If Miss Goff is to go across, who is Mr. Messervy?
A. Me, or any synonym for it, including the answerer's name.
Explanation: Helen Lyndon Goff's pseudonym is 'P. L. Travers'. If she's 'traverse', with an appended 'e', then Sir Miles Messervy, whose pseudonym is 'M', is 'me'. Question title: The answer to the first question of SDC 2010 was 'I am'.
Answered by: John Holmes after 24 hours and 31 minutes.
Q02. Two Kinds Of Thieves
An American city and a university in that city are named after the same person, but their names don't resemble each other. Name the city and the university.
A. Chatham University, Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania).
Explanation: When Pitt became the First Earl of Chatham, his second son became the 'Honorable William Pitt' and at least in his early years as Prime Minister was known as 'Honest Billy'. Question title: Pittsburgh is the home of the Steelers and the Pirates.
Answered by: Oliver Cromm after 60 hours and 55 minutes.
Once, an Academy Award-winning director, who had at one point been married to a Tony Award-winning actress, announced that he had had enough and was setting out on a trip to Jakarta, Indonesia, to study under a Zen master. This, of course, attracted the attention of the media. (Those who are acquainted with the ways of movie directors might say that such attention was the point, but we won't go there.) Reporters, excited by the story, gathered to interview him, but were turned away and informed that he had changed his mind and was continuing his work in movies. This entire story occurred on one day; when?
(Though nothing in this story is true, it contains - in a sense - the information you need to answer the question.).
A. Noel. (December 25, Christmas Day etc. would also have been accepted.)
Explanation: No 'L'. The story includes every letter of the alphabet except 'L'. 'He was a coward' = Noel Coward.
Answered by: Evan Kirshenbaum after 20 hours and 17 minutes.
Q05. A Question That Came From Nantucket
Write a limerick in which the second and fifth lines end in the only two words in abridged dictionaries that rhyme with the last word of the first line. Five bonus Herdwicks if the fourth line ends with the only word that rhymes with the last word of the third line. Rhymes should be exact, meter should be smooth in the Panel's judgement, and the limerick should make at least Learian sense. No sheep will be lost if the third and fourth lines aren't indented.
All words must be in dictionaries. No nonce compounds. No rhymes that require non-rhoticism, caught-is-cot, or marry-is-Mary-is-merry.
A. The winning entry:
A horse with a coat coloured purple
Tried to fit a new coat on his curple
He turned round in a circle
And attempted to hurkle
But he ended up having to hirple.
--; The Omrud
Q06. Who Knows?
What are now two separate countries once constituted a unit (A) under a single ruler. Working for that ruler was an observer of the aristocracy (with a distinctive nose), until he was invited by another ruler to work in a city that later became the capital of a unit (B) that is now two separate countries. If you work out the name of former unit B you should easily find the name of the capital city that is centrally located in it. (You are now back in former unit A.) That city is dominated by something that should hopefully remind you of a comedy actor's distinctive nose.
Moving south from that city -- at the same longitude (never mind the minutes) and along the same lines -- you will find a place in the middle of the Bodensee. A distinctive-nosed man was born in that place. In '68 he published an account of a visit to his friends the O'Neills. Think of the name of a staple food in the country to which this visit brought him. An august traveller applied that food-related name to a region he explored, but now the application of the name has shrunk, referring only to a tiny island. Across the narrow strait is a place with a legendary food-related name which is almost certainly a product of an Indo-European root. An English product of that root was given the number one and existed in only one copy, made as a special gift for the spouse of a person with a distinctive nose.
Name the slope. Name the author. Name the tickle. Name the singer.
A. Holmenkollen, Hans Christian Andersen, Baccalieu Tickle, Frank Sinatra.
Clues along the way:
The owners of the noses are: Tycho Brahe, Bob Hope, HC Andersen, Ringo Starr.
Unit A is Denmark-Norway. Unit B is Czechoslovakia.
The capital city that is centrally located in Czechoslovakia is Oslo.
Thinking along the same lines, the place in the middle of the Bodensee is Odense.
Hans Christian Andersen visited George O'Neill in Portugal in 1866.
