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Prelims with Answers, of the Open General Quiz conducted as part of IIT Hyderabad's first literary festival, conducted on 7th January, 2017. No audio/video content, so it can be run directly on Slideshare. Feedback welcome!
Open General Quiz
7th January, 2017
Researched and conducted by Lokesh Kaza
• Anand Swain, Abhinau Kumar and IIT Hyderabad, for the invitation.
• K-Circle, Hyderabad.
What is K-Circle?
K-Circle is India’s oldest quiz club and was formed in 1972 in
Every Saturday at 4:30 pm, a group of quizzing enthusiasts (of all age
groups) from across the twin cities meet up at a pre-designated venue
to engage in fun and informative quiz sessions.
Membership is free for all school students.
For more information, log on to www.kcircle.com or send in a mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the K-Circle group on
Facebook to stay updated with information regarding our weekly
sessions and other quizzes.
32 questions, 38 points in all. Top 8 teams to qualify.
Part points applicable.
Questions 1-26 are for 1 point each, questions 27-32 are for 2 points
Questions 11-20 are star-marked and will be used to break ties, if any. If
the tie still persists, sudden death will apply.
No negative marking, feel free to guess.
Kindly switch off mobile phones and other electronic devices.
Quizmaster’s decision is final.
1. Whose recently launched apparel range is this?
Which person’s name has been blanked out in this official Guinness World
Record, the description for which has been given here?
“The wedding is reported to have cost over 750 million rupees with the
dining area alone costing an estimated Rs 15 million and the menu an
estimated Rs 20 million. A fortress topped with cannons and winged
mythological creatures was constructed from plywood at the entrance of
the wedding grounds. The 5 km drive from the temple to the grounds
was strewn with rose petals and lined with 600 Grecian columns strung
with coloured lights along with giant papier mache models of ancient
Indian princes in erotic poses.”
Arthakranti Pratishthan is a Pune-based NGO which has
proposed what it calls a “well-researched scientific approach
to transform the current Indian socio-economic scenario.”
Over time, they have proposed that all 56 taxes, barring
customs duty and import levies, should be abolished and
replaced with a single banking transaction tax (or BTT) on all
What was supposedly influenced by the head of this NGO?
In 2003, a team of scientists from NASA and other research organizations
discovered clues from here which gave an insight into why past missions to
Mars may have failed to detect life. The scientists called the findings "highly
unusual" in an environment exposed to the atmosphere. “We found that, if
Viking had landed there instead of on Mars and done exactly the same
experiments, we would also have been shut out," said Dr. Chris McKay, the
expedition's principal investigator.
The aridity is explained by it being situated between two mountain chains
of sufficient height to prevent moisture advection from either the Pacific or
the Atlantic Ocean.
Which place were these studies conducted in, which is one of the best
regions in the world to conduct astronomical observations?
A certain decision taken in 2016 was met with instant criticism with
consumers describing it as a wrong move and saying that it looked
The entity in question said it had to decide between changing the look or
raising the price, and therefore opted for the former. As opposed to the
common belief, the original look was modelled on the red and cream-
frilled line of dancers at the Folies Bergères in Paris, at the end of a show.
What decision was this?
The Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award
has been bestowed on 294 individuals so far, of which 34
have been given the award for Science and Engineering.
Of these 34, there are 4 Indian-Americans who have won the
award, two of whom are theoretical physicist George
Sudarshan and mathematician C.R. Rao.
Who are the other two?
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Har Gobind
X was named in honour of the ancestral inhabitants of the
area, and their description of the area when looked at from
afar: ________, which in their language means "spotted," an
apt description for the circles of trees, scrub, savannah, and
cloud shadows that mark the area.
X is contiguous with Y, which is an approximation of the word
used by the inhabitants to describe the area as "the place
where the land runs on forever“ or “endless plains”.
What are X and Y?
It was created in 2006 by veteran toy maker Jay Horowitz after he
decided to combine the main concepts of two different things to create
one single challenge.
In what he calls a moment of inspiration, Horowitz cashed in on the
nostalgic value of something created in the 1980s and merged it with a
new fad that had people waking up in the early mornings, eagerly waiting
Since peddling it to a worldwide audience at the American International
Toy Fair, Horowitz has sold thousands of his ‘hybrids’.
What did he create?
