The Great BREMF Quiz 2023 – Results and Answers

Congratulations and thanks to everyone who made a donation to BREMF for the Quiz, and even more congratulations to those brave souls who decided to  send in their entries. Here are the results:

  • 60 – Nick Boston & Kevin Edwards of Brighton
  • 59½ – Chris & Kate Darwin of Hove (winners of the first ever quiz)
  • 59 Alan & Dena Mynett of Hurstpierpoint and Jane & Howell Richards of Brighton
  • 58½ Hilary Ougham of Brighton
  • 55 Susan Chadwick of Guildford
  • 54 Andrew Connal of Brighton
  • 51½ Sally Morris of Clapham, near Worthing
  • 47½ Paul Chandler & Frances Lindsay-Hills of Brighton
  • 44½ Norman Billingham of Saltdean
  • 43½ Shelagh Diebschlag of East Grinstead

It was good to have such a tightly-contested competition  – I must be getting soft. Particular congratulations (and welcome) to those who’ve not tried the quiz before. We hope you try again next year.

Thanks too to the persistent quiz-sellers Janina and John, who persuaded so many people to have a go (or part with their money just to get them to go away.) Read on for the answers…

Maya Davis

Part 1 – Mixed bag (1 mark per question)

  1. Where in the UK did a Norse god stop the New Year 2023 celebrations? (Scarborough – firework display cancelled to protect a walrus nicknamed Thor)
  2. Which British ‘astronaut’ represented the ESA on the Artemis 1 moon mission which returned to Earth in December 2022? (A Shaun the Sheep toy)
  3. Who was famously attacked by an emu live on prime-time television? (Parkinson)
  4. In August 2023, which constituency was represented by the new ‘baby of the House’? (Selby & Ainsty on the election of Keir Mather in July 2023)
  5. What is made using the Chorley Wood process? (Mass-produced bread)
  6. Who created the village of Portmeirion? (Clough Williams-Ellis)
  7. The Cattedrale Metropolitana Primaziale di Santa Maria Assunta on the Field of Miracles is famous for a structure which Mussolini wanted to destroy. What is this structure? (Its campanile – the Leaning Tower of Pisa)
  8. The Fantastic Flying Journey and The Mockery Bird are works of fiction by which eminent naturalist? (Gerald Durrell)
  9. Although his first name was Arthur, this British author, who died in 1966, married a woman whose first name was the same as his middle name, which he preferred to use. What was his middle name? (Evelyn [Waugh])
  10. What is the background colour on the sign for a hospital with no A & E department? (Blue)
  11. Originally a farmhouse, this 18th century building became a pub called the Glynne Arms, but was better known by a more descriptive later name. Why was it in the news in August 2023? (As the Crooked House, it burned down in a suspicious fire and then demolished without consent: note – it was still the Glynne Arms when we visited it in the 1980s– but yes, we drank Banks’s)
  12. In Greek mythology, how many female full siblings did Erato have? (Eight – she’s one of the 9 Muses)
  13. Which government office, now incorporated into the role of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was held in the past by Sir Isaac Newton and William Ewart Gladstone? (Master of the Mint)
  14. Why is 10th September a significant date in Gibraltar? (National Day – annual celebration of the referendum in which Gibraltarians overwhelmingly voted to remain British)
  15. In New Zealand, what’s the difference between a Weka and a Weta? (Weka – a flightless wading bird similar to a rail; Weta – one of a group of insects resembling a cross between a cricket and a praying mantis).
  16. Which wine has a name whose literal meaning is ‘black laurel’? (Mavrodaphne/Mavrodafni – a very sweet dark red Greek wine associated with Patras)
  17. The words ‘Light is therefore colour’ can be seen on which UK banknote? (Bank of England £20 depicting JMW Turner)
  18. What is measured using the [Udden-]Wentworth or logarithmic Krumbein Phi scale? (grain size of individual units of stone – specifically, to decide whether something is or is not officially a ‘pebble’)
  19. Which animal is sometimes referred to as a ‘pizzly’? (Any cross between a polar bear and a grizzly bear)
  20. In which English-language system of writing would you have found an upward hay, logograms and grammalogues? (Pitman’s shorthand)

Part 2   Bird-spotting, for non-twitchers. (1 mark per question)

Identify the following works, all with some reference to birds in the title.

