Astley’s band, Lloyd Webber’s stand and a very creepy castle – take the Thursday quiz

·8 min read
<span>Photograph: UPI/Alamy</span>
Photograph: UPI/Alamy

Once again it is time to take the challenge of the Guardian’s rather silly Thursday quiz. Fifteen questions on general knowledge and topical trivia plus a few jokes, and some regular features. Can you spot the hidden Doctor Who reference? Will Kate Bush ever be the correct answer? And what will be the most annoying thing this week – the Pokémon question? Or that picture of Ron from Sparks inevitably appearing again? It is just for fun, there are no prizes, but there are bonus points to be had for making the quiz master laugh with your comments. Let us know how you get on …

The Thursday quiz, No 25

  1. A city of culture event
    A city of culture event

    UK NEWS: A longlist of eight areas has been announced to be the 2025 UK city of culture. But which is the current UK city of culture?

    1. Hull

    2. Coventry

    3. Derry

    4. Cornwall

  2. Maria Ressa
    Maria Ressa

    WORLD NEWS: Last week Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Maria Ressa. But where is she from?

    1. Timor-Leste

    2. Indonesia

    3. Myanmar

    4. Philippines

  3. Harold

    ON THIS DAY: 14 October is the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. Harold arrived for the battle in the immediate aftermath of having fought the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Against whom?

    1. Magnus II of Norway

    2. Harald Hardrada of Norway

    3. Fenric of Norway

    4. Tore André Flo of Norway

  4. Beaker and Bunsen
    Beaker and Bunsen

    SCIENCE CORNER: Kraftwerk famously sang that it causes chain reaction and mutation, but talking about radioactivity, which of these radioactive particles has the highest ionising power?

    1. Alpha

    2. Beta

    3. Gamma

    4. Thaesium

  5. Sonic

    COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING: Sonic The Hedgehog was the subject of a truly terrifyingly bad movie adaptation recently. But which of these Sega consoles was the first to be released in Japan during the 1990s?

    1. Sega Pico

    2. Sega Saturn

    3. Sega Dreamcast

    4. Sega Game Gear

  6. Pikachu!

    WORRYING POKEMON DESCRIPTIONS: Back by popular demand. Not every Pokémon is as cute as Pikachu. Which Pokémon has this worrying official description: “Born from a sand mound playfully built by a child, this Pokémon embodies the grudges of the departed. It takes control of anyone who puts a hand in its mouth and so it adds to the accumulation of its sand-mound body. If you build sand mounds when you're playing, destroy them before you go home, or they may get possessed."

    1. Sandygast

    2. Mr Mime

    3. Sandshrew

    4. Sandslash

  7. A castle in Wales
    A castle in Wales

    CASTLES: Notwithstanding killer ghost Pokémon sandcastles, castles are basically great, and there are still the remains of over 600 of them in Wales. But which Welsh castle is described by the Cadw website – they are the historic environment service of the Welsh Government – as "the largest castle in Wales"?

    1. Caernarfon castle

    2. Raglan castle

    3. Caerphilly castle

    4. Chirk castle

  8. France lift the UEFA Nations League trophy
    France lift the UEFA Nations League trophy

    SPORT: At the weekend France (pictured) won the second edition of the men's football Uefa Nations League. But who were the first champions in 2019?

    1. Portugal

    2. Netherlands

    3. Switzerland

    4. England

  9. Old Tv
    Old Tv

    ENSEMBLE CAST: Which 1970s US detective drama featured these actors as the regular supporting cast? Noah Beery Jr, Joe Santos and Gretchen Corbett

    1. Kojak

    2. The Rockford Files

    3. CHiPs

    4. Hill Street Blues

  10. Sparks

    NOTHING TRAVELS FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT: That's a recent song by Sparks where they argue that what scientists are telling you is clearly wrong. But that's not important right now. What IS the speed of light in a vacuum?

    1. ≈ 30,000 km/s

    2. ≈ 300,000 km/s

    3. ≈ 3,000,000 km/s

    4. ≈ 3,000,000,000 km/s

  11. Bucks Fizz / Bow Wow Wow / Adam Ant / Kate Bush
    Bucks Fizz / Bow Wow Wow / Adam Ant / Kate Bush

    MUSIC: "I can get a train, I don't need no hamburgers. No take-away, I want my own game. No bacon steak, no strawberry milkshake, I wanna keep it." These lyrics featured in a 1982 UK hit single by which of these artists?

    1. Bucks Fizz

    2. Bow Wow Wow

    3. Adam Ant

    4. Kate Bush

  12. Rick Astley
    Rick Astley

    WELL I WONDER: At the weekend 80s star Rick Astley performed two sold-out shows singing the songs of the Smiths backed by which modern indie band?

