This quiz contains ten categories representing different areas of knowledge. Each category requires you to choose one answer from a range of possible correct answers. Your goal for each category is to choose a correct answer that is chosen by as few other players as possible. A correct answer scores 1 point plus 1 point for every other player who chooses the same answer. An incorrect answer receives a penalty score: the highest correct-answer score for the given category plus 1. The player with the lowest total score wins.
The questions are inspired by items in a variation of the “Announcer’s Test,” though familiarity with this cumulative verse recited as a tongue twister and memory game is not required. The notation “11C” refers to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.
Research is not allowed. Reasonably close spelling is acceptable unless otherwise indicated. Email answers to me at tmcclar [at] gmail.com before Sunday, August 12, 2018 , 11:59 p.m. (MT)
1. One hen
Choose a boldface 11C entry — or explicit, boldface inflected form of an 11C entry — that has exactly six letters and fits the cryptogram pattern 123432. In other words, the answer must have exactly four different letters with the second matching the sixth and third matching the fifth. Answers may contain capital letters, apostrophes, hyphens, and spaces. Answers that appear in 11C as parts of multiword entries but are not stand-alone entries/inflected forms in 11C are not acceptable.
2. Two ducks
The lettered list below contains phrases from Disambiguation pages on the Internet site Wikipedia. In each case, the phrase describes a term that can also be the name of a traditional children’s game. For example, the phrase “A steamer captured by the Union Navy during the American Civil War and used as a hospital ship” appears on the Disambiguation page for Red Rover, which is also “a children’s game.” All the games in questions are featured on the Wikipedia page List of Traditional Children’s Games. Terms may have slight spelling variations between the game name and the sense described in the lettered list. Choose one of the phrases and identify the related children’s game name. Your answer must contain the phrase letter followed by the game.
A – A 13th-century Italian explorer
B – A 1963 novel by Kurt Vonnegut
C – A 2004 American sports comedy film starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller
D – An afterlife condition hypothesized by Medieval Roman Catholic theologians
E – An American television series starring Robert Culp and Bill Cosby
F – An educational toy company
G – An episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone
H – A fictional character, one of Snoopy’s siblings from the comic strip Peanuts
I – A form of graffiti signature
J – A single by alternative metal band Godsmack
K – A social networking website
L – A soft drink
M – Various small, oily fish in the herring family
3. Three squawking geese
The lettered list below contains bird call transliterations that appear in David Allen Sibley’s Field Guide to Birds of Western North America. Choose one of the calls and identify the bird associated with it in Sibley’s guide. Your answer must include the letter of the call followed by the name of the bird. As a solving aid, the initials of the bird names appear (in a separate order) after the list of calls. Some modifiers of the bird names are in parentheses and do not need to appear in your answer. For example, if the list included “ A – tsip klseewi ptik” and the bird name initials included “ (P-S) F”, you could answer “ A – Flycatcher” rather than “ A – Pacific-slope flycatcher.”
A – bru-u-ooo / p-p-p-prooo
B – caaw / cahrrr
C – chika dzee dzee
D – g-prrip prrEE / pwip
E – ho hoo hoo hoododo hooooo ho
F – hronk
G – jaaaay / toolili
H – ku-ku-ku-ku-kddowl-kddowl
I – ooEEK ooEEK
J – raaaaaaaak
K – tyeeeeee deew deew / teewdew / didideeer / didideeer
L – woit woit woit chew chew chew chew chew / pichew pichew tiw tiw tiw tiw tiw tiw tiw tiw
B J / (A) C / (M) C / (N) C / (Y-B) C / (R) D / ( W ) D / (C) G / (H) H / K / (G H) O / W-P-W
4. Four limerick oysters
The image below is taken from Edward Lear’s 1846 poetry collection A Book of Nonsense. Each colored rectangle conceals one word in the verse. Identify one of the concealed words. You do not need to reference the image in your answer.
