Knights and elves and suffragettes – take the Thursday quiz

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More mysterious than the riddle of the Sphinx: the mystery of how this increasingly ridiculous quiz keeps getting published. Ahead of you are 15 topical and general knowledge question in a bizarre set of categories including “Blowing things up, but at sea”. You’ll also meet Kate Bush, Ron from Sparks, and have a hidden Doctor Who reference to spot. It is just for fun, there are no prizes. Let us know how you get on in the comments – but do try not to take it so seriously that you end up fact-checking the jokes.

The Thursday quiz, No 38

  1. Orlando Bloom
    Orlando Bloom

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY: It is Orlando Bloom's birthday today. Happy birthday, Orlando! He first came to global prominence in the Lord of the Rings movies as Legolas, but what is the name of his character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series?

    1. Joshamee Gibbs

    2. Will Turner

    3. Cutler Beckett

    4. Henry Avery

  2. Ursula K Le Guin
    Ursula K Le Guin

    LITERATURE: Ursula K Le Guin is regarded as one of the foremost science fiction writers of the 20th century. But which of these ISN'T the title of one of her book series?

    1. The Earthsea Cycle

    2. Hainish Cycle

    3. Annals of the Western Shore

    4. Discworld

  3. Science corner
    Science corner

    GCSE SCIENCE CORNER: In the modern periodic table, how are the elements of a period arranged from left to right?

    1. In order of boiling point in degrees Kelvin

    2. In order of discovery

    3. In order of increasing atomic number

    4. In alphabetical order of their name in Latin

  4. Investitures at Windsor Castle
    Investitures at Windsor Castle

    CHIVALRY: The Royal Order of the Seraphim is a chivalry order that appoints knights. Where?

    1. Sweden

    2. The Tintin books

    3. Turkey

    4. The James Bond novels

  5. Old Tv
    Old Tv

    ENSEMBLE CASTS: Which streaming Marvel TV series featured Kathryn Hahn, Debra Jo Rupp and Fred Melamed as part of its regular cast?

    1. Loki

    2. Hawkeye

    3. Jessica Jones

    4. WandaVision

  6. Portrait of Ernestine Rose
    Portrait of Ernestine Rose

    ON THIS DAY: Ernestine Rose was born in Warsaw on 13 January 1810. She was a prominent women's rights advocate and suffragist in the US during the 19th century. But she died where in England?

    1. Brighton

    2. Bath

    3. Bristol

    4. Bournemouth

  7. Sparks

    (BABY BABY) CAN I INVADE YOUR COUNTRY? That's a 2006 song by Sparks where they suggest that countries, planets, stars and galaxies are all fair game. But that's not important right now. China upset the UK's security forces by releasing a spoof video featuring which spy?

    1. Jane Bond

    2. James Fond

    3. James Pond

    4. James Wrong

  8. Cleisthenes

    ANCIENT HOOLIGANISM: In AD532 rival factions of chariot race supporters triggered the Nika riots, which, it is claimed, destroyed nearly half of which city?

    1. Constantinople

    2. Rome

    3. Athens

    4. Alexandria

  9. Athens, Greece
    Athens, Greece

    FLAGS OF JOY: The Greek flag – notably not pictured here – features a white cross on a blue background in the top left-hand corner. Ignoring that bit, how many BLUE stripes does it have on the main body of the flag?

    1. Three

    2. Five

    3. Seven

    4. Nine

  10. New tree
    New tree

    TO TREE OR NOT TO TREE: It has been announced that the first new plant to be officially named in 2022 – this exciting looking tree discovered in the Ebo forest in Cameroon – has been named after which famous Hollywood actor for their environmental campaigning?

    1. Meryl Streep

    2. Jane Fonda

    3. Jon Voight

    4. Leonardo DiCaprio

  11. Submarine

    BLOWING THINGS UP, BUT AT SEA: Britain's nuclear weapons are carried by four submarines as part of the Trident programme. What are their names?

    1. Endeavour, Endurance, Enterprise and Excalibur

    2. Nautilus, Nelson, Nemesis and Neptune

    3. Vanguard, Vengeance, Victorious and Vigilant

    4. John, Paul, George and Ringo

  12. Salma Hayek
    Salma Hayek

    THE PLAY'S THE THING: Who wrote The Vagina Monologues, first performed in New York in 1996, and seen here being performed by Salma Hayek in Mexico City?

