Friday, October 28, 2005

Queuriest - III

Keep Guessing - Johnnie Guesser

1. What is a tittle? Clue: There are six of them in this question!

2. Connect the seed-drill and scuba. Maybe you should be sitting on a park-bench while thinking this one out!

3. Real sitter. Who stays at Apartment 3D, 344, ClintonStreet?

4. Which modern-day term was originally used to refer to the high-flying flags on ships in the 18th century?

5. Who, according to Don Bradman, "scored goals like runs"?

6. "Woods are lovely,dark and deep..." All of us are familiar with these words by Robert Frost. But tell me which poem?

7. Who were the signatories of the Treaty Of Park Avenue?

8. Pete Sampras currently holds the record for maximum number of Grand Slam titles among me. Whose record did he break?

9. If a philanthropist makes charitable donations to increase human well-being, what does a psilanthropist do?

10. What kind of people did Gulliver encounter in Glubbdubdrib?

Great men are only agents of a great cause. - Nietschze

hello everybody!

hope this edition gets more responses than the previous one.

questions are fairly straightforward this time around. gimme what u got! No What-You-Search-Is-What-I-Get please! rediscover the joy of guessing!

answers in 7 days time. get cracking!


hi folks!

thanks for the fantabulous response. there were 44 responses in all.

had a lot of fun compiling the stats, scoring the responses etc...and thanks a lot for 'rediscovering the joy of guessing'.



1. What is a tittle? Clue: There are six of them in this question!
*the dot over the i . Almost universally cracked. Did EVERYBODY really know this one?. . . I guess the clue gave it away!!! ...or was it ...? ;-)

AJ adds: - however i think there are eight in ur question...since ur question mark as well as ur exclamation mark have one each (below them) they too are called tittles .....e.g. spanish has an inverted question mark before the question and an inverted exclamation mark before an exclamation (and of course a straight question mark and straight exclamation mark after a question and exclamation respectively) so they too are called tittles.
MM says: A title is a small mark or point added to a letter like the German Umlaut, I'm not sure whether the dot over the i qualifies as a tittle.
QM: tittle literally = A tiny or scarcely detectable amount, Related word: diacritic, check it out.

2. Connect the seed-drill and scuba. Maybe you should be sitting on a park-bench while thinking this one out!
*The seed-drill was invented by a person called Jethro Tull. And Aqualung is another name for the scuba gear which is an album/song by Ian Anderson's Jethro Tull.
Really,you should be specific and clear while answering connection Qs. 1 point only if both JT and AL mentioned.only 0.5 if just one mentioned.
about the clue:'Sitting on a park-bench' is how the song starts...
Not too many takers on this one.

3. Real sitter. Who stays at Apartment 3D, 344, ClintonStreet?
* Clark Kent aka Superman
No controversy on this one. Most of you got it.

4. Which modern-day term was originally used to refer to the high-flying flags on ships in the 18th century?
Only Shash Shekar got this one.

5. Who, according to Don Bradman, "scored goals like runs"?
* Indian hockey team/Dhyan Chand
I'd been thinking that it was about the hockey team alone, but so many of u `remembered' it as being about Dhyan Chand also...maybe it was about Dhyan Chand's Indian hockey team! Points for either.

6. "Woods are lovely,dark and deep..." All of us are familiar with these words by Robert Frost. But tell me which poem?
*Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening.
Had many variants like Walking, winter evening, winter morning..but I've been very generous!

7. Who were the signatories of the Treaty Of Park Avenue?
*Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. The treaty was that whenever asked who the best science-fiction writer was, Asimov would say Clarke, and Clarke would name Asimov.
Shiraz adds: its basically while in the taxi cab on Park Ave that they made a pact

8. Pete Sampras currently holds the record for maximum number of Grand Slam singles titles among men. Whose record did he break?
*Roy Emerson's record of 12 Grand Slam singles titles (A6,F2,W2,U2). He still has the maximum number of Grand Slam titles overall (including doubles, 28).
Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg have 11 each.

9. If a philanthropist makes charitable donations to increase human well-being, what does a psilanthropist do?
* A psilanthropist is a person who believes that Jesus Christ was a mere mortal.
(Perhaps this was the most referred answer. Hail Webster?)

