The QuizMuser returns...

Apparently my last post on here was 21st June, so I apologise for that. I've had a fairly busy and not completely productive summer but at least I'm back now to start posting again. My first UC episode with Liverpool aired on 20th July, and saw us win 205-130 in a reasonably close tie against St Peter's, Oxford.

Here are some questions I've been collecting and collating in the past couple of months for you all to have a go at, if indeed there is still anyone out there who reads this outdated jumble of words and phrases... Answers after the questions, as always.

1 Which basketball player who signed for the NBA's Washington Wizards in 2014 was married to Kim Kardashian from 2011 to 2013?
2 The Russian Alexey Pajitnov co-designed and developed which popular video game first released in 1984?
3 What was the name of Genghis Khan's third son who succeeded him as supreme leader of the Mongol Empire?
4 Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat-trick in the final, finished as joint-top scorer in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup alongside which German striker of Cameroonian origin who retired after the tournament's conclusion?
5 Jurgen Klopp, new manager of Liverpool FC, spent his entire 12-year playing career with which German club?
6 Aldous Huxley's novel Eyeless in Gaza takes its title from a line in which work by John Milton?
7 The Azadi Tower, formerly known as the Shahyad Tower, is an easily recognisable symbol of which Middle Eastern capital city?
8 Which architect who designed the Eden Project in Cornwall shares his name with a current Radio 1 DJ?
9 What is the capital and largest city of the Cayman Islands?
10 What term in biology describes the long, slender nerve cell projection which typically carries electrical impulses away from the nerve body? 
11 Which cup-bearer for the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus is the goddess of youth in Greek mythology?
12 The Baha'i faith has its headquarters on the slopes of which mountain range in the Israeli city of Haifa?
13 John Ridd is the hero of which English novel set in Exmoor, published in 1869?
14 Sometimes known by the name of the merchant who first described the species in 1704, which strepsirrhine primate is occasionally referred to as a "softly-softly" in English-speaking parts of Africa?
15 What name is given to the national military police force of Italy?
16 Which forest gives its name to the series of mass executions of Polish officers that took place in 1940?
17 What name is given to the parliament of Finland?
18 Which pungent, spiky fruit is known as the king of fruits in south-east Asia due to its popularity? Naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace described its flesh as "a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds".
19 Known as the Tashkent Terror, which Uzbek cyclist known for his erratic and unpredictable sprinting is now perhaps best known for a memorable somersault crash during the 1991 Tour de France?
20 What colloquial Italian name is often given to Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 23?
21 To be found in the Wallace Collection, who painted A Dance to the Music of Time between 1634 and 1635?
22 Which 1957 Akira Kurosawa film transposes the plot of Shakespeare's Macbeth to feudal Japan?
23 What is the largest in area of New York City's five boroughs?
24 The quotation "nice guys finish last" is often credited to which outspoken baseball player and manager who was nicknamed Leo the Lip?
25 Once the world's highest-paid entertainer, what was the most commonly used name of the Swiss clown, dubbed the "king of clowns", who was born Charles Adrien Wettach?

1 Kris Humphries
2 Tetris
3 Ogedei
4 Celia Sasic
5 1 FSV Mainz 05
6 Samson Agonistes
7 Tehran
8 Nicholas Grimshaw
9 George Town
10 Axon
11 Hebe
12 Mount Carmel
13 Lorna Doone
14 Potto
15 Carabinieri
16 Katyn
17 Eduskunta
18 Durian
19 Djamolidine Abdoujaparov
20 "Appassionata"
21 Nicolas Poussin
22 Throne of Blood
23 Queens
24 Leo Durocher
25 Grock

Question-writing - and some new questions

If anyone ever needs any questions writing, whether it be for pub quizzes or quiz leagues or whatever, feel free to send me an email at and I'll reply as soon as I can. Competitive rates.