Bacalhau is the Portuguese staple.
Avalon leads to 'Apple 1', a record specially made for Ringo's wife by Frank Sinatra.
Answered by: musika after 110 hours and 4 minutes.
Q07. A Major
Between a run about not walking and a stumbling waltz that ended with a kiss, a revolution started. Who was kissed?
A. Clementine's little sister.
Explanation: In Chapter One of Animal Farm, Old Major introduces the animals to 'Beasts of England', an anthem sung to 'a stirring tune, something between "Clementine" and "La Cucaracha"'. The latter is a corrido, which word comes from the Spanish for 'run'. The former, a waltz, ends with someone kissing the little sister of the drowned Clementine.
Answered by: The Omrud after 116 hours and 38 minutes.
If a crescent is red and a ring is green, what is the combination of a lily with a rose?
Answered by: R H Draney after 117 hours and 4 minutes
The first sentence of a certain short book has thirty-seven words; the second has sixty-three; the third has seventy-five; the last has seventy. The others are shorter. The illustrator is well known for illustrating books by an author whose first name is spelled the same as a common English word, a cognate to a Latin word whose feminine accusative plural was borrowed into English as what word?
Explanation: The book is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. He illustrated the Little Bear books by Else Holmelund Minarik. The cognate is 'alius'.
Answered by: CDB after 103 hours and 5 minutes.
Q10. Swear To God
What is the connection between these words? Also explain the connection to the slug.
A. Award-winning SF writers: Elizabeth Bear, Elizabeth Hand and Elizabeth Moon.
Explanation: 'Elizabeth' comes from the Hebrew for 'oath of God'.
Answered by: Alec Kojaev after 157 hours and 21 minutes.
Q11. Heath Village
She shortened one of her most famous poems by a factor of ten. One of his most famous quotations (related to his most famous and controversial feat) is a mere two words. Where did she give him things that he was needin'?
A. At the Carlisle Indian (Industrial) School in Carlisle, Pa., where Marianne Moore was one of Jim Thorpe's teachers.
Explanation: Marianne Moore shortened her poem 'Poetry' from 30 lines to 3. When Jim Thorpe won the Olympic decathlon and pentathlon and the King of Sweden told him he was the greatest athlete in the world, Thorpe is supposed to have said, 'Thanks, king.' Question title: Moor, thorp.
Q12. First Name Fred
In the poem where 'wood' means 'mad', what word means 'wood'?
Fowles in the frith,
The fisshes in the flod,
And I mon waxe wood.
Much sorwe I walke with
For best of bon and blood.
Question title: Fred Frith (musician); and 'Fred[erick]' and 'frith' are etymologically related.
Answered by: Sproz after 120 hours and 17 minutes.
Q13. Border Conflicts
What is this a complete list of?
Afghanistan, Angola, Brazil, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, PR China, DR Congo, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Iran, Laos, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Venezuela
Answered by: John Holmes after 58 hours and 15 minutes.
Q16. Cool And Confident
The last two lines of a certain song, in Babelfish translation, run as follows:
Its sweet backs explain the augello, and the bloomed sapling is.
A beautiful face to the omra next sol gives virtue to have mercy.
What is the connection with a.u.e.?
A. The title of the song (by Girolamo Frescobaldi) is 'Se l'aura spira'.
Explanation: AUE's fresca e balda Laura Spira.
Answered by: Skitt after 1 hour and 19 minutes.
Q17. Not Possessive
Around 1492, the year when Cuba was discovered, he came to Florence. He accompanied Michelangelo to hear fiery sermons. Some decades later, it was he who informed the Russians about the discovery of Cuba. By then he had spent many years in prison for crimes including mistranslation. Who was he? Any reasonable version of his name will be accepted.
A. Maxim Grek, Maximus the Greek, Maximos the Hagiorite, Michael Trivolis, etc.
Explanation: Bled, told, fled, sent, bent. (The LP is by Bent Fabric.)
Answered by: John Holmes after 1 hour and 36 minutes.