10. What kind of people did Gulliver encounter in Glubbdubdrib?
*Sorcers and Magicians.
Glubbdubdrib was ruled by a sorcerer, who entertains his guests by calling forth the spirits of the ancient world.
QM: Many of you answered Yahoos for this one. Well, Gulliver met them in the land of the Houyhnhnms, a race of intelligent horses. The Yahoos were the human savages there...and Gulliver met the Struldbrugs, a race of immortals, in Luggnagg.

The scores (in chronological order)

1. Pauline Daniel - 2 (that was such a quick response!)
2. Gautham Ravichander - 2 (Great work on Jethro Tull )
3. Husain Poonawala - 4 (cool show)
4. Shiraz - 7 (superb show man! hope u enjoyed the rediscovery process! :-)
5. Shobhana Balakrishnan - 2 (stopping by, not walking thru,but I'm generous!)
6. Krishna T - 1.5 (First to get hockey team as such!)
7. Aishwariya V - 3 (had planned 2 put ur lace tidbit as a Q in fact. but now NO!!!)
8. Vaidyanathan - 5 (why duplicates? confused me.)
9. Mohit Sud - 6.5 (y didn't u mention Aqualung?)
10. Naveed Mohammed - 7 (right on Laver/Borg but Emerson has 12. )
11. Abhishek Hariharan - 2 (nice try)
12. Sourabh Issar - 1 (GlubbDubbians was a cheeky one! ;-)
13. Rajesh Malviya - 3.5 (It's not Doug Adams)
14. Syam Prasad - 4.5 (way to go man! it was not too much after all, eh?)
15. Madhu M - 2 (a tittle of a doubt! but dot over i good enough to get points here)
16. Biswabijoy Sen - 5 (Aqualung could not have been answered in a better way!)
17. Ranganathan Sairam - 4 (y didn't u answer prev quiz if u liked it? anyway,thanx for the compliment.)
18. Samir Bora - 4.5 (Superman/(Superman+Mask) = 0.5 )
19. Debashree Mitra - 6 (solid!)
20. Quizgeek - 6 (who's the man behind the mask?)
21. Anshuman Mishra - 5 (OK!OK! I wish you luck ;-P )
22. B.Sreeram - 6 (How old are you anyway, huh?)
23. Sameer Baxi - 7 (Check out RAMA series by ACC)
24. Ramsu - 7 (It's not Pele! Go head! Kick urself :-)
25. Ramkey - 3 (100% hit rate! u should've made more attempts!)
26. Soumyadipta B - 5 (glad to know u appreciate the Qs)
27. Harish J Prabhu - 6 (Bradman's grandkids LOL!!!)
28. Satish K - 5 (no points for meaning of tittle sorry. u should have used the clue!)
29. Kasthuri - 6.5 (glad to know u used the clue. ur heart content now? ;-p)
30. Raghavendra Achar - 1 (Good guesses but hard luck :-(
31. Thejaswi Udupa - 8.5 (about history textbook-people. he met only their ghosts thru way of necromancy.)
32. Dhiraj Ramakrishnan - 2 (nice try)
33. Aseem - 4 (solid)
34. Udayan Chakrabarti - 2.5 (y didn't u mention Jethro Tull)
35. Shrijit Plapally - 2 (enjoyed ur answers ;-)
36. Dhananjay Shettigar - 3.5 (good work on hockey team)
37. Amit De - 5 (willie renshaw was that guy who kept winning Wimbledon right? he ever win anything else?)
38. R.Krishna - 7 ( is the middle name really jerome? please confirm)
39. Ankur Jain - 7 (Holmes Jain!!!)
40. Bhaskar Singh - 2 (William Renshaw won a few Wimbledons.But that was it, I guess)
41. Venkateswar - 2 (there were some queery answers after all hey?)
42. Shash Shekar - 6 (congrats on skyscraper)
43. Bharat Jayakumar - 4 (hi there. mudblood? :-)
44. Siddharth K - 2.5 ( No AL on JT = 0.5)


*Honestest! -
SP who said `He believes that Christ was only a man. (Do not give me marks for this. I consulted my Dictionary.) '

Queuriest! -
Response to q2 seed-drill & scuba
UC: Aqualung yes but no Jethro Tull !
MS & DS: Jethro Tull, yes but no Aqualung !

