya (ignorance) and characterised by dukkha (suffering), which concept in Buddhism refers to the cycle of birth and rebirth?

1 “The Gnome”, “The Old Castle”, “Cattle”, and “The Hut on Fowl's Legs” are movements in which suite of 1874 by Modest Mussorgsky?
2 Which world music record label was established by former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne in 1988?
3 Created by Jenji Kohan and based on a memoir by Piper Kerman, which US comedy-drama series first released on Netflix in 2013 centres around life in a women's prison?
4 The Algerian singer-songwriter Khaled is known as the “king” of which musical genre that originated in his country from the music of Bedouin shepherds?
5 A 1908 novel by Valery Bryusov was the inspiration for a Sergei Prokofiev opera which first premiered in 1955. What title was shared by both the novel and the opera?

1 Which city served as the capital of the Inca Empire from 1438 to 1533?
2 Who led the Russian Empire at the 1812 Battle of Borodino?
3 Which US Army general commanded military operations in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1972, at a time when US troop strength in South Vietnam fell from 543,000 to around 49,000?
4 Which South American country fought a war from 1864 to 1870 against a so-called Triple Alliance of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay?
5 Commonly referred to as Africa's Che Guevara, which Burkinabé military captain was behind the name change of Burkina Faso from Upper Volta, and served as president of the country from 1983 to 1987 prior to his assassination in a coup d'état?

1 “Eat fresh” is the slogan of which US fast-food franchise that has over 43,000 outlets in over 100 countries worldwide?
2 Zara is the flagship retailer (others include Bershka, Pull & Bear, and Massimo Dutti) of which Spanish clothing conglomerate, the largest fashion group in the world, that was co-founded by Amancio Ortega – now Spain's richest man – in 1985?
3 Cachupa, a slow-cooked stew of corn, beans, and fish or meat, is regarded as the national dish of which island country?
4 Which fitness program that has achieved worldwide popularity, incorporating elements of dance and aerobics, was founded by Beto Perez in Colombia in 2001?
5 The disorder known as plantar fasciitis affects which general part of the body?

1 One of the rarest mammals on earth, it is restricted to north-eastern Madagascar. The silky sifaka is what type of animal?
2 Which chemical element, the second-most abundant in the earth's crust, has atomic number 14 and a name from the Latin for “hard stone”?
3 Which US physicist is the only person to have won the Nobel Prize in Physics twice: first in 1956 for the invention of the transistor, and then again in 1972 for a theory of superconductivity?
4 The alligator family is made up of two sub-families. One, unsurprisingly, is the alligator itself; which group of relatively small crocodilians native to Central and South America and Australia comprises the other?
5 Which Swedish botanist, known as the father of modern taxonomy, gives his name to the system of binomial nomenclature still in use today?

Sport & Games
1 India has won every edition of the World Cup held in this sport to date; what is the national sport of Bangladesh and Nepal?
2 Which Italian mountaineer is known for having been the first person to ascend Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, and for being the first person to ascend all fourteen “eight-thousander” mountain peaks (peaks over 8,000m above sea level)?
3 Who has been Test and ODI captain for the Sri Lanka national cricket team since February 2013?
4 Upon winning the 2010 French Open singles title, she became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title. With a career-high world no. 4 ranking achieved in early 2011, which tennis player is this?
5 Which French swimmer and three-time Olympic medallist tragically died in the 2015 Villa Castelli helicopter collision while filming for a reality TV show?

1 Which major US city, the most populous in its state, has been home to the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998, is home to the headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company, and held a major sporting event in 1996?
2 Divided into 100 sen, what is the currency of Malaysia?
3 The first flyby is predicted to occur in mid-July this year; what is the name of the NASA space probe launched to study the dwarf planet Pluto and its moons?
4 Which strait – on which Balikpapan and Palu are ports - separates the islands of Borneo and Sulawesi?
5 Which Australian serial entrepreneur is regarded as the most prolific inventor in the world, given that he has over 9,000 patents registered worldwide? His main fields of invention include electronics and the internet. 


