Specialist: Roald Dahl

From the quiz on 5/9/17.

  1. In James and the Giant Peach, what are the names of James Trotter’s two cruel aunts? Spiker and Sponge

  2. In The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, what animal is the titular “me”? Monkey

  3. In Steven Spielberg’s 2016 film adaptation of The BFG, which English actress voices Queen Elizabeth II? Penelope Wilton

  4. What is the name of the shape-shifting aliens that invade Space Hotel USA in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator? Vermicious Knids

  5. How is the child-eating title character finally defeated in Roald Dahl’s book The Enormous Crocodile? Thrown into the Sun


Art & literature 40

From the quiz on 22/8/17.

  1. How many lines is a traditional limerick? 5

  2. Dr Kay Scarpetta is the protagonist of a series of crime novels, beginning with Postmortem (1990), written by which American author? Patricia Cornwell

  3. Which 18th-century English portraitist was the very first President of the Royal Academy? Joshua Reynolds

  4. In the Harry Potter universe, what is the English translation of Hogwarts’ Latin motto, Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus? Never tickle a sleeping dragon

  5. For what does the letter D stand in the names of authors D. H. Lawrence and J. D. Salinger? David

  6. Which French painter is credited with inventing the genre of fête galante, which depicts elegantly-attired men and women flirting in a rural setting, as in his 1717 work The Embarkation for Cythera? (Antoine) Watteau

  7. Endgame (1957) and Waiting for Godot (1954) are plays by which Irish playwright, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969? Samuel Beckett

  8. English gentleman Phileas Fogg is the protagonist of which 1873 novel by Jules Verne? Around the World in Eighty Days

  9. Which English artist illustrated Geoffrey Willans’s Molesworth series and created the St Trinian’s cartoons? Ronald Searle

  10. Of all Shakespeare plays, which one contains both the longest scene (Act V Scene 2) and the longest word (honorificabilitudinitatibus)? Love’s Labour’s Lost

Specialist: photography

From the quiz on 8/8/17.

  1. Which Japanese company produces the popular EOS series of SLR cameras? Canon

  2. American photographer Dorothea Lange is renowned for her many photos, including the iconic Migrant Mother, that document which era of American history? Great Depression

  3. What property of a camera lens is denoted by a lower-case f, as in f-number? Focal length

  4. Which American documentarian, perhaps best known for the TV miniseries The Civil War (1990), lends his name to a technique in which still photographs in motion pictures are slowly zoomed and panned across to retain visual interest? Ken Burns

  5. Thomas Sutton and James Clerk Maxwell’s 1861 photograph of a tartan ribbon represents what first in the history of photography? First colour photograph

Art & literature 39

From the quiz on 1/8/17.

  1. What middle initial does Iain Banks add to his name when writing science fiction? M

  2. In which US city are 16 of the 19 Smithsonian museums? Washington DC

  3. Which Charles Dickens character is variously referred to as the old man, the merry old gentleman, and the Jew? Fagin

  4. Which American author wrote the novels Mildred Pierce, The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity? James M. Cain

  5. Which Dutch artist painted the portrait of Oliver Cromwell that allegedly spawned the English phrase “warts and all”? Peter Lely

  6. Which American author coined and espoused the so-called Iceberg Theory, in which sub-surface details are not written explicitly but are instead left to the reader? Ernest Hemingway

  7. The 1896 cycle A Shropshire Lad is the best-known work by which English poet? A. E. Housman

  8. Qinghua is a popular style of Chinese pottery decorated solely in which two colours? Blue and white

  9. Which American author won Pulitzer Prizes for The Armies of the Night (1968) and The Executioner’s Song (1979), and co-founded the newspaper The Village Voice in 1955? Norman Mailer

  10. The Wilton Diptych, painted in the late 14th century, depicts which King of England being presented to Mary and Jesus by three saints? Richard II

Specialist: Dune

From the quiz on 18/7/17.

  1. Which iconic creature from the Dune universe is also referred to as Shai-Hulud, Shaitan and Maker? Sandworm

  2. Which Scottish actor plays Leto II Atreides in the 2003 miniseries Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune? James McAvoy

  3. What is the name of the special suit worn by the Fremen to preserve body moisture on the desert planet Arrakis? Stillsuit

  4. After Frank Herbert’s death in in 1986, which American sci-fi author collaborated with Frank’s son Brian to continue the Dune series? Kevin J. Anderson

  5. Members of which secretive society repurpose all adult women as vegetative “axlotl tanks”, using them to reproduce, create Face Dancers and make clones of the dead called gholas? Tleilaxu

Art & literature 38

From the quiz on 11/7/17.

  1. Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s bestselling 2001 novel The Shadow of the Wind is set in Barcelona in the period following which war? Spanish Civil War

  2. The French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is noted for his many paintings of and posters for which club in Paris? Moulin Rouge

  3. E. W. Hornung’s literary character Arthur J. Raffles is a gentleman thief and amateur player of which sport? Cricket

  4. In which European language were the novels The Tin Drum, Metamorphosis, Death in Venice and All Quiet on the Western Front originally written? German

  5. As a teenager, which Italian Renaissance artist had his nose broken and permanently disfigured after an altercation with his contemporary Pietro Torrigiano? Michelangelo

  6. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel The Great Gatsby and Jay Anson’s 1977 novel The Amityville Horror are both set on which US island? Long Island

  7. Which series of novels by Daniel Handler begins with The Bad Beginning (1999) and ends with The End (2006)? A Series of Unfortunate Events

  8. Sky Mirror, Cloud Gate in Chicago’s Millennium Park, and the ArcelorMittal Orbit in London’s Olympic Park are sculptures by which Turner Prize–winning British artist? Anish Kapoor

  9. What animal does the title character win in a raffle and train up to be a champion in Enid Bagnold’s 1935 novel National Velvet? Horse

  10. Which Shakespeare play ends with one of the characters apologizing for any offence that might have been caused? A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Art & literature 37

From the quiz on 13/6/17.

  1. Which Shakespeare play features a singing jester named Feste? Twelfth Night

  2. Do not go gentle into that good night / Old age should burn and rave at close of day; / Rage, rage against the dying of the light” are the opening lines of a 1951 villanelle by which British poet? Dylan Thomas

  3. What name, ultimately from the Latin for “thread” and “seed”, is given to delicate ornamentation made using twisted wire, usually gold or silver? Filigree

  4. Fear of Flying, released in 1973 to much controversy over its sexual themes, was the début novel of which American author? Erica Jong

  5. Shunga, literally meaning “spring pictures”, is a genre of erotic art from which Asian country? Japan

  6. Down the Rabbit Hole is the opening chapter of which children’s novel first published in 1865? Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

  7. Kafka’s Dick, The Madness of George III and The History Boys are plays by which English playwright? Alan Bennett

  8. ‘Tis (1999) and Teacher Man (2005) are the lesser-known follow-ups to which memoir first published in 1996? Angela’s Ashes

  9. In which country did the Constructivism, Rayonism and Suprematism art movements all originate in the 1910s? Russia

  10. Which Dutch abstract art movement, founded in 1917 by Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian, is characterized by the use of geometrical figures such as lines and rectangles along with blocks of colour? De Stijl