A Japanese princess, an emperor’s church, and Prince’s destination – take the Thursday quiz

<span>Photograph: Chris O’Meara/AP</span>
Photograph: Chris O’Meara/AP

Alas and alack, the Thursday quiz is back. Fifteen questions on general knowledge and topical trivia, laced with a few jokes and regular appearances from Kate Bush, Ron from Sparks, the anagrams that everybody loves so much, and a hidden Doctor Who reference to spot. It is just for fun, there really are no prizes – but let us know how you get on in the comments

The Thursday quiz, No 30

  1. Former princess Mako Komuro
    Former princess Mako Komuro

    RETIREMENT PLAN: Japanese former princess Mako Komuro has arrived in the US with her husband, Kei Komuro, after leaving the royal family and relinquishing her royal title. Where in the US have they moved to?

    1. Miami

    2. Washington DC

    3. Los Angeles

    4. New York

  2. Daniel Humm
    Daniel Humm

    POSH NOSH: The five-star Claridge’s hotel in Mayfair has lost its chef Daniel Humm after it rejected his vision for what?

    1. Banning MPs from dining

    2. An all-vegan menu

    3. Nudist theme nights

    4. A European Super League™

  3. Ultravox / Human League / Thompson Twins / Kate Bush
    Ultravox / Human League / Thompson Twins / Kate Bush

    MUSIC: British retailer John Lewis has faced accusations that their new Christmas ad features a "borrowed" maudlin piano-and-misery driven arrangement of hitherto joyous eighties hit Together In Electric Dreams. But who sang on the original version, a side project with legendary producer Giorgio Moroder?

    1. Midge Ure from Ultravox

    2. Phil Oakey from Human League

    3. Tom Bailey from Thompson Twins

    4. Kate Bush from Kate Bush

  4. Prince

    LYRIC ROUND: In the song Alphabet Street, Prince claims he's going to pick up the first girl he sees, put her in the back seat, and drive her in his daddy's car to … where?

    1. Salt Lake City

    2. Tennessee

    3. New Orleans

    4. Milton Keynes

  5. Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    Frankie Goes To Hollywood

    POETRY CORNER: Talking of lyrics, Frankie Goes To Hollywood famously misquoted the opening to the poem Kubla Khan, with Holly Johnson gleefully intoning "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan, a stately pleasure-dome erect" when the original has "decree" rather than an erection. But who wrote the original poem?

    1. William Wordsworth

    2. Lord Byron

    3. Percy Bysshe Shelley

    4. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  6. Ryan at Wrexham
    Ryan at Wrexham

    WHAT GOES DOWN MUST COME UP (EVENTUALLY): Wrexham are the oldest football club in Wales, and have become probably the richest club in non-league football after they were purchased by Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds and American actor Rob McElhenney in February 2021. Which character does Reynolds play in the Marvel movies?

    1. Deadpool

    2. Winter Soldier

    3. Hawkeye

    4. Vinder

  7. Wales v Belarus
    Wales v Belarus

    MORE WELSH SPORT: At the weekend, the men's Welsh football team secured a play-off place to try to qualify for the 2022 Fifa World Cup. When was the last time that Wales appeared in a men's Fifa World Cup finals tournament?

    1. 1938

    2. 1958

    3. 1978

    4. 1998

  8. Waterfalls of Wadi El Rayan in Egypt
    Waterfalls of Wadi El Rayan in Egypt

    BIBLICAL PLAGUES: More than 500 people have been reportedly hospitalised by what in southern Egypt, after storms forced the creatures out of their hiding places? It wasn't these cute camels by the way.

    1. Wasp stings

    2. Bat bites

    3. Spider bites

    4. Scorpion stings

  9. Beaker and Bunsen
    Beaker and Bunsen

    GCSE SCIENCE CORNER: Plants are widely renowned for their use of photosynthesis, which produces oxygen among other things. Apart from sunlight, which of these sets of two things do plants also mainly use in the process?

    1. Nitrogen and water

    2. Carbon dioxide and water

    3. Carbon dioxide and nitrogen

    4. Carbon dioxide and argon

  10. GEOGRAPHY: Which of these North American river and city pairings is incorrect?

    1. The Missouri river flows through Kansas City, Kansas

    2. The Rio Grande river flows through Albuquerque, New Mexico

    3. The Mississippi river flows through Memphis, Tennessee

    4. The Yukon river flows through Anchorage, Alaska

  11. A mystery US state flag
    A mystery US state flag

    FLAGS OF JOY: While we are in North America, which US state flag is this? Would you like the anagrams now? You surely would.

    1. Muscat stashes

    2. Ham icing

    3. Omen stain

    4. Sis is imp psi

  12. French flag
    French flag

    FLAGS OF CHANGE: It has emerged that Emmanuel Macron’s office has done what to the French flags flying at the entrance of the Élysée Palace since July last year and nobody particularly noticed?

    1. Tripled the number of them

    2. Changed their aspect ratio from 2:3 to 3:5

    3. Changed the blue to a darker shade of blue

    4. Embiggened them all over in a perfectly cromulent way

  13. Ron

    BEAT THE CLOCK: That is a 1979 song by Sparks where they've seen everything there is. But that's not important right now. A train driver in Japan is suing his employer after it docked their wages over a one-minute delay they claim was not their fault. How much pay were they docked?