1 Manuel Estrada Cabrera
2 Whiplash
3 Will Eisner
4 Tove Jansson
5 Guarani

1 Sopot
2 Ziggurat
3 Orphism
4 Spiders
5 Samsara

1 Pictures at an Exhibition
2 Luaka Bop
3 Orange Is the New Black
4 Raï
5 The Fiery Angel

1 Cusco
2 Mikhail Kutuzov
3 Creighton Abrams
4 Paraguay
5 Thomas Sankara

1 Subway
2 Inditex
3 Cape Verde
4 Zumba
5 Foot

1 Lemur
2 Silicon
3 John Bardeen
4 Caiman
5 Carl Linnaeus

Sport & Games
1 Kabaddi
2 Reinhold Messner
3 Angelo Mathews
4 Francesca Schiavone
5 Camille Muffat

1 Atlanta
2 Ringgit
3 New Horizons
4 Makassar Strait
5 Kia Silverbrook

HEY. I'm still here.

Can't believe my last post on here was over a month ago. Seem to have been busy with all sorts of stuff: uni work (honest), filming UC (there'll be a long post coming on that once it's started airing, about the whole experience and how we've done), doing some quizzes. Unfortunately my quiz-writing rate - certainly for the blog and my own learning - has reduced to very little. So now I aim to write a lot more on here, with at least one new post a week.

Two quizzes today - they are as follows:

First quiz is on Nobel laureates:
1 The element with atomic number 109 is named after which Austrian physicist, the only woman other than Marie Curie to have had a chemical element named after her?
2 Which Russian-American poet and essayist received the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature for, according to the official citation, "an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity"?
3 In how many different categories are the Nobel prizes awarded?
4 Norwegian Ragnar Frisch and Dutch Jan Tinbergen were the inaugural winners of which of the Nobel prizes?
5 Winning it in 1956 and 1972, who is the first and so far only person to have received the Nobel Prize for Physics twice? 
6 Which Austrian physicist, who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology, was considered one of the founders of ethology, and wrote books including King Solomon's Ring and Man Meets Dog?
7 Max Theiler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951 for his development of a vaccine against which disease, subsequently becoming the first African-born Nobel laureate?
8 Swiss businessman Henry Dunant was joint-laureate of the first ever Nobel Peace Prize for his founding of the International Red Cross, which he was inspired to do after witnessing the fighting at which 1859 battle?
9 Bangladeshi entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus received the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his founding of which micro-finance organisation which specialises in giving small loans to the impoverished without requiring collateral?
10 Which contemporary Chinese writer was set to win the 1988 Nobel Prize in Literature but died before he could be awarded it?

1 Lise Meitner
2 Joseph Brodsky
3 Six
4 Economic Sciences
5 John Bardeen
6 Konrad Lorenz
7 Yellow fever
8 Solferino
9 Grameen Bank
10 Shen Congwen

Second quiz is on European geography:
1 Which city of north-western Spain is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia?
2 Which of Europe's major rivers - the longest of Ukraine and Belarus - flows through Kiev and Dnipropetrovsk?
3 The islands of Ischia, Procida, Nisida, and Vivara - and sometimes Capri - all comprise which archipelago of southern Italy?
4 Kopavogur, with a population of around 32,000, is the second-largest settlement in which European country?
5 Forming part of the boundary between Europe and Asia, the Bosphorus is the world's narrowest strait used for international navigation. It connects the Black Sea with which inland sea, known in classical antiquity as the Propontis?
6 Which Greek island, lying in the shadow of its much larger neighbour, Crete, is the country's most southerly, and also marks the southernmost point of Europe?
7 The flag of which partially recognised European state consists of three horizontal bands of white, red, and yellow?
8 The Tatra mountains form a natural border between Slovakia and which other European country?
9 Which is the only European country to be doubly landlocked (that is, not only is it landlocked, but it is also surrounded by landlocked countries)?
10 The Swabian Sea is another name for which lake at the northern foot of the Alps?

1 Santiago de Compostela
2 Dnieper
3 Phlegraean islands
4 Iceland
5 Sea of Marmara
6 Gavdos
7 South Ossetia
8 Poland
9 Liechtenstein
10 Lake Constance 

QM Quiz #22

First of these I've written for a good while. Been busy with a variety of things, so here are some fresh questions for you to have a go at / save to your computer / do with whatever you desire.

