MEN OF LETTERS
Identify the Nobel Laureate
Last name is spelt using flags of countries:
take the first letter of each country to make
4 qs at 10 points each
Useful hint: there is a representative from all
categories except Medicine
This book is about the
preparing for a
competition created by
a person calledTony
Buzan. So what "art
and science" is this
Answer to Q.1
Cover shows an
illustration of the
technique used for
as practiced in fiction
by Hannibal and
According to the writer P. G.Wodehouse, there are six types.
The Broken Compass, because of resulting directionless-
The Sewing Machine, because of resulting strange
The Comet, because of the path followed by the expulsion
The Atomic, because it is similar to total destruction
The Cement Mixer
The Gremlin Boogie
(the explanations were provided by others, later)
What are these types of?
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi
will contest elections from theVadodara
constituency. Since 1991, this seat has always
been won by the BJP (except in 1996).
The winner of the 1991 election rode two waves
that swept India a few years before; both were
associated with the temple town of Ayodhya. If
one of these waves was the Ram Mandir
agitation, what was the other phenomenon, and
who was this MP?
Answer to Q.3
Deepika Chikhalia, who played "Sita" in the
DoordarshanTV serial "Ramayan"
Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg and other
women leaders have launched a campaign to
"ban" the use of a word that they say affects
young girls who want to be leaders.
According to them, while young boys who
show leadership qualities are perceived as
"assertive", young girls of the same kind are
often called by this negative word.What
This is a kind of cap
which originated in
Sicily, Italy. It shares its
name with, among
others, a person who
won a Best Oscar for
Music in 1974.
What is this name?
Answer to Q.5
Coppola (Francis Ford Coppola's father
Carmine won for Best Music, and his nephew
Nicholas Cage won BestActor)
This activity is called "the sin of David"
because in the Bible, King David orders his
commander Joab to do this "from Beersheba
in the North to Dan in the South", which Joab
reluctantly does.This invites a plague on
Israel. Hence this activity was not very
popular in the Christian West until about 500
A recommended remedy is: go out; turn around three
times; spit; knock 3 times, request to be let in again. Or
quote the line "Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on
The earliest known example of the problem was in 1606
when Hal Berridge, a lady part, died of fever (replaced by
a part-timer) Others:
- 1672: Amsterdam; a real dagger was used, because of a
fight over a lady
- 1937: a stage weight fell on Laurence Olivier's chair
- 1946: OrsonWelles and others' accents were
incomprehensible, leading to a total re-dubbing
Answer to Q.7
Uttering the name "Macbeth" inside a
theatre/set is supposed to bring bad luck.The
1606 replacement was Shakespeare himself.
Dainese is an Italian company that makes
sports wear and equipment. It has created a
product named "D-air", aimed at
motorcyclists.What innovation did it pioneer,
which is usually associated with four-
wheelers, and how is this to be implemented?
Answer to Q.8
Airbags in the motorcyclist's suit
The song "TamizhaTamizha" from Roja
(1992) was an exhortation toTamilians, not
only of patriotism but also towards national
integration. (In contrast, the Hindi version of
the same song "Bharat humko jaan se pyaara
hai" was plainly patriotic.) Even before he was
enlisted to make music for the film,
A.R.Rahman had earlier composed the song
in response to a certain political event.
Answer to Q.9
The Cauvery problem betweenTamil Nadu
and Karnataka. Jayalalitha had been on fast,
andTamilians had been targeted in
A member of this group is not allowed to
resign. So a common device is to be
appointed as the 'Steward and Bailiff of Her
Majesty'sThree Chiltern Hundreds' or 'Crown
Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of
Northstead' (these are paid positions). One
must apply to the Chancellor of the
Exchequer who makes the appointment.
Which group of people, and why?
Answer to Q.10
Member of the British House of Commons;
these are offices of profit and so
automatically disqualify the MP.
This term was proposed in 1972 by Bryan
Jennett, a neurosurgeon, and Fred Plum, a
neurologist, who chose it based on the
following definition in the O.E.D: "an organic
body capable of growth and development but
devoid of sensation and thought."What term?
This is a common method used to settle disputes in
Japan. For instance, in 2005, the Maspro Denkoh Corp.
wanted to auction off its art collection, but could not
decide between Sotheby's and Christie's. Christie's won
the resulting challenge, which was unusual in that it was
attempted in a written form.
Sotheby's later admitted they had no real strategy.
Christie's Japanese president did a lot of research about
the psychology involved and consulted many for help. Of
his many consultants were Flora and Alice Maclean, the
11-year old twins of one employee, Head of Modern Art,
who provided the winning strategy.
What was the method to resolve the dispute?
Answer to Q.12
Stone, Paper, Scissors; the girls advised them
to pick 'scissors'.
Answer to Q.13
Batman Begins; all these are Latin names for
species of bats; 4-9 forms 'Batman'
This lean word originates from the Latin for
"day" as originally, this was a daily affair.
Perhaps the best known example from the
Holy Roman Empire examples involves
Worms. Modern forms of this can be seen in
Germany, Sweden and Japan.The Japanese
version started with the Meiji Restoration due
to the heavy Prussian influence.
Answer to Q.14
"Diet" for Parliament or Legislature.
The types of wood used for this were usually
spruce, willow, or maple. Not much is known,
except that the wood used had high density.
Conjecture is that wood from the "little ice
age" was used. One famous fictional purchase
cost 55 shillings.It is also said that the shaping
of the belly and back plate may have caused
the high quality.
