These are the questions for the 2001 Totally Official a.u.e Summer Doldrums Competition. (The scoring system is the same as the system used in the 2000 Competition, and a summary of it can be found at this much better-designed page.) Below are not only the questions but also the Totally Correct answers as given by the celebrated ladies and gentlemen of a.u.e. For information on who scored Katahdins, go here. To see the Toughies, go here.
Q1, posted by Jitze at GMT0711 Tues and answered by Rob Kennedy at GMT2107:
> Who caught Buttercup? Please note that if the first
> letter of the correct answer to this question is in the first
> half of the alphabet, then an important clue to question 53
> (a toughie) is "gathers no moss". Otherwise the answer to
> question 36 is an odd number.
Q2, posted by Jitze at GMT0712 Tues and answered by Rowan Dingle at GMT1134 Sat:
>Please assume that you overheard the following conversational
>fragment in Bermondsey: "...me mates and myself was bunning
>at the rubadub when a tosser come in with colours on and a slapper.
>The barman ticked him off, but the slapper was gobby. It looked
>like some argy-bargy was coming, and he left in a strop.
>After this faff, we couldn't find a chippie, so we had an
>Indian..." Please translate this conversational fragment
>to Unipondial English such that it is free from regional
>shadings and immediately understandable to someone who speaks
>English as a second language.
'My friends and I were smoking marijuana in a bar one day when an
obnoxious man arrived dressed in a manner that expressed devotion to a
particular soccer team. He was accompanied [I've assumed that the tosser
wasn't wearing her, though that would, I concede, be possible in a low
haunt such as Jitze is describing] by a woman who looked as though she
would have sex with anybody who bought her a tequila and a packet of
peanuts. The barman told the man that he had done something wrong; the
woman addressed the barman in a loud, aggressive and impertinent manner.
Trouble seemed imminent, and the man left in a bad temper. After this
nonsense, we were unable to find a shop selling deep-fried chipped
potatoes so instead we ate a curry at a Bangladeshi restaurant.'
Q3, posted by Jitze at GMT0713 Tues and answered by Peter Morris at GMT1152:
> This POW escaped and used a device similar to a Ouija
> Board to find safety. Who? Please note that if said device
> was deployed south of the equator, then the answer to question
> 52 begins with an "I". If not, then the answer to question 15
> has the same number of vowels as the number of known quarks.
Is it Winston Churchill?
Probably not, but he's the only escaped POW I can name offhand.
Q4, posted by Aaron at GMT1505 Tues and answered by Jacqui at GMT1542:
> Please examine the following list and add the next item:
> Divine, hills, there, mills, gold, desire, unfold, and ?
> Please note that if the answer to this question begins with a vowel, then
> "define" is preferred. Otherwise Aunt Sally lived somewhere on the
Q5, posted by Aaron at GMT1508 Tues and answered by Tom Deveson at GMT1546:
>Food! This food item is commanded to feed me until I want no more. Which
>food item is this? If this food item is prepared with olive oil, then the
>answer to question 28 is an adjective beginning with "v"; otherwise the
>military garb is from a place less than a day's drive from one of your
'Bread of heaven'
William & Peter Williams, *Guide me, O thou great Redeemer*
Q6, posted by Aaron at GMT1510 Tues and answered by Ben Zimmer at GMT0446 Weds:
> Cars! One car can be acquired by saving one's pennies and one's dimes. The
> other car requires one to save all one's money. Please identify these two
First car is a 409, as in the Beach Boys song "409":
"Well I saved my pennies and I saved my dimes
Giddy up giddy up 409."
Second car is a GTO, as in the Ronnie & the Daytonas song "Little GTO":
"Gonna save all my money
And buy a GTO."
Q7, posted by Jack at GMT2104 Tues and answered by Rob Kennedy at GMT2127:
> Food! The name of this beverage is ultimately derived from a
> garment associated with an order of monks. Please name this
> beverage and explain its etymology.