It's the final regular-season match of the 2014/15 Lancaster City Quiz League season tonight. I'll be playing in my first match since mid-January, so haven't featured as much as I'd have liked this season but my first year at university is the reason for that. Playing Boot & Shoe B who have won the league and regained the title that eluded them last year.

We've also been drawn in the LCQL Cup quarter-finals against Boot & Shoe B for a home match two weeks today. I imagine that will be a far more hard-fought fixture.

Anyway, the questions...

1 Which French neoclassical architect's best-known works included Saint Isaac's Cathedral and the Alexander Column in Saint Petersburg?
2 The so-called "Sabre Dance" is a movement in the final act of which Aram Khachaturian ballet (1942)?
3 What was the name of the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 that crashed last week, who is strongly suspected of having brought the plane down deliberately?
4 Which country won their fifth Cricket World Cup this week?
5 What did the initials GK stand for in the name of author GK Chesterton?
6 Which philosopher put forward the analysis and theory of deconstruction in his 1967 work, Of Grammatology?
7 China's Lin Dan is regarded as one of the greatest singles players of all time in which sport?
8 Which English king often had the sobriquet Beauclerc applied to his name?
9 Argentite is an ore of which metal?
10 Which Australian painter's most famous work was a series of depictions of outlaw Ned Kelly in the outback?
11 The Eduskunta is which country's national parliament?
12 Which Italian director's best-known films are The Leopard (1963) and Death in Venice (1971)?
13 Nedda and Silvio are lovers in which opera that premiered in Milan in 1892?
14 Ross Macdonald's hardboiled novels set in southern California featured which fictional private detective?
15 Which birds of the grouse family change to white in colour in winter to help them blend into the snowy backgrounds of their habitats?
16 Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundian allegiance in 1430 in which French town, before being handed over to the English?
17 Particularly associated as a religious practice, the lace or silk shawl known as a mantilla is worn predominantly by the women of which country?
18 Which German chess player, regarded as one of the best ever, held the World Chess Champion crown for a record 27 years from 1894 to 1921?
19 The name of which constellation comes from the Latin word for "charioteer"?
20 The rock band Soundgarden named themselves after a public art sculpture in which US city, from which they hailed?

1 Auguste de Montferrand
2 Gayane
3 Andreas Lubitz
4 Australia
5 Gilbert Keith
6 Jacques Derrida
7 Badminton
8 Henry I
9 Silver
10 Sidney Nolan
11 Finland
12 Luchino Visconti
13 Pagliacci
14 Lew Archer
15 Ptarmigans
16 Compiegne
17 Spain
18 Emanuel Lasker
19 Auriga
20 Seattle

Duston GP (and other stuff)

I attended my first Grand Prix quiz event of 2015 on Saturday, held in Duston in Northamptonshire. It's possibly the best-attended GP event of the calendar, and indeed 103 souls made the trip there to take on the individual 240-question paper and other quizzes. One of those souls, you've probably already guessed, was me.

Pleased to say that I scored 61.4 on what was a very testing individual paper, in which the average score was only 69 (it's usually somewhere in the 80s), which managed to place me 67th. I also came joint-21st in the Civilisation genre (comprising human geography, world cities, travel and transport, politics and all that sort of stuff). The more eagle-eyed of you (or the ones with the most retentive memories) will recall that finishing in the top 30 of a genre before the end of the year was one of my 2015 quizzing resolutions, so I'm glad to have achieved it on Saturday. Hopefully I can get a few more before the end of the year but it'll all depend on various factors, including how hard I'm willing to work.

I did OK on the first three genres of the paper (Art & Culture, Civilisation, and Entertainment) and then mostly crashed and burned on the final three (Lifestyle, Physical World, Sport & Leisure). Still, I'm heartened by how I did and hopefully with a bit more work on those weaker genres I can pull my score up into the 70s, which is where I'd like it to be by the end of the year if possible.

In other news, I'm in the middle of filming University Challenge with the University of Liverpool team. Obviously I can't say too much other than it's an experience and we're just going to give it as good a go as we can. All will be revealed by July anyway.

Quizzers Delight

I've not posted on here for a month - I need to get my priorities right. OK, on request of a mate of mine at uni, I've written a quiz on all things rap and hip hop. It's not a genre of music (or two genres) I've listened to much, but it's as valid a topic for quizzes as any other so here's the quiz.

