Winter Festival Quirky Quiz: The answers

Posted: January 4, 2012 in Quiz

Thanks to everyone who sent their entries in for the quiz, and to those people who tried but did not feel confident enough to send their answers please have a go next time. 

Four clever entrants managed to correctly answer between them nine of the ten questions, but no one got the exact link I wanted in question 7 probably because I was not specific about the sex and nationality of the award winning crime fiction author. 

Hearty congratulations to the winner from Brading in the Isle of Wight, who triumphed in an extremely close contest.

The answers:

1] The two people in the photograph both have presidential connections; one also has a connection with Christmas Day and a fictional detective? Explain. 

The people are of course Vice President Harry Trueman, who was to succeed FDR as President of the USA, and actress Lauren Bacall who was born Betty Joan Perske and is first cousin to Shimon Peres, President of Israel. Lauren Bacall was married to Humphrey Bogart, who played Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep [along with Bacall] and Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon. Bogart was born on Christmas Day 1899.

2] Which crime fiction book is linked with a sacrifice in chess, a low upholstered box seat, and a town in northern Bulgaria?

A sacrifice in chess is known as a gambit a low upholstered is an ottoman, so we need to connect an Ottoman Turk with a  gambit. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 the most important engagement is the Siege of Plevna a town in Bulgaria. This battle features in Boris Akunin’s Erast Fandorin novel a Turkish Gambit.

3] Which Nordic crime fiction writers are, or used to be:

(a) A Minister for Justice. (b) A civil engineer (c) A dentist (d) An economist (e) A policeman (f) A junior expert on Middle East policy (g) a criminal.

Anne Holt, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Helene Tursten, Camilla Lackberg, Jorn Lier Horst, Kristina Ohlssson, Borge Hellstrom

4] What did John Gardner and Charles McCarry have in common? And who was “embarrassed, puzzled and more than a little angry”? 

Both were plagiarized by Q.R.Markham in his “debut “spy novel Assassin of Secrets. Jeremy Duns exposed the author and Duane Swierczynski was “more than a little angry” because he had favourably blurbed the work. The only good point about this travesty is that it encouraged me to read Charles McCarry’s superb Tears of Autumn again after a break of thirty years. [more about this soon]

5] In the Danish TV series The Killing II Sarah Lund’s partner is called Ulrik Strange. Name two crime writers who also use the name Strange for policemen.

The answers I thought I would get were Colin Dexter’s Chief Superintendent Strange in the Morse books, and  Derek Strange ex-cop in the Washington DC series authored by George Pelecanos. But there were several other alternatives.

6] A slang name for a capital city, and a large Asian cat. What brought them together? 

London is known as the smoke, especially to those of us who suffered the smogs of the 1950s and 1960s. The large Asian cat is a tiger, and they were brought together by Margery Allingham in the title of her novel The Tiger in  the Smoke.

7] What is the link between one of the eight wives of  a jazz clarinetist, and a prize winning crime fiction author? 

This was the question that had people stumped.

The jazz clarinetist with eight wives was Artie Shaw, and the “simple” connection I wanted was that wife number five actress Ava Gardner played the part of Maria Vargas in the 1954 movie The Barefoot Contessa [ starring alongside Humphrey Bogart]. The multi International Dagger award winning author Frederique Audouin-Rouzeau derives her pen name Fred Vargas from that Maria Vargas character.

8] Who worked together on the Abercrombie forgery case, and the Baron Altara case?

Inspector Japp and Hercule Poirot. 

9] Beginnings and endings:

(a)Which crime novel begins with:

They found the corpse on the 8th July just after 3 o’clock in the afternoon. It was fairly well intact and couldn’t have been lying in the water long. 

Roseanna: Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, the start of a very great crime fiction series. 

 (b) Which crime novel ends with:

‘Is he going to be alright?’ he heard himself ask. ‘Tell me he’s going to be all right…’ 

Exit Music: Ian Rankin, the end of a very good crime fiction series.

10] Who reads Lady Frances Verney’s memoirs?

Gutman, the Fat Man in Dashiel Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. 

  1. Maxine says:

    Brilliant! I would have got most of 3, and I knew that 2 had to be something to do with an Ottoman. But I was completely at sea with the other clues (even though it turned out I knew one or two, but not many of the answers!).

  2. Oh dear! Congratulations to the winner; I am impressed anyone could guess more than one or two of these.

    I had also guessed the word ´Ottoman´, and a few of the writers behind the occupations of question three, but that was about it.

    But whenever you come up with a quiz for ordinary people, I´m ready to play along 😉

  3. Norman says:

    Thanks Maxine, I tried to give a balance of questions althoughon account of me being an old codger characters like Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Poirot, Bogart, Bacall, and Gutman are inclined to feature a lot in my quizzes.

    Dorte, I classify you as extraordinary, and expect an entry next time, in Danish. 😉

  4. Norm! Number 7 was rather wicked although I did get the right wife.
    Seems I was a bit creative with my answer for 6, LOL:
    “London: the smoke. Jo Nesbo’s The Leopard. Protag Harry Hole is a chain smoker and in The Leopard returns from Hong Kong having added opium smoking to his list of addictions (tobacco and alcohol being the main).”

    Congrats to the IoW winner!

  5. Norman says:

    Rhian getting the right wife out of so many was an achievement. 😉

  6. I bow to the superior knowledge of other readers (I’d worked out 2 and a half answers in total) but I will take some solace in the fact I am a little young for several of the answers…not often I get to say that these days 🙂

  7. kathy d. says:

    Congratulations to those who excelled at this extremely difficult quiz. I knew, of course, Lauren Bacall and Harry Truman and also the writers’ prior professions, well, most of them. I could have figured out Artie Shaw, as the first spouse that occurred to me was Ava Gardner. But making the Vargas connection, not so sure.

    What a tough quiz writer. If I had figured out all of these answers, I would have been awaiting my Masters in Crime Fiction History.

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