Hungry dogs, chatty bots and Lady Gaga’s new job – take the Thursday quiz

Thursday again, we exclaim with surprise, as if seven rotations of the planet was some kind of innate measure of time rather than an arbitrary distinction that capitalism imposed on us. Anyway, cheer up. Fifteen vaguely topical and general knowledge questions await you, with an extra bonus this week. It is just for fun. There are no prizes. But feel free to let us know in the comments your score, and you could earn bonus points if you spot any oblique nods to Doctor Who. Enjoy!

The Thursday quiz, No 60

  1. Man with a plan
    Man with a plan

    I'M AFRAID I CAN'T DO THAT DAVE: Google has put an engineer on leave after he kept saying one of its AI chatbots had become sentient. What is the chatbot called?

    1. Dall-E 2 mini

    2. GPT-3

    3. Wotan

    4. LaMDA

  2. The ship wreck
    The ship wreck

    FULL FATHOM FIVE: The wreck of a Royal Navy warship that sank in 1682 while carrying the future king James Stuart has been identified off the coast of Norfolk. What was it called?

    1. HMS Gloucester

    2. HMS Nottingham

    3. HMS Stafford

    4. SS Bernice

  3. Cinema seats
    Cinema seats

    THE SILVER SCREEN: Irish-language film An Cailín Ciúin has earned more than €600,000 since its release last month, breaking box office records in Ireland and the UK. What is the title of the film in translation?

    1. The Strange Girl

    2. The Perfect Girl

    3. The Impossible Girl

    4. The Quiet Girl

  4. Sue Barker
    Sue Barker

    DEUCE: Sue Barker has announced this year will be her last year broadcasting from Wimbledon. But when did she retire as a professional tennis player?

    1. 1976

    2. 1980

    3. 1984

    4. 1988

  5. Politician

    FACES IN THE NEWS: Who is this?

    1. Charles Michel, president of the European Council

    2. Olaf Scholz, chancellor of Germany

    3. Mario Draghi, prime minister of Italy

    4. Pedro Sánchez, prime minister of Spain

  6. Laurel and Hardy
    Laurel and Hardy

    ANOTHER FINE MESS: It would have been comedian Stan Laurel's birthday today. But where was he (pictured, left) born?

    1. Old Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

    2. Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

    3. Nairn, Nairnshire, Scotland

    4. Ulverston, Lancashire, England

  7. Willow is unimpressed with a banana
    Willow is unimpressed with a banana

    IT'S A DOG'S LIFE: A 12-week-old puppy named Daisy (not pictured – that's Willow) has successfully had emergency surgery in Derby after eating what?

    1. 20 whole coins adding up to £2.68

    2. A whole box of Durex-brand 'Pleasure me ribbed and dotted' condoms

    3. Four whole pork chops, and all of the plastic packaging they came in

    4. 70 whole ancient Sumerian cubits worth of dog treats

  8. Science!

    GCSE SCIENCE CORNER: Which of these actions causes there to be a chemical reaction?

    1. Adding vinegar to water

    2. Mixing salt with water

    3. Stirring sugar into a cup of tea

    4. Leaving milk to go sour

  9. Maths

    FIBONACCI NUMBERS: First described in Indian mathematics, and forming a sequence where each number is the sum of the two preceding ones, F₁₇ is 1597 and thankfully the last question in this series. But in 1597 Jacopo Peri and Jacopo Corsi wrote what is considered by many to be the first opera. Setting the story of a Greek myth to music, what was it called?

    1. Dafne

    2. Euridice

    3. Metope

    4. Opera

  10. McDonald's substitute in Moscow
    McDonald's substitute in Moscow

    HAVE IT YOUR WAY: McDonald's restaurants in Russia have begun reopening with a new logo and under the new name Vkusno & tochka, which (roughly) translates to what?

    1. Burgers and that's it

    2. Tasty and that's it

    3. Fast food and that's it

    4. Clown-free and that's it

  11. Valentina

    IN THE STARS: On 16 June 1963, before there was a McDonald's in Moscow, the Soviet Union sent Valentina Tereshkova into space. She was the first woman that we know of to go into orbit. What was the name of her spaceship?

    1. Vostok 6

    2. Sputnik 5

    3. Voskhod 2

    4. Zond 3

  12. Lady Gaga
    Lady Gaga

    JOKER FACE: Lady Gaga is going to be starring in the sequel to the miserabilist multi-award-winning Joker movie. Who will she be playing?

    1. Batgirl, the daughter of Commissioner James Gordon

    2. Harley Quinn, an Arkham Asylum psychiatrist who falls in love with the Joker

    3. Poison Ivy, the alter ego of so-called 'eco-terrorist' Dr Pamela Lillian Isley

    4. The Anchoress, the oldest living inmate of Arkham Asylum kept eternally young due to her experiments with quantum mechanics

  13. Stamps

    PHILATELY SPEAKING: Which rock star's childhood stamp collection will be going on display at the Postal Museum in London in July?

