King William's College General Knowledge Quiz 2015-16
December 24, 2015 12:05 AM   Subscribe

It's Christmas Eve, so what better to do than partake in the Metafilter holiday tradition (previously; previouslier) of attempting probably the hardest quiz in the world: The King William's College General Knowledge Paper (Guardian).

Some background, from the College:
The GKP has been frustrating and intriguing a select group of quiz connoisseurs for just over a century. The paper consists of 18 sets of 10 questions, each set covering a particular theme (which in many cases is far from obvious). Cracking the theme has long been one of the attractions to devotees of the GKP.

A Latin phrase is always printed at the top of the quiz: "Scire ubi aliquid invenire possis ea demum maxima pars eruditionis est". Freely translated, this means "the greatest part of knowledge is knowing where to find something". However, be warned – using Google or a similar search engine may not always deliver the expected results!
posted by Pink Frost (52 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's the most wonderful time of the year!
posted by rewil at 12:29 AM on December 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Be warned: the answer to one of these questions is a significant spoiler to one of the finest detective novels of all time. I'm rather disappointed to see this.
posted by cromagnon at 12:30 AM on December 24, 2015


Thanks cromagnon, would you mind posting or Memailing me which question (and which novel), so I can avoid it?

I copied Big Calm's idea from last year and set up a shared spreadsheet if we want to solve collaboratively.
posted by Pink Frost at 12:51 AM on December 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I got three answers without Googling, go me :P
posted by snakeling at 12:59 AM on December 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Until 1999, the quiz was compulsory, with 300 pupils aged between 11 and 18 having to answer the 100 cryptic questions in a set time - the average score being two. Do you think you can score more than two?

I feel better knowing that - I got 3 more than the average 11-year-old! Also it must be a hell of a staff meeting in which the King William's College teachers come up with these. Looking at some of the questions, I'm certain alcohol must be involved.
posted by Aravis76 at 1:08 AM on December 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Apparently, according to the quizmakers, feminism is "Suffragette militancy".

ಠ_ಠ
posted by divabat at 1:17 AM on December 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I also got three, which is three more than I've ever got! So I added them to the spreadsheet.
posted by Helga-woo at 1:17 AM on December 24, 2015


I remember being really excited at the one from a year or so back where an entire section was South Asia-themed. My wheelhouse! (sorta.)

Now I'm tempted to try and organize a pop-culture/geeky version of this and round up people to make very specific questions about their fandom.
posted by divabat at 1:20 AM on December 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


There seemed to be too many questions in section 1 in the spreadsheet, but I don't know where they come from?
posted by snakeling at 1:24 AM on December 24, 2015


Looks fine to me?
posted by divabat at 1:28 AM on December 24, 2015


I vaguely thought the Suffragette question was about the movie? I think it's reasonable to call that particular movement militant since Emmeline Pankhurst self-described that way. And they did try to bomb places and set fires.
posted by Aravis76 at 1:29 AM on December 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


No, there are two sets of questions 8-9-10.
posted by snakeling at 1:29 AM on December 24, 2015


They are playing on words with Suffragette --> Suffragen. It could've been worded better though.
posted by Helga-woo at 1:33 AM on December 24, 2015


Oh! Those were from last year. I deleted the superfluous questions.
posted by divabat at 1:36 AM on December 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh I see, women bishops! Sorry, I'm slow.
posted by Aravis76 at 1:36 AM on December 24, 2015


(I was just looking at last year's spreadsheet and, asides from forgetting that Malaysia was also a category in my wheelhouse, was kinda disappointed to find out that Homestar Runner didn't end up being a correct answer.)
posted by divabat at 1:48 AM on December 24, 2015


14: The etymology of which country’s name:
4: recalls the Dude’s favourite cocktail?


Byelorussia.

Dear god, I got one. My usual response to the quiz is "I get it, I get it, I'm ignorant". Which I sometimes wonder might be the point of the exercise.
posted by Grangousier at 2:04 AM on December 24, 2015


Ha, Grangousier, that was the first one I filled in on the spreadsheet.
posted by graymouser at 2:16 AM on December 24, 2015


I've added a few answers to the spreadsheet, some of which were Google-assisted.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:21 AM on December 24, 2015


I filled in the election part of the spreadsheet (with Google's help) but I have no idea about this one:
6 Who won the election, having engineered the demise of the four favourites, and then chose self-cremation?
I presume it's a comic novel but I can't think of an episode like that.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:39 AM on December 24, 2015


3 Whose scholarly woodpecker was a wooden bookend?

Emily owned the shop, right? But did she own the inhabitants? Did Bagpus?
posted by Helga-woo at 2:59 AM on December 24, 2015


I'm pretty sure the correct response to all of these is "who are three people who've never been in my kitchen?"
posted by Ghidorah at 3:43 AM on December 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Emily owned the shop, right? But did she own the inhabitants? Did Bagpus?