Q19. Follow The Directions
A cryptic crossword clue has two parts, one using wordplay and one straight. Here are four clues that are only the wordplay part, no straight part. As in some cryptic crosswords, the number of words and letters per word in the answer to each clue is listed after the clue: (1,7) means there are two words, of which the first has one letter and the second seven. The answers to these clues, which you must find, are themselves clues (not cryptic, just standard American crossword clues, though the fourth is punny), to, in some order, 'up', 'down', 'right', and 'left'. A sheep per clue solved.
Back veep in naughty secret (11)
Reverence diminished by the sound of pain (5)
Six-pack? Maybe confused deacon with diver, principal instead of athletic director (9)
About Mary: the army now abandoned to mouth words before forming film titles (9,2,3,5)
A. Prerogative, awake, absconded, something in the mouth.
Explanation: 'Prerogative' (back 'Gore' in anagrammed 'private'), 'awake' ('awe' diminished = 'aw', near 'ake', the sound of 'ache'), 'absconded' ('abs' (=six-pack? maybe), anagrammed 'deacon' with 'd' ('diver' first) instead of 'a' ('athletic' first)), and 'something in the mouth' (because [There's] Something About Mary, In the Army Now, The Abandoned, and Mouth to Mouth are films, so that 'something in the mouth' are 'about Mary', 'the army now', 'abandoned', 'to mouth' words before -- forming film titles).
Answered by: Mark Brader ('absconded'), James Hogg ('awake') and franzi ('prerogative').
Q20. Question Without Names
A's mistress is B. B's mistress is C. B expects C to become A's mistress and commits suicide. If C is an eponym and a toponym closely associated with a Floridian known to us all, what lexical category is B? Please explain.
Explanation: A, B and C are characters from George Sand's novel Indiana. A is Raymond de Ramiere, B is the maid Noun, and C is her mistress, Indiana (Tony Cooper's home state).
Answered by: CDB after 54 hours and 10 minutes.
What famous singer seems to have had a blue throat?
A. Jenny Lind.
Explanation: The Latin for 'Swedish nightingale' is Luscinia svecica, which is the scientific name of a bird called the Bluethroat.
Answered by: Mike Lyle after 115 hours and 54 minutes.
Q22. Veni Vehicle Vidi
In which language are airports and hotels independently linked?
A. Dhivehi or Divehi or Maldivian.
Explanation: 'Minivan' is Dhivehi for 'independent'.
Answered by: musika after 38 hours and 0 minutes.
Q23. Fly Away Pita
Unpeel an equine troll to get an ovine prophylactic.
Explanation: Mulesing is the partial flaying of sheep buttocks to reduce the risk of flystrike. 'An equine' = mule; 'troll' = sing.
Answered by: musika after 158 hours and 56 minutes.
Q24. See Now?
Word-for-word translation for the dirty-minded.
A. Brainwash or brainwashing.
Explanation: 'Brainwash' is a calque of the Chinese 'xi nao', where 'xi' means 'to wash' and 'nao' means 'brain'.
Answered by: CDB after 100 hours and 43 minutes.
Q25. You Ewe!
The following picture is a registered trademark of Stego Industries, but there's more to it than that. On due cue, please answer the question.
Explanation: UUENCODE the picture file and the question proper appears in the fourth line: HOW_MANY_SYLLABLES_HAS_'KATAHDIN'?
Answered by: John Holmes after 18 hours and 25 minutes.
Q26. Way Out
From your initial destination, head out northwest and go about 600 miles, then northeast and about 1200 miles, then southwest and about 900 miles, then west and about 200 miles, then south and about 500 miles. What supplies the rhythm?
A. A steel drum band.
Explanation: From the lyrics of 'Kokomo' (The Beach Boys). Directions are from Aruba to Jamaica to Bermuda to The Bahamas to Key Largo to Montego Bay. Question title: With no particular place to go, they parked way out on the Kokomo.
Answered by: Cora Fuchs after 87 hours and 11 minutes.
A name of one of the constellations of the zodiac is the surname of the author of a short story that shares a title with a song that was the only winner ever of what prize?
A. The Grammy Award for Best Disco Recording.
Explanation: The steps are Archer, Jeffrey Archer, 'I Will Survive'.
Answered by: The Omrud after 51 hours and 9 minutes.
