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King William's College Christmas Quiz
December 24, 2002 9:03 AM   Subscribe

King William's College Christmas Quiz - Pupils at King William's college on the Isle of Man have suffered its annual general knowledge quiz since 1905. Until 1999, it was compulsory and the average score was two (out of 180). Nowadays the questions, set by an unidentified islander, are posted to parents with the end-of-term report. See how you fare. Answers will be posted in the new year. (last year, last years answers).
posted by BigCalm (38 comments total)

 
Good god those are incredibly hard. I feel stupid.
posted by riffola at 9:19 AM on December 24, 2002


Just warning you that the quiz is very British-centric
posted by BigCalm at 9:25 AM on December 24, 2002


whoa. I think I know about six of those.
posted by Vidiot at 9:27 AM on December 24, 2002


I'll take "Samson" for one correct answer, Alex. I think I know a couple others, but not quite.
posted by yhbc at 9:27 AM on December 24, 2002


3f: John the Baptist.
4d: Hoppalong Cassidy.

At least I'm average.
posted by RavinDave at 9:28 AM on December 24, 2002


17a: I passed a sunny afternoon with a girlfriend (sigh - can't even remember her name now) under that tree.

Isn't 3b Samson, 3c Munchausen, 3e a WWI flying ace (the German one?), 4c a famous (English) highwayman whose name I can't remember, 8d Van Gogh, 14g el nigno, 17d probably John's, King's or Queen's (Ox/Camb colleges).

Not exactly culture-free, is it?
posted by andrew cooke at 9:32 AM on December 24, 2002


3c) is Tycho Brahe.
posted by BigCalm at 9:33 AM on December 24, 2002


Um... I'll take the physical challenge.
posted by Samsonov14 at 9:34 AM on December 24, 2002


can i use a lifeline?
posted by amberglow at 9:37 AM on December 24, 2002


Hey, guys and gals, please stop with the answer posting. A simple number of answers you think you got right should be sufficient. Some of us like to check the comments for interesting discussion without having our brains cluttered with answers.
posted by kcmoryan at 9:39 AM on December 24, 2002


a famous (English) highwayman whose name I can't remember

Dick Turpin!
posted by Summer at 9:41 AM on December 24, 2002


If it's general knowledge that most people don't know, then perhaps it's not general knowledge.
posted by manero at 9:42 AM on December 24, 2002


these are the sort of things that used to be general knowledge for a certain class of people, but that era is long faded.

peter wimsey would know all of the answers. bertie wooster would know rather a lot of them, but get them wrong regardless (ah, balaam's ass!)
posted by dorian at 9:52 AM on December 24, 2002


I think I got about a ten.

I'm musing about the purpose of this test, and can only suppose it was to teach a yearly lot of cocky undergrads that they don't know everything, albeit in a slightly sadistic way. Nothing wrong with that, mind you.

Education isn't about knowing everything, nor even solely about knowing a specific set of things. It's about learning how to learn - something people will be doing all their lives - and about recognizing how much there is to learn, and it's to prepare one to approach life intelligently and with a least a sketchy frame of reference.
posted by orange swan at 10:01 AM on December 24, 2002


Sorry if posting answers (at least one was wrong) offended - I was kind-of hoping other people would post answers too, as I'm curious to know what they are...
posted by andrew cooke at 10:20 AM on December 24, 2002


dorian, bertie would get them all wrong, uncle fred would get half right, and jeeves would get them all.
posted by dolface at 10:40 AM on December 24, 2002


I'll stick to the Times cryptic.
posted by johnny7 at 10:48 AM on December 24, 2002


Sorry if posting answers (at least one was wrong) offended

I dunno, I reckon a communal effort by MetaFilistines could probably be an entertaining way to get a good chunk of it solved. I got about 10, for what it's worth.
posted by normy at 10:54 AM on December 24, 2002


Who made it to number one with My Ding-A-Ling?

I ask myself that every Christmas.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 11:22 AM on December 24, 2002


Wow do I ever suck at this. Just 3 I even had a clue about: 3b., 4i, and 13e.

I was going to post my answers as comments within source so as not to bother people with spoilers, but it seems that the tag closing script is now preventing source comments. Is that the case, or am I just being exceptionally stupid this morning?
posted by willnot at 11:36 AM on December 24, 2002


To know where you can find anything, that in short is the largest part of learning.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:42 AM on December 24, 2002


"Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?"
posted by Tacodog at 11:42 AM on December 24, 2002


If it helps at all, I think section 5 are all lines from Noel Coward songs (e.g. 5f is from "There are bad times just around the corner")
posted by BigCalm at 11:50 AM on December 24, 2002


douglas bader. not german. wrong war, but heck.
posted by andrew cooke at 11:50 AM on December 24, 2002


I'm musing about the purpose of this test, and can only suppose it was to teach a yearly lot of cocky undergrads that they don't know everything, albeit in a slightly sadistic way. Nothing wrong with that, mind you.

