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.