Quiz Question

One of a continuing series

Literature again. It’s time to see who’s been  doing their summer reading.

A number of literary works begin with a significant sentence or phrase. Here are some. Identify the author, and for extra credit, identify the work.

  1. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times
  2. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.
  3. In the second century of the Christian æra [This opening is so critical that a man used the words to name his children.]
  4. It was a pleasure to burn.
  5. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
  6. Call me Ishmael.
  7. These are the times that try men’s souls.
  8. Mama died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know.

No fair running to Google. There is a page that lists many famous opening lines. Post your answer as a comment below. Best score wins.

Quiz Question

One of a continuing series


Taking the easy road this week. I pulled this week’s Quiz Question from an Internet site, so don’t go searching math puzzles on Google. Copied and pasted from the site:

Use the numerals 1, 9, 9 and 6 exactly in that order to make the following numbers: 28, 32, 35, 38, 72, 73, 76, 77, 100 and 1000

You can use the mathematical symbols +, -, ×, /, √, ^ (exponent symbol) and brackets.

Example: 63 = 1×9+9×6

Post your answer in the comments section below. The winner will be whoever posts the greatest number of correct solutions.

Quiz Question

One of a continuing series

A star actor’s career typically stumbles onto the scene as a bit part here with a screen credit near the bottom. Few know where most were before they gained momentum. Last appearances are more noted. And that’s this week’s Quiz Question. What was the last movie for the following? Film theatrical releases only. No TV.

Post your answers in the comments section below. Extra points for Peter Falk.

Update and answers

I’m going from memory here. Tania can weigh in if she wants. She probably knows them all. I have added the answers to the list above.

Quiz Question

One of a continuing series

Just recently I had to respond to a Facebook comment that compared Donald Trump to Barack Obama, this regarding Trump’s lack of familiarity with the truth:

And we should paint President Obama with the same brush? In this regard Obama is a piker compared to Trump. Actually, not even Nixon attained Trump’s rarefied air.

Obama a piker. Yes, a slacker. Then I wondered if anybody reading had an idea where we got the term “piker.” That’s this week’s Quiz Question. What’s the origin of the term?

Post your answer as a comment below. No fair running to  Google. You were supposed to know this stuff already.

Update and answer

People wanting to know how we got the term “piker” need to go all the back to an explorer named Zebulon Pike. Pike, later Brigadier General Pike, conducted two explorations of the American  West under the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. On his expedition he and his men discovered and attempted to climb what is now known as Pike’s Peak in Colorado. This was in November, and they were unsuccessful, leading Pike to proclaim that this obstacle would never be climbed. Today there are an automobile roadway and a cog rail line going to the top.

During the gold rush of 1849 many set out from the eastern states to  head for the California gold fields. Some had “California or Bust” painted on their wagons. As with such adventures, California was a mountain range and a desert too far, and some got to Pike’s Peak and gave up. Today these people are known as pikers, those who failed at their endeavors or did not live up to  their early promise.

In Missouri there is a Pike County, giving rise to the song:

Do you remember sweet Betsy from Pike,
Who crossed the high mountain with her lover Mike?

Followed by numerous additional stanzas.

Quiz Question

One of a continuing series

This is from somebody else. It showed up on my Facebook feed just in  time, when I needed inspiration for a new Quiz Question. It’s easy. Give yourself about 15 seconds. The problem was posed as:

There are three boxes and three statements. There is a car in only one of the boxes. Only one statement is true. Which statement is true, and in which box is the car?

Post your answer as a comment below.

Quiz Question

One of a continuing series

Got this one from the Internet, so no fair going to Google for the answer.


Substitute a digit for each letter to provide the correct equation. Post your answer as a comment below. The solution will be provided next week (or sooner).


No solution given yet. I have not taken the time to solve this, but here are some hints.

Note that A < 4 and A ≠ 0. A ≠ 0 is not stated in the problem, but I’m taking it as assumed. If A > 3, then multiplying by three would produce overflow and a number with more digits.

BCDEFA is divisible by 3, which means ABCDEF is divisible by 3, since both have the same digital root.

BCDEFA is divisible by 9.

That should get people going, so I’m going to give more time to come up with an answer.