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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Martin Belam

Hawkwind’s machine, Batman’s debut and Peter Cook’s jingles: take the Thursday quiz

Cosplayer dressed as Batman
A cosplayer dressed as Batman arrives for the first day of the New York Comic Con in 2022, but when did Batman make his debut? Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

In a display of poor timing, the quizmaster is away on other pressing business today. Nevertheless, the moment has been prepared for, the ethos remains the same, and you still face a test of 15 vaguely topical and general knowledge questions with random levels of guessability, plus a few jokes thrown in for good measure. There are no prizes. It is just for fun. But let everybody know how you got on in the comments.

The Thursday quiz, No 82

  1. Nik Turner

    ASTOUNDING SOUNDS, AMAZING MUSIC: We lost Hawkwind co-founder Nik Turner. What type of machine did they have, which was a huge hit for them initially in 1972?

    1. Silver machine

    2. Sulfur machine

    3. Sodium machine

    4. Steel machine

  2. Kevin Conroy

    THE HERO GOTHAM DESERVES: We also lost Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy, who started being the voice of the Dark Knight in cartoons and video games in the 1990s. But which year did Batman make his comic debut in "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate"?

    1. 1939

    2. 1949

    3. 1959

    4. 1969

  3. Merhan Karimi Nasseri

    DEPARTURES: We also lost Iranian Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who inspired the Steven Spielberg film The Terminal starring Tom Hanks after living in an airport for many, many years. Which airport?

    1. Amsterdam Schiphol

    2. Paris Charles de Gaulle

    3. Milan Malpensa

    4. Lisbon Humberto Delgado

  4. Rishi Sunak

    WHERE IN THE WORLD: UK prime minister Rishi Sunak visited his first G20 summit since taking up the role. Where was the summit being held?

    1. Jakarta

    2. Bali

    3. Surabaya

    4. Aggedor

  5. Auctioneer with urn

    ART FOR ART'S SAKE: Last week $1.5bn was raised in what was said to be the biggest art sale in history – and it included works by Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Gustav Klimt. Whose collection was being sold?

    1. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s

    2. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak's

    3. Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel's

    4. Dutch painter Vincent Van Klomp's

  6. Woman doing science

    GCSE SCIENCE CORNER: When urea is synthesised in the human body, where is it transported?

    1. From the small intestine to the liver

    2. From the lungs to the heart

    3. From the liver to the kidneys

    4. To Newport Pagnell services between junctions 14 and 15 of the M1

  7. Willow, the official dog of the Guardian's Thursday quiz

    IT'S A DOG'S LIFE: This is Willow, the official dog of the Guardian's Thursday quiz. She likes the Phryges, the new mascots unveiled this week for the 2024 Paris Olympics, but she misses Waldi, who was the sausage dog mascot of an Olympic Games being held where and when?

    1. Innsbruck 1964

    2. Grenoble 1968

    3. Munich 1972

    4. Innsbruck 1976

  8. The moon

    ON THIS DAY: The Soviet Union landed the first ever remote-controlled robot on another body in the solar system when it landed which robot on the moon on 17 November 1970?

    1. Zond 5

    2. Lunokhod 1

    3. Cosmos 186

    4. Salyut 1

  9. Arnie

    ALSO ON THIS DAY: Arnold Schwarzenegger's tenure as governor of which US state began on 17 November 2003?

    1. Florida

    2. Nevada

    3. Texas

    4. California

  10. Tammy Wynette

    THE FINAL TAMMY'S TEASER: Tammy Wynette had a hit single with D-I-V-O-R-C-E in 1968. But which E is the opening track of Radiohead's acclaimed 2000 album Kid A?

    1. Exit Music (For a Film)

    2. Electioneering

    3. Everything in Its Right Place

    4. Ebeneezer Goode

  11. Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela with the trophy

    1966 AND ALL THAT: A series of questions that aren't about football leading up to the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar, where authorities are paying England and Wales fans to say nice things in the face of homophobic laws and migrant worker deaths. The 2010 FIFA World Cup was in South Africa, which has three capital cities. Pretoria and Cape Town have the executive and legislative branches. But where is the judicial capital?

    1. Johannesburg

    2. Bloemfontein

    3. Durban

    4. East London

  12. Manuel Neuer celebrates

    1966 AND ALL THAT (SLIGHT RETURN): A series of questions that aren't about football leading up to the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar, an event where one of the tournament's ambassadors has told gay people they have "damage in the mind". The 2014 Fifa World Cup was in Brazil. But when did Brasília become the capital of Brazil?

    1. 1920

    2. 1940

    3. 1960

    4. 1980

  13. David Beckham

    1966 AND ALL THAT THE THIRD (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?): Which comedian has said that they will shred £10,000 rather than give it to good causes unless David Beckham pulls out of his contract supporting the Qatari world cup?

    1. Peter Kay

    2. Paul Foot

    3. Stewart Lee

    4. Joe Lycett

  14. Dido

    OH HOW TERRIBLY VEXING WITH DIDO: Vexillology is the study of flags, and Dido had a hit with White Flag. So here is the Thursday quiz mash-up of those two facts. Which nation’s flag does this describe – "A horizontal triband of light blue (top and bottom) and white, with a Sun of May centred on the white band"?

