• 45 questions and 1 hour
• 10 seconds for each question after the QM completes
• If we have time we’ll come back
• 10 points for the right answer. Part points at the
discretion of the QM
• *ed questions will be used in case of tied scores
• Top 8 teams qualify for the Final
• Put away your smart devices!
• All the questions are straightforward
• i.e. this is NOT Mindsweep or QFI Grandmaster
• QM’s decision is FINAL!
• Good luck
1. On May 16, 1929, 250 people got together for a
dinner party in the Blossom Room of the Roosevelt
Hotel. Tickets to this party cost $5 each.
Emil Jennings, the first person to be honored, was
not a part of the ceremony though. He had decided
to go back to Germany and was honored before his
trip. The ceremony itself lasted only 15 minutes.
What was the significance of the event?
2. English eighteenth-century antiquarians Alban
Butler and Francis Douce, noting the obscurity
of this particular Saint, created this day,
essentially, usurping the pagan holiday of
Lupercalia. What do we know this day as?
3. This animal has great religious significance in
Christianity as the Greek word for the animal
is an acronym for (translated) “Jesus Christ,
God's Son, Savior”. For full points, ID the
animal and the Greek word.
4. In 1942, he found himself nursing his young son Christopher
through measles. He decided to create bedside stories to
comfort him. He however, we are told, ended up hating the
evolution of his characters by others, with nods towards multiculturalism in the form of characters from Japan and Cuba.
He, particularly, was upset that his lovingly crafted characters
have been replaced recently with “computer-generated glitz”. In
1952, he also created what is shown below. Who are we talking
about and what did he create in 1942?
Reverend Wilbert Vere Awdry and Thomas the tank
5. Her name literally means “one without the
reprehension of ugliness” or “she who is without
ugliness”. Shown in this painting by Raja Ravi
Varma, how do we know her better as?
6. This common kitchen food additive was
put in the league of “brainwash” and
“Falun Gong” when it was banned in
Chinese social media searches as the
government was hoping to squash
rumors that the substance could prevent
radiation poisoning following the nuclear
disaster in Japan. What?
7. Canadian Oxford lists it as a 20th century word of unknown
origin. Some reference books, including Random House's
American Slang, claim it comes from the German word for “to
slip” and the Yiddish word “to slide or skid”. Either way it is a
relatively new term. So new, in fact, that on July 23, 1965,
Time Magazine felt it necessary to define it in an article:
“_________—a spaceman's word for irritating disturbances.“
It has also been claimed to be an acronym involving Gremlins.
The acronym being GLITCH - Gremlins Living In
The Computer Hardware
8. He made his first trip around the world in
1922, delineating a travel journal in installments. This
ushered in a new topic for his cartoons, for which he
became very famous. He is known for this very
profound statement : “I have traveled in 201 countries
and the strangest thing I saw was man”. Identify this
cartoonist, entrepreneur and amateur anthropologist.
Robert Ripley of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not
9. Dionysus was the poor people’s god. As he was the god of
wine, his worship entailed a good deal of heavy drinking,
dancing and chasing about the hills in goat skins. Elaborate
choral performances of hymns in his honor, called
dithyrambs, were also done to the accompaniment of a
flute by a chorus of fifty. One day a poet added himself to
the case and spoke a prologue and exchanged speeches
with the leader of the chorus thus becoming the originator
of dialog dramas. What was the name of this poet?
Thespis, and hence the actors are referred
to as Thespians.
10. This company was founded on June 16, 1994 by Robert
Stephens. Later it was acquired by another company. However,
their unique titles for their employees still hold good. Their
employee titles included: Double Agent, Special Agent, Deputy
Field Marshal, Counter Intelligence Agent and Deputy of
Counter Intelligence. ID the company.
11. He was a famous logician and philosopher
who is known for his fundamental
contributions to mathematics in the field of
set theory and probability among others.
Among his works are The Logic of Chance and
The Principles of Empirical Logic. Who?
12. This representative illustration of “X”, by Thomas
Nast, first appeared in the January 3, 1863 edition of
Harper's Weekly, and shows him visiting a Civil War
Camp. Nast’s use of him was to bring happiness as
Nast was melancholic for the faltering Union war
effort in which Nast so fervently believed, and sad for
the separation of soldiers and their families. ID “X”?
13. This word in Norwegian and German means
“Rock”. It is used as a part of names of people
belonging to a particular religion. However, as a
word by itself, it is not associated with that
religion. What word?
Stein. In Norwegian and German means
“Rock”, just like Peter came to be associated
Used as a suffix in Jewish names like
Einstein, Robenstien etc. etc.
14. Rhotacism is a disorder that is believed to be caused
by delayed development of a portion of the brain that
controls that particular functionality of the human body.
However, the exact reasons are not known. Identify the
main symptom of this disorder exhibited by among
others a famous cartoon and sitcom character.
(* ed question)
Rhotacism refers to several phenomena related to
the usage of the consonant r. It could be, for
example, the inability to pronounce r.
15. Gluep, glurch, or slime are names referring to
a rubbery polymer formed by cross linking of
polyvinyl alcohol with a Boron compound.
Commonly used in science projects for children,
what is its other name which has its roots in
17. Verses from Sir Walter Scott's The Lady
of the Lake, were set to music around 1812
by the songwriter James Sanderson a
violinist part of the Surrey theater. Some of
these verses have become part of the
American experience. What are these verses
18. The story goes that Ancaeus (Poseidon’s son and
an Arganaut) had a beautiful vineyard which he was
extremely proud of. He made the many slaves who
took care of it work really hard.