SB who said IS IS POINTS to What is a tittle?
and QM deciphered as is I's points! yay!!!

Monica Lewinsky on Clintonstreet
Raymonds on Treaty Of Park Avenue
Snot nosed- drippy nosed people on Glubbdubbdrib
Misspell Philanthropist on Psilanthropist
Himself playing football with his grandchildren on Don's comment
...and now the cricketers score runs like goals! on Don's comment

(thought it gooddest not to reveal authors.)

* Thejaswi Udupa tops the quiz with 8.5 points
* Average score: 4.5
* Everybody scored!
* All the questions were answered.

Great men are only agents of a great cause. - Nietschze

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Will expand on these later. Just a reminder to myself.

Definition of life
Life is a progression from one addiction to the next.
Birth was when the demon awoke/
Life's just steps from yoke to yoke - Excerpt from Sweet Angel, a song I wrote.

Purpose of life
It's to be useful to others - to know that you'll be missed if you are not there. No, it's not money.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Better Incomplete Than Incorrect

While answering a question in a quiz, if you're not sure about the entire answer, omit the parts of the answer that you are not really sure about.

Also, say the parts you are sure about loud and confident (in oral rounds) or conveniently abbreviate. Maybe the QM won't notice or the answer that you say might be unambiguous enough for him.

Let's say the answer to a question is John F Kennedy, but you are not sure about the John part. Just say Kennedy. Never say James (often you will be sure that the name starts with a J) or, god forbid, Robert Kennedy (another person famous in his own right).

Even if the answer is incomplete, the QM might give you half-points but if it is wrong you won't get any. Mask your ignorance in the quiz. But be aware of your ignorance and work towards gaining some knowledge in that area afterwards. Questions do repeat and next time around, you might not be so lucky.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Use Refuse



The lizard uses its beloved tail,
To tickle itself, to scratch its head, to many avail.
But when in trouble, trapped by a nail
Coolly sheds it, with not so much as a wail.

- Thomas Jay Cubb

1. Alternate titles were Use-And-Throw and Disposable.
2. The spontaneous removal of a body is called autotomy.
3. Refuse is used in the sense of disposed stuff.
4. Moral: Favours done are very easily and quickly forgotten.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Queuriest - II

Keep Guessing! --- Johnnie Guesser

1. A pricky question (piquant?) that could leave you in stitches? Tell me, what you would do with Buffon's needle?

2. Name the Sherlock Holmes stories in which Holmes himself is the narrator? Points only if you get all of them.

3. Calling all Purpleheads...What was peculiar ( queuerious? ;-) about the way in which Deep Purple's mid-70s lead singer David Coverdale used to sing Deep Purple's all-time classic and possibly their most famous song "Smoke On The Water"? Why? (If you know the lyrics to the song, this is very much workoutable.)

4. Chess. Who or what is known as a patzer? (Cryptic clue: A Remus would be a good option for them! )

5. Was grass ever for Indian cows? Who was the first Indian to be seeded at Wimbledon?

6. Art Spiegelman's Maus won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 . What's the distinction?

7. The absolute sitter of this quiz possibly. You've heard about telegrams and anagrams. But what is a pangram?

8. Rama, Shiva, Sugriva. What's the connection? (apart from the fact that they are mythological characters etc). Unleash your imagination! I'm waiting to learn more . . .

9. Who is a picaninny? You should never call them this!

10. How do we better know Mosi-o-Tunya? Cryptic clue: Smoke that thunders rises when a monarch capitulates?

hi folks!

here's the next installment of Queuriest.

the questions are fairly straightforward. there are no deliberate misspellings or hazification of questions in order to prevent you from googling. do justify the trust placed in you. there are lots of clues in the questions! tell me if they helped you work out the answers.

hope u enjoy cracking the Qs as much as I did setting them!


`Curiouser and curiouser!'


