Tuesday, 9 June 2009

It's not rocket science

There used to be a big deal made about "stupidly easy quizzes". There was at least one children's TV show that gave away huge prizes for being able to answer questions like, "who wrote Beethoven's 5th symphony" or, "what is the name of the suspension bridge in Clifton".

One of the funnier moments came when a teenage girl was asked, "what is the main ingredient in tomato ketchup?". She hesitated for a moment and then said, "pass". At the end, the host was laughing at her inability to give the correct answer of "tomatoes".

The main ingredient by weight in tomato ketchup is sugar.

In a dull moment during GCSE biology (and my God, there were a lot of those), I came up with what I thought was the ultimate version of this: why not treat these questions as if they were being used in Mastermind. It needed a new name; something which starts out seeming clever but gets less and less amusing each time you use it. I settled on Wastermind, and if you pronounce it correctly you see that it fulfils both of my requirements.

I only ever came up with the questions for one specialist subject, so I present them for you now:

Specialist subject - questions which all have "fish" as the answer:
  1. What kind of creature is a trout?
  2. One of the most popular British takeaways is what and chips?
  3. What would you keep in an aquarium?
  4. What does footballer Steve Guppy's surname make him sound like?
  5. What English word is spelled F-I-S-H?
  6. What is the odd one out?
  7. Jesus is said to have fed a large number of people with just two items of food. One was loaves of bread. What was the other?
  8. What type of creature can be gold, star or cat?
  9. A popular TV weather presenter was Michael who?
  10. What do anglers expect to catch?
  11. What prefix completes these words?
    -ing boat
  12. What suffix should be added to sel- to give a word meaning the opposite of selfless?
And so on.

Well, (and that was one heck of a preamble) it seems that Farcebook is getting in on the act too. Recently, something not dissimilar to the following appeared in my news feed:
Twatty McMoron has taken the "What's your birthday month?" test, and the result is "April".
How many questions did they have to answer to find that out?

'Kin hell...

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