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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Martin Belam

Rare metals, weird words and well-dressed Minions teens – take the Thursday quiz

Stuart, Bob and Kevin – but which movie are they in?
Stuart, Bob and Kevin – but which movie are they in? Photograph: Illumination Entertainment/AP

It is the seventh day of the seventh month, and what better way to celebrate it than by doing a quiz written by the seventh son of a seventh son? Unfortunately we don’t have one of those, so you will have to make do with the regular old Thursday quiz instead. Fifteen vaguely topical and general knowledge questions with a few jokes chucked in along the way. You will meet Ron from Sparks, Kate Bush, and of course you have a hidden Doctor Who reference to spot. There are no prizes. It is just for fun. Please don’t fact-check the punchlines.

The Thursday quiz, No 63

  1. Minions

    BOBSPEED YOU GENTLEMINIONS: Teenagers are being turned away from the cinema for being dressed too smartly as part of the baffling #Gentleminions trend – but what is the correct name of the film they are trying to see?

    1. Minions: The Menace of Gru

    2. Minions: The Gru Awakens

    3. Minions: The Revenge of Gru

    4. Minions: The Rise of Gru

  2. Victoria Falls

    WE'VE GONE CASHLESS, SORRY: Which African nation's central bank is introducing a new gold coin called the Mosi-oa-Tunya coin, named after the famous waterfall that also carries the colonial name Victoria Falls

    1. Zambia

    2. Botswana

    3. Zimbabwe

    4. Malawi

  3. Ballot box

    X MARKS THE SPOT: What is being offered to young people in Japan this week to encourage them to turn out for elections?

    1. Free noodles

    2. A free pet goldfish

    3. Free pens

    4. Free condoms

  4. Mona Hammond

    MONA HAMMOND: Described as a 'trailblazer' and 'pioneer', we lost Mona Hammond this week. Her best-known role was as Blossom Jackson in EastEnders, but what was the name of the Channel 4 sitcom she starred in as Auntie SuSu?

    1. No Problem!

    2. The Fosters

    3. Chef!

    4. Desmond's

  5. Pizza

    APPLIED MATHEMATICS, BUT TO PIZZA: A thread about the relative areas of pizza went viral on Twitter last week. Which of these purchases gives you more pizza by area?

    1. Buying one 10" pizza

    2. Buying two 8" pizzas

    3. Buying three 6" pizzas

  6. Woman in the lab

    GCSE SCIENCE CORNER: Which of these metals can be found abundantly on planet earth in its elemental metallic state?

    1. Lithium

    2. Gold

    3. Potassium

    4. Calcium

  7. Horsey

    WHY THE LONG FACE?: Black Beauty was immediately successful when published in 1877 and is seen as a forerunner of the 'pony book' genre. But who wrote it?

    1. Anna Sewell

    2. E Nesbit

    3. Gwendoline Pritchard

    4. Enid Blyton

  8. Dictionary

    WEIRD WORDS: According to the Collins online English dictionary, what does 'octothorp' mean?

    1. A symbol that is used in printing, in mathematics and, commonly, on a telephone keypad also known as the hash sign

    2. A term used in heraldry for a double quatrefoil

    3. A word used in bookbinding as another term for eighteenmo

    4. A spinning machine for wool or cotton in which eight fibres are twisted and wound continuously

  9. Ron Mael

    DICTATOR'S SON: That is a 2015 song featuring Sparks where someday "he'll return with a rebel force". But that's not important right now. Ferdinand Marcos Jr praised his dictator father while being sworn in as Philippines president. What year did his father get deposed?

    1. 1978

    2. 1986

    3. 1991

    4. 1999

  10. Rusty

    FERRIC OXIDE: What, according to a leaked report this week, is riddled with rust and in need of repair?

    1. Space Needle in Seattle, Washington, US

    2. Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

    3. Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE

    4. Ronald Mael in Sparks

  11. Euro 2022

    EURO 2022: The women's Uefa European football championship has started in England. The Netherlands are the reigning champions. But which year was the first official Uefa women's championship final held?

    1. 1968

    2. 1978

    3. 1984

    4. 1992

  12. 1938 World Cup

    1966 AND ALL THAT: A series of questions that aren't about football leading up to the 2022 Fifa World Cup, which is being held in a country which won't be safe for LGBTQ+ fans. The 1938 Fifa World Cup was held in France. But which of these is the original title of the French national anthem before it came to be known as La Marseillaise?

