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Annual Hard as Nails quiz
December 23, 2005 2:43 AM   Subscribe

King William's College Quiz. Mefites, your mission: Collectively solve the hardest 100 year old annual quiz around. (Be warned, I think they're getting wiser to the appliance of google-fu science.)
posted by biffa (75 comments total)

 
See previous years threads: 2002, 2003 and 2004
posted by biffa at 2:48 AM on December 23, 2005


Wow. "Difficult" isn't even the word for it. It's like some NYT crossword clues: so astoundingly obscure that researching the answer is an absolute necessity.

I like to think I have a lot of trivia jammed in my head, but...wow.
posted by zardoz at 2:53 AM on December 23, 2005


I always look forward to this time of year when I can be reminded of how good some pub quiz teams are.
And how crap mine is.

Q. "What was the result of arthropod larvae appearing en route for Tendra?"
A. "... anyone else for a pint?"
posted by NinjaPirate at 3:16 AM on December 23, 2005


Section 17 is simplified if you know they are all locations in Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.

Mycroft Holmes had rooms in Montagu Street, close to the British Museum.

and Mrs. Oakshott, of 117 Brixton Road raised the Goose in The Blue Carbuncle.
posted by electricinca at 3:25 AM on December 23, 2005


Almost all of the sections are themed -- it's a hint, if you can figure out the theme.
posted by eriko at 4:58 AM on December 23, 2005


And, in that realm, section 11 is about Popes. Google up "Cadaver Synod" for the macabre one.
posted by eriko at 5:05 AM on December 23, 2005


I will do my MetaFilterian duty and contribute an answer:

Answer to #5. Robert Koch won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medecine in 1905 for discovering Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB), some 23 years earlier.

Okay MeFi, there's a few more to go! :)
posted by darkstar at 5:34 AM on December 23, 2005


11.7 Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici) - alleged to have said on taking office "God has given us the Papacy now let us enjoy it".
posted by athenian at 5:36 AM on December 23, 2005


11.5: Pope Formosus, put on trial posthumously by his successor Stephen VII in 900ish
posted by athenian at 5:41 AM on December 23, 2005


This is as far as I can get without Googling:

1.2. 'Little red flower' must be the Scarlet Pimpernel, so I presume Baroness Orczy's novel was first published in 1905.
1.8. Bosie = Lord Alfred Douglas, so this must be Wilde's 'De Profundis'.

2.2 is easy: the Owl and the Pussycat.

3.1. T.E. Brown?
3.2. Betjeman?

4.2. Ruth; Handel.
4.3. Daniel; Walton.

5.5. The 'English Hippocrates' is William Harvey, so I suppose the answer is the circulation of the blood. But I can't work out the theme of this section.

6.1. Personification
6.3. Oxymoron
6.4. Anaphora
6.5. Apophasis
6.7. Chiasmus
6.8. Alliteration
6.9. Aposiopesis
6.10. Litotes

8.2. Chatsworth
8.3. Woolworth's
8.4. Molesworth
8.8. Wordsworth?

15.9. Marble Arch? (I guess these are all London Underground stations.)

16.5. The Red Barn. (I guess these are all associated with particular colours.)

18.7. Darwin's tortoise
18.10. Sir John Mills
posted by verstegan at 5:42 AM on December 23, 2005


Er...that's Section !, #5: Robert Koch.

Section 16 appears to be fiction.

Some answers:

Section 16, #6: Lilias Redgauntlet, in Scott's Redgauntlet
Section 16, #7: The Red Queen, in Through the Looking Glass.
Section 16, #10: Little Red Riding-Hood.

posted by darkstar at 5:44 AM on December 23, 2005


Er...Section 16 evidently has a "Red" theme. :)
posted by darkstar at 5:45 AM on December 23, 2005


medecine--->medicine

Gads, French is ruining my English orthography.
posted by darkstar at 5:49 AM on December 23, 2005


Wow, impressive verstegan. I think section 15 must be tube stations, because Reynier's defeat was at Maida in Calabria (whence Maida Vale).
posted by athenian at 5:52 AM on December 23, 2005


I got one.
posted by JanetLand at 5:53 AM on December 23, 2005


2.7 David Copperfield and Agnes
posted by Biblio at 5:55 AM on December 23, 2005


18.6: Bill Frist
posted by The White Hat at 5:56 AM on December 23, 2005


ooh! 6.2: Tmesis!
posted by The White Hat at 5:57 AM on December 23, 2005


17.7 Graham and McFarlane
posted by Biblio at 6:05 AM on December 23, 2005


5.2 mushrooms, Marasmius oreades
5.7 St. Elmo's Fire
5.9 oysters maybe?

