Rediscovered toads, starry flags, and one giant catch – take the Thursday quiz

<span>Photograph: Sandra Standbridge/Alamy</span>
Photograph: Sandra Standbridge/Alamy

The Thursday quiz, either a pleasing diversion or a nightmare immovable deadline, depending on whether you are doing it or writing it. You face 15 questions on general knowledge and vaguely topical issues, and this week there is even an exciting World Cup bonus on offer. There are no prizes, but let us know how you get on in the comments.

The Thursday quiz, No 83

  1. Common toad
    Common toad

    TOAD, RATTY, BADGER AND MOLE: A recently rediscovered original illustration from The Wind in the Willows (not pictured) by artist EH Shepard is going up for auction. But who wrote The Wind in the Willows?

    1. A A Milne

    2. Beatrix Potter

    3. Ann Talbot

    4. Kenneth Grahame

  2. Christmas at Waddesdon Manor
    Christmas at Waddesdon Manor

    'TIS THE SEASON: Aldi (not pictured) claims to have sold out already of some of the toy versions of which character that features in their festive TV adverts?

    1. Billy The Brussel

    2. Kevin The Carrot

    3. Penny The Pea

    4. Persephone The Potato

  3. Millie Gibson
    Millie Gibson

    NEW DOCTOR WHO COMPANION: Millie Gibson was revealed on Children in Need to be the new Doctor Who companion. What is the name of the character she will be playing opposite Ncuti Gatwa, starting in 2023?

    1. Ruby Sunday

    2. Amber Friday

    3. Pearl Tuesday

    4. Sulfur Saturday

  4. Singing nun Sister Cristina
    Singing nun Sister Cristina

    VOX POPULI VOX DEI: A nun who became a singing sensation after winning Italy’s version of The Voice has stunned TV viewers again after announcing that she has left her order and is now doing what?

    1. She has begun a university course in media studies in London

    2. She has become a television presenter in Albania

    3. She is working as a waitor in Spain

    4. She is looking after 30-50 feral hogs just outside Rome

  5. The Twitter logo
    The Twitter logo

    ELONGATED MUSKRAT: Twitter's favourite conversation at the moment is about Twitter. Meanwhile Oxfordshire astronomer Mary McIntyre was locked out of the social media cesspit for three months after her image of what was deemed to be 'intimate' content?

    1. A time-lapse photo showing the Milky Way

    2. A vintage clip of the launch of a space shuttle

    3. A video of a meteor passing through the night sky

    4. A close-up of Uranus

  6. Groucho Marx glasses
    Groucho Marx glasses

    CITIES IN DISGUISE: Which South American capital city was founded by Spanish colonisers as Ciudad de los Reyes (City of Kings) in 1535, before gradually adopting a name based on what the area had been called by the indigenous population

    1. Lima

    2. Santiago

    3. La Paz

    4. Buenos Aires

  7. A giant tortoise
    A giant tortoise

    ON THIS DAY: Charles Darwin (not pictured) published On the Origin of Species on 24 November. But which year?

    1. 1799

    2. 1829

    3. 1859

    4. 1889

  8. Shakin Stevens
    Shakin Stevens

    ODDS OR EVENS WITH SHAKIN' STEVENS: This week the Welsh rock'n'roller wants to know how many states are in the federal republic of Germany?

    1. Odds – 15

    2. Evens – 16

  9. Plasma globe
    Plasma globe

    GCSE SCIENCE CORNER: In an electric plug in the UK the fuse is connected to which wire?

    1. Earth

    2. Neutral

    3. Live

    4. Chaotic Good

  10. A single fantail goldfish
    A single fantail goldfish

    WHOPPING TALES: Angler Andy Hackett caught a fish known as the Carrot, an elusive 30kg leather carp-koi hybrid released into a fishing lake 20 years ago (not pictured). Where?

    1. Belgium

    2. Netherlands

    3. Germany

    4. France

  11. Dido

    OH HOW TERRIBLY VEXING WITH DIDO: Vexillology is the study of flags, and Dido had a hit with White Flag. So here is the Thursday quiz mash-up of those two facts. Which African nation's flag could be described as "red, gold and green in horizontal stripes with a five pointed black star in the centre of the gold stripe"?

    1. Burkina Faso

    2. Angola

    3. Cameroon

    4. Ghana

  12. The Village People
    The Village People

    VILLAGE PEOPLE'S POSER: Young man, there's no need to feel down, Village People had a smash hit in 1978 with YMCA. But which Y is the central sacred tree in Norse mythology?

    1. Yggdrasil

    2. Yormwell

    3. Yennorks

    4. Yafthruthnir

  13. Pokémon Scarlet video game screenshot
    Pokémon Scarlet video game screenshot

    GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL: Always a popular round. The new Pokémon games Scarlet and Violet are out. As ever there are three new starter Pokémon – a grass type, a water type and a fire type. Which one is the fire type?