    1. Rod Stewart

    2. Freddie Mercury

    3. Roger Daltrey

    4. Ron from Sparks

  14. Ron Mael
    Ron Mael

    NICOTINA: That's a 1982 song by Sparks, but that's not important right now. It has been recommended that the smoking age in England should rise by a year, each and every year, to extinguish the habit. Which other country has previously announced this policy?

    1. Japan

    2. Switzerland

    3. Australia

    4. New Zealand

  15. Hot air balloon
    Hot air balloon

    ALLONS-Y: The website Wikivoyage lists 23 locations visited by the fictional Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty Days, none of them by hot air balloon. No 20 is New York, New York, US. So good they named it twice. But what was it originally called?

    1. New Volendam

    2. New Amsterdam

    3. New Rotterdam

    4. New Veendam

  16. Music bridge
    Music bridge

    BONUS CORRECTION QUESTION: Which of these cities is not mentioned in the massive smash hit Pop Muzik by Robin Scott's M?

    1. London

    2. Paris

    3. New York

    4. Madrid


1:D - LaMDA is Google’s most advanced 'large language model' (LLM), a type of neural network fed vast amounts of text in order to sound exactly like how an AI in a sci-fi novel would if you asked an AI in a sci-fi novel what it is frightened of. Here at the Thursday quiz we are unconcerned about the development unless it starts arguing pedantically in the comments section, 2:A - James Stuart, who survived the wreckage and went on to become King James II of England and Ireland and King James VII of Scotland, took the whole thing very well. He delayed abandoning the ship until the last minute, needlessly costing the lives of many who, because of protocol, could not abandon the ship before royalty, and then demanded the pilot be hanged for running it aground, 3:D - Directed by Colm Bairéad, and based on the New Yorker story turned novella Foster by Claire Keegan, the film follows a 10-year-old girl who is sent to live with foster parents on a farm in County Waterford for a summer in the early 1980s. It has won multiple awards and rave reviews from critics, including the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw who called it a jewel, 4:C - Barker won 15 singles titles and 12 doubles titles during her career, and played her last professional match in 1984, 5:A - The Belgian politician has been in the role since 2019, 6:D - He was born in Ulverston, which now has a statue of Laurel and Hardy, 7:A - Vet nurse Sally Frith, who works at Derby PDSA Pet hospital, said: 'Daisy has broken a new record – we couldn’t believe the number of coins she’d managed to eat, especially for such a tiny puppy.' Daisy's owner rather naively said 'I had no idea a puppy would even eat this sort of thing.' The pictured dog Willow is the official dog of the Thursday quiz, 8:D - This is the only one where new chemicals are formed, as bacteria act on the lactose in milk, progressively making it more acidic. The others just peacefully coexist together, although the taste will change, 9:A - Although the music is mostly lost and it was set for a very small ensemble, Dafne contains all the recognisable elements of opera, and was written in an attempt to revive the art of Greek theatre. They did a follow-up about Euridice, so possibly they invented 'popular franchise with multiple sequels' as well, 10:B - McDonald’s announced its exit from the Russian market in May, saying it would sell its 850 restaurants due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. On Sunday, the new Russian fast-food chain that bought out McDonald’s opened its first 15 restaurants in Moscow. It plans to eventually reopen all of them. The Thursday quiz knows that 'have it your way' is a Burger King slogan. That's the joke, 11:A - Sputnik 5 was the first spaceship to successfully return live animals to Earth, which was bad news for poor old Laika on Sputnik 2. Voskhod 2 featured the first spacewalk, and Zond 3 was the first Soviet radio telescope in space. Tereshkova is still alive, and is a member of Russia's state Duma, where she enthusiastically represents the pro-Putin United Russia party, which just goes to show that you can reach for the stars but still have feet of clay, 12:B - Margot Robbie played the character in the Suicide Squad movies, but Gaga’s version is expected to ‘exist in a different universe’. As Eleanor Morton beautifully put it: 'Can we have a Joker movie where the Joker does Joker things like jumps out of a giant Jack-in-the-box and has killer balloons and stuff, not like a sad Joker who's mentally ill, I dunno, it just doesn't scream Joker to me', 13:B - Mercury spent his early life in Zanzibar, where his father, Bomi, worked for the British Colonial Office. Mercury inherited his father’s passion for stamps and is thought to have collected between the ages of nine and 12. Everybody knows that Ron collects snow globes, 14:D - Under the plan in New Zealand, people aged 14 and under will never get old enough to be able to legally purchase tobacco. You can tell by his face that Ronald from Sparks thinks you should have known that, 15:B - It was New Amsterdam, but the name was changed when possession passed from the Dutch to the English in 1664. It was also, incidentally, briefly known as New Orange during a later period of Dutch control, 16:D - The fourth city mentioned in the song is Munich. And not Münich, an entirely fictional place invented by last week's Thursday quiz being too enthusiastic about adding umlauts to things. You can either spell it Munich or München, but not Münich. The Thursday quiz would accordingly like to extend the Guardian's sincere apologies to all the people of Bävaria


  1. 0 and above.

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  • If you do think there has been an egregious error in one of the questions or answers, please feel free to email, but remember, the quiz master’s word is always final, and that’s it