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King William's College General Knowledge Paper 2013-14
December 21, 2013 2:38 AM   Subscribe

The 109th issue [pdf] has been released.

A metafilter holiday tradition:

2012 post, questions [pdf, guardian], answers [pdf, guardian]
2011 post, questions [pdf, guardian], answers [pdf, guardian]
2010 post, questions [pdf, guardian], answers [pdf, guardian]
2009 post, questions [pdf, guardian], answers [pdf]
2008 post, questions [guardian], answers [guardian]
2007 post, questions [guardian], answers [guardian]
2006 post, questions [guardian]
2005 post, questions [guardian], answers [guardian]
2004 post, questions [guardian], answers [guardian]
2003 post, questions [guardian]
2002 post, questions [guardian], answers [guardian]

html version presumably forthcoming from the Guardian, answers to follow some time next year.
posted by 7segment (141 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is this another one of those instances where British English and American English use the same word to mean the opposite thing? By general knowledge, they mean esoteric, like their public schools are actually private?

Going out on a limb here and guessing King Williams College is a "public" school. Jalapeño cheddar biscuits, these questions are something else.

This is what I would imagine the written exam Umberto Eco would use to screen eligible suitors for his daughter would look like.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 2:58 AM on December 21, 2013 [17 favorites]


It's like the written exam to obtain eligibility to propose to Umberto Eco's daughter.

Metafilter doesn't have empty quoting so this is what I'm doing instead.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:02 AM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


6.4 is Port Mahon.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 3:06 AM on December 21, 2013


16.3 is Rex Banner.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 3:23 AM on December 21, 2013


Ah! I was just complaining earlier tonight on Twitter that work tomorrow night and next week would be deadly dull, but I completely forgot the quiz would be coming out to keep me busy.

♪ ♪It's the most wonderful time of the year ... ♬

Like last year, I made a spreadsheet, which should be editable by anyone.
posted by rewil at 3:23 AM on December 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


3.6 Lake Isle of Innisfree
posted by Mocata at 3:35 AM on December 21, 2013


15.3 Borjomi
posted by claudius at 3:38 AM on December 21, 2013


Section 12 is mainly easily found Latin phrases, until I get to 12.10: two words precede '‘non est temendi"?

Hm.
posted by rewil at 3:39 AM on December 21, 2013


rewil, I know one of the answers (Tarifa!) but the spreadsheet opens as 'view only' for me.
posted by tractorfeed at 3:44 AM on December 21, 2013


Sorry! Please try again.
posted by rewil at 3:48 AM on December 21, 2013


18.7 Tony Abbott
posted by the duck by the oboe at 3:49 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Section 12 is mainly easily found Latin phrases, until I get to 12.10: two words precede '‘non est temendi"?

Hm.

"Oh, baby..."

17.1 Rabindranath Tagore
posted by ersatz at 3:54 AM on December 21, 2013


5.4 Alex Ferguson
posted by ersatz at 3:59 AM on December 21, 2013


Section 14 seems to be all constables, with 14.2 being a nod to Due South.
posted by rewil at 4:01 AM on December 21, 2013


General only if you happen to be an army officer around the time of the Boer War.
posted by Caskeum at 4:08 AM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


6.1 Barcelona
posted by vbfg at 4:10 AM on December 21, 2013


7.9 Charles Pooter
posted by jet_manifesto at 4:20 AM on December 21, 2013


1.3 Thessaloniki
posted by gubo at 4:42 AM on December 21, 2013


2.3 Tintoretto
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:35 AM on December 21, 2013


The 17s seem to be either about Bengal or nawabs, though I'm not sure why they'd include Iran (#2 about "parsee") on there.
posted by divabat at 5:38 AM on December 21, 2013


13.10 Karst Roeland Tates, Queen Beatrix
posted by bdz at 5:39 AM on December 21, 2013


when do we smother our feelings with difficulty?

Most British question.
posted by maryr at 5:45 AM on December 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm new to this tradition. Are you allowed to research answers ie use the internet?
posted by maryr at 5:51 AM on December 21, 2013


Rest of the 17s, except #1 (already answered) and #2 (stumped):

3. Iftikhar Ali Khan
4. Bengalis????
5. Gandhi
6. Madhur Jaffrey
7. Muhammad Ali Jinnah
8. Tatya Tope
9. Nana Sahib
10. Jahanara Begum

Knowing the general theme helps a lot.
posted by divabat at 5:51 AM on December 21, 2013


maryr: according to Wiki about this test:
The quiz is always introduced with the following Latin motto: "Scire ubi aliquid invenire possis, ea demum maxima pars eruditionis est", which translates as: "To know where you can find anything is, after all, the greatest part of erudition."

