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
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
55. Jeopardy (Jerry Friedman)
Q: Why his elbow is on the wrong leg
A: What is the Thinker thinking about? http://www.bizresources.com/photos/Paris/Rodin%20-%20Thinker%202.JPG
56. Election year in the U.S (Jerry Friedman)
Q: Je vais qui?
note: I'm not sure about the spelling. This was Miss Mamzelle
Hepzibah's campaign sign in one of the I Go Pogo election
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 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclave)
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. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohs_scale_of_mineral_hardness
59. The 32 (Adrian Bailey)
Q: Look at the pictures. http://www.geocities.com/dadge.geo/32pix.html What do they represent?
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 http://www.og.dti.gov.uk/information/bb_updates/maps/infrast.jpg
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
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 -
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 http://457thbombgroup.org/New/NewHistory457thxxx.html
64. A-Z quiz (Adrian Bailey)
Q: A is for Alperton. Complete the
alphabet (as far as it goes).
Clue - At the intersection of Hieronymus Bosch and Thor
A: It's the City Hall in Oslo. See http://www.virtualoslo.com/raadhuset/body_index.html
(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
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
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
A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand
[the poem and the poet are all over
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
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
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
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
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
(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 http://www.geocities.com/opus731/thule.html
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
A: These are all mentioned in names of hummingbirds http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hummingbird.
The missing one is "hyacinth" (a kind of jasper). There are also
hummingbirds called "brilliants", which could be interpreted as
77. Queen Wasp is not the answer (Clay Blankenship)
Q: King : Bee :: Hornet : ?
(Sacramento Kings, Sacramento Bee; New Orleans Hornets, New
78. Where's Milan? (Adrian Bailey)
Q: According to Steve, which city is
missing from this list? Birmingham, Carlisle, Dublin, Dundee, London