Quizzes The Pragati Quiz

The Editor and the Blank Page

This is the 10th installment of The Pragati Quiz, our weekly dose of stimulation for readers who are curious about the world.


(Answers at the bottom.)

1. On 15th August 1947, which newspaper editor left his first page blank as a mark of protest against the Partition of the country?

2. According to popular legend, Elizabeth Foster married Isaac _____ in 1693 and died in Boston at age 92. Between them and their earlier marriages, the couple had 16 children. Elizabeth’s best known collection of songs and jingles was published only in 1716, and probably helped in managing the family.

Give us the married surname she is known by.

3. The chemical element with the highest atomic number discovered so far is Oganesson (Og), no 119. It is named after the nuclear physicist Yuri Oganessian, who has played a leading role in the discovery of the heaviest elements in the periodic table.

Where is Oganesson located in the periodic table, which led to the slight tweaking of how its name is spelt?

4. This is the common name of a type of popular retail outlet. It is a shortened form that reminds us that these places were created to serve the common people, as opposed to being the exclusive preserve of the rich or the privileged.

Which name, and how has it been shortened?

5. Whose singing voice do we hear in this clip?

6. The word X originated in 1867 as a province or first-level administrative division of the Ottoman Empire as shown – such as the X of the Danube or the X of Crete or the X of Tripolitana. It got its name from the Arabic word meaning ‘to govern.’

In Malaysia or Indonesia, X is still used to mean ‘state’ or ‘territory.’ The British turned it into a slang term for their home nation, via Hindi.

What word?

7. On Sunday, July 25, 1965, he ended his performance with It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue. The response from the crowd was mixed – some applauded while others booed. It was said that he “electrified one half of his audience, and electrocuted the other.”

He did not return to the venue for 37 years and when he did in 2002, he played an acoustic version of Roving Gambler.

Who and where?

8. Have a good look, and name this sporting trophy. To whom is it awarded?

9. Only three people ever have visited a certain place that holds a Guinness World Record – the two on the left went together in 1960, while the person on the right did it alone in 2012. Which place?

10. A game of polo is typically played over six chukkers. If at the end of the game the scores are tied, additional chukkers are played until sudden death is employed.

What else is done to ensure a quick result? This action is now a phrase in the language, one that saw a lot of use during the demonetization.

11. What word meaning ‘in-between place’ in French is used in international trade for a place, usually a port, where goods are shipped for limited processing and re-export? Hong Kong is a prime example.

12. US states have their own tourism slogans. For example, Arizona is “The Grand Canyon State.” Which state has the slogan “Unbridled Spirit”, referring to the two things it is most famous for?

13. Before anesthetics were invented, injured soldiers were instructed to do something to help them endure the pain of an operation. This three-word instruction now means “to decide to do something difficult or unpleasant that one has been putting off or hesitating over.”


14. Classification of which sporting ‘birds’ is represented in this table?

15. Literally meaning Black Dragon in Chinese, it gets its name from its characteristic appearance – black, long and curly. The appearance in turn is due to the initial steps of withering under a strong sun, followed by oxidation (which can vary from 8-85%, depending on the type).

What are we talking about?

16. It was originally developed at a secret lab in Harvard University, and got its name from its original gelling agents – co-precipitated aluminium salts of palmitic and naphthenic acids. In practical use, it is mixed with petrol or diesel – its gelling agents enable it to be projected into a solid stream.

What highly-controversial substance are we talking about?

17. He was a French finance minister who in 1759 was forced by France’s credit crisis during the Seven Years’ War to impose severe economic demands upon the French people, particularly the wealthy. Because of his austerity measures, he became synonymous with anything done or made cheaply – and eventually a way of making portraits without expensive sittings or paint was named for him.

Who and what word are we talking about?

18. In the retail business, location is everything, we are told. The restaurants Café Parisien and Verandah Cafe (below) located close to each other worked for a few days and then closed down on the same night.

Where were they located that caused their business to sink so soon?

19. In the current political crisis in Venezuela, nations are busy choosing sides. Cuba is heavily dependent on Venezuelan oil, and has recently declared support for beleaguered President Maduro.

Being under an embargo itself, how does Cuba pay Venezuela for its import of oil?

20. The Casino Beach in southern Brazil is considered the world’s longest uninterrupted beach. The second longest beach is much closer home, comprising a 120 km. stretch with a district HQ and a fishing port, and several spectacular resorts.

Which place?


1. Nathuram Godse – the editor of Hindu Rashtra.

2. Mother Goose, of nursery rhymes fame. Her second husband was Isaac Goose.

3. Oganesson is in Group 18, at the end of period 7, of the periodic table, making it a noble gas. All noble gases except for helium end in –on (like neon, xenon, argon etc.).

4. Pub, shortened from ‘public-house’.

5. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, in Moana.

6. Vilayet/wilaya, which the British turned into Blighty (Ol’ Blighty).

7. Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival – where he infamously ‘went electric’ in 1965.

8. Warne-Muralitharan Trophy, awarded to the winner of the test series between Sri Lanka and Australia.

9. Challenger Deep, the deepest point on the earth’s surface, at the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific, 11,034 m below sea level.

Jacques Piccard and U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh reached the bottom in 1960 aboard the bathyscaphe Trieste, and filmmaker James Cameron went there in 2012 aboard Deepsea Challenger.

10. Shifting or Moving Goalposts – the distance between the goalposts is widened from eight to sixteen yards.

11. Entrepot.

12. Kentucky, for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky bourbon.

13. Bite the bullet.

14. Badminton shuttlecocks.

15. Oolong Tea.

16. Napalm (portmanteau of naphthenic and palmitic acids), the incendiary agent.

17. Etienne de Silhouette, after whom silhouette painting was named.

18. Restaurants on the Titanic – their businesses sank with the ship.

19. Doctors.

Clinics run by Cuban doctors were a signature program of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

20. Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh (near Chittagong).


About the author

Anustup Datta

Anustup Datta lurks in Bangalore, consults for brands for a living, and quizzes to stay sane. Will happily travel to the ends of the world if there’s good food and/or single malt. Has a borderline pathological attachment to his Kindle.