A Quizzing Potpourri

Published: 01st September 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st September 2014 12:40 AM   |  A+A-

DR-NAVIN--JAYAKUMAR.jpg1. These animals were originally bred to guard stagecoaches. But because they were comfortable around horses and the contrasting colours on their coats made them highly visible, they were made to run in front of horse-drawn fire engines, barking and clearing the path of onlookers. Which specific animal breed is this? It is used as the official mascot of firehouses even today.

2. Thanks to it, from the late 1940s, it was possible to pack all components of a radio into a small portable unit, as opposed to the typically huge wooden boxes in use till then. It made such an impact that for many subsequent years small radios were called ‘___  radios’ after the invention. What is this invention that fetched three men the Physics Nobel in 1956?

3. The Pope’s ring is called the ‘Ring of the Fisherman’. This is because the Pope — the leader of the Catholic Church — is considered the successor of _______, who used to be a fisherman before he became Christ’s disciple. It depicts that person fishing on a boat. What name, that is also associated with the world’s largest church, will fill the blank?

4. Back in the old days, cutting marks into wooden tally sticks was a way of keeping count. The word for cutting the notches was derived from a Norse word scora. It led to an English expression that originally meant ‘to pay one’s bill’ but in later years acquired another sense — that of taking revenge on somebody. What is the English expression?

5. This 6’ 9” 140 kg giant’s gold medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games (CG) was India’s second athletics gold ever there. It ended 56 years of drought. The man who won the gold in 1958 at the Cardiff Games is better known for his efforts at another event that happened two years later. He won 77 out of 80 career races. Name both people.

6. The word comes from the Spanish/Portuguese for coast or shore, and is used to define a dock with moorings for yachts and small boats. It differs from a port since it does not handle large passenger ships or freighters. What word is this? It is used with a popular Chennai hangout place too!

7. Located in Table Bay near Cape Town, the name of this place means ‘seal island’ in Dutch. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has seen several shipwrecks nearby over the years. The place is more famous because someone was forced to spend about 27 years here. You can name either the place OR the famous person.

8. His first ‘victim’ was PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal. For that, he got a seven match ban. The second ‘victim’ was Branislav Ivanovic, for which he received a ten match suspension. Who has been the target of many jokes, such as being asked to play with a ‘silence of the lambs’ style mask, after his latest attempt on Giorgio Chiellini?

9. First appearing in the early 1900s, around the time of the Mexican-American war, there are many stories on how this food item got its name. A popular tale is about a man Juan Mendez, from Chihuahua, Mexico, who had a donkey led food cart. He would wrap food up in a big homemade flour tortilla to keep it warm. Which dish means ‘little donkey’ in Spanish and supposedly got its name because it was sold off a donkey cart?

10. Give one word to connect the following: a) A dynasty whose kings ruled France and Spain from the 16th until the 19th century, b) A brand of chocolate sandwich biscuit — two biscuits with a chocolate filling and c) A type of coffee?

11. Maria Irudayam is a World Champion and the only Arjuna awardee from his sport. Which sport does he play?

12. As far as Chennai is concerned, what connects these names: MA Chidambaram, Jawaharlal Nehru, (Mayor) M Radhakrishna?

13. There is only one country in North/Central America that has the letter ‘z’ in its name. Which country is this?

14. Name the Indian classical dance form that gets its name from a form taken by Lord Vishnu to protect Lord Shiva against Bhasmasura?

15. The Tata Group is launching an airline in India branded Vistara, under a joint venture called Tata-SIA. Which international airline is their partner in this venture?


1. Dalmatians

2. Transistor

3. St Peter

4. Settling scores

5. Vikas Gowda and Milkha Singh

6. Marina

7. Robben Island / Nelson Mandela

8. Luis Suarez

9. Burrito

10. Bourbon

11. Carrom

12. International stadiums are named after them

13. Belize

14. Mohiniyattam

15. Singapore Airlines

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