Note: The answers are in the comments.
Sometimes the best ideas are ones you don’t come up with yourself! Several years ago, a dear friend named Archie (who sadly died in 2019) held a birthday party in his Ypsilanti, MI home in which he invited a few friends for drinks…and trivia! He wrote a set of his own trivia questions -about topics which he loved (such as U of M football, science, music, math, candy and more). Not surprisingly considering what a big U of M fan he was, most of the questions were about U of M football!
As a testimonial to what a big hearted guy he was, he had just the right words when he revealed how we did on the questions – he informed me that I had the highest score out of everyone (besides his “football buddies).”
And with that, he planted the seeds for me to do the same thing for my birthday in 2016, when I gathered a group of friends and family at a local bar and quizzed them about “my” topics. As a nod to Archie having provided the idea, I offered him the chance to either take my trivia quiz – or be the master of ceremonies and ask the questions. He agreed to be the master of ceremonies – a job he performed for my birthday in 2016 and 2017.
I haven’t had a “live” trivia get-together since, though I still write the questions and share them here with my closest trivia “comrades.” In 2020, I met with a few friends at a local pub on my birthday and we played some “Buzztime” trivia. This year, I’m not really doing anything social for my birthday, at least not in person. My husband and I will be getting some takeout food from a local bar/restaurant Thursday, and some takeout pizza from an Ann Arbor pizzeria Friday (they have curbside pickup…woot)! Yes, I’m a little bummed about not being able to safely meet with friends/family, but someday…someday! I’m very, very patient.
I have a couple of virtual trivia events planned around my birthday – a regular virtual game Thursday night, and a “no holds barred, you can use anything to look up the answers” trivia game on Saturday. I have no idea what to expect from this game, it’s definitely new territory! But when it comes to trivia, I’ll try anything once (wink-wink)!
And without further ado, the questions (please note that very few – if any – of these questions are about me). They are about some of my favorite topics!
1. Presidential Pets -Which 20th century U.S. president kept raccoons named Reuben and Rebecca as pets?
2. Provinces – Name all four of the Canadian “Maritime” provinces. For a bonus point, name at least one capital of those provinces.
3. Old Timey Job Titles – If you are a “scullery maid,” what duties are you most likely to perform on a daily basis? Multiple choice – A. Tending to the parlors (such as dusting, stoking fires, etc.), B. Sewing C. Dishes/Dirty kitchen work or D. Pastry baking
4. Film Series – A “prequel” to what film series – starring Ralph Fiennes and Gemma Arterton is slated to be released during the summer of 2021 (after a couple of COVID-related delays)?
5. Obscure Words – A “Spaghetto” is what? A. Singular word for a spaghetti noodle B. Gadget used for measuring pasta for cooking C. Vito Corleone’s illegitimate son in The Godfather mentioned in the books but not in the films D. A special pasta cooking pot commonly used in Italy
6. Composers – Which composer, best known for his work on Peanuts cartoons, died shortly after finishing composing “It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown?”
7. Animals – Which animal, which is about the size of a house cat and is known for its distinctive facial markings and ringed tail – popular in many zoos in the U.S. and the rest of the world, is known by the scientific name Ailurus fulgens?
8. Actresses – Which American actress played singer/performer Judy Garland in the 2019 biopic Judy? She received the Academy Award for best actress in this film.
9. World Leaders – Which Soviet premier was known for the phrase “We will bury you?”
10. World Leaders Part Deux – Name at least two of King Henry VIII’s six wives (full names required).
11. Sequels – Which 1999 rom-com starring Rachael Leigh Cook and Freddie Prinze Jr. will be getting a gender-swapped remake?
12. Spooky Places – What is the more common name – which describes a macabre common activity occurring there by some of its visitors – of the Japanese forest known to locals as Aokigahara?
13. Halls of Fame – Name one of the two performers inducted posthumously into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2020.
