Friday, November 3

November 3, 2017  
Filed under Crossword

Friday, November 3

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Last Tycoon,” Charles Dickens’ “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” and Jane Austen’s “Sanditon” are among literary works left uncompleted when their famous authors died. Many writers request such unfinished works be destroyed. Literary executors, from the ancients who published Virgil’s (unfinished) “Aeneid” to Max Brod who released “Amerika,” “The Trial” and “The Castle” after Franz Kafka’s death, often ignore those requests. But when fantasy author Terry Pratchett, creator of the “Discworld” series, died earlier this year, his executors had his computer hard drive crushed by a steamroller, just as Pratchett asked.

The word tycoon comes from a word meaning “great lord” in what language?
A) Arabic
B) Hungarian
C) Icelandic
D) Japanese

Previous answer: At the request of Prince Edward, Duke of Wessex, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice wrote “Cricket” in 1986 for Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th birthday.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

Saturday, November 4

In 1896, George R. Mann won a commission to design a capitol building for the state of Montana, to be built in Helena. A year later, over allegations of corruption, the committee that awarded the commission was disbanded and Mann’s design was abandoned for one that would cost less. In 1899, Arkansas was soliciting designs for a new capitol building. Mann submitted the plans he’d drawn for the Montana project, won the job, and built his elegant, neoclassical capitol in Little Rock instead.

The first woman elected to the U.S. Congress was Jeannette Rankin from which state?
A) Arkansas
B) Montana
C) New York
D) Pennsylvania

Previous answer: The word tycoon comes from the Japanese word taikun (“great lord”) used to describe a rich, powerful person without royal blood.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.
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Trivia Bits- Thursday, November 2

November 2, 2017  
Filed under Crossword

Thursday, November 2

In the 1940 Disney film “Pinocchio,” Cliff Edwards provided the voice of Jiminy Cricket and sang the classic “When You Wish Upon a Star.” A vaudeville performer in the 1920s and ’30s, Edwards — also known as “Ukulele Ike” — recorded standards from the “Great American Songbook,” accompanying himself on the ukulele. He also performed an early version of “Singin’ in the Rain” in “The Hollywood Revue of 1929,” an MGM musical comedy showcase that featured Jack Benny, Laurel and Hardy, and a 23-year-old Joan Crawford.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice wrote a short musical called “Cricket” to mark what occasion?
A) First ICC Cricket World Cup (1975)
B) Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th birthday (1986)
C) Olympic Summer Games in London (2012)
D) 200th anniversary of Lord’s cricket grounds (2014)

Previous answer: The brown recluse spider has a violin-shaped mark on its back.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Wednesday, November 1

November 1, 2017  
Filed under Crossword

Wednesday, November 1

Goliath birdeater tarantulas (Theraphosa blondi) are the largest spiders on earth, weighing a little less than half a pound with leg spans of 11 inches and bodies nearly 5 inches long. They sometimes eat birds, but they prefer frogs, toads, lizards and rodents. Arachnophobes need not fear! You’re unlikely to encounter one of these beauties unless you happen to be trekking in the Amazon rainforest at night (they’re nocturnal). Some people do seek them out, though. Then they roast them and eat them as snacks.

The brown recluse spider has a mark in what shape on its back?
A) Heart
B) Star
C) Thumbprint
D) Violin

Previous answer: “Treehouse of Horror XVIII” is most recent of the annual Halloween episodes on “The Simpsons.”

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Tuesday, October 31

October 31, 2017  
Filed under Crossword

Tuesday, October 31

The world’s biggest pumpkins are a variety called Dill’s Atlantic Giant, developed by farmer Howard Dill in Nova Scotia, Canada. Some top out at well over a ton, which would make a fearsome jack o’ lantern, not to mention a heck of a lot of pies and toasted seeds. Or, you could hollow out your giant pumpkin, sit inside it and paddle it to victory in a pumpkin regatta, as folks from Oregon to Maine — and Nova Scotia, of course — have been known to do.

The annual Halloween episodes of “The Simpsons” share what title?
A) “A Nightmare on Homer Street”
B) “Springfield Night Fever”
C) “Treehouse of Horror”
D) “Trick or Treat, Mrs. Krabappel”

Previous answer: Blue Mountain coffee comes from Jamaica.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Monday, October 30

October 30, 2017  
Filed under Crossword

Monday, October 30

In 1871, Canadian-born Englishwoman Lucy Walker became the first woman to reach the 14,692-foot summit of the Matterhorn, fifth-highest peak in the Alps. Englishman Edward Whymper led an expedition up the Matterhorn five years earlier, but Lucy Walker’s climb was different: She scaled the mountain as a proper Victorian lady ought to, dressed in a long flannel skirt.

