Your Holiday Assignment

This is usually Crooked Timber‘s turf, but I might as well deliver the good news to the masses here: the much-awaited annual King William’s College General Knowledge Paper, aka the most difficult quiz in the world, is now online (pdf).

Readers are invited to spoil the “fun” for all the others by posting answers in comments. I think I found half a dozen out of 180 on a first, googleless sitting, one because the question (18.10) was -uncharacteristically- a gimme, two others by unfairly taking advantage of my Frenchness (hey, it’s got to help sometimes) and a few more because section 3 is really full of low-hanging fruits. The rest looks much harder, though.

Addendum (12/23) : C’mon people, everybody loves quizzes, right? If it is the .pdf file that bothers you, here is the quiz in convenient html form on The Guardian website. And remember that “scire ubi aliquid invenire possis ea demummaximapars eruditionis est“.

12 thoughts on “Your Holiday Assignment

  1. The first one is Danish … 1.1

    Christian IX 1818-1906, King of Denmark 1868-1906

    ‘Bedstefar’ means grandfather. I do however think that they meant ‘svigerfar’ which means ‘father in law’. Consequently the Wikipedia entry reports … (a stub!)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father-in-law_of_Europe

    _’The sobriquet “Father-in-law of Europe” was carried by two European monarchs in the late 19th and early 20th century: Christian IX of Denmark and Nikola I of Montenegro, both on account of their children’s marriages to foreign princes and princesses._’

  2. section 4 is lines. I suspect section 11 is songs (Don Giovanni and Molly Malone, at least). Section 3 is astronomical (which is why you saw low hanging fruit).

  3. Oops, I kept seeing “0 comments”, which prompted me to post the slightly comminatory addendum. Sorry for that.

    As for my answers (still not googling) :

    1.9 Alfred Dreyfus

    1.10 should be about rugby, right? Though I always get my Rubgy League and Rugby Union mixed up (in French, you speak about “rugby à 15” and “rugby à 13”).

    Section 3 : I really could use a bit of googling on that one, but I’m pretty sure that 3.4 is Halley. 3.6 refers of course to the discovery of Neptune : wasn’t the French guy called Le Verrier?

    4.7 : Maginot line, which confirms the theme spotted by jim.

    18.10 Paul McCartney (“when I’m 64”)

    I feel bad I can’t seem to find more on the 2006 section.

  4. 1.3 Presumably the Dalai Lama

    4.10 The Hindenburg Line

    12.4 Mens’ Sunday hats (Pied Piper of Hemaln)

    14.1 Peter the Great

    14.10 Betrayal of King Lear

    17.5 Sir Patrick Cullen

  5. 2,9 Bridget Jones?
    5,2 St Paul’s Cathedral
    11,2 Marley, Christmas Carol
    11,3 Monkey’s Paw
    11,5 Commendatore, Don Giovanni?
    11,6 Molly Malone
    12,4 men’s Sunday hats
    12,9 solar topee, Mad Dogs and Englishmen
    14,1 Peter the Great
    18,3 Pluto

  6. Skipping the ones I think other folks got right:
    1.3: Teddy Roosevelt
    1.5: Coca-cola
    1.8 the Sirio
    2.3 Tom Jones
    2.5 Burne-Jones
    2.6 Brian Jones
    4.2 Rock Island Line
    4.9 Bowline
    6.9 Dodge City (?) 6 = cities?
    8.6 his ship in the Shadow Line, but I’d have to look it up
    12.7 bluestockings(?)
    13.4 silverfish
    14.5 the Ancient Mariner
    16.8 who makes Kangos?
    16.10 who makes Oxo?
    17.4 Dr.Aziz

  7. Leaving out the ones I think other people got right.
    1.3 Teddy Roosevelt
    1.5 Coca-cola
    1.8 the Sirio
    2.1 Sorrowful Jones
    2.3 Tom Jones
    2.5 Burne-Jones
    2.6 Brian Jones
    3.4 Halley
    4.1 sewer line (?)
    4.2 Rock Island Line
    4.9 bowline
    6.9 Dodge City
    6.10 Kilkenny
    8.6 his first ship. I’ll have to look it up in the Shadow Line
    9.7 is this in Tristram Shandy?
    12.7 bluestockings(?)
    13.4 silverfish
    14.3 Svein Forkbeard
    14.5 the Ancient Mariner
    17.4 Dr. Aziz

  8. Sorry for the double post. I thought the first failed to get through. Conrad does not name the ship in The Shadow Line, so I got frustrated and googled it: the Otago. I think that section is “O” words. I am googling answers now…

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