Nobody owned them as such. Emily found things and then put them in the window in case the person who lost them came looking for them. Isn't it implied that this is true for Professor Yaffle, the dolls and the denizens of the Mouse Organ (though not Bagpuss)? - Emily's shop wasn't so much a place of business as a refuge for the dispossessed.
posted by Grangousier at 4:11 AM on December 24, 2015


7/4 - Diterpene is found in wolfsbane, but is that the answer, or would it be something that eats wolfsbane?
posted by kyrademon at 4:23 AM on December 24, 2015


9/2 - I'm guessing it's civet cat coffee (kopi luwak), but that's a guess.
posted by kyrademon at 4:27 AM on December 24, 2015


Emily's shop wasn't so much a place of business as a refuge for the dispossessed

So the answer to Whose was Professor Yaffle? gets murkier - an unknown person who lost him. Although I suppose the answer could be Bagpuss - the TV show, rather than Bagpuss - the old saggy cloth cat.

I expect more precision from KWC to be honest.
posted by Helga-woo at 4:46 AM on December 24, 2015


Gah, I managed two.
posted by Termite at 5:02 AM on December 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


kyrademon: wolfsbane is poisonous, so the likelihood of someone solely substiting on that is rare (though that might be a reference to a fictional character).
posted by divabat at 5:07 AM on December 24, 2015


Ah! 2/2 is Mr. Noakes, in Busman's Honeymoon.
posted by Princess Leopoldine Grassalkovich nee Esterhazy at 5:44 AM on December 24, 2015


15-5 is the Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns
15-10 is "Waltzing Matilda"

For only a couple others, I was tormented by the "tip-of-the-tongue" sensation; this year's edition was a real stumper all around.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 6:32 AM on December 24, 2015


14-9 is The Bahamas.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 6:39 AM on December 24, 2015


18-6 cannot be Borat's Kazakhstan anthem, that medal ceremony happened in 2012.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:47 AM on December 24, 2015


Jesus, he said he put up a spreadsheet for the people who wanted to answer it collaboratively!
posted by Iteki at 6:48 AM on December 24, 2015


10-4 is Tick-Tock from Peter Pan. (I got one!)
posted by Hactar at 6:51 AM on December 24, 2015


oh blargh you're right chainsoffreedom, I misread the year in my sources! I think the quiz means this cockup with El Salvador and FedEx.
posted by divabat at 7:25 AM on December 24, 2015


Emily's shop wasn't so much a place of business as a refuge for the dispossessed

So the answer to Whose was Professor Yaffle? gets murkier - an unknown person who lost him. Although I suppose the answer could be Bagpuss - the TV show, rather than Bagpuss - the old saggy cloth cat.

I expect more precision from KWC to be honest.
posted by Helga-woo at 4:46 AM on December 24 [+


I don't think Prof Yaffle himself is a lost item- he's a friend of Bagpuss, and Bagpuss & friends are all about identifying and repairing the items Emily finds. Bagpuss and friends aren't put in the shop window for people to look at like the repaired items are.
if we regard Bagpuss as Emily's then Yaffle is also Emily's. The answer is Emily.
posted by Bwithh at 10:35 AM on December 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


6/4 has earwormed me horribly and now i am angry at funiculars
posted by poffin boffin at 10:47 AM on December 24, 2015


The Latin phrase can also be translated as "The greatest part of knowledge is knowing when you can make something up", which is my approach to this quiz.
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 11:27 AM on December 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


The shared spreadsheet lists 14.1 as maybe Pakistan (it appears in blue), but I think a better answer is Burkina Faso (Land of the honest people).
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 11:39 AM on December 24, 2015


Yeah, I did that. I was stumped, basically; your suggestion is much better.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:37 PM on December 24, 2015


I expect more precision from KWC to be honest.

A number of the things that look like quotations are a bit imprecise. I noted some of them in my answers, and I don't know whether it's sloppiness or a deliberate ploy to make Googling more difficult.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:40 PM on December 24, 2015


I think 7-4 is koalas; eucalyptus oil is 70% terpenes and koalas eat almost exclusively eucalyptus leaves, and I think they are the only mammal that eats mostly eucalyptus (there are bugs and things as well).
posted by quercus23 at 2:50 PM on December 24, 2015


I would think "koalas" is correct too, but how does it fit into the theme of wolves?
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:12 PM on December 24, 2015


How many are King William's College scholars expected to get?

I amazed myself by getting four but they were already in the spreadsheet, plus three more wrong according to the spreadsheet.
posted by anadem at 8:35 PM on December 24, 2015


6.2 Adlestrop
posted by omri at 2:44 AM on December 25, 2015


6.2 A poem by Edward Thomas
posted by omri at 2:44 AM on December 25, 2015


6.8 Carnforth Station which was used for film station scenes in Brief Encounter
posted by omri at 2:45 AM on December 25, 2015


My wife suggested "Maldives" for 14:9.
posted by stanf at 5:09 AM on December 25, 2015


6.6 Kilrush
posted by verstegan at 12:07 PM on December 25, 2015


The QI board's posters have been tackling this paper too. They have some convincing answers for the ones remaining in dispute on the Metafilter spreadsheet.
posted by Paul Slade at 3:31 AM on December 26, 2015


That forum link points to 7.4 potentially being a reference to the aardwolf, which is a hyena-like animal that eats mainly termites, which can deal with diterpenes.

I think that works as a much better answer than Harry Potter werewolves, because HP!werewolves don't live off wolfsbane, wolfsbane is part of a medical treatment that helps them cope. It'd be like saying humans can survive on an aspirin-heavy diet.
posted by divabat at 3:57 AM on December 26, 2015


Answers have been posted at the guardian
posted by BigCalm at 9:14 AM on January 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


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