16.1 arsenic ore
posted by casarkos at 6:05 AM on December 23, 2005


on preview: if section 16 has a "colors" theme, realgar is what makes white in fireworks.
posted by casarkos at 6:07 AM on December 23, 2005


4:9 Exodus; Weill

16:1 Red arsenic
16:2 Red Colin
16:3 Molotov
16:6 Redgauntlet
16:7 The Red Queen
16:8 Red Cotton Night-Cap Country
16:10 Red Riding-Hood
posted by verstegan at 6:07 AM on December 23, 2005


17. 8 Dr. Hill Barton aka Dr. Watson
posted by Biblio at 6:08 AM on December 23, 2005


17.2 Jabez Wilson
posted by Biblio at 6:10 AM on December 23, 2005


6.1 isn't just personification. More precisely, it's Metonymy.

Section ten looks like it's all foods named after cities. 10.8 describes a salad Niçoise, so I suppose the answer is Nice.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:48 AM on December 23, 2005


My research indicates the answer to 16.4 is Bessie Coleman.

The argument:

1. A brantail is a bird also called a redtail.

2. "The Redtails" was a nickname Allies gave to the Tuskekee Airmen, because of the red paint jobs on their vertical stabilizers.

3. Bessie Coleman was the first ever African American woman to become an airplane pilot, and the first black licensed pilot in the world.

4. Salopians are historians, after the Salopian Family Historians.
posted by darkstar at 6:55 AM on December 23, 2005


*Tuskegee

(gee whiz)
posted by darkstar at 6:56 AM on December 23, 2005


And in an unexpectedly modern twist, the answer to 16.9 seems to be The Red Evil Pig, from the video game Tomba!

Which completes the red-themed Section 16.
posted by darkstar at 7:02 AM on December 23, 2005


I think you're overthinking there darkstar, I think the theme for that section is red ..........., for example, realgar is red orpiment, Colin Campbell of Glenure is Red Colin, I would guess the answer is just redtail or redstart both of which are alternative names for the brantail, which is native to the British county of Shropshire (abbreviated to Salop).
posted by biffa at 7:11 AM on December 23, 2005


But for those last two, I used google.
posted by darkstar at 7:13 AM on December 23, 2005


biffa, that sounds good, too!
posted by darkstar at 7:14 AM on December 23, 2005


Oops, should have looked more at the preview. Is the red theme for Molotov just that Molotov was a red?
posted by biffa at 7:15 AM on December 23, 2005


I always look forward to this time of year when I can be reminded of how good some pub quiz teams are.
And how crap mine is.
- NinjaPirate

Mine is crap, too. But the pub we go to supplies a free round of crap beer to the team that comes in last place. We aren't quite crap enough to come in last, and when we DO know an answer we're so damn pleased with ourselves we just can't lie in order to win free beer.

Good times.
posted by raedyn at 7:16 AM on December 23, 2005


It's also worth remembering that this quiz is set for schoolchildren, and by the time they go back after xmas they are expected to know the answers to all these questions.
posted by biffa at 7:40 AM on December 23, 2005


1:10 could be Mahler’s premier of Kindertotenliede.
(given that the blue bell referenced in 1:1 is to Cecil Sharp’s printing of the song Blue Bell in the Journal of Folk-Song Society in 1905.)
posted by Smedleyman at 7:50 AM on December 23, 2005


2.2 looks like the Owl and the Pussycat.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:52 AM on December 23, 2005


The answer to the Smedleyman quiz is: Should have read all the comments first, particulary verstegan’s.