Once an overworked slave predicted that his master
would not taste the wine produced that year. When
the grapes had been plucked and the wine
extracted, Ancaeus sent for the slave who had made
the prediction. Just before he could drink the wine, he
was told that a wild boar was destroying the vineyard.
Ancaeus was killed by this boar.
How can this episode be summarized in a phrase?
Many a slip between the cup and the lip or more
correctly “There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the
19. Whenever a major bill gets through Congress, and the
President signs the bill into law, the President and the
White House follows a tradition in dealing with the people
who helped the bill get through that goes back all the way
to Franklin Roosevelt’s time. This tradition is also followed
by governors who sign bills into law. What tradition are we
The President/Governor uses several pens. Each pen used by the
President is engraved to mark the occasion. Therefore the
pen, itself, becomes an historical artifact. The pens are then
distributed to people among people who were crucial in getting the
bill through. Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, he
reportedly used more than 75 pens.
20. What was the name given to the
Congressmen and Senators who believed that
going over the fiscal cliff was a good idea, a
willful act of liberation, a step that is necessary
to rationalize our tax code (like Sen. Patty
Murray, Daniel Gross)?
22. He started off as a freelance cartoonist. He
worked for several Hindi newspapers and
magazines. He started a cartoon based
campaign, Cartoons Against Corruption and got
into trouble with Crime Branch, Mumbai. His
cartoons provoked debate in the Indian
23. In this novel, the protagonist’s father owns
“The Bengal Tiger”. He is forced to flee his
country and finds himself in a ship with zoo
animals. After the ship sinks, he survives in a
dinghy in the sea with a wild cat. He finally lands
in South America.
ID the novel.
24. What latitude on the Earth marks the most
northerly position at which the Sun may appear
directly overhead at its zenith?
25. The adult stage of this animal is called
Medusa, named by Carl Linnaeus in 1752. It
refers to the non-polyp life-stage which occurs in
many Cnidarians, which is typified by a large
pulsating gelatinous bell with long trailing
Name the animal.
27. Considered by Hermann Minkowski in the 19th
century, this is a form of geometry in which the usual
distance function or metric of Euclidean geometry is
replaced by a new metric in which the distance between
two points is the sum of the absolute differences of their
coordinates. The distance between two points measured
along axes at right angles. In a plane with p1 at (x1, y1) and
p2 at (x2, y2), it is |x1 - x2| + |y1 - y2|. What is this metric
and geometry called?
The Manhattan distance/metric and the Geometry
is called the Taxicab geometry
28. This is Rembrandt’s Belshazzar's Feast. It describes the
happenings as those at the feast profaned the sacred vessels pillaged
from the Jerusalem Temple. Suddenly a message, shown below,
appeared and read "Mene, Mene, Tekel, u-Pharsin”. The prophet
Daniel was summoned and interpreted it to be foretelling the doom
of the Babylonian kingdom. Belshazzar was killed that night and the
city fell to the Persians. What phrase did this event contribute to in
Area of high “Immigrant Crossing”. You would find it in
San Diego, for example, on the I-5 near the border
warning people to watch out for immigrants running
across the highway.
32. ID this five-star admiral of US Navy, who signed for the United
States when Japan formally surrendered on 2nd Sep 1945. He was
also a Regent of University of California and lived on Yerba Buena
33. O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O ________,
That has such people in't.
—William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Fill in the blanks.
34. “A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre
of _________. All the powers of old Europe have
entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this
spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and
Guizot, French Radicals and German policespies. “
Thus begins a book. Fill in the blanks. Bonus
points for identifying the book.
35. This programming language was created by
Brad Cox and Tom Love in the early 1980s. NeXT
licensed this language from StepStone and
formed the basis for the NeXT platform. ID this
language which is a strict superset of C and has
seen a revival in recent times.
36. In Greek mythology, these two came to a pool and he caught
sight of his own reflection. He didn’t realize that he was looking
at himself, as whenever he said something, the woman would
just repeat it. According to some versions, he could not leave the
reflection and killed himself. ID both people (no part points).
38. Sam Kass and Karen Bryla were undergrads
at Carnegie-Mellon, when they found
themselves to be a little too in sync as a couple.
To overcome this “problem” to make quick
decisions one way or the other, they created a
game. Sam Kass wrote about the game in the
90s as a practice for his first webpage while
ID the game that gained popularity in 2008.
39. Identify the two people portrayed in this
painting by Honore Daumier, a French artist.
Daumier drew more than 40 drawings based on
41. Narwhals are medium sized whales that live
in the Arctic. They have sharp, long tusks as
shown below. Their main predators are killer
whales (Orcas). But last year, why did we see
headlines like “How Narwhal Beat Orca”?
Narwhal was Obama’s election campaign team’s
software, Orca was Romney’s.
42. “Chips & Dips” was a small website hosted
on the personal webpage of Rob Malda, a
student of Hope College, Michigan, in 1997. It
has since then morphed into a site that had
around 3.7 million visitors in 2012. Identify the
43. This is Jonathan Mak Long, a visual
designer, from Hong Kong. He was in the
news in October of 2011, when his creation
went viral after he posted it on the Internet.
He created the “Jobs silhouette” as a tribute after Jobs’
death on October 5, 2011. This went viral.
44. ID the person being interviewed by
David Letterman (*ed question)