5. Five corpulent porpoises
U.S. News & World Report publishes an annual ranking of the best diet plans. The 2018 list ranks 40 diet plans, with some identified as commercial brands (e.g. Zone) and others as generic descriptions (e.g. glycemic-index). In each of the 18 images below, the name of the pictured food combined with the superimposed string of letters will anagram into the name of one of the diet plans on the list (not including the initial article “The” or the word “diet”). The images appear left to right and row by row based on the alphabetical order of the pictured foods. Choose one of the diet plans represented by an image. You do not need to indicate the image corresponding to your answer.
6. Six pair of Don Alverzo’s tweezers
The image below displays a fully-expanded SwissChamp Swiss Army knife manufactured by Victorinox/Wenger. The SwissChamp has 33 functions annotated in the image.
Some of those functions, numbered per the annotated image, appear in the list below as blanks representing enumerations with the letters A E I O and U properly placed. Choose one of the listed functions and identify its complete description by adding the consonants. You do not need to include the corresponding number with your answer.
3 – _ O _ _ _ _ _ E _
4 – _ A _ O _ E _ E _
8 – _ I _ E _ _ _ I _ _ E _
9 – _ E _ I _ _ A _ _
12 – _ O O _ _ _ I _ _
16 – _ I _ _ _ _ A _ E _
17 – _ O O _ _ I _ _ O _ _ E _
18 – _ U _ E _
20 – _ A I _ _ I _ E
24 – _ _ I _ E _
26 – _ _ I E _ _
29 – _ A _ _ I _ _ I _ _ _ _ A _ _
30 – _ _ E _ _ U _ I _ E _ _ A _ _ _ O I _ _ _ E _
33 – _ _ I _ _ I _ _ _ _ _ E _ _ _ I _ E _
7. Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array
Choose one of the military actions in the lettered list below and identify the modern-day country that is home to the action site. Please include the corresponding letter with your answer.
A – Battle of Bitter Lakes (925 BCE)
B – Battle of Nineveh (612 BCE)
C – Battle of Megiddo (609 BCE)
D – Siege of Tyre (332 BCE)
E – Battle of Ephesus (258 BCE)
F – Battle of Utica (238 BCE)
G – Battle of Ebro River (217 BCE)
H – Battle of Tao River (205 BCE)
I – Battle of Alesia (52 BCE)
J – Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (9 CE)
K – Battle of Watling Street (61 CE)
L – Iwai Rebellion (527 CE)
8. Eight brass monkeys from the ancient, sacred, crypts of Egypt
The image below contains excerpts from definitions in 11C. Names of chemical elements have been replaced by emboldened letters in brackets. Some element names appear more than once in the excerpts; an element appearing multiple times is represented by the same bracketed letter. Choose a bracketed letter and identify the corresponding chemical element. Please include the both the letter and element in your answer. Note that letters are assigned by an element’s first appearance in the image and are NOT meant to suggest element names or symbols.
9. Nine apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic, old men on roller skates, with a marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth
Women’s Flat Track Derby Association has 416 leagues headquartered in cities around the world. The logos below represent 15 WFTDA leagues, and the logos are arranged left to right, row by row according to an alphabetical list of their home cities. Identify the home city of one of the leagues depicted below. You do not need to reference the logo or include a country, province, or state in your answer. Some of the logos have been modified to conceal city name information.
10. Ten lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who all stall around the corner on the quo of the quay of the quivvey, all at the same time.
The images below feature characters from the 1989 animated Disney film The Little Mermaid. Choose a character and identify the character by name. You do not need to reference the image in your answer.
At the 2016 International Association of Memory European Open, Katie Kermode set a record for memorizing random words from a list after 15 minutes of study. How many words did she memorize? Tie scores will be broken by the guess closer to the record.
This contest, by friend Todd, demands that you not only know things, but that you know things that other people don’t know. The questions aren’t hard, and in fact there are lots of right answers for each one, but you’ll get fewer points the more obscure your right answer is. Lowest score wins.
Another friend project! Adal Rifai, who co-hosts the excellent Hello from the Magic Tavern podcast, has a new show where he, Erin Keif and JPC riff on riddles, puzzles, brainteasers, head scratchers, and lateral thinking puzzles. It’s one episode in and already
Tickets go on sale Wednesday.
A weekly puzzle game by Mission Street Puzzles people.