Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday Trivia

  1. According to the third edition of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, how many valid words containing no vowels exist?
  2. What bizarre theory about Dr. Watson did mystery writer Rex Stout once suggest to fellow members of the Baker Street Irregulars?
  3. In what field is the Hugo Award given?
  4. What popular American writer coined the word nerd?
  5. Where was the sprawling family estate of early American novelist James Fenimore Cooper?

Last Week’s Answers

What famous nineteenth-century French novelist published a plagiarized work under the pseudonym Bombet?

Stendhal, best known for his novels The Red and the Black and The Charterhouse of Parma, plagiarized his work The Lives of Haydn, Mozart, and Metastasio with material from two biographies and a eulogy. When the plagiarism was discovered, Stendhal defended the nonexistent Bombet in letters signed by an equally nonexistent Bombet Jr.

Under what title do we know the book that was originally published as Murder in the Calais Coach?

Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express was originally called Murder in the Calais Coach for the first several editions of the classic title.

Where did the word "dunce” originate?

The word "dunce" is derived from name of John Duns Scotus, one of the greatest minds of the late 13th century. The term was coined two centuries later by those who disagreed with Scotus' teachings calling any of his followers a "Duns man" or "dunce" — a man who was dull-witted, or incapable of scholarship.

Which famous American playwright choked to death on an eye drop bottle cap?

Tennesee Williams’ cause of death was choking on an eye drop bottle cap in his room at the Hotel Elysee in New York. While holding the cap in his mouth, Williams leaned back to place eye drops in each eye and accidentally swallowed the cap. The police report suggests his use of drugs and alcohol contributed to his death by diminishing his gag reflex.

The first Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1771, devoted its first volume to "A" and "B." How many additional volumes did it take to cover "C" through "Z"?

Only two.


Stephanie Polukis said...

2. Dr. Watson was a woman.

Keith Bergstrom said...

1. Well, I know that cwm is a word, but I dispute that "w" doesn't behave as a vowel in that word.

3. The Hugo is the award for the best science fiction works of a year.