Questions and Answers, 1-30

SDC 2003: Contents 1-30 31-68 Scores Bottom

1. Swallowed up in the fog

Q: Please provide the appropriate entries at the beginning and ending of
this list:


A: Sun and Ray. The entries are the names of the noble gases (helium,
neon, argon, krypton, xenon, radon) translated into to English. If this
is too easy, we can just give three and ask for three more.

2. Camel Jockey

Q: This colorful character of WWI-era aviation is also known to have
spent some time in Francophone Sahara with his flying friends searching
for a particular military installation.

What is the name of the desert outpost associated with that part of his

A: Fort Zinderneuf (Snoopy vs. The Red Baron)

3. Listener's Digest

Q: A scant 86 years after the line in the London tube system whose
colour is silver was opened was an interesting year in music on both
sides of the pond. We have taken the introductions from five top songs
from that year and pasted them together into an eight second MP3 file
(141Kb)! Please listen to this sound file
and tell us [1] the year; [2]
the titles of the songs.

A: 1966
Wild Thing
Summer in the City
You Keep Me Hanging On
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me
Little Red Riding Hood

4. Alfa, Toyota, and ...

Q: Add another item in such a way that this list remains meaningful and
consistent: Juliet, Cleopatra, Cressida, ??

A: Ronicus. Each item is the part of the title of a Shakespeare play
after "and": Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Troilus and
Cressida, Titus Andronicus. (Could "Lancaster" also be a valid answer to
this question? "The First Part of the Contention Betwixt the Two Famous
Houses of York and Lancaster" is the original title of 2 Henry VI.)

5. How many parts?

Q: Consider the eight classical parts of speech: noun, pronoun,
adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.
Name two words that are each listed as at least five of these parts of
speech (and provide the appropriate citation to a reputable dictionary,
unless suffices).

A: The words 'up' and 'down' are each listed as: noun, adjective, verb,
adverb, and preposition.

Notes: The requirement to name two words is a half-hearted hint to think
in pairs, specifically, a dichotomy. If this is too great a hint, the
editor is welcome to back it off to a single-word answer.

I have not found a way to make do wildcard hunting for multiple
senses that would have made this a more mechanical affair. This is a
Good Thing (TM).

There may be others having five. Six, anyone?

6. Silence in the desert

Q: I was born (in a city whose name means "Street Fortress") in the same
year that England declared war on Spain. My surname means something like
"Large Trees", or something like that. But of course, I changed my name
when I married an engineer in Paris, and took his last name, which some
say means, "Keeping Silent in the Desert" (although others would dispute
this etymology). I had a profession whereby I enjoyed access to high
society. One year after the English fleet destroyed the Danish fleet in
the harbour of Copenhagen, my husband and I moved to London. I died in
the year that Prussia and Austria-Hungary received their constitutions
"from above". A photograph of me is at

Who am I?
(Flonker's note - at one point during the actual competition the above URL
appeared to be dead, so an alternative URL was provided: )

A: Of course this could only be Madam Tussaud, nee Grosholtz.

7. Institutional Building

Q: See the picture at
Doubtless you have seen this building on televsion. Can you identify it
(either by address or in terms of its occupiers)

A: Number 10 Broadway, SW1, London. Home of The Metropolitan Police
Service, aka New Scotland Yard.

8. The winds are gone!

Q: This is a three-part-many-sheep question. Please examine the photo
that may be seen by clicking here, and
provide the following:

1. where was the photo taken?
2. what is the exact height of this person in centimetres?
3. (extreme toughie) believe it or not, our very own aue archives
contain a link to *another* photograph of this subject (taken at a
prominent wax museum in London) in a thread having to do with naming
various nationalities. What is the nationality of this woman?
4. why is she unhappy?

A: Windsor Castle, *EXACTLY* 160 centimetres, Kazakh/Cossack, because
she cannot see over the wall into the garden of the castle. Long Url

9. Marching Orders

Q: I began my journey at the base of a steep hill. I proceeded
south-east on a street whose name commemorates a notable battle. I
turned right and proceeded south along a street whose name commemorates
a notable battle. I then made another right and proceeded on a street
whose name commemorates a notable battle. After several moments, I
turned left on a street whose name commemorates the ending of a war. I
turned right again and proceeded until I found myself on a small street
whose name commemorates a notable battle. Before me was a street whose
name ultimately comes from a Viking warlord. I saw a memorial there, but
it did not commemorate those who died there. Who died here? Please
support your answer by retracing my route.