    1. Eve Ensler

    2. Leah Nanako Winkler

    3. Alice Tuan

    4. Amy Herzog

  13. Africa Cup of Nations 2019
    Africa Cup of Nations 2019

    AFCON 21: The Africa Cup of Nations has started in Cameroon for 24 men's football teams from the continent. Which Indian Ocean island nation, whose capital is Moroni, have qualified for the finals for the very first time?

    1. Réunion

    2. Madagascar

    3. Seychelles

    4. Comoros

  14. The Riddler!
    The Riddler!

    WHO AM I? I was an Oscar-nominated writer and director, who died last week at the age of 82. My many credits included The Last Picture Show, What’s Up, Doc? and Paper Moon. Who am I?

    1. Mike Fenton

    2. Peter Bogdanovich

    3. Bertrand Tavernier

    4. Joan Micklin Silver

  15. Joni / Stevie / Marianne / Kate
    Joni / Stevie / Marianne / Kate

    MUSIC: In 1988, Peter Gabriel guested on whose album, titled Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm?

    1. Joni Mitchell

    2. Stevie Nicks

    3. Marianne Faithfull

    4. Kate Bush


1:B - The character appears in The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest, At World's End, and Dead Men Tell No Tales., 2:D - Of course, Discworld is the work of Terry Pratchett. Le Guin's career spanned from 1959 to 2018 and she won eight Hugo Awards., 3:C - The rows of the table are called periods and the columns are called groups. Along each row the elements are listed by their increasing atomic number, which – as we all know – is the number of protons found in the nucleus, which is unique to that element., 4:A - It is Swedish and was created by King Frederick I in February 1748., 5:D - It was indeed WandaVision, which gave to the world that image of Kathryn Hahn's character, Agatha Harkness, winking in an exaggerated fashion at the camera, which you will have seen 1,057 times on the internet., 6:A - Having travelled through Europe and emigrated to the US from England in 1836, she became a prominent voice for women's rights, organising petitions in favour of property rights for married women, and campaigning alongside such luminaries as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B Anthony. She moved back to England in 1869, and when her health allowed she campaigned for women's suffrage there, until her death in Brighton in 1892., 7:C - The four-minute English language video also appeared to feature a spoof Marvel character called Black Window. I wonder if those puns worked better in the original Chinese. Anyway, you can tell by his face that Ron from Sparks thinks you should have known that., 8:A - It wasn't just about the chariot races, but supporters of the rival Blues and Greens also had major grievances with Emperor Justinian I. He survived an attempt to depose him during the riots, and contemporary sources suggest as many as 30,000 rioters were killed., 9:B - There are nine stripes in total – said to represent the nine syllables of the phrase Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος ('Freedom or Death', cheerful stuff) – but that is five blue stripes and four white ones., 10:D - It is Leo. The tree has been named Uvariopsis dicaprio, in a move that was a very serious scientific endeavour and in no way a cynical ploy designed to actually get the story into newspaper quizzes., 11:C - Imagine it though – 'Yes mum, I've been assigned to HMS Ringo'. The Vanguard-class submarines were built at Barrow-in-Furness between 1986 and 1999, and are based at HM Naval Base Clyde., 12:A - The play was written under the name Eve Ensler, but in recent years she has opted to ditch the name given to her by her abusive father, and prefers to be known simply as V., 13:D - Comoros only joined CAF in 2003, and has made it to the finals for the first time at their seventh attempt. It lies at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel off the eastern coast of Africa, and has a population of about 850,000., 14:B - His 1968 movie Targets was a breakout crime thriller. His next film was 1971’s The Last Picture Show, starring Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd and Cloris Leachman. It was a rapturously received drama that earned eight Oscar nominations and won two awards., 15:A - It was Joni Mitchell's 13th studio album, and Peter Gabriel appeared on the track My Secret Place. He did collaborate with Kate Bush several times – most notably on the duet Don't Give Up, but Kate also sang backing vocals on his hit single Games Without Frontiers.


  1. 0 and above.

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

  2. 4 and above.

    We hope you had fun – let us know how you got on 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 but remember, the quiz master’s word is always final, and he is seething about people relentlessly banging on about the completely made up January “Blue Monday”.

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