General Knowledge Quiz

A weekly set of questions to entertain you or infuriate you during these difficult times. No prizes awarded, no answers need to be submitted, just see what you know – or maybe learn. Answers will be posted here next Monday morning, along with the next set of questions. Scroll down to Quiz 2 and after that to answers to Quiz 1.

Quiz No 1 - 30 Mar

1 What is the origin of the word ‘language’?

2 What is ‘opera bouffe’?

3 In which city was the first public performance of Handel’s Messiah?

4 The Norwich School of Art was founded by whom?

5 Of which British prime minister was Nobel Laureate, Dorothy Hodgkin the academic tutor?

6 Maputo is the capital of an African country. What was the city’s former name and what is the country’s name?

7 Who introduced Premium Bonds to the United Kingdom – and when?

8 If you were in a Hummum, what would you most likely be doing?

9 Name in descending order the five ranks of British peerage and give the equivalent female titles.

10 Was Dixie Dean an Australian bandit, professional footballer or a jazz musician?

11 Of which party was prime minister Stanley Baldwin the leader?

12 What nationality was Juan Fangio and for what was he best known?

13 In which county is Kedleston Hall and which family gave it to the National Trust?

14 Florence Nightingale lived through the reigns of which British monarchs?

15 Salisbury Cathedral was built in a remarkably short period of time – but between which years?

16 Which British composer, successful during WW 1, was jailed during WW 2 for mis-using petrol rationing coupons?

17 What is The Dukeries – and where is it?

18 On whose tomb is the inscription 'Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice' -and where is that tomb?

19 Which is the longest river in France?

20 Who wrote ‘A Town Like Alice’?

Scroll down to below Quiz 2 for the answers to Quiz 1


1 Name a vegetable which has all 5 vowels in its name, each used once only. Too easy? Now a fruit with all 5 vowels used once only.

2 Find an English word containing the letter ‘i’ six times and with no other vowel.

3 Cornelia has a sister whose name is an anagram of hers. What is her name?

The names of both girls are made of the letters of their mother’s and father’s first names. What are the parents’ names? There are several possible answers.

4 9876543210 = 999

Make this a correct sum by inserting five ‘ + ‘ signs. There are two possible solutions. Maybe more?

The above four questions are from the Guardian Book of Puzzles, by kind permission of Chris Maslanka.

5 Which Prime Minister was assassinated in the Lobby of the House of Commons in 1812?

6 Who founded the model town of Port Sunlight in Cheshire?

7 At which castle was the investiture of Prince Charles in 1969?

8 What did the letters GOM and MOG mean when referring to Prime Minister Gladstone?

9 Which play made Gay rich and Rich gay?

10 Which London theatre is named after a famous Irish playwright?

11 Which titled family has the hereditary right to the office of Earl Marshal of England?

12 Who is the new Governor of the Bank of England?

13 Who was the sculptor of the lions around Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square?

14 Which was the first flag to reach the moon?

15 Which C20th novel has the epigraph ‘Only Connect’ ?

16 On the 100th anniversary of American Independence, the people of France made a presentation to the American people. What was it?

17 Which star’s real name was Frances Gumm?

18 Who is depicted on the reverse of the new, polymer £20 note?

19 Which famous man’s ancestors lived at Sulgrave Manor in Northamptonshire?

20 Which is the highest peak in Northern Ireland?


1 ‘Language’ from the Latin word ‘Lingua’, meaning tongue.

2 Comic Opera

3 Dublin

4 John Crome, aka ‘Old Crome’ to differentiate between him and his son John Berney Crome.

5 Margaret Thatcher

6 Lorenco Marques, so named until 1976. Mozambique.

7 Harold MacMillan, as Chancellor of the Exchequer on 1 November 1956

8 Taking a Turkish bath

9 Duke, Marquis, Earl, Viscount, Baron. Duchess, Marchioness, Countess, Viscountess and Baroness.

10 Professional footballer

11 Conservative Party

12 Argentian – Five times World Champion Formula 1 driver.

13 Derbyshire – given by the Curzon family.

14 This was not intended to be a trick question and might have been better worded ‘In the reigns of which British monarchs did Florence Nightingale live?’ She was born on 12 May 1820, the year in which George IV had ascended the throne on 29 January. He was followed by William IV, Victoria and Edward VII. The latter dying on 6 May 1910 to be succeeded by George V. Florence Nightingale died on 13 August that year, so she was alive during five reigns – or, three if you interpreted the question as how many ‘complete’ reigns.

15 Salisbury Cathedral was built between 1220 and 1258

16 Ivor Novello

17 The Dukeries is an area in north west Nottinghamshire and the location of several ducal estates.

18 Sir Christopher Wren – in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral.

19 The Loire

20 Neville Shute

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