Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hardest Trivia Questions Ever, Part Two



Since my list of the hardest trivia questions ever has become one of the most popular blog posts I've ever done, I thought it was time to do a sequel. Once again these are culled from Wikipedia's "Did You Know" front-page feature, this time during the month of September, 2010. There are many more of these per day, now, so do take a look at the archives.

(Also see the follow-on: Part 3)

15 September 2010


A large, light gray warship bristling with guns sits just offshore; dense black smoke drifts from its three tall funnels.
Q: The German battleship ____ (pictured) engaged the Russian battleship Slava during the Battle of the Gulf of Riga during World War I
A: SMS Braunschweig



Q: Italian tenor ____ began his professional operatic singing career in 1898 performing in Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, but as a baritone?
A: Nicola Zerola
Q: Movie and music star, ____ was a key backer in the development of Longitudinal Video Recording in the 1950s?A: Bing Crosby
Q: ____ was the Finance Minister when Pakistan conducted its 1998 nuclear tests, and the Foreign Minister of Pakistan during the Kargil War with India in 1999?
A: Sartaj Aziz
Q: Unlike other Eocene crocodilians found in Zamora, Spain, the extinct genus ____ was primarily a fish eater?
A: Duerosuchus
Q: The ____ hotel in Central Java, Indonesia, is built from local limestone?
A: Amanjiwo
Q: In his first two games as a starter, ____ achieved the two highest single-game total offense totals in Michigan Wolverines history—and did so with his shoes untied?
A: Denard "Shoelace" Robinson
Q: ____ is the fifth largest tobacco market (tobacco factory pictured) in the world, and in 2008 over 165 billion cigarettes were sold there?
A: Indonesia
Q: ____, one of three partners in Jacoby & Meyers, had her prenuptial agreement with attorney Ralph Brill invalidated, with Koff granted 65% of marital assets?
A: Gail Koff
Q: The Indian film ____ marked the singing debut of Sanchita Bhattyacharya in the Hindi cinema industry?
A: Mithya
Q: English minister ____ was accused of antinomianism by his congregation in Truro, and that even his wife withdrew her financial support of his ministry?
A: Samuel Eyles Pierce
Q: Interior designer ____ is responsible for the 2010 makeover of the Oval Office at the White House?A: Michael S. Smith
Q: The ____ located in Clyde, New South Wales, is Australia's longest operating oil refinery?
A: Clyde Refinery
Q: At 354 metres (1,161 ft) long and 60 metres (200 ft) high, the ____ carries the Croatian A1 motorway across a flash flood gully?
A: Dabar Bridge
Q: The brothers ____ and ____ overthrew their father, the Byzantine emperor Romanos I Lekapenos, only to be themselves removed from power by Constantine VII after a few weeks?
A stone drum on a stepped base below a tapering section, then a decorated box, then a cross. Around the drum are arched panels with carved writing. It stands in front of trees, some of whose branches partly obscure the decorated box. To the right is a gravestone.A: Stephen and Constantine Lekapenos
Q: Tsar ____ had a monument (pictured) erected in an English churchyard to commemorate Finnish prisoners of war whose story inspired a 2007 opera?
A: Alexander II of Russia
Q: Fullback ____ became Michigan's all-time leader in rushing attempts while playing for teams that finished 30–1–1 from 1971 to 1973?
A: Ed Shuttlesworth
Q: The Italian operatic tenor ____ founded the Royal Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen?
A: Giuseppe Siboni
Q: In the Norwegian 1906 election second round of voting, ____ was endorsed by the Liberal Party, which he left in 1897 together with Christopher Hornsrud?
A: Torgeir Vraa
Q: The Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service's first tests at dropping torpedoes from aircraft were carried out with ____ floatplanes?
A: Marinens Flyvebaatfabrikk M.F.3
Q: Former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives ____ has nearly died four times, surviving a black widow bite, a sinking boat, a plane crash, and a bad case of Hashimoto's thyroiditis?
A blue 2006 Mini Cooper S CheckmateA: Ralph Haben
Q: BMW advertising executive ____ convinced the company to market the Mini (pictured) in the U.S., despite concerns that American buyers would not buy cars that small given the popularity of SUVs?
A: Jack Pitney
Q: The Mesa Oil Field is within the ____ formations, which together form the second-most-prolific oil-producing geologic unit in Southern California?
A: Sespe and Vaqueros
Q: ____ of Gjøvik, with 40 years of total mayoral service, is the longest-sitting mayor in any Norwegian municipality?
A: Niels Ødegaard
Q: The Brazilian ironclad ____ struck two mines on 2 September 1866, during the War of the Triple Alliance, and sank instantly with the loss of 53 of her crew?
A: Rio de Janeiro
Q: 39.2% of Schenectady, New York's ____ neighborhood is zoned industrial, but excluding the General Electric plant it is only 1%?
A: Bellevue
Q: The cat statues atop the ____ house in Riga have their backside with raised tails turned to the house of the Great Guild to seek retribution?
A: Cat House
Q: One species of the extinct wasp ____ fed caterpillars to its larvae?
A: Palaeovespa
Q: When asked his profession in testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, poet ____ responded, "I am a gardener. I do underground work on plants"?
A: George Hitchcock