Questions - mixed stuff
1 The NBA team Golden State Warriors are based in which Californian city?
2 Angel Falls, the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall, drop over the edge of which flat-topped mountain in Venezuela's Canaima National Park?
3 The first film of the franchise in thirty years, what is the two-word subtitle of the 2015 Mad Max film, which stars Tom Hardy in the title role?
4 Which strait separates the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra?
5 Florence Owens Thompson was the subject of the 1936 photograph entitled Migrant Mother, an iconic image of the Great Depression. Who was the photographer?
6 The musical Annie Get Your Gun was composed by whom?
7 Phlebitis is the inflammation of which part of the body?
8 Wilanow Palace is located in which European capital city?
9 What is the name of Pope Francis's second encyclical that was officially published this week (18 June 2015) accompanied by a news conference?
10 Ruslan Zakharov competes for Russia in which winter sport?

1 Oakland
2 Auyan-tepui
3 Fury Road
4 Sunda Strait
5 Dorothea Lange
6 Irving Berlin
7 Veins
8 Warsaw
9 Laudato si'
10 Speed skating

2015 WQC

On Saturday, I travelled with around 100 other UK quizzers to the National Brewery Centre at Burton upon Trent to take part in the 2015 staging of the World Quizzing Championship. I took part in 2014 (and gave a write-up of the day and my performance HERE) and came 893rd with 64 points, which I was reasonably pleased with then for a first attempt. However, this year, I wanted to do much better and set my target at the start of 2015 as top 500 in the world.

The individual WQC paper was very difficult, particularly the first half of Entertainment, History, Lifestyle, and Sciences. Only the first two of those are reasonable subjects for me at the best of times, I'm average on lifestyle-type stuff (brands, fashion, tourism, etc.) and weak at science. The Entertainment round in particular was one I found brutal, and only scored 9/30 - I managed to score three more than that in the round on my debut last year. I was somewhat surprised to get 15/30 on History, which I wouldn't have expected going into the quiz.

In the second half, I got 16 on Culture (my highest score of the day), 14 on World (usually my best subject), 9 on Media, and a dreadful 5 on Sport. Having said that, sport has always been a weak area for me and - with a lack of interest in most sports - I can't see that changing much in the future. I would at least like to be competitive in it, which I reckon I could maybe achieve, but I'll never be a great sports quizzer because I lack the background and natural interest in it to achieve the sort of 18 and 19 scores that many were getting. And my knowledge of stamp-collecting and tennis player superstitions is even more minimal...

Overall, however, I finished 466th (I'm assuming all the results have been uploaded by now and we're just awaiting the country, genre, and age group winners (of which I'm hoping to be the highest-ranked under-20 in the world but we'll see) and I'm pleased with that, having thought about it. It was a very tough quiz in which even good quizzers were on some occasions thirty or so points down on last year, so I'm chuffed to have improved a fair amount. Next year I'll go for top 150 and try to strengthen the weaker areas that continue to drag me down in a lot of areas of quiz - sport, classical music, nature and science are the three main ones.

Three mistakes I shouldn't have made: putting Fokine instead of Petipa for ballet choreographer; putting Selena instead of Thalia for queen of Latin pop music; putting Bartholdi instead of Eiffel for French architect and engineer.

World Quizzing Championship practice set

OK, with less than two weeks to go until the 2015 World Quizzing Championship, I've written a mini practice set consisting of five questions from each of the usual WQC genres.

Only forty questions, but hopefully it'll provide a bit of revision and learning material for people, and hopefully you enjoy the questions!

Here goes - answers for all the categories are at the end:

1 The title character in Miguel Ángel Asturias' novel, El Señor Presidente, is said to have been inspired by which Guatemalan dictator, in power from 1898 to 1920?
2 Which 2014 film won three Academy Awards, including that of Best Supporting Actor for JK Simmons?
3 The 1978 work A Contract with God is credited with popularising the term “graphic novel”. Which American cartoonist created it?
4 Which Swedish-speaking Finnish novelist was best known for her creation of the Moomin books for children?
5 Paraguay has two official languages. One, quite predictably, is Spanish; sharing its name with the country's currency, what is the other? 

1 Krzywy Domek, which is Polish for “crooked little house”, is an irregularly shaped building in which seaside town on the coast of the Baltic Sea?
2 Supposedly coming from an Akkadian word meaning “to build on a raised area”, what name was given to the structures built in Mesopotamia that took the form of step-pyramids on successive receding levels? The most famous was that at the city of Ur.
3 French poet Guillaume Apollinaire coined which term in 1912 to describe the offshoot of cubism that involved brighter colours and greater abstraction? Frantisek Kupka, Robert Delaunay, and his wife, Sonia, were the main exponents.
4 The artist Louise Bourgeois was best known for her sculptures of which creatures? Her largest such work, Maman, stands at over thirty feet tall.
5 Arising out of avidya (ignorance) and characterised by dukkha (suffering), which concept in Buddhism refers to the cycle of birth and rebirth?

