A list of puzzling questions
Editor’s note: We’re kicking off a brand new thing to delight all of you who adore quizzes. Every Tuesday, we will feature three questions from our quiz master Shantanu Sharma—who is a researcher-writer and has a side hustle as a professional quiz guru. He’d love to hear from you—so send your feedback/suggestions or just say ‘hi’ over at email@example.com or @shantorasbox on Twitter.
How this works: Every correct answer is worth 10 points. If a question has multiple parts, each is worth 5 points. You have until Friday 12 pm to send in your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org or via DMs on Insta or Twitter. The correct answers will be published every Tuesday—as will the monthly leaderboard. The grand prize for the winner at the end of the month: a quarterly subscription for anyone of your choice—including the option of adding three months to your sub. That’s Rs 899 in value—so it’s pretty darn good:) Rule to note: this is all about who sends in the correct answers first.
The answers: to the previous week’s quiz are at the bottom.
FYI: We’re going to experiment with the difficulty of the questions until we figure out how challenging the quiz needs to be to make it fun for all of you:)
One: The building in the collage below is located in Mumbai’s Colaba and was designed by Hafeez Contractor. Where would television viewers have seen this architectural icon during the golden days of Indian sitcoms? Not to be a snob, but “middle class answers” will not be entertained.
Two: Here are two images of two separate sets of siblings who founded two companies in the same year. Both enterprises went on to become vastly successful production houses and have a (very) long history of entertaining audiences around the world. For full points, name the both companies and names of the two families.
Three: This role was initially offered to filmmaker and actor Jon Favreau, but he could not take it up due to other commitments. Name the actor who eventually played this iconic role, winning our hearts with his sarcastic quips and comebacks. But his personal wish was to be remembered for all the other things he’d done in his career.
About last week’s quiz…
Here are the answers to the inaugural edition of the splainer quiz:
One: What is common to the following three things (think laterally):
- A social media networking site led by an Indian-American CEO for almost a year
- A new Guinness World Record beating the previous one of 1.64 million units SHU
- A recent film release set in Kalimpong, West Bengal.
Answer: The letter ‘X’.
- Parag Agarwal was the CEO of Twitter from November 2021 to October 2022. The platform was renamed ‘X’ by current CEO Elon Musk.
- The Guinness Book of World Records recently declared Pepper X the hottest pepper in the world—with an average of 2.69 million Scoville Heat Units. It beat the record of the Carolina Reaper, which measured 1.64 million units.
- The movie ‘Jaane Jaan’ by Sujoy Ghosh released on Netflix on September 21 this year and was set in Kalimpong. It is an adaptation of the 2005 Japanese crime novel ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’ by Keigo Higashino.
Two: The first instance of breaking the glass ceiling in this area took almost 40 years since its inception. But it took only ten years to achieve this milestone a second time. The third instance occurred this year—a mere four years later.
There are two parts to this question:
- List the three instances of this achievement that struck a blow for gender equality?
- How is the third instance different from the previous two?
Answer: Women who have won the Nobel Prize for Economics.
Elinor Ostrom was the first woman to win the award in 2009 and she shared it with Oliver E Williamson. Esther Duflo won the Nobel in 2019 along with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer. In 2023, Claudia Goldin was the first woman to win the award solo.
Three: Which Dutchman pipped two Aussies—Mick and Adam—to top an unfortunate list? And which Aussie helped him set this unhappy record?
Answer: Bas de Leede from the Netherlands and Glenn Maxwell from Australia.
The Dutch right-arm medium-pacer conceded 115 runs in 10 overs against Australia in the ongoing Cricket World Cup—setting the record for the most runs conceded by an ODI bowler ever. The earlier record was shared by Australians Mick Lewis and Adam Zampa who had gone for 113 runs in 2006 and 2023, respectively.
Aussie batsman Glenn Maxwell scored a whopping 28 runs off the 49th over that was bowled by de Leede—and went on to score the fastest century in the history of the World Cup in the match.
And here are the top five quizzers after the first week. Congratulations!