[...]

The current quizmaster is Dr Pat Cullen, a retired GP, who has been setting the quiz since 1997. He reports that he now checks questions by typing them into Google and changing them if necessary to make sure the answers cannot be found immediately.
He didn't seem to do that thorough a job with the 17s though, since all of those I found pretty quickly from Googling.
posted by divabat at 5:55 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


16.5 T. rex specimens
posted by gubo at 5:57 AM on December 21, 2013


18.2 Strangled by ex-husband (reference to Nigella Lawson)
18.5 Seamus Heany
posted by divabat at 6:01 AM on December 21, 2013


5.1 which one is 140 not out?

Something cricket? According to Cricinfo only two players scored 140 not out in an international match (ODI, T20, Test). Ponting and Tendulkar.
posted by bdz at 6:01 AM on December 21, 2013


18.1 may have something to do with Ava Ivanovic.
posted by divabat at 6:03 AM on December 21, 2013


18.8 (big cat's dentition) may be about Stalking Cat, but he died in 2012.
posted by divabat at 6:04 AM on December 21, 2013


18.1 may have something to do with Ana Ivanovic

Rather Branislav Ivanovic from Chelsea who was bitten by Luis Suarez
posted by bdz at 6:05 AM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


16.1 John Rex

I guess answers to 16 have something to do with "rex."
posted by gubo at 6:08 AM on December 21, 2013


Section 2 are all Italian painters -- 9 and 10 are Masaccio and Masolino. The first could be Rosso Fiorentino.
posted by Francolin at 6:11 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


16.2 Rex Mottram
16.3 Rex Banner
16.4 Rex Stout
posted by gubo at 6:14 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


2.2 may be Giovanni Francesco Barberi, aka Guercino or the cross-eyed
posted by goofyfoot at 6:46 AM on December 21, 2013


1.1 PSV Eindhoven?
posted by banal evil at 6:50 AM on December 21, 2013


2.3 is Tintoretto. 2.7 is Ucello.
posted by neroli at 6:55 AM on December 21, 2013


1.9 Pedro Lascuráin, Mexico
posted by banal evil at 7:02 AM on December 21, 2013


13.1 Anteo Zamboni, Benito Mussolini

13.3 Leon Czolgosz, William McKinley
13.4 Izola Curry, Martin Luther King
13.5 Mateu Morral, Alfonso XIII of Spain
13.6 Adolf Hitler, Johann Georg Elser
13.7 Leonid Brezhnev, Viktor Ilyin
13.8 Juan María Fernández y Krohn, Pope John Paul II
13.9 James Hadfield, George III of the United Kingdom

Can't figure out 13.2 though. I'm thinking a name meaning "buck/stag"?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:03 AM on December 21, 2013


"To know where you can find anything is, after all, the greatest part of erudition."

So, Metafilter then.
That was easy. Far cheaper than my university eduction.
posted by kisch mokusch at 7:08 AM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


16.6 Oedipus Rex
posted by Copronymus at 7:09 AM on December 21, 2013


13.2 is Teddy Roosevelt, the Bull Moose, who got shot by John Flammang Schrank but still finished his speech
posted by Copronymus at 7:12 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


13.10 Karst Roeland Tates, Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
posted by Copronymus at 7:16 AM on December 21, 2013


"To know where you can find anything is, after all, the greatest part of erudition."
Love it.
posted by adamvasco at 7:20 AM on December 21, 2013


"Peacefully hydrargic" in 17.2 is Freddie Mercury, surely.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:26 AM on December 21, 2013


goodnewsfortheinsane: I did think of that, but couldn't figure out what "hydrargic" meant and got stuck on my annoyance of Iran being lumped in with South Asia. But then I see that his parents are from India anyway and he spent some time there, so boo to me.
posted by divabat at 7:30 AM on December 21, 2013


I tried to do a whole section as a Google-fu test. The 15s are mineral waters, and I got them all except 15.8, the giraffe one. It's killing me!
posted by neroli at 7:44 AM on December 21, 2013


14.1 When constabulary duty's to be done (to be done)
posted by kyrademon at 8:15 AM on December 21, 2013


4.5: Burstow (astronomers royal work in Greenwich).
posted by janewman at 8:18 AM on December 21, 2013


My plan would be to just answer "Doctor Who" to everything. Thanks to timey-wimey, I could not be wrong.
posted by Renoroc at 8:22 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


13.2 is Teddy Roosevelt, the Bull Moose, who got shot by John Flammang Schrank but still finished his speech

Thank you! That was the only one that rang any sort of bell for me and still couldn't put my finger on it. I so fail at things like this. Hats off to you all!
posted by double bubble at 8:35 AM on December 21, 2013


10.10 Piccadilly

And I'm pretty sure section 10 is all London street names or possibly London locations.