Q28. The Missing Lock
Dealer, herbal, opiate, spuria, unshod.
What Mozambican place name should also be on this list?
A. Nipepe or Nipčpe or Nepepe...
Explanation: They form a word square:
U N S H O D
N I P E P E
S P U R I A
H E R B A L
O P I A T E
D E A L E R
Question title: 'Lock' as in 'second row of a rugby scrum'.
Explanation: The pictures represent 'mistress' (the current Mistress of the Robes, Ann Fortune FitzRoy, Duchess of Grafton), 'buttress' (buttress roots), 'mattress' (a still photo from an episode, 'Mattress', of Glee), 'fortress' (a chess endgame position), and 'distress' (a ship in distress - note the upside-down flag). The last is stressed on the second syllable; the others on the first. Question title: 'Locks' as in 'tresses'.
Answered by: John Holmes after 12 hours and 17 minutes.
Q30. Three, Not Five
John Curtis O'Shea - what's missing for success?
Explanation: Fabolous's real name is John Jackson; Fifty Cent's real name is Curtis Jackson; and Ice Cube's real name is O'Shea Jackson.
Answered by: Alan Curry after 45 hours and 57 minutes.
Q31. Birthday Presents
The first one is not quite the correct color, but the second one is, and both are more important than food or fuel. What is the imminent third?
A. Kimjongunia or Kimjongeunia.
Explanation: Special flowers are brought into bloom for the birthdays of the dictators of The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The purple Kimilsungia celebrated Kim Il-sung; the bright red Kimjongilia celebrates Kim Jong-il. Cultivation of these flowers continued during the famines of the 1990s and, according to one source, the North Korean media ran stories about people leaving their houses unheated to keep the plants alive in their greenhouses. No doubt the heir presumptive, Kim Jong-un, will get a flower named after him when he succeeds.
Q32. The Question Of Questions
Add an entry to this list, and give a reason for each entry's presence on the list: managar, tulkojums, cumnat, yeldan.
A. Mark Brader provided 'prime' (a rhyme of 'rhyme').
Explanation: 'Managar' is an anagram of 'anagram'. 'Tulkojums' is a translation of 'translation' (into Latvian). 'Cumnat' is a cognate of 'cognate' (in Romanian). 'Yeldan' is a cipher of 'cipher'.
Answered by: Mark Brader after 121 hours and 15 minutes.
A. The United States Sheep Experiment Station (USSES).
Answered by: franzi after 79 hours and 8 minutes.
Q35. Call Me
The second half of the German homograph of an English word is a homograph of an English translation of the German word. Who's missing?
Explanation: 'So', the second half of 'also', the German homograph of an English word, is a homograph of 'so', an English translation of 'also', the German word. 'Al' is the missing half. Question title: 'You Can Call Me Al'.
Answered by: Oliver Cromm after 12 hours and 24 minutes.
Q36. Far Out!
A mostly Swedish word has a mostly Chinese referent. Name the village.
Explanation: Yttrium (and terbium, erbium, and ytterbium) are named after Ytterby. Yttrium (and terbium, erbium, and ytterbium) are mostly mined in China.
Q37. Christmas Competition
Supply an ordered list of some odd number of unique English words. Each odd-numberth word (the first, third, fifth, and so on) must follow the following rules:
* Its last three letters must coincide with the first three letters of the next word (if there is a next word), in the same order.
* The previous word (if any) must have at least six letters, and all but the first three must form (in order) a string of letters coinciding with an initial substring of the current word.
Coincidence of letters is without regard to diacritics; ignore apostrophes, hyphens, and periods (full stops). The longest chain within 48 hours wins.
A. The winning entry: Alan Curry's computer-generated 999-word chain.
Q38. Catfish Blues
Reconstruct this haiku: farcical, Poseidon, uranium, wet...
A. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
Explanation: The answer is an anagram of 'this haiku ... wet'. Japanese tradition holds that giant catfish are responsible for all things seismic. Poseidon was the Greek god of earthquakes and the sea.
Explanation: The first three words are an anagram of 'Ceci n'est pas une pipe'.