1 “The Gnome”, “The Old Castle”, “Cattle”, and “The Hut on Fowl's Legs” are movements in which suite of 1874 by Modest Mussorgsky?
2 Which world music record label was established by former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne in 1988?
3 Created by Jenji Kohan and based on a memoir by Piper Kerman, which US comedy-drama series first released on Netflix in 2013 centres around life in a women's prison?
4 The Algerian singer-songwriter Khaled is known as the “king” of which musical genre that originated in his country from the music of Bedouin shepherds?
5 A 1908 novel by Valery Bryusov was the inspiration for a Sergei Prokofiev opera which first premiered in 1955. What title was shared by both the novel and the opera?

1 Which city served as the capital of the Inca Empire from 1438 to 1533?
2 Who led the Russian Empire at the 1812 Battle of Borodino?
3 Which US Army general commanded military operations in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1972, at a time when US troop strength in South Vietnam fell from 543,000 to around 49,000?
4 Which South American country fought a war from 1864 to 1870 against a so-called Triple Alliance of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay?
5 Commonly referred to as Africa's Che Guevara, which Burkinabé military captain was behind the name change of Burkina Faso from Upper Volta, and served as president of the country from 1983 to 1987 prior to his assassination in a coup d'état?

1 “Eat fresh” is the slogan of which US fast-food franchise that has over 43,000 outlets in over 100 countries worldwide?
2 Zara is the flagship retailer (others include Bershka, Pull & Bear, and Massimo Dutti) of which Spanish clothing conglomerate, the largest fashion group in the world, that was co-founded by Amancio Ortega – now Spain's richest man – in 1985?
3 Cachupa, a slow-cooked stew of corn, beans, and fish or meat, is regarded as the national dish of which island country?
4 Which fitness program that has achieved worldwide popularity, incorporating elements of dance and aerobics, was founded by Beto Perez in Colombia in 2001?
5 The disorder known as plantar fasciitis affects which general part of the body?

1 One of the rarest mammals on earth, it is restricted to north-eastern Madagascar. The silky sifaka is what type of animal?
2 Which chemical element, the second-most abundant in the earth's crust, has atomic number 14 and a name from the Latin for “hard stone”?
3 Which US physicist is the only person to have won the Nobel Prize in Physics twice: first in 1956 for the invention of the transistor, and then again in 1972 for a theory of superconductivity?
4 The alligator family is made up of two sub-families. One, unsurprisingly, is the alligator itself; which group of relatively small crocodilians native to Central and South America and Australia comprises the other?
5 Which Swedish botanist, known as the father of modern taxonomy, gives his name to the system of binomial nomenclature still in use today?

Sport & Games
1 India has won every edition of the World Cup held in this sport to date; what is the national sport of Bangladesh and Nepal?
2 Which Italian mountaineer is known for having been the first person to ascend Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, and for being the first person to ascend all fourteen “eight-thousander” mountain peaks (peaks over 8,000m above sea level)?
3 Who has been Test and ODI captain for the Sri Lanka national cricket team since February 2013?
4 Upon winning the 2010 French Open singles title, she became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title. With a career-high world no. 4 ranking achieved in early 2011, which tennis player is this?
5 Which French swimmer and three-time Olympic medallist tragically died in the 2015 Villa Castelli helicopter collision while filming for a reality TV show?

1 Which major US city, the most populous in its state, has been home to the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998, is home to the headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company, and held a major sporting event in 1996?
2 Divided into 100 sen, what is the currency of Malaysia?
3 The first flyby is predicted to occur in mid-July this year; what is the name of the NASA space probe launched to study the dwarf planet Pluto and its moons?
4 Which strait – on which Balikpapan and Palu are ports - separates the islands of Borneo and Sulawesi?
5 Which Australian serial entrepreneur is regarded as the most prolific inventor in the world, given that he has over 9,000 patents registered worldwide? His main fields of invention include electronics and the internet. 