Have to go make cookies now, though.
posted by kyrademon at 8:36 AM on December 21, 2013


I may not know the answers to some any of these, but I will derive smug superiority from the fact that I know the difference between "its" and "it's" better than the editor of this paper.
posted by bac at 9:08 AM on December 21, 2013


8.9: Barnsley . I think the book for 8 is the Society for Diffusion of Useful Knowledge Penny Cyclopedia, which has been scanned in at Google Books.
posted by janewman at 9:17 AM on December 21, 2013


I think 6.2 is Peñíscola; the general section header is clearly Mediterranean Spain.
posted by elizardbits at 9:27 AM on December 21, 2013


Although since Pelayo was from Asturias in the north, maybe it is just Spain in general?

i just woke up i don't even know where my pants are
posted by elizardbits at 9:32 AM on December 21, 2013


anyway 6.10 is Covadonga
posted by elizardbits at 9:33 AM on December 21, 2013


6.7 is Tarifa
posted by elizardbits at 9:35 AM on December 21, 2013


SORRY I guess I'll put them all in one

6.1 Barcelona
6.2 Peñíscola
6.3
6.4 Mahon
6.5 Pamplona
6.6
6.7 Tarifa
6.8
6.9 Badajoz
6.10 Covadonga
posted by elizardbits at 9:44 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


1.5 has an it's/its error, so I deem the entire enterprise null and void.

You're welcome.
posted by Madamina at 9:51 AM on December 21, 2013


I'm finding it strangely satisfying to answer questions in areas I know nothing about, working entirely from Google power. Have done a few of the 9s, which are English racecourses.
posted by neroli at 9:59 AM on December 21, 2013


14.2 Bob Fraser
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 10:01 AM on December 21, 2013


Note for anyone working on #8 (I've got to move on to other things): the book could be the National Cyclopedia, Imperial Cyclopedia, or some other plagiarist I haven't found yet...
posted by janewman at 10:08 AM on December 21, 2013


7.5 Adrian Mole
posted by prolific at 10:14 AM on December 21, 2013


While there are more questions I've figured out with further time and thought (most so far already answered here, so I won't repeat), I find it interesting that both of the questions I got instantly, with no need to consider, were references to Gilbert & Sullivan songs.

Which pretty much confirms that, as a child in a theatrical family, such things were PERMANENTLY DRILLED INTO MY BRAIN.
posted by kyrademon at 10:28 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pretty much any time a British person says anything even vaguely amusing with even the slightest bit of whimsical cadence I immediately stop to ponder which Gilbert & Sullivan operetta they might potentially be referencing.

i don't even like musical theatre
posted by elizardbits at 10:45 AM on December 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is there some kind of shorthand at work here, like how on Jeopardy! you know the answer to anything about a Chinese Architect is I.M. Pei, or possibly a famous I.M. Pei building?

I'm having trouble parsing a lot of these questions as referring to anything in particular. Like, "Who was a red head?" That has got to be some kind of code or esoteric reference. Because, I don't know, my cousin Jordan? Is that the answer?
posted by Sara C. at 10:51 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, the answer to 6.2 is either Peniscola, Spain, or Avignon, depending on which schismatic anti-pope they're referring to. (There are two in the Avingnon papacy, which almost has to be what they're talking about.)

Are all the answers supposed to be vulgar or make 12 year old boys giggle? If so, Peniscola, for sure.
posted by Sara C. at 10:56 AM on December 21, 2013


Oh, and 6.10 is Covadonga, Asturias.
posted by Sara C. at 10:58 AM on December 21, 2013


OK clearly I have not been reading any of elizardbits' contributions...