14. Composers Part Deux – Composer Angelo Badalamenti is best known for his work on the TV series and films produced by and or directed by what man – whose credits include Eraserhead, The Elephant Man and Blue Velvet (among many others)? Note – this composer did not necessarily work on all of these films.
15. Cooking Terms – The French term “sous vide” refers to cooking meats in what fashion? Multiple choice – A. searing B. using a water bath C. pan frying D. poaching
16. Infamous People – What music producer inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and convicted murderer died January 16, 2021?
17. Cities – The location of Port Royal, known for its heavy privateer activity in the 16th and 17th centuries and for at one time being the largest town in the Caribbean – is in what modern day country?
18. Movie Pairs – Name two of the three movies released in the decade of the 1990s which co-starred both David Spade and Chris Farley. Name all three if you’re extra smart.
19. Presidential Offspring – What is the name of the only child of former President Donald Trump and his ex-wife Marla Maples – born in October, 1993?
20. Films – The 2018 film Operation Finale, starring Ben Kingsley and Oscar Isaac – is about the 1960 capture of what Nazi war criminal in Argentina? For a bonus point or two or three, name any one of the five real-life Jewish men that Kingsley has played on film (or the films in which he played the real-life people).
21. U.S. Presidents – As of February 11, 2021, former President Jimmy Carter is the oldest of all of the living former U.S. presidents, followed by former President Donald Trump. Which living ex-president is the next oldest? Bonus – which former U.S. President was the most recent one besides George H.W. Bush to have died at age 90 or older – doing so in 1964?
22. Measuring – A Brannock device is used to measure what? Multiple choice – A. Neck and sleeve lengths for men’s dress shirts B. Head size for hats C. Hand size for gloves D. Foot size for shoes
23. Words – Despite its name, a vomitorium was not a place where people used for vomiting – but for entrance and exit passageways of what type of building in ancient Rome?
24. Film Moments – In the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? George Clooney’s character requests hair pomade by the brand name “Dapper Dan” in a shop. When the shopkeeper informs him that he doesn’t carry Dapper Dan but can special order it for him, he tells him about another brand of hair pomade. What is that brand – which had a three-letter name that is synonymous with “dandy?”
25. Authors – Runaway Ralph, Ribsy and Fifteen are among the titles published by what American author?
26. Girl Scout Terms – What is the common term for a small homemade sitting pad typically used by Girl Scouts while sitting on the ground for outdoor pursuits?
27. Leaders – Who is the leader of the Autobots in the “Transformers” universe? Bonus, what is their home planet’s name?
28. Alternative Sports – What sport is the focal point of the 2007 comedy film Balls of Fury?
29. President Birth States – President Joe Biden is the second of two U.S. presidents to have been born in Pennsylvania. Who was the first U.S. president born in Pennsylvania?
30. Baby Names – What was the number one baby name for boys and the number one baby name for girls according to the 2019 Social Security Index? HINTS: the boy’s name is shared by the man nominated for an Academy Award for best leading actor for his work in a 1993 film and the girl’s name is shared by an “Old Hollywood” actress who died in 2020 at age 104.
31. Stage Names – What was the stage name of Austrian singer Johann Holzer – whom recorded the only #1 German language #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1986?
31. Stage Names – What is the more well known stage name of the Austrian singer whose birth name was Johann Holzer – who had a Billboard #1 hit in 1986, which was the only German language song to ever hit #1 in the U.S.?
32. Profane Movie Quotes – In what 1986 film does Dennis Hopper’s character exclaim, “Heineken? Fuck that shit – Pabst Blue Ribbon!”
33. Other Stage Names – Which actor has a brother whom previously served in the Royal Air Force and used the handle “Obi Two?” The handle was a nod to a role played on film by his brother.
34. Forgotten Compositions – What composer had one of his long-lost – never before performed – pieces performed for the first time on his 265th birthday January 27, 2021? The composition is called Allegro in D and was performed by classical pianist John Cho in a pay-to-stream event.
