There was different exercise for us last night—that for our brains. It was our annual quiz evening. The event was held in a local pub in Godalming, the King’s Head. The organiser booked a meal for the 42 of us and we ordered in advance. As a result we ate more than we needed for our mental workout.
After the food we moved upstairs to a function room where we sat around tables in teams of six or seven. The quiz master took the precaution of having his questions checked independently beforehand to make sure that none were ambiguous. He wanted no argument on the night.
There were 30 questions covering a variety of topics so that all participants were likely to be able to contribute some answers. The first two were anagrams.
Rearrange ‘Many pass undercover’ to form three new words. Clue: ramblers use them a lot.
Rearrange ‘Mean old serpent’ to form someone’s name. Clue: a person associated with the Labour Party.
The retired librarian at my table solved these in seconds. She also knew the title of the Dickens’ novel that featured Coketown and the character Gradgrind but couldn’t remember the time of the train given in the title of a novel by Agatha Christie. That stumped us.
What element is number seven in the Periodic Table? I should have known this.
In what sport did Ed Ling and Steven Scott win medals in the 2016 Olympic games? That defeated us. What is the first African country south of us on the Greenwich Meridian? Our answer of Morocco was wrong. What nine countries border Germany? Between us we managed to find all of them and scored a bonus. What relief agency has the strapline ‘We believe in life before death’? Another incorrect answer from us.
Lady Beatrix Stanley, Gerard Parker and Washfield Warham are all varieties of what? No one knew the answer to this.
In 1911 what did Field Marshall Ferdinand Foch declare were interesting scientific toys but of no military value? We guessed correctly. What links Edale in Derbyshire and Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders? Another correct guess.
There were 40 possible marks. The winning team scored 35; the runners up scored 33.
Ordnance survey maps; Peter Mandelson; Hard Times; 4.50 (from Paddington); nitrogen; shooting; Algeria; Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, France, Belgium, Netherlands; Christian Aid; snowdrops; aeroplanes; The Pennine Way.