Questions and Answers, 31-60

SDC 2005: Contents 1-30 31-60 61-90 Timings Scoreboard Results Bottom


Author's name
Qn. Title of question Google

Text of question

A. Answer

E. Explanation

Note 1: Click on the Google button to see the question's thread in Google Groups, in a new browser window.

Note 2: Answers and explanations are initially concealed. To reveal a single answer or explanation, click and drag over the area to the right of the "A" or "E". To reveal all answers and explanations, click here (and to reconceal, click again) (JavaScript required).

31 . 32 . 33 . 34 . 35 . 36 . 37 . 38 . 39 . 40 . 41 . 42 . 43 . 44 . 45
46 . 47 . 48 . 49 . 50 . 51 . 52 . 53 . 54 . 55 . 56 . 57 . 58 . 59 . 60

Adrian Bailey
Q31. In an anorak, no doubt. Google

'I've scrabbled up and down embankments of varying sizes on a number of occasions - what might be termed "_____ _______".'

A. field odology

Adrian Bailey
Q32. About B Google

See ../sdc2005/q32/sdc_ab5.gif
What is this map designed to show? (Bonus Q: Which colour is best?)

A. The voltage and frequency combinations of electricity supplies around the world; light blue.


Adrian Bailey
Q33. PMQ Google

What was the last date on which the British prime minister shared his first given name with that of a subsequent (different!) British prime minister?

A. 7 June 1935


Q34. Literally. Well, figuratively literally. Google

A trapeze artist is in a sketch artist. What's a passenger in?

A. a cartographer

E. A jumper is in a drawer. A rider is in a charter. And water is in a pitcher.

Q35. Is to as is to. Google

Alcatraz : Parker pen :: gulyas : ?

A. superman

E. Alactraz is now a park and was a penitentiary; hence, a park or pen ("Parker pen"). Gulyas is a stew or a cowboy; hence, a soup or man ("Superman").

Jim Ward
Q36. You're beautiful. Google

Hair is to dove as lip is to thread as tooth is to?

A. sheep

E. Song of Solomon, chapter 4:
1. Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.
2. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.

Ben Zimmer
Q37. Hands Across the Water. Google

Consider the many terms coined in AUE to express commonalities across the Great Pond: "transpondian", "transpondental", "transpondal", etc. The "cross-the-pond" notion is also expressed in the name of a rock magazine founded in 1974 and a rock album popular thirty years later. But there's another common feature shared by the name of the magazine and the name of the band that released the album -- a feature also possessed by a Rightpondian catchphrase of the late '90s. Name the magazine, the band, the catchphrase, and the common feature.

A. "Trans-Atlantic Trouser Press"; Death Cab for Cutie; Rule Britannia; Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

E. The common feature: "Trouser Press", "Death Cab for Cutie", and "Cool Britannia" are all titles of songs by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.

Ben Zimmer
Q38. Seasonal Affective Disorder. Google

On a cool October day, a colonel sat down and talked to an orphan. The orphan said he had 75. The colonel said he had 75 too. Then along came a sad-looking spider. How many did the spider have?

A. 20

E. At the end of the 1899 baseball season in the National League, the Chicago Orphans (now called the Cubs) finished with 75 wins, as did the Louisville Colonels. The Cleveland Spiders only had 20 wins -- with 134 losses, the worst record in the history of baseball.

According to, the 1899 season ended on Oct. 15. The Spiders' last win was on Sept. 18.

Q39. Euphemism. Google

A certain four-letter word for "copulate" which starts with 'f' (you know the one: this is not a trick question, at least not in that respect) was changed in the American version of a book to the name of a country. Which country?

A. Belgium

E. In Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams

Jerry Friedman
Q40. Happy spring to readers in the Southern Hemisphere! Google

Some will be tempted to pronounce my name with the "foreign a" vowel. In one job I commissioned a famous series of anatomically correct wax figures, NTTAWT. I held an oxymoronic position in society and was the first to observe an oxymoronically named substance, though Northern Europeans got the credit (because of bias?). I got in trouble by sympathizing with the wrong side in the Post-Bastille period, but lived to an age similar to Ron's present age. I died of a fall in the street (or of a stroke [according to other sources]). Who am I?

