Friday, February 15, 2008

RETIRED BUT NOT RETIRING: THE CONVOLUTED QUESTION


The melliflous Maxine at Petrona was kind enough to mention my last quiz,and to be the representative of Crime Scraps at the London book launch of Crimini.



You can read about Maxine's day job here as publishing executive editor of Nature magazine. This probably explains why Maxine's reviews are always such a pleasure to read and her writing flows so smoothly in comparison with a certain bearded blogger.


The deviously convoluted mind of Uriah Robinson, inspired, apparently, by the "Round Britain" radio quiz, has come up with a set of questions so fiendish (and he's been called worse than that, he says) that one can only read the answers in utter amazement -- an amazement that is increased when one reads that somebody in the world was able to score 80 per cent. We are assured that an easier version is in the works for the Spring. These retired dentists!



At the moment I am reading The Man at the Window by K.O.Dahl [for Euro Crime] and will then start on The Snake Stone by Jason Goodwin [also for Euro Crime] but I will probably be able to fit in a Crimini short story for a post here sometime.


I thought I might exercise my "deviously convoluted mind" with a quicky quirky question to stretch your brains over Saturday night and possibly Sunday morning.

No prizes this time I am afraid you will have to wait for Quirky Quiz: Spring Edition for that, and no performance enhancing drugs beyond coffee and tea!
Here we go:

What is the link between a cinematic recreation of a Roman slave revolt, a Turkish museum, Dr Albert Hirsch, and the odd son of antiques dealer Mogscha Rosenberg?

It is deviously convoluted, but really very easy when you know the answer.;)
Clue: This is a crime fiction blog.


29 Comments:

Blogger Philip said...

I do believe this must be Hercule Poirot. Peter Ustinov, who was in Topkapi (Turkish museum), played Poirot on film. Ustinov was also in Spartacus (slave revolt), and so too was Charles Laughton, who played Poirot in Christie's play Alibi in the 20s. Albert Finney played him in Murder on the Orient Express, and also played Albert Hirsch in The Bourne Ultimatum. And he was also played by Tony Randall, born Leonard Rosenberg, son of Mogscha.

Thank you for this, Norm. I need the occasional spot of practice if I'm to have any chance of pulling off a hat trick come March. And methinks there is fearsome competition out there girding for battle.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

My little grey cells are at work on this even now!
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

12:48 AM  
Blogger Philip said...

I suspect Peter will have this worked out in short order. Actually, Norm, I have developed a classification system for your questions based upon the degree of anguish they cause the solver: routine checkup; filling with freezing; filling without freezing; root canal; and Josef Mengele. So far, the 'alligator' question in January's quiz is the only one to make it into the Mengele class, and for that it gets an Olivier Award. It really was a magnificent riddle. I've put the current question among the fillings with freezing, but I do have a high pain threshold.

3:07 AM  
Blogger Maxine said...

I can't do this! Will have to think -- I think I know the first answer but not the other 3.
Oh dear, not as clever as all that, obviously!
Thanks for the (undeserved)flattery, Norm-- your prose is excellent -- it conveys what you want to say, in a personal style unique to you. What more could any reader ask? Nothing! Also, you make me laugh, that has to count for something. ;-)
best wishes
Maxine.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Maxine, thanks actually I make everyone laugh, and sometimes without even trying.

Peter, I can hear your massive brain working from here.

Philip, Marathon Man [with Olivier playing a Nazi Mengele type] was not my favourite film as when it was shown on TV it resulted in very nervous patients for weeks afterwards.

I have been out most of Saturday and it is early Sunday morning, so perhaps I should help by saying that Margaret Herrick's uncle might help with the first two items which relate to one person.

That person has something in common with the other couple of characters.

I can't be much more helpful. ;)

4:57 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

The little gray cells had done their work when I made that post. I have been to the palace in question. I found it a bit ongepotchket, to tell the truth.

I know the answer, though, which is just my luck. What good is respect if no prize accompanies it? It's enough to make one twiddle one's mustache in frustration.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

6:52 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

OK Peter I guess you have the answer, but I would be meshugge to offer a prize for just one "easy" question.;)

I will give you a 5 points in the battle for a prize after a few more convoluted questions.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

I was kidding about the prize, of course. I could not accept a prize for this question, difficult by normal human standards but a hanging curve compared to your full-scale quizzes.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

10:53 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

I will translate "hanging curve" for the UK market into "long hop" or "full toss".

Did you get my not so subtle reference to "saturday night and sunday morning" and the "odd" son?