And that post title is a pun - but not a very good or original one, admittedly - on the Sugarhill Gang song title.

Mixture of stuff, international outlook, etc.

1 Birth name Kevin Donovan, which US DJ from the Bronx influenced the development of hip hop in the 1980s, leading to his nicknames such as "The Godfather" and "Amen Ra of Hip Hop Kulture"?
2 Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins is credited with coining the term hip hop in 1978 while teasing a friend who had recently joined the US Army by scat-singing the words "hip/hop/hip/hop" in a way that mimicked the rhythm of marching soldiers. Which influential hip hop group was Wiggins a member of?
3 The 1981 single "Rapture" is said to be the first major single containing hip-hop elements by a white artist to reach number-one in the USA. Which band, also famous for tracks such as "Sunday Girl" and "Heart of Glass", released the song?
4 "NY State of Mind", "One Love", and "It Ain't Hard to Tell" are all tracks off which 1994 rap album, regarded as a landmark record in the genre?
5 Which of the Wu-Tang Clan's founding members died of a drug overdose in November 2004, two days before his 36th birthday?
6 Which city south of downtown Los Angeles features in the title of NWA's debut 1988 album?
7 The word hyphy (pronounced HY-fee) refers to the hip hop-style music surrounding which major US city?
8 Which US rapper - a pioneer female of hip hop - had a mid-1990s feud with fellow female rapper Foxy Brown?
9 Which 2002 hip hop biopic film starred Eminem as Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith Jr, a young, white rapper living in inner-city Detroit?
10 AllMusic's John Bush called him "the best rapper / producer in history"; the US rapper Q-Tip found fame as a member of which hip hop group?
11 Which rapper collaborated with Chase & Status on the 2009 UK top-ten single "End Credits"?
12 The rapper with the stage name Sarkodie, who won Best International Act: Africa in the 2012 BET Awards, is regarded as which African country's greatest hip-hop artist?
13 Which US rapper is best-known for his 1994 debut album, The Sun Rises in the East?
14 The rapper Tupac Shakur died after being shot multiple times in a drive-by in Las Vegas - which year?
15 Arguably the rapper Ice Cube's most famous song, which track - the second single from his third solo album, Predator - contains lyrics such as "Lakers beat the Supersonics" and "even saw the lights of the Goodyear blimp"?

1 Afrika Bambaataa
2 Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
3 Blondie
4 Illmatic
5 Ol' Dirty Bastard
6 Compton
7 San Francisco
8 Queen Latifah
9 8 Mile
10 A Tribe Called Quest
11 Plan B
12 Ghana
13 Jeru the Damaja
14 1996
15 "It Was a Good Day"

1970s film quiz

Trying to change up a bit the topics I write quizzes on, as it seems all I've done recently on here is knock together twenty questions and post them up. So, today's topic is 1970s film. I do love films, and I think the 1970s was very possibly the best decade in the medium's history, so here goes. Everything from mainstream to foreign cinema. Some of the questions may be fairly difficult, but I've tried to have a decent mix.

I'll try to write one of these a day for the next few days, but we'll see how that goes.

1 Dubbed India's first "angry young man" for his Bollywood roles, which actor is regarded as one of the greatest in the history of Indian cinema, and starred alongside Rajesh Khanna in 1970s films such as Anand and Namak Haraam?
2 Which 1977 surrealist horror marked the feature-length directorial debut of David Lynch?
3 Badlands (1973) and Days of Heaven (1978) were both works by which director?
4 Bernardo Bertolucci's 1970 film, The Conformist, was based on an earlier 1951 novel by whom?
5 Who directed the so-called "paranoia trilogy" of films which consisted of Klute (1971), The Parallax View (1974), and All the President's Men (1976)?
6 What is the name of the commercial spacecraft that serves as the principal setting in the film Alien?
7 Which world city serves as the predominant setting for the following films: The Aristocats (1970), The American Friend (1977), Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)?
8 Based on the 1966 novel, Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square, what was Alfred Hitchcock's penultimate film?
9 What was the first R-rated film to win the Best Picture Academy Award since the introduction of the MPAA film rating system?
10 Which Argentinian composer - perhaps best known for his Mission: Impossible theme - scored films such as Dirty Harry, Charley Varrick, and The Amityville Horror?