7.2 has to be Samuel Pepys, no?
posted by Sara C. at 11:01 AM on December 21, 2013


Peniscola? Covadonga? am I only cracking up because I am way hung over or are dick places actually this funny
posted by threeants at 11:12 AM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was hoping that there was some connection between Peniscola and Pensacola, Florida, but apparently not. Pensacola was named after a local Native American tribe.
posted by Sara C. at 11:16 AM on December 21, 2013


I'm probably going to do an AskMetafilter question about this as soon as my seven days are up, but what IS IT with stuff like this?

Are British people just way fucking smarter than Americans?

I know that classical British education -- which things like this are probably representative of -- is much more classical Liberal Arts heavy than American education is.

I also know that, at least until recently, British students were heavily tracked, university was only on the table for the absolute top students, and many/most Brits left school around age 15. So I'm sure Britain isn't just teeming with total eggheads.

But then I see stuff like this, and I'm just fucking gobsmacked. I know this test is supposed to be impossible and the average student at the school gets like two answers correct. But I'm a grown adult, former Jeopardy! contestant, can beat entire bars at pub trivia singlehandedly, read history texts for fun in my spare time, AND I GOT THREE.

And it's not limited to just this test. I often don't know the answers to QI questions, either. I've seen real British quiz shows, and they're entirely lost on me. Cryptic Crosswords make my eyes blur. AND I'M CONSIDERED SMART FOR AN AMERICAN.

What's up with the British Trivia Industrial Complex, man?
posted by Sara C. at 1:31 PM on December 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Just a reminder for everyone — Metafilter's collective answers are being recorded at this Google Doc.

Currently the section with the fewest answers is 5; 18 is kind of sparse; all the rest are complete or mostly complete.
posted by beagle at 2:01 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The fun of it for me is cracking the themes on the sections. Some are obvious and those aren't as fun, but when you have a section that just seems completely random and it turns out it's really after folk names for types of mushrooms or names of lures used in fly-fishing, that's the moment when everything clicks into place. I find that really satisfying.

So I guess the key is not to approach it as trivia, though that definitely helps to answer some questions. Think of it as a research/reference use test with a puzzle-solving aspect.
posted by rewil at 3:00 PM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sara C, the average student at King William College scores 2 on this quiz at the first attempt. They are expected to go and find the answers over xmas and come back and do better.
posted by biffa at 3:04 PM on December 21, 2013


Biffa, I get that. But, again, I can literally wipe the floor with other Americans who consider themselves good at trivia, and I got three.

That said, if it's really supposed to be about research and a jumping off point for learning about Spanish and Indian history, Italian painters, etc. then that makes a little more sense. Though I'll also say that, in general, any British trivia thing always comes off as much more difficult than its American counterpart.

It is a fantastically good inspiration for falling down Wikipedia holes!
posted by Sara C. at 3:32 PM on December 21, 2013


Section 5 is so hard. It seems like they all have something to do with pre-Conquest Britain, but the fact that the question is "which..." suggests a particular set of things. Towns? Tribes? Forts?
posted by neroli at 4:20 PM on December 21, 2013


The first one (5.1) must be something cricket related. "not out" is a cricket term and 140 not out totally makes sense. As I wrote above only two cricket players made 140 not out in an international match, Ponting and Tendulkar, two of the greatest.
posted by bdz at 4:25 PM on December 21, 2013


For 5.2, the answer is probably "Derby"; the town used to have the Anglo-Saxon name "Northworthy" before the name was changed by the Danish Vikings. However, until we can confirm the 'theme' of Section 5, it is hard to pin this down with certainty.
posted by jet_manifesto at 4:43 PM on December 21, 2013


16.9 Pyrex
posted by novalis_dt at 9:21 PM on December 21, 2013


1.5 Henry Moseley
posted by Songdog at 9:40 PM on December 21, 2013


They spelled "Neruda" wrong. Philologasters.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 10:32 PM on December 21, 2013


I would guess Epsom Downs for 9.3 (shocking event = the accidental mortal wounding while protesting of the Suffragette Emily Davison at the 1913 Epsom Derby) but that is also proposed in the Google Doc for 9.6!!
posted by Bwithh at 10:56 PM on December 21, 2013


Not sure about the Pauline Claire answer proposed in the google doc for 14.4. She became Chief Constable for Lancashire - which is a county not a kingdom
posted by Bwithh at 11:01 PM on December 21, 2013


Just a reminder for everyone — Metafilter's collective answers are being recorded at this Google Doc.

Currently the section with the fewest answers is 5; 18 is kind of sparse; all the rest are complete or mostly complete.


