Questions 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 are starred.
A sudden death will break any ties
Answer two part questions in sequence
Key parts of the question are underlined
Hints, if any, are italicized
Blanks are not indicative of actual length
Q1. What is the obvious phrase in this
Q2. This book introduced a catchphrase to
According to the book, its goal was to ready its readers “to die for your
country, so that when the time comes you may charge home with
confidence, not caring whether you are to be killed or not”
The book has remained in continuous print and available worldwide
since 1908. It, and its translations in over 87 languages, have sold an
estimated 100-150 million copies over the years.
Name the book. What catchphrase did it introduce?
Q3. Edgar Rice Burroughs invented an
imaginary Ape tongue for Tarzan
The Apes themselves were called Mangani. The word for Elephant was
Tantor. Bolgani was a Gorilla. The Mangani tongue did not have any
gender specific words for each of these animals – for instance, the
word for both male and female elephants was Tantor.
However, for one specific animal, Burroughs named the male Numa
and the female Sabor. Which animal was this? why did he do this?
If it helps, he did this after he learnt something interesting that he’d
ignored earlier in writing his stories.
A3. Lion – Numa and Lioness – Sabor
There are no tigers in Africa
Q4. In Amit Chaudhuri’s third novel
The protagonist Bhaskar joins the Communist Party in the early 1990s
and instead of taking up a job, spends his time sloganeering in rallies,
performing street plays and so on.
According to Chaudhuri, Bhaskar’s wholehearted embrace of
Marxism’s tenets in a world which has rendered them obsolete was
modeled on which literary character?
A4. Don Quixote
“I wanted to make Bhaskar a Quixotic figure, just as Quixote has taken
up all the dead chivalric codes of the romance novels in all
earnestness, unmindful of their complete irrelevance.”
*Q5. In Sarah Fielding’s“The Adventures of
David Simple and Volume the Last”(1744)
*Q5 continued ..
The English Word. The Insulting Slogan
This term that she coined (blanked out) was shortened into an English
word particularly detested by brave and honourable schoolboys.
The word was further adopted into an insulting slogan during the
freedom struggle, which would routinely be yelled by irate crowds at
sundry Dewan Sahibs, Rai Bahadurs and other such worthy personalities.
*A5. Toady (from Toad Eater)
and Toady Bachcha Hai Hai
Q6. From Sir Walter Scott’s Quentin Durward
Quentin sees a hanged man and doesn’t realize that he has been hanged
by the French King’s provost marshal.
“Why do you not cut him down?” said the young Scot, whose hand
was as ready to assist affliction, as to maintain his own honour when
he deemed it assailed.
One of the peasants, turning on him an eye from which fear had
banished all expression but its own, and a face as pale as clay, pointed
to a mark cut upon the bark of the tree, having the same rude
resemblance to a fleur de lys which certain talismanic scratches, well
known to our revenue officers, bear to a ___ ___ (2 words).
This symbol of British royal (and today, government) property is still to be
seen across India. What?
Q7. What are we referring to, here?
Linnaeus named it Microcosmus marinus in the first edition of his
Systema Naturae, adding "Habitare fertur in mari Norwegico, ipse non
dum animal vidi".
John Wyndham used it in 1953 to describe the awakening threat of
alien invaders from a gas giant, who have now colonized a region of
Earth that suits their bodies – and now threaten the whole planet.
What, in one word, are we referring to here?
Q8. Name the fictional country
Italo Calvino’s “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler”includes references to a
fictional country X, described as having existed as an independent
state between the World Wars. Apparently located somewhere on the
Gulf of Bothnia, the country has since been absorbed into its much
Their language X-ian has historically been spoken by an ancient tribe,
contemporaneous with the Scythians, that lived in southern Ukraine.
Identify this fictional country, which is also to be found in the works of
Robert E. Howard, and which can be extrapolated from a Welsh word.
Q9. The 1846 tale
In 1827, when the author was a US Army private at Fort Castle Island
near Boston, he heard about an 1817 duel in which a certain Lt. Drane
killed another officer, Lt. Massie.
Massie’s friends then lured Drane into the fort’s dungeon, where they
had “hidden some expensive liquor”. Drane was chained to the wall and
the room bricked up.
In 1846, the author turned this into a tale of Italian vendetta, hinting at,
but never revealing the motive behind the victim’s immurement.
Also a song from a 1976 concept album, if that helps.
*Q10. How do neuroscientists describe
this reaction? [remember – lit quiz]
Halo Neuroscience is a Silicon Valley startup providing equipment that
uses electrical pulses of energy to prime the brain for a more effective
workout for athletics.
