Are You a Pub Trivia Master?


By: Torrance Grey

6 Min Quiz

Image: youtube

About This Quiz

We know you! You're that person who dreams of someday being on "Jeopardy," and who lives for that night of the week when you can sit around with friends, over beers, sharpening your skills at pub trivia night. You're the one who knows that a group of crows is called a "murder," that Stanton Delaplane introduced Irish coffee to America, and that the roadrunner is, technically speaking, a cuckoo. 

You're probably used to the question "How on earth do you know all this stuff?" But you've just got the kind of brain to which facts stick to, a brain seemingly lined with flypaper. Once you get into the trivia frame of mind, you realize that new knowledge can be found anywhere, not just in a classroom or a library. Every day, everywhere you go, you're learning new things about the world. 

And because we get you, we've made this 35-question quiz to let you show off your trivia chops -- or, possibly, learn something you didn't already know. There are six categories: History, Literature, Science, Technology, Entertainment, and Food & Drink; the category will be listed at the beginning of the question. They'll start fairly easy and get harder as you go along. Good luck -- but, being you, you probably don't need it!

Geography: For whom is Paris' airport named?

Charles de Gaulle was France's leader during the Cold War era. The airport is about the 11th to 12th busiest airport in the world.


Literature: Which of these is NOT a Hemingway novel?

"Tender is the Night" was the name of F. Scott Fitzgerald's final complete novel. Fitzgerald and Hemingway were contemporaries in the literary scene of the 1920s and '30s. Their relationship might best be described by the millennial term, "frenemies."


Entertainment: In "Back to the Future," what kind of car becomes a time machine?

The DeLorean Motor Company only made one model of car, the DMC-12. It was immortalized in "Back to the Future," in which an incredulous Michael J. Fox spoke for all of us: "You made a time machine? Out of a DeLorean?"


Science: A plant that grows toward sunlight is called _______.

"Photo" is from the Greek for "light," while "tropos" refers to movement. "Photosynthesis," meanwhile, is the process whereby plants make energy from sunlight.


Literature: Petrarchan, Spenserian and Shakespearean are forms of what kind of poem?

The sonnet was an Italian form brought to England by Thomas Wyatt. However, it was William Shakespeare who truly made the form his own.


History: The Vietnam War ended with the fall of which city?

When the People's Army of North Vietnam seized the capital of South Vietnam, the war was essentially over. Vietnam is now unified under a Communist government, unlike Korea, which remains divided and on a potential war footing to this day.


History: What did the US government's Project Blue Book study?

Project Blue Book was carried out from 1952 to 1969, and attempted to discover if any UFO sightings were truly extraterrestrial in origins, and if so, if they were a threat to national security. Nearly all sightings were explained as conventional phenomena, but a few remain unexplained.


Food & Drink: What city is home to the first Starbucks store?

Love it or hate it, Starbucks was instrumental in the "third wave" coffee boom that made gourmet takeout coffee a thing. The first store, though, opened in Seattle in 1971, long before the gourmet coffee boom.


Literature: Which of these is NOT a Jane Austen novel?

"Jane Eyre" was written by Charlotte Bronte. The other three novels are by Austen, whose most famous work is "Pride and Prejudice."


History: The Catholic Church's "Society of Jesus" are priests better known by what name?

The Jesuits are one of the best known societies of Catholic priests. When a Hollywood screenwriter wants to create a smart, tough priest character, it's usually a Jesuit.


Food & Drink: "Reposado" and "Anejo" are types of which kind of alcoholic drink?

These terms refer to the length of time the tequila has been aged. "Reposado" is "rested," meaning for at least two months. "Anejo" is superior, having been aged at least a year.


Geography: Which Canadian province is named "New Scotland" in Latin?

Nova Scotia is part of Atlantic Canada; the name is from Latin. In an odd coincidence, Scotland's own name for itself in Scottish Gaelic was "Alba," which, in turn, is Latin for "white."


History: Which of these was the husband of Queen Elizabeth I?

Queen Elizabeth I is famously known as "the Virgin Queen." However, she did have an awfully close relationship with Dudley, about which historians and fiction writers have speculated.


Technology: Hacker group Anonymous uses masks representing which historical figure?

Even if you didn't know the name, you surely know the face. The supercilious, smirking mask is an excellent choice for a group that prides itself on knowing everything and being one step ahead of its pursuers.


Science: The "DSM-5" is used in which field?

The name is short for "The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders." The "5" represents the fifth edition. This book, commonly used in diagnosing mental illness, is updated as psychiatric diseases become better understood.


History: What was the flight number of the Korean Air plane shot down in 1983?