A. Felice Fontana

E. Fontana was a lay abbot and was the first to observe water gas. "Felice fontana" must mean something like "happy fountain" or "happy spring".

Adrian Bailey
Q41. Pub Quiz Google

See ../sdc2005/q41/sdc_ab3.jpg
What are the two words that have been blanked out on the sign by the door?

A. Noted Victuals

E. It's the King's Arms in Sandwich, circa 1984.

Adrian Bailey
Q42. Scarred for life, poor chap. Google

What information has been removed from this poem? Bonus sheep for telling us in rhyme.

William Henry's face is red,
He's in a dreadful rage.
Two quite naughty words he said
All about Matilda Page.

William Henry's nearly six
And has ceased to care for toys.
With the girls he does not mix
He's a boy and plays with boys.

But Matilda Page to-day
With her doll he chanced to meet,
Smiling in a pretty way
Very pink and very sweet.

Bob and Harry, Dick and Ned
Saw and laughed, and called him "Kid".
William Henry's face grew red.
Can you wonder that it did?

Florence Hoare

A. The fourth verse:

She said: "My shoe's undone;
Hold my doll, I'll tie the string."
Then she ran off just for fun,
Left him with that awful thing.

Adrian Bailey
Q43. Skip it. Google

See ../sdc2005/q43/sdc_skip.jpg
What three words have been removed from the photo?

A. Fires, Fridges, Asbestos

Ben Zimmer
Q44. Re-make/Re-model. Google

A band with a name evoking bygone technology reworked a seasonally appropriate song. They made a minor change, replacing an empty flight with a signal to make a pit stop (or words to that extent). What was the song and what was the change?

A. The Boys of Summer; dead-head to black-flag

E. In the airline industry, a "deadhead" is a flight without passengers or cargo. In racing, a "black flag" is a signal for a driver to come into the pits.

Q45. I declare! Google

There is a root of English words that, possibly with affixes, can have any of the following meanings. What root?

hooking up

A. tract

E. acquire = contract (malaria)
area = tract (of land)
hooking up = traction (of tires)
insanity = distraction (to which one is driven)
insoluble = intractable
sign = contract (an employee)
stretching = traction (of bones)
pull = retract
volume = tractate

Adrian Bailey
Q46. A cup of tea's too wet without one.... Google

See q46/sdc_b.html

List the biscuits according to a system of your choosing.

A. Any that omits #4 (Jaffa Cake - not a biscuit)


The pictures are:
Albert Lincoln
Jammie Dodger
Jaffa Cake
Thin Arrowroot
Malted Milk

Adrian Bailey
Q47. Stannah rep, go home.... Google

In which country might you expect not to find any stairs?

A. Bangladesh

E. A bungalow is a "house in the Bengal style", and Bangladesh is the "Bengal nation".

Adrian Bailey
Q48. Dotty. Google

Create a non-complex, non-compound English** sentence that maximises the number of diaereses and umlauts. Proper names are not allowed.

**i.e., the sentence is idiomatic and only contains words that are accepted in mainstream English, i.e. they can be found in a standard desk dictionary.

Winning answer: "NoŽl, noŽl," sang the Luton Girls Choir outside the local coŲperative society's offices in a faux-naÔf manner as not one of them could reasonably be described as genuinely naÔve, "noŽl, noŽl, born is the king of IsraŽl."

Q49. Ingenious. Google

How did Jim diagnose Elizabeth's condition?

A. He suspected it when she didn't respond to a slammed door, and confirmed it by shouting behind her. She didn't respond to a slammed door or his shouting behind her.

E. Huckleberry Finn, chap. XXIII.

Q50. Proper subset. Google

The following sentence follows a strict rule; write another sentence, substantially different from it, that follows the same rule.

Go put needles in his pus.

A. e.g. We advise the employe to escape ale, to bus, devote cares to the gal, the mortgage to be done. (submitted by Rick Wotnaz)

E. Each word in the sentence is also a word if its last letter is doubled.

Adrian Bailey
Q51. Brock music Google

Ireland: Guinness and fighting
Wales: Sheep and dirt
Scotland: Haggis and scotch eggs
England: ? and ? and ?

A. ninjas and lasers and gold


Jerry Friedman
Q52. Not about navigation. Google

You can get from Java to Santiago de Tolķ by way of Madeira including the wine. Please explain how this statement is true.