1 Manuel Estrada Cabrera
2 Whiplash
3 Will Eisner
4 Tove Jansson
5 Guarani

1 Sopot
2 Ziggurat
3 Orphism
4 Spiders
5 Samsara

1 Pictures at an Exhibition
2 Luaka Bop
3 Orange Is the New Black
4 Raï
5 The Fiery Angel

1 Cusco
2 Mikhail Kutuzov
3 Creighton Abrams
4 Paraguay
5 Thomas Sankara

1 Subway
2 Inditex
3 Cape Verde
4 Zumba
5 Foot

1 Lemur
2 Silicon
3 John Bardeen
4 Caiman
5 Carl Linnaeus

Sport & Games
1 Kabaddi
2 Reinhold Messner
3 Angelo Mathews
4 Francesca Schiavone
5 Camille Muffat

1 Atlanta
2 Ringgit
3 New Horizons
4 Makassar Strait
5 Kia Silverbrook

HEY. I'm still here.

Can't believe my last post on here was over a month ago. Seem to have been busy with all sorts of stuff: uni work (honest), filming UC (there'll be a long post coming on that once it's started airing, about the whole experience and how we've done), doing some quizzes. Unfortunately my quiz-writing rate - certainly for the blog and my own learning - has reduced to very little. So now I aim to write a lot more on here, with at least one new post a week.

Two quizzes today - they are as follows:

First quiz is on Nobel laureates:
1 The element with atomic number 109 is named after which Austrian physicist, the only woman other than Marie Curie to have had a chemical element named after her?
2 Which Russian-American poet and essayist received the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature for, according to the official citation, "an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity"?
3 In how many different categories are the Nobel prizes awarded?
4 Norwegian Ragnar Frisch and Dutch Jan Tinbergen were the inaugural winners of which of the Nobel prizes?
5 Winning it in 1956 and 1972, who is the first and so far only person to have received the Nobel Prize for Physics twice? 
6 Which Austrian physicist, who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology, was considered one of the founders of ethology, and wrote books including King Solomon's Ring and Man Meets Dog?
7 Max Theiler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951 for his development of a vaccine against which disease, subsequently becoming the first African-born Nobel laureate?
8 Swiss businessman Henry Dunant was joint-laureate of the first ever Nobel Peace Prize for his founding of the International Red Cross, which he was inspired to do after witnessing the fighting at which 1859 battle?
9 Bangladeshi entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus received the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his founding of which micro-finance organisation which specialises in giving small loans to the impoverished without requiring collateral?
10 Which contemporary Chinese writer was set to win the 1988 Nobel Prize in Literature but died before he could be awarded it?

1 Lise Meitner
2 Joseph Brodsky
3 Six
4 Economic Sciences
5 John Bardeen
6 Konrad Lorenz
7 Yellow fever
8 Solferino
9 Grameen Bank
10 Shen Congwen

Second quiz is on European geography:
1 Which city of north-western Spain is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia?
2 Which of Europe's major rivers - the longest of Ukraine and Belarus - flows through Kiev and Dnipropetrovsk?
3 The islands of Ischia, Procida, Nisida, and Vivara - and sometimes Capri - all comprise which archipelago of southern Italy?
4 Kopavogur, with a population of around 32,000, is the second-largest settlement in which European country?
5 Forming part of the boundary between Europe and Asia, the Bosphorus is the world's narrowest strait used for international navigation. It connects the Black Sea with which inland sea, known in classical antiquity as the Propontis?
6 Which Greek island, lying in the shadow of its much larger neighbour, Crete, is the country's most southerly, and also marks the southernmost point of Europe?
7 The flag of which partially recognised European state consists of three horizontal bands of white, red, and yellow?
8 The Tatra mountains form a natural border between Slovakia and which other European country?
9 Which is the only European country to be doubly landlocked (that is, not only is it landlocked, but it is also surrounded by landlocked countries)?
10 The Swabian Sea is another name for which lake at the northern foot of the Alps?

1 Santiago de Compostela
2 Dnieper
3 Phlegraean islands
4 Iceland
5 Sea of Marmara
6 Gavdos
7 South Ossetia
8 Poland
9 Liechtenstein
10 Lake Constance