In 1939, the submarine U.S.S. Squalus was conducting a test dive when it
sank. After a daring undersea rescue of surviving members, the Navy
undertook a salvage operation. Divers worked to pass cables underneath
the submarine and attach pontoons for buoyancy. However, the vessel
began to rise far too quickly, slipping its cables. It ascended vertically,
breaking the surface, and 30 feet of the bow reached into the air.
A photograph of the above mentioned incident was shown to President
Roosevelt who said that it looked like a ________ jumping out of the water,
possibly because the submarine’s bow resembled the characteristic
erectile dorsal fin and body structure of this marine being.
The name stuck and was given to the recommisioned submarine after
repairs. What name did Roosevelt give?
The books X and Y have been suspended from the curriculum in some
Virginia schools, after a parent complained about the use of racial slurs. At the
centre of the complaint was the use of the N-word, which appears frequently
in both books.
As a committee has yet to discuss the future of the books, a permanent ban
has not yet been placed. However, they have already been removed from
classrooms in the district, a move the National Coalition Against Censorship
described as “particularly egregious”. These classics are high on the list of
most frequently challenged Young Adult books in the US, according to the
American Libraries Association. However, critics regard both works as scathing
rejections of racism.
What two books are these?
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, To Kill
The Hollywood Canteen was a club offering food, dancing and
entertainment for a certain group of people in the first half of the 20th
century. It was operated and staffed completely by volunteers from the
Everything at the canteen was free of charge, with various guilds and
unions of the entertainment industry donating labour and money for
For which group of people was the canteen set up, and what was the
price of admission?
Servicemen(usually on their way
overseas), their uniform
In 2016, X was recognised with a commemorative 50-cent coin.
The coin has a limited product mintage of 95,929 coins, a
number inspired by adding various statistics from X’s career.
The minting of the coin means that both X and Y, who helmed
their respective sides in a memorable series (which included a
historic first) are now represented on national currency.
Who are X and Y?
What historic first were they a part of?
Richie Benaud, Frank Worrell
First ever tied Test
In 2010, a signed, aerial photograph, the ‘Tobolsk Kremlin’ depicting the
18th-century fortress was sold for 51 million rubles at a charity auction.
Experts said the stunning price tag for the photo was indeed more charity
than a reflection of the work’s artistic merit. “This photo has nothing to do
with art, because photography is X’s hobby. Buying this photo was a
The price tag for the photograph surpassed the highest price at the
previous year’s auction, paid for Y’s painting ‘Uzor’ or Pattern which
featured a frosty window framed by embroidered curtains in a traditional
Who are X and Y, who are known for other reasons beyond the creative
In Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Nick Fury fakes his death
in order to deceive Hydra. Towards the end of the film, we see Captain
America and Falcon stand at the foot of Fury’s fake grave, and observe
the front of the tombstone, including the epitaph.
About the epitaph, directors Anthony and Joe Russo stated that they
couldn’t initially settle on anything but went on to put this stating, “We’re
geeks and we love that kind of stuff. We’re always trying to put it in the
movies and our TV shows. So it’s better to put something in there that is
a wink and a smile and excites people than just something bland, you
What did Nick Fury’s epitaph contain?
On 9th December 1805, an envoy from the chieftain of Tunis named Sidi
Soliman Mellimelli met with the then President Thomas Jefferson in the White
The context of Mellimelli’s visit to the United States was a tense dispute over
piracy on American merchant vessels by the Barbary states and the capture of
Tunisian vessels trying to run an American blockade of Tripoli.
During this visit, Jefferson went on to do something for his guest, the
knowledge of which most likely came from his legal studies of natural law. Many
such as Barack Obama and the Houston Chronicle call it the first time this was
done at the White House.
What did Jefferson do, which has become an annual White House tradition
Blaine Gibson is a U.S. lawyer from Seattle who is spearheading a self-funded
exercise that has taken him from the Maldives to Mauritius and Myanmar.
Discussions in Facebook groups intrigued him initially, and after being
impacted by a support group in Kuala Lumpur, he embarked on his mission.
Gibson has stated that he is doing it just out of personal interest and not in a
for-profit or journalistic way. As part of his journey, he has interviewed several
people and has also discovered numerous personal items including
backpacks and computer cases.
He also has a set of detractors who allege his findings are ‘planted’, and has
also received veiled threats, one of which said, “No _______, no Blaine.”
What is Gibson trying to do with his individual mission?
Names can be assigned by eight countries for this, namely India, Pakistan,
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman and Thailand. The process
began in 2004, fours years after the global body agreed in principle to allow
the countries to do so.