  1. They live in a celestial city founded by two Athenians. (The Birds – Aristophanes)
  2. Ukrainian satirist meets Schubert in Antarctica? (Death and the Penguin – Andrey Kurkov)
  3. A Dutch painting which shares its title with a Pulitzer prize-winning novel. (The Goldfinch – painting by Carel Fabritius, novel by Donna Tartt)
  4. Migrants meet female warriors. (Swallows and Amazons – Ransome)
  5. A lone Spitfire above a Sussex women’s Morris side? (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey)
  6. A pessimistic monoverbal corvid. (The Raven – Edgar Allan Poe; in the poem, the raven keeps saying – rather pessimistically – ‘Nevermore.’)
  7. Fiery bird meets a chelonian? No – nominally-deceptive. (The Phoenix and the Turtle – Shakespeare: ‘turtle’ = turtle dove)
  8. Blodeuwedd’s story is re-enacted in this award-winning children’s book. (The Owl Service – Alan Garner)
  9. Dancing waterfowl, a magician, a prince and a double-act, all on stage. (Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky)
  10. David’s airborne friend, I presume? (Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach)

Part 3 -The Connections Round.

There are 3 marks per question – 1 for correctly identifying the connection and 2 for explaining all the elements.

  1. 6 Trumpeters and one mute; trois poules; Norfolk radio star scrumping for perry; metallic Olympic symbol. (12 Days of Christmas – 7 Swans (2 species mentioned in the clue!); 3 French hens; [Alan] partridge in a pear tree; 5 gold rings).
  2. Blunt instrument trauma (dismissed); hereditary chromosomal abnormalities from sibling parents; attacked by a ‘river horse;’ epilepsy? (Theories about Tutankhamun’s cause of death. Evidence of blunt instrument trauma later found to be an imaging error in the scan; T’s parents were – as was usual in pharaohs – brother and sister; ‘river horse’ = hippopotamus and a wound on T’s body was conjectured to have been caused by a bite from a hippopotamus; some believe he had epilepsy as there are references to him seeing visions).
  3. Hallmarked Yankee; acute, obtuse or reflex sunglasses; big cat in the Channel Islands; source of quicksilver? (UK Moth species – Silver Y; Angle Shades; Jersey Tiger; Cinnabar – the ore from which mercury = quicksilver is extracted.)
  4. Gaston Leroux’s work – a later hit in another language and medium; Dombey & Son, for example; a memorable history of Britain; despite its name, not a clothing brand, or its prequel – perhaps an ennobled Molesworth? (All originally published as serials – Le Fantôme de l’Opéra reworked by Andrew Lloyd Webber; all Dickens’ novels – Dombey & Son is just an example; 1066 and All That – originally serialised in Punch; The White Company and Sir Nigel, historical novels by Conan Doyle. ‘Nigel’ is the first name of fictional schoolboy Molesworth, created by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle – and, according to Sue Townsend, the reason why her diarist hero’s first name was changed from his original radio incarnation as Nigel Mole.)
  5. Fighter; work; dog; weed. (Can all be prefixed by ‘fire’ either with or without a hyphen; ‘fireweed’ is an alternative name for rosebay willowherb. Some people went for ‘bull’ and I’ve accepted that. ‘Bull-work’ – very hard manual work – is in Merriam-Webster rather than in Chambers, but I didn’t specify British English. ‘Bullweed’ is an alternative name for [Greater] Knapweed).
  6. Meadowy from mid-May to mid-June; a lobster dish for part of July and August; snowy for a month from the winter solstice; vintage from the September equinox. (Months of the French Revolutionary calendar – Prairiale; Thermidor; Nivoise; Vendemiaire.)
  7. Perhaps a horse or a nut; a product of Cornwall; an Italian slipper; a floral mistake? (Types of loaf – cob, tin, ciabatta, bloomer)
  8. Dynamics of an Asteroid; Lady Don’t Fall Backwards; The Care of the Pig; Death’s-Head Swordsman. (Fictional works in other works of fiction – Professor Moriarty’s treatise in the Sherlock Holmes stories; a fictional whodunnit in the Tony Hancock episode The Missing Page; the only book which Lord Emsworth reads in P.G. Wodehouse’s Blandings series; the title of the biography of the fictional writer X. Trapnel in Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time sequence of novels)
  9. Margaret Hilda Roberts of Grantham; Parliamentary troops; Harry Champion’s claim to fame; not necessarily the biggest in the world – but definitely one of its relations. (Iron – Iron Lady, the Ironsides; the song Any Old Iron; the ‘cast-iron plant’ – i.e. the aspidistra – reference in the clue is to the song ‘The biggest Aspidistra in the World, usually associated with Gracie Fields)
  10. C. Day Lewis; Bruce Montgomery; J.K. Rowling; Edith Pargeter (All writers who produced works under their own names but also wrote crime fiction under pseudonyms. Nicholas Blake – a poet under his own name; Edmund Crispin – Bruce Montgomery was a music critic; Robert Galbraith; Ellis Peters)
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