A soap queen, a punk icon and long-lost journals – take the Thursday quiz | Life and style


It might not be nearly as long-running as punk music or EastEnders, but this week we reach another glorious milestone as the Thursday quiz celebrates its golden jubilee, and unlike soap operas, our viewing figures keep going up. You will face 15 general knowledge and vaguely topical questions, and there is a hidden Doctor Who reference in the wrong answers for you to spot for a bonus point. There are no prizes, but let us know how you got on in the comments.

The Thursday quiz, No 50

1.THE NUMBER ONE SONG IN HEAVEN: That’s a 1979 song by Sparks, and ‘Gabriel plays it, God how he plays it’. But that’s not important right now. Which of these numbers is the mathematical representation of the ‘golden ratio’?

2.POSTMAN PAT PRICE RISES: The price of a first-class stamp in the UK increased by 10p to 95p from Monday. Second-class stamps increased by 2p – to how much?

3.YOU CANNOT SMOKE ON TV THESE DAYS: We lost the incomparable June Brown this week – here she is pictured in ITV’s 1969 television play Gentle to Nora. But which year did she first appear as Dot Cotton in EastEnders?

4.PUNK GODDESS: We also lost Pamela Rooke, the fashion icon and major force in the 1970s punk scene. What geographically-based name was she better known as?

5.WORLD CUP DRAW: Last week it was the draw for the 2022 Fifa World Cup, which is to be held in the footballing hotbed of Qatar, after a host-bidding process that was 100% transparent and totally honest. Which of these teams did NOT end up drawn into the same group as England?

6.ENSEMBLE CASTS: Released 50 years ago, which iconic movie featured Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates and Warren Clarke?

7.SCIENCE CORNER: Hundreds of adults and children with type 1 diabetes in England have been fitted with an artificial WHAT that experts say could become the ‘holy grail’ for managing the disease?

8.FLAMIN-GO!: A flamingo that escaped a zoo in Kansas 17 years ago has been spotted alive and well in Texas. But what was his name?

9.ROAD SIGNS AROUND THE WORLD: This road sign from parts of Canada means what?

10.ART FOR ART’S SAKE: Andy Warhol was famous for his production line approach to pop art. But where was he born?

11.SHHHHHHHHHH: Cambridge University library is rejoicing after two stolen journals were returned in a pink gift bag alongside a ‘happy Easter’ note addressed to the librarian. Whose journals were they?

12.GEOGRAPHY: The town of Carrickfergus – you can see the castle and statue of William III here – sits on which of these bodies of water in Northern Ireland?

13.FIBONACCI NUMBERS: First described in Indian mathematics, and forming a sequence where each number is the sum of the two preceding ones, F₇ is 13. But which of these words describes extreme fear of 13 being an unlucky number?

14.ALLONS-Y: The website Wikivoyage lists 23 locations visited by fictional Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in Eighty Days. No 10 is Singapore. The city-state hosted the first ever floodlit F1 night-time grand prix. When?

15.MUSIC: In 2015, who collaborated with psychedelic rock band The Flaming Lips on an album named after herself and ‘Her Dead Petz’?

  • If you do think there has been an egregious error in one of the questions or answers, please feel free to email martin.belam@theguardian.com, but remember, the quiz master’s word is always final, and [cue dramatic EastEnders cliffhanger drums …]


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