2012's Questions & Answers
The ZEROS / General Works
1. Mensa was founded in 1946 in what country?
England. Margot Seitelman served as the first executive director of American Mensa, from 1961 until 1989.
2. Which world-famous museum is this?
The Guggenheim. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, to be exact.
3. What popular computer language shares its name with John Travolta’s second movie with Samuel L. Jackson? [The 005s = computer programming.]
BASIC. The movie came out in 2003 and was about the disappearance of a legendary Army ranger drill sergeant.
4. Which magazine published this famous cover? [The 050s = magazines and journals!]
5. “Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work."
This quote is from which Illinois-born writer, best known for his biographies and poetry?
[The 080s = quotations!]
The 100s / Philosophy & Psychology
1. [The 168s = argument & persuasion.] The supposed theft of what farm animal started the bloody feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys?
2. Methyphobia is fear of what?
3. In his Metaphysics, what philosopher first made the “prime mover” argument for the existence of God?
4. Correctly spell the name of this game/portal to The Beyond.
[The 13s = “occult methods for achieving well-being.”]
5. Name the cable television host who got a B.A. in psychology from the College of William and Mary in 1984.
The 200s / Religion & Mythology
1. Who wears the “Pescatorio,” or Ring of the Fisherman?
2. Which jazz musician had a first name from Roman myth and the even more unusual middle name “Sphere”? Need both first and last name, please!
3. What Trojan princess was cursed by Apollo so that no one would ever believe her prophesies?
4. Name this Simpsons character.
The Reverend Lovejoy.
5. According to legend, who cut the tree-bark rope tied into a “Gordian knot”?
Alexander the Great.
The 300s / The Social Sciences
1. Name 3 of the 4 Illinois governors who have been sentenced to jail for corruption. [The 324s = the political process!]
Otto KERNER, Daniel WALKER, George RYAN, and Rod BLAGOJAVICH.
2. What number does the United States rank in a list of the most populous nations?
3. Which of these Bond actors was actually born in England? Need both first and last name, please! [The 327s = “international relations.”]
4. Which branch of the American armed forces established its first recruitment station at a tavern in Philadelphia, in 1775?
The Marine Corps.
5. What does it mean when a Q is appended to the end of a company’s ticker symbol?
The company is in bankruptcy.
6. Which nation is governed by The State Great Khural?
7. Of the eleven U.S. federal holidays, which is observed only by D.C.-area federal employees?
8. America’s wealthiest woman without the last name “Walton” is Abigail Johnson, who runs what Boston-based financial services company?
9. The first Kentucky Fried Chicken opened in 1952. Which western state did it open in? [The 381s = domestic trade.]
Utah. Salt Lake City, actually.
10. This man is Patrick R. Donahoe. What’s his job? [Hint: His position used to be in the President’s Cabinet, from 1829 to 1971.]
United States Postmaster General.
The 400s / Language
1. What word do we derive from the Salish [say-lish] Indian word for “wild man”?
2. What’s the only state to mandate an official pronunciation of its name?
3. What is an amicus curiae a friend of?
4. What modern-day insult (or compliment, depending how how you look at it) originally referred to a performer who bit the heads off chickens?
5. Please write the names of these bands with the correct (albeit unnecessary) umlauts:
Blue Oyster Cult / Motley Crue
Blue Öyster Cult / Mötley Crüe
The 500s / Science
1. Of the world’s snakes with the most potent venom, nine of the ten are natives of what country?
Australia. 7 of the worlds 10 most poisonous snakes live in Australia.
2. Which element of the periodic table was named for the inventor of dynamite?
3. What does the Scoville Scale measure?
Chili pepper hotness.
4. What dark volcanic glass is used today to make scalpel blades for cardiac surgery?
5. Which geological feature creates cirques and corries? [The 551s = Geology, hydrology, and meteorology!]
A glacier. Cirques and corries are amphitheatre-like valleys.
6. What two-word term is the top speed reached by a free-falling object?
7. What’s the name for the sun’s outer “atmosphere,” visible to us only during a total solar eclipse?
8. What bird makes this call?
9. What’s the common name for the smallest bone in the human body.
The stirrup. Also accept “stapes.” It’s in our ear.
10. What will be the first year since 1961 to look the same right side up and upside down? Hint: it’s not in this century.
