Independent/Sharp Schools Team Quiz: The winners

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The winners of the Independent/Sharp Schools Team Quiz are from Madras College, St Andrews, Fife. Members of the team, left, are: Gregory Kenicer, Emily Bradshaw, Bruce de Smid, Katharine Urch, Lindsay Charles, Will Poole, Martin Nicholls and Laurence Pitman. They win a portable CD player each from Sharp, and a photocopier, fax and typewriter for their school.

First runners-up are from Bedford School, Bedford: Graeme Andrew, Ben Ashforth, Simon Bennett, Gary Keane, Jeremy Mabbitt, John Miller, Simon Tysoe, Simon Waddington, David Wallace and Chris Waugh. They win a word processor and laser printer.

Second runners-up are from the European School, Culham, near Oxford: Anna Stork, Dominic Bacon, Helen Costley, Ned Crowther, Deirdre D'Auria, Conor Doyle, Jennifer Haigh, Sarah Kinsella, Alexia Mills and Ellen O'Donoghue.

Did you get them all (or any) right?

'Independent'/Sharp Schools Team Quiz: the tough questions - and their answers

Section One

The answers are all related to children's books.

1. The Prince is all at sea - but what about his tutor? He might almost be an old elephant.

Cornelius. In Prince Caspian by C S Lewis, the Prince has a tutor called Dr Cornelius; the tutor to Barbar the elephant has the same name.

2. The way to his mines lay between the breasts - although it took a stamp to teach him not to be too proud.

Solomon. In King Solomon's Mines by Rider Haggard, the way to the mines lay between two mountains called Sheba's Breasts. In Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, the Butterfly that Stamped taught Suliman- bin-Daud a lesson. Suliman and Solomon are forms of the same name.

3. Too much pepper made the baby sneeze - but whose was the patty-pan?

The Duchess. The Duchess' baby in Alice in Wonderland sneezed because of the pepper in the soup; the Duchess is the dog in Beatrix Potter's The Pie and the Patty-pan.

4. The real man may have found a footprint - yet it was the small friend (and relation) who got lost.

Alexander. Robinson Crusoe was based on the adventures of Alexander Selkirk; and Alexander Beetle, otherwise known as Small, got lost on the Expotition to the Pole (Pooh).

5. Oswald and his family sought it, and Jim and Ben found it.

Treasure. Oswald Bastable in The Treasure Seekers looked for it, and Jim Hawkins and Ben Gunn in Treasure Island found it.

6. Digby's companion needed plenty of space - and what about the boy who met Puck?

Dan. Digby was Dan Dare's inseparable companion, and Dan (together with his sister Una) met Puck in Puck of Pook's Hill by Rudyard Kipling.

7. What do a sword and a chair have in common? Ask Ruth and Jill.

Silver. Ruth is one of the children in Ian Serraillier's The Silver Sword; and Jill is the heroine of C S Lewis' The Silver Chair.

8. After the Covenant his island was no island - yet who am I, who escaped into Denmark?

David. David Balfour was shipwrecked with the Covenant in Kidnapped onto what he thought was an island - but turned out to be joined to the mainland. The hero in I am David, by Anne Holm, escaped from a concentration camp to Denmark.

9. It was a god that rescued Portly. What has that got to do with the young darlings?

Pan. The woodland god Pan restored Otter's cub, Portly, to him in The Wind in the Willows; and the Darling children met Peter Pan.

10. Three lived behind one, but it took not touching them to start thirteen.

Clocks. Pod, Homily and Arrietty in The Borrowers borrowed their surname from the clock that concealed their front door; and the princess Saralinda started the clocks by holding her hand near them in The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber.

Section Two

The answers are all rivers.

1. According to Antony, when old it would support serpents. But then, he probably didn't know it was bi-coloured.

The Nile. Antony in Antony and Cleopatra refers to Cleopatra as 'my serpent of old Nile' and there is a Blue Nile and a White Nile.

2. How fierce a warrior, and yet how female. Strange that it should be so long. The Amazon. The Amazons were fierce female warriors; the river is a rather long river.