    1. ¥43 (0.28 GBP / 0.38 USD)

    2. ¥430 (2.82 GBP / 3.78 USD)

    3. ¥4,300 (28.16 GBP / 37.75 USD)

    4. ¥43,000 (281.52 GBP / 377.51 USD)

  14. Old Tv
    Old Tv

    ENSEMBLE CAST: Which British sitcom that featured ONE of the Two Ronnies also featured Barbara Lott, William Moore and Marguerite Hardiman as actors in the regular cast?

    1. Sorry!

    2. Porridge

    3. Open All Hours

    4. When The Dog Dies

  15. Martin Belam outside the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican
    Martin Belam outside the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican

    ON THIS DAY: Some sources claim that 18 November 1626 marks the exact completion date of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican. It replaced the earlier Old St Peter's Basilica ordered to be built by which Roman emperor?

    1. Theodosius I

    2. Basiliscus

    3. Constantine the Great

    4. Justinian I


1:D - Japanese media said the Komuros, who met while attending university in Tokyo a decade ago, have already secured a place to live in New York, though it was not clear where in the city they had chosen to set up their new life. Kei Komuro attended law school and now works in the city., 2:B - Humm, 45, will leave at the end of the year after talks with the management about transforming the kitchen in his London restaurant at Claridge’s hotel to serve only plant-based dishes failed., 3:B - Alt-folk duo the Portraits have claimed the advert has lifted their arrangement of the song from last year, which John Lewis have strenuously denied. The track was originally written and recorded by Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder for the 1984 movie Electric Dreams. , 4:B - Yes. The apparent abduction plan culminates in a trip to Tennessee, not to the glamorous Milton Keynes., 5:D - It was Coleridge. The poem is unfinished because Coleridge claimed it came to him in a dream and then when he was trying to write it all down he was interrupted. This happens to the quiz master too, I have these dreams of one hundred brilliant inspired quiz questions, and then you end up with this old tosh. , 6:A - Reynolds starred as the outrageous R-rated superhero in Deadpool (2016) and Deadpool 2 (2018). Wrexham had spent 80 consecutive seasons in the Football League before being relegated to non-league in 2008., 7:B - The only time Wales made it to the finals they reached the quarter-final stage, losing in Sweden 1-0 to eventual tournament winners Brazil. , 8:D - Those stung by the scorpions said their symptoms included severe pain, fever, sweating, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle tremors and head twitching. The acting health minister, Khalid Abdel-Ghafar, confirmed in a statement that no deaths were reported from scorpion stings. The ministry of health reassured the public that it had enough anti-venom doses., 9:B - Within the plant's cells, the water loses electrons, the carbon dioxide gains electrons, and this transforms the water into oxygen and the carbon dioxide into glucose. The plant then releases the oxygen back into the air and stores energy within the glucose. Neat., 10:D - The Yukon actually flows further north in Alaska than Anchorage, coming out into the Bering Sea at Kusilvak., 11:A - First made famous by the Bee Gees in 1967, it is indeed Massachusetts. The Latin motto means "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty" which is about as passive-aggressive as you can get on a flag. Your other choices were Michigan (Ham icing), Minnesota (Omen stain) and Mississippi (Sis is imp psi – which is also possibly a b-side by The Fall), 12:C - Emmanuel Macron’s office has darkened the blue in the French flags flying around the Élysée Palace to bring the tricolore in line with how it looked after the French revolution. The EU flag is Marian Blue, the tone declared the official colour for the Virgin Mary in the fifth century. The French flag – regularly flown or placed next to it – was changed to match it in the 1970s when the late Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, a staunch europhile, was in the Élysée and when it was decided to lighten the colour of the French flag for aesthetic reasons to avoid a clash of blues. , 13:A - It might have been a tiny amount, but just like pedants in comments under a quiz, it is the principle that counts. And you can tell by his face that Ron from Sparks thinks you should have known that., 14:A - It was Sorry! starring Ronnie Corbett as Timothy Lumsden which ran from 1981 until 1988. Barbara Lott was Timothy's mother Phyllis Lumsden, William Moore his dad Sydney, and Marguerite Hardiman was his sister Muriel. Porridge and Open All Hours both starred Ronnie Barker. When The Dog Dies was a Radio 4 sitcom starring Corbett., 15:C - Constantine, the first Roman emperor to embrace Christianity, ruled from 306 to 337, and ordered it to be built. Basiliscus was really an emperor, by the way, not just a terrible pun for an answer. And yes, that is the quiz master himself in the photo enjoying visiting the Vatican back in 2006 when he didn't have to write a quiz every week. Simpler times.


  1. 0 and above.

    We hope you had fun – let us know how you got in the comments!

  2. 5 and above.

    We hope you had fun – let us know how you got in the comments!

  • If you do think there has been an egregious error in one of the questions or answers, please feel free to email martin.belam@theguardian.com but remember, the quiz master’s word is always final, and you wouldn’t want him to release the scorpions.