Infinite Bounce: +10/0
One-finite Pounce: +10/[one strike and out]
Reverse order of passing
X &Y were distantly related, X much older to
Y.Y was named after X.The literary outputs
of both are landmarks of sorts in the US.Y's
most famous book (1925) was originally titled
"The Red,White and Blue". X's major output
was in 1814.Who are X &Y?
Answer to Q.1
Francis Scott Key and F.Scott Fitzgerald
In 2003, Major Charles Ingram was convicted
of cheating. Officially, he was charged of
cheating ChrisTarrant into signing a cheque
for a very large amount (Tarrant had done so
because Ingram was able to prove that knew
what 1 followed by a hundred zeroes was).In
this, the Major was abetted by his wife &
another man who was to succeed him.
What's all this about?
Answer to Q.2
He won "WhoWants to be a Millionaire", but
it came out that he cheated with the help of
his wife and another man who coughed when
the right choice was given.The winning
answer was "googol".
The publishers had intended to commission
Walter ___ for a certain illustration project,
but they sent the proofs of the book to his
brother by mistake.The brother ended up
doing it, and ironically, is said to have
compensatedWalter by using him as the
model for his work.What?
Answer to Q.3
Sidney Paget created
the illustrations for
In 2013, the poet Gulzar released a collection
of short poems.The collection is, surprisingly,
named after an entity, somewhat associated
with the 'underworld'.This is because he says
"I identify with ___. It reminds me of my own
place in the family. Sometimes I was a part of
the family and sometimes removed from it.“
Isaac Asimov wrote a short story "What is this thing
called Love?" in (1961). In this, Botax is a member of
a race of creatures with one gender, and has been
researching the speedy evolution of earthlings.To
carry out this research, Botax has learnt to speak like
humans, has read human sci-fi, and has read a
periodical (translated as "RecreationLad") which
sometimes publishes sci-fi.The periodical is
however: "devoted entirely to various aspects of the
cooperation. It does not speak entirely freely but
persists in merely hinting".
Where was this story published?
During the 2007 US Open, Gillette put out a
full page advertisement featuring Roger
Federer in his new all-black Nike outfit.The
ad had the line: "___ Federer strikes again",
referring to a nickname which began after his
first round match. Fill the blank.
In 1888, Frank McGurrin, a court clerk in the
US won a contest beating LouisTaub to settle
a title to whom both laid claim. McGurrin was
the pioneer of the "touch" method , which
became the standard.Taub used the "hunt
and peck" method.
This person seems to have what would today
be called OCD. He had a tendency to make
lists. In 1852, he published a book with 1000
(now 990 sections).This became a best-seller
in 1920s in America due to another fad. Who
William ____ was a Scottish poet, widely
regarded as the worst poet ever to put pen to
paper. Someone used his last name for a fictional
character, writing: "There was something
irresistible to me about his name, and the idea
that such a brilliant woman might be a distant
relative of the buffoonish [poet].“
If the first name of this character comes from a
wise figure in Roman mythology, which
character is this?
Usually, this happens due to foreign
occupation (like in Austria in the 1930s or
Okinawa between 1945-1972) or due to
pressure from neighbours (as in British
Columbia since 1920). Burma is the only case
where it allegedly happened on the
recommendation of an astrologer or because
of a dream (in 1970).
Answer to Q.10
Switch from left to right hand driving (or the
other way around)
Kaspar the cat was one of the most important
residents of London's Savoy Hotel. On certain
occasions, he would dine with customers at
their table, getting equal attention by
waiters.The customer hosting the dinner was
expected to pay for his meal. Kaspar is a
carved wooden figure. So on what occasion
does he come out to dine?
Answer to Q.11
When a group of 13 comes to dine
"The Art of Computer Programming" is a
landmark series of books by computer
scientist Donald Knuth.The book has
exercises graded 1 to 50, with 50 being the
toughest. In the 2nd edition of the book,
there was a Level 50 problem. In the 3rd
edition, this was downgraded to Level 45.
What problem and why the downgrade?
Answer to Q.12
Fermat's LastTheorem; it had been solved
What is the connection:
In 1932, the IAF was officially established
with the strength of 19 Havai Sepoys, 6 Royal
Air Force-trained officers and aicraft
consisting of 4Westland Wapiti II planes
In 1948, Lt. Gen. K. M. Cariappa became the
first Indian to command the Army
In 1971, the Killer missile boats of the Indian
Navy stormed Karachi and sank three ships
Answer to Q.13
The days on which these events happened
are today celebrated as Air Force Day, Army
Day, and Navy Day.
The actor Chandramohan played the role of
'Rai Bahadur Dwarkanath' as the father of
Dilip Kumar in the 1948 movie 'Shahid'. He
was to play the role of Sapru's father in
another film, announced in 1946. Partition
and his death in 1949 affected the shooting of
the movie. Which role and who eventually
Answer to Q.14
Akbar in Mughal-e-Azam; Prithviraj Kapoor
"Adventures of a Brown Man in Search of Civilization" is a
Merchant-Ivory documentary about which brown man in
search of civilization?
I blog at
Answer to Q.1
Played "M K Gandhi" in films,TV, or on stage:
slide 1: Neeraj Kabi ('Samvidhaan'), Annu Kapoor
('Sardar'), Boman Irani ('Mahatma vs Gandhi')
slide 2: Rajit Kapur ('Making of the Mahatma'),
Naseeruddin Shah ('Hey Ram'), Surendra Rajan
('The Legend of Bhagat Singh', 'Lord
slide 3: Mohan Gokhale ('Ambedkar'), Dilip
Prabhavalkar ('Munnabhai MBBS')
slide 4: Ben Kingsley ('Gandhi'), Darshan
Zariwala ('Gandhi, My Father')
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