FLQ - The Frontline Quiz!

Of national days, colonial legacies, and cricket teams.

Published : Aug 14, 2022 06:00 IST

The Bombay Gymkhana building.

The Bombay Gymkhana building. | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

1. It was used in Peru from the time of the Incas, but it was not until the early 19th century that the world discovered it. For 30 years after, Peru earned all its foreign exchange by selling it, especially to the US. The US Congress passed the _____ Islands Act, which allowed private interests to claim as US territory any islands bearing _____ that were not already claimed. The US acquired more than 50 islands this way. Other than its primary use, it was also used to make gunpowder and dye. Fill in the blank.

2. On the coat-tails of Independence came the Bombay Prohibition Act, instituted by Chief Minister Morarji Desai. The rules were so strict, even X and Y were banned as they contained alcohol. Name X and Y.

3. Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by Spain. In 1704, Anglo-Dutch forces captured Gibraltar from Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession. The territory was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Under its current constitution, Gibraltar has almost complete self-governance with an elected parliament. Even if Britain wanted to grant independence to the island, it could not. Why?

4. The governments of India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan have all claimed ownership of it and demanded its return ever since India gained Independence from the UK in 1947. The British government insists it was obtained legally under the terms of the Last Treaty of Lahore. What is it?

5. The match that began at Bombay Gymkhana on August 26, 1892, is considered the earliest first-class match in India. By 1900, the Presidency Match, as it came to be called, was the highlight of the Bombay cricket season. What were the two teams?

6. Most photographs of Dr B.R. Ambedkar—with Mahatma Gandhi and Madan Mohan Malaviya, among others, at the Second Round Table Conference in London in 1931; a group photograph with seven members of the committee in 1947; a family photograph with his wife, son, and pet dog, Toby—have one element in common. What is it?

7. This is now believed to be an early example of reappropriation—the act of embracing a term or a phrase that was intended to be derogatory—before the word was even in use. This term was first popularised by British troops during the American Revolutionary War. It is meant to be an insult , suggesting that the American soldiers were gay. But then the Americans started to win and soon embraced the term. What is it?

8. The 50 stars on the US flag represent its 50 States. What do the 13 stripes represent?

9. A national day is a day on which celebrations mark the nationhood of a nation or state. It may be the date of independence, of becoming a republic, of becoming a federation, or a significant date for a patron saint or ruler. Denmark and X are the only two countries without a national day. Name X.

10. The elite Breach Candy Club, an erstwhile colonial mainstay, is not only notable for making an appearance in Salman’s Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children but also for having India’s largest salt-water pool built in a unique shape. What is the shape of the pool?


1. Guano (bat and seabird faeces)

2. Cough syrup and eau de cologne

3. The Treaty of Utrecht contains a reversion clause, which means first rights would go to Spain.

4. The Koh-i-noor diamond

5. The Europeans and the Parsis

6. A blue suit and a red tie: a personal statement against caste markers

7. Yankee, from the song Yankee Doodle

8. The 13 original colonies that became the first States

9. The UK

10. A pre-Partition map of India

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