Questions and Answers, 61-90

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

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61 . 62 . 63 . 64 . 65 . 66 . 67 . 68 . 69 . 70 . 71 . 72 . 73 . 74 . 75
76 . 77 . 78 . 79 . 80 . 81 . 82 . 83 . 84 . 85 . 86 . 87 . 88 . 89 . 90

Q61. Mystery Link. Google

What is the connection among these? q61/sdc.hq.html

A. "color"

E. In order, they're diet (dye it), Hugh Hewitt (hue hue it), Tintin (tintin') and Culler (color).

Adrian Bailey
Q62. Take your partners Google

Pair up these people:

Sandy Allen
Adrian Bailey
John Berger
Tony Blair
Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran
Michael Brandon
Mary Carey
Gary Coleman
Steve Dore
Margo Dydek
John Foxx
Mike Godwin
Andrew S Grove
Emma Jesson
Charlie Neil
Toni Ng
Arundhati Roy
Alan Smith
Alan Smith
George Soros
David Soul
Ida Eva Tacke
Pat Travers
George Kingsley Zipf

A. Bailey/Blair politicians
Brandon/Soul Springer musical
Carey/Coleman Calif governor election
Foxx/Travers "Crash and Burn"
Smith/Smith footballers
Jesson/Neil weather presenters
Grove/Soros Budapest
Berger/Roy Booker Prize
Boisbaudran/Tacke elements
Godwin/Zipf laws
Allen/Dydek tall
Dore/Ng words

Adrian Bailey
Q63. Make-A-Myth (TM). Google

Pick a mundane** one-syllable word and construct a believable folk etymology for it.

**At least 10,000,000 Google hits

Winning answer:

When specialized undergarments for women's breasts were developed, their main function was initially envisioned as providing protection rather than comfort or eroticism. So just as soldiers used to wear metal armor, so the underwear was described in terms of metals. (Indeed, the first woman to buy one soon found herself saddled with the nickname "Old Ironsides".)

Now, various fabrics were tried in those early days, and one of them was unbleached cotton, which of course is yellowish. One worker seeing a wagon being loaded with these yellow undergarments, thought of a yellow metal and dubbed it "a shipment of brass". And the nickname quickly spread through throughout the trade.

But things were different when it came to retail. Education for women was minimal in those days, and when they heard a store owner speaking of "brass" as a mass noun, they often misinterpreted it as a plural. And so by back formation we have today's count noun-- "bra".

Monkeys, of course, had nothing to do with it.

Ben Zimmer
Q64. Art: An Idiocy. Google

"Ruined Inaction" (or perhaps "Ennui Indicator") is the greatest of literary masterpieces, according to whose definition?

A. Jean Cocteau

E. He is quoted as saying, "Un chef-d'oeuvre de la littérature n'est jamais qu'un dictionnaire en désordre" ("The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order"). RUINED INACTION (or ENNUI INDICATOR) is UN DICTIONNAIRE out of order.

Jitze Couperus
Q65. If the salt hath lost its flavor. Google

I had set up camp somewhere in Western Uganda on one of my monthly safaris through the district that had been assigned to me. That afternoon another traveler arrived in my camp and, as was the custom, I invited him to join me for dinner and to pitch his tent in our encampment. I had never met him before, but I knew of him by reputation and that, amongst other things, he was a noted scholar in his religion.

However, I had not planned for an extra mouth to feed, so I dispatched my cook to obtain some basic provisions from the closest village. I could hardly feed our illustrious visitor on reconstituted Z-rations. So I asked the cook in Swahili "Kamata baisekeli, tafadhali kwenda anunua mkate, maziwa, siagi, uki, chumvi na pilipili." Translated - I asked him to take the bicycle, and to please go buy some bread, milk, butter, honey, salt and pepper.

My visitor allowed as to how he hadn't understood a word of my request to the cook - except for one he said, which appeared to have the same etymological roots of a word that featured prominently in the discourse of his religious studies.

Of which of the world's great religions was this man a member and what triggered the recognition?

