Archive for the ‘Quiz’ Category

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. 

Winter Festival Quirky Quiz: Last chance

Posted: January 3, 2012 in Quiz

Happy New Year welcome to 2012.

There are only a few more hours to get your entries in for the Winter Festival Quirky Quiz as the deadline expires at midnight GMT. 

Winter Festival Quirky Quiz

Posted: December 14, 2011 in Quiz

This quiz may not be as difficult as those I have set in the past, simply because my old brain is seizing up, but I hope it will test your little grey cells a little.

You will have till midnight 3 January 2012 GMT to get your entries in, and the winner will be able to choose  their prize from a selection of new books.

Please reply with your answers to thbear08@googlemail.com. Good luck.

Here we go:

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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. 

 (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…’ 

10] Who reads Lady Frances Verney’s memoirs?

CAMILLERI QUIZ: THE ANSWERS

Posted: August 1, 2011 in Italy, Quiz, Sicily

I had several correct answers and therefore had to draw a winner and a runner-up.  The books [The Track of Sand and The Wings of the Sphinx]  will soon be making their way to the clever and lucky prize winners in Edinburgh and New York. Interestingly two cities with a lot of Italian connections. Well done!  

1] What happened on Via Fani in Rome on 16 March 1978?

Aldo Moro, a leader of the Christian Democracy, was kidnapped by the Red Brigades, and later killed.

2] Name the crime writer who wrote a book about the events of 16 March, and its aftermath, and who was born in Racalmuto, Sicily?

Leonardo Sciascia, who was born in Racalmuto, Sicily, wrote about events described in question no. 1.

3] Who was the Italian novelist, dramatist and Noble Prize winner for literature who was born in Agrigento, Sicily?

Nobel Prize winner Luigi Pirandello was born in Agrigento, Sicily.

4] Many of the events on the Italian Front [1915-1918] in the Great War have almost been fogotten, but two of the most famous people of the twentieth century were involved in that Italian conflict.
One was an ambulance driver, and one a sergeant in the medical corp was a stretcher-bearer. Who were they?

On the Italian Front in the Great War:  Ambulance driver was Ernest Hemingway; Medical Corps sergeant and stretcher-bearer was Pope John Paul XXIII; his birth name was Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli.

5] Who was the poet, journalist, novelist, dramatist and self proclaimed superman whose followers seized the city of Fiume on 12 September 1919?

Gabriele d’Annunzio ‘s followers seized Flume on Sept. 12, 1919.

Memo: 19.07.2011

Posted: July 19, 2011 in notes, polls, Quiz


Please don’t forget to vote in the Crime Scraps Poll no. 1 which will close on 26 July. This has already produced some interesting results but the more votes the easier it will be to draw some conclusions.

Also you still have a chance to win one of Andrea Camilleri’s superb Salvo Montalbano series by answering these questions. The competition closing date is 31 July