First up, King William's isn't a university, so it won't have any 'cocky undergrads'. It's a private school, so the oldest of the bunch will be 18 years of age.

As for the purpose: my guess is that an intentionally obscure quiz like this (on first reading, I got about a dozen, I think) is all to do with 'learning how to learn'. Imagine the kind of material that you'd have to read through in order to get just a handful of answers, even with the help of Google these days. You'd certainly refine your research skills, and absorb a shedload of historical knowledge in the name of improving your score. It's not really Gradgrinding facts out...

(It's a bit like that odd little almanac that appears in British bookshops at the end of each year, with extracts from books that you have to identify for cash money. And I can't for the life of me remember its name. No-one is well-read enough to get all the answers on first glance.)
posted by riviera at 11:52 AM on December 24, 2002


in the previous year's quiz, which has answers (links above), can anyone explain any of the answers to question 13? the only name i recognise is w g sebold, who is a german author (i just finished "the immigramts"; it was recommended by someone here, thank-you very much).

seems easier this year; i wonder if it's changed hands?
posted by andrew cooke at 12:47 PM on December 24, 2002


I think I can spot about 20 or so having skimmed through them - then again I'm known for blurting out obscure facts (I've got a good memory and I don't get out much, neh..).

I'll post my answers when I get back from dinner and watching the Mummy with my family - whats the colour code for the mefi background? (make the answers that colour so if anyone wants to compare, you can just highlight them :)
posted by Mossy at 1:05 PM on December 24, 2002


Mossy: #069 (or #006699, if you feel like typing all of it.)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:22 PM on December 24, 2002


That's the default Mefi blue, I meant to say. Others may have different preferences turned on.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:23 PM on December 24, 2002


Me like. Want more. Links?
posted by kablam at 3:32 PM on December 24, 2002


Harper's magazine publishes a similarly difficult and obscure quiz, with more context and fewer questions, in the back of every issue. It isn't online, though.

The Mensa Workout won't get you in, but it does exercise those brain muscles -- as does the Cambridge Mental Workout. And Puzz.com {formerly Chimera's puzzle page} seems to have a wide variety, and the open directory can hook you up with online trivia contests galore.

Then there's the Guardian Literary Quiz (see also the Guardian games -- which sounds like an interesting competition. The Rhetorical Long Jump? The Broad Sheet? America-Rules (Not!) Football?). There are also a number of results for literary+quiz.
posted by dhartung at 4:37 PM on December 24, 2002


andrew - question 13 is code names of spies in WWII. Now, question 4 is the hard one - wtf is that about??

The sucky thing about general knowledge is the questions you think you know.. but can't quite remember.. bah :)

Anyway, I've got about 40 odd having racked my poor brain cells - I've had a very rough evening though (girls are odd). If anyone wants my answers, I'll stick them up tmrw, or if I don't , just mail me (I also couldn't figure out how to get blue text :(

Before I leave - who can translate the latin? Is that encouraging googling dya think? Not that I did, as that kinda takes the fun out of it..
posted by Mossy at 5:37 PM on December 24, 2002


"To know where you can find anything, that in short is the largest part of learning."
posted by kablam at 6:26 PM on December 24, 2002


question 4 from last year? i can guess what the question means from looking at the answers, but it's such an obvious guess that i'm wondering if you're not looking at the answers (and so i won't post here!).
posted by andrew cooke at 7:10 PM on December 24, 2002


Who made it to number one with My Ding-A-Ling?

Actually, It was Chuck Berry. And that's the only one I know sad to say...
posted by jonmc at 8:17 PM on December 24, 2002


#7 from last year becomes painfully clear when you see the answers. From the answer to the first subquestion I was able to guess 7 of the remainder correctly.

seems easier this year; i wonder if it's changed hands?

It does change hands each year, if I read correctly. I can feel comfortable in saying I know about five questions from this year's quiz, but last year's theme questions - the fish, the booze, the Victorias - and the Literature, Bible, Twins, Mutinies and 2001 questions put me in at about three dozen. I was feeling very good, then I went to this year's quiz and suddenly felt as if my IQ had instantaneously fallen several points.
posted by Dreama at 5:47 AM on December 25, 2002


4
posted by briank at 6:49 PM on December 26, 2002


13

A few of them is easier for a Scandinavian, but there are plenty of very anglosaxon questions, it seems.
posted by cx at 6:45 AM on December 27, 2002


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