1. * You could try to find the value of pi.
Sathish: Buffons needle is experimental method used to calculate the value of pi. one of the method is like this, say you got a needle of length 'x',draw parallel lines of distance 's' apart. if you drop the needle 'n' timesand it touche the lines 'y' times then the value of pi can be calculates as app (2*n*x)/(y*s).
Kamal:Buffon's Needle is one of the oldest problems in the field of geometrical probability. It was first stated in 1777. It involves dropping a needle on a lined sheet of paper and determining the probability of the needle crossing one of the lines on the page. The remarkable result is that the probability is directly related to the value of pi.

2. *Only two - The Adventure of The Blanched Soldier and The Adventure Of The Lion's Mane. Only Sreeram gets both.

3. * The song goes `We all came out to Montreux. . .', it was about an fire episode during a Frank Zappa concert that the members attended. Those days Ian Gillan was their lead-singer. After David Coverdale replaced Gillan in the band, at concerts/shows whent the band played the song, DC sang the song with 'We' replaced by `They', since he was not involved in the episode. (`They all came out to Montreux' etc). He sure was a sentimental guy!

4. * A patzer is a poor(moderate to inferior in quality) chess player. Of course, patzers are bound to be poor as well! :-) About the clue - Remus is German for draw, patzers would be very happy if they manage to draw the game?
Sathish: Patzer is a term for novice in chess. the persons elo rating is around 1400.

5. * Dilip Bose was seeded 15 in 1950. He could reach only the 2nd round. He had reached the 4th round in 1948.

6. * First cartoon/graphic book to win the Prize. In fact a whole new category was created for it,it seems.

7. * A sentence or poem which contains all the letters of the alphabet. eg. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

8. *The key word was pithecus.All have hominids named after them, Ramapithecus, Shivapithecus etc.
Cracked only by Sreeram.
Bharat says: RSS. (The party's alternate expansion!!)
Sreeram asks: Are there parts of Niagra which are named after them?
QM: I know there's some such trivia Q about Niagara but forget what exactly it was. Or was it about Colorado? HELP!!!

9. * It's a derogatory term for a Black child.
SK: Dominant racial carricature of Black children. They are described with bulging eyes, unkempt hair and wide mouths. Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin explains better.

10. * Victoria Falls. That's its local name. Literally means 'smoke that thunders'. So, the clue was not so cryptic after all, huh?

hi everybody!

Here are the answers to Queuriest -II.

Why were there only so many responses? Just 5! Was this because of my criticism of googlaholics (ref: DISCLAIMER in the prev Answers post)? Is this the size of the nongooglaholic population within Quiznet? ;-) But really, was expecting more... :-(

anyways. . .


The scores (in chronological order):

Sathish.K - 6.5 (some answers were not specific enough)
Kamal Rathi - 5 (Computer opponent was a good try)
Sreeram - 4 ( <=4 prediction ---> =4 = 4 ! )
Kunal Malhotra - 4.5 (patzer answer vague)
Bharat Jayakumar - (:-)) Keep ur creativity going though!!!

* The only unanswered question was the one about Smoke On The Water

No disclaimer needed this time around!!!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Cause And Effect (intro)

A life of ease.
You are obese.

-Thomas Jay Cubb

opulence = wealth as evidenced by sumptuous living
corpulence = the property of excessive fatness
Definitions sourced from WordWeb dictionary

This is an excerpt from my poem "Cause And Effect" which deals with the problem of being overweight and how to get rid of the extra flab. Its philosophical thread is how the cause and the effect are so easily (and so often!) mistaken by the casual observer as the other.

This snippet summarizes the cause-and-effect line of reasoning. The poem is shaped (literally) as a fat man on a diving-board; these four lines form the head of the person and of course the root of the problem!

The surest way to eliminate the effect is to remove the cause from the equation. Rather be fat than poor?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

FFAT (Four Fingers And A Thumb)

Here's a song I wrote in early 2004. Can be sung to the tune of generic rock and roll songs . This version has been stripped of scene-setter/mood-changer paras which I felt were obstacles to the free flow of the rock'n'roll rhythm.

Literary value? Well, it coins a new(!) proverb and also tells a story!
It is an autobiographical account of a band that never was. Does that make it fiction?

Read (sing) on ....