I spent some time trying to figure out 11.5 ("Which Royal Infant was born prematurely at the Fürstenhof due to her mother’s pleurisy, and died the same day"), but don't find the answer. That being said, I'm not convinced that answer given in the Google Doc is right either. Somebody has entered "Princess Charlotte", which I think is supposed to be in reference to Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, who died shortly after giving birth to a stillborn son (who was born late, not premature).

Der Fürstenhof is a famous hotel in Kempton, Bavaria, where the royal families of Hohenstaufen and Habsburg used to stay. My guess is that the child was from one of those families, but my googling, even in German, has yielded little.

I'm also not finding any Charlotte form the house Hohenstaufen or Habsburg. So whoever put that answer in, it would be good to see a further explanation (or link) in the comments section.
posted by kisch mokusch at 1:54 AM on December 22, 2013


This is a quiz that you're supposed to research to get the answers, not know.
posted by empath at 2:00 AM on December 22, 2013


The Charlotte is Princess Charlotte of Clarence, born and died on March 21, 1819. I'll clarify on the spreadsheet.
posted by rewil at 3:16 AM on December 22, 2013


Bwithh: I've added a clarifying note to 14.4 on the Doc. I think "leading the Kingdom's force" refers here to leading an independent unit of the territorial police forces.
posted by beagle at 5:46 AM on December 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you can use another quiz, several of Jon Carroll's annual Christmas quizzes are aggregated here (warning: contains links to answers), and unless he's retired in the past year, there will be another one at the Chronicle's website sfgate.com on Wednesday.
posted by goofyfoot at 1:10 PM on December 22, 2013


10.5 is the Strand (where Burlington Bertie from Bow walks with me gloves in me 'and, then walks down again with 'em off).
posted by andraste at 1:18 PM on December 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure about Epsom Downs for 9.3 just because I can't find anything saying that the rest of the programme was suspended - in fact some newspapers of the day didn't even see it as the day's major event. I'm plumping for Newbury where in 2011 the day's racing was abandoned after two horses dropped dead while parading for the day's first race.
posted by andraste at 2:14 PM on December 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mind you I'm not sure about Epsom Downs for 9.6 either.
posted by andraste at 2:16 PM on December 22, 2013


Not sure about 4.9. Surrey, BC also has the Grand Taj Banquet Hall which might fit better but somehow I don't think the answer lies outside of Surrey, UK. The tandoori house there is possible I suppose, but I think the answer is going to be some great house or building erected in the 19th C.
posted by CCBC at 2:53 PM on December 22, 2013


For 4.9, if it weren't for the 'nominally' I'd say the answer must be Woking (home of the first mosque in the UK, built in the 19th century with a design inspired by the Taj Mahal ).

If one reads 'nominally' in the normal sense rather than digging into its etymology, Woking is a very good answer to the question posed, so I think it's more likely than not to be correct.
posted by janewman at 3:41 PM on December 22, 2013


Found 7.4: Diary of a Pilgrimage by Jerome J. Jerome.
posted by janewman at 3:50 PM on December 22, 2013


I'm not sure about Epsom Downs for 9.3 just because I can't find anything saying that the rest of the programme was suspended - in fact some newspapers of the day didn't even see it as the day's major event. I'm plumping for Newbury where in 2011 the day's racing was abandoned after two horses dropped dead while parading for the day's first race.
posted by andraste at 2:14 PM on December 22 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]



I think andraste has it. Looks like the poor horses died at Newbury in 2011 from accidental electric shock (so matches clue's "shocking events")
posted by Bwithh at 4:11 PM on December 22, 2013


any idea what the theme for section 5 might be?
posted by Bwithh at 4:34 PM on December 22, 2013


13.3 is Hendrik Verwoerd, shot at by David Pratt.
posted by aninom at 5:21 PM on December 22, 2013


Good lord, I never even made the "shocking events"/electricity connection. Pun fail!
posted by andraste at 11:05 PM on December 22, 2013


4.9 might be the Cornwallis Tomb.
posted by CCBC at 11:19 PM on December 22, 2013


10.2 must be Smith Square ; 10.9: Cheyne Walk, Chelsea . The guesses appear to have been on the right track for both of those.
posted by janewman at 12:15 AM on December 24, 2013


Although I think all my knowledge of British horseracing comes from "My Fair Lady", thanks to Google I've been able to fill in the rest of #9 (9.4, 9.6, 9.7). I wonder, though: do you really count as a widower when it's because you've had your wife beheaded?
posted by janewman at 12:42 AM on December 24, 2013


Keeping score: on rewil's Google Doc spreadsheet, we are down to 11 questions unanswered, and 7 that carry a question mark. All highlighted for your convenience and puzzling pleasure.

