Ruby slippers, Ruby Tuesday and a ruby anniversary – take the Thursday quiz

·7-min read

It is a very special themed version of the Thursday quiz today, because quite unbelievably it is the 40th edition – and it is yet to be shut down. The task ahead of you is 15 questions on topical news, general knowledge, and various other gubbins that has caught the quizmaster’s eye this week, many of them mentioning rubies or the number 40. Exciting, huh? There is also the timely return of one particular question category which is sure to prove hugely popular. There are no prizes. It is just for fun. Do let us know how you get on in the comments!

The Thursday quiz, No 40

  1. WHAT A GOOD GIRL: Admit it, as soon as you saw this story on the Guardian website, you knew it was a shoo-in for the Thursday quiz. Millie – pictured here posed by a stock image stand-in – was rescued from dangerous mudflats in Havant, Hampshire by attaching what to a drone?

    1. A sausage

    2. Some bacon

    3. Her favourite toy

    4. A press release announcing a European Super League™

  2. I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR LOVE: The almighty and incredibly best-selling Bat Out of Hell rock singer Meat Loaf departed this earth last week. But what was his real name?

    1. Michael Barratt

    2. Bernard William Fenton

    3. Harry Rodger Webb

    4. Michael Lee Aday

  3. Historic Electric Cinema reopens in Birmingham
    Historic Electric Cinema reopens in Birmingham

    THAT'S NOT HOW IT GOES: Chinese authorities appear to have changed the ending to which classic 1999 movie on streaming platform Tencent Video?

    1. The Sixth Sense

    2. Fight Club

    3. American Beauty

    4. The World Is Not Enough

  4. Johnstone strait, Vancouver island
    Johnstone strait, Vancouver island

    MASTER OF ILLUSION: Canadian photographer Simone Engels was stunned when she appeared to see what floating in the sea off Vancouver Island?

    1. A 17th century ghost sailing ship

    2. A pyramid

    3. An iceberg

    4. A dog chasing a sausage on a drone

  5. Ron from Sparks
    Ron from Sparks

    ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IS SEX: That is a 1983 Sparks song where they think about the places we've had our little fun. But that's not important right now. The traditional knob-throwing contest has had to be cancelled for the third-year running in which English county?

    1. Dorset

    2. Devon

    3. Durham

    4. Derbyshire

  6. Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty
    Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty

    KISS LIKE ETHER: Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty has been formally cleared of obscenity charges dating from when which Hollywood actor publicly kissed her at an Aids awareness event 15 years ago?

    1. Don Johnson

    2. Richard Gere

    3. Jeff Bridges

    4. Bill Murray

  7. The Wizard of Oz
    The Wizard of Oz

    RUBY SLIPPERS: In the movie The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy needs to click her ruby slippers to get home. What are they made of in L Frank Baum's original 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz?

    1. Diamond

    2. Gold

    3. Silver

    4. Pearl

  8. Rolling Stones in 1964
    Rolling Stones in 1964

    RUBY TUESDAY: Is one of the Rolling Stones all time greatest tunes, but which album did it first appear on in the UK? Warning pedants – it was a different album to the one it appeared on in the US, and we want the UK answer!

    1. Flowers

    2. Their Satanic Majesties Request

    3. Aftermath

    4. Out of Our Heads

  9. Beaker and Bunsen
    Beaker and Bunsen

    SCIENCE CORNER: A ruby is a crystalline form of which mineral made of aluminium oxide?

    1. Cryolite

    2. Corundum

    3. Covellite

    4. Cuprite

  10. Ruby Wax
    Ruby Wax

    COMEDY CORNER: Ruby Wax was born in Evanston, Illinois and is absolutely hilarious. But what was her surname at birth?

    1. Wachs

    2. Kandel

    3. Vinyl

    4. Telos

  11. Bucks Fizz / Shakin' Stevens / The Jam / Kate Bush
    Bucks Fizz / Shakin' Stevens / The Jam / Kate Bush

    MUSIC: Who had the UK No 1 single 40 years ago today on 27 January 1982?

    1. Bucks Fizz with The Land of Make Believe

    2. Shakin' Stevens with Oh Julie

    3. The Jam with Town Called Malice

    4. Kate Bush with Wuthering Heights

  12. Old Tv
    Old Tv

    ENSEMBLE CASTS: Having recently celebrated its 40th anniversay, which classic British sitcom featured Lennard Pearce, Roger Lloyd-Pack and Nicholas Lyndhurst among its regular cast?

