Thursday, 10 December 2015

Swing states in the US are also known as 'purple states'

Your targets this week:

1+ out of 8: Well done, you beat us!
2+ out of 8: We'd have won with you on our team!

The attendees
1) The statistician
2) The doctor
3) The secret German
4) The metallurgist
5) The rich-person otherkin

The ones that got away
1) The game Jenga takes its name from the Swahili word for what?
2) Which of these is not a real type of owl? Barking; Elf; Pole; Laughing; Powerful.
3) Which actress, who received her first Oscar nomination for her role in Rachel Getting Married, recently(ish) announced her pregnancy?
4) Which 2-word phrase, a metaphor for the early Internet, was designated the US Dialect Society's 'Word of the Year' in 1993?
5) What was the US Dialect Society's Word of the 20th Century? Hint: it contains 2 'z's.
6) The words 'cyber', 'e-', 'millennium bug', and 'web' were all US Dialect Society Words of the Year in the 1990s. Which was Word of the Year earliest?
7) ...and which was Word of the Year latest?
8) The words 'app', 'bailout', 'subprime', and 'tweet' were all US Dialect Society Words of the Year in the 2000s. Which was Word of the Year earliest?

The answers

My excuses

How did you do? Would you have beaten us (1 point or more)? Would you have helped us win (2 points or more)? 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
Question 2
1) The Disney character 'Simba' takes his name from the Swahili word for what?
2) In comics, the Court of Owls is an organized crime group - specializing in the kidnap of child circus performers - based in which fictional city?
3) Like many quizzers, I only really know about Anne Hathaway (the actress) because of questions about Anne Hathaway (the wife of William Shakespeare). With that in mind, the stage name of which actress, known for her roles in Live and Let Die and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, is shared with that of the third wife of another famous 16th Century figure?
4) What 8-letter, German-inspired alternative to 'information superhighway' was coined around the same time?
Question 7
5) Commonly encountered in jazz, what colour describes a note that is sung or played at a slightly different pitch than standard?
6) Word of the Year questions are fun, so here's another. What puzzle was Oxford Dictionaries UK Word of the Year in 2005?
7) Earlier this year, the Royal Mail produced a stamp set to celebrate British innovations. What invention does this (slightly censored) stamp commemorate?
8) Let's pretend that the word 'subprime' means 'whole numbers that are equal to a prime number minus 1'. So for example, since 17 is prime, 16 is 'subprime'. Defined this way, how many subprimes are also prime?

The answers

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


  1. I work for the organisation that was partly behind those 'innovation stamps' (cue their inclusion in plenty of 'review of the year' presentations at the moment). This all happened before I joined, though, so I'd yet to actually take a look at what was on them. So glad I got the question right - manager wouldn't be impressed if not!

  2. '2000s' including 2010 seems a bit dodgy. I guess they meant the century rather than the decade, but given they earlier asked for the 1990s I feel that's unkind.

    1. Yeah, I'd like to claim that threw us, as we were thinking in terms of 2006-2009, but I don't think we knew our recession dates quite well enough for that to be reasonable.

  3. I was on the right lines with my guess of cyberbahn, but didn't actually count the letters or I'd have spotted it was wrong. Still, for a guess based purely on what was in the question, that's not a bad answer.