Quizzes The Pragati Quiz

Martini, Shaken Not Stirred

This is the 14th installment of The Pragati Quiz, our weekly dose of stimulation for readers who are curious about the world.


(Answers at the bottom.)

  1. In 1941, the Government of an African country donated £100,000 to Lord Linlithgow, the Viceroy of India, in recognition of the sacrifices of Indian troops in WWII for the liberation of their country. Part of this money was used to build this iconic structure that serves as the administrative headquarters of a well-known institution located near Pune. Name the structure and the institution.
  2. Operation Urgent Fury in 1983 lasted about three days and saw 7000 US soldiers winning 8612 medals, while sustaining total casualties of 19 killed and 116 wounded. What was this operation about?
  3. For a lavish banquet held in honour of the Duc de Richelieu who had taken the port of Mahon, capital of Minorca, from the British, the chef was unable to find any suitable cream. He improvised with an emulsion of lemon juice, olive oil and egg yolk flavoured with raw garlic, and created what?
  4. Which oft-repeated phrase from the W B Yeats poem The Second Coming did Chinua Achebe use as the title of his highly influential 1958 novel on the arrival of the colonizing British at Nigeria?
  5. What are these springbok and others doing? This behaviour is common among antelopes and gazelles — why do they do it?
  6. Whose biography is this? If it helps, the adjoining Google Doodle appeared on December 14, 2016 marking the 105th anniversary of his greatest achievement.
  7. There are two countries in the world that are named after their current ruling dynasties. The first is Saudi Arabia, named after al-Saud, or the House of Saud. Which is the other?
  8. Also the name of a well-regarded English rock band formed in 1969, which two-word name used for a person who “pretends to show great respect but is not sincere”, comes from a self-professed “humble” character in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield?
  9. From Mahatma Gandhi’s famous Quit India speech on August 8, 1942:”…Then there is the sacred memory of X which wells up within me. At this moment the spirit of X hovers about me. For me he sums up the brightest traditions of English culture. I enjoyed closer relations with him than with most Indians. I enjoyed his confidence. There were no secrets between us. We exchanged our hearts every day. Whatever was in his heart, he would blurt out without the slightest hesitation or reservation…”Identify X, a close friend and associate of Mahatma Gandhi.
  10. The traditional name for the area shaded in red does not come from the Spanish for “little fly”, but from a kingdom of a similar name founded by slaves who rebelled and sank the ship carrying them near Cape Gracias a Dios. What is it called?
  11. These members of the superfamily Paguroidea periodically get into a huddle like this. For what specific purpose?
  12. The men’s discus throw at the first modern Summer Olympics at Athens in 1896 was a revival of an Ancient Olympics event. Many of the competitors had never thrown a discus before, as the event had never been held at an international competition. How did they train and practice for the event?
  13. What is special about the F and J keys on a QWERTY keyboard?
  14. While the word might remind one of standard labels on industrial equipment, it is also used to refer to phrases that are “a standard way of saying something and therefore often used,” and hence for standardised clauses in contracts?
  15. The entire editorial content of the August 31, 1946 issue of the New Yorker magazine was just one article, considered a landmark in journalism. It was written by John Hersey, and related the stories of six people. What was the article titled, and what was its subject?
  16. It is named after the Roman goddess of youth, also identified with the Greek Hebe. Its popular surname is a joking or ironic reference to this, as it means the exact opposite. In Italian, they are often called the bianconeri, for obvious reasons. Who, and what nickname?
  17. This is Dubrovnik, a Croatian city on the Adriatic, and a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Where have most of us seen this ancient fortified city?
  18. This symbol was used by the Forward Bloc (Ruikar group) in the 1951 elections though it looked slightly different, while the Akali Dal used it in the 1961 elections. Which symbol, and who uses it today?
  19. From Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species:”I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term Natural Selection, in order to mark its relation to man’s power of selection. But the expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the __ __ __ __ is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient.”While the blanked-out term is often associated with Charles Darwin, it was first used by the English philosopher and biologist Herbert Spencer in 1864. What?
  20. When the Mahindra Navistar was launched in 2011, the company took a potshot at its main rival Tata with this ad. Which word has been blanked out twice in this ad?



  1. Sudan Block is the administrative HQ of the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla.
  2. US Invasion of Grenada
  3. Mayonnaise, named after Mahon
  4. Things Fall Apart
  5. It is called pronking or stotting.It is a way to signal to watching predators that the animal is fit and healthy and therefore would be difficult to catch.
  6. Roald Amundsen and his conquest of the South Pole
  7. Liechtenstein, after the House of Liechtenstein
  8. Uriah Heep
  9. Charles Freer Andrews, called “Deenabandhu”
  10. The Mosquito Coast is named not after the mosquito insect but after the Miskito kingdom and people.
  11. The Hermit crab “shell exchange” program — These crabs periodically outgrow their borrowed shells, so they huddle up and exchange their shells. Of course the biggest specimens have to find an entirely new one.
  12. By studying the pose of the famous classical statue Discobolus by Myron
  13. They have raised projections to enable visually-challenged people to place their hands properly before starting to type.
  14. Boilerplate
  15. Hiroshima narrated the stories of six survivors of the atom bomb. The cover was deliberately misleading to keep the contents a secret.
  16. Juventus, the “Old Lady” (La Vecchia Signora) of Turin. Bianconeri refers to their black-and-white jerseys.
  17. King’s Landing from the TV series Game of Thrones was largely shot in Dubrovnik.
  18. The ‘Hand’ symbol of the INC
  19. Survival of the Fittest
  20. OK.The line is a reference to the ‘OK Tata’ stickers and signs on Indian trucks.



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.