Quarantine Quiz

This is usually a Christmas event, but it seems the need for a quiz is even greater now than it will be at Christmas, so here goes. One point per answer unless otherwise noted. I’ll upload the answers in a few weeks.


Round 1 – General knowledge (12 points)

In a sporting sense, how many points would you expect to get from the below answers? (2 points)

  1. What is the Spanish word for “network”? It is also often used informally to refer to the internet.
  2. Which two-word term meaning a highly unlikely event is also the name of a 2010 Darren Aronofsky film about ballet starring Natalie Portman?
  3. What is the nickname of Morgan Freeman’s character in The Shawshank Redemption?
  4. What was the first single released by Booker T and the MGs, in 1962? It was also the name of their first album, and peaked at No.3 in the US and No.7 in the UK.
  5. What is the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories?
  6. Which masked, crime-fighting superhero was created by George Trendle and Fran Striker for a radio series that began in 1936? Since then, he has appeared in a 1960s TV series now chiefly famous for giving Bruce Lee his first major TV role, and a 2011 Michel Gondry film with Seth Rogen in the title role?
  7. Which famous US Supreme Court decision of 1954 ruled that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional?
  8. What common sight, particularly in London, were first erected in 1863 by the Society of Arts on the initiative of politician William Ewart, but have since 1986 been erected by English Heritage, who now aim to erect 12 each year, in comparison to the 35 the Society of Arts managed to erect in their 38 years in charge of the scheme.
  9. What was the name of Nick Drake’s final studio album?
  10. What is the common name for the injury medically known as a periorbital haematoma?


Round 2 – Cryptics (28 points)

Show your working for maximum points (i.e. give the constituent parts of the answer, as well as the answer to the question itself).

  1. Where would you expect to find all of the following together;
    – an area of Los Angeles with a bad reputation,
    – Pip’s singular lawyer,
    – the actress who became the first wife of Ronald Reagan, and
    – a 26-time champion jockey? (3 points)
  2. Why are all of the following mixed up;
    – a Warwickshire and England batsman and a white-suited war correspondent,
    – a fast ship later known as the Ferreira,
    – an Oxfordshire landmark, and
    – a 2001-2004 Channel 4 TV series set at Summerdown Comprehensive? (3.5 points)
  3. Why might the following all give you a sense of déjà vu;
    – the American band who had US number one hits in the 1980s with Kyrie and Broken Wings,
    – a famous footballing father,
    – the island in French Polynesia where Vaitape is located,
    – normal vision, and
    – a David Bowie single from the Diamond Dogs album? (3.5 points)
  4. When presented with;
    – the main language of the Inca empire,
    – New York’s largest borough, and
    – the capital and largest city of Balochistan,

why might a Spaniard say “What’s in a name”? (2.5 points)

  1. In what place in America do;
    – Japanese fighters equal small people,
    – monarchs equal underlings, and
    – primates equal upset fellows? (2.5 points)
  2. In what sense do the following encompass everything;
    – the mountains north of Tehran with Damavand as their highest point,
    – a French cry of encouragement,
    – a battle of 1805 also known as The Battle of the Three Emperors, and
    – the island that was home to Robert Stroud from 1942 to 1959? (3 points)
  3. Where would you have found the following gathered in 1919:
    – a famous film volleyball,
    – the lover and eventual husband of Rosalind in “As You Like It”,
    – and an eponymous bank founder followed by Peppa’s younger brother? (3 points)
  4. Why would you expect to haggle after encountering;
    – a reporter,
    – a minced oath,
    – a Rhodesian-born England batsman, and
    – some cheap wine? (2.5 points)
  5. In which London thoroughfare could you find the following:
    – a fictional boxing world champion knocked out by an underdog (twice),
    – a team of South London glaziers, and
    – music played on an Ancient Greek stringed instrument? (2.5 points)
  6. Supporters of which football team might you expect to find in;
    – a brand of cigarettes owned by Philip Morris,
    – a card game also known as sevens, and
    – a 1970s funk band led by George Clinton? (2.5 points)


Round 3 – Fill in the blanks (20 points)

Fill in the blanks in the below story with the titles of Beatles songs (all multiple word songs). Some of the wordplay is criminally bad.

