Presidents, aliens and seahorses galore – take the Thursday quiz

·7-min read
<span>Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA</span>
Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

The quiz master is on holiday, but the moment has been prepared for. You still face 14 questions about nearly topical news and general knowledge – with some jokes and weird facts thrown in. It is just for fun, there are no prizes, but there are still anagrams, a hidden Doctor Who reference for you to spot, and always Kate Bush. Let us know how you get on in the comments. Enjoy yourselves, and be kind to each other.

The Thursday quiz, No 16

  1. Strictly Come Dancing
    Strictly Come Dancing

    SHOWBIZ NEWS: John Whaite will compete in this winter's series of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing as part of the first all-male pairing. He previously won which TV show?

    1. The Great Pottery Throwdown

    2. The Great British Sewing Bee

    3. The Great British Bake Off

    4. Countdown

  2. WELL THIS IS AWKWARD: A restaurant in Nottingham has been accused by a British MP of “glamourising drug lords and terrorism”. What is it called?

    1. Che Guevara

    2. Walter White

    3. El Chapo

    4. Escobar

  3. BAT MURDER HORROR: A lovely beautiful cuddly Nathusius’ pipistrelle bat, weighing only 8g, was found dead, savagely murdered by a cat, after it appeared to have flown more than 1,000km. Its wing was marked with a “London Zoo” ring. Where was it found?

    1. Russia

    2. Ukraine

    3. Turkey

    4. Lebanon

  4. ON THIS DAY: 12 August marks the anniversary of the second battle of Mohács. Which empire did the forces of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I defeat?

    1. The Caliphate of Córdoba

    2. The Carthaginian Empire

    3. The Byzantine Empire

    4. The Ottoman Empire

  5. The eyes
    The eyes

    EYE KNOW WHO YOU ARE: Who is this?

    1. Ian McKellen

    2. John Hurt

    3. Patrick Stewart

    4. Christopher Lee

  6. Sparks

    WHAT THE HELL IS IT THIS TIME: What The Hell Is It This Time is a song by Sparks that imagines a god busy with famine and war, being somewhat vexed every time someone prays to get in touch with Him/Her because their girl has left them. But that’s not important right now. In which psalm in the Bible does it say: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters"?

    1. Psalm 23

    2. Psalm 46

    3. Psalm 121

    4. Psalm 138

  7. Man and rings
    Man and rings

    VERY MUCH NOT A GOOD SPORT: German coach Kim Raisner was thrown out of the Olympics at the weekend after she did what?

    1. Punched a referee

    2. Punched a horse

    3. Smuggled beer into the Olympic Village

    4. Announced that she'd started a European Super League and then had to back down a couple of days later

  8. A weird seahorse picture
    A weird seahorse picture

    SEAHORSE TIME: Where in Northern Ireland has the seahorse as part of its emblem?

    1. Armagh

    2. Belfast

    3. Derry

    4. Newry

  9. Seahorse

    TRUE OR SEAHORSE: At least two different species of seahorse can be found in coastal waters off the UK and Ireland.

    1. True

    2. False

  10. A seahorse
    A seahorse

    TENUOUS SEAHORSE: Now, you might know that seahorses are members of the genus Hippocampus. Humans have a hippocampus. Where?

    1. Liver

    2. Spleen

    3. Kidney

    4. Brain

  11. John Squire / Bernard Butler / Guy Chambers / Kate Bush
    John Squire / Bernard Butler / Guy Chambers / Kate Bush

    MUSICAL SEAHORSE: The Seahorses had a couple of UK hits in the late 1990s, including Blinded By The Sun and Love Me And Leave Me. They featured a member who had previously been successful with UK hits in a different band including Love Spreads and Ten Story Love Song. Who?

    1. John Squire

    2. Bernard Butler

    3. Guy Chambers

    4. Kate Bush

  12. Nixon

    TRICKY DICKY: On 8 August 1974 Richard Nixon announced his resignation as US president. His religious faith had allowed him an exemption from serving in the second world war. What was it?