A: Princess Diana of Wales et al. Montmartre, Magenta, Sebastopol,
Rivoli, Concorde, Alma, and Avenue d' New York.

10. Knickers in a twist?

Q: A dignified and serious attendant transforms into a somewhat louche
artiste. A past exponent of her art might have provided an exotic cup of
tea. Please explain why, these days, you would probably find her among
Scandinavian simpletons, with Eastern European field-dwellers adding
special appeal to her performance.

A: An ecdysiast (anagram of staid+syce) is a stripper and Gipsy Rose Lee
(Rosie Lee = cup of tea) is the past exponent. Lapps (from a word
meaning simpleton) and Poles (from a word meaning field-dweller) (lap
dancing, pole dancing)

11. Jiggery-pokery

Q: Compose a double dactyl about an aue poster. Rhyme and meter must be

A: There was no Totally Official Answer provided of course.
So contributions are reproduced below.

Mike Oliver offered:

Higgledy piggledy
Richard Fontana-san
Moved from New York to the
City of Wind

Caught by the cot, but not
Married to Mary, his
Horse was not hoarse so he'd
Not really sinned

Mike Oliver then added

I see on Googling that I forgot a rule. Try:

Brooklynus Fooklinus
Richard Fontana-san
Moved from New York to the
City of Wind

Caught in her cot, while not
Married to Mary, he'd
Not really sinned

Ben Zimmer chimed in with
Higgledy Piggledy
Robert E. Cunningham
Tried to establish when
I follows E.

Case upon case amassed
What feisty weirdo said
"Just after C"?

To which Bob Cunningham took exception with:

"Humor is not a valid excuse for posting false and defamatory
statements. After the uproarious laughter has died out, the
reader is still left with the impression that the falsehood
is based on fact."
Mike Oliver then came back with

Ingeles Angeles
Michael Ray Oliver
Makes his new home in the
State of one star

County of Denton's a
That's why the blighter can
Not find a bar

A discussion about permissibility of double dactyls then broke out
to which Ben Zimmer put the kibosh by quoting John Hollander's
use of "the classic double dactyl", e.g.:
Twilight's Last Gleaming

Higgledy piggledy,
President Jefferson
Gave up the ghost on the
Fourth of July.

So did John Adams, which
Shows that such patriots
Know how to die.

--John Hollander

More here:

Mickwick then came in with

Jitzius Couperus
Served in the Camel Corps
Fore I was born.

Now that the Empire's gone,
Jitze shoots Fritzes he's
Staked to his lawn.

rzed then retorted:
Who's'e confusey
Christopher Johnson
Is he a teenager?
Is he a creep?

Someone's obsession,
Clogs up the postings,
Diverts us from sheep.

pinguid at pongid then blasted:
Donna Richoux
Lives in a shoe.
She posts our FAQs
And never looks back.

Bun Mui
Lives in a tree.
She posts cryptically.
Is it annoying?

Dena Jo
Born sans surname.
Yet we enjoy her
All of the same.

John Dean
Seldom mean.
Sprightly, eruditely.

Evan Kirshenbaum
Oh fuck it, there's a limit you know ...

David56 came back snappily with
Higgledy Piggledy,
Riggsy and Coooperus
Join in their insult game
To our ennui.

People of AUE
Yearn to shout, pleadingly,
"Just let it be!"

Gary Vass then risked severe retribution with:
Outfielder, infielder
It's all in the game.
But then there's pitchers and catchers
And heavy hitters uncommon
But best of all,
We've got slammin' Rey Aman!
To which Toady Lickspittle came right back with
Niminy - Piminy
Reinhold The Publisher
Student of slang

Battled the critics and
Pedants by showing them
How it would hang.

Jerry Friedman, a panelist, just couldn't resist with:
Panelist attempt:

Manager tanager,
Laura the bean-counter,
Writes to a newspaper,
Cooks (with) her books,

Never says anything
That's not the sort of thing
Oxford now brooks.