    1. Uruguay

    2. Argentina

    3. Honduras

    4. Israel

  15. Peter Cook

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY: It would have been comedian Peter Cook's birthday today. Happy birthday, Peter! But in 1979 he recorded jingles to promote which hit album?

    1. No 1 In Heaven by Sparks

    2. The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle by Sex Pistols

    3. Never For Ever by Kate Bush

    4. The Kids Are Alright by The Who


1:A - The lyrics were inspired by the Alfred Jarry essay How to Construct a Time Machine, and the vocals were sung by Lemmy. It was released several times in the UK, reaching No 3 in the singles charts in 1972. Turner was one of the founding members of Hawkwind, which formed in 1969, alongside Dave Brock, John Harrison, Terry Ollis and Mick Slattery., 2:A - Detective Comics #27 introduced Commissioner Gordon, Bruce Wayne, and of course, "the Batman!". Conroy was the voice of Batman on the acclaimed animated series that ran from 1992-1996, often acting opposite Mark Hamill’s Joker. He continued on as the almost exclusive animated voice of Batman, including 15 films, 400 episodes of television and two dozen video games, including the Batman: Arkham and Injustice franchises. In the eight-decade history of Batman, no one played the Dark Knight more., 3:B - Karimi Nasseri, who claimed to be British but is believed to have been born in 1945 in the Iranian province of Khuzestan, lived in the airport’s Terminal 1 from 1988 until 2006, first in legal limbo because he lacked residency papers and later by choice. He died on Saturday after a heart attack in the airport’s Terminal 2F around midday, according to an official with the Paris airport authority., 4:B - Indonesia was the chair of the G20 group, and so its president, Joko Widodo, was host for the summit, which was being held in Nusa Dua, Bali. India has taken up the role now., 5:A - The total represented the highest amount ever collected at a single art auction, according to the auction house, Christie’s in New York. Proceeds will be donated to philanthropic causes in accordance with the wishes of Allen, who died in 2018., 6:C - Urea serves an important role in the metabolism of nitrogen-containing compounds by animals including us. Incidentally for some reason the Wikipedia page about urea includes a warning that it is much more concentrated in dog urine than human urine so you should avoid drinking dog urine if stranded in a situation where water is scarce. Bit of a weird thing to worry about enough to add it to Wikipedia to be honest., 7:C - Waldi was a little multi-coloured Dachshund dog created by Elena Winschermann for the 1972 Munich Games. It was the first official mascot for a Summer Olympics, although Schuss, an abstract figure on skis had been used for the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, 8:B - Also known as Аппарат 8ЕЛ № 203, and designed to last for around three months, it managed to survive in working order for nearly a year and travelled 10km in that time. Scientists located it in 2010 and have continued to use it for experiments, as its reflector can still be used to measure laser pulses sent to the moon. Bless it., 9:D - Schwarzenegger was the Republican governor of the state from 2003 to January 2011 and never once said "I'll be back", honest., 10:C - The band spent months trying to record it in a group format without success, and eventually singer Thom Yorke and producer Nigel Godrich concocted an electronic version, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Thursday quiz recommends you start revising the letters Y, M, C and A next, for reasons which will become clear., 11:B - It is the seat of the Supreme Court of Appeal, which was founded in 1910. South Africa was the first African nation to host Fifa's flagship tournament, and the picture shows the late Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela with the trophy. The reason we've got to do the last couple of "1966 and all that" rounds altogether this week is that the Kate Bush, Bernard Cribbins and Ron Mael specials earlier in the year meant we didn't have time to get through them all before the tournament starts on Sunday., 12:C - Brazil's first capital was Salvador, and then from 1763 it was Rio de Janeiro. The plans to move the capital city to a more central location actually date back to the 1820s, but construction didn't start until 1956, and Brasilia was inaugurated as the federal capital on 21 April 1960. The pictures shows Germany's Manuel Neuer celebrating on their way to winning the trophy., 13:D - Issuing the challenge, the comedian said he would donate the money to charity if Beckham agreed to cut ties with the World Cup host, but if not, the footballer’s “status as a gay icon will be shredded” along with the cash in a livestream next Sunday before the opening ceremony. Lycett caused huge controversy earlier this year when he dared to suggest on television that Liz Truss might not make a good prime minister and the political classes collectively lost their minds at his impertinence. Lycett had said: "I’m actually very right wing and I love it. I thought she gave great clear answers. I know exactly what she’s up to.", 14:B - That is the national flag of the Argentine Republic, first raised in 1812, during the Argentine War of Independence without the sun emblem in the middle, which was added six years later. The Sun of May design does feature on Uruguay's flag, but that is "Four horizontal stripes of blue with the upper hoist-side corner bearing the Sun of May in the centre over a white canvas". Israel's flag has the Star of David between its blue bands, and Honduras has a design of stars., 15:A - It was Sparks. Cook recorded improvised promo spots for the No 1 In Heaven album and the Tryouts For The Human Race single that were included as "hidden" tracks on the 12" formats of Sparks singles in 1979. Sparks have just announced they will release a new album and will tour again in 2023. We should imagine, if there had been a picture of Ron from Sparks, the look on his face would have let you know that he thought you should have known that.


  1. 0 and above.

    We hope you had fun – let us know how you got on in the comments!

If you do think there has been an egregious error in one of the questions or answers, please feel free to email, but remember the quizmaster’s word is final, and genuinely he isn’t available today so won’t see your email.

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