35. TV Series – The third season of what Starz original series began January 10, 2021? The series is based upon a Neil Gaiman novel of the same name.
36. Weapons – Halberds and voulges are what specific types of weapon?
37. Spices – What common household spice, used frequently in Hungarian dishes, is made from sweeter varieties of peppers known scientifically as Capiscum anuum?
38. Ski Races – The Birkebeinerrennet is a ski race which originated in the 1930s in what Scandinavian country?
39. Word Origins – What 10-letter word beginning with the letter “D” describes a heated argument or a scene of uproar and shares its name with a district of Dublin, Ireland?
40. Cartoonists – Cartoonist Al Jaffee, whom was 99 years old as of January 23, 2021 – holds a Guinness record for having the longest career as a cartoonist. For what publication – founded in 1952- is he best known as a 65-year contributor? This particular publication is known for a special feature at the back of the magazine, for which Al Jaffee was a frequent creator.
41. Law Enforcement – What rank name, beginning with the letter “c,” is considered the lowest in Canada and the United Kingdom in most law enforcement agencies – including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police?
42. Authors – Who wrote the Hitchhiker’s Guide book series?
43. Authors Part Deux – What English author’s former home in Oxford, England is the focus of a crowdfunding bid called “Project Northmoor” spearheaded by Annie Lennox, Martin Freeman and John Rhys-Davies – among others – which if successful, will turn it into a museum?
44. Bands – What British band founded in 1970 by Bryan Ferry and Graham Simpson – was inducted by members of Duran Duran into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 2019? The Duran Duran members said this band was very influential to their own work.
45. Actors – What actor, who played night club owner Sylvio Dante on “The Sopranos,” starred in the TV series “Lilyhammer,” which was set in Norway and aired for three seasons from 2012 to 2014? He also plays a night club owner in this series.
46. Animals – Drug dealer Pablo Escobar brought three males and one female of what Sub Saharan animal species into his own personal zoo into Colombia in the 1980s – and as a result of uncontrolled breeding, now has a population of more than 80? This has prompted attempts to cull the population through castration and sterilization.
47. Animals Part Deux – A recent set of viral videos featured an octopus doing what specific violent act to fishes?
48. Oceania – Besides Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, name at least two of the other 11 sovereign nations encompassing the “Oceania” world geographic region.
49. Girl Scout Cookies – What Girl Scout cookie is shaped like a doughnut and made with chocolate, coconut and caramel and features stripes of chocolate? There are two possible answers here.
50. Senators – Which U.S. Senator from Vermont – born in 1940 – has appeared in five non-animated DC Universe films – including Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises and Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice? Hint – it’s NOT Bernie Sanders.
Mystery – Boris – or Natasha?
Identify the LAST NAMES of the following people, all of whom have the first name Natasha or Boris – based on the years they were born and other descriptors. NOTE: Multiple spellings of the first names will be taken into consideration, also all gender pronouns will be eliminated, so anyone who acts will be referred to as an “actor” regardless of gender.
M1 – Born in 1967 – German professional tennis player who won their first singles championship at age 17
M2 – Born in 1979 – American actor, director and producer – whose credits include Orange is the New Black, Russian Doll and the American Pie film series
M3 – Born in 1937 – Russian chess grandmaster who lost to American Bobby Fischer in 1972
M4 – Born in 1964 – British prime minister since 2019
M5 – Born in 1961 – German actor whose film credits include Tess, Cat People and Faraway, So Close
M6 – Born in 1963 – died in 2009 – English actor whose credits included The Handmaid’s Tale, Nell and Maid in Manhattan
M7 – Born in 1890 – Russian author best known for Dr. Zhivago
M8 – Born in 2001 – youngest of two children born to a former U.S. President
Final Category – Song Lyrics
How many total times is “the jester” mentioned by name in the song “American Pie” by Don McLean?