Blue Mountain coffee is an official designation for coffee grown in what country?
A) Guatemala
B) Indonesia
C) Jamaica
D) Kenya

Previous answer: Randy Newman wrote and performed “It’s Jungle Out There,” the theme to the TV series “Monk.”

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Saturday, October 28

October 28, 2017  
Filed under Crossword

Saturday, October 28

In 1904, Gus Mager started drawing a syndicated comic strip called “Jungle Society,” featuring monkey characters he called Monks. There was Knocko the Monk, Tightwaddo the Monk, Henpecko, Braggo, Groucho — yes, Groucho. In fact, the inspiration for the Marx Brothers’ nicknames came from Gus Mager’s Monks. The nicknames themselves — Chico, Harpo, Groucho, Zeppo and Gummo — were bestowed on the brothers by a friend during a poker game in 1918, according to Harpo’s recollection.

Who wrote and performed “It’s a Jungle Out There,” the theme to the TV series “Monk”?
A) Randy Newman
B) Gary Portnoy
C) Randy Travis
D) Eddie Van Halen

Previous answer: The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident in 1979 was the most serious in U.S. history.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Friday, October 27

October 27, 2017  
Filed under Crossword

Friday, October 27

Say what you will about celebrities “oversharing,” but high-profile folks can do a great service by raising public awareness about health issues. Take Oct. 28, 1956, when Elvis Presley rolled up his sleeve for a polio shot before appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Claims that Elvis single-handedly raised polio vaccine rates by nearly 80 percent are exaggerated, but certainly he did his part to make the polio vaccine look cool to teens and young adults who’d been inclined to skip the shots.

Three Mile Island is most closely associated with what event?
A) Cholera epidemic
B) Flood
C) Nuclear power plant accident
D) Stadium collapse

Previous answer: Copper is the primary component of bronze.

 

Trivia Bits – Thursday, October 26

October 26, 2017  
Filed under Crossword

Thursday, October 26

The model for the Heisman Trophy stiff-armed ballcarrier was Ed Smith, a fullback for New York University from 1933 to 1935. When sculptor Frank Eliscu was commissioned to design the trophy in 1934, he asked his high school friend Smith to pose for him. Smith agreed, reportedly without knowing that he was about to be immortalized on college football’s most famous trophy. Ed Smith never won a Heisman, although he received an honorary trophy in the 1980s. NYU hasn’t fielded a varsity football team since 1953.

The primary component of bronze is what metal?
A) Copper
B) Gold
C) Iron
D) Silver

Previous answer: Grand Duke Henri is the current head of state of Luxembourg, the world’s only grand duchy.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Wednesday, October 25

October 25, 2017  
Filed under Crossword

Wednesday, October 25

Mexico and Luxembourg might be thousands of miles apart, but there’s a distinction that they alone share. They’re the only countries whose names contain the letter X. Luxembourg is also the only country in the world whose name ends in G. Bangladesh, Denmark and Iraq round out the list of world nations whose names have unique final letters.

The current head of state of Luxembourg holds what royal title?
A) Emperor
B) Grand Duke
C) Princess
D) Queen

Previous answer: Californium, named for California, and Tennessine, named for Tennessee, are two of the 118 known chemical elements.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Tuesday, October 24

October 24, 2017  
Filed under Crossword

Tuesday, October 24

Working at the Radium Institute in Paris, in 1939, chemist Marguerite Perey isolated a new radioactive element, which she named francium (for France, naturally). Extremely rare, francium is the last naturally occurring element to be discovered; elements since then have been created in labs. Perey found it when she was experimenting with the related element actinium. At the time, she was working under the direction of Marie Curie, discoverer of two chemical elements: polonium (for Poland, where she was born) and radium (for its radioactive properties).

Chemical elements have been named for which two U.S. states?
A) Alaska and California
B) California and Tennessee
C) Colorado and New York
D) New Mexico and Nevada

Previous answer: The Mole, Pruneface and Flattop were villains in “Dick Tracy.”

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

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