Laura Spira then settled the argument by pointing out
"...I now have a hat trick of poems posted in aue addressed to me by
charming men. I feel *greatly* honoured..."

12. Surprisingly PC

Q: What's been running in Broadway for 36 years?

A: The Metropolitan Police Service, aka New Scotland Yard.

13. Mystery Person

Q: I was born in a place associated with a doctor with poor eyesight. My
academic work led me into public life and, among others, an association
with a man with an oddly puzzling name who led a famously unpopular (and
unexpected) group. In my early sixties, I took on a high-profile job for
which my nationality and name make me unusual. Sadly, I died soon after.
Ives' speculation about the fate of an elderly acquaintance has
something in common with legends about the cause of my death. Who am I?

A: Pope Adrian VI. Born in Utrecht (Dr Strabismus(whom God preserve)of
Utrecht is a character from the work of H. B. Morton, "Beachcomber".)
Professor of Theology. Associated with Ximenes, leader of Spanish
Inquisition (Monty Python: No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition";
puzzle connection: UK crossword setter called Ximenes) Became pope when
aged 62/63 (sources vary). Was not required to change name and was last
non-Italian pope until 1970s. Reputed to have died after swallowing a
fly (Burl Ives "I know an old woman who swallowed a fly.")

14. Four Corners?

Q: What is the fourth element of this set?
Los Angeles, Calif.
Seattle, Wash.
Newton, Mass.????

A: Jacksonville, Fla.
These cities are the intersections of Interstates 5 and 10, 5 and 90, 95
and 90, and 95 and 10. (If the inclusion of Newton in the data makes it
too easy, switch Newton and Jacksonville.)

15. Intoxication of sweetness

Q: How does night unfurl its splendour? Please punctuate correctly.

A: Slowly, gently. (Phantom of The Opera)

16. ISO Certified Communications Protocol

Q: What piece of communications equipment works equally well everywhere
in the world?

A: A transponder. (Transpondial?)

17. Plus ca change, the more it's the same thing

Q: Name two words--call them A and B--that have the following property:
The English word A is translated (in one sense) by the French word B,
the English word B is translated by the French word A, and another sense
of the English word A is also A in French. Of course we're talking about
spelling, not pronunciation, but B is pronounced in English about the
same as A is pronounced in French.

A: A = mine, B = mien

18. Iowa's missing too

Q: Mary, Laura, Caroline, Grace--who's missing?

A: Charles, or Freddie. (Laura Ingalls Wilder's baby brother Charles
Frederick, who died in Iowa. Both Freddie and the family's stay in Iowa
are omitted from the Little House books.)

19. Famous musical type

Q: My first name is derived from my mother's maiden name, and of course
my last name I got from my Dad. I am still popular today - known for
both my lyrics and my tunes - even though I died somewhere around the
mid-1960's. (But I did have a long and productive life - I nearly made
it to 100).

Anybody hearing my name for the first time might assume it had something
to do with energy transference, or possibly even that I was a purveyor
of religious pamphlets. Can you identify me?

A: Cole Porter. (As opposed to a coal porter or a colporteur)

20. We're not making this any easier

Q: In the original language, to what does God measure the wind?

A: Brebis tondue (sheared ewe). From the French proverb "A brebis tondue
Dieu mesure le vent," God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.

21. Diminutive royal leg

Q: Who won the "Bluebird", and how did it become more famous?

A: Boris Spassky (defeating David Bronstein at Leningrad in 1960). The
final position of this chess game was shown in the movie of _From Russia
with Love_.

22. Butter at the Deux Magots

Q: My poetry has been published in France, but not in my native land and
not in my native language. My first name is that of an Apostle. My last
name means "I have suffered" in Icelandic. Who am I?

A: Paul Gascoigne

23. Artichoke!

Q: What is the Latin sentence, and what was the name of the underage
restaurateur's daughter?

A: Latin sentence: non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae.

Underage daughter: Adelaide Foltinowicz (known as "Missie"). Ernest
Dowson's most famous poem, whose title is that sentence, describes his
fidelity in his fashion to the nymphet, who he met when she was twelve
and who rejected his marriage proposal. In the poem he calls her Cynara
(the scientific name of the artichoke) and always follows the name with
an exclamation point.