3. If you know Russian, it looks as though it ends in the genitive plural of the whole alphabet. How studious.

The Don. It flows into the Sea of Azov; -ov is a regular genitive plural in Russian and A-Z is the whole alphabet; and a don is, I suppose, studious.

4. Who would have thought the old man to have had so many letters in him? Certainly no one who thought one em was narrow.

The Mississippi. Old man River's name contains four 's', four 'i' and two 'p', but only one 'm'. An em is a printer's measure of space, but the Mississippi is very wide river. The first sentence, of course, is misquoted from Macbeth.

5. A great father with daughters only - but never mind, the maidens sing sweetly. What a pity he has to change his name before reaching salt water.

The Rhine is known in Germany as Vater Rhein, the father who has only daughters and no sons. The song of the Rhinemaidens in Wagner's Ring is sweet, and the Rhine divides into the Lek and the Waal before meeting the sea.

6. It's not quite up to the third, but twice the only even. That is of prime importance]

River Forth. Two is the only even prime number, five is the third. Four is twice two and one less than five.

7. Many fast ships pass London, but the papers of yore have gone away.

The River Fleet passes (nowadays in an underground conduit) along the western boundary of the City of London; Fleet Street, from which the national newspapers have all migrated, is named after it. A fleet is a group of many ships, and 'fleet' means 'fast'.

8. Don't look behind you - remember what happened to one old salt who did. If you've been chosen, it will make much difference.

River Lot. Lot's wife looked behind her and was turned into a pillar of salt. People and things can be chosen by lot - but it may not make a lot of difference.

9. Say it never goes past a hermitage; but never forget that the inhabitants chose to change their name back.

The River Neva's name sounds like 'never' if said out loud. It runs through St Petersburg (which used to be called Leningrad until it changed its name after a vote) and past the Hermitage museum.

10. I am a giant gorilla, especially in the accusative.

The Mekong. As King Kong might have said to Tarzan - 'Me Kong]'

Section Three

All mathematicians and scientists.

1. Who said 'Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the earth'?


2. Who saw the solutions in dreams, along with the God Narasimha, and wrote them down as soon as he awoke?

Srinivasa Ramanujan.

3. 'Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night; God said, 'let . . . be'; and all was light.' Fill in the missing name.

Sir Isaac Newton (written by Alexander Pope).

4. An old Italian fascinated by the breeding of rabbits.


5. Daughter of a poet, married to an Earl: the first programmer. Who was she?

Ada Lovelace.

6. Whose final problem survived until June 23, 1993?

Pierre de Fermat (his last theorem).

7. The pride and sorrow of his science died in a duel, aged 20. Who was he?

Evariste Galois.

8. Whose elemental masterpiece has lasted longer than any other non-religous work?


9. Who filled the universe with grains of sand?


10. Who thought there was more imagination in the head of 1 and 9 than in that of Homer?


Section Four

All refer to rulers of one kind or another.

1. Thanks to the Catholic, this poor devil was the last 'in the red'.

Boabdil, more correctly Abu-Abdallah Muhammad, was the last Moorish king of Granada. He capitulated to the Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, to whom he lost the palace of the Alhambra, whose name means 'the red' in Arabic. He was known contemptuously by his subjects as 'the poor devil'.

2. He was the only Englishman - and he chose to be fourth in the time of the first with a red beard.

Adrian IV, born Nicholas Breakspear, was the only English Pope. He crowned Frederick I Barbarossa as Holy Roman Emperor. 'Barbarossa' means 'red beard'.

3. It was great there but not here - perhaps it was something to do with the sea. Without great- grandpapa he'd be quite gormless.

King Canute of England is known as Knut the Great in Denmark; the famous story of his attempt to turn back the tide is part of his legend. Knut's grandfather was Gorm the Old.

4. He is boneless but just one change makes him terrible. I have become abbreviated, for a start.

Ivar the Boneless became king of Dublin in 871. Ivan the Terrible assumed the throne of Moscow as an infant and took the title of 'tsar' in 1547 - the first Russian ruler to do so. 'I have', abbreviated, is 'I've'.

