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                              Mastermind Club

Quiz Number 1



Questions set by Mel Kinsey

A Literature Quiz

1) In Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the mariner shoots what seabird with a crossbow and later wears it around his neck as punishment?   Albatross

2) Mohandas Gandhi carried whose essay entitled “Civil Disobedience” with him during his prison stays?

Henry David Thoreau

3) What literary character had a little sister named Phoebe, wore an iconic red hunting cap and saw expulsion from school?

Holden Caulfield in J.D.Salingers Catcher in the Rye

4) Who made the one ring in The Lord of the Rings?

Dark Lord Sauron

5) Ian Fleming built a Jamaican home named after which of his James Bond novels?   Goldeneye

6) Who wrote Treasure Island? Robert Louis Stevenson

7) Helen Fielding wrote whose best-selling Diary in 1996?

Bridget Jones

8) Originally rejected by 121 publishers – more than any other bestselling book – what 1974 Robert M. Pirsig novel explores the metaphysics of quality during a 17-day motorcycle journey across the United States? Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintainance

9) Jack Dawkins goes by what nickname in Oliver Twist?

the Artful Dodger

10) Who wrote Interview with a Vampire Ann Rice

11) George H.W. Bush owned a famous book-writing dog with what name?   Millie

12) Amy, Beth Jo and Meg share what last name in Little Women?


13) Who wrote Peter Pan?   James M.Barrie

14) Who wrote the series of suspense novels pertaining Hannibal Lecter?   Thomas Harris

15) What sexy cinema septuagenarian wrote the 2010 book subtitled Beyond the Cleavage Raquel Welch

16) Elizabeth Bennet acts as the protagonist of what 1813 novel?

Pride and Prejudice

17) Who wrote Mary Poppins (Pamela) P.L.Travers

18) Who wrote the epic poem “The Song of Hiawatha” in 1855?

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

19) Later adapted into the film Schindler’s List, what author wrote the book Schindler’s Ark?  Thomas Keneally


20.) Mary Lennox arrived in England after her parents’ death in The Secret Garden; Lennox lived where prior to this event? India


Quiz Number 2



Questions set by Maya Davis


                              Brush up your Shakespeare.

  1. Shakespeare is generally regarded as having been born and having died on the same date (though obviously in two different years).  What date? 23rd April
  2. Which character was the son of the witch Sycorax?  Caliban in The Tempest
  3. In which Italian city is the story of Romeo and Juliet set? Verona
  4. In which play does a character discuss the side-effect of drunkenness known colloquially as brewer’s droop?  Macbeth  (the ‘comic porter’ scene)
  5. What is the name of the Merchant of Venice? Antonio
  6. Which minor Shakespearean characters are the title figures in a modern play by Tom Stoppard?
  7. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from Hamlet
  8. In which play is a play performed by a tailor, a weaver, a tinker and other tradesmen? A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  9. Which Shakespeare play has been retold in modern settings as a film by Kurosawa and a novel by Jane Smiley?  King Lear (Kurosawa’s Ran and Smiley’s A Thousand Acres)
  10. In which play do we find the stage direction ‘Exit, pursued by a bear’? The Winter’s Tale
  11. Which play includes two scenes partly in French? Henry V
  12. And which one has a part for a native Welsh speaker? Henry IV part 1  (Shakespeare includes lines and a song for Glendower’s wife but leaves it up to the actor, with the instructions ‘The lady speaks/sings in Welsh.’ Presumably there was an actor in the company who spoke Welsh.)
  13. With whom did Shakespeare collaborate on a play based on Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale of Palamon and Arcite? John Fletcher; the play is The Two Noble Kinsmen).
  14. In Othello, who is married to Emilia?  Iago
  15. Speaking in Hamlet, silent in Julius Caesar, Macbeth and Richard III. What sort of character? Ghosts
  16. Volumnia is the mother of the title character of a Shakespeare play. Which play? Coriolanus
  17. Which play has the alternative title of What You Will? Twelfth Night
  18. What relation was Dr. John Hall to Shakespeare? Son-in-law
  19. Which Shakespeare play has been turned into operas by Verdi and Vaughan Williams?The Merry Wives of Windsor (Verdi’s Falstaff and V-Ws Sir John in Love)
  20. ‘My salad days, when I was green in judgment, cold in blood.’ From which play does this quotation come? Antony and Cleopatra
  21. Which 20th century work is the origin of the title of this quiz? Kiss Me Kate by Cole Porter 

Quiz Number 4



Questions set by Les Morrell


        1/  The first official Grand National took place in 1839,  3 years after an unofficial race was run and won by The Duke. Which appropriately named horse won the 1839 event?    Lottery

        2/ The Mayflower set sail for America in 1620 but was forced to turn back to Dartmouth when about 100 miles west of Land's End because her sister ship had sprung a leak. What was the name of the sister ship? Speedwell

         3/ Which Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced Premium Bonds in 1957  Harold McMillan

         4/ When James Beck died in 1973, Private Walker disappeared from Dads' Army. He was indirectly replaced by Talfryn Thomas who played which character?  Private Cheeseman

        5/ Alderney is the most northerly Channel Island. What is the name of its main town?   Saint Anne

        6/ What is a tittle? The dot on an i or j

        7/The Prime Minister of Sweden was assassinated in 1986 by Christer Petterson. What was the victim's name?  Olaf Palme

8/ Which notable character from World War 1 died in a Czech prison in April 1918 as a result of Tuberculosis? Gavrilo Princip

         9/  Who was the only woman to appear regularly in Monty Python's Flying Circus?   Carol Cleveland

10/ Sir Edward Elgar composed the music for Land of Hope and Glory but who wrote the words?   Arthur Christopher Benson


Quiz Number 5



Questions set by Tony Bell

Quiz 5

Questions set by Tony Bell


1/ Takeyuki Nakayama and Jon Brown share which unenviable Olympic record?   Nakayama (1988 and 1992) and Brown (2000 and 2004) twice finished 4th in the men's Olympic marathon.