I'll rage impotently and quietly now.
*glowers at self*
posted by Smedleyman at 7:56 AM on December 23, 2005


1:7 The Potemkin mutiny
1:10 The Merry Widow

8:5 Bosworth

15:6 Fairlop
15:10 Angel
posted by verstegan at 7:56 AM on December 23, 2005


16.3 ("Molotov Cocktail") doesn't seem to fit with the "red" theme, unless Molotov means red in some other language. Maybe the answer has something to do with the Finnish use of Molotov cocktails against the Red Army. Just a thought.
posted by BuffaloBandit at 7:59 AM on December 23, 2005


6.1 Hyperbole
6.3 Oxymoron
6.5 Apophasis
6.7 Diacope
6.8 Alliteration
6.9 Aposiopesis
6.10 Litotes
posted by Miko at 8:11 AM on December 23, 2005


Oops -- 6.1 is indeed metonymy, and more information would be needed to know whether or not it is also hyperbole.
posted by Miko at 8:12 AM on December 23, 2005


I don't know of any school age child in the States that would have studied Scott's Redgauntlet, nor know that Shropshire is abbreviated Salop or that redtails are indigenous to that county, for example.

So, some of these may rely on more British trivia familiarity. Which, as the quiz is from King Williams College, is perhaps to be expected.
posted by darkstar at 8:13 AM on December 23, 2005


And 6.7 = Chiasmus, correct. I am schooled.

Now, the 7 series may well be stories with "Tale" in the title.

For instance, I think:

7.3 A Rat's Tale
7.9 The Tell-Tale Heart.
posted by Miko at 8:24 AM on December 23, 2005


Theme of 9 appears to be viniculture; 9.2 could be "Claret".
posted by Miko at 8:31 AM on December 23, 2005


7.7 The Little Match Girl, by Hans Christian Andersen.
posted by darkstar at 8:34 AM on December 23, 2005


10.1 Vichy
10.2 Chantilly
10.3 Caen
10.8 Nice

10.4 is def some town in Burgundy.
posted by JPD at 8:36 AM on December 23, 2005


10.4 is Lyon - not quite Burgundy
posted by JPD at 8:42 AM on December 23, 2005


14.9 Yellow Banana
posted by zeoslap at 8:49 AM on December 23, 2005


9.1 Hogshead
9.2 Champagne
9.7 Clicquot - allegedly
posted by aardvarkratnik at 8:49 AM on December 23, 2005


10.10 is Pezenas
posted by JPD at 8:54 AM on December 23, 2005


9.1 A hogshead could fill 25 salamanzars, and perhaps just a bit more...

9.3 Bubbles (i.e., in Champagne).

On preview: DRAT!
posted by darkstar at 9:00 AM on December 23, 2005


15.7 is Vauxhall, I'm pretty sure.

(all that Mornington Crescent isn't really helping me here.)
posted by infidelpants at 9:06 AM on December 23, 2005


15.6 Ladbroke Grove?
posted by JPD at 9:08 AM on December 23, 2005


7.8 H.C. Andersen's The Tinder-box.

18.9 Admiral Lord Nelson, I think. This was the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar, wasn't it?
posted by infidelpants at 9:29 AM on December 23, 2005


16.5 Red Barn
posted by Alison at 9:54 AM on December 23, 2005


16.6 Redgauntlet?
posted by Alison at 9:56 AM on December 23, 2005


16:2 Red Colin

Colin Campbell of Glenure is Colin Roy (ruadh), 'Red Colin' in Gaelic tradition, but he is best known as the Red Fox from R. L. Stevenson's 'Kidnapped', I would think that is the answer they want here.
posted by Flitcraft at 9:57 AM on December 23, 2005


The other day I was at the grocery store and the checker was unable to identify any of these. And no, she wasn't new...and to make matters worse, the checker next to her didn't know either.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:10 AM on December 23, 2005


wgp: Ah, the ancient invocation of the gods of chaos.

Personally - I was just glad I knew who Bosie was, so I understood a question. Thanks Dave Sim.
posted by Sparx at 12:42 PM on December 23, 2005


4:6 Song of Solomon; Boyce
4:8 Lamentations; Tallis

8:6 Tamworth
8:7 Winkworth

12: these all sound like the names of ships, but I can't get any further than that

18:4 The tree in Kent County Cricket Ground blew down
posted by verstegan at 1:58 PM on December 23, 2005


I swear I know 6.6, I just can't remember its name. Fuck!
posted by kenko at 2:15 PM on December 23, 2005


Pleonasm.
posted by kenko at 2:18 PM on December 23, 2005


I think 7:9 Princess and the Pea
posted by electricinca at 3:09 PM on December 23, 2005


I think the theme of section 12 is the names of boats or ships in the novels of Alistair MacLean.