5. An eighteenth] It really must be a family affair - especially with the Saint and the one in the sun]

Louis - there were eighteen kings of France with that name, including Saint Louis (IX) and the Sun King (XIV). Louis I-V were of the Carolingian dynasty; VI-XII were Capetians and Valois; XIII-XVIII were Bourbons. The dynasties were all related.

6. He was much troubled by cakes. The first - a sweet cake (usually with marzipan) - wasn't too bad and was just sent to the kitchens; but the second - like a sort of oatmeal gingerbread - took a lot longer to get rid of.

The reign of Henry VII of England was disturbed by rebellions. One was led by Lambert Simnel (simnel cake), who was pardoned and given a job as a scullion in the royal kitchens. Later, a more serious threat was posed by Perkin (parkin cake) Warbeck, who was eventually executed.

7. Kneeling in the snow (in January) can't have been much fun - but he got his own back at Bressanone.

The Emperor Henry IV was obliged to submit to Pope Gregory VII, kneeling before him in the snow at Canossa, in one of the most dramatic incidents in the medieval struggle between the Emperors and the Popes. Henry got his revenge when a synod he called at Bressanone (Brixen) deposed Gregory in favour of Guibert, Clement III.

8. Last by one act and first by another - but what a place for a statue, looking down the hill from that domed nest.

Queen Anne was the last Stuart monarch to rule England, as the Act of Settlement of 1701 passed the succession to the Hanoverians. She was the first monarch to rule the United Kingdom of Great Britain, created by the Act of Union in 1707. Her statue stands in front of St Paul's Cathedral, built by a Wren, looking down Ludgate Hill.

9. Soborg and Roskilde are both in Denmark, but Kalmar is in Sweden and a memory remains of a whole kingdom.

Margaret I, Queen of Denmark, was born in Soborg and buried in Roskilde. She became ruler of Sweden and Norway in addition to Denmark, and in 1397 called the Congress of Kalmar, which established a unified Scandinavian kingdom, which lasted until 1523.

10. From oldest to latest it's the same - and they all look like a clown.

The ruling dynasty of Monaco is the Grimaldi family; Rainier I was the first Prince; Rainier III is the current one. Joseph Grimaldi was a famous English pantomime clown.

Section Five

The answers are all battles.

1. What do a chicken and a horse have in common? Why, Napoleon, of course]

Marengo - the name of Napoleon's horse and a well- known chicken dish.

2. One on the Derwent, one on the Ouse - but forget them, it was the one in the eye that mattered.

The Battle of Hastings was preceded in 1066 by two other important battles - at Fulford Gate on the Ouse, and Stamford Bridge on the Derwent. By tradition, Harold of England was killed by an arrow in his eye.

3. The Paladin who wielded Durendal died in the defile.

Roncesvalles. Durendal was the Paladin Roland's sword in the Chanson de Roland.

4. Where it happened is well beaten, certainly, but does it not sound as though it might be covered in sphagnum?

The Battle of Cullodden took place on Drummossie moor; a 'drum' is beaten, and 'mossie' sounds like 'mossy'. Sphagnum is a type of moss.

5. The island is almost halfway - what a peaceful place to lose a northern town.

The Battle of Midway Island was fought in the Pacific (the name means 'peaceful') in 1942 between the Americans and the Japanese. The cruiser Yorktown was sunk.

6. A passer-by might say it was a hot place to lie in - however obediently.

Thermopylae - 'thermo' means 'hot'. The clue alludes to Simonides' epitaph - 'Go, passer-by, and tell the Spartans that we lie here obedient to their laws'.

7. He might have found a warm way of making a horse go faster - but that is no excuse for setting fire to mustelidae, is it?

Otterburn was fought between the English under Henry Percy ('Hotspur') and the Scots. Mustelidae is the family otters belong to.

8. O to follow the composer] In his Steppes, perhaps?

Borodino - Borodin composed On the Steppes of Central Asia.

9. In the beginning it sounds murderous, but it ends a bit eccentrically. Did the soldier leap?

Killiecrankie - 'kill' and 'cranky'. The Soldier's Leap is a feature of the battleground.