    1. Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin (War Song for the Army of the Rhine)

    2. La Madelon (I'll Be True to the Whole Regiment)

    3. Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse (Sambre-et-Meuse Regiment)

    4. Marche Lorraine (Lorraine March)

  13. A painting

    MANET OR MONET: Who painted this?

    1. Édouard Manet

    2. Claude Monet

  14. Hot air balloon

    ALLONS-Y: The website Wikivoyage lists 23 locations visited by fictional Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty Days, none of them by hot air balloon. No 23 is Liverpool, England. In 2008 it was named as what?

    1. The UK's Green Champion Eco-city

    2. A UNESCO world heritage site

    3. European Capital of Culture

    4. The new home of television channel Channel 4

  15. Kate Bush

    THIS WOMAN'S WORK: Kate Bush's two well deserved UK No 1 singles were 44 years apart. But which of these pairs of events were also 44 years apart?

    1. The Suez crisis sees Israel, the UK and France invade Egypt, and US president Bill Clinton's impeachment trial that ends in acquittal

    2. The Suez crisis sees Israel, the UK and France invade Egypt, and the launch of Apple's iTunes software

    3. The Suez crisis sees Israel, the UK and France invade Egypt, and the Concorde Air France flight 4590 crash, which takes place shortly after take-off in Paris

    4. The Suez crisis sees Israel, the UK and France invade Egypt, and Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her golden jubilee


1:D - Kids are dressing up in formal attire, going to see the film, and then blabbering all the way through it like the minions themselves would. The minions official TikTok account appeared to encourage the trend, messaging "Bobspeed you gentleminions" at one point. , 2:C - Zimbabwe’s central bank will start selling the gold coins this month as a store of value to tame runaway inflation, which has considerably weakened the local currency. The coins can be converted into cash and be traded locally and internationally, the central bank said, 3:A - Major Japanese ramen chain Ippudo is offering endless free noodle refills for a fortnight after Sunday's upper house elections provided people can show proof they have voted, 4:D - Desmond's was broadcast by Channel 4 from 1989 to 1994 and at 71 episodes is among the channel's longest-running sitcoms. Her character's real name was Doreen Wilma Pleshette, 5:B - A bit like how 12" singles used to give you more music than a 7" single, two 8" pizzas will give you an area of around 100 square inches of pizza. One 10" pizza gives you around 78 square inches, and three 6" pizzas will give you a bit more than that, at around 84 square inches. A pizza that was sold as 'one ancient Sumerian cubit' would be the biggest by far, 6:B - Potassium is found dissolved in sea water and is a a common constituent of granites and other igneous rocks. Lithium is found in ocean water, and Calcium is mostly found as calcium carbonate and in limestone. Gold, boringly, is just lying around, 7:A - It was Anna Sewell, who sadly died a few months after publication and so never got to see how well-loved her book became, 8:A - It is indeed another name for the humble # or hashtag symbol, 9:B - Corazon Aquino ended the two-decade rule of President Ferdinand Marcos in the People Power Revolution in February 1986. You can tell from his face that Ron thinks you should have known that, 10:B - When it was completed in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was expected to last 20 years before being dismantled. One hundred and 33 years on, the tower is still standing, but conservation works intended for the 2024 Olympics have fallen behind schedule, 11:C - Sweden beat England on penalties in the first official final, which was played over two legs in 1984. There were arguably two previous competitions which could be considered forerunners but which are not considered official because they were not authorised by Uefa. They took place in 1969 and 1979, 12:A - The song was written in 1792 by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in Strasbourg after the declaration of war by France against Austria. It gets its nickname La Marseillaise after being sung in Paris by volunteers from Marseille marching to the capital. The picture, by the way, is from the semi-final of the 1938 World Cup where Hungary beat Sweden 5-1, 13:A - That is The Masked Ball at the Opera by Édouard Manet from 1873. It hangs in the National Gallery in Washington DC, who say Manet painted several of his friends including noted writers, artists, and musicians, and even included himself in the crowded scene, 14:C - It shared the honour with Stavanger of Norway. Attractions in Liverpool that year included an exhibition of Gustav Klimt, a tall ships race, a huge mechanical spider nicknamed La Princess, and Ringo Starr of the Beatles performing live on top of St George’s Hall, 15:C - The Suez crisis was in 1956. Concorde had an operational life of 27 years, and commercial service resumed after the crash on 25 July 2000, but by 2003 all Concordes had been retired


  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 quiz master’s word is always final, and he gets enough trolling as it is.

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