Through its Halo Sport device (image on the next slide), the idea is to
provide electrical stimulation to neurons in the motor cortex that send
commands through peripheral nerves to the muscles, during actual
athletic training sessions.
People have been naturally rather hesitant to try this project. This
reluctance has been described as the _____ effect.
Q11. Name this 1942 philosophical essay
A philosophical essay written in 1942, it introduces the philosophy of
the absurd: the futile search for meaning, unity and clarity in the face
of an“unintelligible work devoid of God and eternal truths or values.”
The final chapter compares the absurdity of man’s life with the
archetypal mythical protagonist of meaninglessness.
Name the essay, or the character so referenced.
Q12. Identify the author
Arabia’s fierce sunshine burns the eyes. The Arabs highly value a
cooling sensation in the eyes. Such coolness is also a metaphor for
“extremely dear to the heart” – with Sir Richard Burton translating this
Arabic endearment as “the coolth of my eyes” in several stories of the
Thousand and One Nights.
Which Sahitya Akademi, Jnanpith award and Sahitya Akademi
Fellowship winning elder sister of Indian litterateurs was named for
this coolness of the eyes?
Q14. The original work and its successor
The existence of this work was first postulated in Asimov's original
1942 short story "Foundation".
This older, more pedestrian work was subsequently overshadowed in
popularity by by another work.
This other work, while riddled with many omissions and containing
apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate content, was slightly cheaper,
and moreover, had a very distinctive cover.
What was the original work and its successor?
*Q15. How did Tom Brown translate this
epigram of Martial in 1680?
In 1680, Tom Brown was a student at Christ Church, Oxford, when he
was expelled by the dean for misbehaviour.
The dean, however, took pity on Brown and his future career, and
offered to keep him on if he could, impromptu, translate the 32nd
epigram of Martial into English.
Here’s the Latin epigram. How did Brown famously translate it?
Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere quare;
Hoc tantum possum dicere, non amo te.
Q16. The Author and the Parody Movie
This author, well known for his industrial storylines, was on a plane trip
during the 1950s when he got to thinking what would happen if both
pilots were to be incapacitated by food poisoning.
He promptly turned this scenario into a hit 1956 made for TV movie
starring James Doohan, and later novelized the screenplay. This was
further turned into a 1957 movie “Zero Hour” that was noted for its
stilted and trite dialogue,
Zero Hour and its dialogue was parodied into a cult hit 1980 movie
that is most famous for an expressed wish that someone not be referred
to as female.
Q17. Whose works did Amazon delete?
In 2009, Amazon deleted all works by a certain author from the Kindle
devices of all their US customers, due to a copyright licensing issue.
This deletion also took out all the notes that those Kindle users may
have made on their individual copies of the ebooks.
A Michigan schoolboy sued Amazon and won, with Amazon
promising the judge that they would not delete works from their
customers’ Kindle devices again.
In what has to be pretty significant irony about major corporate
overreach, which author’s books did Amazon delete from Kindle?
Q18. Who / What did this incident inspire?
In 1962, Sir Frank Soskice, a Labour Party MP and former Advocate
General of England, started a petition to grant a posthumous pardon
to Timothy Evans, who had been wrongly executed in 1950 for
murdering his wife and child, before the actual killer was discovered.
In 1964, when Sir Frank became Home Secretary under Harold Wilson,
the exact same petition landed on his desk for approval, whereupon
he rejected it and denied further investigation of a long dead case.
Over a decade later, who / what did this flip flop inspire?
widely rejected and then self published
Q21. Give me the opening line of this poem
Emperor Sennacherib’s siege of Jerusalem in 701 BCE was reportedly
foiled by the miraculous mass death of 185,000 of his soldiers,
something described in a Lord Byron poem.
The first line of this poem, evoking the mercilessness of the emperor’s
attack on a meek and defenceless population, has become proverbial,
and widely referenced in literature.
eg: “His whole demeanour was that of an _____, who, having
_____multiple word phrase___, finds in residence not lambs but wildcats”
– P.G.Wodehouse, Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit.
A21. The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold
‘The Destruction of Sennacherib’ – Lord Byron
Q22. Identify the character X.
How do we know Miss Lamburn better?
According to the actor John Teed, who was their neighbour during his
childhood, the model for this character X was the author Miss __First Name_
__Middle Name__ Lamburn’s nephew.
She lived quietly with her mother in Cherry Orchard Road, Bromley Common.
My family lived next door. In those days it was a small rural village.
Miss Lamburn was a delightful unassuming young woman and I used to play
with her young nephew Tommy. He used to get up to all sorts of tricks […]
Later, she contracted polio and was confined to a wheelchair. Owing to her
restricted movements she took her setting from her immediate surroundings
which contained many of the features described in her books."