10. When the man who said how few they were asked the man who knew how many there were he was told there were none left - but they still stopped a sealion] Battle of Britain. In his famous speech Churchill referred to 'the few'. When, during the battle, he asked Air Vice-Marshall Park about the state of the RAF reserves he was told 'there are none left'. 'Sealion' was the German code name for the invasion.

Section Six

Mathematical connections.

1. The Cheshire Cat, the Beehive and the Honey Farm, the Catherine Wheel and the Cambridge Pulsar are all formations in which mathematical game?

The Game of Life, invented by John Horton Conway.

2. Which mathematics teacher invented rules for circular billiards?

Lewis Carroll (Charles Ludwidge Dodgson).

3. 'How I wish I could calculate . . . ' Fill in the missing word, and explain the ditty's value.

Pi (each word contains the number of letters for each digit 3.14159 . . . could then be 2 or 3, in which case it would be spelt Pie).

4. Which professor, with a brilliant mathematical career behind him, fell to his death over the Reichenbach Falls?

Professor Moriarty, in Arthur Conan Doyle's The Valley of Fear.

5. Who offered many cheerful facts about the square on the hypotenuse?

Major General Stanley in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance.

6. If four is a male, what presages a female?

Three . . . for a girl, four for a boy (as in magpies, one for sorrow etc).

7. What pastime was said to be 'so like mathematics, that it can never be fully learnt'?

Angling (by Izaak Walton, in The Compleat Angler).

8. Which lyricist didn't know much about algebra, was ignorant about the use of a slide rule, but knew the solution to one plus one?

Sam Cooke (who wrote both words and music for What a Wonderful World).

9. Who, if they would praise the beauty of a woman, described it by rhombs, circles, parallelograms, ellipses and other geometrical figures?

Laputian scientists (in Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift).

10. 'What's one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one?' Who is speaking?

The White Queen, in Alice in Wonderland, by the answer to question 2.

Section Seven

The answers are all mammals.

1. I'd say it was an Irish version of a Turkish palace, off the top of my head - with stripes on]

The Okapi has striped haunches. The Topkapi is a palace in Istanbul; 'O' is a prefix commonly found in Irish names.

2. If you had goat's feet (how divine) you might proceed before French linen - unless you curled up first, that is.

The Pangolin, or scaly anteater, curls up like an armadillo. Pan, the goat-footed god, goes before 'lin'.

3. Anywhere on earth it must be a real pig being first all the time.

Aardvark. 'Aard' means 'earth', 'vark' means 'pig', and it is always first in an alphabetical listing.

4. For a start, those priests will just have to double up if they want to have a reputation for spitting.

Llamas have a reputation for spitting; lamas are Tibetan priests.

5. Carving up a falling Empire must require long arms.

Gibbons have long arms. Grindling Gibbons was a famous wood-carver, and Edward Gibbon wrote The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

6. If you say yes to a ship's captain in the conventional way, you must have a long third finger.

The Aye-Aye lives in Madagascar. It has long third fingers on its hands, which it uses for extracting insects from wood.

7. Knock out a whole wing of the Roman army? How cuddly?

Koala. 'KO' and 'ala', which is the Latin term for the wing of an army.

8. Scold, chide or reproach if you please - but from first to last, if it looks vaguely like a hedgehog with a nose, the tail doesn't apply.

An Echidna looks like a cross between an anteater and a hedgehog. 'Chide', with the 'e' moved from last to first, and na (not applicable) added to the end makes the word.

9. O set me as a seal upon thy marmalade - and if you get it right, your Golden Shred might turn into a golden lion]

Marmoset. 'O set' upon 'Marm . . . ' (The misquotation is from the Song of Solomon.) There is a type of marmoset called 'golden lion', and a brand of marmalade called Golden Shred.

10. A circle with its centre everywhere and its circumference nowhere would (if you turned it inside out) make a noise superficially like a tree (or its branches) or even like a cross thread. Does that give you pause? It sounds like it]

Dog. 'A circle with its centre everywhere and its circumference nowhere' is a definition of God; inverted, it reads 'dog'. A tree's surface is bark; its branches are boughs, and 'pause' sounds like 'paws'.

(Photograph omitted)