    1. Methodist

    2. Mormon

    3. Quaker

    4. Anabaptist

  13. Duran Duran
    Duran Duran

    SYNTH-POP!: What was Duran Duran's debut single? Plot twist – you aren't going to believe it, but it is anagram time …

    1. Commies Releasers

    2. Mr Oil Flings

    3. Funky Eighth Orwell

    4. Elephant Tar

  14. Jeff Wayne&#39;s War of the Worlds
    Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds

    AND FINALLY: The aliens that invaded Earth in the HG Wells novelisation of Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds came from which planet?

    1. Mars

    2. Venus

    3. Charybdis

    4. Mondas


1:C - Whaite won the third series of Bake Off in 2012 at the age of 23, and presents a weekly cooking segment on the Channel 4 show Steph’s Packed Lunch. He said: “I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family. I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on Earth. What’s more exciting for me, is that I’m going to be one half of the first all-male partnership, which is a great step forward in representation.", 2:D - Nadia Whittome, the Labour MP for Nottingham East, said she had been contacted by residents who were distressed about the newly opened bar, including one constituent whose relatives were allegedly killed by the late narcoterrorist Pablo Escobar, who features in a mural in the south American-themed restaurant., 3:A - The bat was discovered by Svetlana Lapina in the small village of Moglino in the Pskov region of Russia. Suggesting that it had flown a long, long way. Or the cat had made a return journey to London, killed, and come back with it – this is yet to be ruled out., 4:D - By all accounts it ended up a rather lopsided battle, with the Habsburg army sustaining about 600 deaths, but an estimated 10,000 members of the Ottoman forces perished, although it is possible that contemporary Habsburg sources may have exaggerated that figure. Either way, the Ottomans went into a disorganised retreat., 5:C - Make it so!, 6:A - It is indeed Psalm 23, which goes on to cheerfully send the protagonist through the valley of death. You can tell by his face that Ron from Sparks thinks you should have known that., 7:B - In the modern pentathlon, horses are assigned to riders at random, and they have about 20 minutes to bond before showjumping. Video showed Raisner striking the horse Saint Boy when he proved to be less than thrilled with the way that Annika Schleu was trying to ride him. It was some members of the Australian hockey team who got into trouble for going out to buy booze forbidden by anti-Covid regulations. And it was coach Murad Gaidarov who assaulted a referee during the wrestling., 8:B - Merchants printed the beautiful creatures on their coins throughout the 17th century, and two seahorses feature on Belfast’s coat of arms., 9:A - It is true, we are blessed with the presence of the spiny seahorse and the short-snouted seahorse, both of which, incidentally, sound like perfectly good descriptions of hedgehogs as well., 10:D - The hippocampus is a complex brain structure embedded deep into the temporal lobe, probably just next to Shatner's Bassoon., 11:A - Squire formed the band after the Stone Roses spent approximately 1,057 years recording their second album and it turned out not being very good apart from Love Spreads. The Seahorses are not to be confused with the Shirehorses, the spoof band by Mark'n'Lard. Or indeed to be confused with Kate Bush. Bernard Butler was the guitarist who quit Suede – that's the London Suede if you are in the US – and Guy Chambers was the song-writing partner of Robbie Williams during his most successful string of hits in the 1990s., 12:C - Nixon's mother was a Quaker, and their pacifism meant he did not fight in the war, although he later joined the US navy. Some Quakers have disputed how strongly he identified as a Quaker – he only devoted a handful of paragraphs in his memoirs to religion. Manic Street Preachers tried to rehabilitate Nixon's reputation with a single The Love of Richard Nixon in 2004. Results remain inconclusive., 13:D - The band scored their first hit with Planet Earth, which was released in February 1981. Careless Memories (Commies Releasers) was their slightly less successful follow-up, before Girls On Film (Mr Oil Flings) and its controversial video directed by Godley & Creme of 10cc ensured their success. Hungry Like The Wolf (Funky Eighth Orwell) was their fifth single., 14:A - The chances of anything coming from Mars were a million to one, they said. I do realise that the HG Wells novel pre-dates the Jeff Wayne LP, and I have read it, but I'm a simple child of the 1970s and it will always be Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds to me. ULLLLLLAAAAAAA!!


  1. 0 and above.

    Do let us know how you get on in the comments!

  2. 7 and above.

    Do let us know how you get 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, he’s on holiday, so you’ll most likely just get his ‘out of office’ and then your email will be deleted unread when he gets back. Along with all the ones from his boss.

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