I woke up early from my (1), as the newspaper was being delivered. Ah, (2), I thought. I was surprised my wife wasn’t in the room, as I was sure (3) earlier. Never mind, I thought, later we’ll (4) to read the paper and have a go at the crossword. Sometimes it can be pretty hard, but usually (5) together. This luxurious lifestyle was far superior to my old life in Leningrad, but then everything was tougher (6). I didn’t want to forget the motherland completely though, so I made models of famous Russian buildings. I was having trouble with my crystal version of St. Basil’s; it turns out (7) domes are really hard to make. I had also bought a bargain model of the Kremlin which I greeted each morning, saying (8).

I got out of Russia through the oil industry. I worked for a British company, on their second platform in the North Sea. My wife agreed to marry me only on condition that I give up my work. The choice of (9) wasn’t difficult. After all, she’s beautiful, (10). Of course it was a shame to lose a high-paying job, but then again, (11). Plus, I then had time to start my own business selling lumbar posture correctors, called (12) To Normal. Some of my competitors would offer lifetime replacements if they broke, so you only ever need to buy one, but I prefer people to (13).

I went into the kitchen and started tearing up dried fruit for breakfast – maybe that’s why my wife calls me the (14). I also got a fire going, with some solid (15) – none of that Swedish rubbish that you sometimes get. Then, the post arrived. It was everything I needed for my holiday to the Isle of Wight, including my (16). I was planning to go with my friend, who wanted to be part of an elite military unit, but was only ever second choice because he was a coward at heart; something of a (17). I was a bit annoyed as I had previously strongly requested that my mail get delivered in the afternoon. (18) later, I begged, but my (19) and they kept bringing it in the morning. Never mind. It was already a good day, and seemed to be (20) all the time.


Round 4 – Link round (12 points)

  1. With which song did the band t.A.t.U have a no.1 UK hit in 2002, their only UK no.1?
  2. In the television series Endeavour, what is the name of Morse’s Chief Superintendent for the majority of the series, played by Anton Lesser?
  3. What was the name of Pele’s 1977 autobiography?
  4. What is the name of Kiss’s 10th studio album, and the lead single of that album? It was released in 1982, and marked a return to a hard rock sound after the commercial failure of their pop-oriented albums Dynasty and Unmasked?
  5. What is the name more commonly given to the Second Five Year Plan of the People’s Republic of China, an attempt to increase agricultural output which in fact led to a famine in which tens of millions died?
  6. Which television series portrayed Clark Kent as a young man, before he became Superman? It ran from 2001 to 2011.
  7. What epithet was shared by Frederick III of Saxony, protector of Martin Luther, Charles V of France and Darth Plagueis, mentor and future murder victim of Darth Sidious, also known as the Emperor Palpatine, in the Star Wars films.
  8. Which American song, now considered a standard, was composed by George and Ira Gershwin in 1927 for their musical Funny Face? It contains the lyrics “You’ve made my life so glamorous/ You can’t blame me for feeling amorous”.
  9. Which cricketer’s playing career ran from 1787 to 1802, during which he had a first-class batting average of 9, with three fifties, and took 148 wickets? He is now known for a contribution to cricket other than his playing of the game.
  10. According to the character Bernard Woolley in the television series Yes Minister, what do the letters CMG actually stand for in the Civil Service, rather than the official title Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George?