The alphabet system is used to designate the name, which means the name of
the first one of the year begins with ‘A.’ Previously, till 1979, they were only
given female names. Male names were only introduced in the same year.
There are six lists of names used in rotation and they are recycled every six
a) What names are these countries allowed to give?
b) What name, meaning ‘red rose’ was given by Pakistan and became familiar
to us in December 2016?
As she prepared for their first official meeting in January 1973,
she remarked to her aides, “Imagine, I, the daughter of Moshe
Mabovitch, who was just an ordinary carpenter, am actually on
my way to meet him.” "Don't forget," retorted her assistant,
"carpenters have a special standing there."
After the meeting which lasted for 80 minutes, a spokesman
issued a blunt statement to say that “The ___________ has not
changed its attitude over the Middle East and there was no
reason whatsoever for such a change.”
Who was she and whom was she meeting?
Ancestry.com, a genealogy website recently discovered that X, 40 is
distantly related to Y, who died in 1930.
The connection is a direct, albeit a distant one and the two were found to
be 16th cousins, twice removed. Their common ancestor was John of
Gaunt, the duke of Lancaster and the fourth son of King Edward III of
England, who lived in the 14th Century, the website said. John of Gaunt
was Y's 15th great-grandfather and X's 17th great-grandfather.
"Making family history connections is similar to piecing together a
mysterious puzzle," said the site making an obvious reference to the
relation between the two individuals.
Who are X and Y?
“X's Bibles” was the name given to arms that were supplied to anti-slavery
immigrants in Kansas. The name was inspired by the comments and activities
of the abolitionist New England minister Henry Ward X, of whom it was
written: “He believed that the Sharps Rifle was a truly moral agency, and that
there was more moral power in one of those instruments, so far as the
slaveholders of Kansas were concerned, than in a hundred Bibles.”
X himself contributed funds for the purchase of Sharps carbines and, after
the interception of shipments by pro-slavery men, is said to have issued
bibles and carbines to individual abolitionists bound for Kansas.
What was Henry Ward’s surname, which we may know owing to his more
famous sibling? (or) Who was his sibling?
Josh Herdman began his MMA career on 23 April 2016 in Romford
with a decision win over Janusz Walachowski.
He said, "I chose MMA because I love the sport. It's raw, exciting and
unpredictable. I find it more interesting than boxing although I
appreciate the beauty and art in boxing. It also made sense to move
onto MMA because of my jujitsu training. I would like a few amateur
fights first to get me started and where it goes from there, who
However, the world knows Herdman for something else altogether. In
what context did we see Herdman from 2001-2011?
Played Gregory Goyle in the Harry Potter films
In 2009, when she was given a lifetime achievement award, it was rather
conservatively estimated that she had generated $10 million for the local
economy. A postage stamp featuring her was also brought out a few
years ago. Her children are now well established, and some of them are
expected to carry on her legacy.
In the sunset of her life, she was provided with a lot of assistance for her
daily routines and while this faced flak, it was deemed to be necessary.
After her passing last year, she was cremated in observance with
traditional Hindu rituals in a public ceremony.
Who was this?
Akira is a 1988 science fiction anime film which depicts a
dystopian, cyberpunk-based future. It is set against the
backdrop of something, which is now an assured certainty with
several commentators claiming that Akira had predicted it
In a trailer for the film, a sign outside a particular site reads:
“147 Days Until the ______ ________.” Under that, it reads, “With
everyone’s effort, let’s make this a success.”
What did Akira predict, which became a reality on September
La Vie Claire was a professional road bicycle racing team
active from 1984-1991. Their jersey design is considered
one of the most memorable jerseys in cycling and was
originally designed by Benetton.
What/who inspired the design of the jersey?
Karel Čapek introduced and made popular this word, in his play in
1920. While it is frequently thought that he came up with it, he wrote a
letter in reference to an article on etymological origins, in which he
named his brother, Josef as its actual inventor.
In a later article, he also explained that he had originally wanted to call
the creatures in his play, laboři (from Latin labor, work). However, he
did not like the word, seeing it as too artificial, and then sought advice
from his brother. The word literally means "serf labour", and figuratively
"drudgery" or "hard work" in Czech.
What word was thus coined?
Ricarimpex is a French company which was the first to request and receive
a Food and Drug Administration clearance to market an age-old ‘medical
device’ in the United States.