Answered by: musika after 4 days, 4 hours and 44 minutes.
Q42. Flat Balls
Which eunuch's son was too late to steer his parents clear of star-crossed love?
A. Astralabe or Astrolabe; or Abelard.
Explanation: Abelard and Eloise's son was called Astralabe/Astralabius, probably after the instrument. In the year Astralabe was born, Abelard was castrated for having fathered him. Astrolabes were then simple planispheres ('flat balls') and were mostly used for things like astrology rather than steering ships.
Answered by: franzi after 1 hour and 8 minutes.
Q43. I Love You
Why do eggrolls remind a Panelist of edible bosons?
A. Because of the song 'Have an Eggroll, Mr. Goldstone' from Gypsy, and Goldstone bosons.
Explanation: In the Higgs mechanism, the Goldstone boson of a phase transition is 'eaten' by a gauge field.
Answered by: James Hogg after 47 hours and 14 minutes.
Q44. Vowel Shifting Multiculturalism
The speckled band was a tax. Riddle it and the gangs appear. If it annexes the province you'll win a fine-toothed saw. When existence compounds it you'll get a clue. Exalted, that band will even swindle Jamaicans!
Five words. Each is seven letters long. Five letters in each word are the same and are in the same position. Which word is the odd one out and why?
Explanation: The five words are 'bandala', 'bandele', 'bandili', 'bandolo' and 'bandulu'. Four of these words are produced by adding a Turkish word to 'band'. 'Bandolo' needs a Finnish word, 'olo'.
Answered by: The Omrud after 80 hours and 4 minutes.
Q45. A Is To B
Fit these eight words into a proportion. That is, order them so that A is to B as C is to D as E is to F as G is to H.
A. sides : additionally :: spoke : custom :: wilder : puzzle :: stir : rouse. That is, 'besides' is to 'additionally' as 'bespoke' is to 'custom' as 'bewilder' is to 'puzzle' as 'bestir' is to 'rouse'. (Other equivalent proportions would have been accepted...)
Answered by: musika after 84 hours and 11 minutes.
Q48. Word Play
There's a seven-letter, sheep-related English word such that if you exchange its first vowel with its last, then change the first letter to its own successor in the alphabet, then push its third consonant down the alphabet ten spaces, and then change one of its vowels to match its first vowel you get a word that serves as a big hint to another question in this year's SDC.
Answered by: Alan Curry after 3 hours and 5 minutes.
Q49. 2 EZ 4 U
Create a text message using SMS abbreviations that can also be read without SMS abbreviations as an ordinary passage with a meaning different from the text message's. Differences in punctuation, capitalization, and spacing can be ignored. Sheep to the best answer (in the Panel's opinion) within 120 hours. Considerations include length, the amount of the text that needs to be interpreted differently in the two readings, ingenuity, humor, on-topicness, and whatever else strikes the Panel's fancy.
A. The winning entry: Evan Kirshenbaum's
CU. BTW, ENT: "Y RU...?" "NFI." BS. = Cub: Twenty run fibs.
Q50. Froglorn Leghorn
It was a dark and stormy night and low clouds, roiling overhead like a drab rug gyrated by a hidden horde of frenzied Diabolonians, hurled down rain by the gallon to obliterate Professor Doktor Xenophrasticus van Leghorn's little party as it emerged at last from the forest of giant asparagus ("Ah! Cleidaceae!" the big Boer gasped, flushing with childlike pleasure, when he first saw the plant: "The asparagine bracteate equivalence is wholly specious!") and squinted, blinking, from the rim of the crater at a spectacle vested with such horror that none could later say how they had remained steadfast, ambulant and continent, though love of the Vulcan Diamond (or Patina) Frog and fear of the tall, indomitable colonial scholar's scorn certainly played their parts: at the centre of a heathen necropolis a bonfire defied the downpour and illuminated a wheeled pagan temple - a barbarian version of those little shacks from which the fairer sex bathes at Brighton - before which thousands of orange frogs with amber limbs and a curious greenish lozenge on their backs were being subjected to acts of an unspeakably evil nature by ninety-nine ape-like creatures wearing chainmail and macabre masks with big rubber noses while the hundredth, the simians' evil leader, prepared himself for the sombre slaughter of the gaudy, chirruping innocents by tightening his belt-buckle, effortlessly moving the heavy oaken temple back ten yards and, after wiping his hands with a damp rag, lighting the fuse of a grenade.
