Long lost cousin Sidney

March 25, 2011 in Gilligan's, Quizzes

Sir Sidney Nolan, 1988

Sometimes you get asked a question and not only do you not know this particular answer, but you know that you’ve never even heard of the person/place/thing involved. OK, that happens a lot of the time.

On rarer occasions though, you hear one of these “nope, never heard of that, definitely” questions and you feel a bit peeved because you wonder how this can be. “How come I’ve never heard of that?” or “How did I get to this point in life without even chancing upon this fact?” you ask.

You know you would have remembered because it’s related to something you’re interested in or there’s some other connection that definitely would have made it memorable. But the simple fact is, bizarrely, you and this fact avoided each other your entire life.

This happened to me on Tuesday night. This week’s quiz master at Gilligan’s asked us about “famous Australian artist” Sidney Nolan.

Sidney Nolan? Well, we share a surname so, if I’d ever heard of him, I would have remembered. But no, I hadn’t.  I’ve looked him up since and, yes indeed, he is a renowned artist – one of Australia’s most famous sons, in fact.

Alas, for my team, none of us were even aware he had existed.

Thankfully, it didn’t matter as we ended up with a winning score of 96/110.

Here are the questions we missed:

  1. In what year was the ‘SOS’ distress signal first used?
  2. In which decade were the Sydney Harbour and Golden Gate bridges opened to the public?
  3. The ancient region of Flanders is now covered by which three modern states?
  4. Australian artist Sidney Nolan is best known for his series of paintings of whom?
  5. What was the first name of the poet Lord Byron?
  6. How many Claremorris Open Exhibitions have there been?*
  7. Which saint is associated with Scallop shells?
  8. Which South American country’s flag features the ‘Sol de Mayo’?
  9. In the 1960s, what were Gemini, Titan and Saturn?
  10. Which was the first human organ to be successfully transplanted?
  11. Which US State was named after the wife of King Charles I?
  12. Which saint is said to have been crucified on an X-shaped cross?
  13. What is unusual about Hermit Crabs? **

Now, I have no picture round for you this week. This is for the counter-intuitive reason that this week featured the best picture round I’ve seen in years.

The top half of the sheet showed a map of Claremorris with 14 points marked, each labelled with a different letter.  The bottom have showed 12 extracts from various shop/bar/business signs.  The aim: match the sign to the location.

Fair play to Pat, the quiz master.  It’s a brilliant idea for a start. He obviously put in a lot of work preparing it: taking photos of the signs, cropping them down to clever little nuggets (Gilligan’s was featured, for example, but all we got to see was the word ‘LIGA’) and, best of all, thinking to mark 14 spots on the map.

This prevented it becoming a round where you could end up with one or two remaining at the end and know that they had to belong to the remaining spots on the map. Certainly, at our table, we ended up with one final sign that nobody could recognise and we struggled to guess which one of the remaining three places it must come from.

Of course, a round involving recognising the businesses of Claremorris isn’t much good if you’re not actually in Claremorris. So that’s why I’m not including it for you, my dear readers.

Take my word for it though, it was a genius idea for a round.  Give the questions a go, all the same.

Update: answers here.

* Another example of a super-local question. I’ll leave this one in though.

** Not that it’s unusual to them, of course.

4 responses to Long lost cousin Sidney

  1. That was a tough lot of missed questions.

    I only know one of them. Question 8 about the flag. I don’t want to give the answer away for others doing the round, but isn’t it on two different countries’ flags in South America?

    • Indeed John. Our team spent a few minutes debating which of those countries he was looking for. We plumped for one.

      Of course, he wanted the other one!

  2. John ,
    Did we not answer question 10 at that great Sqealin`Pig quiz ??????????

    • Erm, probably!

      Two things:
      1) We got it right that night so I never had to note it down!
      2) It was yet another “let’s discuss these two” situation and, of course, we picked the wrong one.

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