Etymology: Italian, literally, Capuchin; from the likeness of its color to
that of a Capuchin's habit
And a Capuchin is "a member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin forming
since 1529 an austere branch of the first order of Saint Francis of Assisi
engaged in missionary work and preaching"
Q8, posted by Jack at GMT2106 Tues and answered by Mark Brader at GMT2143:
> Please eliminate one name from the following list such that the list
> is meaningful and consistent. Uziel Gal, Henri Boutique, Charles Richter,
> Pierre Magnol, Ned Ludd, and Richard Gatling.
Uziel Gal, Charles Richter, Pierre Magnol, Ned Ludd, and Richard Gatling.
> Please explain the rationale for your selection.
Eponyms. Uzi (gun), Richter scale, magnolia, luddites, and Gatling gun.
Q9, posted by Jack at GMT2109 Tues and answered by Mark Brader at GMT2147:
> Thirty eggs and a failure to communicate. Where? Please note that
> if the answer to this question is someplace south of Washington, D. C.,
> then one of the answers to question 6 is less than 2^9 + 9^2, otherwise
> Vichyssoise is the oldest.
Road Prison 36. I don't know the state, but "south of Washington, D. C."
it very likely would be.
The movie is "Cool Hand Luke" (1967).
Q10, posted by Aaron at GMT0402 Weds and answered by Martin Ambuhl at GMT0600:
> This name given to this Scottish quarter day comes from the Anglo-Saxon
> words for "loaf mass". Please give the modern English term for this
> quarter day.
The harvest festival (Lammas) corresponds to the Gaelic Lunasdal. I don't
know any other name for 1 August (except for variations on "1 August").
Q11, posted by Aaron at GMT0404 Weds and answered by Ben Zimmer at GMT0525:
> Food! Consider this list: bread and butter pudding, croissants, and
> Vichyssoise. Please place them in chronological sequence according to
> when they were "discovered" or first documented.
Croissants (1686): named in celebration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire's
defeat of Ottoman Turkey (and its crescent flag).
Bread and butter pudding (1729): that's the first citation in the OED.
Probably originated as a way for British housewives to use up stale
Vichyssoise (1910s): named by Louis Diat, chef de cuisine at the New
York City Ritz-Carlton after a soup from his hometown in Vichy, France.
Q12, posted by Zadne at GMT0735 Weds and answered by Jacqui at GMT0739:
> This lovely plant takes its name from an earlier language's words for
> "conquers everything". Another common plant takes its name from
> "Lion's tooth". Please name these plants and explain the etymologies.
Periwinkle - (possibly from) L. pervincere, to conquer completely
Dandelion - dent de lion
Q13, posted by Zadne at GMT1130 Weds and answered by Jacqui at GMT1148:
> Literary Criticism! Please consider the following series: Marquez,
> Dana, and Dumas. Please add the next element such that this series is
> meaningful and consistent.
(Four Just Men)
Q14, posted by Zadne at GMT1136 Weds and answered by Peter Morris at GMT1154:
> This highly placed individual in the Roman pantheon provides the
> etymology for a modern English word that describes coin, bank notes,
> and other liquid assets. Please identify this mythical character and
> explain the etymology.
the individual is Juno
the modern english word is money.
[Middle English moneie, from Old French, from Latin monta,
mint, coinage, from Monta, epithet of Juno, temple of Juno
of Rome where money was coined.]
Q15, posted by Aaron at GMT2109 Weds and answered by Rob Kennedy at GMT0222 Thurs (after a comment by Garry):
> The modern English word for this cloth material owes its name to the 14th
> century papal see in Avignon. Please identify this material and explain
> its etymology.
OED Online says it comes from the French "popeline."
From "Language Miniatures" (http://home.bluemarble.net/~langmin/cloth.htm):
"Its original Italian name was papalino, in which we see the word papa
'pope', because the cloth was first manufactured in the 14th-century papal
town of Avignon."