    1. Blossoms

    2. Kaiser Chiefs

    3. The Vaccines

    4. John Smith and the Common Men

  13. A still from the oldest surviving motion picture by  Louis Le Prince
    A still from the oldest surviving motion picture by Louis Le Prince

    TRUE OR FALSE: The oldest known surviving moving film in existence was filmed in Roundhay, Leeds?

    1. True

    2. False

  14. The Prince Of Wales
    The Prince Of Wales

    TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED: This week Prince Charles said that he has converted his Aston Martin to run partially on what?

    1. Jam and scones

    2. Fish and chips

    3. Cheese and wine

    4. Honey and quince

  15. AND FINALLY: Andrew Lloyd Webber says he hated the recent film adaption of Cats so much that he did what?

    1. Bought a puppy

    2. Punched a wall

    3. Sued the director

    4. Flew across the Atlantic to vote in support of a tax credit cut for the working poor


1:B - Coventry is currently the UK city of culture – the picture is from one of the events held this year. Hull was it in 2017, and Derry in 2013. The eight areas now on the longlist will each receive a grant of £40,000 to forward their application, and yes, Cornwall is on the longlist despite stretching the definition of city somewhat., 2:D - Born in Manila in 1963, she is the former CNN bureau chief in the Philippines and co-founder and CEO of news site Rappler, and has faced multiple criminal charges and investigations after publishing stories critical of President Rodrigo Duterte. In awarding the prize Berit Reiss-Andersen the chair of the Norwegian Nobel committee said: “Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda.”, 3:B - The death of King Edward the Confessor without children set off an almighty bun-fight for the succession of the English crown, with Harold Godwinson, William Duke of Normandy, King Harald Hardrada and Tostig Godwinson all fancying a piece of the action., 4:A - Alpha particles have approximately four times the mass of a proton or neutron and approximately 8,000 times the mass of a beta particle. Because of the large mass of the alpha particle, it has the highest ionizing power and the greatest ability to damage tissue. , 5:D - It was the Game Gear, the portable device that was released in Japan in 1990. The Sega Saturn followed in 1994, and the Dreamcast was launched in Japan in 1998. The Sega Pico was launched in June 1993 but literally nobody on the planet can remember the brightly-coloured console aimed directly at kids., 6:A - Yes, Sandygast appears as a lonely sand mound with an abandoned spade sticking out the top, and if you touch it you get possessed. A perfect day out at Margate. The evolved form, Palossand, turns into a giant sand castle, big enough to engulf and imprison children. Still, I suppose warning them about all of this is ONE way to get your kids to tidy up after themselves on the beach., 7:C - Built by the invading English during the 13th century, the castle has an elaborate and impressive set of water defences which meant invaders had to tread carefully. See what I did there? The Cadw website also claims that the the south-east tower is "wonkier even than that of Pisa". Is it though?, 8:A - Portugal were hosts of the 2019 finals tournament and beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the final. Third place went to England after they beat Switzerland on penalties in the third place play-off. Yes, you read that right. England beat somebody on penalties., 9:B - It was the Rockford Files. Beery Jr played Jim Rockford's dad, Santos played his contact at the LAPD, Sgt Dennis Becker, and Gretchen Corbett was Elizabeth "Beth" Davenport, Jim's lawyer and sometime girlfriend. The quiz master's dad sometimes let him stay up late to watch this when the quiz master was a child, but the quiz master didn't get all the answering machine jokes that opened every show., 10:B - Correct. The exact value is defined as 299,792,458 metres per second, which equates to roughly 300,000 km/s or 186000 mi/s. It's very fast. You can tell by his face that Ron from Sparks thinks you should have known that., 11:B - The lyrics are from Go Wild In The Country, which reached number 7 in the UK charts. The track was taken as a single from their elegantly titled 1981 album See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang Yeah, City All Over! Go Ape Crazy!, 12:A - Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down. Never gonna run around and desert you. Never gonna make you cry. Never gonna say goodbye. Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you. , 13:A - It is true. It was recorded by French inventor Louis Le Prince and filmed at Oakwood Grange in Roundhay, Leeds. The sequence lasts under two seconds and features four people walking and dancing in the garden. In a turn of events that would surely astonish Louis Le Prince, it is still preserved, and now you can watch it on demand on YouTube while being served adverts that he doesn't make any money from., 14:C - The future King said he used "surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process", as part of a fuel blend made up of 85% bioethanol and 15% unleaded petrol known as E85. Surplus wine? In the middle of a pandemic?, 15:A - The Conservative peer who in 2015 flew across the Atlantic to get to the House of Lords in order to vote in support of a tax credit cut for the working poor, said "the one good thing to come out of it is my little Havanese puppy."


  1. 0 and above.

    We hope you had fun – let us know how you got on in the comments!

  2. 5 and above.

    We hope you had fun – let us know how you got on in the comments!

  • If you do think there has been an egregious error in one of the questions or answers, please feel free to email but remember, the quiz master’s word is always final, even if he’s never gonna give you up.

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