Spending my days out on the beach
Dreaming dreams that were outta reach
Gotten tired of counting grains of sand
Why don't I start my rock'n roll band?

Tunes that buzz around in my head
Wonder can they earn me my bread?
Scores of new songs in my hand
But what's the name that I will call my band?

Whoever said that, "What's in a name?"
I tell you he really hasn't played the game
Abbreviations mean less appreciation.
Personal name gives one all the fame (and the blame!)

It's gotta have soul
It's gotta rock'n roll
Yeah, and it's gotta have meaning too.
That's the name of the game...

Don't you know that
Four fingers and a thumb
make the mighty hand
Four fingers and a thumb
make the mighty hand
That's the name that I will call my band
Four fingers and a thumb.


Times were good we could do no wrong.
People they throng just to hear our song.
Though the exec was a slippery eel
Finally managed to land us a deal.

(he said)
Guys you really don't fit the mould
Gotta beat the odds just to break even
(and we said)
We ain't clones of pop stars of old.
Platinum, gold just a question of when.

Songs I sang then in the studio
I hear them all now on the radio
Playing pool, drinking beer, we're having some fun
Rock show here, a concert there, we're out in the sun.

We're on a roll
We've beaten them all.
Beaten the odds and broken the records.
Wonder whether we've won the game?



Though the years have passed us by
The hand's still mighty and going strong.
Man, you oughta hear us
When we're on song...
...And that's always!

(repeat & fade to end)

The discarded lines were

Maybe/Babe/You'll be seeing me singing on the shore
Maybe/Babe/You'll be seeing me singing on the show
Maybe/Babe/If you don't see me right on top for sure

at the end of each chorus.


[It's a long way/To the top/If you wanna rock'n roll
I got high hopes/But no ropes/to climb upon]

[It was a long way/To the top/We really did rock'n roll.
Gonna stay on/where we've got/ Just know that things will stay the same.]

just before the 'maybe-babe's.

Four fingers and a thumb make the mighty hand. - TJ

Professor Bhatt

There was an old man by the name of Bhatt

Who lectured whilst scratching his butt
His nails were long
So when he taught for long
He ended up with his butt cut.

- TJC 23 Sep,2003

PCP Bhatt was my professor in iiit-b (where I had a brief stint). He used to teach us Operating Systems and Foundations Of Computing. Professor Bhatt was an excellent teacher, with plenty of wit, but had a strange habit - his hand inevitably crept into his pants when writing on the whiteboard, when his back faced the full view!This limerick was reportedly leaked to Professor Bhatt! I wonder what he thought.

I remember an interesting conversation that I had with him in class when he was explaining schedulers - the component of an OS that decides what should be done when. I detected a chicken-and-egg problem : who or what schedules the scheduler? I decided to be cryptic. The exchange, unforgettable for anyone who was present in that class, went verbatim-

TJC: Professor, but who cuts the barber's hair?
(pause of 5 seconds)
PCP: What if the barber is a Sardarji?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Night Flight

Went to Delhi for my cousin's wedding on September 22.

Very nearly a one-liner.
"This is the last and final call. I repeat, this is the last and final call. I repeat..."
- Airport Announcer
Oh, the hypocrisy!

Was Passenger no. 49. Thought it was the name of a Wesley Snipes movie - later, much later realised that its name was actually Passenger 57 - in which the plane gets hijacked or something. There is a John Travolta movie called Ladder 49. Didn't share the tidbit with any of my co-passengers. Spared the blushes.

Seats are very uncomfortable. No leg-space. Got reminded of chickens being taken for slaughter!! On the plus side, no need to wear a seatbelt; so tightly are we packed.

It was my first night flight/
And the moon was on my right/
Clouds right below/
Lit soft and mellow/

Featherbeds or sand dunes?
In the sky or in the desert?

Then in a flash, the sky burst into flame. Lightning flooded the sky. The lady in the window seat tries to impress with lofty philosophical meanderings - How insignificant man is! The power of nature! - with allusions to Katrina thrown in for good measure. I quickly ground her in the middle of her flight of fancy by gently reminding her that we, members of the human race, were in fact flying at that moment- against the will of nature, so who's more powerful.

Silence can be bought with a cheap line.