2/ Why was the final Test match of the 1938-9 series between South Africa and England drawn?  After 9 days of play the match was abandoned as a draw as the England team had to leave to get the boat home!


3/ Which tennis player reached 3 Wimbledon finals in 1977 and lost all of them?  Betty Stove (Netherlands) lost the ladies singles, ladies doubles and mixed doubles finals at the 1977 Wimbledon championships.

4/ In which modern day country did the 1980 Olympic Sailing events take place?  Estonia (Then part of the Soviet Union)

5/ Which Italian born cricketer, once stood against future Prime Minister James Callaghan in a General Election? Ted Dexter who lost to Callaghan in the Cardiff South East constituancy in the 1964 General Election

6/ Ken Matthews and Paul Nihill are the last British athletes to win Olympic medals in which athletics discipline?

Race Walking. At the 1964 Olympics Matthews won gold in 20km and Nihill silver in 50km.

7/ Who is the most successful individual British athlete at the Winter Olympics? Jeanette Altwegg won Figure Skating bronze in 1948 and gold in 1952. The only British individual Winter Olympian to win more than one medal.  NOTE Since this question was written, Lizzie Yarnold has won the Skeleton gold again in Pyong Yang, to become Britain's most successful)

8/ Who was the last Frenchman to win the Tour de France?

Bernard Hinhault in 1985

9/ What connects South African cricketer Ali Bacher, German runner Thomas Wessinghage, English canoeist Tim Brabants and Welsh Rugby player J.P.R. Williams?

They are all medical doctors

10/ The brother of which British Olympic Gold Medallist competed at the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics?

Steve Ovett's brother Nicholas competed in the luge at these games


Quiz 6

Questions set by Mel Kinsey

Name the Opera


1/ This Mozart opera based on a stage play by Pierre Beaumarchis is often called the greatest opera often written. Some roles are common with the Barber of Seville.

The Marraige of Figaro

2/ This American opera by George Gershwin is set on Catfish Row in Charleston, South Carolina and concerns two African-Americam Lovers.   Porgy and Bess

3/ Puccini's last opera, it has an oriental setting. It concerns a Chinese princess who sets riddles for her suitors. Calaf the Prince of Persia wins her over.  Turandot

4/ Wagner opera based on The Holy Grail. For several years it could only be performed at Bayreuth. Parsifal

5/ A Mozart opera that concerns the rescue of Constanze from a harem by Belmonte and his side-kick Pedrillo. 

The Abduction from the Seraglio

6/ Rossini's comedy based on a play by Beaumarchis. Concerns the attempts of Count Almaviva to wed the beautiful and rich Rosina aided by Figaro, who is the title character.

The Barber of Seville

7/ Mozarts opera about the adventures of a libertine who is dragged to hell in the climax for his misdeeds. Don Giovanni

8/ Beloved opera of Menotti, inspired by Heironymus Bosch's painting Adoration of the Magi.  Amahl and the Night Visitors

9/  This 1892 Leoncavello opera is a tragady about clowns.


10/  Verdi's last opera. About the adventures of the titular fat knight on a mission to seduce Mrs Ford and Mrs Page. Falstaff

11/ Opera by Donizetti based  on a Walter Scott novel, concerning the fueding Ashton and Ravenswood families.

Lucia di Lammermoor

12/ Richard Strauss' opera famous for featuring  The Dance of the Seven Veils.  It ends with the title character kissing a severed head.   Salome

13/ One of the many melodies in this Verdi classic is The Anvil Chorus performed by a group of gypsies. Il Trovatore

14/ Modest Mussorgsky's only completed opera. About a real-life Russian ruler who reigned as Tsar from 1598-1605

Boris Godunov

15/ Puccini tragedy which ends with the titular heroine's lover mmeting his end at the hands of a firing squad and her jumping to her death.   Tosca

16/ Name the four opears in Wagner's Ring Cycle.

The Rhinegold, The Valkerie, Siegfried, Twilight of the Gods

17/ Popular German opera by Richard Strauss it concerns the presentation of a silver flower by Octavian to Sophie.

Der Rosenkavalier

18/ Verdi's tragedy about a prostitute named Violetta who loses her life to tuberculosis  La traviata

19/ Most sucessful opera of Tchaikovsky that has several references to Pushkin's verse novel of the same name. Mainly about the title character rebuffing then longing for Tatania.

Eugene Onegin

20/ Verdi's tragedy about a hunchbacked Jester ends with him crying over the dead body of his daughter Gilda. Rigoletto














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