11:13 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

I got the "odd son" clue, but not the other one. And it appears I might be ready for another cricket lesson. I can guess at "long hop," but what's a full toss?
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

11:38 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

A full toss is a delivery that does not hit the pitch [ground] before it reaches the batsman.
I shall have to include some of these cricket terms in my next Quirky Quiz!
If you did not get the "saturday night and sunday morning" clue did you get all of the three actors.

You have to explain the complete working out of the answer to get full marks. ;)

12:03 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Aha! That would have been my guess for the meaning of "full toss."

I will never deserve full credit because I had to look up who Mogscha Rosenberg was. Once I did, I understood the clue.

The key was recognizing the two movies, who acted in both, and what other roles he played. It was ... elementary.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

12:15 PM  
Blogger Maxine said...

Don't go bowling him a googly, Norm ;-)

12:18 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Maxine, that has given me an idea for another tricky question for my April quiz.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Peter, now you are learning more about cricket you could field at first slip, short leg, cover point or perhaps even at third man!

5:43 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Cricket, sewers and zithers. What is the connection?
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

12:03 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Any sport in which one can be bowled a googly is worthy of attention!
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

12:05 PM  
Blogger Maxine said...

You wisely omitted "silly mid-off"!

1:33 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

I agree Maxine, I would not have used the word "silly" with reference to the Mekon brained Peter, but if he starts asking tricky questions on my blog I won't bowl him a "googly", it will be a "bouncer", then a "beamer" followed by a fast "yorker".:o)

Cricket, sewers, zither?

Well a sewer might be a gulley, a cricket fielding position?
A zither is in the same family as a hammered dulcimer, and Australian cricketers frequently hammer English bowling?

Am I correct? ;)

2:00 AM  
Blogger Philip said...

There is a certain movie that features the zither in its theme music, and a chase through a sewer system, and has a title that is also a position on the cricket field, behind the wicketkeeper: The Third Man.

2:24 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

I have never seen the film, but your explanation seems suitably convoluted Philip.
Hoist with my own petard by cinema buffs.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Silly mid-off sounds like a worthwhile thing to be.

Yes. Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten starred in The Third Man, Welles playing an especially evil character.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

11:31 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Sorry Philip I had delayed your definitive answer in order to see if anyone else came up with the solution.

The spring quiz will be posted in early April, because I need more time to work on the questions to make them even more difficult.;)

12:05 PM  
Blogger Philip said...

But of course. I wasn't quite sure what you wanted us to do, but I assumed you would keep back any answers submitted until it was time to reveal the solution.

Even more difficult? Googlies? Excellent! And in early April. April 1 is my entirely appropriate birthday, so I shall be waiting at silly mid-on for this birthday treat.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Philip, April 1 your birthday!

My older son's birthday as well.

Those born in April have devious minds, as you probably know the list of April birthdays is impressively villainous.;)

1:10 PM  
Blogger Philip said...

How nice -- I am delighted to share a birthday with your son. You are right, April is a villainous month, and the number of devious minds floating about increased by at least one on April 1, 1949. I just had a quick look at a list of April birthdays. I knew Hitler and Lenin fell within the month, but I didn't know Saddam did too. And William Randolph Hearst and Bismarck were pretty dodgy characters one way or another. Lon Chaney, occasionally villainous on screen, is on April 1. What I do like though, music being my first avocation, is that Haydn, Rachmaninov and Busoni are all on that day as well. Your son and I are in good company.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

April is mot entirely evil for birthdays. If I recall correctly, Charlie Chaplin and Henry Mancini share a birthday with my brother.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

9:21 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Yehudi Menuhin, Leonardo da Vinci, Marlon Brando, Pope Benedict XVI, Peter Ustinov, U.S.Grant, Thomas Jefferson, Henry James, Charlotte Bronte, Nikita Kruschev, Elaine May, Gregory Peck, Harper Lee, Maya Angelou, Colin Powell, Catherine the Great, Wilbur Wright, Booker T Washington and even Victoria Beckham the list goes on.
I almost forgot Jack Nicholson and the delicious threesome Penelope Cruz, Renee Zellweger and Ellen Barkin.
Does that compensate for Hitler, Lenin and Saddam?

1:45 AM  
Blogger Jeannie said...

Hi,
I did a search on "retired" and "coffee" and arrived at your blog. If you belong to a coffee group, would you mind stopping by my blog to answer some questions there? I'm working on a folklore project for my university class (back in school at 52!) on coffee groups, the games they play, the lingo they use, reasons they're important to members, etc. Thanks!
-Jeannie http://whimsicaljeannie.blogspot.com/

3:18 PM  

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