Q16, posted by Aaron at GMT2111 Weds and answered by Ben Zimmer at GMT0223 Thurs:
> This modern English word, which is used to describe a state of annoyance
> or anxiety, was derived from an ancient Arabic word for a strip of leather
> taken from the rear of a horse. Please name this word and provide a
> rationale for its etymology.
"chagrin" (etymologically related to "shagreen")
SHAGREEN, s. This English word, --French chagrin; Ital. zigrino; Mid.
High Ger. Zager,--comes from the Pers. saghri:, Turk. sa:ghri:, meaning
properly the croupe or quarter of a horse, from which the peculiar
granulated leather, also called sa:ghri: in the East, was originally
made. Diez considers the French (and English adopted) chagrin in the
sense of vexation to be the same word, as certain hard skins prepared in
this way were used as files, and hence the word is used figuratively for
gnawing vexation, as (he states) the Ital. lima also is (Etym.
Worterbuch, ed. 1861, ii. 240). He might have added the figurative
origin of tribulation. [This view is accepted by the N.E.D.; but Prof.
Skeat (Concise Dict.) denies its correctness.]
Q17, posted by Aaron at GMT2113 Weds and answered by Old Timer at GMT2151:
> Food! There are some that say that the Aussies took a Danish recipe, gave
> it a Russian name, and presented it to the world as their own. What is the
> name of this dish?
Are you talking about the Pavlova dessert?
Q18, posted by Jitze at GMT 0406 Thurs and answered by Ben Zimmer at GMT0716:
> Please assume you overheard the following conversational fragment
> in Bed-Sty: "...after the up pieced a panel on a ding-dong, the
> taggers gave him his props..." Please translate this conversational
> fragment to Unipondial English such that it is free from regional
> shadings and immediately understandable to someone who speaks
> English as a second language.
"After the active grafitti artist made a painting on the side panel of a
stainless subway car, the grafitti artists specializing in writing
stylized signatures gave him respect."
Q19, posted by Jitze at GMT0408 Thurs and answered by Rob Kennedy at GMT0524:
> Eponyms! This athlete's name was adopted into English to
> describe the unique style of performing the particular athletic
> feat in which he specialised. Name that athlete.
Dick Fosbury, a U.S. high jumper in the 1968 Olympics, used a jumping
technique now known as the Fosbury flop.
Q20, posted by Jitze at GMT0409 Thurs and answered by Martin Ambuhl at GMT0636:
> The modern English word for this prestigious occupation was
> originally used in the Roman era for the person who organized
> gladiatorial games.
> Please name this word and provide a rationale for its etymology.
The editores were those who "gave out" the games. These exhibitors and
producers became publishers. As publishing became a more developed trade, the
editors found themselves revising as well as publishing.
Q21, posted by Jack at GMT1156 Thurs and answered by Evan Kirshenbaum at GMT1735:
> It is said that this potable is named after the
> implement first used to stir it. Please name it.
[...] it's probably a screwdriver.
Q22, posted by Jack at GMT1156 Thurs and answered by Ben Zimmer at GMT1721:
> From the "one more time" department:
> Is it "Blindman's Bluff"?
> Or is it "Blind man's Bluff"?
> Or something else?
Q23, posted by Jack at GMT1156 Thurs and answered by Tom Deveson at GMT1239:
>How many silver spoons did Aunt Sally finally count?
She counted ten when Huck slipped the stolen one back, but then only
nine when he smouched one again.
*Huckleberry Finn* Ch 37.
Q24, posted by Garry at GMT1751 Thurs and answered by Joe Manfre at GMT1356 Tues:
>Please consider the following sentence: "When we arrived at the Hotel, I
>am so exhausted that I retired immediately." If this sentence contains an
>error, please identify the rhetorical term that most accurately identifies
>the error. If the sentence does not contain an error, then the answer to
>question number 22 is false.
No one has suggested "anacoluthon" yet. So I'm going to suggest
Q25, posted by Garry at GMT1754 Thurs and answered by Joe Manfre at GMT1801:
> Who does the sun watch over in a good way?
Prince Charles. You know, William and Harry's dad.