Q23. Comedy of Errors, Act III, Scene 1
FITB with a phrase from a recent series of books
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS:
Go, fetch me something: I’ll break ope the gate.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE(within):
Break any breaking here, and I’ll break your knave’s pate.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
A man may break a word with you, sir, and ______________,
Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not behind
Q24. The 1967 play and the 1996 movie
This 1967 Pulitzer winning play by Howard Sackler, based on the life of a
great sportsman, was adapted into a 1970 movie starring James Earl
Jones, earning him a Best Actor Oscar nomination.
Another great from the same sport was so impressed by the movie
that he told Jones “That's my story. You take out the issue of white
women and replace it with the issue of religion.That's my story!"
A 1996 Samuel Jackson movie parodied the play’s title.
Name both the 1967 play and the 1996 movie.
A24. The Great White Hope / Hype
Jack Johnson and Mohammed Ali
*Q25. Name these two British kings
X reigned from CE 9-35 and before that, was apparently brought up at
the court of Augustus Caesar. We know of him mostly because of an
apocryphal but popular story about his daughter’s efforts to marry a low
His son Y, who reigned from CE 43-50, has a name that we know
because it is the first name of, for example –
1. One of the founders of a shop dealing in artefacts, such as a furniture
“portal” of sorts.
2. The inventor of a car with an onomatopoeic name
3. A cantata in six scenes by Elgar
*A25. Cymbeline and Caractacus
Caractacus Burke – Founder of Borgin and Burkes
Caractacus Potts – Inventor of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Q26. What did Dr.Borzuy bring back ?
As told in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, Borzuy, a doctor at the court of the
Sassanid king Khosru I Anushirvan, heard about “a mountain herb that is
mingled into a compound and, when sprinkled over a corpse, it is immediately
restored to life” and reached India in a quest for this herb. This legend was
clearly a version of the Ramayana’s Sanjeevani, and there was no such herb.
However, a wise man suggested a different interpretation. “The herb is the
scientist; science is the mountain, everlastingly out of reach of the multitude. The
corpse is the man without knowledge, for the uninstructed man is everywhere
lifeless.Through knowledge man becomes revivified.”.
This wise man also suggested a work which, he said, was just such a ‘herb’ ,
and Borzuy took a copy back with him to Persia. Which work was this?
Q27. Whose (5) anthology (5) is this Neil
Gaiman work a snide reference to?
The original is a 1927 anthology of sickeningly
sweet poems with titles like Sneezles, Blinker and
Pinker Purr. Eleven poems in this original work
use distinctive illustrations by E.H Shepard, in an
attempt to cash in on the popularity of two of
the poet’s earlier works.
While others such as P.G.Wodehouse have gently
parodied these poems, Gaiman’s anthology
features “sick, gross, vomit inducing” poetry by
the likes of Brian Aldiss and Robert Bloch.
Q28. Identify this fictional trio –what they
are (5), name them (5)
The first of the trio is clearly named for a fictional fighter pilot in both
world wars, who, with his sidekicks, later joins a fictional wing of
Scotland Yard. Indeed, this individual from the trio is incogruously
depicted wearing a ”British Officer”mustache and a flying helmet.
The second of the trio shares his name with one of the five warring
warlords in Terry Pratchett’s “Interesting Times” – Hong, Tang, _____,
Sung and McSweeney.
As for the third, he shares his name with the surname of a Dominican
priest who discovered and translated the Mayan creation myth that is
today known as the Popol Vuh.
A28. The Cardinals from the Monty Python Spanish
Inquisition Sketch – Biggles, Fang and Ximenez
Q29. Who was Truman Capote making this
dismissive comment about?
Truman Capote, interviewed on a TV talk show in 1959, airily dismissed
a certain author with the statement "He doesn't write, he types".
Here is an extract from a letter that this author wrote to his girlfriend
Joyce Johnson, who used to live in New York’s Greenwich Village while
he was broke and living in his mother’s home in Orlando (she had to
loan him $30 so he could catch a bus to New York for his book launch).
“I've bought a roll of white teletype paper that reaches from Orlando, Fla.
Who was this author, known for typing his novels in marathon spells?
*Q30. Publicity mailshot sent out by
Bantam Books in 1966
These mailshots were drafted to look like prescriptions, and read:
Take 3 yellow __________ before bedtime for a broken love affair;
Take 2 red __________ and a shot of scotch for a shattered career;
Take ___the book’s title___ in heavy doses for the truth about the
glamour set on the pill kick.
Just name the book. The first 2 blanks in the ‘prescription’ are the
same and form part of the book’s title.