Under the law, a medical device is any article designed to diagnose, cure,
treat, prevent, or mitigate a disease or condition; or to affect the function
or structure of the body that does not achieve its effect primarily through a
chemical action and is not metabolized.
While granting the approval, the FDA noted that the ‘devices’ were used in
medicine throughout the world as tools in skin grafts and reattachment
What does the company supply to hospitals and clinics?
Frenchman Louis Réard debuted his creation in Paris on July 5, 1946 and
named the “four triangles of nothing” after a location where something had
begun a few days before. This rather bold marketing ploy led to it receiving
The inspiration for his creation’s name is part of a larger entity, which has been
a United Nations member state since 1991. Incidentally, Réard’s creation
violates certain modern customs of the entity itself and you would only see it
today in restricted-access locations at private resorts over there or on United
States government facilities in the region.
a) What was this creation?
b) Which entity is being spoken of?
The word comes from "Old _______," which was the nickname sailors gave
to Admiral Vernon, the commander in chief of the West Indies. Back then,
British sailors used to have a daily allowance of rum. In 1740, flushed from
victory at Porto Bello, Vernon ordered that the rum be watered down.
This concoction of rum, water and citrus juice was also adopted by the
U.S. Navy as a way to make stagnant water more palatable and to fight
What is the word, which has now come to mean someone who is dazed,
weak, or unsteady?
To ________ while on a ship meant to soak and rinse an empty cask in
water. Sailors who needed more alcohol than their allotted ration would
drink the ________ water from rum casks in hopes that it would contain at
least a few drops of booze.
It also caused the wood to absorb water, and over time, is now attributed
to those who can absorb heavy units over short periods of time.
What’s the good word?
Recent research suggests that, by thinking about death so often, the
residents of this country may be on to something. One reason they think
about it so often is that it is all around them. For a small nation, it offers
many ways to die. You can meet your demise on the winding, treacherous
roads. You can be mauled by a bear; eat poisonous mushrooms; or die of
exposure. Another reason could be attributed to its deeply felt religious
a) What country is this, where one is expected to think about death five
times a day?
b) Which innovative policy/philosophy, introduced in 1972 is it known for,
which focuses on non-economic aspects of wellbeing such as resilience and
In 1998, X, then 71, was taking a tour of Barbados along with the Prime Minister Owen
Arthur. Suddenly, all the cars and media were asked to divert towards a cricket pitch. X
took up a bat and asked the PM to bowl. He was utterly foxed by the bouncing ball and
asked Arthur to deliver it chest-high instead. Arthur did, and X duly clobbered a shot
down the ground. X then decided to try bowling. He had been pitcher a when he was
studying and much as Arthur tried to appeal, X insisted on throwing the ball in on the
full. “Like his life,” eyewitness added, “he played the game but with his rules.”
X’s government suddenly decided that there might be something to be gained from
playing cricket after all, which led to a Cricket Commission being set up in his country
and saw the development of a grassroots programme. Today, there are 1,150 registered
players across six provinces.
a) Who was X?
b) Which unlikely country took to playing cricket because of this?
Just how chic it once was can be judged by the fact that a US Olympic gold
medallist was a lifeguard here. He'd won three gold medals at the Paris and
Amsterdam Olympics, after which he chose to spend a season here giving
swimming lessons and rescuing bathers in distress.
The rowing machines and punchballs here meanwhile, helped him stay in the
right shape to land something iconic a couple of years later. The place was
closed in 1989, after the city decided to replace it with a new housing
development, but was saved from destruction after protests from local
associations and was re-opened in 2014.
a) Who was the American, and what iconic role did he land?
b) In what context did this place enter popular consciousness in 2001, and 2012?
31. b. He trained at the Piscine Molitor,
which we saw/read about in Life of Pi
Jeanne Louise Calment, a resident of Arles in France became internationally
famous in 1988 when the centenary of X's visit there provided an occasion for
reporters to meet her. She told them that she had met X in her uncle's shop,
where he wanted to buy some canvas, later describing him as "dirty, badly
dressed and disagreeable", and "very ugly, ungracious, impolite, sick".
X himself was diagnosed to have "acute mania with generalised delirium“ and
spent time at Arles between hospital and home suffering from hallucinations
and delusions that he was being poisoned. Hospital at Arles is the subject of
two paintings that he made of the hospital in which he stayed in, at that time.
a) What Guinness World Record is attributed to Calment?
b) Who was X?
32. a. Longest confirmed human lifespan/oldest