Pub Quiz

This quiz (a re-working of one I did 3 years ago) is made up of questions that have an obvious at first blush answer that is wrong, i.e., the sort of thing many people would blurt out without thinking. For each question you get 1 point the obvious wrong answer and another point for the correct answer. For example, the question “Who is buried in Grant’s Tomb?” has an obvious wrong answer (Ulysses S. Grant) and a correct answer (Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia). If you guessed them both you would get 2 points, if you got just one you would still earn one point.

Google not and do your best. Answers after the jump. Please post scores at the end as well as any comments and critiques.

1. What is the name of this building?

2. Who is Boris Karloff playing here?


3. What is the world’s largest desert?

4. Which of the 50 states contains the easternmost point in the U.S.?

5. This scene from the classic 1941 film The Maltese Falcon contains the final line of dialogue. What was it?

6. Who was the first President to roll back a mandatory minimum sentence for drug crimes?

7. This 19th century photo shows a farmer in front of what building?

8. Yesterday was the 125th anniversary of the birth of Hollywood star Mary Pickford, the first actress of many to be called “America’s Sweetheart”. In what nation was she born?

ANSWERS (16 Points in the maximum possible score)

1. Obvious but wrong answer: Big Ben
Correct Answer: The Elizabeth Tower of the Palace of Westminster (full credit if you just said The Elizabeth Tower, half credit if you said Palace of Westminster)

2. Obvious but wrong answer: Frankenstein
Correct Answer: The Monster (or Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster)

3. Obvious but wrong answer: The Sahara
Correct Answer: Antarctica

4. Obvious but wrong answer: Maine
Correct answer: Alaska (The Aleutians extend across…)

5. Obvious but wrong answer: Bogart quoting The Bard “The stuff that dreams are made of”
Correct answer: Ward Bond responding “Huh?”

6. Obvious but wrong answer: Barack Obama
Correct answer: Richard Nixon (40 years before Obama eliminated the mandatory minimum for simply possession of crack cocaine, he rolled back marijuana penalties dramatically. Yes really.)

7. Obvious but wrong answer: The White House
Correct answer: The Executive Mansion (it was not called the White House until the 20th century)

8. Obvious but wrong answer: U.S.A.
Correct answer: Canada.

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

12 thoughts on “Pub Quiz”

        1. I thought Brubek and Desmond disagreed who deserved the credit, so I don't know which one would be the obvious but wrong and which actually true (Unless neither of them wrote it, in which case I don't know what the truly correct answer is).

          1. According to Wikipedia (and what I remember from the liner notes), it was Desmond.

  1. I believe that the correct answer to 7 is "none." That's the back of what we now call the White House, so the farmer is standing in back of it. Well, I suppose you could say that he's standing in front of the back.

  2. I thought that no one was buried in Grant's tomb. Both he and his wife are resting above ground and not six feet under.

    Also, in 1884, when Grover Cleveland was running for president despite allegations of having fathered a child out of wedlock, James Blaine's campaign used a slogan that went "Ma, Ma, Where's my pa? Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha."

    1. The White House was officially renamed as such by Teddy Roosevelt in 1901 or 1902 I think. Some people certainly called it The White House informally since it was painted white 90 years before that, but that wasn't it's official name

  3. Maine. "Eastermost" is primarily directional rather than absolute. Imagine an island straddling the 180th parallel (I don't know that there is one), and ask which would be the eastern side and which the western. Also, the 180th parallel is every bit an artificial human construct as the International Date Line, which produces a different answer — and in a sense was devised to avert just this problem.

  4. I don't know what my score is, exactly (too hard to keep score)… but I'm pretty sure it's in the 98th percentile.

  5. The winner is clearly Colin Day, the one person with enough guts to post his score — well done Colin!

Comments are closed.