The 600s / Technology
1. What common office supply item is named for the Asian abaca fiber used to make them?
2. What part of a pig is eaten as “chitterlings”? [The 641s = food!]
3. What title of a well-known sci-fi novel and movie was also the first word ever spoken from the surface of the moon?
4. What musical instrument shares its name with the bracket on which a lampshade hangs?
5. What famous cocktail is shown here?
6. What’s the first fruit to appear in Pac-Man’s maze?
7. The only two world nations with an “x” in their English name were also home to the world’s most influential “pirate radio” stations. What are they?
Mexico & Luxembourg.
8. What’s the name for this, the stopper used to seal a barrel?
9. What top secret product was code-named “Dulcimer” prior to its launch in 2001?
10. Who sings this song? “She Blinded Me With Science”
Thomas Dolby. It was released in 1982.
The 700s / Arts & Sports
1. This comedic actress was born January 17, 1922 in Oak Park. She is a famous TV and film star, as well as an animal rights activist. What is her name?
2. Who were the original THREE TENORS?
Placido DOMINGO, Luciano PAVAROTTI & Jose CARRERAS.
3. In the 1985 movie “Back to the Future,” what is the name of Doc Brown’s dog? Hint: the dog’s namesake died in 1955, the year the movie takes place.
4. Name this song and artist.
“All My Ex’s Live In Texas” by George STRAIT.
5. Who was nicknamed “Mr. November” after hitting Major League baseball’s first ever November homer?
6. Who is this?
7. What do sumo wrestlers throw into the ring to purify it before each bout?
8. Except during World War II, what team has hosted an NFL game every Thanksgiving Day since 1934? Need city and team name, please!
The Detroit Lions.
9. What’s the highest-pitched instrument in the orchestra?
10. Which legendary director shot this video? “Bad” by Michael Jackson.
11. Name this athlete.
12. Name this song and artist.
“It Must Have Been Love” by Roxette.
13. Who starred in the one-person Broadway show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe?
14. Name the artist who created this painting.
15. Queen and Duran Duran both had drummers with what name? Need both first and last name, please!
The 800s / Literature
1. Name the (living) female Chicago mystery writer and her tough talking female P.I. who jogs along Lake Michigan.
Sara PARETESKY (author) / V.I. WARSHAWSKI (character).
2. What book is this?
3. Name this author.
4. What book is this? [At least, it was published with this painting/image.]
The Red Pony. By John Steinbeck.
5. What French novel begins with the narrator receiving this telegram: “Your mother died today. Funeral tomorrow. Deep sympathy”?
6. What novel does this excerpt come from? "Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party."
7. Name the nonfiction title written by Walter Isaacson currently on the New York Times best sellers list.
8. What novel does this excerpt come from? "... what did it mean to her, this thing she called life? Oh, it was very queer."
Mrs. Dalloway. By Virginia Wolf.
9. Which Shakespearean villain has more lines than any other non-title character?
10. What kind of animal is being put to bed in Goodnight, Moon?
A rabbit. Or, a bunny :).
11. What novel does this excerpt come from? “Captain Vere tells the truth. It is just as Captain Vere says, but it is not as the master-at-arms said. I have eaten the King's bread and I am true to the King.”
Billy Budd. By Herman Melville.
12. What novel does this excerpt come from? “His name was Tod Clifton, he believed in Brotherhood, he aroused our hopes and he died.”
Invisible Man. By Ralph Ellison.
13. Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises is titled Fiesta in the U.K. What city’s famous festival does the title refer to?
14. What novel does this excerpt come from? “A rat is a rat.”
Charlotte’s Web. By E.B. White.
15. What historic San Francisco bookstore was also America’s first all-paperback bookstore when it set up shop in 1953?
City Lights Bookstore.
The 900s / History, Geography & Biography
1. The Donner Party was trapped by a snowstorm in what mountain range?
The Sierra Nevada.
2. What famous Chicago social services institution closed its doors this year after 122 years in existence?
3. How many countries are there in South America?
4. What port--its state’s largest city--is nicknamed the Brick City?
5. Who was the only clean-shaven U.S. president in the fifty years between Grant and Taft?
6. What European country fits this outline?
7. What American national monument lies entirely within a missile-testing range?
8. What is unique about Nepal’s national flag?
It’s the only national flag that is not rectangular.
9. In what decade was Leningrad renamed St. Petersburg?
1990s. 1991, actually.
10. How many teams are competing tonight?