'Those misobatrachian vandals down there,' said the prof, gesturing dismissively at the crater. 'I find them uniquely creepy. But behave nicely, as gentle as you can be, eh? Aim to kill them quickly - thoracic or in the throat. And don't step on any frogs or I'll dock your pay.'
Next week: Who won and how.
How many exonyms of European cities can you find in the above? All exonyms must use the unaccented 26-letter Latin alphabet. Endonyms can be in any alphabet. Cities can't be used twice. Cities can overlap. Archaic exonyms (e.g. Leghorn, Cleves) aren't allowed. In each case, provide the exonym, a language that uses it, and the endonym or its usual English version.
A Cormo for the first to list all exonyms that the Panel knows of in the text above. A Touabaire for whoever has listed the greatest number of exonyms when the question is closed.
Special bonus: a Cormo for the exonym of a small North American community.
A. James Hogg spotted 30 (including 1 not spotted by the Panel); musika spotted 6; Athel Cornish-Bowden spotted 2 (including 1 not spotted by the Panel); and CDB spotted 2.
Explanation: The T. O. list of 40+1, with cities listed in order of their mentions in the text: exonym (language)/endonym (or, if the endonym uses a tricky alphabet, [the usual English version]).
Bonus: Beehai, the Navajo name of Lóosi/Dulce, New Mexico.
Vantaa, Kiel and Lóosi/Dulce weren't spotted. Nice and Lleida were added to the T. O. list.
Q51. Somehow Incites My Ass
A wrinkly hermit, inspired by desert fathers, could lie all night beside a beautiful naked girl to prove his ability to resist temptation. The Greeks had a word for this ancient practice. Although it is used in modern English works of scholarship, the word has not yet penetrated the OED. What is it?
Explanation: The 'Somehow' in the question's title indicates that 'Incites My Ass' is an anagram.
Q52. A Piece Of Peace
According to an unreliable source, first this word meant a control for a transportation device, then an analogous control for an updated device, then a brand of that device whose device looks similar to that control, then any such device that's similar in an important way to the ones with that device. What is the word?
Explanation: Buggy whip -> steering wheel -> Mercedes-Benz car (because the hood ornament looks like a steering wheel) -> expensive car. Urban Dictionary is the unreliable source. The question's title refers to the similarity between the Mercedes-Benz and Peace symbols.
Q53. In Good Condition
What word, which should mean 'capable of bending forward', now usually means 'weighed down in front'?
Explanation: See the etymologies of 'buxom' and 'embonpoint'.
Answered by: CDB after 2 hours and 52 minutes.
What is the link between these three things?
Little boots at the end of a line
Thiemann's famous line
Background for an eyebrow-pencil line
Explanation: The phrase 'little boots' appears at the end of a line in Browning's poem 'Shah Abbas' in Ferishtah's Fancies; in the Nazi play Schlageter, by Hanns Johst, the character Thiemann says, 'Wenn ich Kultur höre ... entsichere meinen Browning'; gravy browning as stockings.
Answered by: musika after 71 hours and 55 minutes.
Q55. Vibrational Research
According to Eurofound, a European Union research agency based in
Dublin, the British spend the least amount of time exposed to vibes
of all nationalities in the EU. The Hungarians are the most exposed.
Looking at the sexes separately, Irish women are least likely to be
found exposed to vibration and Portuguese women are most likely.
Hungarian men are the most vibed and British men are the least. The
Irish have the largest gap between the sexes and Irish men are more
than five times more likely than Irish women to be exposed to vibes
lasting a quarter of their day or longer. Luxembourg is more sexually
equal than any other EU nation when it comes to vibration exposure.
Research like this sets a record. What is it?
A. Gorilla (album) or 'The Intro and the Outro' (song) by The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.
Explanation: Adolf Hitler on vibes. (Left margin.)
Answered by: musika after 111 hours and 16 minutes.