The Russians shot the plane down after it strayed into restricted airspace, suspecting it of being a spy craft. This made the flight number, to some, very suspicious. To this day, some conspiracy theorists believe that the plane really was spying for the CIA, and that flight was chosen because of James Bond, "Agent 007."


Science: In what field would you hear about "supersymmetry" and "the multiverse"?

These are two competing models of the universe -- well, more than the universe, as the name "multiverse" implies -- in quantum physics. For an excellent overview of the search for an answer, try the move "Particle Fever," about physicists at CERN and their work.


Animals: What is the name for a group of porcupines?

This is obviously an informal name, not having anything to do with official taxonomy. Other "group" names include a "shrewdness of apes" and a "tower of giraffes."


Geography: Which river divides the city of Seoul?

The Han River was the scene of a war atrocity in the Korean conflict. Thousands of refugees from the North were crossing when the U.N.-backed South Korean military blew up the Hangang Bridge without warning;. More than 800 people were killed.


Animals: Which of these anatomical oddities do octopuses have?

The octopus is one of the odder creatures on Earth. Eight arms, three hearts, and a very high intelligence level for an invertebrate of its size.


Entertainment: In which of these films did Tom Hanks NOT appear?

Hanks, a native of the mostly working-class town of Concord, Calif., has an incredibly long filmography. He still took time off to charm the world by clowning around in the music video for Carly Rae Jepsen's, "I Really Like You."


Food & Drink: Which of these might you "julienne"?

This means to cut into a long, thin shape. The classic shape of a shoetsring French fry is a julienned shape.


Geography: Which of these US states is home to a palace that actually served a king and queen?

Hawaii was the last state to join the Union, in the 1950s. It is home to 'Iolani Palace, which served the Kamehameha Dynasty, the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii into the 20th century.


History: Who fought the Wars of the Roses?

This civil conflict in the 15th century was named for two competing noble houses. The Plantagenets used a red rose as their symbol; the House of York had a white rose.


Entertainment: Which of these is a classic film about a traveling salesman and a killer semi truck?

Steven Spielberg directed the movie. Dennis Weaver played the Plymouth-Valiant-driving salesman menaced by a semi truck. The movie's most effective technique is never showing the driver of the truck at all, leaving his motivations completely unknown.


Animals: Which of these can survive in the vacuum of space?

If you haven't seen a picture yet, look it up. With their perfectly round mouths and the geometric folds of their bodies, these creatures look something invented by the Lucasfilm creature shop.


Entertainment: Which comedian made and starred in the film "The Invention of Lying"?

Gervais, like Bill Maher, is an outspoken atheist. His film, about a world where lies don't exist -- until one man discovers the ability -- starts out as a series of hilarious set pieces, but then turns into a critique of religion.


Literature: Octavia Butler wrote in which genre?

Black writers are underrepresented in science fiction. But Butler was a giant, winning both the Hugo and Nebula awards.


History: How many gallons of oil did the Exxon Valdez spill into Prince William Sound?

The Valdez spill is considered the second-worst in history (after only the Deepwater Horizon release). But the widespread story that the ship's captain was drunk at the helm is not true. He was off-duty and sleeping, while a third mate was in charge.


Science: Bill Nye is probably the world's best-known science communicator. In what subject does he hold a degree?

Neil deGrasse Tyson is the astrophysicist. Nye graduated from Cornell University with a degree in mechanical engineering and worked for Boeing before branching out into comedy, then educational television, and finally, high-profile science advocacy.


History: Which of these Communist leaders was born Saloth Sar?

Pol Pot, born Saloth Sar, was the Cambodian leader who, though educated in Paris and fluent in French, led a purge of all things Westerm, modern or intellectual during his rule. The desire of Pol Pot and his inner circle to see Cambodia return to a simple farmer's paradise instead plunged the country into famine. That, and the torture-murders of perceived Western sympathizers, cost millions of Cambodian lives.


Food & Drink: With what is gin flavored?

Unlike vodka, gin is not considered flavorless. It's the juniper berry that gives the clear liquor its flavor.


Technology: Jack Dorsey is the co-founder of which social media platform?

Dorsey is also the co-founder of Square, a mobile-payments business. But he'll probably always be best known for Twitter, the universally-popular communications tool.


Animals: What is the name for a bird with toes, that clutches branches?

This differentiates them from web-footed birds, which are usually seabirds. There are more than 6,000 species of passerines.


Technology: Which of these is NOT a programming language?

TinyURL is a useful website where you can turn a lengthy web address into a smaller one. Even better, the addresses don't expire.


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