24. But not Jerusalem artichokes

Q: What connects The Synagogue, a professor of Hebrew in Strasbourg, and

A: _The Synagogue_ or _The Collection_ is the name of a mathematical
compendium by Pappus (early 4th century B.C.?), Johannes Pappus
(1549-1610) was a Lutheran theologian and professor of Hebrew, and the
seed of an artichoke has a pappus. The "choke" consists of the
developing pappi. (Jerusalem artichokes are in the sunflower genus,
_Helianthus_, one of the minority of Asteraceae genera in which the
seeds don't have pappi.)

25. What colour? (Toughie)

Q: Scenario: Please assume that you are making a quick wine run to
Calais on the Dover ferry. As you aimlessly roam (bored to tears) about
the passenger deck, you notice a flurry of heated activity, and drawn
from boredom you approach the fracas. Suddenly, a crew member recognises
you as an alt.usage.english regular and announces in a broad French
accent, "Ah ha! We have someone to solve our problem!"

As the gathering crowd stares at you in admiration, the crew member
leads you to a confused, dishevelled, but harmless old man speaking in a
heavy eastern European accent that you cannot recognise.

He repeats the following in broken English: "...I essentially with
essential to a lot of people assembled excessive, I go where goes to a
lot of excessive collected persons. I essentially with essential to a
lot of people, and beyond my knowledge of a lot of people assembled

What colour?

A: Gray!

Explanation: Dobie Gray, 1965, "The In Crowd". The text is a Babelfish
mangling of the opening lyrics, "I'm in with the in crowd, I go where
the in crowd goes, I know what the in crowd knows"

Contributor comment: What a hoot! If it's square, we ain't there...

26. Tree to get ready

Q: Please name a tree that was blown down in a storm in 1820.

A: The Fairlop Oak, Hainault Forest, Essex

27. All in the family

Q: My great-grandfather was ennobled in the 17th century, and
immediately commissioned a fictitious family tree tracing him back to
the first lord great chamberlain of England. My grandfather invited 100
young people to a house party with the intent of marrying them off to
each other, but he died during the party leaving 54 wills. My father had
the peculiar habit of arising very early in the morning to pick fruit
from the garden and hiding it throughout the house. When the Crimean War
broke out, I decided to build the largest hot-air balloon in the world,
fly it across Europe, and shoot at the Russian army from above. Sadly,
this plan never materialised. So I moved to Spain and became a recluse
in a hotel. I had my meals delivered to my room, but never let anyone
collect the crockery - when the room filled up with dirty plates, I
simply took a new room! When I died, my earldom became extinct. Oddly
enough, I am remembered as a great balloonist. Who am I?

A: Benjamin Stratford, 6th earl of Aldborough

28. 15 minutes

Q: My 15 minutes of fame came in the early 1970s at a senior citizens
talent contest in Bognor Regis. I was 80 years old at the time. As a
contestant, I recited the following verse:

A robin redbreast on my sill,
Sang for a crust of bread,
I slowly brought the window down,
And smashed its fucking head.

Unfortunately, the judges disqualified me. Who was I?

A: Bert Hodges.

29. Cooperage Toughie

Q: See the picture at click here.

Where was this picture taken?

If someone who was mentioned in the answer to one of this year's teasers
was born here, then a useful hint for Q25 would be "if it of rectangular
it we congregate that place not". If not, then a useful hint would be
"unknown number of seas has a pale pigeon to glide".

30. Hidden connection

Q: What is the connection among abuelos cracking whips, the bearer of
the Claw, and gay rights? Please give full details.

A: One or more characters called "abuelos" (grandfathers), who crack
whips, are among the masked dancers in the Matachines dances of Hispanic
America, at least in the northern Mexican and southwestern U.S.
versions. The bearer of the Claw is Severian, the hero of Gene Wolfe's
superb tetralogy _The Book of the New Sun_. Starting life as a torturer
in a science-fictional Commonwealth, he grew up in the Matachin Tower,
probably so named because the torturers wore masks. The Mattachine or
Matachine Society was a gay-rights group founded in Los Angeles in 1950
and influential till the mid '60s. It was named after the Societe
Mattachine in medieval and renaissance France, which presented masques,
with reference to the hidden lives of gay men at the time.

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