12:1 The Guns Of Navaronne
12:4 When Eight Bells Toll
12:5 Ice Station Zebra
12:7 Bear Island

Annoyingly even with the power of Google I can't get the others.
posted by electricinca at 4:10 PM on December 23, 2005


It's also worth remembering that this quiz is set for schoolchildren, and by the time they go back after xmas they are expected to know the answers to all these questions.

No they're not. It's extremely rare for the schoolkids to get a good mark.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 5:30 PM on December 23, 2005


10.4 is Lyon - not quite Burgundy
posted by JPD at 8:42 AM PST on December 23


I think Paris.

10.5 Pithiviers
10.6 Crécy?
10.7 Chablis
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:14 AM on December 24, 2005


Hello all. The theme to section 5 is things named after saints.

5.1 St Mark's fly (a bibionid)
5.2 St George's Mushroom (which grows in rings)
5.3 St Cuthbert's ducks (another name for the eider, of down fame)
5.4 St Anthony's fire (another name for erysipelas, Greek 'red skin')
5.5 St Vitus' dance (decribed by Thomas Sydenham)
5.6 No idea
5.7 St Elmo's fire
5.8 St Baldred's Boat and St Baldreds Cradle (two geographical features in Scotland)
5.9 coquilles St-Jacques (scallops)
5.10 No idea - there must be hundreds of flowers named after saints.
posted by StephenB at 2:50 AM on December 24, 2005


I consider such an easy quiz an insult to my intelligence and refuse to provide the obvious answers. Give me one that's not designed for 11 year olds./upturned nose
posted by Devils Slide at 3:55 AM on December 24, 2005


> > It's also worth remembering that this quiz is set for schoolchildren, and by the time they go back after xmas they are expected to know the answers to all these questions.

> No they're not. It's extremely rare for the schoolkids to get a good mark.

Hmm ... I wonder if any of them read Metafilter?
posted by bright cold day at 4:12 AM on December 24, 2005


9.10 = Nebuchadnezzar, I think.
7.8 are dogs with eyes the size of dinnerplates, something, and towers, encountered by a soldier who climbed into a hollow tree at the behest of some old lady who wanted ... a snuffbox? something? ... aha. The story is Hans Christian Andersen's The Tinder Box. Posting now before someone else can, because I think the other three or so that I could get w/o cheating or effort have already been claimed...
posted by Lebannen at 10:52 AM on December 24, 2005


9's are champagne related

9.2 is Cristal (supposedly because of tzarist fears of assasination:the bottle is clear there is no dimple in the bottom of it so no bonb could be concealed).
9.10 is a Nebuchadnezzar

17 comes from Sherlock Holmes
1.Ferguson and Muirhead
2. Jabez Wilson
3.Sam Brewer
4.Doctor Percy Trevelyan
5.Mr. Windibank
6. Holmes
7. Graham and McFarlane
8.Dr. Hill Barton (an alias of Watson)
9. Stimson & co
10. Mrs Oakshott
posted by tallus at 11:11 AM on December 24, 2005


I think 7 is stories by Hans Christian Andersen, yes? So look away if it's cheating to give answers that I don't know off the top of my head, but I think 7.4 is The China Shepherdess and the Chimneysweep and 7.5 is The Happy Family.
posted by Lebannen at 2:58 PM on December 24, 2005


I like how 7.9 could equally well describe The Tell-Tale Heart or The Princess and the Pea. It all depends which meaning of "pulse" you consider (and what the category theme is).

Anyway, 6.1 is metonymy, but more specifically, it's synecdoche!
posted by aws17576 at 11:56 PM on December 27, 2005


Ha, first post in three days. You know, I saw "December 24" and thought, "Well, that's just yesterday..." I think I need some more egg nog.
posted by aws17576 at 11:57 PM on December 27, 2005


The Guardian now has the answers.
posted by normy at 12:37 PM on January 17, 2006


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