All or part of the answers to the above questions all appear in the first lines of a famous composition. Which one? (2 points)

Round 5 – Link round (13 points)

  1. What is the largest stadium in the southern hemisphere?
  2. What word, perhaps now most commonly seen in pub names, referred in medieval times to a red deer of more than 5 years old?
  3. Which cake, consisting of currants encased in flaky pastry, is named after what is currently a part of Salford?
  4. Which abbreviation originally referred to the papal official charged with the smooth running of often elaborate liturgical rituals, but can now refer to anyone involved in hosting a public event?
  5. Which three-word term is often used in relation to the buying and selling of the right to emit greenhouse gases, and gives one country the ability to purchase “allowances” from other countries in order to exceed limits on emissions quantities?
  6. In the John Le Carre novels featuring George Smiley, what is the name of Smiley’s estranged wife? In the novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, it is revealed that she had an affair with Smiley’s colleague, Bill Haydon.
  7. Which supermarket chain was founded by the Albrecht brothers in Essen in 1946?
  8. What adjective is used to describe Andrew Marvell’s mistress in the title of his famous 17th century poem?
  9. What is a score of 100 to 150 referred to as in darts?
  10. About which 17th century actress did Samuel Pepys write “So great performance of a comical part was never, I believe, in the world before”? He later wrote that “Lord Buckhurst hath got her away from the King’s house, lies with her, and gives her £100 a year, so she hath sent her parts to the house, and will act no more”.

Combining all or part of the first five answers into pairs with the second five answers allows you to make five theme words. What is the link between those theme words (2 points), and for a bonus point, put them in chronological order (1 point).


Round 6: Word Squares (12 points)

The below answers are all five letter words. The ten answers can be rearranged into two word squares like the ones below.



  1. What was the name of the Pope who called for the first crusade to save Jerusalem in 1095?
  2. What was the nickname of the basketball team at which Michael Jordan won 6 NBA Championships?
  3. What is the name of the metal or plastic tube at each end of a shoelace to prevent fraying?
  4. Which American businessman and co-founder of Fortress Investments is also the main shareholder of Aston Villa along with Nassef Sawiris?
  5. What is the name of the accent placed over the n in Spanish words such as señor?
  6. What was Bob Marley’s middle name?
  7. What kind of woodworking joint is made by cutting two parts to be joined at an angle, usually 45 degrees, and then joining them to make a corner?
  8. What word connects a 2001 Baz Luhrmann film with the second largest city in Louisiana?
  9. Which noble gas, with a half-life of only 3.8 days in its most stable isotope, occurs when radium-226 decays and is thought to be responsible for the majority of background radiation in most locations.
  10. Which epic poem, generally attributed to Homer, tells the story of a few weeks during the 10-year siege of Troy?

Rearrange the answers into two valid word squares (2 points).


 Round 7 – Link Round (13 points)

  1. Which actress won critical acclaim and two Oscar nominations for her role as a single mother in Nazi Germany in the 2019 film Jojo Rabbit? (5)
  2. What is the surname of the British athlete who won T44 (single below knee amputation) gold medals in the 100m at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympics? (5)
  3. What surname is shared by a philandering milkman in Father Ted and a long-serving Durham wicketkeeper? (2)
  4. What colour is Gandalf associated with following his death at the hands of the Balrog in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring?
  5. Constitution Hill, which connects Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park Corner, runs along the edge of which central London park? (5)
  6. If an Arsenal supporter is a Gunner, what nickname might be given to a supporter of the markedly less successful east London team that plays at the Chigwell Construction Stadium? (3)
  7. What single word is both the title of a Beatles album and a Guy Ritchie film? (7)
  8. Which 1948 Hitchcock film takes place entirely within a single apartment, where two men have murdered a friend, hidden his body and then proceed to hose a dinner party?
  9. Which iconic San Francisco stadium was home to the San Francisco Giants baseball team from 1960 to 2000, and the San Francisco 49ers American football team from 1971 to 2013? The last event it hosed was a Paul McCartney concert in 2014, following which it was demolished.
  10. Which tool shares its name with the journal of the Socialist Party of Great Britain since 1987, and the title character in a 1986 animated comedy detective series produced by Gerry Anderson?


Assuming that those not present should be suspected, and given that the numbers after some of the above questions give clues to location, what sentence should you say to win the game (2 points), and which medical man is no longer around to see your victory (1 point)?

If you liked this quiz, with a challenge other than just answering all the questions, you can find my book of link rounds and other unusual quiz rounds here – 1,000 challenging questions on a huge range of topics not available on this website.


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