Another Tantalizing Brain Teaser

GORDON DUSTAN November 15 1938


Another Tantalizing Brain Teaser

GORDON DUSTAN November 15 1938


Another Tantalizing Brain Teaser


OF COURSE you recall that awful moment of your schooldays, away back in the musty gloom of the Nineteen-Somethings, or the Eighteen-Whatnots, when you stood, first on one foot and then on the Other, while the teacher waited in portentous silence for the answer you knew, but which simply would not come. The wheel has come full cycle, and just now it’s considered fun to be quizzed.

Here’s another hundred questions for you—just “the mixture as before”—arranged in twenty groups of five, and meandering through all the fields of knowledge from Allusion to Zoology. Some of them are easy; some are rather tough; but none is likely to bring Maclean s readers picketing the compiler’s front stoop with UNFAIR ! placards. Score one point for each correct or satisfactory answer, and check up on yourself. A total over seventy merits a hearty pat on the back; over eighty rates a medal of solid top-grain cowhide; over ninety will bring upon you our incredulous, and slightly accusing, stares.

1. What, in 1900, was the name of:

(a) Oslo?

(b) Stamboul (Instanbul)?

(c) Leningrad?

(d) Kitchener?

(e) Cobh?

2. Who was called :

(a) “The noblest Roman of them all”?

(b) “The Scourge of God”?

(c) “The Hero of the Marne”?

(d) “Sea-green incorruptible”?

(e) "The Lion of the North”?

3. In what well-known musical work do we hear:

(a) The Pilgrims’ Chorus?

(b) The Soldiers’ Chorus?

(c) The Anvil Chorus?

(d) The Hallelujah Chorus?

(e) The Peers’ Chorus?

4. How many are there in:

(a) A brace?

(b) A score?

(c) A milliard?

(d) A baker’s dozen?

(e) A myriad?

5. Thomas A. Edison was the inventor of the phonograph:

(a) Van Leeuwenhoek invented the-.

(b) James Hargreaves invented the---.

(c) W. K. Roentgen invented the-----------.

(d) Samuel F. Morse invented the----.

(e) A. Sax invented---.

6. What do these colloquial terms mean?

(a) On the cuff.

(b) On the up and up.

(c) On the q. t.

(d) On the house.

(e) On the make.

7. What would you expect to hear, see or smell at:

(a) Lord’s?

(b) Saratoga Springs?

(c) Alcatraz?

(d) Billingsgate?

(e) Callander?

8. Identify:

(a) “The Son of Heaven.”

(b) “Stern Daughter of the Voice of God.”

(c) “The Sister of Shakespeare.”

(d) “The Mother of Parliaments.”

(e) “The Devil’s Brother.”

9. In England, gasoline is petrol, and radio is the wireless. What are the English equivalents of :

(a) Railroad track?

(b) Street car?

(c) Dryg(X)ds store?

(d) Freight car?

(e) Aluminum?

10. Distinguish between:

(a) Trowel and rowel.

(b) Tripos and triixxl.

(c) Peccadillo and armadillo.

(d) A missile and a missal.

(e) Tarsus and Tarsus.

11. Before they were raised to the peerage, what were the names of :

(a) D)rd Beaconsfield?

(b) Lord Tweedsmuir?

(c) D>rd Beaverbrook?

(d) Lord Nuffield?

(e) Lord Leverhulme?

12. What event of fact or fiction took place at:

(a) Senlac Hill?

(b) Eatanswill?

(c) Runnymede (England, please. Torontonians)?

(d) Ekaterinburg?

(e) Locarno?

13. Who, or what, were

(a) “The Lady of Christ’s”?

(b) “The Lady of Shalott”?

(c) “The Lady or the Tiger”?

(d) “The Lady of the Lamp"?

(e) “The Ladies from Hell”?

14. What was the profession of:

(a) Bill Sikes?

(b) John Bunyan?

(c) Louis Pasteur?

(d) Woodrow Wilson?

(e) Barnacle Bill?

15. Fill in the blanks:

(a) "Won't you walk a little“ faster?" said a

to a snail.

(b) "He’s much tx busy a-signing things,” said

(c) In those days, said......... ,

“Lo, how all things fade and jx-rish.”

(d) Quoth the -------, "Nevermore.”

(e) “The curse is come upon me," cried-—,

15. If you were suddenly presented with the following, how would you make use of each?

(a) A sarong?

(b) A turbot?

(c) A jabot?

(d) A truffle?

(e) An ocular contusion?

17. What is:

(a) Pago Pago (or Pango Pango)?

(b) Beriberi?

(c) Phobophobia?

(d) Chow chow?

(e) Walla Walla?

18. What does it mean to:

(a) Take silk?

(b) Take seat on the woolsack?

(c) Show respect for the cloth?

(d) Wash one’s soiled linen in public?

(e) Don sackcloth?

19. Can you identify these fauna?

(a) A borzoi?

(b) A jabberwx'k?

(c) A dromedary?

(d) A centaur?

(e) A jitterbug?

20. With whom are these expressions particularly associated?

(a) "Veni, vidi, vici.”

(b) “Let them eat cake.”

(c) “We are not amused.”

(d) “And so to bed.”

(e) “War is hell.”

1. (a) Christiania, Norway.

(b) Constantinople, Turkey.