14 September 2010


A two-story gray wooden house with light green shutters seen in winter, with snow on the ground. A long wing with two brick chimneys projects towards the left from a higher rear section. At lower right is a black mailbox with "5Ave" on it next to a clear paved driveway.Q: The house (pictured) in Danbury, Connecticut, where ____ was born has been moved twice to allow local banks to expand their buildings?
A: Charles Ives
Q: Mexico City's first formal horse racing track was built in ____, in the Cuauhtémoc borough?
A: Colonia Exhipódromo de Peralvillo
Q: Oregon cattle baron ____ was murdered near the Sod House Ranch in 1897?
A: Peter French
Q: Italian operatic soprano ____ portrayed Gilda in the UK premiere of Verdi's Rigoletto and Lady Macbeth in the US premiere of Verdi's Macbeth?
A: Angiolina Bosio
... that the proposed design of the Albany Convention Center in Albany, New York, includes saving the city's oldest building, which was built in 1728?
Q: ____, the first game warden at Yellowstone National Park, once roped an unruly bear and spanked the animal on its behind?
A: Charles "Buffalo" Jones


Feng Jia Wei and a friend at the Beijing Stars and Rain School

Q: ____ is a documentary about the Beijing Stars and Rain School (pictured), founded in 1993 as the first non-governmental educational organization in China dedicated to serving children with autism?
A: Children of the Stars
Q: ____ rates teacher performance by comparing prior and current year student test scores and can be used to award bonuses to top performers and fire those with the lowest ratings?
A: value-added modeling
Q: Venezuelan farmer ____ amputated a finger for the television cameras when a court ruled against him?
A: Franklin Brito
Q: Adolphus Frederick VI, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg had two sons with his mistress, the Berlin Opera star ____?
A: Mafalda Salvatini
Q: The missing wife of ____ was discovered in a suitcase that surfaced after the 2007 Peru earthquake?
A: William Trickett Smith II


Torre Mayor in Mexico City

Q: While home to skyscrapers, such as the Torre Mayor (pictured) and the Mexican headquarters of HSBC, ____, in Mexico City, is primarily residential?
A: Colonia Cuauhtémoc
Q: The ____ was the first British trawler to be sunk in World War II?
A: Davara
Q: ____ is the largest construction company in Romania?
A: Romstrade
Q: After the U.S. Supreme Court legalized the practice in the 1977 case Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, the law firm of ____ was the first in the United States to advertise on television?
A: Jacoby & Meyers
Q: After a 15-year career as a principal with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, ____ moved to musicals, including in the original cast of The Phantom of the Opera?
A: Peggy Ann Jones
Q: Every round-robin tournament either has a set of players who win all games against players outside the set, or its graph of wins and losses is ____, having directed cycles of all lengths?
A: pancyclic
Q: As president of U.S. Trust, ____ classified clients with less than $300,000 in assets as "poor", but was willing to have staff walk a dog for those with assets exceeding $2 million?
A: Daniel P. Davison
Sailors taking a reading

Q: Artist N.C. Wyeth named his Maine home after Winslow Homer's 1886 painting ____ (pictured)?
A: Eight Bells
Q: Contralto ____ performed the title role of Antonio Vivaldi's 1727 opera Orlando furioso at the Frankfurt Opera, staged as a rocker?
A: Sonia Prina
Q: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in ____ that the use of the word "blackmail" in an article by reporter Dorothy Sucher did not constitute libel?
A: Greenbelt Cooperative Publishing Assn., Inc. v. Bresler
Q: ____ won the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament and National Basketball League championship in back-to-back seasons?
A: Gene Englund
Q: The 2008 thriller ____ is the feature film debut of Spanish television director Guillermo Fernández Groizard?
A: Proyecto Dos
Q: The village of South Salem, Ohio, was founded to serve the needs of the ____?
A: Salem Academy
Q: Italian castrato ____ performed at the wedding of Anne, Princess Royal and William IV, Prince of Orange in London, 1734?
A: Carlo Scalzi
Q: The ____ in Wandsworth Common, London, was once the world's largest refracting telescope?
A: Craig telescope