Sunday, January 10, 2010


The rest of the answers to the Winter Quirky Quiz.

6] What is the link between a bird of the Icteridae family with yellow and black plumage, metal drawn out to be thin and flexible, and three roses and a bottle of cognac?

Baltimore, of course. The bird the Oriole eponym of the city's baseball team; the metal drawn out is The Wire, that wonderful TV series; and the cognac and roses are the items left on the grave of Edgar Allan Poe.

7] What is the nominal connection between the discoverer of the secret of life, an Italian navigator, a transcontinental expedition leader, and an English seaside town? And who were their colleagues?

This was another slightly tricky one, but easy once you got the idea.

Discoverer of the secret of life:
Francis Crick and James Watson would naturally lead to Dr John Watson and his colleague Sherlock Holmes.

Italian navigator:
When the answers came in I learned there was a detective series featuring an assistant called Amerigo Vespucci, but what I really wanted was Giovanni Caboto [ John Cabot] and then a connection to Annie Cabbot, and her colleague Alan Banks in Peter Robinson's long running series.

a transcontinental expedition leader:
Lewis and Clark. Meriweather Lewis leads on to Morse and Lewis Colin Dexter's contrasting detectives.

an English seaside town:
Obviously this was Hastings. Captain Hastings and Agatha Christie's unique detective Hercule Poirot.

8] Name a crime writer who was born in Malaya in 1907, and a crime writer who lives in Thailand?

Christianna Brand, and either Colin Cotterill [or Dean Barrett].

9] What sort of co-operation might mysteriously involve a lonely American jockey, Royal cousins, single colloquial nightwear, and a Gallic pseudonym?

I was rather proud of this question, described as devilish by one entrant, and I thought worthy of someone like Endeavour Morse.
The co-operation is co-authorship by family members.

The lonely American jockey is Todd Sloan from which the cockney rhyming slang 'on your todd' derives. The crime writing duo of Charles Todd is in fact the mother and son Caroline and Charles Todd.

Royal cousins, are cousins Manfred Lee and Frederic Dannay who wrote as Ellery Queen.

Single colloquial nightwear, are pyjamas, PJs, single PJ and P.J.Tracy, who are mother and daughter Patricia and Traci Lambrecht.

The Gallic pseudonym, are husband and wife team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French.

10] Who are these ladies?

a) Dulcie Duveen- Captain Hasting's wife, whom he met in Murder on the Links.
b) Mary Marston- Dr Watson's wife.
c) Ellen Gjelten- Harry Hole's colleague and friend in The Redbreast.
d) Nancy Neele- the real life mistress of Archie Christie.
e) Cynthia Murdoch- she rejected Captain Hastings proposal of marriage in The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

Well all finished and the prize winners notified. I hope this quiz provided some amusement and brain training for you, and my tired old brain will be searching for new questions to set in a Spring Quiz in a few months time.


Blogger Maxine Clarke said...

Great stuff, Norman! The only one I got was Colin Cotterill. I would have got Ellen but I did not remember her surname. By the way, might it be an idea just to say "Harry Hole's colleague and friend in Redbreast" rather than include the spoiler, just in case someone sees that who has not read the book? I hope you don't mind the suggestion.

Fantastic quiz, you should have a PhD in the subject.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Maxine. You are correct with your suggestion as usual and I have changed that now.

Even though I am no longer on the register I still get correspondence addressed to Doctor Price. [Dentists started to call ourselves doctor when we began to import European dentists mostly from Sweden].
I wonder if it is a criminal offence to claim, if the postman were ever to ask, that my doctorate is a PhD in crime fiction quiz setting. :o)

8:16 AM  
Blogger Maxine Clarke said...

When I am writing to people in my work capacity (usually to scientists) I generally play it safe and address everyone as "Professor". Mind you, that doesn't mean all that much in the US, in the scientific arena, you seem to go straight from PhD to Professor ;-) (If you are lucky enough to get a job at all of course, it is horribly competitive and a very stressful career choice.)

11:31 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Maxine, most of my contemporaries, those that are still with us, agree with me that the world does seem a much more competitive and harsher place than in our day. Perhaps then with only 5% going to university we were a small elite and our employment prospects were much better. In dentistry for example UK graduates are competing with dentists from all over the EU.

5:34 AM  

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