Also, if you have time, please add citations/explanations in the comments column where missing.
posted by beagle at 7:19 AM on December 24, 2013


1.6 = Cuckoo ( "On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring", an orchestral piece by English composer Frederick Delius was first performed in Leipzig (in Saxony) on 23rd October, 1913. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Hearing_the_First_Cuckoo_in_Spring )
posted by Bwithh at 4:22 PM on December 24, 2013


18.3: Hexham . Horse-racing again!
posted by janewman at 8:17 PM on December 24, 2013


Wow we are getting so close
posted by Bwithh at 9:37 PM on December 24, 2013


I wish we could work out the theme of section 5. The answers we do have don't seem to link together, and the use of "which" rather than "what" or "who" in the questions doesn't help either.

With 18.4, something is nagging at the back of my brain. Is there some kind of bird or critter that's commonly known as an "urban thief"? Googling is no help. And the jubilee meal is a puzzle. The Queen's diamond jubilee was in 2012 but there were celebrations of the anniversary of the actual coronation in 2013 - or is it to do with the Jubilee Line? Or Cherries Jubilee?
posted by andraste at 11:24 PM on December 24, 2013


from googling, looks like on type of "jubilee meal" is something of a Catholic church tradition - a dinner after mass on special occasions?
posted by Bwithh at 12:54 AM on December 25, 2013


I'm flagging the answer to 5.6 as tentative ("Battle of Watling Street"). I can't find the mention of "50 miles south" in the wiki article provided or in a detailed archaeological article. Maybe this is right, but more proof needed. If it isn't right, perhaps alternative answers can shed a bit more light on the section 5 theme.
posted by Bwithh at 1:27 AM on December 25, 2013


OK, own up, who came through with the brilliant breakthrough on section 5, and how did you do it??
posted by Bwithh at 1:36 AM on December 25, 2013


6.8= Leon
posted by Bwithh at 1:40 AM on December 25, 2013


Why Section 5 might have been a tad easier for a group of King William's College schoolkids - the school itself is located on the Isle of Man (I didn't know that until just now...)
posted by Bwithh at 1:50 AM on December 25, 2013


Oh, nice work, whoever figured it out! Section 5 completely and utterly stumped me.
posted by rewil at 2:14 AM on December 25, 2013


So we're down to, like, 3 unanswered questions and 1 answer flagged as suspect. Luckily most of us of all of Christmas Day off to commit to making the massive push on these final few.
posted by Bwithh at 2:20 AM on December 25, 2013


The solver of section 5 is a genius.
posted by beagle at 5:17 AM on December 25, 2013


Two left unsolved, plus one questionable. Spreadsheet link.
posted by beagle at 8:17 AM on December 25, 2013


FWIW, I was looking at 18.4 with the hunt that jubilee could be Christmas related and accidentally learned the term Christmas grip.
posted by maryr at 9:40 AM on December 25, 2013


maryr's link corrected.
posted by beagle at 10:38 AM on December 25, 2013


I share everyone's amazement with the solution to #5. How'd you break the code?
posted by janewman at 10:43 AM on December 25, 2013


OMG, check out the master sleuthery described by the guy who solved Section 5 in his column E comments by that section in the spreadsheet. He is not a MeFi member but some kind of mysterious lone wanderer puzzle solver.
posted by Bwithh at 1:29 PM on December 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


OMG, check out the master sleuthery described by the guy who solved Section 5 in his column E comments by that section in the spreadsheet. He is not a MeFi member but some kind of mysterious lone wanderer puzzle solver.

Noted for future reference that the quiz often has a section with an Isle of Man theme.

Thanks, "lone wanderer puzzle solver" Mike Bath from Manchester!
posted by beagle at 2:22 PM on December 25, 2013


18.4 is Tooting - a fox stole a handbag in a suburban garden & ate the contents. Great story.
See Daily Mail 17/07/13.
posted by brikelsey at 2:01 AM on December 26, 2013


Thanks, brikelsey!

We are down to one stumper:

7.8 [diarists theme] Which traveller, having earlier witnessed the hanging of two men, determined on 22nd October to petition for the repeal of the law?