Q26, posted by Garry at GMT1758 Thurs and answered by Mike Hardy at GMT1807:
> Please consider the following sentences: One purchases stamps at a Post
> Office. One purchases stamps at a post office. Which is correct? Please
> include a rationale for your selection.
I would think "the Post Office" with a captial "P" and a capital
"O" is the public corporate entity that operates all "post offices",
which has a lower-case "p" and a lower-case "o", since it's a common noun.
So the second alternative is correct.
Q27, posted by Aaron at GMT0403 Fri and answered by Richard Bollard at GMT0534:
>They originally went to Iowa to ask Darlene about her daughter, but her
>son, Kevin, also attracted their attention because of his doodles. What
>was he doodling?
Kevin Morris' doodles turn out to be part of a top-secret binary
defence satellite transmission. The boy is taken into custody by NSA
Agent Holtzman and then released. New doodles taken from the Morris
home turn out to be digital renderings of everything from Shakespeare
passages to bars from a Brandenburg concerto.
Q28, posted by Aaron at GMT0406 Fri and answered by Ben Zimmer at GMT0613:
> Food! An aromatic culinary herb in apparel whose colour is at the least
> refracted end of the visible spectrum shopped him to avoid deportation.
> Please name the herb and identify who was shopped? Please note that if
> the answer to this question involves an urban legend, then the answer to
> the next question contains a remote connection to the Klingon Empire.
The herb would be sage, as in Anna Sage, the infamous "lady in red" who
delivered John Dillinger to the FBI. Her real name was Ana Cumpanas,
and she was avoiding deportation back to Rumania.
Anna Sage is tangentially related to the legend surrounding a certain
organ of Dillinger's, said to be pickled:
Q29, posted by Aaron at GMT0408 Fri and answered by Joe Manfre at GMT2053 Sat:
> What was the final vote on changing the work schedule? If there is a
> connection here to the Klingons and Batman, please identify it.
And the vote result was 10 to 8, if you count the chief, or 9 to 9, if
you don't. Darn it, I can't find the thread in which the Kronos
schedule question was asked...
The actress who played Nurse Ratched was "Vedek/Kai Winn Adami" in
Deep Space Nine, according to IMDB, and perhaps Jack Nicholson is the
connection to Batman.
Q30, posted by Zadne at GMT1230 Fri and answered by Kathy K at GMT1237:
>Food: Please name a food item whose etymology ultimately leads to the
>Latin words for "twice baked".
Q31, posted by Zadne at GMT1236 Fri and answered by Joe Manfre at GMT1243:
> Consider the following two sentences: John uses a wheelchair. John
> is wheelchair-bound. Which is correct? Please include a rationale
> for your explanation.
I think the first one sounds better because "wheelchair-bound" could
be vague (does it mean he's destined to use a wheelchair, or confined
to using a wheelchair)? And of course he probably gets out of the
wheelchair for some things, eh? So he's not always bound there.
(Also, some people don't like the unpleasant sound of referring to
someone as "bound" or "confined" to a wheelchair.)
Q32, posted by Zadne at GMT1239 Fri and answered by Peter Morris at GMT1244:
> To enter this place, one should strike a sound upon the door three
> times, and then use a very soft voice to explain that one was sent by
> Joe. Which place requires this ritual in order to enter it?
Q33, posted by Garry at GMT1918 Fri and answered by Evan Kirshenbaum at GMT0119 Sat:
> Please consider the following ordered list: W1, W2, W3, W4, W5.
> Please add the next item in this list and explain the rationale
> behind your selection. NOTE: "W6" might be a correct response in
> *some* news groups, but not here (aue has an expert in this area
> as an RR/aueBC). Please also note that if the next item in this
> series begins with a vowel, then locale for question 44 is
> Southern England.
[...] it would appear to be "O1", not "O-1".
Q34, posted by Garry at GMT1923 Fri and answered by Joe Manfre at GMT2016:
> Consider the following fragment from Shakespeare: "Then kill, kill, kill,
> kill, kill, kill!" What rhetorical term best describes the construction of
> this fragment?