1 Amitabh Bachchan
2 Eraserhead
3 Terrence Malick
4 Alberto Moravia
5 Alan J Pakula
6 Nostromo
7 Paris
8 Frenzy
9 The French Connection
10 Lalo Schifrin

QM Quiz #21

I have set most of the questions in this quiz from the latest Pears Cyclopaedia - mixture of stuff, as per usual.

1 Which Belgian poet and essayist (1862-1949) - recipient of the 1911 Nobel Prize in Literature - wrote plays including Princess Maleine, Pelleas and Melisande, and The Blue Bird?
2 First excavated in 1965, the archaeological site of Lepenski Vir - said to date to around 8000 BC - lies on the banks of which major European river?
3 Widely identified as the politician who has served in the greatest number of different political offices, Norodom Sihanouk was, from 1953 to 1970, the effective ruler of which Asian country?
4 Given to women during or after the menopause, for what do the letters HRT stand?
5 Opened in Las Vegas in March 2014, the High Roller is the world's tallest what?
6 The first was launched in October 1957; the second was launched in November 1957; the third was launched in May 1958. What name links these three events?
7 Although harshly received by critics, it was a box-office success. Which 1970 David Lean film was a very loose adaptation of Flaubert's Madame Bovary, and featured Robert Mitchum and Trevor Howard in major roles?
8 Which novel chronicles the encounters and appointments of Leopold Bloom in Dublin over the course of the day 16 June 1904?
9 "It was said of Augustus that he found Rome brick and left it marble: the same is true of ___ and spin bowling." Complete this quote from the Australian sports journalist Gideon Haigh, which refers to a cricketer whose record of 708 wickets in his Test career was only surpassed by Muttiah Muralitharan in 2007?
10 Which French Romantic painter's The Raft of the Medusa depicts a moment in the aftermath of the wrecking of the namesake naval frigate, which ran aground off the coast of western Africa in 1816?
11 Which US pop-rock band, whose first album - Days Are Gone - spawned six singles, is comprised of sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana, as well as drummer Dash Hutton?
12 The Lincoln Borglum Museum serves as a visitor centre to which US tourist attraction?
13 69 people have died this week after drinking beer which was originally said to have been contaminated with crocodile bile, although it has been said that a toxic plant was the most likely cause for the deaths. In which African nation did this take place?
14 Other than Hindi and Bengali, which is the only language to be spoken in more than one Indian state?
15 A spin-off from The Muppets, what was the title of Jim Henson's live-action TV series which featured creatures such as the Doozers and the Gorgs?
16 Which German doctor and anthropologist is known as the "father of modern pathology", being the first to coin terms such as leukaemia, thrombosis, and embolism?
17 Perhaps most famous for his role as Tom Haverford in the NBC show Parks and Recreation, which US comedian released his debut album - Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening - in 2010?
18 Which chemical element is also known as wolfram, reflected in its chemical symbol?
19 The Dutchman Cornelis Drebbel was the builder of the first what in 1620?
20 Alberta, Saskatchewan, and which other province whose capital is at Winnipeg comprise the Canadian Prairies?

1 Maurice Maeterlinck
2 Danube
3 Cambodia
4 Hormone replacement therapy
5 Ferris wheel
6 Sputnik
7 Ryan's Daughter
8 Ulysses
9 Shane Warne
10 Theodore Gericault
11 Haim
12 Mount Rushmore
13 Mozambique
14 Telugu
15 Fraggle Rock
16 Rudolf Virchow
17 Aziz Ansari
18 Tungsten
19 Submarine
20 Manitoba

QM Quiz #20

As part of my resolution to write more on this blog, here's another QM Quiz - twenty questions for you to ponder, have a go at, download, etc.:

