|Setting an example|
Before you begin, a quick note on difficulty. I wrote this quiz for a couple of friends, so the subject matter is tailored towards them to some extent (although I've tweaked it a bit; there aren't any questions about obscure Transformers any more, for example). I'd say this is just about a fair ask for a pub of quiz teams, so if you're trying it by yourself don't be too disheartened if it seems a bit tough. You can of course just whizz through the questions if you like, but to tackle it properly you're probably going to want a pen and paper (or one of those high tech text editing programs all the kids are raving about).
Finally, to maximize fun the answers are revealed in three stages. First, you'll see the answers to the questions, from which you can try and form any groups you're yet to identify. Next you'll see the 40 questions divided into their groups of five, before finally the connections themselves are revealed. Alternatively, you can check out the connections before seeing the answers, in case you'd rather try puzzling over the questions with the aid of the related groups.
In any case, that's enough waffle, I know you're here for hot fresh quiz action, so enjoy...
1) Which poem's opening four lines end with the words 'weary', 'lore', 'tapping' and 'door'?
2) Which TV presenter was suspended for 12 weeks without pay in 2008 after teaming up with Russell Brand to leave a series of lewd messages on Andrew Sachs' answerphone?
3) Which American police drama series first aired in 1981 and ran for 146 episodes until 1987? It won eight Emmy awards in its opening season, a debut season record that was only surpassed by the West Wing, which received nine.
4) Which stringed instrument features components known as the foot, knee, neck, head as well as the body?
5) Which chemical element was formerly named hydrargyrum?
6) Which physicist, astronomer and mathematician lends his name to a reformulation of Newtonian mechanics, as well as to a number system more commonly known as quaternions?
7) Divided into 100 centavos, what is the currency of Brazil?
8) Which royal house was founded by Robert II of Scotland? He had 11 children and died aged 74.
9) What approximate (polygonal) shape is the Roger Hargreaves character known in French as Monsieur Costaud, in Spanish as Don Forzudo, and in German as Unser Herr Stark?
11) Picture! What is the common name of the object we've zoomed in on here?
12) What is the middle name of Homer Simpson?
13) Which imperial coin was equal in value to five shillings? The currencies of several countries (including Denmark, Norway and Sweden) derive their name from this word.
14) Which train, built in 1938, holds the world speed record for steam locomotives of 125.88 mph?
15) Which Caribbean capital was the setting for the 2004 re-imagining of the 1987 Blockbuster Dirty Dancing?
16) Which singer won the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest with 'Boom Bang-a-Bang'? The year is infamous in Eurovision history: four countries tied for first place and, with no tie-break rule in place, they were all declared joint winners (lots were drawn for who would host the following year).
17) What name is given to the young of animals from the family Macropodidae?
18) Which enemy of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was introduced at the beginning of the show's second season? He was initially so frightening he had to be toned down after parents complained he was 'too evil' for the show.
19) In December 2010 BBC Radio 4 presenter James Naughtie was left red-faced after a slip of the tongue caused a rather unfortunate mispronunciation of which politician's name?
20) What word describes a victory in a beat 'em up video game where the victor takes no damage?
21) In which language are the most valuable Scrabble tiles the letters K, W, X, Y and Z (each worth 10 points)?
22) Which animal inspired both the 1966 World Cup mascot World Cup Willie and the Euro 96 mascot Goaliath?
23) Which item of clothing takes its name from an atoll in the Marshall Islands? In Marshallese its name means 'coconut place'.
24) What is the American name for the seven brightest stars of Ursa Major?
25) Which Countdown star was the fifth celebrity to be eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing this year?
26) 'Born' in a 1998 issue of the Beano, what is the name of Dennis the Menace's baby sister?
27) Which former world number one tennis player won nine Grand Slams, eight as a citizen of her native Yugoslavia and one as a citizen of the United States?
28) What syllable is used for the seventh note of the scale in the Sound of Music song which begins "Doe a Deer..."?
29) Which politician, who resigned as Leader of the House of Commons in protest against the invasion of Iraq in 2003, died two years later while walking down the mountain Ben Stack in Scotland?
31) Picture! These are replicas of the four elemental stones from film The Fifth Element. Which element is represented by the 2nd stone (highlighted)?
32) What musical sign is this: ♮?
33) Which video games console was released by Sega in 1994 (Japan) and 1995 (North America and Europe)?
34) Which chocolate bar was first manufactured in Slough, Berkshire, in 1932? Though not a Cadbury's product, it was advertised to the trade as being made with Cadbury's chocolate?
35) In Greek mythology, which titan had two daughters with her brother Coeus? She is the grandmother of Artemis and Apollo.
36) What game, first released in 2001, is the flagship title of PopCap games? On average, a copy is sold every 4.3 seconds worldwide, and has inspired countless other games, with Candy Crush Saga the most recent, notable, example.
37) Which worldwide lifestyle magazine, founded by Pierre Lazareff and his wife Helene Gordon in 1945, is now the world's best selling fashion magazine? It is also the name of a village in the Central African Republic.
38) In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Lord Voldemort sustains his life by drinking the blood of which mythical animal?
39) What six-letter word can be part of an item of clothing, a type of chocolate sweet, or the centre of the scoring area in curling?
40) What specific two-word name is given to a line of zero degrees longitude?
And that's your lot. By now you've probably got some answers and a few ideas for the connections, so hopefully the trickier questions might be more attackable. Once you've had enough, you can view the answers in various ways below, depending on what you fancy.
The answers (raw)
Below this button you'll find the answers to the questions, but no information about the connecting groups!
2) Jonathan Ross
3) Hill Street Blues
6) William Hamilton
8) Stewart (later Stuart)
10) Doc Martin
11) Venus de Milo
18) Lord Zedd
19) Jeremy Hunt
24) The Big Dipper
25) Rachel Riley
27) Monica Seles
29) Robin Cook
31) Earth (from left to right: Fire, Earth, Air, Water)
40) Prime Meridian
The answers (grouped)
Below this button you'll find the answers to the questions sorted into their eight groups, but not what the connections are!
Group 2: Hill Street Blues, William Hamilton, Stewart, Jeremy Hunt, Button
Group 3: Venus de Milo, Mercuy, Earth, Sega Saturn, Mars
Group 4: Jay, Lord Zedd, Bea, Ti, Elle
Group 5: Crown, Harp, French, Lion, Unicorn
Group 6: Jonathan Ross, Joey, Rachel Riley, Monica Seles, Phoebe
Group 7: Square, Perfect, Natural, Prime Meridian, Real
Group 8: Havana, Lulu, Bikini, Comoros, Bejeweled
Below this button you'll find the connections that link the eight groups, but not the answers to the questions, which you can find above!
Group 2: Surnames of British Formula 1 World Champions
Group 3: Planets
Group 4: Homophones for letters of the alphabet
Group 5: Things on the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom
Group 6: First names of Friends characters
Group 7: Types of number
Group 8: Alternating consonants and (the same) vowels
So there you go. Hopefully it all makes sense (and as always, comments/corrections are welcome). No poll for scoring on this one as it's a bit complicated (although with 1 point per answer and 1 point per group you're looking at 48 for a perfect round), but feel free to show off/cry as appropriate.
This is the first time I've tried writing a quiz of this kind, and there are (unsurprisingly) elements I'm not too happy with. Still, I think it just about hangs together, even if it is a bit skewed towards mine (and my friends') interests. Still, at least I took out the group on board games...