A. Judaism; He recognised the word "pilipili" (pepper) as being related to the term "pilpul", a form of argument used in studying and interpreting the Talmud, derived from "pilpel", to season.

Q66. Whose lines? Google

"Oh, wow, you're all sweaty and out of breath. Suck me. Suck me!"

"And you vibrate me until I explode!"

A. nitroglycerine

Jerry Friedman
Q67. Not fish. Google

Thomas Jefferson had one (in _1776_, anyway), but George Washington's three are much better remembered in Americana. What are they?

A. mullets

E. In the film 1776, Jefferson is shown wearing a "mullet" haircut with a braid.

A heraldic mullet, which represented the rowel of a spur, has the shape of a modern five-pointed star.

'The red-and-white stripe (and later, stars-and-stripes) motif of the [U.S.] flag may have been based on the Washington family coat-of-arms, which consisted of a shield "argent, two bars gules, above, three mullets gules" (a white shield with two red bars below three red stars). Since 1937, this design has been used as the flag of the District of Columbia.' —

Jerry Friedman
Q68. On topic. Google

You have chili at Wendy's, shrimp at Long John Silver's, an Egg McMuffin at McDonald's, a roast-beef sandwich and curly fries at Arby's, and a chocolate cone at Dairy Queen. What should you have next? Please explain.

Accepted answer: Starbucks, to complete the classic sequence of courses.

E: This is the old formal dinner (soup, fish, entree, remove [meat], releve [vegetable], sweet, [savoury,] dessert) recreated as a fast-food crawl.

Adrian Bailey
Q69. "Computer Generated". Google

Which fictional character links bands The Hothouse Flowers and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark?

A. Liam O'mdonlai


Adrian Bailey
Q70. Circular argument. Google

Ben Zimmer
Q71. Babel-icious. Google

An eccentric Englishman wrote an equally eccentric tale in French. Another Englishman translated it from French to English (though he claimed to have translated it from Arabic). Later, a writer in Spanish playfully observed that the original French version wasn't faithful to the English rendering. What was the name of the tale?

A. Vathek

E. It was written in French by William Beckford in 1782 and translated into English by Samuel Henley in 1785. Jorge Luis Borges wrote, "El original es infiel a la traducción" ("The original is unfaithful to the translation").

Jerry Friedman
Q72. Aptronyms again. Google

If Omar Lucida existed, what would he do for a living?

A. opera singer

E. "O mar lucida", first words of the song "Santa Lucia".

Adrian Bailey
Q73. I'm home. Google

There were three jovial Welshmen found in Japan. What am I?

A. cock


Adrian Bailey
Q74. No-Go Area Google

"Rather like Soweto, or Granny's fanny, people know it's there but don't know how to get there." To what was Christopher Hitchens referring in his article "An Insular Depression"?

A. Kowloon - the walled city (demolished 1992)

Adrian Bailey
Q75. Silence! Google

This word, "usually used in the plural", has never** appeared on aue in the plural form, and only once in the singular. What is it?

A. branks

Q76. Like the blind leading the blind. Google

Madison was Adams's teacher. Explain.

A. Joanne Madison "Anne" Sullivan was Helen Adams Keller's teacher.

E. Anne was nearly blind, and Helen was blind.

Q77. At full speed Google

This is a toughie because it's not generally googlable. So, please remove one item from the list below to make the remaining list meaningful and complete.

A. Wednesday before the second Tuesday of April.
b. Wednesday before the second Sunday of March.
c. Wednesday before the second Sunday of January.
d. Wednesday before the third Sunday of June.
e. Wednesday before the first Sunday of July.

A. c. The others are Scottish fasting days.

Adrian Bailey
Q78. A Cropper Came.... Google

See ../sdc2005/q78/sdc_ab4.jpg
What does the whole sign say?


E. It's a pub in Erdington.

Adrian Bailey
Q79. "The name's the game" Google

This guy gets around 1,640,000 hits on Google. Who is he?

Bonus Q: Find a better example.

