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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Martin Belam

Pelé’s name, Greta’s email and Wednesday’s song – take the Thursday quiz

Jenna Ortega at the premiere of the Netflix series Wednesday
Jenna Ortega at the premiere of the Netflix series Wednesday. But what song did she dance to in the show? Photograph: Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/REX/Shutterstock

A brand new year, and yet somehow the same old jokes you’ve seen 88 times before have managed to manifest themselves in the Thursday quiz again. Your task is 15 vaguely topical or general knowledge questions, with some Doctor Who-themed red herrings to spot along the way. There are no prizes. It is just for fun. Let us know how you get on in the comments.

The Thursday quiz, No 89

  1. Pele

    THE GREATEST: We lost Brazilian football legend Pelé. But what was his real name?

    1. João Ramos do Nascimento

    2. Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira

    3. Arthur Antunes Coimbra

    4. Edson Arantes do Nascimento

  2. The ex-pope

    POPE EMERITUS: We also lost Pope Benedict XVI, the first pope to retire since Gregory XII in 1415. But which German state was Pope Benedict XVI born in?

    1. Thuringia

    2. Hesse

    3. Bavaria

    4. Saxony

  3. Lady Gaga

    WEDNESDAY ON A THURSDAY: The Wednesday Addams dance routine has gone viral on TikTok using a Lady Gaga (pictured) song as the soundtrack. But which track did Jenna Ortega actually dance to in the Netflix series in the now famous scene?

    1. Release the Bats by the Birthday Party

    2. Hammer Horror by Kate Bush

    3. Goo Goo Muck by the Cramps

    4. Is Vic There? by Department S

  4. Walrus

    NO FIREWORKS FOR YOU: Scarborough cancelled its New Year's Eve fireworks so as not to disturb a visiting walrus. What has he been nicknamed?

    1. Loki

    2. Thor

    3. Odin

    4. Ron

  5. Greta

    TWEETED TIMES: On Twitter which email address did Greta Thunberg say that Andrew Tate could use to send her details of his car collection?




    4. forcesofevil@bozo.nightmare

  6. Nepal festival

    TIMEZONE TOMFOOLERY: Every new year's eve while doing the live blog, the quiz master is reminded that Nepal has a very distinctive timezone. How far ahead of GMT is Nepal?

    1. GMT +4.45

    2. GMT +5.45

    3. GMT +6.45

    4. GMT +7.45

  7. Medici

    ON THIS DAY: Catherine de' Medici died on 5 January 1589. Who did she marry in 1533?

    1. King Henry II of France

    2. Philip III of Spain

    3. Charles I the Bold, Duke of Burgundy

    4. Girolamo Savonarola, ruler of Florence

  8. Umberto Eco

    BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY: It would have been Umberto Eco's birthday today – he would have been 91. Which of these was the English title of his first published novel?

    1. Foucault's Pendulum

    2. The Island of the Day Before

    3. The Pyramid at the End of the World

    4. The Name of the Rose

  9. Discovery

    DIDN'T QUITE GET TO SPACE: The first orbiter built for the Nasa space shuttle programme (not pictured – that is Discovery you can see here) was OV-101 which performed sub-orbital test flights in 1977 but never went into space. What was it called?

    1. Enterprise

    2. Voyager

    3. Defiant

    4. Galaxy

  10. Empty park bench

    ON THIS GROUNDHOG DAY: The French language play En attendant Godot was premiered on 5 January 1953 at the Théâtre de Babylone, Paris. Who wrote it?

    1. Henrik Ibsen

    2. Anton Chekhov

    3. Samuel Beckett

    4. Albert Camus

  11. Earth

    YOU LEFT YOUR MARK: Some scientists are trying to pinpoint what makes the difference between the Holocene epoch, and the geological epoch we live in now where humans have made fundamental geological changes to the planet. What has our epoch been dubbed?

    1. Anthropocene

    2. Sapienscene

    3. Humanoscene

    4. Ecoscene

  12. Groucho Marx glasses

    CITIES IN DISGUISE: Founded as Fort Salisbury in 1890 and later known as just Salisbury, this African capital city celebrated the two-year anniversary of independence from the United Kingdom by changing its name to what?

