Brain of Mensa

November 28, 2008 in Quizzes

The brain of Mensa?

The brain of Mensa?

I came across the questions from the 2008 Brain of Mensa competition recently.

This is an annual quiz open to members of Mensa UK.  The final of this year’s competition took place in Liverpool during September and featured four quizzers taking on 40 questions.  The winner, Les Hurst of Derby (a man with several appearances on 15 to 1 to his name), scored 30 points with the other finalists finishing on 28, 23 and 19 points respectively.

Anyways, you can give them a go by clicking the more.  They’re an interesting mix: a lot of history questions, some are very Brit specific and good luck answering no. 36 without writing a whole sentence.

For what it’s worth, I managed a majestic 14 when I tried…

  1. What name is commonly given to the swampy areas left behind where the Mississippi has changed course?
  2. Who is the last man to have walked on the Moon?
  3. Who became a “dream pair” in Hollywood after the 1935 film ‘Captain Blood’ and subsequently went on to make seven other films together?
  4. What was the name of the revue commissioned by the official Edinburgh Festival in 1960 to counteract the growing influence of the Fringe?
  5. The investigations of Austin Henry Layard and his associaties, from 1849, led to the British Museum possessing a large number of clay tablets from the libraries of which city?
  6. Which city has been described  as an “ugly, lovely town crawling, sprawling, slummed, unplanned, jerry-villa’d, and smug-suburbed by the side of a long and splendid curving shore”?
  7. What were used as lap counters in the Circus Maximus in Rome, as well as in the chariot race in the film ‘Ben Hur’?
  8. What was the surname of Pierre Auguste, painter, and his son Jean, film director?
  9. A trilogy of films by Krzysztof Kieslowski is named after which three colours?
  10. What is the modern name of Bytown, a city originally named in honour of the builder of the Rideau Canal in Canada?
  11. How can you tell whether an egg is fresh by placing it in water?
  12. Which team were English league champions in 1985 and were the first to be blocked from competing in the European Cup, due to the Heysel ban?
  13. ‘Mary, Queen of Scots’ is the name most commonly used for this lady in Britain but what name was she given in the title of a play about her by Friedrich von Schiller?
  14. Which Element does no freeze under normal pressure, no matter how low the temperature is?
  15. Which astronomer and scientist was an advisor to (and drinking companion of, if stories are to be believed) Tsar Peter I when the latter spent some time in England?
  16. When the Russian Interior Minister, Plehve, was assassinated in 1904 by a bomb thrown through the window of his moving carriage, the Chicago News printed a contentious piece stating that the assailant should be tracked down and made to do what?
  17. Which native tribe was expelled from Georgia and Alabama in the 1830s, by a government ignoring a Supreme Court ruling that these actions were unlawful?
  18. Which film featured Spencer Tracy as a captain in the Santa Rosita Police Department, dealing with a series of events set off by a character played by Jimmy Durante?
  19. Which book by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936, gives hints as to how to deal with social and business situations?
  20. Who played 27 times for Everton in 1998/99, and managed to receive 12 yellow cards and be sent off three times?
  21. Which book, made into an opera with music by Prokofiev, tells of a non-existant soldier who comes onto the records because of a clerical error and manages to be promoted to General?
  22. What are the three main ingredients of custard (of the type that could also be described as crème anglais)?
  23. Which battle of 3rd September 1651 was fought by Scottish troups under Charles Stuart and Parliamentary forces under Oliver Cromwell?
  24. From which island did Mary Bonham-Christie expel 100 people in 1927, allowing the island to become totally untended and over-grown?
  25. Which personality from the Soviet Union was usually known by a pseudonym which meant ‘the Hammer’?
  26. What name is given to the process of cleaning wool prior to processing?
  27. A group of sportsmen came to be known as the ‘Four Musketeers’, due to their exploits between 1927 and 1932. In which sport?
  28. Which future king of England was imprisoned for two years in the Château de Largoët in Elven by Francois II, the last independent Duke of Brittany?
  29. In 1912, the Titanic became the largest ship to have been sunk but its owners, White Star, already held this record after losing which ship in 1909?
  30. Which venue is generally considered to have been the spiritual home of ‘Northern Soul’ music from 1973 until its closure in 1981?
  31. The Colosseum in Rome was named after a large statue of whom, which used to stand in its vicinity?
  32. In travelling from Switzerland to Russia in 1917 Lenin passed through which three countries?
  33. What name which, to present day ears tends to imply a different country of origin, was given by the Romans to the tribe of Britons whose capital was at Winchester?
  34. Mr Fezzywig appears in which novel by Charles Dickens?
  35. Who replaced ‘Sid and Dick’ was the main writer for Morecambe and Wise?
  36. What is the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’?
  37. Two members of The Zombies were later instrumental in the formation of which rock group?
  38. The peace treaty which ended the Russo-Japanese war was signed in the city of Portsmouth, in which American state?
  39. Which Formula 1 race track lies in the Ardennes?
  40. Which Beatles song was written as a reaction to the ideas on immigration expressed by Enoch Powell MP?

Answers here.

3 responses to Brain of Mensa

  1. Right, so how do I do about answering then??? “Anyways, you can give them a go by clicking the more. ” where is this “more” you speak of…

  2. Apologies. No fancy system for entering answers here.

    I just meant you could see them if you clicked more. And then you could give them a go (in your head, on a sheet of paper etc).

    I’ll be posting the answers later today, so you can then see how you did.

    It’s old skool, but what can I do? (Answers on the back of a fiver…)

  3. Just taking a look around your site today John – tis pretty cool – You may know (?) that I will be starting a site soon at – just got the landing page sorted yesterday – Keep in touch – we could combine forces on one or two things 😉

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