A. Gene Pool


Adrian Bailey
Q80. (Not) Taking Sides Google

By my reckoning there are 25 "E" states and 25 "C" states, the "C" states being: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont. What do "E" and "C" signify?

A. Edge and Center - approx location of state capitals

Adrian Bailey
Q81. Holy Vitamin C Google

What connects St Athan with oranges?

A. Athan from Tathan, orange (ultimately) from narang

Q82. One is darker than the other five. Google

Which does not belong?


A. Filme

E. Reversed, it's not a city in Africa. (The rest are; e.g., Bilma.)

Adrian Bailey
Q83. Def Jam  Google

Extricate the ten words: attract band befit beverage beverage brace clothing container contest courtship disembowel dismiss draw drill exercises face fair fuse gathering glide handsome haven invigorate just left light marriage match monkey move pair performers plane please plunder port sack sower strip stripe suit suit support tie tool tool tool tree unite window

A. band, brace, draw, drill, fair, match, plane, port, sack, suit

1) sack = plunder, dismiss, container, beverage
2) band = strip, unite, performers, stripe
3) brace = pair, invigorate, support, tool
4) port = beverage, window, haven, left
5) suit = clothing, befit, please, courtship
6) drill = excercises, tool, sower, monkey
7) plane = tool, face, tree, glide
8) draw = disembowel, attract, tie, move
9) fair = handsome, light, just, gathering
10) match = suit, marriage, fuse, contest

Adrian Bailey
Q84. Come again? Google

See q84/sdc_ab_1.html.
What's the connection?

A. problem names: Crapo, Bumgarner, Titiyo, Arsene/Arsenal, Clapp, Shittu

Q85. 9/1/83 Google

Add one item to complete this list: Alabama, Alaska, Kentucky, Nevada, Pennsylvania.

A. Henry M Jackson

E. SSBNs based at Bangor, WA

Q86. Post-nuptial Google

See q86/sdc_connexion.html

But what's the verbal connection?

A. marilyn


Jerry Friedman
Q87. A weed that's hard to get rid of. Google

This word came from a language that's not the source of any other English word that the Panel knows of--but you might have thought its origin was more ordinary, since it's been subject to exactly the same folk etymologizing as a common English given name (a process that proceeded farther in North America than in Britain).

A. ailanthus

E. From Amboinese "ai lanto" (or something like that), meaning "tree of heaven". The word has been altered as if it came from Greek "anthos", flower--the same thing that happened to "Anthony".

Adrian Bailey
Q88. Reverse Picture Alphabet Google

A picture has been placed on each of 25 webpages with URLs of the form If, for example, the picture is of a yak, the URL of the next page will be Navigate through the pictures in reverse alphabetical order and let us know the word that begins with the letter A.

To start you off, we need to give you a picture of something beginning with the letter Z, so here you are:


A. Z is for "zilch". Subsequent answers have been added to each web page. To see them, use your mouse to select the area next to "Answer:".

Adrian Bailey
Q89. th. Google

Back in the 1980s I read about a fascinating mathematical fact in Dipole's column in 'Electronics and Power' magazine. Imagine my surprise therefore to read on the internet that this fact was only discovered in the autumn of 1994... By whom?

A. Cody Birsner


Jitze Couperus
Q90. Foodstuff etymology.  Google

AUE is renowned for its discussion of ethnic foods as well as its insightful deconstruction of the works of various novelists, essayists and associated ink-stained wretches. And its dicussion of etymologies is unequalled in any hall of academe.

So therefore, wouldn't it be nice if we could associate the etymology of the name a foodstuff with an oeuvre by some author, famous or notorious, take your pick.

To reduce the field of candidates a bit, we can tell you that this foodstuff (for lack of a better sobriquet) has has not been discussed directly in these hallowed halls. But associated products have triggered impassioned repartee between Yanks and Brits while causing Aussies to choke on their breakfasts.

What is it and which author is it connected with?

A. Bovril; Bulwer-Lytton

E. Bovril. Banned in connection with outbreak of Mad Cow Disease in the U.K. Further elucidation available at or Wikipedia

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