Q35, posted by Garry at GMT1940 Fri and answered by Mark Brader at GMT1957:
> From the obscure terminology department: What is a "Warnick"?
A google for the plural turns up
| War nickels. Between 1942 and 1945 a special silver/manganese
| alloy was used in our five-cent pieces, copper and nickel being
| needed for wartime purposes.
This refers to US coinage. Despite the wording above, the alloy was
actually 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese. (Normal US "nickels"
were, and I believe still are, 75% copper, 25% nickel.)
Q36, posted by Jack at GMT0400 Sat and answered by Gwen Lenker at GMT2118 Weds:
>Where was Mrs. Walker when she learned of her
>husband's untimely death?
Q37, posted by Jack at GMT0400 Sat and answered by Richard Fontana at GMT0433:
> Consider this text:
> SWM N/S WLTM SF GSOH REPL W/SAE
> Convert to plain English.
Single white male, non-smoker, would like to meet single female with good
sense of humo(u)r. Reply with self-addressed envelope.
Q38, posted by Jack at GMT0400 Sat and answered by Richard Fontana at GMT0429:
> This unit of measurement was nearly the length
> of a common farm field. Please name it.
M-W: "Etymology: Middle English, from Old English furlang, from furh
furrow + lang long"
Q39, posted by Zadne at GMT1123 Sat and answered by Peter Morris at GMT1714:
> Which is preferred these days: "define" or "const"?
the answer to Q4 does not begin with a vowel, therfore
define is not preferred, therefore const is preferred.
Q40, posted by Zadne at GMT1125 Sat and answered by Peter Morris at GMT0957 Mon:
> One observes that the 50p coin has 7 sides. What is the significance
> of this? NOTE: if there is no significance to the 7 sides on a 50p
> coin, then there is a connection between question 52 and 19th century
> slave trading, otherwise the state of Iowa is not connected to a
> question in this year's SDC.
there is no significance to the seven sides.
Q41, posted by Zadne at GMT1139 Sat and answered by Sarah Cannell at GMT1257:
> Please consider this bit of jargon: "He lost his series seven because
> he sold short against the box." Please translate this to conventional
I am having a terrible time trying to express this in a sentence -- frankly I
think it's an argument *for* jargon -- but it's basically saying that someone
lost his NASD registration, which permitted him to sell securities, because he
tried to camouflage the timing of the sale of his own stock (or his client's own
stock) by selling the identical stock held by another party first, then
transferring his own stock to the other party at the time when it suited him to
report the gain or loss.
Q42, posted by Aaron at GMT2005 Sat and answered by Gwen Lenker at GMT0551 Sun:
>One colour is needed to make this "rainbow" complete: purple, blue, green,
>yellow, red, brown, and? Please name the colour and explain the rationale
>for your selection.
White. On a US Navy aircraft carrier, these colors identify the
people performing the various jobs.
"We also got a description of the rainbow wardrobe of the flight deck
personnel. Purple jerseys are worn by the Aviation Fuels crew; Blue is
worn by the plane handlers, aircraft elevator operators, tractor
drivers and messengers and phone talkers; Green is for the catapult
and arresting gear crews, air wing maintenance personnel, air wing
quality control personnel, cargo-handling personnel, ground support
equipment troubleshooters, hook runners, photographer's mates and
helicopter landing signal enlisted personnel; Yellow is for the
aircraft handling officers, catapult and arresting gear officers and
plane directors; Red is worn by the ordnancemen, the crash and salvage
crews and explosive ordnance disposal; Brown is for the air wing plane
captains and air wing line leading petty officers; and White is for
the squadron plane inspectors, landing signal officers, air transfer
officers, liquid oxygen crews, safety observers and medical
Q43, posted by Aaron at GMT2007 Sat and answered by Mike Hardy at GMT2036:
> Please consider the following sentences: HM the Queen will make an
> appearance. HRH the Queen will make an appearance. Which of these is
> preferable? Please include a rationale for your selection.
