Questions and Answers, 53-78

SDC 2004: Contents 1-26 27-52 53-78 Scoreboard Results Bottom

53. Elementary my dear hurdy-gurdy-birdie (Jitze Couperus)

Q: Dr Watson and I were repairing home after a pleasant evening at the pub.

We were strolling home past one of London's great teaching hospitals (which delicacy forbids me to name - but the one across the bridge from the Houses of Parliament)

As we walked toward the nurse's quarters we encountered a collection of aspirant Florence Nightingales who were apparently were just coming off duty.

Most were still dressed in their starched uniforms with funny little caps, but one group had already changed into summer frocks, one nurse in particular with a delightful decolletage.

That latter group had caught Watson's eye and he drew my attention to them. What he might have said was something like "Take a look at those girls out of uniform" but instead he opted to use three simple words of slang - each of which I presume he had learned from his time with the army in India or Mesopotamia.

Can you tell me what were the three words he uttered?

A: Shufti Mufti Binti

Shufti - derived from Arabic - to take a look at. (See also "Take a butchers", "Take a dekko", "Take a gander")

Mufti - orginally Arabic for a Muslim legal scholar, at some point assumed the meaning in English of "civilian dress" as opposed to "in uniform".

Bint - Arabic for a woman, pluralized in British army slang to Binti.

54. Hurdy gurdy durdy burdy (Garry Vass)

Q: It's the very first time ever in the world that this actress seen at ../sdc2004/hurdy.jpg ever appeared on the silver screen! This 20 minute spoof catepulted this actress into fame and fortune. Who is she?

A: Madeline Kahn, in "De Duva", a spoof on Ingmar Bergman's films

55. Jeopardy (Jerry Friedman)

Q: Why his elbow is on the wrong leg

A: What is the Thinker thinking about?

56. Election year in the U.S (Jerry Friedman)

Q: Je vais qui?

A: Peau-geau!

note: I'm not sure about the spelling. This was Miss Mamzelle Hepzibah's campaign sign in one of the I Go Pogo election campaigns.

57. Former key? (Jerry Friedman)

Q: : Add *two* countries to this list: East Timor, Angola, the United States. (South Africa isn't on the list anymore, and we're not accepting Israel or the territories it occupies because we don't want to bring that topic up.) Please justify your answer.

A: Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brunei, Croatia, Oman, Russia, Spain (the countries with exclaves, according to .

58. Not resistance (Jerry Friedman)

Q: 1 means 1, 2 means 3, 3 means 9, 4 means 21, 5 means 48, 6 means 72, 7 means 100, 8 means 200, 9 means 400, and 10 means 1500. What is this, and what is the mnemonic?

A: The Mohs scale of mineral hardness with the meanings in absolute hardness measured by a sclerometer. A mnemonic for Mohs's list of minerals with these hardnesses is "The Girls Can Flirt And Other Queer Things Can Do." (Talc, Gypsum, Calcite, Fluorite, Apatite, Orthoclase Feldspar, Quartz, Topaz, Corundum, Diamond), but we'll take anything with the same initials. .

59. The 32 (Adrian Bailey)

Q: Look at the pictures. What do they represent?

Clue - Can it be beyond your ken?

A: The London boroughs: Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Enfield, Islington, Haringey, Havering, Camden, Harrow, Newham, Barking & Dagenham, Wandsworth, Kensingon & Chelsea, Barnet, Hammersmith, Bexley, Brent, Westminster, Sutton, Waltham Forest, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston, Lambeth, Southwark, Merton, Lewisham, Redbridge, Richmond, Greenwich See

60. Can you also check the tires? (Adrian Bailey)

Q: Who's the odd one out and why? Audrey, Beatrice, Janice, Thelma, Tiffany

Clue - They aren't land-based

A: Audrey is a gasfield. See

61. Stringy sentences (Adrian Bailey)

Q: Make a sentence of the type "Can't wingers own American apes?" where words are hidden across word boundaries, in this case "twinge", "sow", "name", "canape", "scan".

Scoring: number of words minus number of unused letters. In this case 5-3=2. First to score 21 points, or highest score at close of SDC, wins."

A: No Totally-official answer

62. Length matters (Adrian Bailey)

Q: Which is the longest English word that has two distinct/discrete meanings? (eg. bass - fish vs. bass - musical instrument)"

And some guidelines:

The difference should *not* simply be (a) that the word can be used as more than one part of speech (eg. smile - verb vs. smile - noun) or (b) that the word can be used figuratively (eg. green - colour vs. green - inexperienced/envious) or extended (eg. bridge - structure over river vs. bridge - structure over gums), though a combination of (a) and (b) may be acceptable (eg. green - colour vs. green - putting surface).

A: No totally official answer, but an example is "constitutional" (a walk; relating to a legal constitution) - but the lexemes need not be different parts of speech

63. In memoriam (Adrian Bailey)

Q: What connects Glatton to the tragic events of September 11, 2001?

Clue - An echo of history

A: At 9.49 am on July 28, 1945, Lt Col Wiliam Smith of the USAF 457th Bomb Squadron, late of Glatton airbase, England, crashed his B-25 into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building. 14 people died. See

64. A-Z quiz (Adrian Bailey)

Q: A is for Alperton. Complete the alphabet (as far as it goes).

Clue - Q is not for Queen's Park.

A: Alperton Barfett Caird Droop Farrant Galton Huxley Ilbert Kilravock Lothrop Marne Nutbourne Oliphant Peach See,182664,2,large,1

65. Symbolically speaking...(Adrian Bailey)

Q: Which symbol is the odd one out, and why?

Clue - It Was Bliss.

