Q1 The 1912 Summer Olympics in Sweden saw roughly half of the competitors drop out of the men’s marathon due to the heat. Ken McArthur of South Africa set an Olympic record of 2 hours, 36 minutes, 54.8 seconds. But who came 36th, and how long did he take?
Q2 Who composed the song “Bad Sign, Good Sign”? It includes the lyrics “I was born with this unlucky sneeze, And what is worse I came into the world the wrong way round. Pundits all agree that I’m the reason why, My father fell into the village pond, And drowned.”
Q3 A wildlife technician, Richard Thomas, calculated the answer to be "700 pounds on a good day with the wind at his back″, but what was the question?
Q4 Andre Geim won the Nobel prize in Physics for his research into graphene. But what did he win the Ig Nobel prize in 2000 for?
Q5 Who was the Roman Goddess of Wisdom who is said to have invented the flute?
Q6 I was born in Sweden in 1957. I am fluent in Swedish and English, and I can also speak some French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. I hold a Masters in Chemical Engineering. Oh, and I did get into a fight with Sylvester Stallone. Who am I?
Q7 What 1988 song starts with a guitar exercise created by Saul Hudson, ends with lyrics that show the singer had no idea what to do next and ultimately topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving the band their only US number 1 single?
Q8 What feat of cinematography did the 2002 Russian historical drama film Russian Ark and the 2013 Iranian slasher film Fish & Cat achieve that films like the 1948 Hitchcock crime thriller Rope and the 2010 Uruguayan horror film La Casa Muda simulated?
Q9 Mersenne prime numbers are used in cryptography. In 1996, George Woltman founded a collaborative project researching these numbers. What was this project called?
Q10 What do the following have in common? A sport with 18 holes; a landform created by sediment deposited at a river opening; upcoming MCU series on Disney+ starring Alaqua Cox; the electromagnetic radiation studied extensively by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen that earned him the Nobel Prize in physics in 1901.
Quick summary of rules:
Two of the above questions are secretly mined; I hope you like guessing! Submit as many or as few questions (in any order) as you dare by private message to me. Please number your answers. I will mark the answers in the order you send them to me.
If you answer a question that has a mine, it will blow up, regardless of whether or not your answer is right.
If you don’t set off a mine, you will be invited to submit more answers, or lock in your score. If you answer all the non-mine questions correctly, the mines are defused, and you will be invited to answer the mine questions. These mines will not explode, even if you answer them incorrectly.
WARNING: You must wait for me to tell you the mines are defused before attempting them, or they WILL explode. Seriously, you need to wait. If you submit all your answers in one go, your score is going to be really low.
Scoring: all questions are worth one point each. For every question you attempt, your multiplier will increase by one. E.g. attempt five questions, and your multiplier is five. Your score is the number of questions you get right multiplied by the multiplier. If a mine blows up, your multiplier drops to one.
You only get one attempt at each question. Also, watch out for the automatic numbering system; I strongly recommend you preface your answers with the letter A: e.g. A1, A5, A7 etc. If you realise you’ve got it wrong, edit your message to me. Do not rely on me telling you the numbering is wrong, as I’m not doing that (sorry!). I will always wait at least one hour before marking, so you have a bit of time. Once I’ve “liked” your post, it means I’ve started marking, so please don’t change anything after that point.