Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The record for fastest Morse code copying is 75.2 words per minute

Your targets this week:

1+ out of 10: Well done, you beat us!
6+ out of 10: We'd have won with you on our team!

The attendees
1) The statistician
2) The doctor
3) The programmer

The ones that got away
1) Bullfighting is legal in Spain, Portugal and which other EU country?
2) How many hearts does an octopus have?
3) Which president created the post "Chief Technology Officer of the United States?
4) What four word Bible quote was the first message sent by Morse code?
5) Martha Masters, Lawrence Kutner, Chris Taub and Remy Hadley were all employed by which fictional character created by David Shore?
6) In 2004 a Fender Stratocaster nicknamed Blackie sold for $959,500 at Christie's setting the then record for the world's most expensive guitar. Who did it belong to?
7) In which movie did Tom Cruise shoot to stardom with the help of tight white underpants, prostitutes, and Joe Pantoliano?
8) In which movie did Cameron Diaz make her feature film debut?
9) Name two of the four sisters in Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women. (You need both for the point.)
10) What is the longest common English word that can be formed using only letters that rhyme with "E"? (When asked, the American quizmaster added that as he pronounces the letter Z as "zee" we should consider that in our deliberations.)

The answers

Our excuses

How did you do? Would you have beaten us (1 or more correct)? Would you have helped us win (6 or more correct)? Let the world know with the poll below, then read on for my alternative questions (loosely) inspired by this week's Ones That Got Away!

My alternative questions
1) Excluding Vatican City (which is not a member of the UN), Andorra is the fifth-smallest country in Europe, name all four European countries which are smaller.
2) What character, almost certainly on your keyboard, is known by several names including 'octothorp'?
3) Barack Obama's name only has two different vowels (a and o), but which US President is unique in having a name (first and last) that contains only one unique vowel (of a, e, i, o or u)?
4) Classic trivia: what was eventually revealed to be the first name of Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse? He was named after the ship James Cook took on his first 'voyage of discovery' to Australia and New Zealand.
5) In an apparent analogy to Sherlock Holmes' opium use, Dr Gregory House is depicted as being dependent on Vicodin, a painkiller consisting of the opiate hydrocodone and which much more common analgesic also known as acetaminophen?
6) Eric Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a solo artist and separately as a member of which two bands?
Question 7
7) In Risky Business Tom Cruise's character does some naughty things, including driving his dad's car recklessly without permission. What make is that car? A segment of its logo is pictured here in case you can't quite remember the movie.
8) In the movie, the titular mask supposedly belongs to which Norse god?
9) In a 1997 episode of which TV series does one of the male lead characters put a copy of The Shining, and later Little Women, in a freezer because they made him too scared and too sad, respectively?
10) A hit for Perry Como in 1949, "'A' You're Adorable" takes the form of an alphabetic acrostic, with the first 11 lines matching up with a letter of the alphabet (before they presumably got bored/stuck). Fill in two of the four missing words below!

A, you're adorable
B, you're so _________
C, you're a _____ full of charms
D, you're a _______
And E, you're ________
And F, you're a feather in my arms

The answers

How did you do on my alternative questions? Have another poll!


  1. I guessed 'Let there be light' for the morse message, and Hendrix for the guitar owner too. I thought of Clapton, but felt a Hendrix guitar might be worth more, as he's no longer alive. I nearly got the Tom Cruise film - the title flashed briefly through my mind, but although I had a vague idea of what was being asked for, I just couldn't quite get there. I do know the names of all the sisters in Little Women though.

    In your questions, I got three of the four European countires (didn't think of Malta). And thanks for my fondness for Morcambe and Wise, got the first three words of the alphabet song. Don't know many more though, as they didn't sing it through, and I'm just enjoying watching them with Angela Rippon, rather than paying attention to the words.

    1. Always a relief to hear from people who thought along similar lines as us (although commiserations for that, I suppose...). Malta is definitely the toughest one of the four, I think; in a way I wish I hadn't written the question as I'd love to know if I'd have got it myself!

  2. You mean you didn't remember the Morse code one from the time it was on Only Connect AND University Challenge within a week? :P

    1. Oh dear, I've already had someone point out it was on OC, but I forgot it was on UC as well...

  3. We only managed 1 of the ones that got away this week - and we nearly went with Andorra before settling for France! Husband swears he’d have got the ‘House’ question, though, if it wasn’t for a spelling mistake - apparently it was created by David Shore (not Shaw)…

    We did manage to get 7 of the alternative questions this week, so maybe we’re getting cleverer! :)

    1. Oops, I double-checked all of the character names but overlooked the writer - thanks for the correction, that's now fixed! (It also raises something I hadn't considered about the blog; hearing a question can present a slightly different question to reading it written down - even if phonetically the same I can imagine seeing it spelled wrong is rather distracting.)

      Excellent work on my questions, given the scores so far that's definitely impressive :)