    1. Sprigatito

    2. Fuecoco

    3. Quaxly

    4. Vanklomp

  14. Willow, the official dog of the Guardian's Thursday quiz
    Willow, the official dog of the Guardian's Thursday quiz

    IT'S A DOG'S LIFE: This is Willow, the official dog of the Guardian's Thursday quiz. Today she is worried because she has forgotten who wrote the 1866 opera The Bartered Bride. Can you help her?

    1. Bedřich Smetana

    2. Antonín Dvořák

    3. Vincenc Mašek

    4. Antonín Panenka

  15. X-ray view of foot bones
    X-ray view of foot bones

    OUCH: Who has had to cancel the rest of their UK tour after breaking their foot onstage at the O2 in London?

    1. Ricky Wilson out of Kaiser Chiefs

    2. Florence Welch out of Florence + The Machine

    3. Brad Simpson out of The Vamps

    4. Ronald Mael out of Sparks

  16. Qatar's Mohammed Muntari
    Qatar's Mohammed Muntari

    BONUS WORLD CUP QUESTION: Qatar has had 12 years to get ready for the Fifa World Cup and has reportedly spent $200bn on hosting it. How has it gone so far?

    1. They became the first ever World Cup hosts to lose their opening match

    2. They did not become the first ever World Cup hosts to lose their opening match


1:D - The pencil and ink drawing was recently discovered hanging in a country house. It has been privately owned since it was acquired by the family of the current owner 69 years ago. Shepard was asked to illustrate The Wind in the Willows in 1931 by Grahame. By then, he had already provided drawings for Punch magazine and Winnie-the-Pooh. It was the author of the latter, AA Milne, who introduced Grahame and Shepard., 2:B - More than 70,000 shoppers have queued online and hundreds lined up outside UK stores to get their hands on Aldi’s toys and merchandise based around its Kevin the Carrot adverts. Aldi said its website had instigated a digital queueing system as demand for the soft toys was “extremely high”. That picture is Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury, the cursed town where the quiz master broke his ankle recently., 3:A - Leading to one thousand people on Facebook going "That sounds a bit like the Rolling Stones song" as if that wasn't actually the point, Ruby Sunday is expected to make her debut in the show over the festive period next year., 4:C - Scuccia said that leaving the nunhood – a decision a psychologist helped her to process – did not mean she had renounced her faith, and that she was still chasing her dream of a career in music., 5:C - McIntyre said that after the initial ban expired, Twitter offered to reinstate her access if she deleted the tweet and agreed that she had broken the guidelines on intimate images. She refused, having done nothing in breach of the guidelines, as she was concerned about repercussions for her role doing outreach work with children. Sadly, Uranus wasn't involved at all., 6:A - The etymology isn't entirely clear but some believe the name comes from the invading Spanish pronunciation of Limaq, which was the name of an oracle there, 7:C - He had worked on the idea for a couple of decades, having published the Voyage of the Beagle in 1839. The trip on the Beagle was when he had collected many of the specimens he would use to support his thesis., 8:B - Modern Germany consists of sixteen states, from Schleswig-Holstein in the north to Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria in the south, 9:C - It is connected to the live wire, that way if it overloads and blows, it disconnects the device from the electrical supply. , 10:D - The elusive fish, known as the Carrot after its orange colour, was landed at Bluewater Lakes in Champagne, France. It was put into the lake 20 years ago, and has proved to be a slippery customer ever since. It isn't clear whether he caught it with a bait and line or just waded in and wrestled with the thing, 11:D - Ghana's high commission in the UK says that the red represents the blood of those who died in the country's struggle for independence, the gold represents the mineral wealth of the country, the green symbolises the country's rich forests and the Black Star stands for the lodestar of African Freedom., 12:A - Yggdrasil is an immense ash tree that is central to the cosmos and considered very holy, and the dragon Níðhöggr lives there, unhelpfully gnawing at the roots., 13:B - Fuecoco is a bipedal crocodilian Pokémon with a mostly red body and a white stomach and face. Sprigatito is the grass type, and Quaxly, a sort of duck wearing hair that looks like a hat, is the water type. They are the starter Pokémon in generation nine of the Pokémon, originally being discovered in the Paldea region, which is loosely based on Spain., 14:A - It wasn't a huge hit at first, but a revised version four years after the premiere saw it lauded, and it remains part of opera canon today., 15:B - Welch took a tumble during the first gig in England on the now somewhat ironically-named Dance Fever tour, and they've had to pull the rest of the dates. There's always somebody who wants to go one better than the quiz master's "I broke my ankle in Aylesbury on the way to see Tom Bailey from Thompson Twins" anecdote, isn't there?, 16:A - It is the 22nd Fifa World Cup and the record that no host had lost their opening match had stood since 1930. Oh dear, how sad, nevermind.


  1. 0 and above.

    We hope you had fun – let us know how you got on in the comments!

If you do think there has been an egregious error in one of the questions or answers, please feel free to email, but remember the quizmaster’s word is final, and he may be otherwise engaged and not even read them.