    1. Kampala

    2. Lusaka

    3. Dodoma

    4. Harare

  13. Science!

    GCSE BIOLOGY CORNER: Which one of the following molecules is the storage form of carbohydrate in humans?

    1. Lipid

    2. Glycogen

    3. Starch

    4. Foamasi

  14. Disco ball

    OTTAWAN'S DISCO POSER: Ottawan record D-I-S-C-O in 1979. But which S is the Norse goddess of winter?

    1. Skaði

    2. Snotra

    3. Skithra

    4. Sigyn

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

    IT'S A DOG LIFE: This is Willow, the official dog of the Guardian Thursday quiz. She knows that Croatia has just adopted the Euro, but she is worried she has forgotten the name of its previous currency. What was it?

    1. Kuna

    2. Tolar

    3. Marka

    4. Grotzit


1:D - Pelé was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on 23 October 1940 in Três Corações and was the son of Fluminense footballer Dondinho. Expect a contrarian op-ed somewhere soon about how he was a 'nepo baby'. The other names are the given names of Pelé's dad, of Zico, and a snippet of that very long one belonging to Socrates. The Brazilian footballer. Not the Greek dude., 2:C - He was born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16 April 1927 in Marktl, Bavaria., 3:C - Everyone on TikTok is dancing along to a sped up version of the Lady Gaga tune Bloody Mary, but the actual television sequence featured the Cramps legendary 1981 song. "Well, when the sun goes down and the moon comes up I turn into a teenage Goo Goo Muck". Don't we all, Wednesday, don't we all., 4:B - The walrus became a tourist attraction while he was there, and certainly seemed to enjoy his visit, judging by some of the film footage that emerged. And you can tell from the look on his face that he thinks you should have known that., 5:B - Truly one of the greatest Twitter replies of all time., 6:B - For some reason, every time you hop over the border from India into Nepal you have to adjust your watch by a whole 15 minutes., 7:A - She was Queen of France from 1547 to 1559 by marriage to King Henry II and the mother of French Kings Francis II, Charles IX, and Henry III. That picture is a reproduction of her apothecary by the way, she didn't look like that., 8:D - The 1980 debut novel by the Italian author Umberto Eco is a historical murder mystery set in an Italian monastery in the year 1327, and was published in English in translation by William Weaver in 1983., 9:A - Constructed without engines or a functional heat shield, it was strapped to a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and then let go for test flights. At one point Nasa did plan to re-equip it so that it could go into space, but unlike the USS Enterprise in Star Trek it never got the chance., 10:C - First written and performed in French, the English language version of Waiting For Godot by Irish author Samuel Beckett premiered in London two years later. It was famously described as "a play in which nothing happens, twice" by critic Vivian Mercier. An ideal question for a quiz where nothing happens fifteen times., 11:A - The Holocene began at the conclusion of the last ice age 11,700 years ago as the great glaciers that had previously covered the Earth began to retreat. Some geologists argue that the minerals mined, gases released by burning fossil fuels and the radioactive material produced by humans have begun to make fundamental changes to Earth’s geology and mark a new epoch., 12:D - Zimbabwe's capital adopted its current name in 1982. Prior to independence, Harare had been the name of a residential area within the capital., 13:B - Glycogen is the stored form of glucose that's made up of many connected glucose molecules. Lipids are also stored in humans but they are not carbohydrates. Starch is not stored in humans. Neither are Foamasi., 14:A - In Norse mythology, Skaði – sometimes anglicized as Skadi, Skade, or Skathi – is a jötunn and goddess associated with bowhunting, skiing, winter, and mountains., 15:A - The kuna was the currency of Croatia from 30 May 1994 until 31 December 2022. It was subdivided into 100 lipa. If you had two of them, you had Dua Lipa. Dad-joke-ba-doom-tish!


  1. 0 and above.

    We hope you had fun, and wish you a peaceful, healthy and happy new year!

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 his new year resolution is to read fewer emails.

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