(c) St. Petersburg, Russia.

(d) Berlin, Ontario.

(e) Queenstown, Ireland.

2. (a) Brutus, so called by Antony, in

Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.’’

(b) Attila, King of the Huns.

(c) General Joffre.

(d) Robespierre; Thomas Carlyle called him so.

(e; Gustavus Adolphus, King of

Sweden in the seventeenth century.

3. (a) “Tannhäuser,” Act III.

(b) “Faust,” Act IV.

(c) “II Trovatore,” Act II.

(d) “The Messiah” (Handel).

(e) “Iolanthe,” Act I.

4. (a) Two.

(b) Twenty.

(c) One thousand millions.

(d) Thirteen.

(e) Ten thousand.

5. (a) Microscope.

(b) Spinning jenny.

(c) X-ray.

(d) Telegraph.

(e) A. Sax invented a sax. (Sorry, that was unworthy.)

6. (a) On credit.

(b) Straightforward.

(c) On the quiet; privately.

(d) A free gift of the proprietor or manager.

(e) Characterized by a thoroughly selfish, self-seeking attitude.

7. (a) Cricket.

(b) Horse racing.

(c) The most “unbreakable” U. S. prison.

(4) Fish; and. by tradition, hear what my landlady used, euphemistically but inadequately, to call “language.”

(e) The Trossachs, one of the loveliest parts of Scotland. However, let it go, let it go . . . you said the Dionnes, and of course you’re perfectly right. They live in Callander, Ontario.

8. (a) The Mikado of Japan.

(b) Duty, in Wordsworth’s “Ode to Duty.”

(c) A title conferred on Joanna Baillie (1762-1851), author of “Plays on the Passions,” so admired by Sir Walter Scott.

(d) The British House of Commons.

(e) Nickname of the Italian brigand, Pozza, immortalized in Auber’s famous opera, “Fra Diavolo.” Comedians Laurel and Hardy made a picture a few years back, based on the opera, and bearing this English title.

9. (a) Singly, the metals; collectively, the


(b) Tram.

(c) Drapery shop.

(d) Goods wagon.

(e) Aluminium (spelled so, and pronounced with the accent on the “min”).

10. (a) Flat-bladed spreading tool; spiked

disc on the end of a spur.

(b) At Cambridge University, the honors examinations; a threelegged stand.

(c) A trilling offense; South American animal with bony armor.

(d) Something thrown; Roman Catholic prayer book.

(e) The bones just above the ankle; birthplace of St. Paul, in Asia Minor.

11. (a) Benjamin Disraeli.

(b) Col. John Buchan.

(c) Sir Max Aitken.

(d) William Richard Morris, “the English Hern y Ford.”

(e) William Hesketh Lever, soap manufacturer.

12. (a) The Battle of Flastings. (You know, 1066 and All That). (b) The parliamentar) election in Dickens' "Pickwick Papers." (c) King John signed the Magna Carta. (d) The execution of Czar Nicholas II and his family, in 1918. (e) The Locarno Pact of December, 1925, now as dead as anything could possibly be. Among other things "settled" at the time was a set of treaties signed by Germany on the one hand, and France, Belgium, Poland and Czecho slovakia on the other, providing for the submi.~,sion of all disputes to arbi'ration. There's a certain grim humor in the thought.

13. (a) John Milton. This was his nick-

name as a student at Cambridge, on account of his fresh girlish complexion.

(b) The beautiful subject of Tennv son's poem of that name. See question (e) of Number 15. (c) Frank R. Stockton's famous short story, published in the 1880's. (d) Florence Nightingale. (e) The nickname given by the Ger mans to the "Kiltie" troops during the Great \Var.

14. (a; Burglar (Dickens’ “Oliver Twist”).

(b) A tinsmith, or tinker.

(c) Chemist. (He was never a medical doctor).

(d) University professor; President of Princeton, 1902-1910.

(e) “The Sailor” (Old Song).

15. (a) Whiting (“Alice in Wonderland”).

(b) Alice (A. A. Milne: “Buckingham Palace”).

(c) Hiawatha (Longfellow: “The Song of Hiawatha”).

(d) The Raven (E. A. Poe: “The


(e) The Lady of Shalott (Tennyson: “The Lady of Shalott”).

16. (a) Wear it.

(b) Eat it.

(c) Wear it.

(d) Use it for seasoning food.

(e) Sue the scoundrel, I expect; it’s a black eye.

17. (a) The capital of American Samoa.

(b) Disease caused by deficiency of vitamin B.

(c) Fear of being afraid.

(d) A preserve or relish.

(e) A small city in the State of Washington, U.S.A.

18. (a) Become a King’s Counsel, and wear

a silk gown.

(b) As Lord Chancellor, open proceedings in the House of Lords.

(c) Give due deference to a clergyman.

(d) Be open concerning domestic quarrels.

(e) Be penitent.

19. (a) A Russian wolfhound.

(b) A fictitious monster, in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass.”

(c) A one-humped camel, bred especially for riding.

(d) According to classic legend, a horse with human body and arms taking the place of its head and neck.

(e) In current slang, a lover of hot dance music.

20. (a) Julius Caesar.

(b) Marie Antoinette.

(c) Queen Victoria.

(d) Samuel Pepys.

(e) General W. T. Sherman, U. S. Army.