A. benzene<frankincense of Java; toluene<balsam of Tolu; methyl connected with wood (Madeira means "wood")

E. "Benzene" comes from "benzoin": "Earlier benjoin, from French benjoin and Italian benzoino, both from Arabic luban jāwī, frankincense of Java."

"Toluene" comes from "Balsam of Tolu" from "Spanish tolķ, after Tolķ [or Santiago de Tolķ], a seaport of northwest Colombia."

"Methyl" is from "methylene" from "French m[?]thyl[?]ne : Greek methu, wine; see medhu- in Appendix I + Greek hūlē, wood, substance."

"Madeira" is Portuguese for "wood".

All etymologies from AHD.

Q53. How do I get there? Google

Using Google Maps, find two points with as many steps as possible in the directions from one to the other. or any page within the site

Winning answer: 161

E: Heath Road, Witton, Norfolk to West End, Whitehills, Banffshire (Aberdeenshire)

Jitze Couperus
Q54. You're a better man than I Google

In this picture -- ../sdc2005/q54/sdc.mysterybling.jpg -- what is going on, and where, and who are the people in the picture?

A. a digitally head-swapped Garry Vass and the deputy mayor of Westminster, possibly at Garry's UK Citizenship ceremony

Ben Zimmer
Q55. Don't Tell Gov. Schwarzenegger! Google

What memorable musing did a student from California supposedly make in Heidelberg?

A. He said he would rather decline two drinks than one German adjective.

E. (From Mark Twain's "The Awful German Language," in Tramps Abroad)

Jim Ward
Q56. Sonnet hunt. Google

Jim Ward
Q57. Joy, if not rapture. Google

A hooker, a maiden, 3 liters of champagne, Mrs. Pitt, plus Chuck Foster's obsession. Name the bachelor!

A. Samuel Enderby

E. These are all boats met by the Pequod (Moby Dick).
The Town-Ho - hooker
The Jeroboam - 3 liters of champagne
The Jungfrau (Virgin) - maiden
The Bouton-de-Rose (Rosebud) - Chuck Foster (Kane)'s obsession
The Samuel Enderby
The Bachelor - in title
The Delight - in title
The Rachel - Mrs. Brad Pitt, a.k.a Rachel

Adrian Bailey
Q58. See You Google

There's a building (C) in Holmfirth, Macclesfield, Chippenham, Bognor Regis and Northampton (and elsewhere, probably, though I haven't found any outside England) that connects two words (A and B) that I learned this year. A is a psychological condition which used to afflict Frenchmen; B occurs in the Gerlish-sounding expression "to go B".

Name A, B and C.

A. dromomania, kino, Picturedrome

Jitze Couperus
Q59. Women Authors  Google

Let's talk about four women authors...

a) This one is alleged to have had a child resulting from a brief affair with the then Prince of Wales. Her major literary effort languished for 40 years before it was "rediscovered" and achieved a much greater degree of popularity. During her life she was associated with two very different modes of transportation and achieved great fame for achieving a "first" with one of them.

b) This one is also known primarily for one book, the writing of which was driven in part by the loss of her child to an accident with his hobby. The book got turned into a movie which gave it a wider audience than the original oeuvre.

c) This one was part of a literary family. Amongst others she wrote a book whose title referenced a variegated reptile and another book whose title referenced incendiary trees.

d) This one married into aristocracy but soon split from her husband. She went on to have a romance with another man that featured prominently in the movie made from one of her books. Despite being nearly two decades older, the speculation is that she shared another lover with (a) above, but this individual may just have been a good friend to both of them.

The main thing that associates these 4 women authors is that they all lived (and wrote about) a location where you would never expect to find such a concentration of literary talent.

Can you name this country and the authors?

A. Kenya, Kenya; Beryl Markham; Kuki Gallman; Elspeth Huxley; Karen Blixen

Adrian Bailey
Q60. "One for the... Brits". Google

Find a seven-letter word to add to this set:
comic crazy rabid rabbit hussar

Accepted answer: hessian

E: Words that can appear on British number plates, given that certain numbers can represent letters. The examples given are:
COM 1C, CRA 2Y, RAB 1D, RAB 81T, HUS 54R

SDC 2005: Contents 1-30 31-60 61-90 Timings Scoreboard Results Top