A: #3 - You can't eat it. See

66. On tour (Adrian Bailey)

Q: Where and when did the Circle and the Triangle lose out to the Octagon?

Clue - Americanism

A: The UK, 1975 See and

67. Recursive: See "recursive" (Geoff Butler)

Q: See Question 68


68. Recursive: See "recursive" (Geoff Butler)

Q: Who? When?

A: Answers: Chicago Transit Authority, 1969.

"Questions 67 & 68" is a track by Chicago Transit Authority (NOT Chicago) on their first, eponymously named, album.

69. Baa (Adrian Bailey)

Q: What's the link?

Clue - It's their vote that counts.

A: Their surnames are the names of the six bellwether counties. See

70. The Old Bill (Adrian Bailey)

Q: Who's missing from this list?

Dr Alex Davis
London & Winchester

Clue - He gets top billing...

A: Othello (They're Shakespearean clues to the names of the gates of the City of London.) See

71. Had Auster Litz Not Happened, Then...(David Rowley)

Q: A fine brick building to be seen at ../sdc2004/BrickBuilding.jpg Where is it?

Clue - At the intersection of Hieronymus Bosch and Thor Heyerdahl

A: It's the City Hall in Oslo. See

(The slug line is supposed to look obviously like an anagram, and "Had Auster" is indeed an anagram of "raadhuset" - The "Litz" part merely a red herring to send people off looking at austerlitz, and the clue might lead one to google on "Hieronymus Heyerdahl" who was instrumental in causing this building to be erected. )

72. What's the hurry? (Mickwick)

Q: Welshman gets legless, stares like a sheep, comes 14th.

Where were his nuts?

A: In grass, or in the grass, or in the poem 'Leisure'.

W. H. Davies was a Welsh hobo who, after losing a foot in America, became a celebrated poet, feted and supported by the likes of D. H. Lawrence and George Bernard Shaw. His most famous poem, 'Leisure', apparently came 14th in a 1996 poll to find the most popular poems in the English language. (That clue is a bit naughty. It's from one sentence in a book review in The Spectator. I can't find another reference so can't be sure what the poll was all about, nor indeed whether Davies really did come 14th.) The poem is as follows:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?--

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

[the poem and the poet are all over the Web]

73. Sour grapes (Mickwick)

Q: C6H12O6 -> CH3CH2OH + CO2
CH3CH2OH + O2 -> CH3COOH + H2O
CH3COOH -> S/s=s, where S=(-1), therefore s=√-1

(The √ signifies a square-root.)


A: Because Lacan was a French intellectual.

Wahaaay! But seriously folks, anything will do as long as it mentions Jacques Lacan and what his parents did, which was to make vinegar.

74. America and Americans (Mickwick)

Q: Which famous American revolutionary ended his life thinking that (a) America couldn't be tamed, (b) all revolutionaries were wasting their time, (c) Americans should just give up and go home, (d) mob-rule was on its way and even white men wouldn't be safe, (e) the place was such a mess Europe had lost interest in it and (f) America was inevitably going to Hell in a hand-cart.

A: Simon Bolivar, in a letter shortly before he died.

I have arrived at only a few sure conclusions: 1. For us, America is ungovernable. 2. He who serves a revolution ploughs the sea. 3. The only thing we can do in America is emigrate. 4. This country will eventually fall into the hands of the unbridled mob, and will proceed to almost imperceptible petty tyrannies of all complexions and races. 5. Devoured as we are by every kind of crime and annihilated by ferocity, Europeans will not go to the trouble of conquering us. 6. If it were possible for any part of the world to revert to primordial chaos, that would be America's final state.
By 'America', Bolivar meant 'South (or perhaps Latin) America'.

[as far as I can tell, the full Bolivar quote appears only once on the Web and the words are slightly different; but it's still probably far, far too easy; it is, however, an early (1830) use of an exclusive 'America']

75. AUE Regular (Jitze Couperus)

Q: The caption to the photograph that may be seen at ../sdc2004/Inshop.jpg says "that's me in the middle" but the panel is unsure whether the caption writer is referring to the person closest to the middle of the picture (with glasses) or the person in the middle of the three people.

So we are invoking the collective wisdom of aue to determine which it is and who it might be. A more recent picture of this person may be found in the collection at although our spies tell us that even that picture is not particularly recent. Can you identify this person and/or his claim to eponymous immortality?

(The person in this picture is probably the only person who can provide the definitive answer to which of the people in the picture he really is - so he is hereby appointed panel member for this question, and can't be a contender for it)

A: Skitt (of "Skitt's Law" fame) The picture may be seen on the page at

76. Not from mountains or the sun (Jerry Friedman)

Q: Bronze, lapis lazuli, topaz, ruby, copper, sapphire, emerald, gold, amethyst, garnet, tourmaline, turquoise. What metal or jewel is missing at the end of this ordered list? (Answers containing "metal", "gem", or "jewel" will bring no sheep.) And why would some say that "diamond" should be on the list?

Clue or Hint if necessary: This has to do with nymphs, streamers, and awls.

Easier clue or hint if necessary: Also coquettes, mangoes, and Sappho.

A: These are all mentioned in names of hummingbirds The missing one is "hyacinth" (a kind of jasper). There are also hummingbirds called "brilliants", which could be interpreted as diamonds.

77. Queen Wasp is not the answer (Clay Blankenship)

Q: King : Bee :: Hornet : ?

A: Times-Picayune

(Sacramento Kings, Sacramento Bee; New Orleans Hornets, New Orleans Times-Picayune)

78. Where's Milan? (Adrian Bailey)

Q: According to Steve, which city is missing from this list? Birmingham, Carlisle, Dublin, Dundee, London

SDC 2004: Contents 1-26 27-52 53-78 Scoreboard Results Top