I scored my second six-pack! Last time this happened, I sorta lucked into it — one of my answers was a random guess. This time around, I knew 5 of the 6 straightaway, made a perfectly reasonable deduction on the last, and that was that. A fine way to go, but it doesn’t make for much of a blog post. Let’s do one anyway!
1. Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Bandersnatch, the Mock Turtle, and the Snark are fictional creatures popularized by the work of what author?
I’ve never been particularly absorbed by the works of Lewis Carroll, but his stuff is used in puzzles so frequently (Carroll being something of a puzzler himself) that of course I knew this straightaway.
2. The suffix -itis has come to mean inflammation; therefore, by definition, the medical condition hepatitis is the inflammation of what?
I immediately wrote down liver, and then thought, why do I think I know this? I couldn’t come up with a good reason, but I also couldn’t come up with a better answer, so I left it. Wisely, it turns out.
3. The First and Second Battle of the Marne, the Battle of Asiago, the Battle of Caporetto, and the Monastir Offensive were all operations during what war?
My guess — I mean, my perfectly reasonable deduction. Everything about this question shouted “World War One!” to me: The place names. The “Monastir Offensive.” Something about the word “offensive” in this context sounded very noble and important: You can almost see the generals frowning at the oversized tabletop map of Europe, pushing around armies with those long craps-table rakes. I didn’t question my instincts, I just went with it. Again, this was a good move.
4. In July, 2011, a tribunal review known formally as the Leveson inquiry was established by British Prime Minister David Cameron, and remains in effect today, for the purposes of investigating practices in what industry?
Gimmes from here on out. I didn’t actually know the name of the inquiry into England’s newspapers — brought about in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal — but what else could this have possibly been? By the way, how is it that Piers Morgan is not under arrest yet?
5. Give the full name (first and last) of the television character in this photograph.
We’ve fallen way behind on Mad Men — I think we petered out midway through season 3. But I’ve certainly watched enough to know this guy: Roger Sterling, impeccably played by John Slattery.
6. Candide, Trouble in Tahiti, and A Quiet Place are the three operas composed during the career of what eclectic American musical polymath?
This might have been trouble without that first title, but the first title was there, so instead this was the simplest opera question a person could hope for: Leonard Bernstein.