Suggestions include Samuel Romilly, Sydney Silverman, De Toqueville, Lafayette. So far nothing solid turns up in their writings. Keep in mind that given the nature of the quiz, "the law" may not be related to the hanging. And "earlier witnessed" doesn't necessarily mean the hanging happened that day.

Any leads appreciated!
posted by beagle at 6:22 AM on December 26, 2013


Mary dyer was sentenced to be hanged with two other people on October 22 1659 for spreading Quakerism to Massachusetts, but was spared at the last minute and was banished instead. She returned later to ask that the anti-Quaker law be repealed. She was executed.

The only journal I can find that mentions her, though is john winthrop, but he wasn't there for the trials.
posted by empath at 9:29 AM on December 26, 2013


I like brikelsey's fox handbag story answer - good match!- but am wondering - how is the "jubilee" part of the clue explained?
posted by Bwithh at 2:30 PM on December 26, 2013


Oh wait, I see. The etymology of jubilee = Hebrew ram's horn trumpet. "Tooting" a trumpet.
posted by Bwithh at 2:47 PM on December 26, 2013


I'm stuck on 7.8. I don't have time now, but it may be worth following up on this search to see if any likely cases turn up:

http://books.google.com/books?id=U2wdSecEXJEC&q=travel#v=snippet&q=travel&f=false
posted by janewman at 6:45 PM on December 26, 2013


Regarding Quakers, one diarist/journal-keeper mentioned in books about Mary Dyer during her time waiting for the gallows is fellow Quaker Daniel Gould (who seems to have been in the same prison?). He wrote this but I can't find an online copy.

Also, I read that thousands of Quakers kept diaries/journals as a spiritual practice during the 17th and 18th centuries, so maybe worth digging deeper in this direction.
posted by Bwithh at 4:21 PM on December 27, 2013


The two Quaker men who were hung just before Mary Dyer was about to be hung (she wa given a last minute reprieve on this occasion) in 1659 were William Robinson and Marmaduke Stephenson. But they were hung on October 27th, 1659 (most sources say this - one or two sources seem to mistakenly say October 22nd).
posted by Bwithh at 4:39 PM on December 27, 2013


On the spreadsheet, I've suggested John Duncan as the traveller for 7.8.
posted by beagle at 5:39 PM on December 28, 2013


7.8 This is a guy who went on an English rural ride.
posted by Erzsebet at 3:56 AM on December 29, 2013


18.4 There was another London fox that got raven-ous.
posted by Erzsebet at 4:20 AM on December 29, 2013


2.8 It could be a Renaissance artist who sometimes found himself 'in clover'.
posted by Erzsebet at 4:48 AM on December 29, 2013


7.8 This is a guy who went on an English rural ride.

Not necessarily. We don't even know if it is a "guy" for sure and can't assume that he or she was English or in England. "Petition" seems to indicate planned action in Parliament, but could be in another nation. Not all of the diarists in this category are British. And, a "traveller" could witness executions in a foreign country and resolve to petition to end the practice in his or her native land. And, for that matter, the determination to petition for repeal could be completely unrelated to the hangings. Finally "earlier witnessed" doesn't mean the hangings took place on October 22 — any amount of time could have elapsed between the witnessing and the determination. All of which makes this so far a supremely un-Googleable question.
posted by beagle at 7:49 AM on December 29, 2013


7.8 William Cobbett in his Rural Rides wrote on 22nd October of seeking to repeal the law under which he had seen two men hanged earlier. It seems as good a fit as any.
posted by Erzsebet at 10:15 AM on December 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, thanks Erzsebet, I didn't catch the hint.

I've added your answer to the spreadsheet with a link to the book: Navigate to page 154 here.

The hanging itself took place the previous spring. The men were hanged for poaching and the law in question called for the death penalty for poaching.
posted by beagle at 11:50 AM on December 29, 2013


And by the way, we're done, although any refinements or challenges to rewil's spreadsheet are welcome of course.
posted by beagle at 11:52 AM on December 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


10.8 is Holloway Road all right, but it comes from Betjeman's poem "The Sandemanian Meeting-House in Highbury Quadrant"
posted by CCBC at 11:00 PM on January 3


Thanks CCBC, that's correct. Fixed source on the spreadsheet.
posted by beagle at 5:40 AM on January 6


Okay. I would have done it but the spreadsheet doesn't like my browser.
posted by CCBC at 1:12 PM on January 6


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