The Pragati Quiz

It’s Quite a Revolution!

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


(Answers at the bottom.)

  1. What possession, that every other British citizen and members of the Royal Family have, does the Queen of England lack?
  2. In honour of Prince of Wales’ (later King Edward VII) arrival in this city in 1876, Maharajah Ram Singh had the entire city painted in a single colour. Whichcity and which colour?
  3. NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Arden recently became only the second leader of a country to give birth while in office. Who was the first?
  4. Appropriately for the world’s largest maker of pianos, this company’s logo comprises three interconnected tuning forks. Which company, which many of us may not associate with music?
  5. In the clip from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Gandalf is explaining the origin of what? Or alternatively, name the goblin king he is talking about. [iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>]
  6. What name is given to the illegal online researching and publication of private personal information about an individual on the internet and on social media, often used for extortion, harassment and, on occasion, for vigilante justice?
  7. Michael Bambang Hartono, one of the hundred richest men in the world (he owns the kretekbrand Djarum), added another feather to his cap by winning a bronze medal at this year’s Asian Games. At age 78, he was also the oldest person to win a medal at the Games. Which “sport” did he compete in?
  8. Consumption of any meat from animals killed in a ritualistic manner (such as halal and kosher meat) is strictly prohibited according to the Rehat Maryada code and conventions of which religion?
  9. In 1993, Pearl Jam had a dispute with concert promotion company Ticketmaster and refused to perform in California venues booked by them. Instead, they went with Goldenvoice, who booked them at the little-known Empire Polo Club in the middle of the Colorado Desert on November 5, 1993, with almost 25,000 fans attending. What did this eventually lead to?
  10. The USA is the largest global arms exporter (USD 33 billion) followed by Russia (USD 25 Billion). But which country has been the largest arms importer, by far, over the last 10 years?
  11. On 12 Feb 1947, the 42-year old Christian Dior presented his first collection at 30 Avenue Montaigne, Paris. Seeing the unique silhouettes, tiny waists and sexy busts, Carmel Snow, the Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, exclaimed, “It’s quite a revolution, Christian! This is such a ___ ____!” She was overheard, and the collection was christened… what?
  12. Which former Prime Minister caused a huge upset by returning to power by unseating the ruling (and his former) Barisan National Party, and becoming in the process, at 91 years of age, the oldest democratically elected head of government in the world?
  13. In explaining the origin of a certain word, the Online Etymological Dictionary notes that ________ was the activity or occupation of most unmarried women before the Industrial Age. What is the word? Or, fill in the blank.
  14. Which industry based in a Western Indian state is one of the country’s top foreign exchange earners but imports 100% of the raw material required?
  15. When Mayim Bialik met with Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, he sought her help to recreate a scene from … what?
  16. The 60 km long Salwa Canal, if built and completed as proposed, will effectively turn which country into an island?
  17. Columbine II, a private plane named after the state flower of Colorado, was flying over Richmond, Virginia in 1954 when Eastern Airlines commercial flight 8610 accidentally entered the same airspace. Which rule change did the resulting confusion lead to?
  18. Which neighborhood of lower Manhattan in New York City (that shares its name with an area in London’s West End) boasts the largest collection of cast-iron buildings in the world?
  19. This kind of cross-country race was originally run from church _______ to church _______ . What is the missing word, whence its name is derived? 
  20. Which is the furthest place from the Greenwich prime meridian that uses the GMT time zone? It might be a little further than you think!

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  1. A British passport
  2. Jaipur – it thus became the Pink City
  3. Benazir Bhutto
  4. Yamaha
  5. How the game of Golf was invented. The name, according to Gandalf, is derived from the beheaded goblin king Golfimbul.
  6. Doxing/Doxxing (It comes from a spelling alteration of the abbreviation “docs” (for “documents”) and refers to “compiling and releasing a dossier of personal information on someone”.)
  7. Bridge (It was introduced in the Asian Games this year.)
  8.  Sikhism
  9. Coachella Festivalat Indio, California
  10. India, estimated to have bought armaments of over USD 100 billion in that period, of which almost two-thirds is imported.
  11. New Look — A Reuters correspondent seized upon the slogan, and a fashion revolution was born.
  12. Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia
  13. Spinster / Spinning
  14. Diamond cutting and polishing, based in Gujarat, and worth some $23 billion annually.
  15. The Big Bang Theory — Ms Bialik plays Amy Farrah Fowler in the show. 
  16. Qatar
  17. Columbine II was President Eisenhower’s plane and had a similar call sign – Air Force 8610. After this, any plane the POTUS was on automatically became Air Force One.
  18. SoHo
  19. Steeple, hence “steeplechase” 
  20. The International Space Station (ISS)
We acknowledge gratefully the contributions of Caleb Liu of the Asian Quiz Championship, Dr Chandrashekhar Rao and the Dubai BrainBuster team, and Quizicians Movin Miranda, Gopal Kidao and Rajiv Rai.

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.