    1. Goodnight Sweetheart

    2. Sink Or Swim

    3. Rings On Their Fingers

    4. Only Fools And Horses

  13. The Riddler!
    The Riddler!

    WHO AM I? I'm a 40-year-old California-born actor who has found fame in movies about the band Queen and as a James Bond villain. I also appeared in Mr Robot. Who am I?

    1. Martin Wallström

    2. Rami Malek

    3. Jamie Bell

    4. Taron Egerton

  14. Frozen stuff
    Frozen stuff

    THAT'S COLD EITHER WAY: True or false – the temperature -40C is the same temperature as -40F?

    1. True

    2. False

  15. Pikachu

    GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL: The Pokémon category is back due to overwhelming popular demand. There's a new Pokémon game out tomorrow for the Nintendo Switch. What is it called?

    1. Pokémon Legends: Zelda

    2. Pokémon Legends: Stolen Sword and Shattered Shield

    3. Pokémon Legends: Squirtle Squad

    4. Pokémon Legends: Arceus


1:A - 'One of the local residents on the beach where we were flying from supplied us with the sausages – I think they were from Aldi. The woman cooked them up for us and we attached them with string' said Chris Taylor, the chair of the Denmead Drone Search and Rescue team. Before launching the mission, they had to check Civil Aviation Authority regulations and the maximum takeoff weight, 2:D - He changed his real name to Michael Lee Aday after being born Marvin in September 1947 in Dallas, Texas. Apparently only Rumours by Fleetwood Mac has spent longer in the UK albums chart than his 1977 Bat Out of Hell album, 3:B - For some reason the movie's message of a dual-personality anarchist destroying the system hasn't resonated with Chinese authorities. Instead the final sequence of the movie has been replaced with a text card explaining that the authorities discovered the plot and shut it down. It isn't quite 'Poochie died on the way back to his home planet' but it is not far off, 4:C - Due to an effect known as a 'superior mirage' caused during a temperature inversion, when a band of warm air rests on a layer of cold air, bending light rays downwards, she say the top of the Cheam mountain range on the mainland of British Columbia, nearly 200km (124 miles) away looked as if it was floating on the sea, resembling an iceberg, 5:A - The Dorset knob-throwing contest involves competitors hurling a traditional Dorset knob – a hard biscuit – as far as they can. Other events on the day include knob-eating, knob-painting, a knob and spoon race, guess the weight of the big knob, knob darts and a knob pyramid. You can tell by his face that Ron from Sparks thinks you should grow up and stop sniggering at the back, 6:B - The incident triggered a controversy at the time, with radical Hindu groups burning effigies of both celebrities to protest against the perceived insult to Indian values. A judge soon afterwards issued arrest warrants, with the two actors accused of various counts of obscenity and indecency. The charges against Gere were quickly shelved, but the case against Shetty languished in India’s legal system for more than a decade until it was finally discharged in Mumbai last week, 7:C - Indeed. Did you know the dog was called Totoshka in the Russian translations by Alexander Melentyevich Volkov? You do now, 8:A - In the UK the track opened up side one of the 1967 compilation release Flowers. In the US it had been included on the stateside version of the Between The Buttons album. But that wasn't even an option here. Be off with you, discography pedants!, 9:B - Corundum also makes sapphires, depending on the impurities present. Rubies are red due to the presence of chromium, and sapphires exhibit a range of colours depending on what transition metal is present, 10:A - Yes, she just started spelling it in a more English way rather than in German, 11:B - Shakin' Stevens' Oh Julie replaced Bucks Fizz, who had been No 1 for two weeks with The Land of Make Believe. They also had a No 1 in April with My Camera Never Lies. The Jam enjoyed two No 1 singles that year – Town Called Malice in February and Beat Surrender in December. Wuthering Heights was Kate Bush's only solo No 1 single, back in 1978., 12:D - The show made its BBC debut on 8 September 1981, and went on to run for seven series and approximately 1,057 Christmas specials, 13:B - It was Rami Malek, who played Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic, was Lyutsifer Safin in No Time To Die, and played Elliot Alderson in Mr Robot, 14:A - Also less memorably measuring 233.15 Kelvin, -40C and -40F are the same temperature, the only time this happens on the temperature scales, 15:D - It is Pokémon Legends: Arceus. A prequel of sorts, it is set in the Sinnoh region, but in olden days, when it was known as the Hisui region. The location appears, from trailers, to be based on 18th century Japan.


  1. 0 and above.

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

  2. 3 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 quizmaster’s word is always final, and never ever prise the rubies out of the eyes of a statue when playing Dungeons & Dragons – it is always a trap!

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