It’s nearly Yuletide, and all shall rejoice. For Yuletide means: the King William’s College General Knowledge Paper. Hurrah!
If you’ve never seen it before: the General Knowledge Paper is both an exam paper, and one of the hardest general knowledge quizzes around. Its questions are succinct, cryptic, and intriguing, and range over huge areas of knowledge.* On a quick run through it today, I reckon I scored about 32 points out of 360;** doing particularly well on London and Russians. Answers probably include I. P. Pavlov, Martin Chuzzlewit, Greyfriars School and Waterloo – unless I’m deliberately trying to confuse you.
* so much so that my friend K claims it isn’t a general knowledge quiz at all, because the answers are that obscure.
** There are 180 questions; you score 2 points per answer.
Back in December, I briefly mentioned the King William’s College General Knowledge Paper, and ever since I’ve received hits from people searching for the answers. I had, indeed, posted three of the answers, but hadn’t mentioned which questions they were the answers too. The full answers have now been published, though,* and I’m pleased to find that all the answers I posted here were indeed correct. One of them (“In 1906, who benefited, through his far-eastern mediation, from a Nordic inventor’s bequest?”) needed a bit of research into Nobel Peace Prize winners; but the other two I spotted (“Which man in holy orders had a first edition of his own revolutionary theory of the heavens presented to him on his deathbed?” and “What is the Drain?”) I thought were really rather obvious “everyone will know those” questions, so I wasn’t really bothered about posting the answers to them here.
Still. Three right out of a hundred – it’s a bit rubbish, really!
* you can still get the questions from The Guardian or the school itself, at time of writing.
So, Big Dave has left, in a cloud of adulation and office stationery, getting ready to move house over the break. Everything is booked, and everything is ready to go, and when I get back after Christmas I will have someone new to share the office with.
Things have been a little strange lately, and not just because of Dave. Work has been very stressful, and other things have been very stressful too. I see someone and I want to try to help them, to save them from themself and from dangerous people, but I know they would not accept my help. The stress of all this, and all the work that has been piling on me at the office, makes me want to curl up for a thousand years, not sleeping, just dormant. A bit like King Arthur, maybe.
Talking of King Arthur, here’s more Susan Cooper:
For Drake is no longer sleeping in his hammock, children, nor is Arthur somewhere sleeping, and you may
not lie idly expecting the second coming of anybody now, because the world is yours and it is up to you.
Now especially since man has the strength to destroy this world, it is the responsibility of man to keep
it alive, it all its beauty and marvellous joy.
Maybe that should be my epigram for the coming year. In the meantime, I’m going to occupy myself with the King William’s College General Knowledge Paper. I might only get a handful of answers,* but it will keep me busy for a while.
* which may or may not include “Copernicus”, “Theodore Roosevelt”, and “The Waterloo and City Line”. That’s how random they are. Feel free to guess what questions I think those are the answers to.