I've always heard "Her Majesty the Queen." I thought "Her Royal
Highness" was used for people of lesser rank such as the Princess of
Wales before her divorce.
Q44, posted by Aaron at GMT2011 Sat and answered by Joe Manfre at GMT2039:
> What is the word for "car" in rabbit language?
Q45, posted by Jack at GMT0346 Sun and answered by Joe Manfre at GMT0431:
> What is the correct sequence of operations to activate an
> Easter egg in a current version of Microsoft Excel?
-> From: anonymous
-> Requires: DirectX
-> Easter Egg: Boot Excel 2000
-> Under file menu, do 'Save as Web Page'
-> Say 'Publish Sheet' and 'Add Interactivity'
-> Save to some htm page on your drive.
-> Load the htm page with IE. You should have Excel in the middle of
-> the page. Scroll to row 2000, column WC. Select row 2000, and tab so
-> that WC is the active column. Hold down Shift+Crtl+Alt nad click the
-> Office logo in the upper-left. If you have DirectX, you will be
-> playing what looks like spy hunter. Use the arrow keys to drive,
-> space to fire, O to drop oil slicks, and when it gets dark, use H for
-> your headlights.
Q46, posted by Jack at GMT0346 Sun and answered by Bob Lipton at GMT0356:
> In what "sport" would one wear a suit of lights?
Q47, posted by Jack at GMT0346 Sun and answered by Joe Manfre at GMT0443:
> Consider the following English place name suffixes: "-ing", "-bury",
> "-ham", and "-by". Which would indicate the oldest settlement?
Definitely not "-by". Not "-ham", I don't think. I'm going to go with
Q48, posted by Garry at GMT1145 Sun and answered by Tom Deveson at GMT1233:
>What is the correct form of address to a baroness?
Depends slightly on whether it's a Baroness in her own right or a
On an envelope: The Right Hon. the Baroness -- or The Right Hon. (the)
Socially: The Baroness -- or The Lady --.
If it's Baroness Thatcher: Oy you, line up for your colostomy bag over
there like everyone else.
Should have added the spoken form: Lady --.
Q49, posted by Garry at GMT1148 Sun and answered by Peter Morris at GMT1403:
> The group that sings "I Get Around"; The full name of Alan B'stard's PA; the
> commonly used term for the "aurora borealis"; Ted Baker's show for children;
> and the world's largest monolith. What connects these five items? Please
> note that if the answer to this question is Rightpondian, then the answer to
> question 42 is Leftpondian.
Assuming 'Ted' is a typo for 'Tom', then the answer is Blackpool.
Q50, posted by Garry at GMT1152 Sun and answered by John Seeliger at GMT1455:
> Consider the following sentences: The Prima legion withdrew in 410AD. The
> Prima legion withdrew in AD410. Which is correct? Please include the
> rationale for your selection.
"The Prima legion withdrew in AD410." The reason is that "AD" means "(in)
the Year of our Lord," and "(in) the year of X" (often used for the
beginning year of a king's reign) precedes the date. "(In) the year of X
Y" means starting from X, it has been Y years.
Q51, posted by Jitze at GMT1906 Sun and answered by Mark Brader at GMT1908:
> Please assume that you are writing an article on the Federal
> Reserve Bank and have given its full name in your opening
> How would subsequent references be made?
> Additionally, assume that your article is on the Bank of England.
This is the same article that's on the Fed? :-)
> How would subsequent references be made?
Q52, posted by Jitze at GMT1907 Sun and answered by Gwen Lenker at GMT GMT2004:
>Please consider the following series: Ideologue, Imposture, Innocence
>Abused, and? What is the next item in this series?
(Assuming you meant "Impostor" for "Imposture")
Q53, posted by Jitze at GMT1911 Sun and answered by Gwen Lenker at GMT2335 Mon:
>Toughie: "...Tom was eating cold English muffins hot..."
>What English word (coined in the late 20th century) is
>used to describe this phenomenon in English usage?