1 The title of a James Ellroy novel, what nickname was given to Elizabeth Short, who was found mutilated in a Los Angeles park in 1947?
2 Declared a World Heritage Site in 1979, the ruins of the ancient city of Persepolis lie in the south-west of which country?
3 His 1970 acid western, El Topo, has become a cult film; which Chilean film-maker also directed The Holy Mountain (1973) and Santa Sangre (1989)?
4 Betty Willis designed which item that can be seen at 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South?
5 In Morse code, a single dot represents which letter?
6 In the care of the National Trust since 1940, which Norfolk stately home was the birthplace of Anne Boleyn?
7 Who was the first emperor of the Roman Empire's so-called Year of the Four Emperors?
8 Which constellation takes its name from the Latin for "twins"?
9 Piazza del Campo is the main public space of which Italian city?
10 A leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, and the founder of an almost-namesake agrarian movement, which man - to this day an iconic figure in Mexico - was assassinated in 1919, aged 39?
11 Now resting on her port side in approximately 42 m of water, which Swedish ferry capsized in 1980 close to Larnaca on her maiden voyage, and has been named as being among the top wreck-diving sites in the world?
12 Abandoned when the country surrendered following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, what was the codename of the Allied plan for the invasion of Japan close to the end of World War II?
13 Which of the Wu-Tang Clan's founding members died in November 2004 of a drug overdose, two days before his 36th birthday?
14 Who is the current president of Indonesia?
15 Including English, how many languages are spoken in the lyrics of the Ian Dury and the Blockheads song, "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick"?
16 What surname links the Indian director of the so-called "Apu Trilogy" and the American director of Rebel Without a Cause?
17 Which US Army general commanded military operations in the Vietnam War from 1968-72, in a time which saw US troop deployment numbers fall from around 540,000 to 50,000?
18 Angelo is the main antagonist of which of Shakespeare's comedies, although the play's mood isn't typical of a comedy?
19 Who was the primary user of the steam-powered rocket known as Skycycle X-2?
20 Which skyscraper was the tallest in the world from 2004 until 2010, when it was overtaken by the Burj Khalifa?

1 The Black Dahlia
2 Iran
3 Alejandro Jodorowsky
4 Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign
5 E
6 Blickling Hall
7 Galba
8 Gemini
9 Siena
10 Emiliano Zapata
11 MS Zenobia
12 Operation Downfall
13 Ol' Dirty Buzzard
14 Joko Widodo
15 Three
16 Ray
17 Creighton Abrams
18 Measure for Measure
19 Evel Knievel
20 Taipei 101

My 2015 quizzing resolutions

This'll be the first year for which I set formal - or formal in the sense that I'm getting them down on here to look back on - quizzing resolutions for myself. They won't all be measurable in a mathematical sense, as a couple of them are simply ambitions of a more general nature, but I'd still like to achieve everything here, and will do my best to do so.

1 Should we be successful in getting on the show, reach at least the quarter-finals of University Challenge with Liverpool. This is the main one - I'm really proud to have got into the team as it is, to be honest, so to win a match or two would be fantastic. It'll be tough, especially considering the strength of much of the opposition, but might as well go for it. Oh, and that's if we get on...

2 Finish in the top 500 at this year's WQC. I finished 893rd at my first ever WQC in June, which I was pleased with at the time, but I calculated that another twenty points or so this year should see me in and around the top 500, which I'd be relatively pleased with for an improvement for this year.

3 Break the 70 mark at at least one GP this year. At the British Open at the start of December, I got 58.4, which is my highest GP score yet, so I reckon by the end of 2015 I will have come a fair bit closer to reaching the 70 mark.

4 Get at least one full house in the Lancaster City Quiz League (got 7/8 a few weeks ago and should have got 8/8 but blurted the wrong answer out instead of giving it a bit of thought). Those questions that night fell really well for me and I doubt I'll get a kinder set of questions anytime soon, but might as well go for getting at least one full house.

5 Attend my first ever BQC in September and my first ever EQC in November. Never attended either of these events before (obviously!) so just going to give them a go and see how I fare in terms of the style of question and a range in difficulty levels. I may come up with more specific targets closer to the time.

6 Maintain this blog and write stuff on it more regularly. Uni has seen my posting frequency decrease a great deal, so I'll try to write a lot more this year (and post a lot more questions).

7 Adopt a better approach to weaknesses. In other words, actually address them - stuff like sport, classical music, and nature - rather than simply ignoring them. Perhaps I'll find them more interesting if I dedicate more time to reading about them as well.

8 Achieve at least one top-30 genre finish at a GP this year. Fairly simple, and measurable. Just a single top-30 finish in any genre at any GP will do me in this instance.